Wisconsin Chapter meetings are held on the first Friday of every month (except June, July & August), at 7:30 p.m., in the lower level meeting room of the North Shore Congregational Church, 7330 North Santa Monica Boulevard in Fox Point, Wisconsin. Click here for a Bing map and directions.
Important note: In-person chapter gatherings have been canceled for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak. In their place, we will hold virtual meetings. See below for additional information.
Our meetings are always open to members and to anyone who has an interest in railroad history or today's railroad operations. No admission fee is charged. If you find yourself aligned with the goals of the chapter, please consider joining.
Friday, October 2, 2020 - Wisconsin Great Northern
In place of our in-person meeting, we will hold a virtual meeting, online, on the Zoom platform.
Join us in October for a discussion with Greg Vreeland, President of Wisconsin Great Northern. WGN, based in the northwestern Wisconsin town of Trego, is more than a typical short line railroad. Their business model relies on tourist train operations, last-mile freight service to Hayward, Wisconsin, and car storage.
WGN thinks differently. As a tourist hauler, the railroad initiated five-night-a-week dinner train service - and offered optional bed & breakfast accommodations on the train. When faced with the season-ending coronavirus, the railroad used the break to undertake a major trackwork project. And, in July 2020, the railroad announced that it is restoring the original Burlington Mark Twain Zephyr trainset for service. This trainset has languished, exposed to the elements, since its last run on the CB&Q six decades ago. Wisconsin Great Northern's audacious plan is to return it to revenue service on its scenic line along the Namekagon River in 2021.
Greg will share the history of the family-run railroad and his vision for the future of rail freight and historic rail preservation in Wisconsin's northwoods.
Wisconsin Great Northern in Trego, Wisconsin, September 2004
Photo by Rich Peters
Mark Twain Zephyr observation car Tom Sawyer at Gateway Rail Services, Madison, Illinois, July 2020
Photo by Mike Yuhas
Mark Twain Zephyr power car Injun Joe at Gateway Rail Services, Madison, Illinois, July 2020
Photo by Mike Yuhas
Wisconsin Great Northern President Greg Vreeland
Photo by Mike Yuhas
Members and other interested individuals are encouraged to download the Zoom software to their computers (or tablets, or smartphones) to "attend." More information will be found in the October issue of the Chapter newsletter, Sparks & Cinders, and via the chapter's email announcements. Zoom connection info will be sent to all who request it. If you would like to be notified of the meeting details, please send a note to president (at-sign) nrhswis (dot) org. Thank you.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 7:30 PM - Online Slide Show
In order to foster community during the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin Chapter NRHS is holding alternate-month online slide shows on the Zoom platform. These are expected to continue even after we resume our regular in-person monthly membership meetings, whenever that might be.
Join us October 20 for the Chapter's first regularly-scheduled online slide show! Less formal than a regular meeting, we envision these online events to feature the work of five railroad photographers, each presenting a 15-minute slide show on a variety of railroad subjects. Unlike our annual Members' Favorite Slide Night, non-members may present at this event (though membership is encouraged!).
The program for tonight's event:
- Don Marson - winter in New England and elsewhere
- Andy Wehrle - railroading around Wisconsin
- Bill Christopher - Green Bay & Western then and now
- Steven Chen - trains in Atlanta
- Erik Lindgren - Colorado
Members are encouraged to download the Zoom software to their computers (or tablets, or smartphones) to participate. More information can be found in Sparks & Cinders and via the chapter's email announcements. If you would like to be notified of the meeting details, or if you would like to present a 15-minute slideshow at a future event, please send a note to president (at-sign) nrhswis (dot) org. Thank you.
Friday, November 6, 2020 7:30 PM - CSX Honor Locomotives and other cool CSX things
In place of our in-person meeting, please attend our virtual meeting online.
La Crosse native Eric T. Hendrickson, a Chief Dispatcher at CSX in Jacksonville, will regale us with stories about the development of CSX's locomotives honoring veterans, first responders and law enforcement. He'll also talk about some of the other high-profile projects he's had a hand in, such as the annual Santa Train.
"ETH," a diehard Green Bay Packers fan, has held a variety of positions on Canadian Pacific's Soo Line and on CSX. In addition to an evening of tales about CSX, it's a safe bet he'll share a few anecdotes about his time on Soo Line in Wisconsin. An enthusiastic, gifted speaker, Eric will make this one of our liveliest, most memorable meeting programs of the season.
CSXT 1776 and CSXT 911 at their unveiling at Huntington, West Virginia, April 30 2019. All photos this section by William M. Beecher Jr.
CSXT 1776 "Spirit of our Armed Forces" and military veteran CSX employees at Huntington, West Virginia.
CSXT 911 "Spirit of our First Responders" on its first revenue run at Altapass, North Carolina, May 4, 2019.
CSXT 3194 is unveiled at Huntington, August 22, 2019.
CSXT 3194 "Spirit of our Law Enforcement" passes Big Sandy Junction in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, August 25, 2019.
Members and other interested individuals are encouraged to download the Zoom software to their computers (or tablets, or smartphones) to "attend." More information will be found in the November issue of the Chapter newsletter, Sparks & Cinders, and via the chapter's email announcements. Zoom connection info will be sent to all who request it. If you would like to be notified of the meeting details, please send a note to president (at-sign) nrhswis (dot) org. Thank you.
Friday, December 4, 2020 7:30 PM - Info to come
Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 7:30 PM - Online Slide Show
Info to come.