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east troy railroad
East Troy Line
    Once part of TMER&L's interurban line connecting East Troy to Milwaukee, the seven-mile segment from East
Troy to Mukwonago is the last remnant of Wisconsin's network of interurban lines.  It has been continuously
electrically operated since 1907.
Historical Highlights
June 1903 - Line opens from Milwaukee to Hales Corners.  Constructed by Milwaukee Light, Heat & Traction (MLH&T) a
subsidiary of The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co. (TMER&L).
June 21, 1904 - Operation extended to St. Martin's.  This will become the junction for the East Troy and Burlington branches.
Sept. 1, 1904 - Cars now operating from Milwaukee to Muskego Centre.
1906 - Service extended to Big Bend.
July 3, 1907 - Line officially opens Milwaukee to Mukwonago.
October 23, 1907 - Service now provided as far as Lake Beulah.
Dec. 13, 1907- Line officially opens Milwaukee to East Troy.  John I. Beggs, President of TMER&L arrives on first car.
April 1, 1910 - New East Troy substation building finished and equipment turned on.  Rotory converters supply power to the
line at 1200v dc.
Dec. 1, 1915 - Freight and express service begins.
1919 - United Milk Products builds condenser plant next to East Troy Lumber.  Equity Feed & Fuel build new facility along
April 23, 1923 - New Mukwonago freight and passenger station opens.
June 24, 1924 - East Troy station remodeled.  Agents living quarters moved upstairs, waiting room enlarged.
November 1925 - Standard Oil constructs three large storage tanks west of Division Street.
1927 - New substations built along line, power changed from 1200v dc to 600v dc.  Trainshed built adjacent to East Troy
station to provide shelter for interurban and bus passengers.
Oct. 31, 1938 - TMER&L becomes WEPCO.  TMER&T formed to take over transit operations.
Aug. 5, 1939 - After being modified at Cold Spring Shops, M-15 Leaves express terminal for East Troy.
Aug. 12, 1939 - Passenger operations abandoned between Hales Corners and East Troy.
Portion of line from East Troy to Mukwonago purchased by Village of East Troy for $10,000 to maintain freight connection to
SOO Line.   Line is operated by TMER&T under contract using former TMER&T M-15 and D-13.   The 10-year agreement
officially begins Jan. 1, 1940.
Sept. 5, 1939 - End of freight service east of Mukwonago.
Jan. 1, 1950 - TMER&T turns over operation to Village. Village hires own crew.
1954- Following derailment of M-15 and box cars, SOO Line crews replace many ties in "Cemetery Curve".
1966 - Jerry Fischer citing railroad losing money and being supported by taxpayers, proposes to purchase and operate railroad
for $12,000.  When Village Board turns him down, he forces a referendum, but the voters also reject his plan.
1969 - Trent Tube builds new plant and Village builds new spur.  Rather than electrify the spur, they purchase a 44-ton diesel.
1972 - TWERHS enters into contract with Village allowing operation of its "East Troy Trolley Museum" trains.  TWERHS
members begin replacement of ties bringing line up to FRA standards, and take over maintenance of rotory converter and
overhead wire system.
1970's- CETA program replaces hundreds of ties with ties and tie-plates supplied by TWERHS.
1975 - Entire line designated a Wisconsin Landmark.  Marker commemorates TMER&L history.
1979-1980 - $700,000 Government funded major rebuilding of line includes replacement of ties, rail joints and ballasting.
Bridges at Phantom Woods Rd. and Beach Rd. are replaced, bridge at Stewart School Rd. is removed.
1980 - Village purchases an used 80-ton diesel, and sells 44-ton diesel.
1983 - Village adds more trackage in industrial park.
1984- Village cancels contract with TWERHS and forces museum to close.
1985 - Operation of railroad turned over to Paul Averdung.  He opens his "East Troy Electric Railroad Museum", using his
own equipment.
1986 - TWERHS sells all its equipment to other museums.
?? - Diesel sold, line returns to electric freight operation.
Jan. 1995 - Friends of East Troy Railroad purchase line from Paul Averdung.
1995-1996 - Line rebuilt again.  Original parallel rail joints are staggered for smoother operation.
2000 - Friends purchase final lot of museum equipment from Averdung.
Dec. 13, 2007 - Line is 100 years old.  Has been continuously operated electrically.
M-15 pushes a string of freight cars through the train shed
in East Troy.  The house to the right was converted into the
passenger and freight station. The shed was erected to
provide shelter for passengers boarding the interurbans and
connecting TM bus lines.  After passenger service was
abandoned, the station was converted back to a private
residence.  The shed remained for several years.
The crew of former TMER&L Express Motor M-15 changes
poles at the SOO Line interchange in Mukwonago.
Fitted with a roof platform, for overhead wire work, M-15
handled the majority of freight movements until the 1970's
when a 44-ton diesel took over.  Differential Dump D-13 was
used as a back up and snowplow
This was the condition of the track in the
early 1970's.  Note the line was built
without tie plates, and the rails have
actually sunk through the ties, and are
supported only by the edges of the ties and
Also of interest, the line was built with
parallel rail joints instead of the more
common staggered joints.
Replacement of ties and addition of tie
plates by TWERHS and subsequent
re-buildings (including staggering the rail
joints) have brought the line up to modern
day standards.
Former North Shore Line interurbans were the main passenger equipment of TWERHS from 1972 to 1984.   Usually operated
as single cars, they could be combined into 2, 3 or 4 car trains for special occasions.  Check roster page for other equipment.
TMER&L linecar D23 was originally built in 1907, and is
right at home on the East Troy line.   The steel frame, wood
body car is still fully functional as the linecar for the East
Troy Electric Railroad.
Former CTA 4000's are among the various cars now
operated on the line by the East Troy Electric Railroad.
Other equipment includes South Shore interurbans,
Milwaukee and Duluth streetcars, PCC cars, etc.