Railroad: Escanaba and Lake Superior railroad (new)

The Escanaba & Lake Superior railroad was organized in 1900 and built their main line from Wells to Channing in northern Dickenson county). A connection was also built in 1901 between Wells and Escanaba where the E&LS established a station and freight facilities. Wells was the railroad's headquarters and they also had their shops there. This railroad was constructed mainly for logging purposes, but began hauling ore under a trackage rights agreement with the Milwaukee Road. This lasted until the depression era when MILW and C&NW pooled their resources and began shipping only via the C&NW.

The E&LS main line still exists in its entirety, but it is used to store unused railcars.

In 1980, the former MILW lines in Michigan were purchased by the E&LS or the State of Michigan (E&LS operator), as well as lines to and north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. They also maintain trackage rights on the CN (former Soo Line main line) from Wells to Pembine which gives them a connection with their line to Green Bay.

Built and purchasedEscanaba & Lake Superior RRActive

Built: 1900 from Wells to Channing.

Purchased: In 1980 from the Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul & Pacific, lines north of Green Bay, Wisconsin and in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

Became: Active corporation

Reference: [MRRC]

xxxxxxxxPhoto Info/Credit: E&LS no. 18 is photographed at the Wells shops in the 1940's. {Jim Tarbell photo, Doug Leffler collection].

Began operating line of the Milwaukee Road in Michigan in1980. Some lines sold to State of Michigan in 1982-83 but still operate.


1968. The Hanna Mining Company purchases the Escanaba & Lake Superior railroad (between Wells and Channing) through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Wells Randville, Inc.. The company is planning for use of the E&LS as an ore road - which it used to be - to the point of optioning a site for a dock in Wells, a suburb of Escanaba, and of asking the Michigan Conservation Department for permission to cross state forest lands with a spur track from the Groveland Mine at Randville to the nearest E&LS trackage at Ralph, a distance of about 14 miles. The C&NW complained to the ICC that Hanna "through the device of numerous affiliated and subsidiary corporations was unlawfully acquiring control and management of two or more carriers (railroads) subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, in violation of the Interstate Commerce Act and the Clayton Act." The two companies, behind the scenes, continue to negotiate an arrangement where the C&NW would continue to haul Hanna ore from the Menominee Range to Escanaba. [EDP-1968-0419]