Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad

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Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad
Soo Line logo.jpg
Reporting markSOO
LocaleNorth Dakota to Chicago
Dates of operation1883–1961
SuccessorSoo Line Railroad
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
HeadquartersMinneapolis, Minnesota

The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (reporting mark SOO) was a Class I railroad subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Midwest United States. Commonly known since its opening in 1884 as the Soo Line[1] after the phonetic spelling of Sault, it was merged with several other major CP subsidiaries on January 1, 1961, to form the Soo Line Railroad. 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.

In 1970 it reported 8249 million net ton-miles of revenue freight (and no passengers) on 4693 route-miles and 6104 track-miles operated at the end of the year.

Passenger service[edit]

A postcard ad for the railroad's service between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth/Superior circa 1910.
A well-used Soo Line hopper car, built in 1916. Hauling iron ore was an important part of the Soo Line's business.

The Soo Line was never a major carrier of passenger traffic since its route between Chicago and Minneapolis was much longer than the competing Milwaukee Road, Chicago and North Western and Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad railroads. The Soo Line also had no direct access to Milwaukee.

The primary trains operated by the Soo were:

Additionally, local trains served Chicago to Minneapolis–St. Paul, Duluth–Superior to Minneapolis–St. Paul, Duluth to Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and some summer-only services which relieved The Mountaineer of the local work along its route.


The Presidents of the Soo Line were:[4]


The Soo Line Building in Minneapolis served as company headquarters.



A number of the railroad's rolling stock has been preserved in museums across America, some in operational condition. Some of the more notable equipment is:

Steam locomotives[edit]

Diesel locomotives[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Opening of the "Soo"". Eau Claire News. Eau Claire, WI. November 15, 1884. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  2. ^ a b Abbey 1984, p. 99.
  3. ^ a b Abbey 1984, p. 97.
  4. ^ Gjevre 1990, pp. 203–207.
  5. ^ "Commendation and Wet Blankets". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN. August 19, 1883. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ "A New Railroad in Northern Wisconsin". Chicago Tribune. August 17, 1883. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  7. ^ "New Railway Enterprises". Chicago Tribune. October 2, 1883. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  8. ^ "The Northern Pacific's Eastern Extension". Chicago Tribune. February 24, 1884. p. 6 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  9. ^ "Minnesota News". The Northern Pacific Farmer. Wadena, MN. March 6, 1884. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  10. ^ "(untitled)". Eau Claire Leader. March 5, 1884. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  11. ^ "The Sault Ste. Marie Road". Chicago Tribune. March 11, 1884. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  12. ^ "A Minneapolis Road - The First Trip Over the Minneapolis and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN. November 8, 1884. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  13. ^ "Railway Intelligence - Sault Ste Marie". The Gazette. Montreal, Canada. November 13, 1884. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  14. ^ Gjevre 1990, p. 19.
  15. ^ Gilchinski, Steve (February 1997). pp. 24–25


  • Abbey, Wallace W (1984). The Little Jewel. Pueblo, Colorado: Pinon Productions. ISBN 0-930855-00-0. LCCN 84014873.
  • Dorin, Patrick C (1979). The Soo Line. Burbank, California: Superior Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87564-712-X. LCCN 79012204.
  • Gilchinski, Steve (February 1997). "Soo Line 2-8-2 back in steam". Trains magazine. 57 (2): 24–25.
  • Gjevre, John A. (1990) [1973]. Saga of the Soo, west from Shoreham (second ed.). Morehead, Minnesota: Gjevre Books. OCLC 23244801.

External links[edit]