Just a MILW system track map.

Discussion relating to The Chicago & North Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road), including mergers, acquisitions, and abandonments.

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Just a MILW system track map.

Postby TREnecNYP » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:22 am

It may have been posted elsewhere, but i have not seen it after looking, so here it is.

http://www.fruitfromwashington.com/History/cmsp.htm

Just thinking about that being a fully electrified system all most turns me foamer. :P

- A
TREnecNYP
 

Re: Just a MILW system track map.

Postby vermontanan » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:51 pm

TREnecNYP wrote:It may have been posted elsewhere, but i have not seen it after looking, so here it is.

http://www.fruitfromwashington.com/History/cmsp.htm

Just thinking about that being a fully electrified system all most turns me foamer. :P

- A



But it was far from "fully electrified." No branch lines were electrified, and even the main line from Harlowton to Seattle/Tacoma had the famous 212-mile "Gap" between Avery, Idaho and Othello, Washington that was never electrified. Some locals on the main line in electrified territory operated with non-electric locomotives. Back in the days when the line was electified and the other locomotives were steam, no one thought much changing locomotive power, since steam locomotives were swapped on trains regularly. Changing to an electric then to steam then back to electric was not a lot different than that which would have been done anyway. When diesels arrived, however, they were able to go long distances without signficant servicing. This meant that changing locomotive power en route (three times) was an inefficiency that could not be tolerated.

In reality, the Milwaukee often ran diesel power through on trains and used its electric power as supplemental power. With five major "hills" to traverse between Harlowton and Tacoma, and none of them between Avery and Othello, the diesel power could usually handle the train between Avery and Othello with the electric power being added and removed as necessary.

Probably the biggest reason that the Milwaukee could not be considered "fully" electrified is becuase it really didn't have that much electric power. Granted, traffic on the MILW was always relatively sparse, but as an example, there were only 12 total "Little Joe" electric locomotives, the most powerful type the Milwaukee owned. Hardly enough to handle all the trains run (even as few as there were), and even though they were kept in the Harlowton-Avery segment. The older electric power was, toward the end of their "lives" often used as helper power on the many helper districts on the Milwaukee route.
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Re: Just a MILW system track map.

Postby westcoastrails » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:05 am

The fact the MILW only had 12 'little joes' likely had very little to do with any of their troubles. By the time steam locomotives disappeared, the electrification was a legacy that had long since paid for itself. And even adding or removing locomotives would not have been that much trouble since the diesels could have been left in the consist as helpers.
However, the total trackage covered by electrification was low. It wasn't by any means an electrified system, but a system with some rugged areas electrified.
On the other hand, can you imaging that line hauling intermodal traffic across the country now? It would have been perfect.
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Re: Just a MILW system track map.

Postby vermontanan » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:15 pm

westcoastrails wrote:The fact the MILW only had 12 'little joes' likely had very little to do with any of their troubles. By the time steam locomotives disappeared, the electrification was a legacy that had long since paid for itself. And even adding or removing locomotives would not have been that much trouble since the diesels could have been left in the consist as helpers.
However, the total trackage covered by electrification was low. It wasn't by any means an electrified system, but a system with some rugged areas electrified.
On the other hand, can you imaging that line hauling intermodal traffic across the country now? It would have been perfect.


That the Milwaukee had only 12 Little Joes was not a problem, it's just that when discussing electrification, it is often presented within the context that the whole railroad was an electric operation (which would be necessary to achieve the maximum efficiency), but it wasn't. Therefore, they had to maintain fueling facilities and servicing for diesels as well as the catenary for a very few electric locomotives. Talk about expensive for relatively few assets - assets relagated to very limited trackage.

Hard to tell what "perfect" would entail, but it certainly would be one slower and more expensive than BNSF or UP.
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