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Nostalgia & History > C&NW's "Ridgerunner" in Wisconsin

Date: 12/18/07 18:23
C&NW's "Ridgerunner" in Wisconsin
Author: WSOR506

The C&NW had an interesting network of branchlines in Southwestern Wisconsin. Going west out of Madison through Monfort Jct and Lancaster Jct where the line split, one leg going south to Lancaster and the other continuing west to Fennimore. At Monfort Jct. another branch ran south to Platteville and Cuba City (and at one time to Galena, Ill). The Line was built on a curving roller-coaster ridge to Lancaster, Fennimore and Platteville; hence, the name "Ridgerunner". The line hung on until the early 1980's. I was fortunate enough to catch a couple trains in the final years of the branch.

1.)GP7 1590 has only a caboose in tow as it passes the depot at Ridgeway on 6/27/1978.

2.)GP9u 4331 is westbound near Cobb on 1/29/1980.

3.)Later in the day, 4331 spots a BN covered hopper behind the depot at Livingston, WI.

Date: 12/18/07 18:59
Re: C&NW's "Ridgerunner" in Wisconsin
Author: chico

Great stuff. I live within a stones throw of the Ridge Runner on Madison's south side, a portion which stayed active until 2001, aka the Soya Spur on the WSOR. The line was trimmed about 4 miles and now terminates north of the Beltline in Madison at the Vita Mix plant.

The pictures Rich contributed are further west in Iowa Co., and today is a bike path known as...yep...The Ridge Runner is what would be seen at the locations in Rich's shots. I wonder if any of the depots pictured above still stand? The coal tower at Montford Jct. still stands and there is a nice RR museum at Fennimore.

Its not hard to imagine pullman green CNW doodlebugs pulling past those depots!


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