Showing posts from December, 2008

White Christmas

It was a cold winter day in Eastern Washington one Sunday morning, now several years ago. Loading the old suburban up with camera gear, I headed out to one of my favorite photo subjects, just to see a bit of snow fall on The Milwaukee Road. The snow was heavy and thick at Rosalia, but thinned as I worked my way west toward Rock Lake. At Pine City, the clouds broke and the weak winter sun glinted for just a few moments off the old Pine City elevators. It was a peaceful and quiet morning along the lines of America's Resourceful Railroad, I hope your holiday season finds moments of the same.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

In the cold winter months of 1977, it was announced that the Milwaukee Road would file for bankruptcy. The date was December 19. The path to bankruptcy had been one in the making for many years, seemingly unavoidable, and without any large government loans or bailouts forthcoming. Perhaps the government was simply not in the mood to form a "Conrail West" made up of the struggling Rock Island and Milwaukee Road. Perhaps the lobbyists that seem to play such a prominent role in the workings of money and policy were simply better funded at the Milwaukee's major competitors. History records that the line's final winters were cold indeed. Locomotives were borrowed to supplement a dilapidated fleet and movements across the system reflected the deteriorated condition of the lines. The announcement of bankruptcy must have been a crushing blow to the people who relied on the Road to make a living. Perhaps it was expected, but the announcement from the managers to their em