In the Shadow of the Hiawatha: CP Rail’s Former Milwaukee Road at Wyocena.


Trains Magazine’s Brian Schmidt and I were making the most of sunny frosty weather in central Wisconsin.

We arrived at Columbus to refuel.

Upon exiting the gas station, we spotted a westward CP Rail train making its way over the old Milwaukee Road mainline. Soon we were in rapid pursuit.

I navigated using my iPhone and we found our way to an open crossing near Wyocena.

“Hey, I know this place” I remarked upon arrival at Salisbury Road. “I caught Milwaukee Road 261 here back in 2004.”

As we waited for our westward freight, I imagined what it would have been like to see Milwaukee’s famous streamlined Hiawatha  race through at 100 plus mph.

Wow. That would have been exhilarating. An Otto Kuhler styled 4-6-4 in yellow, orange, gray and maroon. 

Before my time . . .

So we happily settled for a BNSF former Santa Fe SD75M leading two CP Rail units on a long drag freight.

Photo exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm pancake lens; ISO 400, Velvia Color Profile.

We were rewarded by a following westward freight a few minutes later, and then an eastbound! 

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