Construction began on this line in 1907 and completed between Brooten and the crossing over the Mississippi at Blanchard Dam approximately 3 miles east of Bowlus, MN, later that year. The following year saw the line extend from the Mississippi crossing to Moose lake in Carlton County, with final construction on the line to Duluth ending in 1909.
The line was heavily used and primarily saw freight movements between western Minnesota and the ports in Duluth in order to get to the eastern markets.
The line was shut down in 1990, and abandoned in 1993. Nearly all of this grade is still intact as it was when the railroad abandoned it with the exception of missing rails and ties, which were removed around 1996.
Towns along the line were:
- New Munich
- (Mississippi River)
- Moose Lake
- Pleasant Valley
- Saunders Junction (Wisconsin)