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Wisconsin and Southern Railroad

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Wisconsin and Southern Railroad
Posted by Outsailing86 on Friday, July 19, 2019 5:02 PM

hi all, I’m building a Wisconsin and Southern railroad in HO Scale. And looking for industry ideas. Does anyone have any recommendations? My trackplan is essentially the Scott Perry Heart of Georgia plan.

 

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Friday, July 19, 2019 8:10 PM

I could be mistaken, but I think MRR has a project RR or something that models that railroad. I would recommend surfing MRR's magazines from the past 5 years or so and looking through their online video content.

BNSF: Big and Noisy but Surely Fascinating!

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  • From: In the heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Friday, July 19, 2019 8:29 PM

When I was in the layout planning stage I did the following.  Google the railroad and see what industries are on the line.  Map the right of ways and find them on google maps.  You can follow the rail line pretty well when in map mode, and spurs are drawn also.  Convert over to the satellite and you might see rolling stock parked on the spur to give you an idea of the industry.  Also, google the name of the town and you can find out what the industry is....street view can also provide a view of the structure.

You could probably find many industries on the W&S simply by following these methods.  Then choose the industries that suit your tastes.  

If the trackplan is compact like the HOG with curves less than 30 inch radius, I'd stick to industries that use shorter cars, like cement, corn syrup, or possibly ballast/quarry.  Depending on era, shorter pulpwood flat cars might have been run on the W&S.  I'd try to stay away from cars longer than 55 feet.

- Douglas

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 19, 2019 8:46 PM

Watco owns the W&S is like the Gennese & Wyoming, an amalgam of short lines in a variety of locations.

According to the company site, the W&S:

The WSOR is a Class II regional railroad company operating in the southern half of the state of Wisconsin and a small portion of northeastern Illinois. WSOR operates 802 miles of branch and mainline track traversing a total of 21 counties in Wisconsin and Illinois, making it Wisconsin’s second largest railroad.

It is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin with access to Chicago via the Belt Railway of Chicago and harbor facilities on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, while maintaining several transloading sites within its system.

WSOR has branch offices in Janesville and Horicon. WSOR operates on mostly former Milwaukee Road tracks that were earmarked for abandonment in the late ’70s and early ’80s. These tracks are now owned and managed cooperatively by the State of Wisconsin and 18 counties with which WSOR has a 50-year operating agreement.

WSOR transports a variety of commodities for its customer base including forest products, fertilizers, grain (corn, soy beans, and wheat), plastics, consumer foods, paper, aggregates, chemicals, frac sand, ethanol, and liquid petroleum.

The other Watco railroads extend from Louisiana to Idaho and have all sorts of industries.  You can pretty much do anything if you are thinking of the parent company.

https://www.watcocompanies.com/services/rail/

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, July 20, 2019 7:38 AM

The WSOR uses mostly old MILW. ROW and track.

The MR's MR&T layout has a branch line depicting the WSOR.

Henry's post, right from web site, pretty much sums it up.

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, July 20, 2019 11:23 AM

Agriculture and food are two big industries on the WSOR and thus covered hoppers and modern boxcars (for canned goods and perhaps also the cans themselves) are often seen on their trains.  There are many WSOR boxcars to be seen.  But I also see them switching many tank cars at a nearby industry - might be printer's ink.

One nice feature of the WSOR website is that they actually publish the service plans for their three main bases of operation: Horicon (the original home base of the WSOR and a former Milwaukee Road junction), Janesville (also former Milwaukee, where they use the 1905 roundhouse and a turntable, and Madison.  Those service plans list the customers and often the lading, or you can guess the lading from the customer name, so in a sense they've done a lot of the work for you in selecting industries to model, what traffic there is, and such.  Google Sattelite view gives you the track plans and often a good look at the industries.  

https://www.watcocompanies.com/services/rail/wsor/

https://www.watcocompanies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Horicon-Milwaukee-Service-Plan-April-2019.pdf

https://www.watcocompanies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Janesville-Service-Plan-April-2019.pdf

https://www.watcocompanies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Madison-Service-Plan-April-2019.pdf

the Madison line goes all the way to the Mississippi River (Prairie du Chien) and you see lots of sand service covered hoppers there.

When the WSOR was first starting out, there were still intermodal (TOFC) loading ramps at surprisingly small towns like Ripon WI.  That era of intermodal is over, mostly, but it existed and I can recall seeing a Crab Orchard and Egyptian 89' flat car at Ripon.  I remember it because at that time (1978 or so) the CO&E (an Illinois short line) was trying to make a go of it using steam locomotives, in the form of a 2-4-2 that had been converted into a regular tender type locomotive from a 2-4-2T.  I know that is not relevant to the WSOR per se.  However it also should be said that the WSOR is a steam friendly railroad.  Soo Line 2-8-2 1003 is often seen on the line, partiocurly around Christmas, and years ago ex-C&NW 4-6-0 1385 ran excursions and such -- and the WSOR decided to use it for local switching!   

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Outsailing86 on Saturday, July 20, 2019 6:04 PM

Thanks for the tips amd there’s some neat information about the steam engines. I’ve got a couple steamers that I figured would run excursions from time to time. 

I went to the hobby shop today and picked up a couple turnouts and a ethanol car. I’m thinking I can put the ethanol plant in one corner, but I’ve got some questions on Ethanol plants. 

Are the ethanol cars weigheD before leaving the plant?

are they handled using a buffer car in the yard? Or is that only on the mainline?

the April 08 article is helping a lot! 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, July 22, 2019 4:44 PM

If you'd like to mix a bit of passenger train fun, the original owner of the WSOR had a great looking business train.  I think it was powered with 2 E8's

I'm sure while searching for info on the WSOR, you may have seen it.

It also served has his funeral train.

Mike.

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