Chase of Reedsburg Local - Madison Local
June 17, 2007
by Mike Condren

Long time friend Dave Ingles joined me on June 17, 2007, Father's Day, for an afternoon and early evening of railfanning. We began our afternnon by shooting the lineup of equipment in the Madison, WI Johnson Street Yard. The GP38-3, in the distance, would power the local that we plan to chase is with the ex-Chicago gallary commuter cars on the left and the train that ran to the Mid Continent Museum on June 15, 2007 on the right.

The local for Reedsburg is shown here with its original 7 cars.

Our train has now progressed to the northwest corner of Lake Mendota.

We went to Waunakee and waited, and waited, but no train. In fear that somehow he had gotten ahead of us, we headed toward Merrimac before back tracking to Lodi, WI where we ran into him just as he arrived at the former depot area. We then noticed that the first boxcar was no longer on the train, explaining the delay. We assumed that the setout was just after our shots at the marina.

We then set up along Lake Wisconsin near the community of Okee where a series of slow orders had the train down to a crawl.

We got ahead and caught the train again. However, the train continued to play peeky-boo with the sun where extensive track work was causing the slow orders..

We rode the ferry across Lake Wisconsin. The train arrived just as the ferry was landing. I was occupied with driving my van off the ferry while Dave got some shots, including this one with my digital camera. At this point we headed to Portage and our next prey, the M&P local of CPR.

When we arrived in Portage, this train was sitting in the yard in front of the depot/crew change point.

We then drove to the other side of the yard and discovered the M&P going to work.

After the mandatory trip to Culver's for JDI to refuel, he caught this grab shot through the windshield with my digital camera.

When we returned to the station, an empty coal train had returned from the local power plant southeast of town.

We headed to the east end of the yard and the M&P junction.

We then headed east on US 51 and State 16 and caught the head-end across the marsh on the tracks that parallel and then cross the highway.

Our next spot was at Highway J and V which is at the location of the south switch into the power plant visible in the distance. About this time Ray Peacock of Madison joined us track side. As the engine passed, I noticed that the engineer was taking a digital picture of us. From here Ray will act as our native guide to other locations.

Ray led us to a road, Keebaugh Road, that paralleled the tracks. We shot the local in two locations along this road before moving further toward Madison. The trailing unit had an interresting sticker on the low nose. Did you notice, the sticker is for GE, on an EMD!

At the Thompson Road crossing, the engineer dropped out the window a water bottle with a note attached. The note contained his name, address , and cell phone number. Dave called him on my cell phone and talked to him about a suggested site for additional photos. Later he called my cell phone, and we talked further, an interesting variation of railfanning in the 21st century.

Here we see a family waving at the train crew as the local passes through Pauquette, WI.

In Arlington, while waiting for the local, Ray took a picture of two long time friends out for an afternoon and early evening of railfanning.

The local finally made it to Arlington and passed the station sign board.

The place the engineer suggested was in the Goose Pond Sanctuary where a significant hill causes the railroad to have a curving route over the hill, as seen here.

With the light fading, we broke off the chase after this shot at Morrisonville at a bar and grill. Usually the crew stops in this town, maybe at this watering hole, for supper, but the engineer had told me on the phone that they had work to perform at De Forest and would not take their supper break in Morrisonville tonight.

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