Flanking the western shore of the upper Mississippi River runs Canadian Pacific’s River Subdivision, a busy main line that supports a non stop flow of traffic. Pentrex traveled the line in 1999, through hot summer days and cold winter chill to bring you the excitement of railroading in this scenic territory. Beginning at River Junction, just west of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, we follow the line to St. Paul, Minnesota. As much of the subdivision hugs the mighty Mississippi, we spot the trains against backdrops of wooded bluffs and sometimes blue, sometimes frozen waters.
Milwaukee Road and Soo Line operated this route prior to Canadian Pacific. You’ll see motive power and varied paint schemes from all three appearing frequently, such as Milwaukee Road GP40s, Soo Line SD60s, and Canadian Pacific’s AC4400s. Highlights include a candy apple red Soo Line SD40-2 and a Canadian Pacific SD40-2F “Red Barn” wearing the dual flag paint scheme, not to mention plenty of Soo Line cabooses. I&MRL trains, with trackage rights to St. Paul, also polish these rails. The I&MRL sports some of the older power, including SD9s, SD45s, and SD35s. Plus, Amtrak’s Empire Builder uses this route to and from Chicago. Plenty of trains, gorgeous scenery, great variety – that’s railroading on Canadian Pacific’s River Subdivision!