Re: What is a "granger railroad"?

david zuhn

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?
Fairly easily, given that the grange movement was of the last decades
of the 1800's, at which time the Milwaukee had not yet added the "&
Pacific" to their name, and was a RR serving Chicago from St. Paul &
Kansas City, with a wide branchline network in place to haul the

Neither the GN nor the NP had the extensive midwestern branch network
comparable to that of the MILW. Branches, yes; just not to the same

The grange itself peaked politically 1880ish, primarily in the Upper
Midwestern states of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Given
that the major focus of the Grange was against the monopolistic RR
tactics of the day, it makes sense that the term Granger Road would
apply mostly to those roads in the fight. Which doesn't mean that
the SSW or MKT didn't haul grain, they just weren't in the regions
where the Grange was most powerful and where the lexicon was most

david d zuhn, St Paul Bridge & Terminal Ry., St. Paul, Minn.

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