History

[DWP map]
(click to see larger version)

Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific started in 1901 as the Duluth, Virginia & Rainy Lake Railway. Construction started at Virginia, MN and the line was extended to Silver Lake, MN. The railway was purchased by Canadian Northern Railway (one of the predecessors of Canadian National) and renamed Duluth, Rainy Lake & Winnipeg Railway. Construction was then started to provide an interchange with parent CN. This occurred in 1908 with the extension of the railway to International Falls, MN. Here the Rainy River was bridged to provide access to Canadian Northern's mainline from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay at Fort Frances, ON. In 1909, the present name of Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific was acquired and construction started to achieve access to Duluth. Duluth was reached in 1912, providing interchange with several US railways. DWP now runs 167 miles from Duluth Junction (CN interchange) to DW& P junction (Great Northern interchange).

DWP has 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. DWP has been upgraded during the past few decades to handle the increase in freight and unit train traffic. 6200 foot sidings exist at approximately 10 mile intervals allows the movement of 100 car unit trains. 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, MB and Superior, Wisc. Additional freights are run as required. A liquid sulfur train from Ram River, AB to Florida (via BN, Chicago) operates on the Peg along with a sulphur unit train operating between Ben Bow, AB and Chicago. There is also a 300 series potash unit train operating between Saskatoon, SK and Chicago and a 700 series potash unit train operating between Saskatoon, SK and Superior.

See also the DWP steam locomotive roster.

Interchanges

Railroad Interchange Location(s)
Canadian National Fort Frances, ON; Duluth Jct., MN
Minnesota, Dakota & Western Ranier, MN
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Rainer, MN (until 1985); Pokegama,WI; Superior, WI
Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Minorca Jct., MN; Shelton Jct., MN; Pokegama, WI
Chicago & North Western (UP) Pokegama, WI; Superior, WI
Lake Superior Terminal & Transfer Superior, WI
Soo Line (CP) Pokegama, WI; Superior, WI
Wisconsin Central Superior, WI