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Last Ride on the Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension

posted Feb 3, 2014, 9:50 AM by James Lilly

This year’s annual gala banquet is scheduled for Sunday, March 23, from 5:30 - 9 pm at Normandie Farm in Potomac, MD, a Washington area fine-dining landmark and perpetual favorite of reviewers and on-line raters. The deadline for ticket purchase is March 18, so don’t miss out on this rare opportunity – buy your tickets now at or see the enclosed flier to order tickets by mail! Cost is $49 per person.


Our keynote speaker is well-known railroad historian, Alan Freed. Alan will present a particularly fascinating topic this year, Last Ride on the Milwaukee Road Pacific Extension, a description of his one thousand-mile trip in 1980 from Miles City, MT, to the West Coast. The Pacific Extension was built between 1906 and 1909 to compete with the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads and was the last of the great transcontinental routes to be built. Operations on the Pacific Extension were abandoned by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad in November, 1979, west of Miles City, the longest mainline abandonment in railroad history even though the Pacific Extension was the shortest, best engineered, and most spectacular route to the West Coast. It was the home of the “Little Joe” electrics and famous Olympian Hiawatha streamliners. Knowing that dismantlement of the abandoned line was inevitable, Alan set out in 1980 on a unique adventure to travel the route in a very unusual conveyance which he will describe in his talk. Alan’s talk will consist of a slide show and description of his amazing adventure over the abandoned rails.

See complete details on the banquet and make your reservations here.