The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company.

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The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company.
Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:36 PM

Anyone interested in seeing right of way pictures as some of the routes appear today?    If so, next time I am in Wisconsin I can snap a few photos and post them here.    Surprised TRAINS Magazine has not done this because a good portion of the right of way is still preserved in sections, it would be a good spread for the Magazine and cheap since the routes are all around the Kalmbach Corporate HQ.    Including the former Waukesha Beach Station Stop......which is now a grove of trees but it is still there in land with no development yet (has a historical marker though).    The adjoining Amusement Park that used to be there is a subdivision now.

Also,  whatever happened to that inch and a half thick volume that was color and B&W photos mostly that was done on the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company?    They still have a very old copy in my local libraray, love the book and would like my own copy but I cannot find it anywhere.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 22, 2018 7:57 AM

I have a very sad story about that CERA Bulletin that was a thick history and all you would want to know about the TMER&L.  I brought it with me to Israel, and then decided it belonged in the library of the American Consulat's (or Embassy's) Jeerusalem reading room, near the center of the City, so Israelis could learn how streetcars guided the growth of an American city, and where I would eassily find it anytime I wished to use it.  The Librarian "de-accessed" it without offering to return it to me.  I have not made any donations to that Library since then.

Like all CERA publications, it is a wonderful book.

I rode the streetcar system, after the interurbans quit, the summer of 1952, going to and from LaGrange via the Burlington and the North Shore.

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Sunday, July 22, 2018 9:05 AM

I bought my first copy of CERA bulletin 112 when I was 12. I bought it at the bookstore of the East Troy trolley Museum . 

 

I have several copies now,( For sale) at one time they were worth alot. 

I grew up in East Troy. I recall the trolleys moving the freight clearly. 

I walked or biked the entire TM and the North Shore system in the early 80s.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:25 PM

You have my email address, so please contact me, and I determine if I can afford your price plus shipping via FedEx.

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Sunday, July 22, 2018 2:12 PM

I sent you an E Mail Dave.

 

RSS

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, July 23, 2018 5:38 PM

Randy,

Thanks for posting back.    Would rather not give out my address.   I am curious is the book out of print?    Not sold anymore?

 

 

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Monday, July 23, 2018 5:49 PM

It's been out of print since 1974

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 10:51 AM

Could such a system work in Milw today on the same route? Had it not been for the railfan trip that Trains did in 1950s that ended in distastor the line might still be in operation. Coach USA runs express commuter buses on the same route to  Wakesha WI

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 3:27 PM

The State of Wisconsin REALLY needed the land to get the freeway downtown. I don't think it would have lasted much beyond the wreck. Remember the North Shore quit in 1963. Electric railways were going away.

The same route today would make sense.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, July 26, 2018 9:39 AM

Randy Stahl
It's been out of print since 1974

OK, thanks.   Wonder why Kalmbach doesn't buy the rights to the book, it's a real popular book.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, July 26, 2018 10:42 AM

CandOforprogress2
Had it not been for the railfan trip that Trains did in 1950s that ended in distastor the line might still be in operation.

It was a NMRA trip and convention not a Trains trip.     The owner of the line was piloting one of the cars that crashed.   It didn't help any that he told the press "I don't know what happened" after the crash and that "maybe someone ran a signal or something".     He also made further statements like "I had a dream the night before there would be a bad crash thats why I was running one of the cars"  and "I was really concerned with running that many extra trips and mingling them in with the regular traffic on the line".    The guy was almost charged with multiple counts of man slaughter in large part based on his public comments.   Maybe he was still in shock after the accident to make all those comments, who knows.

At any rate the Feds or State insisted after the crash that specific signaling improvements and other safety improvements be made which Speedrail could not afford or viably finance given the lack of traffic on the line.    So he choose abandonment as he was operating on a shoe string budget already.

CandOforprogress2
Coach USA runs express commuter buses to the same route to Waukesha, WI

.

Only roughly.    TMER&LCo went Milwaukee to just West of the Stadium then headed due South towards National Ave, took National Avenue into Waukesha, then veered across I-94 just before the Highway G exit then due West towards Delafield, then into downtown Delafield, then back to I-94 parallel to Pabst Farms then straight North to Oconomowoc parallels the Milwaukee Road at entry into the city for a bit, then West - Northwest to Ixonia and onto Watertown.    TMER&LCo was the most direct Milwaukee to Waukesha route other than the largely parallel ex-C&NW route.

The buses run on I-94 West and WisDOT initially paid for their subsidy as I believe they replaced the former Milwaukee County Transit "Freeway Flyer" service part of the way. also they were several times pointed out as what WisDOT was willing to do instead of heavy rail Commutter, thats why they go further west than Waukesha on I-94 with the park and ride lots most of the way to Watertown, WI.

There is still a rail line that parallels the I-94 route roughly for the most part into Waukesha.    Milwakee Road to Brookfield Depot.     Just beyond the Brookfield depot there is the old Milwaukee and Mississippi cutoff to Waukesha (formerly the Milwaukee and Waukesha), which intersects with CN former Soo Line under I-94.

The rail and steel bridges are still in place between Brookfield and the under freeway junction with CN.    Not sure if it is out of service or rail banked.   I think it is out of service because the rails to trails folks were after converting it to a trail and so far nothing has happened, rails still in place under the grass.    Steel Bridges can support full sized hoppers carrying rock because Milwaukee Road used to run Rock Trains from the Quary on Highway 164 to Brookfield over this line with dual MP15AC's.     They used the lighter locomotives only for the line West of Waukesha which is now WSOR and in much, much better condition.........line has a break in Waukesha after the CN junction but still goes all the way to Platteville, WI on the Mississippi River from a junction in West Waukesha.

Anyhow, would be a fairly fast trip Milwaukee to Brookfield and into Waukesha if you could bring the out of service portion back and get trackage rights between the I-94 junction and the CN Waukesha Depot (which is still in great condition, fairly large and can be repurposed).

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Thursday, July 26, 2018 1:12 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
Randy Stahl
It's been out of print since 1974

 

OK, thanks.   Wonder why Kalmbach doesn't buy the rights to the book, it's a real popular book.

 

It's not popular. Most people that remember the system are gone. Easy to forget that the last streetcar in Milwaukee ran in 1958. The last interurban was gone in 1963 and the last TMER&L (speedrail) train was in 1951. 

Most other midwest interurbans were gone long before the Milwaukee system. 

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Posted by desertdog on Saturday, August 04, 2018 2:38 PM

I find it interesting that in the years after abandonment, Wisconsin Electric Power Company, successor to TMER&L (it's We Enegies today) bulldozed the elevated belt line around the south side of Milwaukee leading to their Oak Creek power plant. While it was freight only and rarely used for most of its length, I suspect there was concern that local politics might force it back to use for public transit.

 

John Timm

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Saturday, August 04, 2018 3:25 PM

You might be thinking about the Lakeside belt line to the Lakeside power plant in St Francis on Milwaukee's South side. Most of the ROW is still intact but the power plant is gone. 

After the abandonment of the rapid transit line to Hales Corners the line from Greenwood junction to Powerton was removed. The rest of the line was removed including the coal yard in the mid 70s.

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Posted by desertdog on Saturday, August 04, 2018 6:52 PM

Hi Randy,

Yes, that's the line in quesion. Couldn't recall the exact name of the power plant. I do know that they had a dedicated car to bring employees into the plant, along with coal. If you can find a picture from before the 50s, you will see that the embankment was much higher and crossed the north-south streets on bridges. 

 

John Timm

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