Spanning the valley at Tekoa, WA is an enormous steel trestle that bears witness to this fact. For decades it lofted the Milwaukee's freights across the valley floor and the tracks of the Union Pacific in this small Eastern Washington town. Here, and in many other locations like Tekoa, the Milwaukee "simply" built across the valley, dwarfing the small town and the Union Pacific branch in the process.
Today the big iron of the Tekoa trestle stands as the easternmost portion of the John Wayne trail, although it is closed to the public. The Union Pacific that existed beneath the Milwaukee's Pacific Coast Mainline is gone as well, leaving the old railroad town of Tekoa without any of the lines that supported it for so long. The past isn't forgotten by this little town, however, as signs sporting large black silhouettes of the Milwaukee trestle still encourage travelers on nearby US 95 to stop by for a visit.
Out in the rolling hills of the Eastern Washington Palouse, the abandoned Milwaukee main finds itself in good company with many other lines that have fallen to scrappers and "progress." The Union Pacific, the Northern Pacific, and the Great Northern all had lines that split the rolling wheat fields through here. Most of them have suffered the same fate as the Pacific Coast Extension and now lie as reminders of times past. In places like Tekoa, however, the reminders of the Milwaukee remain larger and more impressive. Just like when they were built.