about about search support browse contact

33: Railroad Museums and Preservation (editor's title)

Interurban passenger car at East Troy
In the wake of the Civil War (1861-65), America became increasingly aware of its history, including railroad history. This awareness translated into preservation of some early railroad artifacts and sites, including donation of the locomotive "John Bull" to the Smithsonian Institution in 1885. The federal government made preservation an official goal with the National Historic Sites Act of 1935, which established the program of National Historic Landmarks. In 1966, Congress and the President authorized the National Register of Historic Places through the National Historic Preservation Act, which incorporated the earlier Landmarks program. For nearly a century earlier, uncounted private and public museums and organizations around the country had been gathering, preserving and sometimes restoring important buildings and artifacts associated with railroading. The replica of the Best Friend of Charleston (record 971) is a case in point. These efforts accelerated after 1966 and were not confined to metropolitan areas, but very often occurred in small towns with strong railroad associations. In East Troy, Wisconsin, the Electric Railroad Museum operates on seven miles of original Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company trackage dating back to 1907. No TMER&L equipment exists there, but the museum has acquired retired cars from the Chicago South Shore & South Bend, as pictured here, and other Midwestern interurban cars. The line is connected with the Canadian National at the Mukwonago, Wisconsin, interchange, and it still carries a small amount of commercial freight. The village of East Troy bought this short stretch in 1939; in 1972, a museum opened; the Friends of the East Troy Railroad Museum, Inc., has operated it since 2000. Notably, the museum operates its equipment on a stretch of original interurban track--an unusual feature among railroad museums. The South Shore, which celebrated its centennial in 2008, still runs electric interurban trains (operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District) from Chicago to South Bend. The California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, is the most visited museum. The White Pass & Yukon, Skagway, Alaska, is North America's busiest tourist railroad and an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, carrying 461,388 passengers in 2007.

← previous
Alternate Title Railroad History in a Nutshell
Source Henry A. Koshollek, Stoughton, Wisconsin
Coverage Spatial, near East Troy, Wisconsin; Temporal, 2007
Rights Henry A. Koshollek
Date Created 2007
Resource Type
Extent Not available
Depicted Railroad
Location Near East Troy, Wisconsin
Image Type Tourist railroad
Train Type Interurban passenger train
Equipment, Locomotive Car 13 is at the front.
Creator Description Henry A. Koshollek, a photojournalist, worked for the Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, from 1977 to 2008. He received a master's degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991.
Collection Henry A. Koshollek Collection
Or, go to the Search Page
You can search the photos and collections using the links at the top, or log in to use the Forums and other features of the site.
Create a Login
Forget your password?


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
and Trainmen

Brotherhood's Relief and Compensation Fund
California State Railroad Museum
Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Cleveland Memory Project (CSU)
Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Lake Forest College Special Collections
McLean County Museum of History
Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive
Norfolk Southern Corporation
North American Railway Foundation
New York Transit Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

  About Copyright © 2013 Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Major support provided by the North American Railway Foundation