Re: What is a "granger railroad"?

Richard Hendrickson

On Aug 30, 2007, at 8:25 AM, Malcolm Laughlin wrote:

If you review a lot of the literature I believe you will find that the
term “granger” roads was applied to railroads that had most of their
trackage in that area of IL, MO, KA, NE, IA, WI, MN, SD, ND. I would
not say that a railroad that had most of its trackage elsewhere was a
granger road.

By the those criteria, here’s how they fall.

Definte granger roads. CB&Q, CMO, CNW, MILW, RI, SOO, CGW, M&StL,
GM&O (C&A)

Marginal granger KO&G, M-K-T, MV, TP&W, IC, SLSF

Not granger roads. ATSF, FW&D, GN, KCS, MP, NP, T&P, UP, C&S, GM&O
Any criteria which render RRs like the Santa Fe, Great Northern, and
Northern Pacific non-granger RRs are obviously false and misleading.
All three railroads handled vast amounts of agricultural traffic,
especially grain shipments, from the regions along their routes that
were east of the Rocky Mountains. The fact that they had main lines
extending to the Pacific Coast is, in the context of this discussion,
irrelevant. How does the MILW, which also had a main line to the
Pacific Coast, qualify as a granger RR but not the GN and NP? And the
Santa Fe transported far more grain and other agricultural products
than, for example, the CGW, M&StL, or Alton. A granger railroad was
any railroad that hauled large amounts of grain and other ag products
from the states between the Mississippi River and the Front Range.
Never mind where else it went or what other sources of traffic it had.
Any other definition renders the term meaningless.

Richard Hendrickson

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