Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific

      Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific began life in 1901 as the Duluth, Virginia & Rainy Lake Railway. Construction started at Virginia, Minn., and the line was extended to Silver Lake, Minn. The railway was purchased by Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR, one of the predecessors of Canadian National) and renamed Duluth, Rainy Lake & Winnipeg Railway. Construction was then started to provide an interchange with parent CNoR. This occurred in 1908 with the extension of the railway to International Falls, Minn. There, the Rainy River was bridged to provide access to Canadian Northern's mainline from Winnipeg to Port Arthur (part of today's Thunder Bay) at Fort Frances, Ont. In 1909, the name of Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific Railway was adopted and construction started to achieve access to Duluth. That point was reached in 1912, providing interchange with several US railways. DW&P eventually ran 167 miles from Duluth Junction (CN interchange) to DW&P Junction (Great Northern interchange).

DW&P provided a natural outlet for Western Canadian exports to the US. The majority of the traffic on the line consists of potash, lumber and paper. DW&P has been upgraded during the past few decades to handle increased in freight and 100-car unit-train traffic, with 6,200-foot sidings at approximately 10-mile intervals. Talking hot-box dectors are located at four locations.

Inter-regional freight traffic currently consists of a daily freight in each direction between Pokegama and Thunder Bay; A daily freight in each direction between Vancouver and Chicago (via SOO); and two daily freights in each direction between Winnipeg and Superior, Wis. Additional freights are run as required. A liquid sulphur train from Ram River, Alta., to Florida (via BN, Chicago) operates on the "Peg" (DW&P's longstanding nickname) along with a sulphur unit train operating between Ben Bow, Alta., and Chicago. There is also a 300-series potash unit train operating between Saskatoon and Chicago and a 700-series potash unit train operating between Saskatoon and Superior.

Steam Roster


Interchange Location

Canadian National

Fort Frances, Ont.; Duluth Jct., Minn.

Minnesota, Dakota & Western

Ranier, Minn.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe

Ranier, Minn. (until 1985); Pokegama, Wis.; Superior, Wis.

Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range

Minorca Jct., Minn.; Shelton Jct., Minn.; Pokegama, Wis.

Chicago & North Western (UP)

Pokegama, Wis.; Superior, Wis.

Lake Superior Terminal & Transfer

Superior, Wis.

Soo Line (CP)

Pokegama, Wis.; Superior, Wis.

Wisconsin Central

Superior, Wis.