• Major Flooding At Mid-Continent!!

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: rob216, Miketherailfan

  by TicketPunch
Webcam http://www.midcontinent.org/netcam/
The Baraboo River flooded Mid-Continent Railroad Museum today. The depot, engine house, machine shop, car shop have water in them. The entire yard is under water. All three of the operating diesel locomotives have water up to the traction motors and the water was still rising at 5 PM.

At 5 this morning, Jeff Bloom, the President, woke up and looked out his caboose to see the river rising. At 5:20 he woke up engineer Ed Doench, who was sleeping his camper. The camper was up to it's axels in water. At 6:30 water reached the engine house and Jeff and Ed moved engine 1256 out. They moved to get the cars nearest the depot. As Jeff walked along dumping the air from the brakes, the water followed behind him up the line. They then got the other coaches off the coach ready track where the water was already reaching.
I arrived at 8:30 and the parking lot north of the depot was flooded with the tracks to the south still dry. That didn't last long. From 8:30 to Noon the water rose 3 feet.

We won't be operating for a while. But now is a good time to join or send us a donation if you were thinking about it. We won't know what the extent of the damage is for a few days.

The WSOR is also not operating due to washouts in both divisions.

Joe Dillenburg
Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society
  by TicketPunch
The water is still up but starting to recede. It covered the traction motors of the diesels and the journals of the operating fleet.
A flood relief fund has been established.

The pictures are from Tuesday, before the river crested.
  by aline1969
Will you folks be able to get FEEMA funds for damages?
  by Otto Vondrak
POSTED 6/20/08
Seen from the web cam the view of Mid-Continent is rather placid. The equipment is idle. There is very little movement to record of any kind. But all of this belies what is taking place in the shop areas where crews of volunteers are busily cleaning up and filling the two large dumpsters ordered for that purpose.

The folks who usually labor in the Car Shop with wood-working projects have become adept at emptying journal boxes of oily water and contaminated pads, cleaning the journals and adding fresh lubrication.

Time in the Engine House has been absorbed with the tedious task of cleaning and drying tools. The loan of a power washer has given the crew the chance to wash down the concrete floor, making the place look better than it has since the year it was built. And another crew will be here tomorrow to start cleaning the Western Coal & Coke #1’s chassis and all the parts recently machined as part of its restoration process.

The offices are neater thanks to the efforts of our archivist and other staff in boxing all the loose documents, drawings and photos rescued from the basement archive room before the flood waters got them. A temporary storage site has been obtained and items will continue to be transported over to the new location as they are carefully repackaged and containers properly labeled.

The last few days have been spent giving tours of the site to insurance adjusters and local government officials. Their response is one of uniform disbelieve at how expansive the reach of the waters were last week and the consequences of the damage done. Mid-Continent is closed for train rides for the foreseeable future.

A reopening date hinges strongly on the availability of motive power. Offers of help have come from our friends at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, and the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union with the possibility of loans of diesel engines until we get our own back in working condition.

Before the end of the day we hope to receive proposals on the cost of repairs to our own fleet. The water got just high enough to saturate the traction motors and air-brake portions, requiring that these pieces be shipped out for cleaning. Another potential obstacle confronting us is the weight limits that have been posted on local roads and highways. We will have to work with village, town, county and state agencies to get the necessary permits to move stuff on and off the property.

We sincerely appreciate the continued support and words of encouragement that have come in from family, friends and colleagues. You continue to wish to recognize their charitable support by listing their names as part of these updates and sharing their comments with you.

And keep watching that web cam. Something interesting is bound to happen sooner or later. Besides it makes our web site statistics look impressive.
  by Otto Vondrak
POSTED 6/24/08
The operative word these days is cleaning. It applies to every aspect of the work taking place on the property. Volunteers finished cleaning the pavilion, where the public restrooms are relocated. The picnic tables have been located and sanitized and are now back at the pavilion waiting to be used. Crews continue to clean in the Car Shop and Engine House. The amount of tools and materials located in these buildings makes the work especially tedious.

