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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    Looking forward to you sharing some of your insight from time to time!
    #41
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Okauchee Depot

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    This depot was built in the 1880s.

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    The structure was moved into town in the 1950s and remodeled as a dwelling. Personally, I think the old overhang was nice.

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    #42
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Ashland Soo Line Depot

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    Wisconsin Central built this depot about 1900. It was pretty elegant. It was last used for passenger service in the 1960s.

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    The depot stayed empty until 1987 when it was restored. In 2001 it was severley damaged by fire. The private owner had enough insurance to cover the mortgage but not to rebuild. The burned building was given to a non-profit that eventually put $2.5M into restoring the building.

    How it looked before the fire.

    How it looked with fire damage.

    How it looked when I photographed it on my Lake Superior ride.

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    #43
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Allenton

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    A picture of the original depot.

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    In 1912 there was a monster train wreck here. A late running train was hauling ass when it broke a rail and derailed.

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    Here is an article about it from a newspaper that was around back then.

    SPEEDING TRAIN LEAVES THE TRACK

    Soo Express is Wrecked at Allenton This Morning

    ESCAPES ARE MIRACULOUS
    Chicago to Minneapolis Train Hits Broken Rail With Disastrous Results - Seven People Hurt.

    LIST OF INJURED.
    Edward Lueloff, Colby, Wis., slight scalp wound.
    Louis Lueloff, Curtis, Wis., contusions in region of back.
    T. F. McGee, Minneapolis, foot bruised and back hurt.
    R. Mayers, member of train crew, Chicago, bruised.
    T. J. Kelly, porter on buffet car, Chicago, bruised about ribs.
    Carl Arnold, mail clerk, Chicago, left wrist hurt.

    While traveling at a rate of 55 miles an hour, the Chicago and Minneapolis Express on the Soo line, leaving Chicago at 2:15 a. m. and due in this city at 6:31 a. m. was wrecked at the south end of the house track near the Allenton station at 6:40 o'clock this morning, six cars, including a sleeper, buffet car, two passenger coaches, a mail car and a baggage car leaving the track, two of them, the sleeper and the mail car overturning in the ditch.

    The wreck was caused by a broken rail, according to information furnished by division officials at North Fond du Lac this morning. It is believed that the rail broke after the heavy locomotive had passed over it, for the locomotive and tank did not, leave the track, only the rear trucks on the tank being off.

    That the train crew and passengers, escaped without serious injury is declared by the railroad officials to be remarkable. The speeding train jolted over the ties for its entire length before coming to a stop. The locomotive and tank broke loose from the train and traveled several train lengths before being brought to a stop.

    News of the wreck was flashed to the division offices at North Fond du Lac by the Allenton operator and at 7:25 o'clock an equipment special carrying surgeons from this city pulled out of the city station, closely followed by the wrecking train. The equipment special and the wrecker arrived at Allenton at 8:20 o'clock.

    There were forty-six passengers on No. 1 when it pulled out of Chicago at 2:15 o'clock this morning. The train was in charge of Conductor George Whitely of Chicago, formerly of Fond du Lac was the fireman.

    At the time of the wreck, the train was 48 minutes late and was running at a high rate of speed to make up some of the lost time. The passengers in the sleeping car were astir when the derailment took place.

    To the fact that the mail car was one of the new steel type cars recently put in service on the Soo is due to escape of Arnold and Gough, the mail clerks, from serious injury if not death. The crew in the baggage car also had a narrow escape, as the heavy trucks at the back end of the car were hurled through floor and roof when the car bounded over the ties. All of the cars suffered the loss of the trucks. Seven people wee slightly injured in the affair.

    Traine [sic] on the Soo was delayed for an hour and a half when the passing track was cleared and the trains sent around the wreck on the main line.

    Superintendent C. M. Winter, who was in Chicago when the wreck took place, was reached from the offices at North Fond du Lac by wire and acquainted with the affair. Mr. Winter left Chicago on a special and upon his arrival at the wreck, took charge of affairs.

    One of the passengers on the wreck train, who came to this city on the equipment special at 10:15 a. m. declared that he was seated in the buffet car looking out of a window when the cars began to sway and bound around in a manner to strike terror among the occupants. Although it was only seconds, it seemed hours before the sickening lurching and bounding about stopped and there was a mad rush for the door. Upon getting out of the car, the passengers found the train off the track, while the sleeper and mail car were lying on their side in a shallow ditch.

    At first it was feared that the occupants of the two overturned cars had been killed, but investigation showed that beyond a few bruises and cuts, the wreck was without any serious results, so far as the passengers and train crew were concerned.

