Spokane International Railroad

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This page was last updated on August 19, 2015.

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October 6, 1958
"Union Pacific acquired the Spokane International running between Spokane and Eastport, Idaho, giving UP a connection with the Canadian pacific Railway." (Update Line, Union Pacific Communications Department, October 9, 1997, "This Week In UP History")

From a summary of Spokane International written by John Weatherby, Union Pacific Public Relations, September 14, 1975:

The Spokane International Railroad was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad on October 6, 1958, and began operating under Union Pacific management on January 1, 1959 as a subsidiary line.

Since that time, improvements have been constantly undertaken to increase the efficiency of the line's operations and facilities.

Original locomotives on the SIRR have been integrated into the Union Pacific locomotive fleet. All of the locomotives have been re-identified with Union Pacific numbers and colors. Locomotives presently in use on the SI are of the 2000 and 1500 HP class. Switch engines on the SI are primarily 1000-HP rated.

Basic train operations are continuing much the same on the SI as when the Union Pacific took over. Beyond this, a number of improvements have been made to increase the efficiency of operation on the line. Rail weighing 131 and 133 lbs. per yard have been laid, replacing all the original 72-lb rail on the SI main line. In 1974 alone, 42 miles of heavier rail was installed on the 140-mile SI which runs between Spokane and Eastport, Idaho on the Canadian border. In the same year 225,000 cubic yards of crushed ballast was spread over the entire length of the line from Spokane to Eastport. During the same period, 80,000 cross ties were installed.

Since the UP takeover of the SI, new radio and micro-wave communications systems to mesh with the UP communications network were installed on the SI Railroad, and original SI telegraph lines have been retired. UP computer based COIN II, (Complete Operation Information Network) facilities have been installed at Eastport, Sandpoint and Spokane to serve the SI.

Clerical forces of the SI were consolidated with Union Pacific forces. Maintenance of Way and engine service forces are still separate. Traffic on the SI has steadily increased since it came under control of Union Pacific.

TRAINS Magazine:

  • June, 1956, p.18 History and operation.

RAILROAD Magazine:

  • March, 1949, p. 100, Roster of Motive Power
  • August, 1962, p. 29, Roster of Motive Power
  • January, 1965, p. 63, Roster of Motive Power
  • December, 1967, p. 48, Roster of Motive Power