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Equipment Preservation Page

Preservation of Milwaukee Area Transit Equipment and Infrastructure

 There are six existing Milwaukee streetcars, five of them from the Transport Company. One is from the North Shore Line. It saw service in both Waukegan, Illinois and Milwaukee. City car 846 is currently in operating condition at the East Troy Electric Railroad. Cars 966 and 972 are at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union. North Shore Line city car 354 is also preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum, or "IRM". 972 is undergoing restoration work and 354 is operational. Milwaukee city car 978 is located in Appleton, Wisconsin but may return to East Troy. City car 861 is at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.
The Illinois Railway Museum also has the last two surviving Milwaukee Electric interurban cars. Coaches 1129 and 1135. The 1135 was once a parlor car. These two cars were from a group of four interurbans sold to the London and Port Stanley Railroad in Ontario. These two cars were brought "home" from Canada after their retirement during 1955. I hope to display some pictures of TM cars in service on the L&PS. When I do post them, they will be displayed on the "retirement page."
Through the efforts of Don Leistikow and The Wisconsin Electric Railway Historical Society, a large and varied collection of traction work equipment was preserved. Coming from WEPCO's Port Washington and Lakeside power plants and M&ST's Cold Spring Shops, much of this equipment was eventually sold to the Illinois Railway Museum. Some equipment is still with the current East Troy group, The Friends of the East Troy Electric Railroad. Both museums have some of this equipment in operating condition.

Car 972 during its early operating days at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Postcard view of car 978, taken immediately after it was saved from scrapping.

Paul Weyrich photographed 978 during his August, 1973 visit to East Troy.

IRM's original trolley bus barn, dubbed the "Marmon Tabernacle."

Blue and white trolley coach to the left is a Des Moines "Curbliner."

441 in the IRM trolley bus barn, July, 2000.

Marmon-Herrington 441 in front of the barn, July, 2000.

Diesel coach 1200 & trackless trolley 350 at East Troy, 1973. Both are now preserved in Illinois.

441 on display with Chicago 9553 & two Dayton coaches. John F. Bromley photo. July, 2000.

The original East Troy group offered winter rides. North Shore Line 757 is now at IRM.

1972 view of East Troy substation and steeple cab locomotive.

There are three intact Milwaukee trackless trolleys. All are located at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union.
St. Louis built 269 (see photo on home page) was purchased by Bob Klusendorf. Bob donated the coach to the Illinois Railway Museum during 1965. The coach has been evaluated for restoration and some preliminary work has begun.
Marmon-Herrington built 441 was donated to the Museum by the Transport Company. 441 is operated on the Museum's trackless trolley line. Replacement body sheet metal was salvaged from a scrapped Dayton, Ohio coach and will be used to repair the damaged dash area.
 Pullman-Standard 350 was the absolute last electric mass transit vehicle to carry revenue passengers (during a farewell charter) on the streets of Milwaukee. The coach was initially donated to a group known as the Skokie Valley Lines Transportation Museum. Then the coach was displayed at the original East Troy Trolley Museum's Phantom Woods parking lot. After TWERHS vacated the East Troy property, the coach was purchased by Milwaukee transit historian Russel E. Schultz. Russ donated the coach to Dayton, Ohio. There was hope it could be run on their extensive trackless trolley system. When Dayton broke up their historic trackless trolley collection, enthusiasts rose to the occasion and rescued the 350. The coach, though damaged and very rusty, is now a member of IRM's preservation fleet.

Car 846 at East Troy. Photo courtesy of Jack Franklin.

North Shore Line city car 354 at the Illinois Railway Museum. John F. Bromley photo, 2000.

Another July, 2000 view of 354 at IRM. John Bromley photo.

Line car D-23 is preserved, but not retired. It is still earning its keep at East Troy.

846 passing Philadelphia PCC 2185 at Beulah Siding, 2003 Railroad Days. Jack Franklin photo.

Jack Franklin shared this photo of city car 846 on Trent Siding.

Car 861 at the Seashore Trolley Museum.

Bob Rathke photo of 846 at Phantom Woods. Bob Klusendorf donated the roof sign box.

Twin Coach 891, the last existing Milwaukee gasoline powered coach, 1973. It has been scrapped.

The wye at the end of the Illinois Railway Museum's trolley bus line.

Laddie Vitek acquired M&ST #1200 after Jim Roever's death. This TDH-4511 will be restored.

Over the years, Milwaukee motor coach preservation has been a tragic affair. Most gasoline and diesel buses which were initially preserved and even partially restored wound up facing threats of scrapping. Several, in fact, were scrapped due to a number of reasons, ranging from lack of funding to "museum politics."
Efforts by people such as Russ Schultz, the late Jim Roever, David Stanley, Laddie Vitek, James Henning, Jay Saegar, Bob Klusendorf and Paul Fischer could be called heroic. Even so, their efforts were usually met with indifference, bickering and perhaps, greed (artifact collectors hoping to see coaches scrapped so they could add to their personal hardware collections.)
Some of the coaches pictured on this page have been scrapped since these pictures were taken. Others still face an uncertain future. With mass transit funding always being a point of controversy, the idea of the Milwaukee County Transit System hosting a historic fleet (as some transit agencies do) does not seem likely.

846 during East Troy's "Railroad Days" celebration, 2003. Jack Franklin photo.

Interior view of 846 during East Troy's 2003 Railroad Days event. Jack Franklin photo.

Your webmaster, "poling up" Marmon 441 at IRM, July 2000. Man, was I fat back then!

R. Hill took this photo of 269 during her 1968 visit to IRM.

Trackless trolley 269, with trolley poles, roof boards and air reservoir removed. July, 2000.

Ms. Hill snapped a photo of 441 during her 1968 visit. It appears Nature is reclaiming the coach.

Photo of 441 in service at the Illinois Railway Museum. Courtesy of Dave Mewhinney.

Wisconsin Coach Lines Brill #40 and M&ST TD-4007 #1197 at East Troy, 1973. Both still exist.

Slopeback Twin at Phantom Woods, 1973. This coach was later scrapped, after the engine was rebuilt.

441, between Des Moines "Curbliner" 239 and CTA trolley bus 9631. July, 2000.

Most trackage on the East Troy line was in poor condition when initial museum operations began.

I plan to provide links to all the museums and organizations which currently have Milwaukee equipment in their fleets.