Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Riding the Milwaukee Road... Sort of.

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  

  • Riding the Milwaukee Road... Sort of.

    Click image for larger versionName:	20231113_124632.jpgViews:	0Size:	121.5 KBID:	2290558 This week, I got to combine two of my hobbies.... Off-roading and railroads.

    I've written before about some of our ATV rides in Tennessee, and we recently acquired a four seat Honda Pioneer 700 UTV to add to our off-road "toy collection".

    For those who have no idea ATV/UTV means... a "traditional" ATV (all-terrain vehicle) is a three or four-wheeler with handle bar steering and a motorcycle style saddle seat. A UTV (utility-trail vehicle) has a steering wheel and side by side seating (which is why they're also called side by sides). It's almost like a baby Jeep or Humm-V in terms of capability, and increasingly, size. Ours is just under 60 inches wide -- in theory, it could take a hy-rail kit without requiring any modification to the axles or wheels.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20231108_123859.jpg Views:	0 Size:	152.9 KB ID:	2290559 Both my wife and I had a rare free day on Monday, so we decided to take it out for a ride. As there's really nowhere suitable to do this where we live, we headed a few miles north of the border to Southwest Wisconsin and the Cheese Country Trail.

    In the 1800's, southwestern Wisconsin had considerable lead mining operations, served by a network of several small railroads which were eventually absorbed into the Milwaukee Road, the Illinois Central and the Chicago & North Western.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	capture_400795.jpg Views:	0 Size:	70.4 KB ID:	2290452 In 1857, the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad extended their westward mainline from Janesville to Monroe, and then later thru Gratiot to Shullsburg. The Mineral Point Railroad Company was built in 1857 between Warren, IL and Mineral Point, WI, and intersected the Milwaukee & Mississippi at Gratiot. An additional branch was built from Calamine to Platteville. All of this eventually became part of the Dubuque, Platteville and Milwaukee Railroad, which in turn was purchased by the Milwaukee Road in 1880.

    By the 1920's, the easily mined lead deposits were mostly depleted. Going deeper was cost prohibitive, and as mines closed down, so did the demand for rail transport. The Warren to Gratiot line was the first abandoned, followed later by Shullsburg to Gratiot. After the MILW's 1980 bankruptcy, the remnants from Monroe WI to Platteville and Mineral Point were acquired by the State and briefly operated by the Central Wisconsin Railroad. That railroad was in turn absorbed by the Wisconsin & Calumet, who was absorbed by the Wisconsin & Southern.

    Operations on the MILW owned lines west of Monroe ended in 1985, with the ties and rails removed a few years later and the right of way converted to the present day trail a few years later. Over 40 bridges and culverts from the MILW are preserved, including a four span Pratt Thru Truss over the Pecatonica River that's 440 feet long that dates to 1888.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	capture_400794.jpg Views:	0 Size:	46.7 KB ID:	2290455 Our run this week started in Monroe (MP44) and ran thru Gratiot to Darlington (MP75), where we took a break to warm up, fuel up, and have lunch at one of the local taverns. Being in Cheese Country, that included an obligatory basket of fresh cheese curds. Future trips will likely start in Gratiot and explore the northern sections.

    While the gravel trails are not what most people think of for trail riding, it was still an enjoyable way to spend a clear yet chilly November weekday. For the most part, all the leaves were down for our ride, but I'm sure that three weeks earlier, the views would have been absolutely stunning with all fall colors. The only downside is that it had been so dry lately, there was a pretty good dust coating on everything... the Honda, our gear and definitely our clothing & hair. I'll take dust over mud and rain any day.

    If you're at all curious about the routing, it's covered by one of the track charts in our reference section (87982 )for the Madison Division.​

    Someone on one of the off-road forums I've discovered is fond of saying "photos or it didn't happen"....

    Here's a short video of us crossing the span... The 15 mph limit for ATV's is probably faster than what the MILW allowed at the end, but I'm guessing the view from the bridge should have been pretty much the same 100 years ago.

    Last edited by eric; 11-18-2023, 05:10 PM.
    Posting comments is disabled.

article_tags

Collapse

Latest Articles

Collapse

  • State of the Site - July 2024
    by eric

    Happy Independence Day!

    It's hard to believe we're already halfway thru the year, but that's where we are.

    I do apologize for writing this a bit late -- hopefully by now, everyone who celebrates the day has had a chance grab a burger or brat at a cookout, and is getting ready to sit back and watch for some fireworks either tonight or in the coming days.

    Listening from my home office, the celebrating started in our neighborhood last night and hasn't stopped....
    Posted 07-04-2024, 07:29 PM
  • Reefer Madness
    by eric

    The folks at TrainSimulations.Net have another great rolling stock set for us....

    Mechanical refrigerator cars are an essential piece of railroading, bringing fresh fruit and produce from the growing fields in California and Florida, as well as meat from the Great Plains and fish from the coasts to consumers nationwide.

    This set offers the standard Pacific Car and Foundry 57' car that was in widespread use from the 1960's to the 1990's. A few still remain in service today...
    Posted 06-26-2024, 10:10 AM
  • Locomotive Packs from DieselsWest
    by eric

    I'm happy to announce all four packs produced for the 3DTrainStuff.com West Colton route by DieselsWest are now available for purchase in our storefront.

    These packs are essential for anyone who owns the West Colton route, and I have to say, look pretty darn good on the Shasta as well.

    Also available from DieselsWest is their Burlington Northern U30C setalso available. If you're a fan of late Second Generation GE power, you'll want to check this set out.

    Pre-ditchlight...
    Posted 06-22-2024, 11:48 PM
  • Run8 Studios MP15 Pack #3 Available
    by eric

    Run8 Studios​ has just released their newest equipment pack -- four more MP15's in new liveries:
    • BN patched to BNSF
    • SP patched to UP
    • GMTX
    • CSX
    These grizzled veterans help round out the previous liveries in Packs 1 and 2 (BN, BNSF Heritage I, BNSF Swoosh, NS, SP, Amtrak, Union Pacific, CSX YN3 and Run8 RR).

    Each locomotive has a 3D cab, animated windows, doors, windshield wipers, and many other cool features that only Run8 offers.

    If you like switching, check...
    Posted 06-18-2024, 05:14 PM
  • State of the Site: May 2024
    by eric

    Where has the year gone? Here we are almost in the month of June, my granddaughter is out of school again, and my wife's tomato patch looks to be off to a good start. Still waiting for the cicadas to hatch up in our neck of the woods, but I can't say I'm too concerned if they don't manage to show up. They're ugly and the dogs will probably be a bit freaked out...

    This week got off to a very interesting start... a perennial favorite here at Trainsim.Com has an update: the Full Bucket...
    Posted 05-31-2024, 09:29 PM
  • Memorial Day
    by eric



    It's Memorial Day in the United States.

    As most Americans will be enjoying the day off from work today, I wanted to write and acknowledge that our very ability to enjoy a holiday came at a very high price, which was paid for by those who gave their lives in conflict.

    Previously known as Decoration Day, this is not a day of celebration. It's not intended to be a day for parties, boating or barbecues.

    It is a day of commemoration, specifically set...
    Posted 05-27-2024, 06:58 AM
Working...
X