We had special helpers this past weekend take on the cleaning of the tools on display in the Track Shed. Jeanne Waters and her five year old son, Brody, came dressed in their bib overalls, work boots and gloves and spent the better part of Saturday getting this exhibit building in condition to be seen by the general public. Another group of youthful helpers showed up today as a van from the Eau Claire YMCA arrived to find out what they could do to help with the flood recovery process.

Cleaning the journal boxes on our rolling stock continues to be a top priority. We have an inventory of 117 pieces of rolling stock on the property. Only 23 of them were on high enough ground to escape the reach of the flood. Of the remaining 94 pieces, 55 had yet to receive any attention as of the end of the day Sunday. More work has taken place over the past two days, but at a slower pace as most of our volunteers had to return to work.

We are finding out how hard it is to order the requisite journal pads to go back into the cleaned boxes. There appears to be only one manufacturer in the U.S. and materials have to be special ordered. Similarly the journal oil we need is not an item that is carried at the local hardware store. It will take time to bring in the amount needed to properly fill all of the journal boxes on our equipment.

The first reports from our insurance adjustors have been submitted to our underwriters. This will help get the flow of money started to fund the costs of repairs to our buildings. In the meantime we are learning about the inner workings of FEMA. The current disaster declaration for Sauk County pertains only to individual homeowners. We will become eligible for aid once a second declaration is made for businesses and municipalities. That is expected to take place sometime today or tomorrow.

We wish to thank all of those who have donated their time and their financial gifts and continue to share with you their names and comments of support.
  by Otto Vondrak
POSTED 7/4/08
Independence Day and most of America is enjoying the start of a three-day vacation. Still there is a small group of museum staff and members here (with more coming tomorrow) working on the equipment in anticipation of the day we can get back into operating mode. That will truly be a day for us to celebrate.

The journal boxes have been repacked on all but one of the cars in the operating fleet. And that one will be finished early tomorrow. The plan is then to move those cars off of the mainline. If all goes extremely well, the move will be made by using our 44-ton switch engine.

A successful test was made late this afternoon to see if the electric motors could function under a light load without shorting out. The positive result will allow the diesel crew to move the switcher inside the Engine House for the first time in four weeks, where they can continue servicing the engine with the benefit of access to the mechanics pit.

We wish to thank all of those who have donated their time to get the equipment several steps closer to operating condition. We also wish to thanks those who have contributed through their financial gifts and continue to share with you their names and comments of support.

  by Stmtrolleyguy
Wow . . .looks like quite a lot has been happening lately getting things going again. Any more news?
  by Otto Vondrak
Keep checking the websites I posted... they have more current updates than I can post.



I'm sure MCRM could also use our donation checks to help get them back on their feet.

  by TicketPunch
Hello All,

Trains are running again at Mid-Continent!
Aug. 2 we began running trains again on the regular schedule although only on Saturday and Sunday. The trip is shortened by about a mile because of damage to the headwalls on the bridge at Seeley Creek. Knapp Railroad Builders were at work this week replacing ballast that washed out near the Baraboo River and at Seeley Creek. We are waiting on our roadmaster to give the ok to use the bridge at Seeley. We are having to push back from the end to the depot because the passing track at Quartzite Lake is still damaged. Lots of gravel covered part of the pass. Gravel also filled in a creek bed and two culverts forcing the creek to find a new path and wash out another section of the pass. Motive power is being provided solely by our #4, a 1943 GE 45-ton switcher. Thanks to a recent tune up it is handling the normal consist, for now. We are waiting on the trucks for the #7 blue Alco to be returned from L&S Electric where they are getting the silt and mud cleaned out. The trucks for the other diesels will get the same treatment in turn. Our steam program is still on hold until we can get back to full operation and have enough revenue to support it.
In other great news, we recently met a $475,000 challenge grant from the Jeffris Foundation and will be restoring our Badger #2, the only known remaining fish stocking car in existance. http://www.midcontinent.org/collectn/woodpas/wfc2.html
There is a lot of work left to be done but seeing trains running has raised everyone's spirits. It has also been a great joy to see the smiles on the passegers once again. Have a great day. Hope to see you all at Mid-Continent some day soon.

Joe Dillenburg
Clean Up Coordinator
Mid-Continent Railway Museum