Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Saturday Morning Post - The Nelsons, Part 4

  • Mark and Mike Nelson are identical twins, and were born in tiny Cuba City, Wisconsin, where their father Clarence was the agent/operator at the Chicago & North Western Railroad depot. Later they moved to Janesville, where their father worked as the operator at the CNW South Janesville yards. It is there where the seeds of Mark and Mike's love of trains were sown.

  • They attended Marquette University Dental school and became dentists in the US Army, serving in Korea and Vietnam. Taking advantage of the ability to procure good 35mm cameras, they were on their way to capturing classic rail action once stateside.

  • Though they have photographed many of the fallen flag RRs, it was the CNW that was their first love. To this day their license plates read "CNW 400" after the famous 400 fleet. They live today in Oregon, Wisconsin and are still active photographing and presenting shows. They are also active in Wisconsin Society Sons of the American Revolution.

    We now present Part 4 of the extraordinary and historic railroad photography of Mark and Mike. ENJOY !!!

    Milwaukee Road EMD FP7(A) - Today's CP Tomah sub MP 244, Tunnel City, Wisconsin, May 03, 1967 - Milwaukee Road's Afternoon Hiawatha exits the tunnel westbound. Engine 100C went into service 11/51 and was retired 5/80.

    Chicago & North Western Railroad EMD GP35 - Milwaukee Road C&M sub MP 62, Sturtevant, Wisconsin, May 04, 1976 - CNW and MILW could get cooperate when necessary. A combined MILW-CNW taconite operation on the route of the Hiawathas occurred, the empties return to the iron range on this May day, the operator gives a rollby. GP35 864 has the class lights on.

    Chicago & North Western Railroad EMD F7(A) - CNW Adams cutoff , Shennington, Wisconsin, June 24, 1989 - Eastbound about 3 miles out of Wyeville, an Officer's Special breaks the quiet of a Saturday morning on Highway 21, reliving the glory days of the 400 fleet if only for a few seconds.

    Nickel Plate Road Steam 2-8-4 - CNW Tiffany bridge, Tiffany, Wisconsin, September 16, 1984 - The Nelsons, taking a cue from a couple other railfans, pulled up their pant cuffs and waded out into Turtle Creek to capture this Nickel Plate special, eastbound on the CNW. Behind the engine are 17 cars.

    Chicago & North Western Railroad EMD SD40-2 - CNW Madison sub, Oregon, Wisconsin, November 25, 1975 - CNW action on a Thanksgiving weekend includes a meet as #483's cabin greets #576's head-end, waiting in the hole. The conditions appear better suited for deer hunting than railroading.

    A special thanks goes out to Ray Peacock at 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!

    -- Link to Part One of The Nelsons --
    -- Link to Part Two of The Nelsons --
    -- Link to Part Three of The Nelsons --
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