The Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway: Delivered With Pride


The Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway's history has been almost entirely as part of the Canadian National Railway. However, while this has been the case the DW&P was able to maintain its own identity for nearly a century before a re-branding of the CN system in the 1990s finally did away with the railroad. While the DW&P only operated a railroad of under 200 miles it remains an important part of the CN today connecting Canada (and the CN's main line near International Falls) with points south such as Duluth, Minnesota. So, while the blue, red and white livery of the DW&P has since vanished its famous slogan, Delivered With Pride, lives on through parent CN.

Into the 1980s the DW&P was still using Alcos in main line freight service. Seen here are several RS11s at the engine terminal in Duluth, Minnesota during September of 1981.

The DW&P was chartered in 1901 as the Duluth, Virginia & Rainy Lake Railway with the hopes of connecting its namesake Minnesota cities. However, the railroad's stint as an independent line was very short-lived as it was taken over by the Canadian Northern Railway (later to become part of the government-controlled Canadian National Railways) soon after completing its main line between Virginia and Silver Lake, Minnesota.  The railroad was renamed the Duluth, Rainy Lake & Winnipeg Railway and completed its line north to International Falls in 1908, later an important interchange point with parent CN. A year later the DRL&W was renamed the Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway with the goal of finally reaching Duluth, Minnesota.

This goal was achieved three years later in 1912 and for the most part the DW&P's main line was complete as it stretched roughly 167 miles from Duluth, northwest to International Falls.  The new rail line proved to be a vital artery for later parent Canadian National as a means of moving goods from western Canadian into the United States, and remains an important route for CN to do this day. Since its earliest days at the start of the 20th century the DW&P has lived a quiet but productive life. It gained its famous "Delivered With Pride" slogan and colorful red, white and blue livery when parent CN itself went through an image makeover in 1961.


The Canadian National Railway shares many similarities to the Consolidated Rail Corporation set up by the US government in the mid-1970s. For most of its existence the CN was under the control of the Canadian government and is actually a culmination of several smaller Canadian systems stretching across the country, which were in disrepair and financial ruin during the early 20th century prompting CN’s creation. In 1995 CN was sold by the government and for the first time ever became a privately held company. Today, after purchasing a number of US railroads the Canadian National Railway stretches as far south as New Orleans along with reaching both Canadian coasts. It is a leading Class I railroad with profit margins that rival the best of the US systems.

Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific SD40 #5905 rests at the road's terminal in Virginia, Minnesota on September 14, 1982.

Diesel Locomotive Roster

Builder Model Type Road Number Date Built Quantity
AlcoRS113600-3614195615
EMDGP944291954, Ex-GTW1
EMDGP38-25726-5727, 5850-58531973-1978, Ex-GTW, Ex-CRI&P6
EMDSD405902-59111969, Ex-GTW10
EMDNW279021941, Ex-GTW1

DW&P RS11 wears a simple orange livery setting at the Central Vermont's terminal in St. Albans, Vermont on June 23, 1978. The CV and DW&P were owned by the same parent, Canadian National, and occasionally swapped power.

Steam Locomotive Roster

Class D-12-a: This class was the DW&P's only roster of 2-6-0 Moguls.

Class H: This class included the DW&P's fleet of 4-6-0 Ten-wheelers.

Class L: This class included the DW&P's fleet of 2-8-0 Consolidations.

Class M: This class included the DW&P's fleet of 2-8-0 Consolidations.

Class N-2-a: This class included the DW&P's fleet of 2-8-0 Consolidations.

Class O-11-a: This class included the DW&P's only roster of 0-6-0 switchers.

Class R-1-a: This class included the DW&P's only roster of 2-8-2 Mikados.


Two DW&P RS11s and a Milwaukee Road SD40-2 head back towards West Duluth during a transfer run from Burlington Northern's Rice's Point Yard on September 15, 1982.

After a 1995 corporate restructuring, CN included all of its subsidiary railroads (like the DW&P, Grand Trunk Western and others) under the Grand Trunk Corporation seeing the identity of the DW&P and its allying roads disappear. However, while the final chapter of the DW&P's history is now complete the railroad lives on as an important part of the Canadian National Railway today.  For more on the DW&P you might want to consider purchasing the book, Delivered With Pride: A Pictorial History of the Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific Railroad, from author Jon Severson. As the title mentions the book is filled with photographs of the DW&P from historical to the railroad's final days. Also included within are maps of the railroad. If you have any interest in the DW&P you are sure to enjoy Mr. Severson's book. If you're interested in perhaps purchasing this book please visit the link below which will take you to ordering information through Amazon.com, the trusted online shopping network.

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