Railroad Structures in Wisconsin

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by Cannonshot, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Blueberry Depot Douglas County

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  2. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    Nice thread..... I am retired railroader and enjoy seeing the historical places.

    Here is photo of the dinky engine my grand father operated in Sioux Lookout Ontario. He moved carloads of railway ties from the treating plant.

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  3. Aethlstan

    Aethlstan n00b

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    A friend of mine works at the Cooper Power plant on Lincoln Ave in Waukesha. He says they have been replacing concrete, and that when they dig out the old concrete, they uncover standard gauge rail. Its apparently all throughout the facility.

    Anyone have any information on which rail company owned the building? It was built in 1897 and its right next to the CNW and the TMERL right of ways.

    56 inches is standard gauge, and the deformations in the old concrete are roughly 57 inches apart....

    Attached Files:

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  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    These two outfits joined up in Waukesha around that time. Might be related.

    North Greenfield & Waukesha Electric Railway

    Waukesha Beach Railway
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  5. bazookajoel

    bazookajoel 2014 Suzuki VStrom DL650A

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    I grew up over in that area and have a friend that works there as well. I will ask him about it too..
  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Here is a GPX that has the remaining waypoints in it that haven't already been accounted for in this thread, Might be a reason for some people to take a local ride to take some pix of this stuff and post about it here. Please practice appropriate social distancing measures if visit some of these this season.

    Index by county. Green lettering means they've been reported here.

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    Attached Files:

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  7. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    Alright, let’s do some of these...

    Coaling tower in Iowa County, near Montfort, on the former C&NW ‘Ridge Runner’ branch. Structure sits on land now leased by We Energies along US 18. (I respected the No Trespassing sign.)

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  8. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    Also in Iowa County, in the village of Highland, the remnants of the former Mineral Point & Northern depot.

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    The success of zinc mining in the area led to creation of a second railroad connecting Mineral Point: the Mineral Point & Northern RR. The purpose of this line was to bring zinc from Highland and Linden to the zinc plant in Mineral Point. The MP&N was a colorful, if modest, railroad whose employees furthered the entrepreneurial spirit in the area.

    During the late 1920's, however, the success of zinc manufacturing in Mineral Point declined rapidly. By 1929, the former huge plant there had closed and was dismantled. With the loss of the zinc plant, the MP&N RR saw its fortunes also rapidly deteriorate. The MP&N RR was abandoned in 1930.
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  9. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    Still in Iowa County, in the city of Dodgeville, stands the ex-Illinois Central RR depot and district office. The line left the Freeport, IL-to-Madison secondary mainline near Scioto Mills, IL, and crossed into WI at Martintown.

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    East of Dodgeville, on not surprisingly Twin Bridges Road, is what’s left of a bridge that crossed both a creek, as well as the adjacent road, before joining back up with the raised right-of-way and continuing on towards Hollandale. You can see the super-elevation on the tops of the piers. Proof that this was a significant line, with significant rail, at some point. The line was its own operating district until approximately 1948 or 49 when it became nothing more than a little-used branch. The line would be abandoned sometime in the early-to-mid 1950s.

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  10. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    More Iowa County: Former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific (Milwaukee Road) depot in Mineral Point. Depot is also the terminus for the Cheese Country recreational trail.

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    In better days: Daily mixed-train from Mineral Point, making all the stops to Milwaukee, via Monroe and Janesville. Taken sometime in the mid-1940s.

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    And the end of the line: Last train, operated by the Chicago, Madison & Northern, leaves Mineral Point, circa January 1984. (Depot is visible in the background.) Rails & ties, all the way to Monroe, would be pulled later that summer.

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  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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  12. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    The former village of Dunbarton, in Lafayette County, was served by this depot on what was once the Milwaukee Road’s Gratiot-to-Shullsburg branch. Dunbarton today is but a collection of 3 homes and a farm.

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    Once the ‘hard road’ (Now Hwys P & W) was completed to the village of Apple River, IL (5 mi to the south, and 10 miles from Shullsburg to the west) it spelled the end of this branch, as Apple River was a station stop on the Illinois Central’s Iowa Division mainline. By trucking local goods to and from Apple River, it meant much faster service for items to and from Chicago. Especially items via REA. Although the line survived into the early 1950s, it was once or twice a week service at best for the last several years of its existence.
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  13. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    The village of Gratiot, in Lafayette County, was served by this structure on the Milwaukee Road’s Monroe-to-Platteville branch. Building today serves as storage for the adjacent campground, which serves the Cheese Country trail.

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    Although this segment is commonly known as the Mineral Point branch, this line officially ran west from Monroe to Platteville, with a wye at Calamine where the line split with service to Mineral Point. The segment of the line from Calamine to Platteville was abandoned in 1975, while service to Mineral Point survived into the early 1980s as outlined in a previous post above.
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  14. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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    Still in Lafayette County, and still on the Milwaukee Road’s Monroe-to-Platteville branch, is the city of Darlington with its remaining depot.

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    Path to the right of the building is the former right-of-way now known as the Cheese Country Trail.

    In not-so-better days of 1978, an eastbound train is seen approaching the depot with no ballast in sight.
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  15. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck Super Moderator Supporter

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  16. PlowHand

    PlowHand Ancient, ugly and happy :-)

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    Great photos/info of rail history/life. I can’t put my finger on it but I feel like something is missing...

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    Ahhh, now I feel better. :-)
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  17. Dave in Wi

    Dave in Wi Long timer

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    Cannonshot this isn’t one of your tagged locations but I thought you’d find this interesting.

    This was a wooden bridge over railroad tracks in Marquette County, west of Montello. It has since been replaced with a “real” bridge and the road rerouted slightly.

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  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Indeed. If it is railroad related, people would be interested. I remember those old steep wooden bridges from my younger years. Seems like they are pretty much gone (or closed) now.

    I should probably include this post from my wildland fire ride report (July 2019).


    I mentioned that I rode by the steam shop the Union Pacific has in Cheyenne and that they restored the Big Boy locomotive. That locomotive and it's train are on tour right now in the midwest. A friend and I stopped to see the rig when it paused for 45 minutes in a small town in SE WI. This engine was decommissioned for 60 years. Two years of restoration brought it back.

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    It was very hot standing next to the firebox.
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  19. Zephyr20

    Zephyr20 Adventurer Supporter

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    Here is the Presidential Caboose in Cuba City, down in southern Grant County

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  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Iowa County Ridgeway Depot

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