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Don's Rail Photos

 Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific

Stations and Towers


At Milwaukee, the Teutonic splendor of the Guild Hall which served as a station can be somewhat appreciated by these trackside views.

Old postcards show the glory of the Milwaukee station.

This beautiful building was disfigured when the tower was truncated, but the final blow came when it burned.

A block to the south of the depot was the Fowler Street Freight House. This is where I began my railroad "career" on May 4, 1949. I stayed here until September when I got a promotion as 2nd trick chief crew caller at Muskego Yard.

The Milwaukee Terminal Division headquarters were in the Muskego Yard office. It was replaced shortly after this picture was taken. The yardmaster was enthroned on the second floor. The Superintendent had his office at the near end of the building where the only clean window can be seen. My office was just inside the covered entrance near the other end of the building. This building was just below the Mitchell Park Conservatory at 27th Street on the south side of the valley. I left here later in 1950 for a 3rd trick demurrage clerk job at A.O.Smith in North Milwaukee as it paid more.

After a winter at North Milwaukee, I bid on a relief job on the south side of Milwaukee since I lived there. Two days a week I would work the Mitchell Belt, another two days put me at Stowell which was the GTW interchange, and Saturday found me at Upper Canal. We had coal piles and packing plants all around so that we got filthy and smelly at the same time. Shortly after I took the picture, I was promoted to the Traffic Department, where I was expected to wear a suit and tie. What a change.

Merrill Park was the first station west of Milwaukee, about 3 miles, which was also the entrance to the Milwaukee shops.  The depot was built some time after 1880.  It was closed and torn down in late 1929.  The 35th Street Viaduct was built in 1933.

The Milwaukee Road shops were referred as West Milwaukee which was actually in Milwaukee.  The early view was taken from the bluffs north of the valley.  In the distance is the Wood Soldiers' Home which is actually in West Milwaukee.  I can remember visiting the place and seeing the old guys.  I now realize that a bunch of them were Spanish War and the younger guys came from WW1. 

On the Milwaukee Division, 1st District, Milwaukee was Mile Post 85.7.

At MP 84.3 there was a "suburban station" at National Avenue which was listed as Allis since it was next to the E P Allis Company before it became Allis-Chalmers Co.  The tracks were raised and the new station was set up under the tracks.  It was closed in the 1920s and it was given to the Milwaukee Union Terminal RR model club in the 1930s.  The club was started by Bill Walthers and Al Kalmbach.  I was the president of the club in the late 1950s before I left.  It is still there and I got a Google view in 2013.  That is around 80 years or so.

Another two blocks south was the Washington Street Tower which was manned by C&NW. This tower controlled the crossing of the Milwaukee Road with the Madison Division which cut off from the main line at this point. It also controlled access to the yards in the area. It was the busiest tower in Milwaukee with over 50 moves in each shift. The operator was classed as a Train Director. I was the youngest and only extra man qualified for this tower. It's gone.

I had the chance to take some photos from the tower from time to time.  We received a picture which is taken from the exact spot where I took a picture.  The tracks from the right lower to the middle are the Milwaukee Road tracks.  The tracks from the left lower to the left are the C&NW main line and tracks from the left to upper right are the C&NW Madison lines.

A little ways south of Washington Street, the line crossed the Kinnickinnic River on a swing bridge. The operator was in the little shed hung on the side of the bridge. Here is F-6 4-6-4 134 with Train 45 crossing the bridge.

MP 77.9, at Lake there was a tower and an agency. There is still a Western Union sign on the station in this photo.

MP 72.8, was Oakwood.

The next tower down the line was A68. It was 68 miles from Chicago. I always thought this was a neat sight to see a single story tower built on top of a cut.

MP 66.2  Many cars of sauerkraut were shipped out of Franksville.

MP 61.8  At Sturtevant, trains for Kansas City turned west. The Milwaukee Division, 2nd District, actually started in Racine to the east. It crossed the 1st District with a wye. Just north of the station was a main line coaling tower. And on the east side of the track was a real gem of a hotel. I had to add an extra photo to show these. Prior to the 1920s, the station was named Corliss because the manufacturer of stationery steam engines was located here. The station is now an Amtrak stop and is near the location of the Western Union Junction Museum.

MP 32.3  The Milwaukee crossed the EJ&E at Rondout. Just overhead was the bridge carrying the North Shore Line branch to Mundelein, but it was gone by the time the picture was taken.

A little farther south in Techny, was Tower A20. The Chicago Division line to Bensenville took off from here. The tower is now gone.

Chicago Union Station was the headquarters of the company   It was begun in 1874 and included Pennsylvania RR, Chicago Burlington & Quincy, Michigan Central, Chicago & Alton, and Milwaukee Road but Michigan Central dropped out before it was opened.  A new station was built beginning in 1913 and opened in 1925.  It was completed in 1927.  When I worked for REA, I spent a lot of time at the regional offices several blocks south of the station.

