Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: A historic Wisconsin depot

Posted by Matt Van Hattem
on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Amtrak's Empire Builder passes one of the oldest train stations in Wisconsin. We're in Brookfield, the town that borders Waukesha to the northeast

Throughout the month of August, I want to try a photography project that focuses on the trains in TRAINS Magazine's backyard. How many different pictures can be taken in a circle extending 10.27 miles from downtown Waukesha, Wis.?

In this photo, Amtrak's Empire Builder passes one of the oldest train stations in Wisconsin. We're in Brookfield, the town that borders Waukesha to the northeast. The wooden depot you see in the distance was built in 1867.

Milwaukee's Hiawatha trains once raced by here on their way from Chicago to Minneapolis, although even by the mid-20th century, few trains actually stopped in Brookfield (the depot is 14 miles west of Milwaukee).

The Chicago-Twin Cities route is now owned by Canadian Pacific. And Amtrak keeps the passenger tradition alive with the daily appearance of the Empire Builder, running between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest. The westbound Amtrak train had left Milwaukee about 25 minutes earlier and will stay on CP rails until the Twin Cities. Next stop is Columbus, Wis., 65 miles and 70 minutes from Milwaukee.

What I like:

In one frame, I was able to capture Wisconsin's sole remaining long-distance passenger train and one of the state's oldest depots.

What I don't like:

The station building is not as prominent as I would have liked. I'll have to try some other angles here. The building's location, between the two main tracks adds, to the challenge.

Galleries:
Flickr: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS' backyard album
Facebook: Trains Magazine Facebook Page

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