Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Flambeau 400

The Chicago and North Western's most famous train, the Twin Cities 400, was introduced in 1935 to compete with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy's Zephyrs and the Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas. This train was named because it traveled the 400 miles between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul in 400 minutes.

The Flambeau 400 was devised to transport the new American middle class in the Chicago area to their leisure time in northern Wisconsin. Starting in 1935, the earlier trains were called "The Flambeau," which operated on basically the same tracks as later trains did, except it skipped Green Bay and ran through Hortonville to Eland, which by 1937 was switched to run through Green Bay. In July 1949 the Flambeau was integrated with the Shoreland 400 and the Valley 400.  Between Chicago and Green Bay they were one train, past Green Bay they would be independent trains. Therefore the northbound trains would go via Fond du Lac, and southbound would go via Manitowoc.

Then starting in 1950 it received the new name, Flambeau 400, drawing its name from the Twin Cities 400.   For many years, it saw heavy tourist traffic, but by May 1968, it was losing thousands of dollars for the line.  The last Flambeau rolled out of the north woods on January 5, 1971.  Amtrak did not include Green Bay and Ashland in its initial route structure and the service ended for good on May 1, 1971, thereby ending passenger service to Neenah-Menasha as well.
a 1968 timetable shows the daily service to Neenah-Menasha


  1. Correct name for C&NW is Chicago and North Western, NOT Northwestern. Thanks!