    Story of a Passenger.
    Oshkosh, Wis., Oct. 24 - George Athearn was the only Oshkosh resident on the "Soo" train that was wrecked early this morning at Allenton. He was in the sleeper with eleven other passengers, and although this car turned over, he was not injured in the slightest.

    In speaking of the accident this morning, Mr. Ahern said:"It doesn't seem possible that the fifty-seven passengers on the train all escaped without broken bones. Nobody was seriously injured. The wreck was caused by a defective rail. The engine and tender got over it all right, but, the coaches were tossed off. The mail car turned completely over. The baggage car landed on its side and the trucks of the mail car went through the smoking car, hitting it broadside. The sleeper bumped along on the ties and the right-of-way before it turned over.

    Had Narrow Escape.
    "There was a lady and her child in a lower berth, and they were on the underside when the car turned over, but neither was injured. It took some time for all of the people to get out of the wrecked cars and coaches, and while this was in progress everyone felt that a desperate situation would confront them when they were released, but as I said, nobody was badly hurt."

    Accident Unavoidable.
    Mr. Athearn got a severe shaking up, but he was non the worse for the accident at noon. He regards the accident as being unavoidable and says the "Soo" company handled the situation admirably in every particular.

    Daily Commonwealth, Fond du Lac WI 24 Oct 1912

    A train passed while I was there.

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    The depot would have been along here. This big grain operation replaced it.

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    Welded joint on this rail - silky smooth. On the opposite rail was a noisy bolted joint that had a contraction gap that really hammered loudly as the wheels hit it.

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    Thermite welding a rail.

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    Buildings that were here at the time of the 1912 wreck.

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    #44
  5. Blue Mule

    Blue Mule Persistent Slacker Supporter

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    #45
  6. Blue Mule

    Blue Mule Persistent Slacker Supporter

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    not on topic entirely, but a bit of family history.

    my grandfather was an engineer on the railroad. heres a ticket for my grandparents.

    [​IMG]IMG_0009 by GB-Dan, on Flickr

    a pic of my grandfather on some new rail near Peshtigo.

    [​IMG]IMG_0005 by GB-Dan, on Flickr
    #46
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Cool stuff Dan! :thumb
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  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Slinger Depot

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    Slinger recently suffered a train wreck just east of the depot.

    $3.1M in damages.
    4,000 gallons of fuel spilled from a locomotive.

    The CN and Wisconsin & Southern tracks cross here in kind of an odd configuration.

    After the Wisconsin & Southern train of two locomotives and 64 freight cars cleared the CN track, the engineer decided to back up the entire train to pick up a crew member at the rail crossing. He ended up backing the train too far and across the CN track.

    A southbound CN train with three locomotives and 98 freight cars had already gotten the green, proceeded on at 38 mph, and struck the other train. All three CN locomotives and four freight cars derailed. CN suffered $1.86M in equipment damage and $1.1M in track damage.

    W&S suffered $219,833 in damage involving five derailed freight cars.

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    #48
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Jefferson Junction

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    Maintenance building at the intersection of two tracks.

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    This mega-sized grain operation is relevant to the railroad here.

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    This is the diamond at the intersection of the two rail lines. Diamonds take a beating. Note the close spacing of the ties. They are also hard on train wheels and the beating is quite noisy as trains pass.

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    Some supplies are stocked here. In the foreground are some materials for constructing a highway crossing.

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    Railroad ties. Ties are generally spaced 19.5 inches on center which results in about 3,249 ties per mile. With over 212,000 miles of railroad track that means there are close to 700M ties in the US. Somewhere around 93-94% of those are wood. Some other ties are concrete, composite, or steel. When concrete ties first came out there were some problems. The current pre-stressed models are great and are in use on some major mainlines.

    In one recent year, major railroads replaced a total of 15M+ ties. A little over 14M of those were new wood ties, about a half a mil were second hand wood ties, and less than half a mil were ties other than wood. The industry can produce about 20-22M ties per year. Seems like I read that standard wooden ties cost around $100 each. Concrete is at least twice that. Steel and composite ties are in-between those values.

    Ties are mostly made of hardwood with maybe 4-6% softwood being used. They are treated to resist insects, water, plants, rot, and the like. Ballast helps drain water away from the ties. Different compounds are used for treating the ties based on the conditions where the tie will be in place. In fact, the country is generally divided into regions that account for conditions relevant to tie longevity so that the appropriate tie is used. There are so many variables it is difficult to predict the life of a tie as a general rule.

