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Northern Pacific Timetables (August, 1952)

Published: February 25, 2024

By: Adam Burns

Highlighted below is Northern Pacific's public timetables from the August, 1952 edition of The Official Guide Of The Railways.  This period represented the railroad's zenith prior to major cutbacks.

The Northern Pacific, chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1864, played a crucial role in the settlement and development of the American Northwest. It spanned a distance of about 2,300 miles, from Lake Superior at Duluth, Minnesota to Puget Sound at Tacoma, Washington with a total network of more than 6,600 route miles.

The first transcontinental railroad that didn't rely on government subsidies became operational on September 8, 1883, symbolically signaled by the driving of the final "golden spike" at Gold Creek, Montana.

Prominent financiers like Jay Cooke were initial investors but after the Panic of 1873, financier Henry Villard emerged as the key figure. The Railroad brought significant economic growth by opening markets and facilitating transport of goods, particularly timber, wheat, and minerals.

The Northern Pacific was beset by financial difficulties and labor movements, including the Great Strike of 1922. In 1970, the Northern Pacific merged with other railroads to form the Burlington Northern Railroad, now BNSF Railway.

The Northern Pacific’s legacy is evident in the numerous trails, museums, and historical sites along its route that immortalize this titan of American transportation history. It truly spurred progress and permanently impacted the social, economic, and environmental landscape of the American West.

Public Timetables (August, 1952)


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