The Wisconsin & Michigan Railway

The Wisconsin & Michigan Railway was the 1893 brainchild of John N Faithorn, A Chicago railroad tycoon with financial backing to build a road that would connect the iron-rich Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with the steel mills in Chicago and other Great Lakes cities, using both railroads and car ferries. (Right-of-Way)

Image: "Employees of the Wisconsin and Michigan Railway at the Round House in Peshtigo Wisconsin."

In spite of the global Panic of 1893, funding from John Bagley among others meant construction began on the line, regauging the Ingalls White Rapids & Northern Railroad to standard gauge to incorporate into the new right of way.

Eventually the line connected Iron Mountain, MI with Peshtigo, WI, using surplus rail from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and with trackage rights on the Milwaukee Road at Marinette, WI would have ferry access, which began in 1895. In 1908, the railroad reached its maximum size, with a few branch lines primarily used for logging operations. 

Image: Photo Info/Credit: A W&M passenger train is photographed near Fumee Falls, date unknown. [Dickenson County Historical Society] via MichiganRailroads

The railroad had heavy traffic late into the 1920's, and was quite successful in comparison to some other short lines of the era, although it was in receivership in 1912. However, the stock market crash of 1929 dealt the road a blow that it could not recover from, and the poor condition of the track rendered it a losing investment. By 1938, after unable to find a buyer for the line, it was abandoned.

"This blueprint map shows Wisconsin and Michigan-owned railroad and trackage rights from Iron Mountain to Menominee, Michigan, as well as other railroads. W & M railroad is indicated in red line, with trackage right to C.M ST. Railroad represented yellow. Cities and Green Bay are Labeled. Portion of Michigan is visible in the map." (Wisconsin History)

A much more detailed history of the railroad is available here. Thanks as always for reading!


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