By the time it was merged into the Union Pacific in 1995, the Chicago & North Western was one of the nations oldest surviving railroads, a testament to the Midwestern stoicism with which it had gone about its business since 1859. This illustrated history chronicles how C&NW emerged from a collection of regional carriers to become a strategic link between eastern railroads and the West.
Author Tom Murray traces the railroads expansion as it extended secondary lines throughout the Midwest. He also explores C&NWs joint ownership of UP passenger trains and describes how the railroad answered challenges from regional rivals with the "400" series of passenger trains. As fascinating as the story are the hundreds of accompanying illustrations--historical photographs, archival images, route maps, and period print ads.
The result is an entertaining and informative history of an iconic Midwestern railroad--a narrative that spans the decades from the 1850s to the 1990s and takes in steam and diesel motive power, freight and passenger operations, and all the key characters, events, and deals that figured in the Chicago & North Westerns rise and eventual demise.