The Green Bay Route reached its fullest extent in 1934 when president
Homer McGee, who remained at the helm for 28 years, oversaw fast
improvements and upgrades to the railroad’s infrastructure, property,
and equipment. After improving the main line to reach speeds of over 50
mph he phased out steam locomotives with more efficient diesels from
Alco (apparently the GB&W purchased nearly all Alcos due to its
success with the builder during the steam era).
With its profitable carfloat operations in the east the
railroad also had extensive interchange points in the west with
railroads including the Ahnapee & Western Railway (Casco Junction,
Wisconsin); Chicago & Northern Western (Green Bay, Merrillan, New London,
and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and Winona, Minnesota); Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy (East Winona and Winona, Minnesota); the
Milwaukee Road (Green Bay and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and Winona,
Minnesota); and the Soo Line (Black Creek, Plover, Stevens Point, and
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin).
|A rebuilt low-nose RS3u #308 switches Norwood Yard in Green Bay on September 25, 1987.|
The downfall of the GB&W began in 1978 when it was purchased by
the Itel Corporation. While ownership by Itel did not directly hurt the
railroad it’s loss of traffic could not be turned around and by the
early 1980s the Green Bay & Western was seeing a mere one carfloat
movement daily after the Ann Arbor discontinued the service. By 1990 car
ferry service ceased altogether and the GB&W was nearly destitute.
Finally, with fortunes not improving, a few years later in 1993 the
GB&W was purchased by the Fox Valley & Western Railroad, a
subsidiary of the new Wisconsin Central system (Wisconsin Central,
Please Click Here To Return To The Main Fallen Flags Section
Diesel Locomotive Roster
The American Locomotive Company
|RS27||310, 316-318, 902-903||1960-1962||6|
|70-Tonner||600-601 (Ahnapee & Western)||1952||2|
Steam Locomotive Roster
|A Trio of Alco Centuries are still hard at work after more than three decades of regular service as they ready their train to leave Norwood Yard on August 22, 1991.|
Soon after the Wisconsin Central abandoned most of the original GB&W main
line. In 2001 the WC itself was purchased by the Canadian National
Railway, leaving what little is left of the original Green Bay &
Western under the Class I's control. If you are interested in learning more about the GB&W please
consider joining the Green Bay & Western Historical Society. The
society is a relatively new organization but is dedicated to preserving
the history of the Green Bay Route
and your support and help in not only contributing to that effort but
also the growth of the society would be very welcomed and deeply
Related Reading You May Enjoy
Other Classic Railroads Of The Midwest
Burlington, "Way Of The Zephyrs"
C&NW, "Route Of The '400'"
Rock Island, "Route Of The Rockets"
D&M, "The Turtle Line"
DT&I, "We Have The Connections"
IC, "The Main Line Of Mid-America"
IT, "The Road Of Personalized Services"
IHB, "Connects With All Chicago Railroads"
CMStP&P, "Route Of The Hiawathas"
Monon, "The Hoosier Line"
Nickel Plate, "High Speed Service"
"Ship Soo To And Through The Upper Midwest"
MN&S, "The Dan Patch Line"
M&StL, "The Peoria Gateway"
The Missabe Road
MoPac, "Route Of The Eagles"
CGW, "The Corn Belt Route"
DW&P, "Delivered With Pride"
BRC, "The Belt"
EJ&E, "Chicago Outer Belt"
Lake Superior & Ishpeming
Wabash, "Follow The Flag"
Santa Fe..."All The Way!"