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The Ex-Illinois Central Railroad Between Madison and Monroe, WI - Oct 29th, 1999
Pictured in the photos above, the railroad in Fitchburg, WI along Seminole Highway and Whalen Road is being removed. This was part of the Illinois Central Railroad that runs from Madison, WI to Freeport, IL.
This rail corridor has not been used for many years, and the Wisconsin DOT decided to remove the rail line and convert the corridor to a bike trail. The rails are being hauled to Milwaukee. 19 miles will be re-used elsewhere, and the rest of the rails will be scrapped out.
I went to Fitchburg to check up on the progress the rail removal crew was making. As of 10-29-99, they have made it from Monroe to just west of Seminole Hwy in Fitchburg, WI. On November 4th, I found the crew was working just north of Highway PD in Fitchburg.
On Friday, I observed them removing rails between Hwy PD and Allied Drive. At 2:30 PM CST, they were working on removing the rails from near the only "Over / Under" railroad bridge in Dane county. This is where the Ex IC went over the old CNW line. The bridge will remain in place as part of the bike trail.
These guys aren't wasting a bit of time. By next week, they will have made thier way to the other side of the West Beltline Hwy in Madiosn, WI. They are about to enter the last leg of their run which is in the City of Madison finishing up at Camp Randall Stadium, home of the Wisconsin Badgers football team.
Had a chance to talk with several of the workers and they are very nice guys who are more sympathetic to the removal of rail service in Green County than DOT, DNR and Green County. They are keeping the corridor neat and hauling away all material as they proceed.
Southern Wisconsin Railcar Group.