August 2011 Local Action

Photos by Dave Ingles

Normally, a roster shot of our local Waukesha-based engine on CN, for local L504, would not be the first photo presented in a file, but to me IC GP38-2 9562 is special, being ex-GM&O 742, delivered in July 1972 just before the ICG merger. I believe it's the first time a former GM&O engine has been assigned to Waukesha, although we've had 2 or 3 from DT&I, my Dad's last railroad employer. There are 14 of these in CN's fleet. Having made a token shot of 9562 at the depot, a not-very-good angle, I caught it up at Duplainville on August 11th. (The first week of August, I was on the "Pacific Express" excursion out East -- see the separate file.) It then returned light into town.

Crossing Spring Creek bridge, running left to right, at 3:10 pm.

CP's Milwaukee-based local G-67, bulletined to Watertown, was returning east thru Duplainville interlocking at 3:25, with two GP38-2's, CP 3015/Soo 4416 and 8 cars.

Strictly routine and uninspiring is CN #335 on Aug. 12, coming past the old Waukesha "Main St. yard" site at 2:11 p.m. behind 2269-5650.

An hour or so behind #335 was L504, passing the Waukesha depot in returning from Burlington at 3:18 with 26 cars behind the ex-GM&O GP38-2. The local engine parks for the night on the track in the foreground, called, appropriately enough, "the tie-up track."

He met CN #446 at Waukesha passing siding, so en route home I took this also-uninspiring shot of the southbound behind 5620/2507, at 3:26 p.m.

The next evening, we made a dessert run after supper just to go out for a drive to end a muggy and cloudy day, and coincidentally (really and truly) were at the Springdale Road CP crossing east of Duplainville diamond just in time to see Amtrak #8, the eastbound Empire Builder, running over 6 hours late as was his norm in late summer (thanks to congestion and slow orders on BNSF in North Dakota) execute a passing meet with a westbound ethanol empty, CP #643. Here is #8 approaching the diamond at 7:57.
This is the un-cropped view of the above image.

Turning 180 degrees, here is the westbound CP #643 behind 8600/8716, also 7:57. He had dimmed his ditch lights, then extinguished both them and his headlight, as courtesy to meet #8, but I think upon seeing me with cameras, turned his headlight back on.
... and then his ditch lights came back on.

The meet took place at 7:58 between Springdale Road and the westward Duplainville home signals.

Our friend Craig Willett is at the throttle of #8, having enjoyed -- as he did too many times in this period -- an all-day visit in greater Winona, Minn., and then a short night at home. Engines 43/99/4 with 12 cars.

The next day, Craig and the first two engines from the night before were back through Pewaukee on #7, running 45 minutes late at 5:03 p.m. If the Builder was very late into Chicago, it usually was out of Chicago very late the following afternoon. You'd think the Chicago coach yard could adapt to these circumstances, wouldn't you. If #7 was late out of CHI, it usually was not holding for connections.

Flagg Coal Co. 0-4-0T No. 75 is a restored saddletanker that tours. After appearing at the Rock Island Train Festival in July (see separate file), she was moved on her customary low-boy truck to North Freedom, Wis., where she ran and hauled visitors to Mid-Continent Railway Museum, the first operating steam there (it purports to be a 1910's themed railroad) in over a decade. She was then heading home for northern Indiana, so TRAINS Editor Jim Wrinn talked owners Byron and John Gramling (father and son) into routing I-94 through Waukesha and stopping for a quick visit in the Kalmbach Publishing. Co parking lot -- as Jim said, "the first REAL TRAIN to visit TRAINS magazine." Monday, Aug. 16, was not a day in the office for me at CLASSIC TRAINS, but we stayed in touch with Jim and others, and drove over to the KPC parking lot around noon, just in time to see the lowboy back into the parking lot.

The engine was built by Vulcan Iron Works of Wikes-Barre, Pa., in 1930, and was purchased from Vulcan by Flagg Coal Co. of Avoca, Pa., and given the number 2. In 1935 the engine was sold to Solvay Process Co. in Jamesville, N.Y., and renumbered 75. It, and other Solvay engines from the Jamesville quarry were sold in 1954 to Dr. Stanley Groman of Syracuse for his new Rail City Museum, purported to be the first operating rail museum in the U.S., at Sandy Pond, N.Y. Rail City closed in 1974, and this engine and others stayed until 1991, when Dr. Groman's son, Robert, sold the equipment after his father's death. The Gramlings purchased 75 in October 1991 and moved it to their shop at Ashley, in northeastern Indiana, and spent the next decade restoring the engine to operating condition. In spring 2002, No. 75 was leased and moved to the Steam Railroading Institute at Owosso, Mich., where the 0-4-0T performed on the SRI grounds as part of the 2009 steam festival.

