The Luce Line Railroad

The Luce Line Railroad ran between Minneapolis and Gluek, MN, 115 miles to the west. Originally intended to extend west into Brookings, SD, the small town of Gluek would be the end of the line. Construction began in the 1910's, with the entirety of the line to Gluek complete in 1927. (Right of way)

It was named the Luce Line, as its main proprietors were the Luce family.

"The Luce Line was built relatively late in comparison to other lines and serviced already-established cities. For this reason, it did not create new rural communities." (MNOpedia)

"Luce Line passenger train to Lake Lillian. Image is from the Lake Lillian News, ca. 1930–1939."

The family encountered financial difficulty and divested the line to the larger Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railway almost immediately after the line was completed. 

With the advent and buildup of the road system in Minnesota, there was less of a need for passenger service, and freight trains faced stiff competition in the overbuilt Midwest region. As such, the line was purchased by the Minneapolis & St. Louis, who was then purchased by the Chicago & Northwestern in 1960.

East of Plymouth, MN, the line is still in service. West of Plymouth, the line was abandoned by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway in 1972, although much of the right of way survives as the Luce Line Trail.

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