SOO LINE     

The SOO Line was formed in 1961 by the merger of three affiliated railroads, the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie, the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic and the Wisconsin Central, all of which were under some degree of Canadian Pacific control. A new red-white color scheme was adopted and for the next two decades the SOO had a quiet existence. Then in 1985 the SOO outbid the C&NW for the Milwaukee Road, merging it at the beginning of 1986. Shortly after in 1987 the SOO then sold off most of it's original lines in Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan to a new company, Wisconsin Central Ltd. In 1990, Canadian Pacific which held about half of the SOO's stock, bought out most of the rest and began to assimilate the road into itself. This allowed SOO power to roam the CP system, and brought the SD40's and SD60's out East on the old D&H lines. In 1996 much of the old Milwaukee Road from Chicago to Kansas City and the Iowa lines were sold to I&M RailLink, which later became the IC&E, and in late 2008 was reacquired by the CP throught the DM&E purachase.

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F7A #214A at Shoreham in Minneapolis with the roundhouse in the background. The date is May 24, 1980 showing that F units lasted on the SOO longer than on most other large roads with some still on the roster in the mid 1980's.

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GP9 #555 sits outside the stone roundhouse in Marquette, MI on August 1, 1974. The 550 series units were originally equipped for passenger service, note the air reservoirs relocated to the rooftop to allow a water tank to fit under the frame.

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GP9's #2408 & 554 are at Duluth, MN on September 15, 1982. The #554 was also an ex-passenger unit, while the #2408 was built for the original Wisconsin Central.

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GP9 #551 is at yard in Schiller Park, IL on May 16, 1981. This was the SOO's main yard in the Chicago area.

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simple_new_green.gifGP9 #2403 is at Stevens Point, WI on September 12, 1982. This unit started out as a Wisconsin Central unit and received a low nose after a grade crossing collision in 1977.

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GP30 #716 and GP9 #404 are westbound at Forest Center, MI in Michigan's upper peninsula on September 26, 1987. The SOO's GP30's rode on Alco type B trucks from FA trade-ins.

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GP30's #711, 706, 720 & 704 congregate on the old roundhouse tracks at Shoreham Shops in Minneapolis, MN on September 16, 1982. Some of these units later went to the "new" Wisconsin Central in 1987.

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GP30 #703 at Schiller Park, IL on April 3, 1977 one of 22 of this model deliverd in 1963. This unit has been preserved at the Colfax Railroad Museum.

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simple_new_green.gifGP38-2 #4428 & ex-Milwaukee Road GP40 #2016 are at LaCrosse, WI on the old MILW mainline on August 24, 1991.

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simple_new_green.gif"SO Line" GP38-2 #4448 is at the old Milwaukee Road shops at Pigs Eye Yard in St. Paul, MN on January 30, 2000.

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GP38-2 #4414 leads SD40-2's #6602 & 6601 eastbound approaching Shoreham Yard in Minneapolis, MN on September 16, 1982.

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GP38-2's #4440 & 4406 idle through the night at Stevens Point, WI on September 11, 1982.

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GP38-2's #4446, 4419 & 4426 lead a northbound freight near Valley City, ND on August 19, 1994. This is the line to the CP connection at Portal, and in the background can be seen the large BN (ex NP) bridge over the Sheyenne River valley and the SOO.

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GP38-2 #4413 is switching a paper mill at Green Bay, WI on September 25, 1987. This unit is still in service today on the CP.

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simple_new_green.gifMany of the old Milwaukee Road MP15AC's ran for years in worn out MILW orange and black. Several were repainted solid red and a few made it into red and white, like #1535, here at Pig's Eye Yard in St. Paul, MN on August 12, 2006.

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'The Dolly Sisters' as the SOO's only two Alco RS-27's were known, at Shoreham in Minneapolis on May 24, 1980. The two spent most of their time together in Twin Cities transfer service, close to the shop force at Shoreham. They were sold for scrap the year after this photo was taken.

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A nicely matched set of candy apple red SD40-2's, #6612 & 6604 lead T#266 south on the D&H at Halstead, PA on May 9, 1993.

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SOO meets Susie Q....SD40-2 #760 assists Susquehanna B40-8's on an eastbound Hanjin stack train at William St. in Buffalo, NY on August 1, 1993. This is a D&H train that will utilize Conrail trackage rights to Binghamton, NY.

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simple_new_green.gifSD40-2 #781 in the last SOO scheme is at SK Yard in Buffalo, NY on August 19, 1995. Most of the SOO's SD40's came without dynamic brakes, and some had them added on later.

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SD40-2 #776 and SD40 #6406 are eastbound coming out of the bore at Tunnel City, WI on August 24, 1991. This is the ex Milwaukee Road mainline.

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simple_new_green.gifSD40-2 #6604 at the engine servicing area at Schiller Park Yard in Schiller Park, IL just outside of Chicago, on May 26, 1981.Delivered about a year earlier, these units began a new 4 digit number series for the SD40-2's.

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SD40-2's #764 & #6601 are at the D&H SK Yard in Buffalo, NY on December 26, 1992 after having brought in a train from Binghamton, NY.

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SD40B #6450 is at the D&H's SK Yard in Buffalo, NY on August 30, 1995. This unit was rebuilt into B unit #7600 by the BN in 1982 after a wreck of their unit #6302. It was acquired by the SOO in 1987.

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simple_new_green.gifSD60's #6024 & 6042 lead a CP unit out of Pig's Eye Yard in St. Paul, MN on July 20, 2008.

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SD60's #6053 & 6035 are eastbound at Camp Douglas, WI on August 24, 1991.

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Looking a bit weathered, SD60's #6025 & #6002 lead a couple of CP units at Pigs Eye Yard in St. Paul, MN on August 12, 2006.

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simple_new_green.gifSD60 #6025 & SD60M #6059 have arrived at SK Yard in Buffalo, NY and are now switching out their CP train on September 19, 1999.

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SD60M #6058 & SD60 #6006 are on westbound NS train #083 at Blasdell, NY on May 14, 1994. This is a run-through intermodal train off the D&H at Buffalo. The lead unit is one of only a couple of the wide cab version of the SD60 that the SOO ordered.

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SD60M #6059 at Buffalo, NY on December 9, 2000 is in her as-delivered paint scheme from November1989.

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SW1200 #323 is working the Commercial Switch Job at Whiting, WI on September 12, 1982. This ex-Wisconsin Central unit was later retired and scrapped in 1986.

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SW9 #2114 and caboose #103 are switching at Shoreham Yards in Minneapolis, MN on September 16, 1982. This unit was built as a Wisconsin Central diesel.

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SW9's #2119 and 2118 are westbound with a short local at Crystal, MN on September 16, 1982.

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simple_new_green.gifCaboose #129 is at Marshfield, WI on September 12, 1982.

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simple_new_green.gifA SOO "colormark" covered hopper at the D&H's SK Yard in Buffalo, NY on September 10, 1993.

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Though not owned by the SOO (The Mackinac Transportation Co. and later the Straits Corp.) the Chief Wawatam carferry was linked to the SOO as it's connection on the upper peninsula at St. Ignace to the lower pensinula at Mackinaw City. Built in 1911, the Chief was the last coal fired ferry on the Lakes. A dramatic surge in cross lake traffic in the late 1970's due to shortline Michigan Northern opting out of a trunk line rate increase was short lived however, and service ended in 1984 when one of the docks collapsed. The Chief was sold for scrap in 1988 and cut down into a barge. Here she is at the St. Ignace, MI slip on September 11, 1979, a slight hint of coal smoke coming from her stacks.