A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Duluth South Shore and Atlantic Railway
Mineral Range Railroad


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The Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway (DSS&A) was an American railroad serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Lake Superior shoreline of Wisconsin. It provided service from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and St. Ignace, Michigan, westward through Marquette, Michigan to Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. A branch line stretched northward from Nestoria, Michigan up to the Keweenaw Peninsula and terminating at Houghton, Michigan, with trackage rights over the joint company, the Mineral Range Railroad extending further to Calumet, Michigan.(wik)
The DSS&A was a vital transportation link for the south shore of Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, not only for people but for the copper and iron resources of the region,(jpd) as well as lumber and wood products.
The DSS&A and it's subsidiary road the Mineral Range Railroad provided a link from Chicago to Calumet in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Milwaukee Roads Copper Country Limited connected to the DSS&A at Champion for it's continuation to Nestoria, and then to the Mineral Range Railroad to Calumet.(rp)


Short History of the Duluth South Shore and Atlantic Railway and the Mineral Range Railroad
These rail lines were a consolidation of many small lines often with questionable genealogy. We will break the line into segments to help clarify the data, but welcome any suggestions or corrections.
East section Marquette to St. Ignace, Michigan

1879-1881 - The Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette (DM&M) Railroad was built in 1879-1881 by Detroit businessman James McMillan and his venture-capital partners. Unlike many U.S. railroads, the DM&M was built from west to east. Its main line stretched from Marquette, Michigan, to the Straits of Mackinac at St. Ignace, Michigan.
1881 - The DM&M did not reach Detroit but offered service thither through its part ownership of the Mackinac Transportation Company, a railroad car ferry service that shuttled railroad cars across the Straits of Mackinac to the DM&M's partner lines in Mackinaw City, Michigan.
DSS&A
Duluth
South Shore
and Atlantic
Oct. 17, 1948
DSS&A herald
1886 - Despite being the recipient of 1,327,042 acres (5,370.35 km2) of Upper Peninsula real estate, the DM&M was not a financial success. It declared bankruptcy in summer 1886, and was allowed by its creditors to continue business under the temporary name of the Mackinaw and Marquette Railroad (M&M).
1886 - M&M Sold to the McMillan family who folded it into the DSS&A.
Center section, Marquette to Nestoria and up the Keweenaw Peninsula to Calumet.
1855-57 - Marquette to Ishpeming, Michigan, completed by Iron Mountain Railroad Company (IR).
1856 - Marquette to just beyond Ishpeming, Michigan completed by Bay de Noquet and Marquette Railroad Company (BN&M).
1872 - Champion to L'Anse, Michigan completed by Marquette, Houghton, and Ontonagon Railroad Company (MH&O).
1875 - First bridge from Houghton to Hancock completed. This is a wooden truss bridge.
1881-83 - Houghton and L'Anse, Michigan, completed by Houghton and L'Anse Railroad Company (H&L).
1883 - Marquette to Ishpeming, Michigan, completed by Marquette and Western Railroad Company (M&W).
cir 1883 - The above short lines from Marquette to Houghton form the Marquette Houghton and Ontonagon Railroad (MH&O).
1885 - Hancock and Calumet Railroad (H&C) organized.
1885 - H&C builds from Hancock to Lake Linden, and from Lake Junction to Calumet.
post 1885 - H&C becomes Mineral Range Railroad.
The Duluth South Shore ad Atlantic Railway (DSS&A).
1886 - DSS&A created as a consolidation of the Sault Ste. Marie and Marquette Railroad Co., the Mackinaw and Marquette Railroad Co., and the Wisconsin Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinac Railway Co, to build from Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace to Superior, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota. DSS&A is controlled by Canadian Pacific.
1887 - Line from Sault Ste. Marie to Soo Jct. completed.
1887 - DSS&A leases Marquette, Houghton and Ontonagon running from Marquette to Houghton, Michigan.
1888-1960 - DSS&A fell under the control of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and was operatedas an independent subsidiary until 1960.
1888 - Line from Nestoria, MI to Iron River, WI completed, and trackage rights obtained over Northern Pacific to Duluth.
1890 - DSS&A buys MH&O.
1892-94 - DSS&A builds own route from Iron River to Superior, Wi.
1893 - DSS&A takes control of Mineral Range Railroad and H&C RR in the copper country.
1895 - New steel truss bridge completed between Houghton and Hancock.
1905 - Bridge tipped over in boat-bridge accident.
1906 - Steel bridge repaired.
1923 - MR loses contract to haul copper rock. Calumet and Hecla Mining Co. uses its own Hecla and Torch Lake Railroad to haul rock.
1935 - Line between Marengo Jct. and Superior is abandoned and DSS&A uses trackage rights on Wisconsin Central and NP to reach Duluth.
1937 - DSS&A in bankruptcy.
1947 - DSS&A reorganized as the Duluth South Shore and Atlantic Railroad controlled by Canadian Pacific.
1959 - Third bridge completed Hancock to Houghton.
1961 - Becomes part of Soo Line (CP control).
1987 - DSS&A part of Wisconsin Central.
2001 - Canadian National merges Wisconsin Central.

DSS&A
Duluth South Shore and Atlantic Railway Map


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
DSS&A Web Site John P. Dulong, Berkley, Mi. (jpd)
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009, revised May 24, 2011