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A steeplecab electric locomotive shown outside of the storage barn in East Troy

The East Troy Electric Railroad (reporting mark METW) is a heritage railroad operating passenger excursions on a 7-mile stretch of track from East Troy, Wisconsin to Mukwonago, Wisconsin.

Contents

History

The line dates back to 1907, when it was a part of the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company line from East Troy to Milwaukee.

The East Troy-Mukwonago segment was transferred to the Village of East Troy in 1939, when the remainder of the line to Milwaukee was abandoned, and was operated by the village until 1985 when the Wisconsin Trolley Museum took over the operation of the railroad.

The Friends of East Troy Railroad Museum, Inc. purchased the rail line and rolling stock between 1995 and 2000 in stages. Museum operations began over the line as early as 1967 when The Wisconsin Electric Railway Historical Society (TWERHS) relocated its collection of electric railway equipment from North Freedom, Wisconsin to East Troy. TWERHS operated over the line using a trackage rights agreement with the village until 1985, when the trackage rights agreement ended upon the sale of the line. In 1989 the TWERHS collection was sold and the museum disbanded. By this time WTM, which had become the East Troy Electric Railroad, was operating historic interurbans and streetcars on the line.

Current operation

The East Troy Electric Railroad Museum operates a museum and several miles of the track offering rides on a weekly basis during the spring through fall season. The original substation building in East Troy is used as a ticket office and museum, and visitors can purchase rides to the Elegant Farmer store at Phantom Woods, near Mukwonago. A collection of approximately 40 pieces of electric railway equipment is kept in storage barns in downtown East Troy and at Phantom Woods.

Route description

The railway itself is a standard gauge common carrier railroad that operates in interchange with Canadian National Railway (formerly a connection to Wisconsin Central Ltd.).

Much of the track is original and the railbed was refurbished during the mid-1990s. The line is completely electric, utilizing a 600V direct current system. Power is supplied to trolleys through overhead wires. The original 500 kW rotary converter motor-generator is no longer used and is on display at the museum.

Notable Equipment

  • Sheboygan Light Power and Railway 26, a fully restored 1908 wooden interurban car
  • East Troy Electric Railroad 64, a Philadelphia rapid transit car converted into a buffet/party car by the museum
  • The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company 846, a 1920 Milwaukee streetcar
  • Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee 761, a 1930 interurban coach undergoing rebuilding
  • The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company 200, the body of an 1887 street railway parlor car
  • East Troy Electric Railroad "Ravenswood" and "Beverly Shores," former Chicago South Shore and South Bend interurban coaches converted for dining train service by the museum

Filmography

  • The Trolley at East Troy - 1996 Documentary Film, Directed by Louis Rugani. Through the use of archival footage John I. Beggs 'stars' in this look at the history and survival efforts of this small anachronistic Wisconsin trolley line since 1907, and an overview of its relationship to the surrounding area, the now-dissolved parent company which built it, and the vanished traction empire of which it was a small part.

See also

External links

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