TRAINS staffers visible here include Matt Van Hattem (center, dark blue shirt, photographing) and Angela Pusztai-Pasternak (to the right, also photographing).
That's Angela and Editor Jim Wrinn talking to Mr. Gramling.
... and now posing for the "official photo."

Jim wrinn introduced Mr. Gramling and explains to the gathered employees about the engine.

This trailer and the white RV at the right are part of 75's entourage.

At left, Kevin Keefe, former TRAINS editor and publisher, now Vice President, Editorial for KPC, talks with Mr. Gramling and Jim Wrinn. Angela climbs into the cab for a look-see,
A nice day with a curiosity in the parking lot drew dozens of employees from their desks and work areas, with official sanction.

Our local railfan gang, the "Tuesday Night Slide Group," convened for a picnic at the rural home of Greg Mross near Sturtevant, Wis., on August 16th, so after photographing Flagg Coal 75 at Kalmbach, I picked up friend Nick Tharalson --  in from Cedar Rapids, Iowa for one of his twice-a-year appearances with the gang -- at a Waukesha motel around 2 p.m., and off we went to take advantage of the nice weather to photograph on CP's "C&M" (Chicago and Milwaukee main line) near Greg's home. First off was Amtrak Hiawatha #338, at Highway C north of Sturtevant, with NPCU cab-control car 90225, 6 cars, and P42 engine 180, at 3:23 p.m. All these digitals were shot by Nick, since he had not brought his camera along from home, on purpose. He still shoots only slides.

Twenty minutes behind him was CP #276, "the DM&E train" from Huron, S.Dak., to Chicago, with 101 cars behind CEFX 3127/IC&E 6212/DM&E 6088/IC&E 6428/HLCX 7231, at Hwy. C at 3:43 p.m.

Amtrak #7, with friend Craig Willett at the throttle, was next, engines 91/19, 12 cars, 4:05 p.m., Highway C. Craig is in the group, but acct. Amtrak being short of engineers, he had to fill in and miss the festivities. The train is again late out of Chicago, by about 45 minutes. The D70 mis-fired on Nick on the close-up, it can be cantankerous, so we cropped his "faraway test shot."

Now we're at Franksville, just north of Sturtevant by 3 miles, for Hiawatha #337, engine 15, 6 cars, NPCU 90221, at 4:32.

CP #281, supposedly the premier freight with trilevel auto racks, etc. (there were quite a few, behind the head-end "fill"), rates only two SD40-2's today, NREX 7931/CITX 3110, through Franksville at 4:51 with 103 cars.

Our last train was a dandy, CP grain train #615, with CSX 775/91 and 58 cars at 5:02 p.m.

Picnic host Greg Mross poses with the C&NW station sign from Clyman Jct., Wis., he just acquired from Pat Porter, widow of our group member Chuck Porter, who passed away at the end of June after a short hospitalization. The sign had hung in Chuck's family room in Oconomowoc, Wis., where we had many a slide show and before the trees grew up, could watch passing MILW, Soo, and then CP trains through the window.

Friday, Aug. 19, found me trackside at Pewaukee for CP #277, the DM&E train, behind IC&E 6414/CEFX 3145/NREX 5542/HLCX 7009, with 81 cars at 1:47 p.m. Business must be rebounding, what with all the leased power -- mostly SD40-2's -- on CP.

Behind him was #281, led by 8769/8783 at 2:27.

Six days later at Duplainville, CP #280 was backing up to pick up his conductor after examining their train for a supposed defect: engines CEFX 1059/CP 9529, 2:05 p.m.

Later in the afternoon, at 3:30, CN #446 came thru Waukesha behind IC 2719/CN 2602 with 120 cars. He's crossing Barstow Street at 3:30 and will soon cross Grand Avenue, site of the interlocking where the Wisconsin  & Southern diverges west on the old C&NW.

A short outing on August 29th netted only this action, CN #441 with NS power, 8758/9574 with 100 cars up at Weyer Road along Duplainville siding, at 3:12 p.m.

Eastbound CP stacker #198 led off a little action on August's last day, at Duplainville, at 4:08 p.m.

There are usually numerous fans shooting at Duplainville -- here's Amtrak #7, engines 25/76 with the usual 12 cars, on-time at 4:15 p.m.

We hadn't seen a British Columbia Rwy unit in a while, but here's one tucked in as 3rd unit on CN train #342, coming under Capitol Drive at MP 103 alongside Duplainville siding at 4:21, engines 2577/5537/BC 4617. Hadn't seen a 5500-series in a while, either, come to think of it.

After Amtrak had gone, CN executed the meet of #342 with this #445, behind NS 9855/9857, at 4:23.

We went back to the Weyer Road area for our final shots in August, at 4:25 p.m., of #445. The cars at left are on the "set out track," left for pickup by local L504 for area delivery.

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