C&NW #1385 Wins Grant from John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust

Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s restoration of Chicago & North Western #1385 was recently named one of the winners of the first ever round of grants offered by the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust. The grant gives the C&NW 1385 project a $10,000 boost toward the production of a new boiler. A new boiler is major component of the 1907 locomotive’s overhaul to make it steam-worthy well into the 21st century.

check presentation

Tom Sharratt and Naurine Lennox present a $10,000 check from Emery Rail Trust to Mid-Continent Railway Museum, accepted by museum President Jeff Bloohm. The grant is in support of Chicago & North Western #1385’s new boiler.

Sometimes referred to as Mid-Continent’s “ambassador of steam,” the C&NW #1385 was the first steam locomotive ever operated by Mid-Continent Railway Museum in 1963. In the 1980s it was used by the Chicago & North Western Railway as their goodwill ambassador to the public, traveling extensively on the C&NW network and bringing operating railroad history to many thousands of people in their hometowns. At Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s North Freedom, Wisconsin location, the locomotive was often seen in service pulling museum visitors up and down the former C&NW branch line which Mid-Continent calls home.

These past achievements and future plans for the locomotive fit perfectly within the goals of the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust. Among the criteria Mr. Emery established for the Trust were:

  1. To help re-create and preserve, to the extent possible, the rail passenger travel experience as it was in the U. S. from approximately 1920 through 1960.
  2. To preserve and restore to working order rolling stock and other working artifacts from the “Golden Age” of the U.S. rail passenger service.
  3. The emphasis shall be on organizations that offer the general public an opportunity to ride historically significant equipment over historic rail lines. The Trust may, however, support organizations that would use modern equipment to restore passenger service over historic rails, or to build new rails on which to operate historic equipment in passenger service.

John Emery, a native of Chicago and lover of classic passenger trains, founded the Trust as way to support ongoing efforts to preserve examples of America’s great passenger trains. Emery was a world traveler, visiting over 125 nations. As an avid railway buff both abroad and in the U.S., John rode the rails as often as possible. Utilizing his talents as a businessman, investor, and accomplished writer, he grew to become a great philanthropist, sharing his success through multiple foundations. Emery passed away peacefully in 2012 at the age of 75. Now his legacy lives on through the foundations he established and the Advisory Committee now appointed to continue his philanthropy.

In all, 11 grants totaling $162,500 were awarded in this first series offered by the Emery Rail Heritage Trust. Grant winners spanned the country from Tennessee to New England, New Mexico to Michigan. Among the grant winners were several other steam locomotive restorations, rolling stock, and infrastructure projects.

Summer 2015 Road Closure

Due to the ongoing construction of a US Highway 12 bypass around Baraboo, State Highway 136 in West Baraboo is closed while an interchange is constructed. The closure is expected last until mid-September 2015. Highway 136 is normally the most frequently used route to reach Mid‑Continent Railway … Continue reading

Steam Readiness Auction May 2, 2015

Steam power will soon be a reality once again at Mid-Continent. As part of the Steam-Readiness Program, certain items that do not fit the focus or needs of the museum will be offered at auction.

Open House – May 1, 2015 — 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Auction – May 2, 2015 — 10:00 a.m.

at North Freedom, Wisconsin


A HISTORICAL EVENT IS HAPPENING — A NEVER-BEFORE OPPORTUNITY TO BID ON ITEMS FROM THE MID-CONTINENT RAILWAY MUSEUM.

With ‘Full Steam Ahead’ the museum is offering many years of hidden treasures that do not fit the time period or focus under which the museum operates.

Included in the auction will be rolling stock, equipment, car and engine parts, rail, steam engine tires, and a large assortment of artifacts and memorabilia from C&NW, Soo Line, Canadian National, Illinois Central, Milwaukee Road, Burlington Northern, Monon, Rock Island, Baltimore & Ohio,  and many other railroads.  Items to be auctioned will be of interest to railroad museums, railroad companies, and all railroad enthusiasts.

Rolling Stock:  2 steam locomotives, caboose, Mt. Harvard coach/sleeper car, CN coach car, AC&Y cars, steam wrecker/cranes, tender, American crane.

Equipment and Parts:  Wheel lathe, LeRoi Self-Propelled Air Compressor, Grade-All Excavator, GMC truck, portable steam boiler, and much more.

