The Union Depot

Saulte Ste Marie MI

Postcard Around 1905 - Contributed by Paul Petosky

From the Grand Rapids Daily Eagle, October 10, 1887:
Sault Ste. Marie, October 10: The first regular passenger train on the "Soo" branch of the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway left the "Soo" at 6 o'clock this morning. Five trains will run daily, making western and eastern connections. The "Soo" is now out of the woods

The Soo Line Railroad is the United States arm of the Canadian Pacific Railway, serving Chicago and the areas to the east and west. Formerly known as Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway (commonly known as the Soo Line), the present name was adopted as a trade name in 1950. In late 1960 the company was consolidated with several subsidiaries and reorganized under the current name.

In 1985 the Soo Line purchased the Milwaukee Road and attempted to operate the pre-1985 Soo Line and selected Milwaukee Road branchlines as a wholly owned subsidiary, the Lake States Transportation Division. Because of lack luster traffic levels and the need to pay off debt resulting from the purchase of the Milwaukee Road; most of the LSTD (including the original Wisconsin Central Railway) was sold in 1987 to the newly formed Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation.

The Soo Line is a part of the Canadian Pacific Railway system. As time passes, more and more Soo Line equipment is being repainted into the Canadian Pacific's current paint scheme, slowly erasing the Soo's identity as a subsidiary railroad.


September 29, 1883: A consortium of flour mill owners in Minneapolis form the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic Railway to build a railroad between its two namesake cities to avoid sending shipments through Chicago.

June 11, 1888: The Canadian Pacific Railway acquires control of the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic Railway, consolidating it with the Minneapolis and Pacific Railway, Minneapolis and St. Croix Railway and Aberdeen, Bismarck and North Western Railway to form the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway.

1908: The Soo Line acquires a majority interest in the Wisconsin Central Railway, and obtains a 99-year lease of the property in 1909.

December 30, 1960: The Soo Line Railroad is formed through a merger of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway, Wisconsin Central Railway and Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway.

February 21, 1985: The Soo Line Railroad obtains a controlling interest in the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and renames it Milwaukee Road, Inc.

January 1, 1986: The Milwaukee Road is merged into the Soo Line Railroad.

April 4, 1987: The Soo Line Railroad announces the sale of its Lake States Transportation Division to private investors, forming the new Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation.

1992: The Canadian Pacific Railway, which had owned a controlling interest in the Soo Line Railroad for many years, finishes buying up all remaining stock.

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