Feel free to contribute, correct and chuckle.
What might have been!
The M&StL had these on order but couldn't get them because of WWII.
Worlds largest mail order company begun on the M. & St. L.
In 1886 Richard W. Sears was the depot agent in what was known at the time as North Redwood. One day a shipment of watches arrived at the depot for a local jeweler who refused to accept them. Instead of returning the watches to the wholesaler in Chicago, the enterprising Sears sent letters to other agents along the line offering the watches at a good price. He soon had them all sold and ordered more. Thus was beginning of what was to become the worlds largest mail order company.
In 1887 he quit the railroad business and started R.W. Sears watch Co. in Minneapolis. He eventually moved the company to Chicago and hired watchmaker Alvah C. Roebuck. From that association came Sears, Roebuck & Co.
North Redwood station
Richard Warren Sears Park
Albert L. Route -19th century traveler
Different versions of the M&StL Logo
The M&StL's crack passenger train, The North Star Limited, operated from 1902-1935. The route was St. Paul to St. Louis via M&StL tracks from St. Paul to Albert Lea then over the Iowa Central to Albia, Iowa and the Wabash from Albia to St. Louis.
From the Nov 20, 1902 Chaska Valley Herald
The M&St.L. R.R. Co. have recently installed a new train on their road running from the Twin Cities to Chicago, over the Albert Lea route. It is the finest of its kind we have ever seen or rode on and it is a pride to the Co. The "North Star Limited", as the new train is called, is the acme of perfection turned out of the Pullman shops and in detail of construction is superb. The decorations of the interior possess the highest type of finish and show off splendidly. There are finely finished day coaches for those who do not use a sleeper, fine combination compartment and sectional sleeping cars, a buffet and library car, with its large lounging room, which is stocked with a goodly assortment of periodicals. Also card tables are provided for those who wish to play. The train is entirely lighted by gas and shows off splendidly. This train is as good as any now running on any line and the time made from the cities to Chicago, equals the best. The Co. has also spent a half a million dollars the past year in straighting curves, reducing grades and balasting the road bed between here and Mpls.
M&STL in Marshalltown 1949 - A
history of the line in Marshalltown
Thanks to Dennis Holmes for making this available through the M&StL Yahoo! Group
Railroad or Railway?
There are two possibilities for signs that say RAILROAD instead of RAILWAY. Over the life of the M&StL it was sometimes named RR and other times Ry; basically, each time it was reorganized the name changed to differentiate old from new.
Second, when the M&StL emerged from receivership in 1943 TWO corporations were created; RR Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ry Co., which (RR Corp.) owned and operated the lines from Hopkins, Minn. to Leola, SD and from Winthrop, Minn. to Tara, Iowa. M&StL Ry Co. owned and operated all the rest. This separation was done to separate the unprofitable parts from the profitable so that the RR Corp. could be sacrificed to save Ry Co. in case of another bankruptcy.
On Dec. 1, 1944 the two were merged into one - M&StL Ry Company. Any station sign would reflect the name of the company at the time the sign was erected. Signs were erected as need arose, not every time the company changed names. Look at the pictures again - many of the older wooden depot signs had serif lettering while the later enameled steel signs had sans serif lettering.
