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Don's Rail Photos


Under Construction

The Milwaukee Electric Ry. & Light Co.

The Milwaukee Electric Ry. & Transport Co. 

Wisconsin Electric Power Co.


Lakeside Belt Line


When the Lakeside Power Plant was built in 1920, it was supplied with coal unloaded from a dock on the Kinnickinnic River and hauled over local lines at night to a switch off the original Kenosha line at St.. Francis. This was not a desirable situation, and a connection to the C&NW was built. Coal was then delivered in railroad cars directly into the plant. In the mid-1920s, with the upgrade of the interurban lines, it was decided to build a belt around the city, primarily for the handling of freight. When the Kenosha line was upgraded in 1928, the line was extended west to Belt Line Junction. Construction west to the upgraded Hales Corners line was begun in 1931, but was not completed until April 1932. This line was built to high standards with virtually no grade crossings and all rail lines were crossed by bridge. An interchange with the Milwaukee Road was built at Powerton, but there was no interchange with the North Shore for no apparent reason. Interchange between the two electrics was accomplished downtown in front of the North Shore station.

There never was any regular passenger service on the line since there were few residences in the area at the time. A temporary shuttle service was run to the construction site for Greendale in the 1930s. CERA ran a fantrip in 1947. For a short time during a city car strike, the MRK interurbans ran into the city over the Belt and the Rapid Transit line.

With the abandonment of the Rapid Transit, the line west of Powerton was useless and abandoned in the 1950s. The line remained as the TMER&T when the city lines became Milwaukee & Suburban in 1952. With changes in fuel from coal to natural gas, there was little use for the line. It was abandoned and the track from the C&NW interchange to the scale house was sold to the C&NW. This included service to the only other customer on the line, E-Z Painter. The equipment remained in use at the power plant and was used for moving cars of fuel oil when natural gas shortages required a change in fuel.

There was also a rail shuttle operated between St. Francis and the power plant. The first car was a single truck Pullman, 65, which was renumbered 20 for the service. Interurban trailer 1258 was motorized in 1927 and used until 1945. It was replaced by various 600s and 700s, until 523 was assigned in 1950. It ran until 1954 when it was replaced by 882. It was retired on May 8, 1961.

There was a trestle over 60th Street.  I lived off 60th Street and Kinnickinnic Parkway and it was the way to go to visit my cousin at Greendale.

There was a trestle over 27th Street which was Hwy 41.

L4 was bringing a drag of empties to the Milwaukee interchange at Powerton.

A short distance east was Hanover Siding.

There was an underpass at Howell Avenue and a footbridge a short distance east.

Belt Line Junction was the place where the M-R-K crossed and paralleled the belt line for a short distance before turning south.

L4 was bringing empties into the C&NW interchange at St. Francis.

There was a long trestle over the C&NW and Kinnickinnic Avenue.

1258 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906 as a trailer.  It was rebuilt in 1927 as a shuttle car for the Lakeside Power Plant and retired in 1945.  We saw the frame in the Grafton Stone Quarry in 1948.

635 and 626 ended their days as the shuttle car with added lights.

882 was rebuilt in 1954 with a plow on one end and a pilot on the other for use at the Lakeside of WEPCo. It also had interurban headlights added. It ran until May 8, 1961.

The shuttle was a favorite for photography.

The bridge crossing South Lake Drive at the rail entrance to the power plant formerly carried a large ad for the Rapid Transit.  It was later repainted but not as interesting.


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