Posts

Showing posts from December, 2018

Trestle Park in Milwaukee

Image
The Trestle of Trestle Park. Andrew Grigg, photgrapher. Trestle Park is Milwaukee's tiny answer to the growing trend of linear parks in major cities which utilize abandoned railroad corridors, in the same vein as Philadelphia's Rail Park  and New York City's amazing High Line . While Trestle Park is much smaller than the other parks mentioned, after visiting it, I can say it nonetheless has a great charm in it's small size. Looking from one end of the park to the other. The Park opened earlier this year after being proposed and approved in 2017 . The signature trestle pictured, while certainly it's namesake, isn't part of the park. The park, located in the Historic Third Ward neighborhood south of downtown Milwaukee is part of the Third Ward RiverWalk, along the Milwaukee River. It is part of a large scale redevelopment of the area as well, which was quite obvious on the drive to the park. Many new condos, restaurants, and businesses make up the nearb

UTA's "S" Line, A Railroad Reactivation

Image
Utah Transit Authority , or UTA's, S Line, otherwise known as the Sugar House Streetcar , is an example of a railroad line reactivated post abandonment.  The streetcar runs a 2 mile back and forth route in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City along a once abandoned Denver & Rio Grande Western/Union Pacific right of way known simply as the Sugarhouse Branch . It connects to Central Pointe Station , where riders can connect to the rest of Salt Lake City's light rail system. Image: Robert Holman, 2014 The line was passed down to Union Pacific, who abandoned the line in 2005. Much earlier, the line actually connected Salt Lake City with Park City along a similar path that I-80 follows in the Parley's Canyon. ( Right of way ) The project of converting the line into a streetcar began construction in 2009, and opened in 2013. Some of the former rails are still located adjacent to the streetcar line, a relic of the line’s history. When it opened, its name was changed

2018 Recap, and What's Next in Abandoned Railroads

Image
As 2018 comes to a close, I figured I would review what an incredible year it's been, what I've been doing, what I've accomplished, and what's next to come. With that said, this year was made possible in large part thanks to the individual contributions and help from many of you, so as always, thank you and keep up the good work! January: January began for us in frigid conditions next to Lake Como, WI at the French Country Inn Hotel. Unbeknownst to me what I booked the hotel, there was an abandoned railroad right of way in the parking lot. At a temperature of -16, I took this shot of the former CNW Williams Bay branch. At this time, I was already well on my way to tracing abandoned railroads, and was aware of the Williams Bay branch, having taken some pictures of the ROW which is currently Lake Geneva's Bike Trail nearby, but I wouldn't connect the dots until looking at topo maps when we were at the hotel. "BRR" It would set the tone for

The Polar Express (Pere Marquette 1225) History & Movie Review

Image
It's the Holiday Season once again, and as a result, I figured I'd mix things up a bit and discuss a Christmas Movie, The Polar Express , and it's significance to the railroad industry as a whole. The movie is based off of a 1985 book  of the same name, which itself is based off of a locomotive, specifically Pere Marquette 1225. The author, Chris Van Allsburg, grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, and visited the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, MI, where the locomotive was in service and on display, which it remains to this day. Image: locomotive.wikia.com According to it's fan-page, Pere Marquette 1225 is "is a class N-1 2-8-4 Berkshire-type steam locomotive". As someone who's interests in railroading are more in the routes themselves and not so much the engines, I really don't know what that means. That said, the locomotive really is gorgeous, and it doesn't take much imagination to see how glorious it would be as a Christmas steam engine

The Aurora Roundhouse - From Railroad History to Walter Payton and Today

Image
As with any building, it's time and purpose comes and goes. The railroad industry is no exception. Such was the case for the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Roundhouse and Locomotive Shop in Aurora, IL. The Aurora Roundhouse in the 1930's. Image:  https://www.theclio.com/web/entry?id=26944 The Roundhouse and it's subsequent buildings were first opened in 1857 for servicing locomotives on the Chicago & Aurora Railroad, not to be confused with the later interurban railway the Chicago Aurora & Elgin. The C&A was the first predecessor railroad which would develop into the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and it's Chicago to Aurora route is to this day one of the busiest in the United States, both for freight and passenger traffic. Locomotives using the roundhouse. Image: Matthew Powers There were actually two roundhouses in the complex by the 1870's. But an 1880 fire would destroy many of the original structures. The 2nd roundhouse was