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special projects
Special Projects
       In addition to our regular activities, we are occasionally asked to help with some other special projects.  This assistance ranges
from providing information or materials to assisting with fund raising, or physical involvement.   Here are some of the major projects.

Although now operating under a different name and format, for several years this restaurant on east Wells Street featured a streetcar
We assisted the owner and manager by providing photos, maps, passes and other items for decor and use on menus, etc.  Some of
our members and others provided models and other items for display.
When the theme changed, items loaned by individuals were returned, and the decor and other items are in storage for possible future
use at another location.

The Milwaukee County Historical Society constructed and maintained a transit history exhibit on the second floor of the MCTS
downtown transit center.
The exhibit followed Milwaukee's transit history from horsecars to modern buses, but it was one of Milwaukee's best kept secrets,
as hardly anyone used the transit center, and even fewer knew there is an exhibit on the second floor.
The Transit Center has been torn down and the materials are now in storage at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Some
items are displayed on a revolving basis at the Milwaukee Transit Archives & Museum.
Our members and others contributed photos, maps, artifacts and other materials.

The Ozaukee County Historical Society acquired and restored the former Milwaukee Northern Rwy./TMER&L interurban station in
We assisted with fund raising and continue to offer information and support whenever needed.  We also donated photos and other
items to add to their displays, as well as  designed and  published informational handouts for them.
If you have items you could donate, or would like to make a contribution, you can visit their website or drop them a note:
Ozaukee County Historical Society - PO Box 456 - Grafton, WI 53024

When the CTA planned to demolish the former Dempster street  CNS&M (North Shore Line) station, the Skokie Historical Society
launched a campaign to save this historic building.
In order to save it, they needed to raise funds and find someone willing to move it and restore it.  We assisted with the search to find
interested parties through flyers at train shows and notices in our newsletter.
The effort was successful, and the building has been moved and has been restored for use as offices and shops.

CNS&M 727
While former CNS&M (North Shore Line) interurban 727 was at the Iowa Trolley Park it developed problems with its traction
We helped the Iowa Chapter of NRHS (727's owners) raise funds with notices in our newsletter.  In addition we matched
contributions made by or own members.
After failure by the ITP to make the repairs, and a rather involved legal dispute, ownership was transferred to the Iowa Traction
Railroad.  It is stored inside, and is being restored.
It had been used for annual excursions for the Iowa Chapter NRHS, and other special events.
The Iowa Tracion Railroad is now owned by Progressive Rail. car 727 is only used for their business purposes.

When it opened in 2000, the Kenosha Electric Streetcar was Wisconsin's only public electric rail line.  They initially used five former
Toronto PCC cars painted in schemes from other cities that operated PCC's.
The line makes a loop through part of downtown connecting the METRA station, government buildings, some shops, new condos,
the new public museums and the lakefront.
Daily operation uses one car.  Cars are rotated.  Additional cars are used on holidays and other special event.  Round trip takes
about 15 minutes.  Fare is $1.00 adults and 50 cents kids.
Our involvement with Kenosha goes back to 1986, when we considered the old Sieman's spur for a possible site to relocate some of
our museum equipment.  While that idea didn't work out, several parties liked the idea of a downtown trolley operation.  When the
new Harborpark was being developed, plans for a trolley operation were included.
We assisted with some technical input, as well on suggestions for locating equipment, etc.  We continue to offer support when

Our involvement with Trolleycar '86 goes back to 1982, when Appleton celebrated their Fox Valley Festival Of Light,
commemorating the 100th anniversary of Appleton using hydo-electric power.
WEPCO borrowed our ex-Milwaukee streetcar, M&ST 978.  They moved it  to Appleton, repainted it and made necessary
cosmetic and mechanical repairs to make it operational.
During the Festival (Sept. 30th to Oct 3rd) thousands of people waited in line, and paid a nickel to ride the 978 on an 800 ft long
section of track at the power plant.  Following the Festival, WEPCO operated 978 for schools and other groups.
Upon learning of 978's operation, San Francisco MUNI wanted to borrow it to join their fleet of older trolleys operating on Market
Street.  An agreement was reached to loan 978 to MUNI in exchange for loan of two PCC cars.
In 1983, PCC 1164 arrived on a flatbed truck at East Troy, and 978 was sent on its way.  Unfortunately, while being trucked to San
Francisco, 978 was not properly secured on the trailer.  The rocking motion severely damaged the bolsters and buckled the sides.  It
was taken off its trucks and continued out to MUNI  shops for evaluation.  After examination by mechanics and insurance adjusters
a settlement was agreed upon.
In the meantime, Trolleycar '86 in Appleton decided they wanted a streetcar to replace the 978.  We sold them our rights to
ex-Milwaukee streetcar M&ST 846 which was in Kentucky.  The 846 was hardly more than a shell, having been through several
floods and years of neglect.  Several years earlier we had purchased 846 from Kentucky and moved the seats and other parts up to
Trolleycar '86 moved 846 up to Appleton and began restoration.  We gave them all the parts, plus some extras.  We also supplied
diagrams, photos and other documents to aid in restoration.
Meanwhile, the Village cancelled our contract and closed our museum.  Instead of using the insurance settlement to repair 978, our
General Manager decided to use the money to pay existing and on-going expenses.  With our museum closed, there was no reason
to return 978 to East Troy.  It was returned to Appleton instead, and sold to them for $1.00.  Appleton used 978 as a full scale
model to restore 846.
The restoration of 846 took many years.  Through the years we, and individual members have supplied additional parts, documents,
etc.  Some of our members have provided physical assistance.
Finally, in 1988 streetcar 846 was restored and operational.  It was able to operate on about 500 feet of track at the power plant,
pulling a small generator for power.
After several years of looking for a better site around Appleton to operate 846, Trolleycar '86 decided to merge with the East Troy
Electric Railroad Museum.  M&ST 846 is now at East Troy and operates on special occasions.  The 978 still needs extensive repairs.

The book, TM, (The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co.) published by Central Electric Railfan's Assn. is the definitive history
of the company's streetcar and interurban operations.
We, and individual members contributed much of the information, maps, documents and photos to make this book possible.

M&ST 846
After Milwaukee streetcar 846 was moved to East Troy, it operated for several years.  In 2006 it developed some problems with its
traction motors.  It was estimated repairs could cost thousands of dollars.
At our April 2007 Annual Meeting our members voted to donate $500.00 from Society funds towards repairing the motors.
We also encourage individual members to help return this piece of Milwaukee history to operation with a donation of their own.

During 2011 the Illinois Railway Museum sought donations to return two streetcars that had operated in Milwaukee to service at the
museum.  TMER&L/TMER&T/M&ST 972 and CNS&M 354 both needed new wheels.  Through our efforts we collected and
contributed $1,392.55 to this fund.

This museum is intended to be a depository and display of artifacts, photos, manuscripts and other items related to transit in the
Milwaukee area.  We have contributed and continue to contribute materials that are surplus or otherwise do not fit into our