Mark and Mike Nelson with their dog "Trixie"
We now present Part 1 of the extraordinary and historic railroad photography of Mark and Mike. ENJOY !!!
Chicago & North Western Railroad - CNW operators desk - South Janesville, Wisconsin - 1955. Its late at night and 3rd trick Operator Clarence Nelson, father of Mark and Mike Nelson, taps back the orders he's just copied on his Form 19 pad, confirming the Dispatcher's intent. These were the days when timetable & trainorders directed traffic and kept trains safely on the move and apart from one another. The telegraph was the conduit for the communications, thank you Thomas Edison. Later in his RR career Mr. Nelson served as Operator at the CNW Woodstock, IL., station. (Photo by Gus Gruver - Nelson Collection)
Milwaukee Road - FM H-12-44 - General Motors Plant - Janesville, Wisconsin - June 17, 1976. The GM plant at Janesville gets switched simultaneously by Milwaukee and CNW jobs in happier times. GM will end all production at this plant, a community fixture since the 1920's, by the end of 2008.
Chicago & North Western Railroad - EMD F7(A) - CNW yard - South Janesville, Wisconsin - May 31, 1970. CNW train #576, with 5 loads and 46 empties (left) readies for departure to Proviso yard in Chicagoland. It is viewed from atop a loaded in-bound autorack of 1970 Camaros. (Camaros and Firebirds were made in Norwood Ohio and Van Nuys CA). At one point, GM employed over 7,100 workers (1978) at Janesville, and by 2005 over 16 million vehicles had been produced at there.
Chicago & North Western Railroad - EMD SD45 - CNW Madison sub - Janesville, Wisconsin - May 24, 1969. Hustle Muscle pulls muscle cars. CNW train #483 was a Janesville-Twin Cities manifest, seen here from the top floor of the old CNW depot with what appear to be Chevy Novas fresh from the Janesville GM Plant, slated to close 12/23/08 after 85 years of auto/truck production. Today, WSOR trains pass this spot on the way north to Madison, via ex-Milwaukee trackage.
A special thanks goes out again to Ray Peacock at HeartlandRails.com for doing all the leg work, putting this information together for the Viewliner Ltd. Thus, allowing us to see another great story of railroading in America, as it was.
The Saturday Morning Post will feature Mark & Mike's photography every Saturday for the weeks to come. So don't forget to stop by and see more historic railroad pictures. Thank You!