Artifacts and Memorabilia: Many lanterns, conductor hats, collectible framed photos, old wall phones and teletype, old suitcases, some railroad dining china, boxes of date nails, many old timetables from various railroads, railroad dining menus, old railroad operations paperwork, and much more.

Other:  Large 12-ft wide metal ‘Chicago Great Western Freight Office’ outdoor sign, Elevated crossing shanty, HO model train sets (brass, Disney, and Marklin).

Final listing of items may change due to logistics and other considerations.

WWW.HAMELEAUCTIONS.COM

WWW.BILLPERKINSAUCTION.COM 

  
TERMS: 10 % Buyers Fee. Online bidder’s 13% buyer’s fee, 3% Convenience Fee for all Credit / Debit card (Master, Discover & Visa Cards) payments. No Tax Cash or Check, Positive Photo ID required, Bank letter of guarantee for all rolling stock paying with a check. $50 Fee on all Returned Checks. Everything sold AS-IS. No Refunds. Announcements made the day of auction have precedence over prior advertisements. All items must be removed day of sale, except rolling stock has 30 days and  must be prescheduled for pick-up.
UNITED COUNTRY HAMELE AUCTION & REALTY & UNITED COUNTRY BILL PERKINS AUCTION & REALTY: 1325 W. Wisconsin St. Portage, WI 53901 608-742-5000 Registered Wisconsin Auctioneers: Travis Hamele #2224 Pardeeville, WI. 608-697-3349, Bill Perkins #1956 Avalon, WI 608-755-1802

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2015 Trainman Class Scheduled

Join the Mid-Continent Railway Operating Crew

Here is a unique opportunity to be a part of our working railroad by joining the Mid-Continent Railway Museum Operating Department . We are now accepting applications for our training school beginning on April 18th.

What does a trainman do?

Note: The term ‘trainman’ is the historical job title used by railroads of the era and thus is used at Mid-Continent. Women can and do serve as trainmen as well and are encouraged to participate in all facets of museum operations.

Trainman inspecting train.

Trainman inspecting journal boxes.

Trainmen work alongside the conductor, fireman, and engineer to operate demonstration train rides for museum visitors. The position includes physical aspects: coupling/uncoupling cars, guiding train movements, inspecting cars, etc. It also includes social aspects: speaking with museum visitors and passengers, answering questions, and serving as a public face of the museum.

What is taught in the class?

During your four day training (two successive weekends) you’ll learn the basic operating and safety rules in use by Mid-Continent Railway during classroom sessions and then working outside with the museum’s equipment during the hands-on portion.

Eligibility requirements

Only Mid-Continent Railway Museum members ages 18 and above and in good standing are eligible. Four days of in-classroom training is required followed by individually scheduled student trips (job shadowing) and a final qualifying test. Persons qualified on other railroads are not exempted from the required training. Limited class space available and signup is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Keep in mind that some aspects will require you to be physically capable of but not limited to performing such tasks as throwing switches, replacing coupler knuckles, minor rolling stock maintenance, climbing onto and off of equipment, and working in all types of weather conditions.

Do I have to to know a great deal about trains and railroad history to enroll?

Trainman operating switch stand.

A trainman throws a switch for MCRY #7.

What you need to know about train operations will be taught to you in class. As for general railroad and railroad history knowledge, there are no prerequisites or tests. You will learn a lot just by going through the class and student trips and being around fellow volunteers. Your instructors may have suggested reading materials for you as well.

How frequently is the class offered?

The trainman class is offered once per year, each spring.

Is there a class to become a conductor or locomotive engineer?

Yes, but all new train crew volunteers must start as trainmen.

How much does the class cost?

The cost to attend is free, but you will need to equip yourself with the proper clothing and purchase a rule book which will be explained in the trainee’s invitation email.

What is the time commitment?

The training program last 4 days (April 18-19, 25-2, 9am-5pm). This must be followed up by completing several days of independently scheduled student trips prior the end of the season.

What if I am not a Mid-Continent Railway Museum member?

Museum membership is open to anyone and starts at $40.00 per year. For more information on membership, see the Join Us page.

How do I sign up for the class or find out more information?

Contact the Superintendent of Operations, Kelly Bauman, at operations@midcontinent.org

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