Product Details

Wisconsin Central in Illinois, The
David J Leider
Sooauthor Publishing
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2010-07-21 22:39:45
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The Wisconsin Central in Illinois

By David Leider.

Cloth with dust jacket, 8.5x11, 270 pages, 49 maps, 67 illustrations, 90 photos, isbn 9781616588496.

"To many, the far eastern end of the Wisconsin Central is somewhat of a mystery. This book documents the building of the WC to Chicago and the men who did it.

"Telling this story must include what was happening not only in Milwaukee and Chicago, but also in the great banking centers of New York and Boston. It took money to build a railroad; how it was financed was just as important as the actual construction.

"Of course the story did not end after the final spike was driven. Shown are the various factors that affected the Chicago extension, both internal and external. How the railroad entered Chicago, the problems it faced doing so, and how they were resolved is a fascinating story of turn of the century railroading.

"The influence of the Northern Pacific was always present. In fact the WC was originally conceived as a link for NP traffic to the east, which would come to fruition once the Chicago extension was completed. While the signing of the lease to the NP came with high expectations for the future, these hopes were short-lived. The financial collapse of the NP not only pulled the WC down with it, but also the Chicago terminals. It would take six years before the WC lines emerged from bankruptcy and were united. With new management under the skillful hand of President Whitcomb, the railroad enjoyed nearly a decade of prosperity before being swallowed by a Canadian Road.

"The Wisconsin Central in Illinois is divided into two parts. Chapters 1-11 concentrate on the railroad, from its inception to its lease to the Soo Line (Canadian Pacific) in 1909. The final two chapters profile the railroad facilities for each town served, including bridges and milk stops. A short history is included for each, along with what traffic was generated.

"In this history of the Wisconsin Central the reader will find history, seldom unearthed. Some of the maps herein are copies of original plat maps drawn when the railroad was built. Others are from journals and newspapers and have not been seen in over 100 years."