Lewis E. "Gene" Green 11305 Ivanhoe Drive El Paso, TX 79936-1210 PH (915)593-3870 FAX (915)629-9527 firstname.lastname@example.org
17 Random Thoughts about the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway
By Jerry Huddleston
Subdivisions of the M&StL
This is from Time Table No. 15 - Dec. 6, 1959
Feb 9, 1899 MStL purchased the Minneapolis New Ulm and Southern. Funds approved to extend line to Omaha. Line to be built in 2-3 years. 150 miles to be built this year. MStL to pay $2,000,000 to RI for Morton to Watertown line. The Omaha line to cross CMO at St. James or Madelia, the MILW at Fairmont or Sherburn. To cross into Iowa near Spirit Lake and cross MILW at Spencer and CNW at Sioux Rapids. To block this the CMO will build Fairmont to Madelia and propose a line to Sleepy Eye or Sanborn. The Minnesota and Southern to build a line from Kansas City to Sauk Center,MN. To run through Bedford, Corning, Guthrie Center, Sac City in Iowa and Jackson, Windom, Redwood Falls, Beaver Falls, and Wilmar in MN. President Wm T Smith of Iowa Central, directors Rob. Snyder VP of Detroit Lima and Northern, A F Stillwell Pres. Kansas City Pittsburg and Gulf. Object of road to connect GN with SP. This bit from Sam Sherman
Midnight and Still Later
Maimed and Still Limping
Misery and Short Life
Missing & Still Lost
Modern & Streamlined
Albert Lea Route
On the cover of Sports Illustrated's Nov. 11, 1996 issue are three Lakers centers. Saquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and George Mikan. George played for the Minneapolis Lakers (hence the name Lakers & colors). George was the dominate player of his time. When Schroeder took over the M&StL, he wanted to standardize the railroad's numbering system and paint scheme. Because he was a Neb. grad red&white were picked for colors. A shippers wife Marcella Adams come up with the concept and designer Norm Hamilton turned out art work for both a boxcar and F unit. The first engine(411) and boxcar (54652) were painted at Marshalltown in May of 1956. The M&StL on the boxcar was 6'10" tall, no other RR had lettering this tall. It was referred to as 'Mikan' lettering! Now you know the rest of the story! I don't know how many boxcars were painted, they did do all steel car number series. The 66501 hoppers were delivered in these scheme along with the 70301 cement hoppers and 71001 grain hoppers. Some older cement hoppers were repainted in '59. There were no others. By making that statement I will be proved wrong! Clark Propst
From the 1956 Annual ReportThe railroad adopted new colors---red and white--in May and the freshly painted box cars and locomotives immediately earned acclaim from shippers, the industry and the public-at-large (esp. U of Nebraska fans which Schroeder was). Not only was there advertising benefit, but the changeover brought the number of paints in inventory from 54 down to 12. Company equipment formerly was painted in shades of yellow, green and brown. The company abbreviation was made easier to read by eliminating the ampersand and substituting a fattened dot. The box car letters --six ft., 11 in. high --are the tallest in the industry. Painting of locomovtives in the fire-engine red and white was half completed by the end of the year, and the new colors were applied to cabooses as they required painting. In addition, 30 insulated compartmentizers ordered in June will be delivered in the box car design. The two Budd RDC-4 cars, arriving in Feb. 1957, are to have bright red name plates and the baggage cars they pull will have similar letters. Experiments, conducted to test the paints' durability, indicate a life span beyond the colors formerly used.
The M&StL had a unique whistlepost shape. They were made of cast metal by M&StL employees.
They were 16" wide and 18" tall. and weigh about 35lbs.
White vs. Yellow.The following comments appeared in the Yahoo
Groups discussions in March 2002.
The signs on the Albert Lea-Ft Dodge line were white. In the Steamboat Rock area were yellow and black. One at Denhart on the Algona branch and was yellow and black. Perhaps they varied depending on the paint with which the section had to work. The CNW pulled them down, and generally threw them into company scrap piles. When the CNW abandoned the M&St.L lines, many scrappers never picked them up [just like the CGW "stars", it was too much work]. Vaughn Ward and others insist the background should be white. Is it possible that white was used along the Albert Lea-Osky stretch and yellow used in western Minnesota. The ones in northwest Iowa were yellow. There was one at Angus, just north of Perry, that was white. Some have "M&St", some "M&StL" and some have nothing cast on the back of the sign.
HO scale versions are available from GV Locomotive as part of a brass kit for all weather windows.
The following is an excerpt from INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES an M&StL
Thanks to Dennis Holmes for making this available through the M&StL One-list
M&StL Services: Of the M&StL's many services, its best known is the 488 mile Twin Cities to Peoria main line route.
Twice a day, about 12 hours apart, time freights powered by GP-9 locomotives in combinations up to nearly 9,000 horsepower throttle out of Minneapolis and Peoria terminals. There are no passenger trains to delay them. Sidings, signals, and schedules of local freights are designed for fast movement of the four hotshots.
