March 21, 2011 Travis Dewitz

A Day With the Wisconsin Northern

A rare night move of a string of coal hoppers that are destined for storage around Barron, WI. Photo taken in Bloomer, WI.

Back in June 2009 I had the privilege of spending the day with the Wisconsin Northern crew. I started my day meeting them in Chippewa Falls, WI. They had already started their yard work at Norma and Pliant Plastics. The switching lasted a couple hours and then we were ready to head north.


Shoving back a cut of cars at Chippewa Falls, WI.

The engineer and I headed towards Bloomer in WN 1500, as the conductor shadows the train in a Progressive Rail badged Ford F150. Track speed is a decent 25mph to Bloomer allowing us to make good time there. The crew switched out a a few cars in Bloomer and a few more on the north end of town.

North of Bloomer track speed is an agonizing 10mph but we still pushed on. We made a few set out and pick ups along the way as we made our way to Rice Lake, WI. From Rice Lake we headed back south to Cameron, WI where we crossed the diamond and then wyed the train for westward movement to Barron, WI.


Old tower south of Rice Lake. I believe it was were the CNW crossed the Soo.


They were installing a new grade crossing in Cameron and the construction crew had us test the rail a few times. The engineer powered the train back and forth on the new rail as workers on the ground got down and looked for any issues.

Running north near New Auburn, WI.



After the train was wyed, we were off to Barron. The end of the day was near and the train would be tied down there for the night. The next day the crew would pick up were they left off and make their way back to Chippewa Falls.

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