Milwaukee Division, 2nd District, was the Southwestern. The main line headed west from Sturtevant. At Burlington the line crossed the Wisconsin Central.

On the south side of Clinton, it crossed the C&NW at a joint station named Clinton Junction.

Beloit was the next major station.

Rockton was about 5 miles south and into Illinois.

The Freeport station seems small for this city.

The R&SW also included a branch to a cluster of branches out of Ladd which served the mining communities in that area. Ladd was the hub. Notice the "mountain" behind the station. It's tailings from a mine.

There was a small engine terminal at Ladd. The tail track of the wye was the branch to Cherry.

To get to Ladd, the Milwaukee had trackage rights over the Chicago Burlington & Quincy between Flagg Center and Steward Junction. Here is the Burlington station at Steward Junction.

Milwaukee Division, 3rd District , was the old Northern Division. This was the old main line to the west as far as Portage where it joined the new main line.

Grand Avenue Tower was the junction to the North Division and the Lacrosse and River Division.  The bridge is the Wisconsin Avenue which was Grand Avenue in the 1920s and in the back is the Milwaukee Electric Wells Street trestle.

At North Avenue, there was a station and freight house.  The station was long gone but the freight house is still there.

At North Milwaukee, the tower handled the junction with the Superior Division. Note that there are double train order signal blades.

There was a branch from Granville to North Lake and was closed.  Half way is Sussex.  There were 3 depots there and no connections.  The old C&NW station is a museum and the Wisconsin Central depot is long gone.  I found an old piece of film with a lousy picture of the Milwaukee station.

One of the first stations was Menomonee Falls.

A little farther was Germantown.

Not far away is Richfield.

At Slinger, the line crossed the Wisconsin Central and had a joint depot. Notice the different train order signals on the far side of the station. From this point, WC trains would have trackage rights into Milwaukee.

This is the station at Rubicon. We can add nothing to that statement.

There were several branches including one to Fond du Lac which left the main line at Iron Ridge. Note the extra train order signal.

Horicon became a major station on the Wisconsin & Southern.

One of the stations on the Fond du Lac branch was Brownsville.

There was a branch from Ripon and there was a station at MP 6, Rush Lake Junction,

Berlin was at MP 12.8 and has a nice station where it is now being promoted for various events.

Here is L-2 2-8-2 657 passing Randolph.

On the LaCrosse & River Division, the first station out of Milwaukee was Wauwatosa. The old station was torn down after the war and a new and modern structure was built. Behind my back was the terminal for the Milwaukee trolley cars to Wauwatosa, and within a block was the garage where Al Kalmbach got his start in the publishing business.

The Airline was a bypass route from the main yards in the valley.  Freight moved on the Airline to Brookfield.  It became a trail now.  On the route. there was a special station at the Soldiers Home which was one side of a hall which did great shows.  The rail side was obviously a station.

The main line of the Wisconsin Central (thatís the old Whiskey Central) is crossed at Duplainville. The tower was built in 1929 to replace an older tower which burned on January 1, 1929.  The last tower was torn down in 1987 to allow a new connection.  The diamond was then controlled from Milwaukee.

With the many people who would go to the lakes, Pewaukee had a large depot. Note the sign at the right edge of the picture advertising Milwaukee Solvay Coke. I have a page on them.

S-2 4-8-4 207 is about to pass the freight house at Oconomowoc, WI.

Half way between Oconomowoc and Watertown is Ixonia. My great-uncle had a farm here and we spent a few summers on the farm. Across the street from the depot was a tavern which had a wonderful coin operated music box.

A couple of stops after Watertown is Columbus. The original depot was converted to a freight house and is now a feed mill. Notice the similarity to the Oconomowoc freight house. It was replaced by the structure which is now used by Amtrak.

Portage was the junction between the L&R and the Northern and the Madison and was a crew change point.

At Wisconsin Dells, the Wisconsin River is crossed.

The next station is Lyndon, which is shown on road maps as Lyndon Station.

The next station west is Mauston. Note the similarity to the Oconomowoc and Columbus freight depots. I took these two photos when going to my favorite cousin's wedding in Mauston. And we celebrated 63 years of their marriage in 2012.

Farther west, but still in Wisconsin is Sparta. This was the location of Super Labs where we would send our size 616 negatives for printing for one cent each. That was half the price of the local camera shop.

St. Croix Tower is across the river from Hastings and was the crossing with the CB&Q. Thanks to Hudson Leighton for the information on this as well as Newport.

Just east of Saint Paul was a branch to Stillwater, MN. Half way was Bayport.


Coming into Saint Paul, there was a tower at Newport, MN, which served the Rock Island and the Q as well as the Milwaukee. In 1941, the day operator was a CB&Q dispatcher, Mr. Lindblad.

The LaCrosse and River Division included a line from New Lisbon and north to Star Lake.

Mosinee station was across the dam and a big paper plant.