The operation is simple, routine, but effective for the industrial freight traffic man. For instance, his car of newsprint arriving in the Twin Cities late at night is in No. 20's consist when it departs from Cedar Lake yard at 4:15 a.m. Fifteen hours later No. 20 is delivering a 5,500 ton train into the Peoria yard. In those 15 hours No 20 has interchanged traffic with the Wabash (via Marshalltown to connection at Albia) for St. Louis, Kansas City, and beyond and the Santa Fe (at Nemo, Ill.) for Chicago and southwestern points.
At Peoria the transfer of cars to and from other railroads is a matter of minutes. Whether it is No 20's arrival at 7:15 p.m. or No 2's at 8:30 a.m. , the switching procedure to C&IM, GM&O, IC, I T, NYC, Nickle Plate, Pennsy, and TP&W, requires less than an hour. Thus, the M&StL advertises and produces, as an example, fourth morning delivery to New York City from Minneapolis.
At the Twin Cities, connections with other railroads are equally outstanding. As an example, the Great Northern's interchange track is located in the M&StL's yard and from the G.N.'s nearby Lyndale yard a switch engine can deliver 20 cars in 20 minutes. From an operation standpoint, the Northern Pacific and Soo Line interchange is just as convenient.
About the same distance away is the Minneapolis Railway Transfer, an M&StL subsidiary which not only provides additional direct connections but where trains are made up for the Minneapolis Industrial Railway Company. This is an M&StL owned railroad that serves the prized Plymouth-Golden Valley industrial district. Here are hundreds of acres of excellent sites that guarantee the Upper Midwest's industrial future. The M&StL is one of the owners of the Minnesota Transfer Railway Company and frequent runs are made from Cedar Lake to accommodate the many industries on the Transfer.
There is another main line on the railroad other than Twin Cities-to-Peoria. The Twin Cities- to -Des Moines operation, 305.1 miles, became a high speed freight route in 1959. Upgrading of this line with 100 pound rail has enabled the M&StL to join the Illinois Central at Fort dodge, Iowa, in saving 24 hours on West Coast shipments to the Twin Cities. Deliveries are made within 24 hours after the Illinois Central leaves Omaha en route to Fort Dodge and the M&StL connection. (This must have been printed just prior to the C&NW takeover. Not all of the track was upgraded with 100# rail. There was some 85 and 90 # between Albert Lea and Britt. One mile east of Lu Verne by timetable (west to most of us) to Fort Dodge remained 70# until abandonment. The upgrading stopped at the time of the C&NW merger. Dennis Holmes)
Expansion of the railroad's piggyback services has keynoted an already important route--Twin Cities to St. Louis. A car leaving Cedar Lake yard on No. 20 at 4:15 a.m. is switched at Marshalltown, Iowa, and delivered by train No. 96 to Albia and the Wabash connection. The car arrives in St. Louis the following morning at 6:40 a.m. Mobile ramps, ready within 24 hours, can be erected anywhere on the railroad for the M&StL's bright red and white trailers, which are stenciled P.B.Q (Piggyback Quick)
Other plus signs on the M&StL service list: Complete tracing, diversion and rate service on Saturdays and holidays by calling (collect) Minneapolis FE.2-6650. Less Than Carload Service by truck to most M&StL stations, improving box car utilization and speeding pick up and delivery of smaller merchandise. Emphasis on purchase and leasing of specialized equipment. The M&StL has compartmentizers, air slides, DF cars, both regular and jumbo covered hoppers, refrigerators, cast-steel underframe bulkhead flat cars, coal hoppers for its Illinois mines, plus a full complement of regular types of equipment. Low bad order ratio--regularly under 1.5 % among lowest in the railroad industry because of its fleet of equipment which averages 12 years per unit in age, and a modern car shop at Marshalltown.
This comes from the Jan. 24, 1900 issue of the Ft Dodge Messenger.