    There is a lot to this tie business - much more than I can touch on here.

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    #49
  10. Poweranger

    Poweranger Long timer Supporter

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    Cannon I'd like to add a little to your excellent report on ties. They used to add a date spike to some ties when they were replaced in order to help decide the life of the tie for replacement. I have found some date spikes on old secondary lines I worked 20 or so years ago. Some of these old lines are not even in use anymore and have been torn up. Some of the date spikes I found were from the early 1900's. I will see if I can find them and post up some pics. I am not sure when they stopped using them but I am guessing it was in the 30's-40's.

    http://pages.uindy.edu/~oaks/DateNailInfo.htm
    #50
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    I remember seeing them when I was a kid. :thumb

    Here is a link to an article I read on date nails. There are a few pix and some good info in it.


    Concrete ties.

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    Wood ties being slid into position.

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    Composite ties.

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    Got to see an operation like this in person before. Pretty impressive set up. Spread the rails, drop in a tie, put it back together - all while on the move.

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    #51
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Granville Replica Station

    For some reason this truck wash and chrome shop was built as a replica depot in Granville.

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    There once was a depot in Granville. It is gone now.

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    Next time you need some you need some chrome for your rig or a truck wash, stop in and check it out.

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    #52
  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Hartford Depot

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    Local National Guard troops on their way to Camp Douglas.

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    Not much left in Hartford today. This may have been the freight depot or a portion of the passenger depot but it has been added on to and modified.

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    #53
  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Jackson Depot

    The depot has been moved from trackside to a park.

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    Back in 1872, Jackson was one of three small hamlets in the area. When the railroad came through the area, a local landowner had the foresight to donate some land for a depot. Another nearby town hemmed and hawed about a donation and lost out to Jackson due to their indecisiveness.

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    Once Jackson got the train stop, the landowner saw where he could profit from his gift of land for the depot. He built a general store, saloon, and a grain elevator. Things took off from there with the railroad being responsible for much of the economic development of the town with more and more businesses coming into being. Students used to commute to school by train to West Bend. Milk was hauled along the line as well.

    Now the depot, which was relocated to a village park, is used by the Boy Scouts.

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    #54
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    West Bend Depot

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    The railroad came through in 1873. The CNW built this depot in 1900. It replaced a freight depot that was moved off the site to a position behind this building.

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    In 1934, FDR made a train stop here. He drew a big crowd.

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    A lot of people going in the service for the WWI and WWII passed through here. As I mentioned earlier, some students from Jackson rode the train to West Bend to go to school.

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    #55
  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Menomonee Falls Depot

    Relocated to a museum park.

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    The depot was built in 1890, the year the railroad came to town. The depot handle four passenger and freight trains daily. Local products like lime, stone, ice, milk, and sugar beets were shipped out of here. When the depot was restored in the museum park and rededicated in 1980, the last station master donated a telegraphers key and timetable. High school industrial arts classes built display cases for the facility.

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    #56
  17. papalobster

    papalobster With Gusto!

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    When ma died I ended up with a pile of pictures. I found a few relevant to discussion. They are of equipment more than the structure. My father worked for the C&NW and retired from the Union Pacific. One uncle retired from C&NW out of Green Bay another worked at the Soo Line/Wisconsin Central in North Fond du Lac. My Grandfather retired as an engineer from the C&NW before I was born, but I still here stories of Grandpa Cliff running his traplines through Eldorado Marsh on his run to the grain storage facilities to the west, I think he ran from Fondy to Wisconsin Rapids IIRC.

    Dad worked in the switch yards in NFDL and Sheboygan Finally getting promoted to Engineer not much before retirement.

    There is a lot of memorabilia within the family, and if there's interest I can get some pictures of this stuff.

    Here's a few pics of the North Fond du Lac Roundhouse. Used to walk around there when I was younger.
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    I'm guessing these were taken in the late 70's:lol3
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    #57
  18. Doctor Zed

    Doctor Zed Resident

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    Interesting thread.

    My dad worked as a Switchman for C&NW in Butler until about 1990.
    I should see if he had any pictures our stories I could share.
    In other train news my grandfather helped build the train at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
    #58
  19. papalobster

    papalobster With Gusto!

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    Weird, I know mine drove to Butler on occasion but am unsure of the dates. Mid 80's comes to mind though.
    #59
  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Great stuff guys! Those background stories and old pictures compliment the site visits we are visiting and reporting about. Lots of good stuff around FDL and Adam the Butler yard is on the list to be visited and photographed. Looking forward to more! :thumb
    #60