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West Wisconsin Railroad Club - Eau Claire, WI
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Club - An Overview

Our History

Many years ago, thought to be in the early 1970's, the Chippewa Valley Model Railroad Club was formed. We held our first train show in 1975. Some time in the 1980's the club was reorganized and named the Indianhead Model Railroad Club. We met at various locations in Eau Claire, WI and about 5 or so years ago found a home on Western Avenue. It was never considered a permanent site so no permanent layout could be constructed. Starting in January, 2015, events took place that lead to the another reorganization of the club and the adoption of its first Bylaws. This same site has now become our "permanent home". On March 24, 2015 a new name was adopted, West Wisconsin Railroad Club.

Organization

We now have a formal organization described in detail in our new Bylaws. Officers are President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Membership Secretary, and Treasurer, and a Board of Directors. Election of officers is held once per year. Committees are created as needed. The Bylaws will be published on this web site.

Donations to the Club

We have been granted 501c3 status by the IRS so tax deductible donations may be made to the club.

Regular Meetings

Regular meetings are monthly except for January and December. They consist of a short business session which is usually followed by a "show and tell" time, a clinic on some topic of interest, perhaps a train related video, or other train related activity. Snacks normally accompany a meeting. Of course there is always some social time to catch up on what's happening in our lives.

Meeting Location

See the Contact Us page for the address and a map.

Current Activities

Each January we have a banquet with a speaker. Summer weather brings a picnic in July.

The groups that build and maintain the layouts gets together as needed to work on the them. Our Kernels and Sanders Line layout group has been meeting on the first Thursday and third Tuesday of each month for work sessions.

We host a train show once a year, the second weekend in October. It will be at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center at least thru 2015. There is an Events Committee that plans the show. All members help to conduct the show. Tasks include marking the floor for layouts and vendors, assist with unloading and loading as needed, selling tickets, taking pictures, clean up, etc.

The club participates in several shows each year exhibiting one of our portable layouts. In 2014 we had our first opportunity to participate in the huge Trainfest show in the Milwaukee area. We will be there in 2015 also.

What's in a Name?

The West Wisconsin Railroad Club name was selected to describe our new organization and vision. The word "Model" is no longer part of the name as our expanded vision goes beyond just modeling although modeling is still an important activity. In addition to identifying the geographical area where our members live, the name also is a historical reference to the "West Wisconsin Railway" which came into existance in 1863. It ran from Tomah to Hudson, WI via Eau Claire. Here is a brief history of it.

1863 Chartered
1866 Assumed control of the Tomah & Lake St. Croix Railroad
1868 Began operations
1870 Completed the wooden high bridge over the Chippewa River
1871 Expanded its Eau Claire shops
1871 Began regular passenger train service to Eau Claire
1871 Purchased three new locomotives
1871 Purchased four new locomotives
1872 Expanded its Eau Claire shops again
1872 Purchased five new locomotives
1872 Opened a connection to the St. Paul, Stillwater & Taylors Falls Railroad
1875 Entered receivership after failing to pay the interest on bonds
1878 Reorganized as the Chicago, St. Paul & Minneapolis Railroad
1880 Merged with 3 other railroads to form the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway
Source: The Rip Track
For more information on the West Wisconsin Railway see Stan Mailer's book,
The Omaha Road: Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha