A Midwest Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway
Duluth and Iron Range Railway
Duluth Missabe and Northern Railway

Click on an open link below or go to the RAILROAD INDEX to locate another Railroad
Chicago Chicago
Eastern Midwest
Southeast Southern Southwest Western

Duluth Missabe
and Northern
May 29, 1931

The Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway (DM&IR) was a railroad operating in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to haul iron ore and later taconite to the Great Lakes port of Duluth, Minnesota and Two Harbors, Minnesota. The railway was acquired on May 10, 2004, by Canadian National Railway (CN) when it purchased the assets of Great Lakes Transportation. The DM&IR was formed by the 1937 merger of the Duluth, Missabe and Northern Railway (DM&N) and the Spirit Lake Transfer Railway; the Duluth and Iron Range Rail Road (D&IR) and Interstate Transfer Railway were added in 1938. All of these had been leased by the DM&N since 1930.
In the 30's and 40's the Missabe Roads provided coach passenger train service from Duluth into the iron mining areas of the Messabe and Vermillion Ranges, to Hibbing, Ely, Coleraine, Virginia and other Northern Minnesota communities. Their trains included observation lounge cars which provided excellent opportunities to view their long ore trains being pulled by their huge 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone steam locomotives.

Duluth Missabe
and Iron Range
November 30, 1947


Short History of the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway

Duluth and Iron Range Railway
1874 - D&IR charter and land grants given to build a railway from the forming Messabe Iron Range iron mines to Duluth.
1879 - No track laid and charter was to expire.
1874-1882- Charlemagne Tower and associates gather iron land in the Vermillion Range and seeks a way to transport the ore.
1882 - Tower gains control of D&IR charter and land grants and changes terminus to Two Harbors Minnesota,
1883 - Construction begins.
1884 - First shipment of iron ore to Two Harbors from Soudan.
1887 - D&IR acquired by Illinois Steel.
1901 - D&IR acquired by United Sates Steel Company.
1901-1927 - DM&N and D&IR operated as one company although not formally merged.
1927 - By 1927 the D&IR served iron mines located at Aurora, Babbitt, Biwabik, Colby, Ely, Eveleth, Largo, McComber, McKinley, Mariska, Pettit, Sparta, Tower Junction (Soudan), Virginia, and Winton, Minnesota.
1930 - DM&N leases D&IR.
1938 the property and assets of the D&IR and the Interstate Transfer Railway Company were transferred to the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. Interstate Transfer was subsequently dissolved on June 28, 1938, and the D&IR was dissolved

Duluth Missabe and Northern Railway
1891 - DM&N incorporated to build a railroad from mines near Mt. Iron and Biwabik to Duluth.
1892 - Line completed to Stony Brook Jct., a junction with the Duluth and Winnipeg Railroad.
1892 - First ore shipments to Duluth on DM&N with last 26 miles from Stony Brook Jct on the D & W.
1894 - DM&N control gained by Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines Co. (Rockefeller interest).
1896 - DM&N leased to Carnegie Steel.
1901 - DM&N becomes part of Unites States Steel Corp.
1901-1927 - DM&N and D&IR operated as one company although not formally merged.
1927 - The DM&N served iron mines located at Eveleth, Virginia, Mountain Iron, Buhl, Shenango, Chisholm, Hibbing, Arcturus, and Coleraine, Minnesota
1930 - DM&N leases D&IR.

Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway
1937 - The DM&N and the Spirit Lake Transfer Railway Company consolidated to form the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Company (DM&IR).
1938 - DM&IR and D&IR merged.
1938 - The DM&IR, had two separate operating divisions: The Missabe Division, operating the former DM&N trackage on the western portion of the system, and the Iron Range Division, operating the former D&IR trackage on the eastern portion of the system.
1838 - 8+ million tons of ore moved on DM&IR.
1941 - First eight of th 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone steam locomotive delivered by Baldwin.
1942 - Ore tonnage increases to 45 million tons.
1943 - Ten more 2-8-8-4 locomotives delivered.
1953 - Record ore tonnage of 49 million tons carried.
1953 - First diesel-electric locomotives delivered; EMD SW9s.
1956 - EMD SD9s begin service.
1957 - Passenger service on Missabe Division discontinued.
1960 - DM&IR fully dieselized.
1961 - All passenger service discontinued.
1963 - Lower iron ore volume shuts down Two Harbors ore docks.
1963 - Taconite Act gives DM&IR new life to deliver taconite pellets.
1964 - Eveleth Taconite Company formed.
1986 - High volume of taconite delivered by DM&IR. Much taconite is moving on DM&IR rails to this day.
1988 - DM&IR spun off to Transtar, a US Steel subsidiary.
2001 - DM&IR sold to Great Lakes Transportation.
2003 - DM&IR acquired by Canadian National.
hr> DM&IR Map
Duluth Missabe and Iron Range timetable map - 1947
Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks


Your source for 1930's - 1940's Passenger Railroad Information

Railroad Index Back to Top Contact Us

Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009, revised May 21, 2011