The 400 Calls on Milwaukee

Located at the end of Wisconsin Street (now Wisconsin Avenue) stood the Chicago & North Western’s train depot. The 207 foot tall Romanesque clock tower made it an instant landmark for city folk and favorite target of Mother Nature’s winter furry when completed in 1899. Designed by Charles Summer Frost, the depot featured a train shed that was tucked below the bluff along the shore of Lake Michigan, making the accompanying hillside a perfect vantage point to sit and watch the activity. Efforts to save this splendid structure as a reminder of hometown railroading failed and in 1968, she succumbed to the wrecking ball in a pile of dust. Rail patrons were then redirected to the new Donald Grieb styled depot on St. Paul Avenue where the C&NW shared a train shed with the Milwaukee Road. Today, auto traffic briefly traverses the old line northbound on Lake Drive and most motorists are oblivious to the fact that they are driving on the ghost rails of trains long gone.

On this sunny fall day in the mid 1950’s, before the completion of the War Memorial, the famous 400 calls on the Cream City with a Minneapolis bound streamliner in tow. Intent on keeping her “400 miles in 400 minutes” schedule form Chicago to the Twin Cities, she’ll pause just long enough to detrain patrons and board additional travelers with business in Minneapolis. In the blink of an eye, but not before sounding a few off key notes from her baritone horns, she’ll duck beneath Lincoln Memorial Drive and glide through the suburb of Shorewood where the local police guard the grade crossings from the passing blur of green and yellow.

18 x 24 original acrylic painting was completed in 1999.

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Departing Green Bay

Only a small contingent of on-lookers has gathered to witness the departure of train #110, The Flambeau pulled by the mighty Pacific 2911 from the Chicago & North Western’s Green Bay Wisconsin depot located on Dousman Street. The snow on this March morning has all but melted away as the powerful E-2-A , 4-6-2 leaves the depot with a High Ball signal for Milwaukee.

This beautiful red brick depot opened to passengers on July 29, 1899 and was build by Charles C. Rioch (who also constructed the Milwaukee Road’s depot in Green Bay) stands today as a reminder for how traveling was once synonymous with home town railroads. The depots stately clock tower was once proudly adorned with a large round neon lighted “400” emblem that was perched track side below the clock so there would be no confusion as to what roads famous fleet of speed liners stopped there on a daily basis.

24 x 30 original acrylic painting completed was in 1998.

I hope you enjoy my paintings. If you are interested in purchasing prints, cards or any other items be sure to click on the link and visit my store.