This branch of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway (subsidiary of the Chicago & North Western) extended from Hudson just east of St. Paul, MN, on the still-active Union Pacific mainline from St. Paul to Milwaukee, through Turtle Lake, Spooner, Hayward, Benoit, Ashland Junction, Washburn, and ending at Bayfield, WI. A short branch extended from Ashland Jct to Ashland, WI. This was the route of Namekagon, a three car doodlebug train.
Today, only the Hayward to Hayward Junction section (connecting with the ex-Soo Line main line to the west of Hayward) is in use today for revenue service. The section between Spooner and Hayward Junction has been preserved as the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad. The WGNR offers passenger excursions between Spooner and Springbrook along the Namekagon River. Spooner was once a major hub of the Omaha Road, located at the center of the "Omaha X". The majority of the remainder of the line was abandoned in the late 1970s and early 1980s.