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Don's Rail Photos

Wisconsin Central Ry

Growing up in the Milwaukee area meant exposure primarily to the Milwaukee Road and to the North Western. But there was another railroad. We called it the Whiskey Central rather than the Soo since the Soo Line only ran west of the Twin Cities and way up in Yupper Land. It was special since our only direct contact was thru one freight train a day that came in over the Milwaukee Road from Slinger. To see the WC meant going out of town. We could go to Waukesha, but the real action was at North Fond du Lac, also known as Shops Yard. Here were their locomotives, and here was a scenario never to be forgotten. Train 2 came in from the north about the middle of the afternoon. The locomotive was changed for the run into Chicago. Then Train 2 would depart with all the sensory delight that only main line steam locomotives can give forth. Train 2 was also a lot of fun to ride.

A few of us got on the North Western local out of Milwaukee one morning in 1951 and rode to Neenah. On the way we had lunch in the diner. It was unremembered but cost a couple of bucks. I do remember that for desert I had a slice of cherry pie for 50 cents. It was 1/8 of the pie. At Neenah we took some pictures and caught Train 2. Leaving Shops Yard we decided to try their diner. It was 4 tables at the end of a coach. The baggageman also was chef, steward, and waiter. We had Dinty Moore corned beef hash with a fried egg for 75 cents. For desert I had a piece of cherry pie; a quarter of the pie for 25 cents. We rode Train 2 to Waukesha, where we changed to the Milwaukee Rapid Transit and Speedrail to get back home.

Here are two photos taken about three years apart to celebrate the sight and sounds and feel of Train 2 leaving Shops Yard.

Living in Texas in the summertime can present some problems when the temperature remains over 100 degrees for week after week with no relief. Some of my friends ask me how I can do it. The answer is "memory." I was raised in Wisconsin and spent many winters there including winters working on the railroad. Here is one of those memories. WC 4012 is shown coming through North Milwaukee early on a January morning when the temperature was approximately -30 degrees. Remembering this, I can accept a little bit of heat.


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