In the 1870ís the St. Paul built rapidly, once again with some help from a financial panic, the one that came in 1873.
By 1872, the second line was opened to the Twin Cities. This one, which followed the Mississippi River from St. Paul to La Crosse, came with the acquisition of the St. Paul & Chicago Railway. Also in 1872, the M&StP completed and opened a line between Milwaukee and Chicago.
By that time, Chicago clearly was becoming a major city and, to reflect this, the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway in 1874 changed its name to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company.
The railroad grew rapidly, either by construction of lines or acquisition, as the 1870ís passed.
In 1879, the company formally acquired the Western Union railroad, which had been under Mitchellís control since 1869. The Western Union gave access to the Mississippi River by a route that went from Racine through Beloit to Savanna, Ill. The company then reached Savanna from a different direction in 1880, when the Chicago & Pacific was acquired, a line that ran straight west from Chicago to Savanna.
By the end of 1880, the Milwaukee had 3,775 miles of completed road (compared to only 1,412 three years earlier) and had 425 locomotives, 319 pieces of passenger equipment and more than 13,000 freight cars. As nearly as we can confirm, it was in 1880 that the company first adopted the familiar tilted rectangle trademark that is still used in a form similar to the original.
...all rail-roads lead to Chicago!