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Don's Rail Photos

Ahnapee & Western RR


The A&W was started in 1890, but didn't get rolling until 1892. It was built by Edward Decker and men from the GB&W. You won't find Ahnapee on a map since it was renamed Algoma in 1899. Track reached Sturgeon Bay finally in 1894. The road was quite successful in connecting with marine traffic at both Algoma and Sturgeon Bay. The bountiful Door County cherry crop moved by A&W. Passenger service was heavy to the resort country. It was difficult to distinguish this road from the GB&W over the years. The depression was not kind to the line, and regular passenger service ended in 1937. There were special moves during the war when German prisoners were brought in to harvest the lush crops.

The GB&W wanted to abandon or sell off the line which had lost money since 1940 or before. Local businesses wanted to keep the line in operation. On June 1, 1947, the Ah&W took over as an independent line. Two moguls, 259 and 260, were included in the purchase. Two more locomotives were purchased later. KGB&W 398, a 2-8-0, was purchased in 1948 and became 261. GB&W 351 came in 1950. It became the final steamer except for occasional use of the 260. The diesels came in 1953.

Business dropped off in the 1950s gradually until operation dropped to three days a week in the early 1960s. Then the major shipper, Evangeline Milk in Sturgeon Bay, quit, and the bridge into Sturgeon Bay was needing repair. It was embargoed in 1968 and the line north of Algoma was abandoned. Traffic was now down to a couple of cars a day. The only regular on line industry was the Champion mill at Algoma. The line was sold to the McCloud River RR, which was owned by Champion, in 1970. The locomotives were repainted and later sold off. In 1977, Itel acquired the McCloud River. In 1978 it acquired the GB&W. The A&W went back to being a GB&W branch. In 1986, a washout occurred at the Kewaunee River bridge. That was the last of the A&W.

Here are a few of its locomotives.

259, Class B-27, was built by Alco-Schenectady in June 1915, #55143, as 39, Class R. It was renumbered 71 in 1921 and 259, Class B-27, in 1937. It went to the new owners on June 1, 1947, and was scrapped at Chicago in January 1951.

260, Class B-27, was built by Alco-Schenectady in October, 1921, #63138, as 72, Class R. It was renumbered to 260 and reclassified B-27 in April, 1937. It went to the new owners in 1947 and made the final steam run to pick up the diesels. It was shipped to Chicago where it was scrapped in April, 1953.

303, Class C-31, was built by Alco in July 1913, #53790, as Chicago Peoria & St Louis 70. It was sold to Briggs & Turivas, who sold it to Ah&W on January 18, 1927. It entered service on January 8, 1927, as 74, Class R-1, and was renumbered 303, Class C-31, on January 20, 1937. On October 4, 1937, it was sold to Harry P Bourke as 6. It later became Escanaba & Lake Superior 18. It was scrapped at Chicago in January 1953.

351 was built by Schenectady on December 1, 1929, #67820, as Green Bay & Western 69, Class R-2. In June, 1937, it was renumbered 351, Class C-38. On November 15, 1950, it was sold to the Ah&W for $6000. It made its first run on November 30, 1950, and the last run in early February, 1953. It was scrapped in Chicago after March, 1956.

600 was a 70 Ton built by General Electric in December, 1952, #31727. It was sold to a Mexican firm in 1972.

601 was a 70 Ton built by General Electric in January, 1953, #31727. It was sold to the Moscow Camden & San Augustine as 601 in July, 1971.



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