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Minnesotan is also a term for a resident of Minnesota.
Service type Inter-city rail
Status Closed
Locale Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota
Predecessor Great Western Limited
First service January 16, 1925 (as Legionnaire)
1930 (as Minnesotan)[1]
Last service May 10, 1949 (as Minnesotan)
August 11, 1956 (as numbered train)
Former operator(s) Chicago Great Western Railway
Start Chicago, Illinois
End Minneapolis or Rochester, Minnesota
Distance travelled 359 mi (578 km) (Chicago–Rochester)
435 mi (700 km) (Chicago–Minneapolis)
Average journey time 12h25m
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 1 (Chicago–Minneapolis),
2 (Minneapolis–Chicago)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Operating speed 35 mph (56 km/h) average (1936)

The Minnesotan was an overnight passenger train run by the Chicago Great Western Railway, using the CGW's trackage between Grand Central Station in Chicago, Illinois, and Saint Paul Union Depot in Saint Paul, Minnesota, via Hayfield, Minnesota. A section of the train split in McIntire, Iowa, to serve Rochester, Minnesota.[1]

Begun as the Legionnaire in 1925, the train was renamed the Minnesotan in 1930, and was powered by a 4-6-2 Pacific-type locomotive. The Minnesotan was one of the finest passenger trains the Great Western operated; nevertheless, it could not compete against the other, more famous passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road or the Chicago and North Western.

The Great Western discontinued the Minnesotan as a named-train on May 10, 1949, but Chicago to St. Paul passenger service continued to linger on for several more years. By the early 1950s, a doodlebug or (later) a single EMD F-unit pulled a railway post office car, a baggage car, and a coach. This service was very spartan compared to the Minnesotan of less than a decade earlier, and ceased entirely on August 11, 1956.


  1. ^ a b David J. Fiore, Sr. (2006). The Chicago Great Western Railway. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-4048-1.