GulfRail wrote:While Illinois Central didn't go any further than Albert Lea, Minnesota, they did try to acquire the Minneapolis & St. Louis on multiple occasions. After all: why build a new route when you can simply buy one that already exists?IC blew hot and cold on that purchase - after the CRIP (Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern) lost control ca 1900, there was never a "right" time for IC to consummate a purchase before Heineman moved to C&NW and took the Louie with him.
More importantly, the Illinois Central didn't really have anywhere to go in MN or IA. CHI-MSP was saturated with CBQ, CNW, CMSP, CGW, CRIP, and Soo. CHI-Des Moines was saturated with CRIP, CBQ, CNW, CMSP, CGW, and WAB. IC had no friendly interchange partners at Albia, besides which IC would have short-hauled itself to St. Louis by using the Albia Gateway, nor would it have gained any better KCY access. Besides, IC accessed most major points in Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, excepting Des Moines and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The M&StL was bound to IC; not the reverse.