Rothschild was 9 miles further and had a dam and big paper plant.

Tomahawk was about 50 miles further and was the connection with the Marinette Tomahawk & Western.

The LaCrosse and River Division also included the line to Madison from Watertown. Close to Madison is Sun Prairie.

A little farther east was Waterloo.

Since Madison has grown, Burke has disappeared,

Madison station was built in 1903 and designed by Charles Sumner Frost.  It is now a bicycle store.

The Madison Division included a cluster of branch lines running west from Janesville. The second station was Orfordville.

The largest community was Monroe which is famous for cheese and beer. I understand this station survives.

Going a little farther west we would have come to South Wayne. This was a fine two story station.

The Madison Division also included the line from Waukesha to Milton Junction which is just south of Janesville.

Waukesha was the terminal from Milwaukee for the first trains.  "Merrill" was used to celebrate the 100th anniversary of service to Waukesha.

Whitewater has survived.

Another famous Madison Division location was Tower MX in the middle (really the edge) of Lake Monona. The C&NW crossed as is pictured here.

The main line of the Madison Division ran from Watertown to Marquette.  A little ways beyond Madison is Black Earth and they have a museum now.

West of Madison there were several branches including one to Prairie du Sac on the Wisconsin River. In later years, the next door neighbor, Sauk City, was given first billing.

The Superior Division went from Milwaukee to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Thiensville was served by the Milwaukee Electric interurban, and I got a picture of the station the week before the competition quit.  It was built about 1871, and it was rebuilt but apparently without indoor plumbing.  There was a load of telephone poles which shifted and knocked the station from the foundation in 1965.  It collapsed totally.  Fortunately no one was in it.

The next station was Cedarburg which I also photographed while riding the interurban a week before it quit.

We took a picture of Saukville the day after the Chippewa derailed near there.

Green Bay had connections with C&NW and Green Bay & Western as well as having trolley service.

Just over the state line was Iron Mountain.  The station is now on the Lake Superior & Ishpeming.  There are/were 3 stations in this little city.  Chicago & North Western and Wisconsin & Michigan served this place.

Republic was the second last station before Champion.

On the Terre Haute Division, the Milwaukee crossed the TP&W at Webster, IL.

The Dubuque & Illinois Division included the main line from Chicago to Omaha as far as Savanna. East of Rockford was Kirkland where there was a large stockyard.

West of Rockford was Leaf River.

The next station would have been Adeline.

Savanna was the division headquarters on the Mississippi.

On the D&I Division, just north of Sabula, was Bellevue. This was the connection with the narrow gauge line to Cascade.

The main line of the Iowa and Southern Minnesota was west out of LaCrosse. Half way across Minnesota was Wells.

A little further west was Fairmont.

The I&SM included a branch from Faribault to Zumbrota. About half way was Kenyon.

On the line from Minneapolis to Mason City is Austin. Rob Bowe, who is active in a local preservation group, sent this picture of the station which was built in 1941 and still stands. It hosted the last steam train on the Milwaukee when ten-wheeler 1004 pulled in on March 15, 1957. The locomotive is preserved at Austin.

In 1934, service from Wabasha to Mazeppa was abandoned. Thirty years earlier, the line was standard gauged. Here is a station scene at Mazeppa at that time.

Near the east end of the Iowa & Dakota was Calmar, IA. Yes, that's a Katy caboose in use on that Milwaukee Road train.

Farther west was Spencer where the Spirit Lake branch diverted as well as the line to Des Moines.

One the line from Sioux City to Sioux Falls was Akron, IA. 

On the Iowa Division, Marion was the connection point with the line to Cedar Rapids and Ottumwa and the branch to Worthington.

Farther west was Melbourne.

The Iowa Division included a line from Davenport to Jackson Junction. At Monticello it crossed the branch from Marion to Worthington.

The next station north was Delhi.

Half way on the line was Strawberry Point.

On the Kansas City Division, just to the West of Ottumwa was the two story station at Moravia.

Stephen Foster provided this photo of Newtown, MO, which was destroyed as a result of a derailment shortly after the picture was taken.

The railroad entered Kansas City on this bridge until 1950.

On the Hastings & Dakota Division was a line between Aberdeen and Mitchell in South Dakota. About half way was Wolsey.

The Rocky Mountain Division included a branch to Great Falls which passed through Danvers.

A little farther was Geraldine where this substantial station still stands.

In the middle of the Rocky Mountain Division was Deer Lodge, MT.

Midway on the Coast Division electrified main line was Kittitas.

A little farther west was Cle Elum.

There was a branch from Cedar Falls to Everett for an additional port on Puget Sound.

Spokane was a Union Station and shared with Oregon-Washington Ry & Navigation Co.

On the Coast Division, out on the Olympic Peninsula was Port Angeles which was formerly the Seattle, Port Angeles & Western Ry. It was acquired by the St. Paul on December 31, 1918.


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