Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
There were two Wisconsin Central railroads that ran through Wisconsin and neighboring states. The first (the Wisconsin Central Railway) was incorporated in 1877 and fell into bankruptcy in 1932 after which it was purchased by the Soo Line. The second (Wisconsin Central Ltd.) started in the mid 1980s using some of the original Wisconsin Central Railway's rights of way and former Milwaukee Road rights of way.
Wisconsin Central Railway
The Wisconsin Central Railway's tracks reached Ashland, WI in 1877, St. Paul, MN in 1884, Chicago, IL in 1886 and Superior, WI in 1908. It was controlled by the Northern Pacific Railway for some years prior to the Panic of 1893.
Wisconsin Central Ltd.
- April 3, 1987: The Soo Line railroad announces the sale of its Lake States Transportation Division to private investors, forming the new Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation.
- October 11, 1987: The first Wisconsin Central train ran from Stevens Point, WI to North Fond Du Lac, WI .
- May 1991: Wisconsin Central shares begin trading under the ticker symbol WCTC , raising $36.2 million.
- 1992: Railway Age Magazine names Wisconsin Central "Regional Railroad of the Year."
- 1993: Wisconsin Central acquires both the Fox River Valley and the Green Bay and Western railroads through a new subsidiary, Fox Valley & Western Ltd.
- 1993: Wisconsin Central acquires New Zealand Rail Ltd. and renames it Tranz Rail Ltd. through a new subsidiary, Wisconsin Central International.
- 1995: Wisconsin Central acquires the Algoma Central Railway through a new subsidiary, Wisconsin Central Canada Holdings.
- 1995: A Wisconsin Central led consortium acquires Rail Express Systems Limited in the United Kingdom.
- 1996: Wisconsin Central partners with Canadian National and CSX inaugurating a new intermodal shipping corridor between the west and east coasts of North America.
- 1996: The three trainload freight railways in the United Kingdom are united under a new Wisconsin Central subsidiary, English Welsh and Scottish Railway Holdings Limited .
- 1997: Wisconsin Central subsidiary, English Welsh and Scottish Railway acquires two more freight railways in the United Kingdom.
- 1997: Another Wisconsin Central subsidiary, the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company acquired 207 miles of track from Union Pacific forming a Wisconsin Central connection between Green Bay, WI and Ishpeming, MI.
- 1997: A new Wisconsin Central subsidiary, the Australian Transport Network Limited acquires a one-third ownership and an operating interest Tasrail in Tasmania.
- 1997: Six months after acquiring an interest in Tasrail , Wisconsin Central subsidiary Australian Transport Network acquires the Emu Bay Railway in Tasmania.
- January 30, 2001: Wisconsin Central and Canadian National announce plans for CN to purchase WC.
- September 7, 2001: The Surface Transportation Board approves the sale of Wisconsin Central to Canadian National.
- October 9, 2001: Wisconsin Central is acquired by Canadian National.
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