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.
Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific SD40 #5905 rests at the road's terminal in Virginia, Minnesota on September 14, 1982.
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.
Diesel Locomotive Roster
1973-1978, Ex-GTW, Ex-CRI&P
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.