Founded in 1883 by Minneapolis millers, and known originally as the Minneapolis and then the Saint Paul & Sault Ste. Marie, the Soo Line railway derived its name from the pronunciation of “Sault.” The Soo Line was built to provide a shorter, cheaper route for western grain to the eastern seaboard; it was later expanded to Emerson, Manitoba. By 1894 the line was completed to North Portal, Estevan, Weyburn, and Moose Jaw. The Soo Line accelerated growth in southeast Saskatchewan and brought American settlers to the area. In 1961, it absorbed the Wisconsin Central and the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic, creating the “new” Soo Line, with 8,000 miles (12,875 km) of track and 7,600 employees. The railway was restructured, so that by 2001 it had 3,200 miles (5,150 km) of track, about 3,000 employees, and was a wholly owned subsidiary of the CPR. The Soo Line has been known as the “little jewel” because of its profitability.