East Troy Electric Railroad
|Dates of operation||1907–present|
|Predecessor||The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Headquarters||East Troy, Wisconsin|
The East Troy Electric Railroad (reporting mark METW) is an interurban heritage railroad owned and operated by the East Troy Railroad Museum. Passenger excursions run on a 7-mile stretch of track from East Troy, Wisconsin to Mukwonago, Wisconsin.
The East Troy-Mukwonago segment was purchased by the Village of East Troy in 1939, when the remainder of the line to Hales Corners was abandoned. Under terms of the purchase, it was operated by TMER&L crews for ten years. In 1949, TMER&L declined to renew the agreement for another ten years and the village hired its own crew and operated the railroad from 1950 until 1985. This is when the railroad became the Municipality of East Troy Wisconsin Railroad and adopted the reporting symbol METW. In 1985 the village approached the Wisconsin Trolley Museum and asked them to take over the operation of the railroad. They agreed to do so, and moved their collection of trolleys to East Troy.
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 1984, when the trackage rights agreement ended and the Wisconsin Trolley Museum began to operate the line as the East Troy Electric Railroad. The Friends of East Troy Railroad Museum, Inc. purchased the rail line from the village and also purchased the trolley collection of Paul Averdung between 1995 and 2000 in stages.
The East Troy Railroad Museum operates a museum and just over 7 miles of track offering rides on a weekly basis during the spring through fall season. The original substation building in East Troy, Wisconsin is used as a ticket office and museum, and visitors can purchase rides to the Elegant Farmer store at Phantom Woods, and to Indianhead Park in Mukwonago. A collection of approximately 30 pieces of electric railway equipment is kept in storage barns in downtown East Troy and at Phantom Woods. The museum is a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation dedicated to the preservation of the rail heritage of Wisconsin and America. The substation, located at 2002 Church Street in East Troy, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
East Troy Electric RR
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.) This gives the East Troy electric railroad the ability to pick up and deliver freight (including fertilizer for the Farmers Co-op, sand for the local Ready-Mix, and lumber and steel tubing) to the village of East Troy. However the railroad has not been used to carry freight for at least ten years.
Much of the track is original and the rail bed was refurbished during the mid-1990s. The line is completely electric, utilizing a 600 V direct current system. Power is supplied to trolleys and interurban railroad cars through overhead wires. The original 500 kW rotary converter motor-generator is no longer used and is on display at the museum.
|Sheboygan Light Power and Railway||26||1908||Fully restored wooden interurban car|
|The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company||846||1920||Milwaukee streetcar|
|Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee||761||1930||Interurban coach undergoing rebuilding|
|The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company||D-23||1907||Line Car used to maintain overhead wire, supports|
|Chicago South Shore and South Bend||24, 25||1927||Former interurban coaches converted by the museum to dining cars "Ravenswood" and "Beverly Shores"|
|The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company||L-6||1911||Utility Crane Car|
|The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company||L-8||1935||Electric locomotive used for hauling freight|
|The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Traction Company||L-9||1944||Electric locomotive used for hauling freight|
|Chicago South Shore and South Bend||9, 13, 30, 33||1926 1929||Steel interurban coaches restored to original appearance|
|Twin City Rapid Transit||1583||1913||Double-truck street car from Minneapolis-St. Paul|
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Wisconsin Rail Plan 2030. Madison: 2014, chap. 3, p. 26.
- TWERHS. "east troy railroad". trainweb.org. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Canfield, Joseph M. (1972). The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company, p. 519. Bulletin 112 of Central Electric Railfans Association, Inc, Chicago.
- The East Troy News, p.1, July 18, 1984
- "Schedule". easttroyrr.org. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- Rocheleau, Jake. "Gourmet Pies, Cheese, Gift Baskets - Elegant Farmer, WI". elegantfarmer.com. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Car Roster". easttroyrr.org. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
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