Three midwestern railroads introduced luxury passenger service in 1935, competing for Chicago–Twin Cities business and leisure travelers. Chicago and North Western’s modern, sleek, and fast rail line began with a conventional steam-powered train dubbed the “400” and named after its ambitious schedule: “400 miles in 400 minutes.” In 1939, it evolved into an even faster diesel-powered streamlined train, eventually expanding into a fleet of streamliners that served Wisconsin, Minnesota, and upper Michigan.
The 400 Story captures the excitement of this era, tracing the rise and fall of the premier passenger system that made “Twin Cities 400” a household term in the upper Midwest.
Jim Scribbins had a lifetime career at Milwaukee Road and is the author of The Hiawatha Story (Minnesota, 2006) and four other books about upper midwestern railroads. He lives in West Bend, Wisconsin.