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Showing posts from March, 2008

Two Steps Back

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It was a decade of paradox along America's Resourceful Railroad. In the early 70s, the creation of the Burlington Northern had allowed the Milwaukee Road access to new ports on the west coast. These were a few concessions given the railroad which found itself surrounded by a large and driven competitor. Some would argue that these concessions were far from enough, nonetheless, new markets were opened for the Milwaukee.

The mid-seventies saw traffic along Lineswest on a significant uptick. Shippers were fans of the Road's schedules across the plains and mountains of the west and rewarded the line with traffic for their priority freight trains. The fuel crisis hit, but the Milwaukee seemed to be in good position to weather the storm by relying on its efficient and capable Little Joe electric locomotives. Record grain harvests in the late seventies should have bolstered the bottom line as well, given the Milwaukee's access to west coast ports and grain growing country a…