Soo Line #1210, “Rhinelander”

Sleeper Car, Barney & Smith Car Co., May 1902

#1210 at North Freedom, April 2000.

#1210 at North Freedom, April 2000.

Soo Line sleeping car #1210 “Rhinelander” was built by the Barney & Smith Car Co. in May 1902. The “Rhinelander” was built as a first-class, 12 section sleeper with a smoking room and a state room. The sleeper is of wood construction, has six wheel trucks, and originally had full vestibules. In April 1926 wide steel letter boards were applied and the Gothic sashes removed. In October 1929 the sleeper was converted to a work car at the Shoreham Shops. As a work car, it was renumbered X-119 and used as a bunk and dining car at Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The X-119 remained in use until the Soo Line sold the car in 1969. The car was stored in Schiller Park, Illinois until December 1977 when it was moved to the Mid-Continent. The car is currently privately owned and used as a bunk car at the museum.

Articles of Incorporation for the Minneapolis Sault Ste. Marie & Atlantic Railway (commonly known as Soo Line) were filed in Madison, Wisconsin on September 29, 1883, by several Minneapolis businessmen. Their goal was to link the flour mills of the Twin Cities with the Great Lakes shipping port of Sault Ste. Marie. By the end of 1887, the line was completed across the northern part of Wisconsin to reach the road’s namesake. The next 25 years saw much expansion and consolidation with other smaller roads. The Wisconsin Central was leased in 1909; in 1961, it was formally absorbed as well as the DSS&A to form the new Soo Line Railroad. Soo Line successfully purchased the remains of the Milwaukee Road in 1985, forever changing its system map; two years later, the new Wisconsin Central Ltd. purchased the old WC route and other track from Soo Line. Today the Soo Line exists only on paper, under the Canadian Pacific banner, most of its original trackage now operated by other companies or abandoned.