An map of the Green Bay Route shows steam boat connections on
the Great Lakes and a proposed extension to St. Paul.
The Green Bay, Winona &
St. Paul RR was the successor to the failed Green
Bay & Minnesota. The line came under control of the Delaware
Lackawanna & Western and spent much of its 15 year life from
1881-1896 trying to develop new markets for the eastern road.
As was obvious from the newly reorganized railroad's name, a major
goal was the idea to lay rails to St. Paul. The Minnesota
city would provide a new outlet for the DL&W's coal traffic and well
as a link to the expanding Minnesota grain milling business. An
expansion of the GBW&StP's dock facilities were undertaken to
further that aim.
This 1889 map from the Rand McNally Official Railway Guide
and Handbook shows the Green Bay Route with a proposed
line from Merrillan to St. Paul. It also shows the boat link
through lakes Michigan and Huron which tied the Green Bay Route into the
DL&W master plan. However, the GBW&StP had a persistent problem
of never running in the black and the expansion never occurred.
By the time the railroad was reorganized as the Green Bay &
Western in 1896 several competing roads had lines running from the west
end of the GB&W to St. Paul and the dream of a northwest
expansion were laid to rest.