Mobridge Car Seal Records 1942-1943

Mobridge late 1950s

Mobridge (station number 7000) in the mid to late 1950s.  From a Mobridge In History Facebook post.

MILW Car Seal Record Mobridge 7-18 to 8-31-1942
MILW Car Seal Record Mobridge 8-31 to 10-23-1942
MILW Car Seal Record Mobridge 10-23-1942 to 1-11-1943

Mobridge, SD (station 7000) was located on the Milwaukee’s transcontinental route.  These car seal record books document the boxcar and reefer shipments passing through Mobridge during World War II.  Destination, contents, train number, time, carman inspecting, and the track the train was yarded are all included.  Other railroads and some large shippers had their own car seals (such as Schlitz) so information about origins can be sometimes be gleaned as well.  There are also checks of cars set out in the yard.  The crush of war related traffic is well represented by this sample.


Train 263 was the longtime westbound train from Chicago to the West Coast.  At this time it was usually running in two sections.  Cars are destined for stations such as Spokane (station 8097), Seattle (8371) and Tacoma (8390).  However, the biggest source of traffic was military related traffic as described below.

If anyone has a Milwaukee Road station number book from this era, please consider sharing it.  It would be very helpful.  Thanks!

Fairchild Airforce Base (Station 8089)

Much of the westbound traffic is bound for station 8089, Cheney Washington, destined for the Fairchild Air Force Base which was constructed in 1942.  War materiel such as guns, powder, and tents are included, but there are many more carloads of more mundane supplies such as merchandise, canned goods, beer, liquor, and candy.

A Mystery Military Facility (Station 7753)

Another big destination for westbound explosives, shells, merchandise, furniture, and foodstuffs was station 7753.  This one is a mystery to me.  By station number, it could be east of Deer Lodge (station 7757, the next stations to the east are Gravel Pit at 7750 and  Sinclair at 7748).  Or it could be west of Great Falls on the Agawam branch between Dracut (station 7749) and Ashuelot (station 7755).  However, neither location seems to be correct.  Given the rather haphazard station numbering scheme, it could be somewhere completely unrelated.  If anyone knows, please let me know.


Train 264 is the eastbound through train to Chicago, and runs in two sections like 263.  Commodities include copper, zinc, rubber, and some perishable traffic.  I am unable to determine many of the destinations, but Chicago should be station 0, Milwaukee station 85, and the Twin Cities is probably TC-2.  

Train 98 is the wayfreight terminating at Mobridge from points west, and appropriately is almost entirely wheat and barley.  Most of this traffic is destined for the Twin Cities with a small portion bound for Milwaukee.