Of particular note is an essay by Michael Sol detailing his experiences as part of an engineering team assessing the viability of the railroad's electrified lines: Milwaukee Road In The 70's: What Really Happened?Case Study: The End Of The Milwaukee Electrification, By Michael Sol The Demise Of The Milwaukee Road, A Timeline, By Michael Sol Thesis - This Train's Got The Disappearin' Blues: A Study Of The Milwaukee Road, By Sara Levitan The Milwaukee Road Archives, A Database Of Historic Records This article also cannot bring closure to such fascinating questions but it is hoped the information will shed some light on the Milwaukee's plight, particularly its last ten years as a transcontinental carrier. Paul & Pacific remains their all-time favorite railroad.
The history of this company is quite complicated, filled with struggles and setbacks.
As an independent it held no allegiances to others and was not influenced by moguls like Hill, Harriman, or Budd.
During the 1970's, upper management made a series of dumbfounding decisions (such as turning away new business, refusing to carry out much-needed capital improvements, opting against overhauling/upgrading its electrification, and maintaining its transcontinental status) that culminated in the railroad's bankruptcy.
Today, what's left of the Milwaukee Road is cut up among different railroads and the best engineered route through the rugged Rockies and Cascades is but weeds and trails, a vital transportation artery no longer available to shippers and the American economy.
Not surprisingly, it was an immediate success carrying 16,564 passengers during its first six weeks and was regularly sold out.
The original version was powered by a small fleet of speedy 4-4-2's (Class A), manufactured by American Locomotive, while later more powerful 4-6-4's (Class F-7) were needed to handle the heavier equipment.On May 19, 1849 the Milwaukee & Waukesha was formally organized but just a year later saw its name changed to the Milwaukee & Mississippi Railroad (M&M), carrying an authorized capital of 0,000.The Mayor of Milwaukee, Byron Kilbourn, was elected M&M's first president and on September 12, 1850 construction got underway in Milwaukee.The latter initiatives did gain some traction, and the canal (incorporated as the Milwaukee & Rock River Canal Company in January, 1838) was even awarded 500,000 acres in land grants by Congress.However, as railroads grew in popularity the other proposals faded and never advanced beyond the planning stages.According to the book, "" by authors Charles and Dorothy Wood, after the "Territory of Wiskonsan" was established in 1836, a committee met on September 17th that year to incorporate a railroad for the purpose of serving Milwaukee, the region's one noteworthy settlement.