Milwaukee Road’s beer line

11Oct12

TRACKS OF A BYGONE ERA MADE BLUE COLLAR DREAMS COME TRUE

The once mighty Milwaukee Road spanned 16 states with 10,000 miles of track and boasted some of the most avant-garde streamlined passenger cars of the railroad era. But its busiest branch was the Beer Line, a freight track that served all the big breweries and many of Milwaukee’s industrial champions. The Beer Line encircled the city’s black community with a throbbing corridor of industry. Like the railroad, the thriving factories relied on African-American labor. And, like the railroad, many of these factories went out of business as the ’60s turned into the ’70s.

For a detailed look at this full-page graphic, please click here to view a PDF. This is a heavy file, so it might take a while to load the PDF.

Graphic by Alfred Elicierto, published in the Milwuaukee Journal Sentinel in 2005. Research by Steven Potter; original map references by Bob Kwas and Art Harnack; file photos from the Journal Sentinel archives.

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