Product Details

400 Story, The Chicago North Western Passenger
Jim Scribbins
Minnesota U Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2008-08-07 13:49:49
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The 400 Story

Chicago & North Western’s Premier Passenger Trains

by Jim Scribbins.

Softcover, horizontal 8.5x11, 232 pages, 341 b/w photos, 18 color photos.

"400 miles in 400 minutes . . . the fastest train on the American continent." advertisement, December 1934

"Three midwestern railroads introduced luxury passenger service in 1935, competing for Chicago - Twin Cities business and leisure travelers. Chicago and North Western’s modern, sleek, and fast rail line began with a conventional steam - powered train dubbed the "400" and named after its ambitious schedule: "400 miles in 400 minutes." In 1939, it evolved into an even faster diesel-powered streamlined train, eventually expanding into a fleet of streamliners that served Wisconsin, Minnesota, and upper Michigan.

"The 400 Story captures the excitement of this era, tracing the rise and fall of the premier passenger system that made “Twin Cities 400” a household term in the upper Midwest.

"The trains are extinct, but many details of the landscape they traversed still exist. In this book's maps, descriptions, and photographs of the 400s at various points along their routes, it is easy to imagine the yellow and green streamliners still rolling across the Wisconsin countryside or easing into a crowded station." - Wisconsin Magazine of History

Jim Scribbins had a lifetime career at Milwaukee Road and is the author of The Hiawatha Story (Minnesota, 2006) and four other books about upper midwestern railroads. He lives in West Bend, Wisconsin.



400 miles in 400 minutes
For a train of social rank, a splendidly appropriate title

Yellow and green
Hot competition for Hiawathas and Zephyrs

Minnesota 400 and kin
Multiple monickers: Minnesota, Dakota and Rochester 400s

Flambeau 400
The vacationer's choice to Wisconsin’s resort country

Peninsula 400
From smelt specials to Upper Michigan’s last passenger train

Kate Shelley 400
For Iowa, a train named for a heroine

The 400 fleet
The North Western knew how to run a corrider

The bilevel era
Gallery cars and head-end power revolutionize carbuilding

Protesters and empty seats
Minnesota loses its 400s

Rolling stock
A 400 color sampler