Green Bay & Western Lines
The East-West Short Route
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The Green Bay Route promoted itself with a series of matchbooks during the 1950's and 1960s.

The matchbooks featured a variety of locomotives, slogans, and logos.  Here are some  styles of this unique form of railroad art.  Most of these matchbooks are approximately 2" x 4.5".

GB&W trains at Turtle Lake, about two miles east of Amherst Junction. The FA-1's are eastbound and the RS's are westbound.  The inside advertises:
and has a list of cities where traffic agents are located. Made by Universal Match Corp., Milwaukee, Wis.

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Another view of FA-1's in the Trempealeau Valley, with a head-on view of of the engine on the other side of the match book.  The inside also had advertising.

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This one features an Alco C-424 on the front and a route map on the back side.  The route map emphasized the ferry connection at Kewaunee.  This same imagery was used on railroad stationery in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The inside of these matchbooks also emphasized the ferry connection, claiming that you could save 24 hours by avoiding Chicago traffic tie-ups.


The Green Bay Route's Alco FA-1 locos were often featured on matchbooks.  Here is a pair of the locos leading a train, on a embossed gold-tinted matchbook.

And here's the same style, but in silver.  The inside of the matchbook is the same as above.

Never one to miss an opportunity, here two Alco RS units lead the very same train. Other than the locos, the artwork is the same, right down to the background.

And finally, this one must have been made right after the Green Bay Route switched to the all-red locomotive paint scheme.  The RS units are red on this matchbook, but if you look closely you can see the horizontal black stripes that were used to separate colors on the red and grey scheme.  The inside of this matchbook had the slogan  "Save a Day THE GREEN BAY WAY."

These matchbooks came in sealed packages of six.

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The same all-red loco appeared on these matchbooks, with another "Save a Day THE GREEN BAY WAY" slogan inside.

Bold and vibrant yellow and silver matchbooks promote the Green Bay & Western Lines, including both the Green Bay & Western R.R. and Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western R.R.

Again, the FA-1 locos are popular subjects for the matchbooks.

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Here's another matchbook featuring the Alco FA-1 locos. The inside of this match book reads
GB&WRR - KGB&WRR via Kewaunee, Wis.,
The Year 'Round Car Ferry Port

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Another FA-1 matchbook with a message inside the cover.

The loco on these covers is supposed to  represent an Alco FA-1, but the outline seems to suggest an EMD locomotive instead.

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The FA-1's never had a paint scheme like this... fanciful dreaming from a marketing department, perhaps?  The striping on the locomotive is reminiscent of the Alco FA-1s of the New York, New Haven and Hartford RR.

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This six-pack of  wooden matches came in a gold foil lined cardboard box wrapped in cellophane, and promoted "Save a Day The Green Bay Way."  The boxes came in both tan and gray versions.

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This "pull-quick" pack of ten matches uses a hidden ignition striker strip to ignite the round wooden match sticks as they were quickly pulled from the container and is probably from the 1930s or 1940s.

This matchbook promotes the less-than-carload service, and the inside lists the connecting railroads.

This book from the 1980s emphasized the full range of distribution solutions offered by the GBW - railroad, trucking and warehousing.

This box of matches from the 1980s featured and embossed logo and picture of locomotive #312.


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 The Green Bay Route is maintained by Mark Mathu.
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Updated July 11, 2015