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Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad Trip 8/06/2009

by Chris Guenzler

I got off the two hour late Empire Builder and found a luggage cart on the platform. I headed into the station and found the Hertz Rental Car Counter and five minutes later I got my KIA Spectra. I drove east on Interstate 94 to I 695 North and took that to Minnesota 36 to Minnesota 95 into Stillwater.

The former Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train. The owner walked up and we talked for about ten minutes about the train, trail and other things. From there I continued north on Minnesota 95 then crossed the St Croix River into Wisconsin to Osceola where I made my next stop.

Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railroad. I next drove north to Dresser.

The Soo Line Station at Dresser. From here I drove north on Wisconsin 35 to US Highway 8 east to Turtle Lake where I turned north onto US Highway 63 which I took north to Spooner. There I found the railroad with twelve minutes to spare.

Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad "Route of the Namekagon"

The train sits ready to go north to Springbrook. The train consisted of SW-1 862, Club Car 112 Richard F. Gilberg and Buffet 32 Apostle Isle.

Wisconsin Great Northern SW-1 862.

Wisconsin Great Northern Station in Spooner. I picked up my ticket and after everyone else had boarded I climbed aboard and took a table in the Apostle Isle. I got a Coca-Cola from the Club Car and waited for departure for the trip over the former Chicago Northwestern tracks to Springbrook.

These two kids are about to make their first train ride in their young lives.

Right after noon, the train left Spooner for Springbrook.

The train passed the line of Wisconsin Great Northern equipment in Spooner.

The view looking back at Spooner.

Tank cars are stored all over this railroad. The railroad is owned by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. All the way along our route as far as Trego is a trail that is located where the second track used to be.

Fields to the east of our route.

Looking back.

The inside of the Presque Isle.

Poor Richard's Antiques across the US Highway 53/63.

Firewood for Sale east of the tracks.

The trail along the side of the tracks.

Two views along US Highway 53/63.

View of our engineer running our train.

Looking forward ahead of our train.

This is what uses the trail.

Clouds to the west.

Looking ahead.

Another field.

Looking back.

The train has arrived at Trego.

The train passes more stored tank cars at Trego. Trego was the junction where the CNW Lines split for either Superior or Ashland.

Tank cars are stored on the wye at Trego.

Section Foreman's House at Trego.

More tank cars on the leg of the wye at Trego.

The east wye switch at Trego.

Through the forests our train traveled.

The Namekagon River.

The train crosses the fill that blocks the river from flowing to the other side of the tracks.

The train passed a huge junk yard located in the trees south of the tracks.

The old siding at Earl.

A view looking back.

The train crossed the Bean Creek on this trestle.

Our train arrived at Springbrook where we were greeted by this tank.

The railroad's F-unit had been switching more tank cars for storage on this railroad.

The tank is in front of the VFW 105698 Post Building in Springbrook. After a few minutes we headed back to Spooner.

Green Lake.

Corn field south of the tracks before Earl.

Three views of the Namekagon River with some Kayakers in one view.

Potatoe Creek.

The remains of an old CNW Hot Box Detector activator point.

The remains of an old CNW Hot Box Detector.

The train returned us all to Spooner ending an excellent trip on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad. I will detrain and start my looking around the grounds at the equipment.

Click here for Part 2 of this story