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Eastern Railroad Discussion > points of interest in northern WI and upper Michigan?


Date: 05/13/09 04:05
points of interest in northern WI and upper Michigan?
Author: wiscofoamer1

Hello Listmembers- I'm looking for information on interesting railroad-related things in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan: old depots,abandoned rolling stock,old rights-of-way plus any active lines to railfan still up there, My main focus is the MILW,but info on any railroad would be appreciated.Thanks! Jim Towar,Milwaukee,WI.



Date: 05/13/09 07:06
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: steamfan

I enjoyed the Green Bay area -- there's the RR museum, a nice looking depot in town and an active rail yard (I assume it's still active, been a couple years since I was up there)...

John R -- CP Spring
Carlisle, PA



Date: 05/13/09 07:42
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: toledopatch

The focal points of rail activity in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are Gladstone/Escanaba and Marquette/Ishpeming. Gladstone Yard is CN's base of operations for its freight traffic between Sault Ste Marie and Green Bay, and also serves to support a nearby paper mill, while Escanaba is the port destination for most of the taconite ore that CN loads at Empire Mine near Marquette. CN also has a small freight yard at Ishpeming to support local industry and the branch to L'Anse, though I don't know how much of that there still is these days. The taconite business also is likely to be way down because of the economy and the resultant steel slump.

There's also a remote CN branch (like all the others in Michigan, it's ex-WC) to White Pine in the extreme western portion of the U.P. Don't know how busy it is right now, but as of five years ago it was run as complementary turns on alternate days out of Bessemer, just east of Ironwood: one day to White Pine, the other to some junction point in northern Wisconsin I can't remember.

The other carriers up there are the Lake Superior & Ishpeming and the Escanaba & Lake Superior. The former is an iron ore hauler from Empire and Tilden mines, southwest of Marquette, to a dock on Lake Superior, so see-above concerning the steel industry. The E&LS operates the former MILW line between Green Bay and Ontonogan, primarily to serve a paper plant of some sort, along with what's left of its original trackage. It's my understanding that the paper plant's traffic also is way down, if not suspended entirely.



Date: 05/13/09 12:40
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: ddkid

See the ore docks at Marquette. They'd bring the ore in by train, run the ore cars out on the dock 40-50 feet above the water, open the hopper doors, and the ore would slide down chutes into the holds of the lakes freighters below.

I have a friend who had a summer job helping to unload the cars. The ore would sometimes bridge up, and he was provided a steel rod with which to poke the top of the ore in the car to jog it loose. He was enjoined not to lose the rod. Once he had too much of his weight on the ore, it gave way, and he had to save himself from going down the chute by grabbing the edge of the car with both hands.

He lost the rod.

There's also a Lake Superior and Ishpeming GE U25C in a park near the docks.



Date: 05/13/09 13:40
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: 950SooLine

Go up to Ashland, right on the lake and see the Soo Line Depot which has been refurnished after being burned. It was originally built in 1897 by the Wisconsin Central. Also you can see the Soo Line Ore Dock that is going to be torn down very shortly, work is to begin on that within a month or so. Right next to the Depot you can see old 950 which was used for pushing ore up on the docks. My Dad fired on that engine part time during the war when he was finished with his job in the round house as a boiler maker helper. The depot is located right around 3rd st & 2nd or 3rd ave West. There are also alot of paintings on the wall of buildings showing what went on during the years. Right south of the depot was the round house and railroad yard. Its all torn down now.
On Vaughn ave from 3rd st to 6th st there were about 4 or 5 trussels, I believe only one remains. On 7th Ave West between 3rd st & 6th st on the west side is where the North Western Depot is and I believe is still standing and is being used for something else. Dick Holmstad



Date: 05/13/09 13:53
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: 950SooLine

The depot has been pretty much restored. It burn on April 1, 1999 or 2000.






Date: 05/13/09 17:19
Re: Points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: K3HX

The Duluth-Superior area is a favorite. Plenty of opportunities at Boylston (Saunders) for action shots.Itasca, Allouez, Pokegama and Superior have yards. Proctor has what is left of the DMIR.
Duluth has a museum that must not be bypassed. The lower level has many RR-related displays.
The "Twin Ports Railfan Guide" covers the Duluth-Superior area quite well.
Search the archives for a post by "Toledopatch" of 9-15-04 regarding operations in the area.
Railroad & Railfan did a story on the DMIR June 2004.
While in the Upper Peninsula, be sure to try the yellow potato salad. These folk are NOT shy
about putting mustard in the mix. Also try the "pasties."
Be well,

Tim Colbert K3HX



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/09 17:45 by K3HX.



Date: 05/13/09 19:55
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: RuleG

The following is out of print. If you can find a copy it may be helpful.

The Railfan’s Guide to Wisconsin & Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by Bob
Baker; 1986

You may want to consider going into Sault St. Marie Ontario, just across the border from Michigan and ride the Algoma Central - one of the most scenic lines in North America. You would probably need a passport, though.

I second Tim's suggestion to try pasties. When I drove through the Upper Peninsula, I saw all these places with signs for pasties which had me scratching my head. Finally, I went into a place which sold them and thought they were great.



Date: 05/14/09 03:22
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: bandob

The LS&I ore dock in Marquette, circa 1994, photo by fellow TO member chakk,

B&OB




Date: 05/14/09 03:24
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: bandob

Worth a look is the restored Union Passenger Station in Negaunee. It is now a B&B, last I knew. Maybe even worth a night's stay? It is a UNION station since it was served by both C&NW and the DSS&A. It is on Gold St.

B&OB



Date: 05/14/09 08:47
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: csxcarl

Another place to consider is the Camp 5 Logging camp and museum in Laona, WI, with the steam train ride too. Pembine Wi. has the junction of the old WC ( now CN ) and the Escanaba and Lake Superior RR., right on hwy 141. If you are a little farther South and West, Wausau has a big WPS power plant with trains right at the road, plus the locals running through there. Another spot is Junction City, West of Stevens Point on hwy 10 with CN and an occasional UP train. Stevens point is another busy spot as well with a yard and crew change point. Spooner Wi. up north has a museum and tourist railroad, and between Chippawa Falls and Rice Lake is the Wisconsin Northern RR. Lots of places to see, depending on where you will be.

CSXCARL



Date: 05/14/09 16:26
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: bandob

Here's the LS&I on display in Presque Isle Park, Marquette, MI.

B&OB




Date: 05/14/09 16:30
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: symph1

Years ago the E&LS had a Baldwin Shark and an MILW beavertail obs stored near Channing.

Someone mentioned that the E&LS ran the ex-MILW line from Ontonogen to Green Bay, Yes, but don't forget their original line from Escanaba to Channing, where it meets the MILW line. The E&LS has been around since 1898.



Date: 05/16/09 03:59
Re: points of interest in northern WI and upper Michiga
Author: wiscofoamer1

Hello Listmembers- Just wanted to say "Thanks a million" to everybody who replied to my questions regarding Northern WI. and the U.P.- Your replies made me laugh and were quite informative! I'll be sure to get some pasties and yellow potato salad as I wait for the ELS to come by... -Jim Towar,Milwaukee,WI.



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