The Railroad Commissary


Welcome to The Railroad Commissary's Milwaukee Road / Puget Pattern  supplementary information page. Please feel free to send questions or comments to:  rrcomm@sonic.net    Relevant information, and credits, will be posted.

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Puget Pattern

While many authorities attribute this pattern to the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound Ry., I believe that it was actually a pattern of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul (a.k.a The Milwaukee Road). I base this judgement on research of period documents, all of which point to the fact that the Chicago. Milwaukee & Puget Sound was a "paper" railroad, in other words, one that only existed on stock and bond certificates. It was usual at that time for railroads to incorporate risky extensions under a different corporate shell, so that if the extension went bankrupt, it would not drag down the established railroad system The CM&PS was just the corporate shell under which the CM&StP extended their line to the Pacific coast.

Looking at a 1915 timetable, it was almost exclusively the through trains that carried dining cars, and all were operated as CM&StP / Miilwaukee Road trains. Further, the stores department in Tacoma, Wa., the commissary that would have stocked all western trains was operated as the "CM&StP Puget Sound Lines" - not as an operation of the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound. I contend that this pattern fits right in with other Milwaukee Road patterns. It was a monogram pattern that replaced "St. Paul", just as "Manitoba" replaced "Montana" on the GN - quite a typical progression for railroad china at about the turn of the 20th Century.