The handsomest regular train ever crossed the state of Iowa, certainly
the finest that ever passed through Ft Dodge over the Central, arrived
Monday morning a little behind the schedule of the new time card. The M&StL
train from the north was on hand with a sleeper to add to the Omaha train,
and the regular passenger for Sioux City was waiting for its share of the
exchange. It was 40 minutes past the leaving time, when Conductor O'Hara
swung his colored top lantern high in the air and Jack Mullen shut the
window in the engine cab and gave a vigorous tug at the throttle. The
representative of the Messenger who came aboard the new train took the
first opportunity of going through on a tour of inspection while Engineer
Mullen "was hittin em up Tara hill".
Thanks to Dennis Holmes for making this available through the M&StL One-list
The Old Rail
Again the old rail
(my uncle Chandler)
brings us lumps of coal
and big brass buttons
in a brakeman's cap.
From the rusty
cemetery of trains
he brings us the M&StL;
and the Iowa Central
in a battered caboose.
In a timetable suit
he comes to this town
of silent tracks
and lost spur lines
And then he talks of
the Kate Shelley bridge,
Mikado type locomotives,
and mile-long freights
to Eagle Grove.
From GO READ THE RIVER by Dave Etter, U of Nebraska Press, Lincoln 1966
Minnesota newspaper articles from Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, Chaska and surrounding areas.
What follows are figures for the years 1947-1956 taken from the 1956 annual report:
* Steam and diesel
Thank you Louis Claeson for typing this up.
In reply to a question I asked Paul Dinoto, Conductor about what "extra" trains might run on the system. 5/14/2003
They ran some extra passengers (sporting events, concerts etc.), In the fall they ran an extra that went out west that took some of the people who did business with the St.L. to hunt pheasants . They had a diner, sleepers and every thing for them. I can't remember if that extra went to Watertown then out west to take those people hunting. Sugar beet trains in the fall to Chaska. The section crews picked up train orders like we did. Then they would have an idea what time we would be at the towns so they could clear the track.
Note: Extra trains displayed white flags.
I remember those trains both on the CNW (M&StL ) and on the Rock Island. In the early fall those things were all over the right of way. The beet trains were old hoppers and gondolas, usually really beat up ones (some wood cars). Our neighbor Fritz Henke took us through the factory (he worked there). Not only did they make sugar but they also made feed pellets. I sure remember those beets being everywhere. I suppose they have closed down the old sugar factory by now. Dave Lindquist 2/16/2004
From M&StL Yahoo! Groups post #741 Sat, 04 Jan 2003
From: "Gene Green Subject:
Re: tell tales
There are no references to tell-tales in the AFEs. That could mean there were none or it could mean that none were installed or removed from 1916 to 1956. Repair would not have been an item for an AFE.
The tightest clearance on the M&StL was under a bridge between 20th Ave. So. and Lynndale Ave. So. in Mpls to the M&StL's connection with the NP. This opening was 11 ft. wide and 16 ft. high. The AAR's standard for unlimited clearance adopted in 1948 was 15'-1" high and 10'-8" wide over most of the height. The M&StL was higher and wider than that everywhere. (Source: Ry Line Clearances 1955)
What height restriction would have required a tell-tale? Who decided, individual railroads, AAR or ICC? Gene Green
For what it's worth, you might consider C&NW standards: 300' from any structure to be guarded. Requirements were dictated by State, though some states had none. Standard Clearances were printed on a Bridge Dept. drawing. Where there were no State requirements, the tell-tales (whip guards) were placed where any clearance was less than standard clearances for bridges.
On single-track lines, a 32' pole was used on each side of the track, 24' of which went from the top of the tracks to the cross arm on the top. The whips were made of galvanized iron strips at 4" intervals. (Poles were 9' from the center-line of the track) This plan was dated 1933, but it obviously was in use from 1909 onwards. Joe Pierson
Grain Dealers and Shippers Gazetteer
MINNEAPOLIS & ST. LOUIS RAILWAY SYSTEM
List of grain dealers and elevator companies.
Features scanned images of many interestin advertisements.
By Pam Rietsch email@example.com
M&StL advertisement contained within.
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