A farewell excursion train was run on Halloween weekend just after the Wisconsin
Central purchased the Green Bay Route.
The Wisconsin Central ran an excursion on the west end of the Green Bay Route
not long after their purchase of the line in 1993.
Rates for the excursion were:
The "Farewell to the GB&W" excursion ran from Kewaunee to
East Winona on Saturday, October 30, 1993, and returned to Kewaunee the
following day. It was operated by Great Lakes Western of Mukwonago WI,
and most of the cars were from them. The coach class passengers road in
the bi-levels and first class had the single level cars and a few dome cars
for their use. I believe it was around 15 or so cars. Also on the train
separating the first class and coach passengers was the Nicolet Scenic Route
open car for those of us who wanted to enjoy the ride with the wind in our
Alco C-424s #313-#314 led the
train; both locos were delivered in 1965 and both went on to service on the
Minnesota Commercial Railroad after the demise of the GBW.
The train started from downtown Kewaunee, not the ferry yard; engineer was
Ken Johnson, second-highest seniority GB&W engineer. The train ran to Broadway
Tower in Green Bay, then backed to the C&NW depot and changed crews.
The new engineer was Franklin Fitzgerald, who joined the railroad in
June 1954 and had the most seniority of any engineer on the line, and ran back to
Broadway Tower, down Norwood Avenue, and out the west wye at Norwood. At
Wisconsin Rapids, the diamond had already been removed, so the train had to
see-saw on former Chicago & North Western
and Milwaukee Road tracks to get through town.
Passengers disembarked at the Highway 54 grade crossing in Marshland
and then the power was run around the train before tying up at the
Burlington Northern interchange. After a night's stay in a Winona hotel,
Franklin Fitzgerald ran the train to back Green Bay the next day, including a
photo run-by at Waterbury. The train again ran to the C&NW depot at Green
Bay for a crew change and a final run to Kewaunee.