Tag Archives: #Wisconsin Central

Stone Train at Grand Ave

In the mid-1990s, Wisconsin Central actively pursued traffic to fill its lines with trains.

In this September 1996 photo a former Algoma Central SD40-2 leads a short stone train at Grand Avenue in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

These trains typicallyl ran with a single six-motor diesel and former Canadian National gypsum cars, often make several trips a day over the line.

I made this image using a Nikon F3T with f4.0 200mm Nikkor lens on Kodachrome Film.

Kodachrome’s grain structure permitted superior definition in extreme exposure situations such as the locomotive headlights. Where E6 films and digital media often suffer from poorly defined headlight areas, Kodachrome had a much better ability to retain detail.

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Santa Fe 5959 at Valley

Another photo from my classic Kodachrome file.

I made this photo of Santa Fe F45 5959, then working on Wisconsin Central, at Valley siding near Fond du Lac on May 20, 1995.

This was in the last light of evening when warm light bathed the landscape. Wisconsin Central had recently acquired a variety of 20-cylinder EMDs from Santa Fe. This is one of many slide I made of Santa Fe diesels working the WC.

I scanned the slide using a Nikon Coolscan5000 digital scanner.

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Canadian National Rock Train at Byron, Wisconsin.

Call this, ‘today’s lucky pic!’

I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, so I randomly selected this slide from a group of 600-plus 35mm color slide that I’d initially gathered as material for a book on EMD diesels.

This slide didn’t make the cut.

Nor was it labeled.

So, I called up my 1996 photo notes and looked up the relevant details.

At the time I was living in Waukesha, Wisconsin and working for Pacific RailNews.

On the morning of July 27, 1996, I had driven north (railroad timetable west) along the Wisconsin Central mainline toward Byron following a northward freight.

At Byron it met two eastbounds, the second of which was this Canadian National rock train led by Grand Trunk Western former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton GP40 6404.

CN had worked out an arrangement to run its rock trains over WC. Notably, this was several years before CN acquired Wisconsin Central, and at the time catching GTW locomotives on the WC was a novelty, if not unusual.

Working with my Nikon F3T with 105mm lens, I exposed this slide at f6.3 1/500 at 741am. I noted that this was my ‘full daylight’ setting for Fujichrome Sensia 100.

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