Sheep are unloaded from the upper level of a Wisconsin Central stock car in Chicago in 1904.

(Chicago Daily News, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Wisconsin Central logo


The Wisconsin Central Railway Company was created in 1897 when the Wisconsin Central Railroad (1871–99) was reorganized from bankruptcy. In 1954, it reverted to the name Wisconsin Central Railroad Company. The railroad was merged into the Soo Line Railroad in 1961.


A map of the Wisconsin Central in 1901.

(Wisconsin Central Railway, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



After a proposed merger with Northern Pacific Railway fell through in 1908, Wisconsin Central was leased by the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, the "Old" Soo Line, in 1909. Controlling interest in the Soo Line, along with Wisconsin Central, was held by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Wisconsin Central entered receivership in 1932, declared bankruptcy in 1944, and finally re-emerged from administration in 1954 as the Wisconsin Central Railroad. It was entirely merged into the new Soo Line Railroad in 1961,  which acquired the Milwaukee Road in 1985 and was absorbed into the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1990.


Waupaca Railroad Depot.

(Postcard 1910, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Waupaca Railroad Depot

Waupaca Railroad Depot originally called the Wisconsin Central Depot and later the Soo Line Depot. It was built in 1907 for the Wisconsin Central Railway and is located in Waupaca, Wisconsin. The former Soo Line Railroad depot is one of Waupaca's historical landmarks. The building was purchased by the Waupaca Historical Society in 2004, and restoration of the building and site began. In 1998 the building's site was recognized by the Wisconsin Historical Society.


The depot was built in 1907 by the Wisconsin Central Railway. The Soo Line Railroad leased the depot. In the early 1900s the depot helped Waupaca, Wisconsin become a center of the potato industry.

Passenger train service to the Waupaca station ended on January 15, 1965, when the Soo Line Laker between Chicago and the Twin Cities or Duluth was discontinued.

In 2019 it was reported that a filmmaker was developing a documentary of the restoration process.


Architectural elements

The building is one story with a stone foundation. The building was constructed with sandstone. The roof is covered with tiles. The total area of the building is 27x70. There is a granite exterior with a cantilevered roof overhang.

General information
Location: 525 Oak Street Waupaca, WI 54981
Coordinates: 44.36235°N 89.07791°W
Architectural style: Neoclassical
Opened: 1907
Closed: January 15, 1965
Rebuilt: 2004
Original company: Wisconsin Central Railway



Locale: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois
Dates of operation: 1897–1961
Predecessor: Wisconsin Central Railroad (1871–99)
Successor: Soo Line Railroad
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge