Wisconsin Ghost Train.

While driving back from a recent mine trip, we chanced across a train parked alongside the road in the middle of nowhere. Some research revealed it to be a collection of abandoned rolling stock from the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad. This dinner and excursion line uses former Chicago & Northwestern Railway tracks from Spooner through Trego, Earl, and Springbrook, to the junction with active line near Stanberry. Downturns in the rail industry and a buyout by Union Pacific in the 90's left most of this line abandoned, like scores of other railroads throughout the Midwest. Tour runs used to go as far as Springbrook, but have apparently cut back to Trego. The line north of Trego is being used to store mothballed lumber and tanker cars, as well as the cars shown here.

Included among this particular string of cars were a number of older passenger coaches, a VIA rail sleeper car, an observation car with one orange side, a crane, a caboose-turned-snowplow, an Alco style switcher, and an F7 EMD. The F-series locomotives are some of my favorites, with their retro streamlined look and fully enclosed engine compartments. I explored another F-series in Alaska at the Transportation Museum a few years ago.

Former motive power, now derelict. F-7 #400 was stripped out for spare parts for WGNRR's other F-series engine.

Various control panels.

Exterior shots of some of the passenger coaches, which include a variety of ages and origins.

Interior shots of some of the coaches. One or two of these looked like someone's ill-fated redneck attempt to create a rail-based trailer park

The maintenance cars in the middle of the string included a snowplow that seems to have been made from an old caboose, and a flatcar with a crane stuck onto it that has been used as redneck target practice.

Various train-nerd closeups.

Assorted other shots.

Some of the many stored lumber cars awaiting increases in demand for rail traffic.

A few other sites discussing this railroad and these cars: