Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Motor Car Excursion at East Troy Electric Railroad Museum

Dave Hawley has submitted the following information for your scheduling convenience:

East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, East Troy, WI
(Non-NARCOA Excursion)

An opportunity to run under overhead wire on the last remaining seven miles of the former Milwaukee interurban system at The East Troy Electric Railroad Museum. This will be a motorcar-only event (we will not be giving public rides this time) covering the entire railroad including the freight-only Trent Spur trackage not used for public excursions. Total weekend mileage will be 70 plus and will include a night run on both Friday and Saturday.

The East Troy Railroad is a very good place for new members to be mentored and there will be extra NARCOA compliant motorcars for new members to use for the mentoring session. This is a non-NARCOA insured activity, with insurance provided by the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum. There are no fees for those attending, however all operators must be museum members at a cost of $35 for a single annual membership. Motorcar operators could use this event as a spring tune-up run prior to the busy summer season. All NARCOA rules will be in effect, and all cars must be able to pass NARCOA inspection. For more information or to register contact Dave Hawley at DHAWLEY1214 at aol.com or call 630-854-8052.

Dave is a member of a motorcar club and will be in East Troy, WI for the event. Dave says: "If anybody would like a ride they are always welcome. All they have to do is give me a call and I will save them a seat. I have been to East Troy many times and everybody always have a lot of fun."

Thanks Dave. If you have any railroad events that you would like to have posted to the blog or to the mailing list please submit it to pauline at railfaninfo.com. Just change the word 'at' to @ for the correct email address.

Hope to see you in East Troy in April!

Back in July of 2005 Chuck and I were visiting the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. (WSOR) for an open house event. A gaggle of scooters were there for some fun and I captured the following images. My favorite one was the Santa Fe closed cab with a rack of horns any engine would envy.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Local Freight Train

As railfans we consider ourselves lucky to live about a quarter mile from the tracks of the former Chicago & Northwestern line to Madison. In the last few years a small local freight train has been running from West Allis to the New Berlin Industrial Park and on to Waukesha over these tracks. These tracks ran parallel to the old TMERL interuban line to Waukesha which is now a newly paved bike path.

When it first started it came through about once a week and had one old engine and maybe two or three boxcars at most. Now it often comes through at least three times a week, sometimes twice a day, and has usually two engines and up to a dozen freight cars or an occasional tanker.

We've been getting a lot of snow this year in southeastern Wisconsin; certainly more than we've ever seen down here in twenty years of residence in New Berlin. On February 11, 2008 there was fresh snow covering the tracks as the train hadn't been through for several days.

Chuck went up the crossing on Sunnyslope Road after work and filmed the local freight train as it came through the freshly fallen and snowplow packed snow at twilight. The snow seemed deep to a person standing there but the train had no problem pushing the snow.

Here's a short clip of the local freight going slowly through the intersection heading west toward the New Berlin Industrial Park.

Yeah, it's nothing too exciting but it was fun to watch. And during the long winter here in the suburbs of Milwaukee there isn't a lot of railroad action going on so the clip also reflects the desire to get out there and see some trains.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gil Bruck's Amazing Lionel Layout

On February 7, 2008 Chuck Trabert filmed Gil Bruck's amazing Lionel layout and you can view a short clip below.

Gil loves having a large number of people and vehicles on his approximately 20' x 20' Lionel layout with some 700 vehicles and around 5,700 people. From the silver mine to the circus parade and everything in between, this is one Lionel layout you'll want to see!

Gil is a member of the Lionel Railroad Club of Milwaukee and additional photos of Gil's layout are posted there.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Railfan Info Coming Soon!

I apologize for the lapse in posts here at WisconsinRailfan but it's been a winter where we haven't traveled with all the snow and ice. We haven't been to IRM since early December 2007 and it doesn't look like we'll be going there anytime soon.

Chuck has been doing restoration work on some windows from one of the heavyweight passenger cars from Barn 3 since December. He brought the windows home to make working on them less stressful.

About two weeks ago I decided that I've been trying to do too many things with all the websites I've been building. I've been spread too thin to really have a focus. One of the sites I built some time back is called RailfanInfo and it finally dawned on me that I only want to focus on content for my fellow railfans. So I've done a quick revamp of the site in appearance with the intent of creating really useful content once I get the site setup the way I want. And Chuck is going to work with me as he has time with our goal being to create the most complete railfan information site on the World Wide Web.

It's an ambitious goal to be sure. You can help by letting us know what kind of railfan information you want to see that you can't find. That's what we're aiming to provide. Our ideas so far have been to categorize the various railfan sites out there so the links are in some sort of order that makes it easy to find stuff. And we plan to write reviews of locations, events, excursions, fan trips, museums, and other railfan specific activities we participate in or experience.

Rome wasn't built in a day and RailfanInfo will take quite a bit of time to get to the point where we feel we are offering something valuable to the railfan community, but it will be fun and educational.

Feel free to email me with any suggestions you have for desired content on RailfanInfo: pauline at railfaninfo.com. (Just use the @ symbol instead of the word 'at' to make the email address functional.)

We're looking forward to building a community of railfans online and hope to see you there!