Swansong of the Flambeau

Train 216, The Flambeau 400 with two 1958 bi-level cars in tow, calls on Eland Wisconsin after coming down the line from Ashland enroute to Green Bay, Milwaukee and finally Chicago on this first day of 1960. To the west of the depot on the Marshfield line, a pair of GP7’s idles as the crew, taking advantage of a lull in the action, has gone inside to top off their thermos’s with hot coffee. They’ll soon retreat to the confines of cab # 1549 in hopes to sip a cup or two before hooking up to a string of pulp cars due within the hour from Wausau. Eland’s fine depot once boasted a lunch counter that existed for the pure indulgence of its patrons traveling one of the 38 passenger or 30 freight trains that converged from all four directions each day. Eight of those passenger trains alone arrived between the hours of 11:00-1:00pm daily.

Unfortunately, by the time this scene was captured, automobiles were already replacing the passenger train and semi trucks had their ligature tightening on the remaining freight traffic. Not even new bi-level equipment or a depot freshly painted in matching 400 colors could persuade people to go by train.

The line from Eland north to Rhinelander was abandoned on August 24, 1982 and the last steel wheels to scrape the rust from the rails was GP7 # 4152 on January 30, 1994. The depot still stands today as a faded reminder of the glory days of railroading in Wisconsin’s north woods.

18 x 24 original acrylic painting was completed in 2007.

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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.