A Western Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Spokane International Railway
Spokane International Railroad (1941)


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The Spokane International Railway (Railroad - 1941) (SI) was a short line railroad line in the northwestern United States, of Washington and Idaho that linked Spokane, Washington and the border crossing town of Eastport. Idaho - Kingsgate, British Columbua, 142 miles, where it connected to a stub off the southern line of the Canadian Pacific. It also had a branch line connecting the main line to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 7 miles. The SI was built by David Chase Corbin, a businessman and railroad builder, as a way to connect the Canadian Pacific Railway with Spokane amd connections from there to Puget Sound, and Portland. In this way the CP, which gained control of the Soo Line connection to the industrial Midwest could compete with the Hill roads, the GN, NP, and Burlington for Pacific Northwest traffic. The SI, which is now part of the Union Pacific Railroad, proved to be a key link in the CPR system and gave the Canadian Pacific access to the Inland Empire centre of Spokane and its many railroads including the Union Pacific which in turn gave direct connections to Portland, Oregon. This became the route of the Soo-Spokane Train DeLuxe. Where the SI may have started out sharing a name train with the CP, by 1930 it had reduced to a single train per day between Spokane and Yahk, British Columbia where it made good connections with a CP train to St. Paul. It did carry a first class coach, observation car, smoker and baggage car. The observation car was gone by 1940 and passenger services discontinued in the early 50's. The SI has remained an important link for the CP to this day. One major haulage has been grain to the west coast port cities. The SI was absorbed into the Union Pacific in 1958.
Short History of the Spokane International Railway (Railroad) (SI)

Events Preceding the Spokane International

1869-1884 - The great transcon built in the 1860's

Spokane International
Spokane International - June 1943
by the UP and SP was serving the west-central portion of the United States, and now the Pacific Northwest was opening to growth and trade with the orient, Canada and the mid-west.
1885 - The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) reached Vancouver, British Columbia.
1888 - The CPR gains control of the "Soo Line" giving it access to Duluth, Minneapolis and the Chicago industrial areas.
1888 - The Northern Pacific Railroad completes the Stampede Pass Tunnel and has access from St. Paul, Minnesota to Seattle and Portland, as well as connections to Chicago on the Burlington.
1890's - Daniel Chase Corbin, a businessman and railroad builder from Spokane. In the 1890s, he had built railroads from Spokane to Nelson and Rossland in British Columbia.
1898 - The Corbin built roads are acquired by the Great Northern (GN).
1903 - The Great Northern Railroad reaches the Pacific northwest from St. Paul, also with Burlington connections to Chicago.
1908 - The Spokane Portland & Seattle reaches Portland from Spokane, giving the NP and the GN access to Portland.
1908 - The NP, GN and SP&S combined under James Hill's interests.

The Spokane International Railway
1887 - The Canadian Pacific, gaining access to the industrial midwest through. it's soon to be acquired, the Soo Line, and seeing the railroads of the northern Unites States, becoming completed to the Pacific Northwest and moving more under the influence of James Hill, desired a connection to Spokane where it could interchange iwth the UP (Harriman interests) and reach Puget Sound and Portland.
1887 - The Spokane International Railway (SI) commenced following an agreement between Daniel Chase Corbin and the Canadian Pacific. In the agreement, the CPR funded much of the construction and held the railways bonds as security. The agreement also gave the CPR the option to acquire a majority of the stocks of the SI by January 1917 which the CP did.
1906 - The SI is completed Spokane to Kingsgate. The CPR was able to compete with the Hill railroads for traffic between the American mid-west and the Pacific coast. The CPR was quick to capitalize on this situation and soon introduced express passenger service over the route. This was the Soo-Spokane Train De Luxe
c 1917 - The Union Pacific (UP) gains 50% control of the SI.
1931 - Passenger service between Spokane and Yahk, British Columbia is one train a day with first class coach, smoker, observation car and baggage car, connecting to CP train s to St. Paul.
1940 - Passenger service continues without the observation car.
1941 - The SI was reorganized following financial difficulties and a period of receivership during the Depression years. As a part of this restructuring, the line
SI map
Spokane International - 1943
was renamed the Spokane International Railroad.
early 1950's. Passenger service is discontinued.
1958 - On October 6 the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) took control of Spokane International Railroad.
1962 - UP leased SIís 11 ALCO RS-1 locomotives for operation. The locomotives were later repainted to UPís yellow and gray paint scheme, but retained their SI lettering.
Current - The SI is still in operation as an important connection between southern British Columbia and the Northwest States.
Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- Various issues
americanvaluessummit.com
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Copyright © Richard Parks, May, 1 2009, revise Oct. 29, 2011