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Although the power still waves the CNW flag, This is really the Twin-Cities to Chicago day train, operated by the MadCow. Note the UP inspired paint scheme on the first sleeper. This car is lettered for the CNW.
Ole' Joe Miller really knew how to go in style. This truss-rod equipped Observation car was the finest of it's day. The Miller Bros. Wild West Show travelled the U.S. putting on authentic "Cowboy and Indian" performances. The car is on it's way to the museum at Baraboo.
Crawling down the rocks at Ablemann has it's advantages. I was amazed at the condition of these old coaches, having been built in the 1800's. Through the years, it took a ton of TLC to insure these cars made it to our generation.
On a tip, I made my way to the high Bridge at Ablemann to see something I was told "one doesn't see everyday". Imagine my surprise when a couple of MadCow geeps rolled onto the bridge with WOODEN parlor cars!!!
While most of the retired Strates' cars are coaches, These two heavyweight observations made a beautiful sight! The cars were in storage in Florida and were donated to the Baraboo museum when the owner of them passed.
New owner Madison Central of Wisconsin is under control of the Ex-CNW Madison Division. Five brothers from Baraboo Wisconsin have purchased the line and a large assortment of equipment. Here a MadCow SD50 and SD40T-2 arrive at Ablemann with an empty rock train for loading.
Ex-CNW GP35 and F7A units are hard at work on the new Madison Central of Wisconsin or "MadCow Route". As part of the purchase agreement, MCoW agreed to provide trackage rights to the Ablemann Quarry for three years. Thus providing the CNW with the famous "pink lady" ballast.
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