Fish Car, Pullman Co., Lot 4015, Plan 2642, 1913

Historic Photo Galleries of Badger #2
Badger #2 with DNR (1912-1945)
Badger #2 with W.A. Knapp (1945-1960)
Badger #2 with Mid-Continent (1960-2008)
Before restoration (2006)


Badger #2, fully restored in 2009.
Badger #2, fully restored in 2009.

The Pullman Company built this wooden car for the Wisconsin Fish Commission as “Badger #2” in September, 1913. It was designed with a steel underframe and fitted with steel tanks to carry fish to remote locations around the state to restock streams and rivers. The car would be stopped on a bridge and the tanks emptied into the water below.

At an unknown date, the car was sold to equipment dealer W.H. Knapp and renumbered #104.

In 1960, the car was the very first to be purchased by Mid-Continent. It was moved to Hillsboro, Wisconsin in 1962 to carry passengers for the first operating season, and then on to North Freedom in 1963.

Newly constructed fish tanks, 2009.
Newly constructed fish tanks, 2009.

#104 (or simply the “Fish Car”), as it is known to museum members, served as a regular coach in service to haul passengers on the museum’s line for many years, wearing several colorful paint schemes along the way. It was last used during Snow Train 1985.

A $950,000 full restoration to bring the car back to its as-built configuration complete with fish storage tanks was completed in 2008. The restoration is made possible by a grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, Wisconsin, and matching funds from hundreds of contributors.

Our sincerest thanks to all the individuals and foundations whose generous donations helped Mid-Continent match the $475,000 Jeffris Family Foundation Challenge Grant.


  • Sponsoring the Car Body: William Reinicker
  • Sponsoring the Observation Room: Fern Bloohm in memory of L. O. “Ozzie” Bloohm
  • Sponsoring the Fish Tank Room: Charles Gelatt
  • Sponsoring the Salon: Jeffrey B. Bloohm
  • Sponsoring the Kitchen: The 1772 Foundation
  • Sponsoring the Vestibules: Georgina & Thomas Russo, Julia & David Uihlein
  • Sponsoring the Trucks: The Hunt Memorial Trust
  • Sponsoring the Berths: Richard Levis, Kalmbach Publishing Company
  • Sponsoring the Fish Tanks: Janet Anderson, Janet Anderson in memory of August & Anna Anderson, Howard & Asta Blanchar, Gandy Dancer Festival, William Parker, Myra Reilly, Roman Vetter, The Wagner Foundation, The WISE Division of the NMRA.

Badger #2 Partners
Special thanks to all those who have and continue to contribute to the success of the Badger #2 Fish Car restoration.

  • Avalon Rail, Inc.
  • Fulkerstone Fine Arts, LLC
  • The Jeffris Family Foundation
  • McCutcheon Crane Lifts
  • Midwest Heavy Haul
  • Oakbrook Esser Studios
  • Tom Nedobeck
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Kailuna Enterprises
  • Lucid Glass Works
#104 at North Freedom, July 7, 1976. Ron Jones photo, MCRM collection
#104 at North Freedom, July 7, 1976. Ron Jones photo, MCRM collection
#104's interior at Mid-Continent, no date. MCRM collection
#104’s interior at Mid-Continent, no date. MCRM collection
#104 at North Freedom, 1963.
#104 at North Freedom, 1963.
#104 in service at Hillsboro, WI, May, 1962.  Jim Neubauer photo
#104 in service at Hillsboro, WI, May, 1962. Jim Neubauer photo
Fish Car #104 while owned by W. Knapp contractors; no date or other data; Paul Swanson collection.
Fish Car #104 while owned by W. Knapp contractors; no date or other data; Paul Swanson collection.
Badger 2, loading for a Fish Fry at Antigo, WIsconsin, 1921. A.J. Kingsbury photo, MCRM collection. December, 1978 Gazette.
Badger 2, loading for a Fish Fry at Antigo, WIsconsin, 1921. A.J. Kingsbury photo, MCRM collection. December, 1978 Gazette.