• MILW Lines West: WHY, WHY, WHY!!!

  • Discussion relating to The Chicago & North Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road), including mergers, acquisitions, and abandonments.
Discussion relating to The Chicago & North Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road), including mergers, acquisitions, and abandonments.

Moderator: Komachi

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  by gokeefe
 
With non-competitive arrangements like that it's easy to see how the MILW (Lines West) could never compete!

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  by CPF363
 
One has to ask the fundamental question, why was the PCE constructed in the first place? The answer: MILW was boxed in after roughly after 1900. The GN and NP did not need the MILW to forward their Chicago traffic, they had the CB&Q. MILW could have lived with their upper Midwestern network, but they chose to expand. Other expansion options could have been available instead of constructing the PCE such as extending their Kansas City line to Texas, or looking north to either the Canadian Northern via the DW&P or Grand Trunk Pacific. MILW could have considered a different western approach all together with a line over South Pass, WY to the Western Pacific at Salt Lake City and a branch to Butte to serve Anaconda Copper Mining Co. Where the MILW went wrong was not moving to acquire the NP when they could have either by bankrolling Henry Villard and keeping NP out of bankruptcy and taking the OR&N with it or following the Crash of 1893, buying the NP outright before Hill and Morgan did. Either of these options would have negated the need to to construct any western lines to include all of the PCE. On thing is for certain, the PCE is gone and it is never coming back. The decisions were made, by MILW management, the bankruptcy courts and the ICC all chose to let it go.
  by vermontanan
 
Re: speculation about South Pass and the Milwaukee Road: Not likely. The C&NW made it as far as Lander, WY (east base of South Pass) and didn't go any further, but further speculation was building to California or through Idaho to a port in Oregon. Didn't happen for them, so not likely for a Milwaukee Road. As for any railroad building over South Pass to a WP connection at Salt Lake City: Same as why the Milwaukee Pacific Extension went under: They would have quickly succumbed to the much superior UP route across Wyoming and Nebraska.
  by CPF363
 
vermontanan wrote:Re: speculation about South Pass and the Milwaukee Road: Not likely. The C&NW made it as far as Lander, WY (east base of South Pass) and didn't go any further, but further speculation was building to California or through Idaho to a port in Oregon. Didn't happen for them, so not likely for a Milwaukee Road. As for any railroad building over South Pass to a WP connection at Salt Lake City: Same as why the Milwaukee Pacific Extension went under: They would have quickly succumbed to the much superior UP route across Wyoming and Nebraska.
All the more reason why the the best option for the Milwaukee Road would have been to acquire the Northern Pacific in the late 1800s as Hill and Morgan did and never constructed the PCE.
  by gokeefe
 
If it's so obvious why weren't they able to acquire NP at the time?

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  by CPF363
 
Hill and Morgan found interest in the NP so they did what was necessary to bring it out of bankruptcy and control it. Do not know if the MILW looked or made any offers to acquire it.
  by CPF363
 
The MILW might have never anticipated that both NP and GN would fall under essentially the same ownership.
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