Drawn by the first newly built scientifically streamlined steam locomotives, designed
for speed faster than steam locomotive ever attained heretofore, two Milwaukee
Road speed-lined trains were placed in daily service between Chicago and St. Paul-Minneapolis
on May 29, 1935. The 410 miles between Chicago and St. Paul are covered in 390
territory rich in Indian lore, the train is named the Hiawatha for the great Mohawk
Chief whose legendary endowments, as immortalized by Longfellow, includes swiftness
could shoot an arrow from him,
And run forward with such fleetness
the arrow fell behind him!"
The oil-burning steam locomotives were especially designed for this particular
service. They have a steam pressure of 300 lbs.: driving wheels are 7 feet in
weight of the engine is 280,000 lbs. Loaded weight of tender is 247,500 lbs. Length
of engine and tender 85 ft. Boiler pressure 300 lbs. Water capacity of tender
13,000 gals. Fuel oil capacity of tender 4,000 gals. Maximum tractive power 30,700
lbs. The whistle is above the headlight. The bell is directly inside the grating
at the extreme front end. The "smoke stack" is just back of the headlight. A smoke
elevator lifts the smoke up so that it is carried off above the cars. The housing
on the extreme front of the engine may be opened exposing a standard coupler,
in the event it is desirable to couple an engine or car to forward end.
All the coaches, the parlor cars and the cafe cars are speed-lined, full size,
of welded steel construction, about one third lighter in weight than the cars
generally in use. The cafe cars have special buffet features and the luxuriosly
appointed coaches have conveniences new to coach patrons. To reduce air resistance
the contour of all cars conforms to the locomotive, presenting a smooth unbroken
line from head end to the rear of the "beaver tail" cars at the end. All of the
cars are air conditioned.
Introduction of the first speed-lined steam train continued the Milwaukee Road's
outstanding record of contributions to modern railroading. It was the first line
between Chicago and the Twin Cities and is still the only double tracked route;
was the first to use steam heat and electric lights on Chicago-Twin Cities trains
and the first to operate all-steel trains between Chicago and the Twin Cities.
It was the first line to adopt roller bearings for through passenger trains, and
has pioneered in the operation of trains across mountain ranges by electric power,
and it is the only railroad operating over its own rails all the way from Chicago
to the North Pacific Coast.
Routed via Milwaukee and LaCrosse the new speed trains operate via the line over
which the United States government has routed its mail trains between Chicago
and the Twin Cities for more than a half century.
from "The Milwaukee Road 1847-1935"