Thursday, February 9, 2023


Guest post by Frederick Manfred Simon.

Harley Kuehl – aka Byron Kuehl – and I had the opportunity to visit the remains of Harley’s former employer yesterday – 14Nov22 – Milwaukee Road’s (formerly) electrified main line at Royal City Jct., milepost 2009.5.

The cutting cold wind amplified the forlorn scene of an ambitious and proud Transcon, like a bridge too far, it was a railroad too far. And while it appears Harley is silently bowing to a relic of a dead god, he’s instead marveling the 115.20# rail which is still in pretty damned good shape. Just the same we easily let ourselves be amazed at the efforts and engineering expended by the Milwaukee to reach Royal City's “industrial” economy via an impressive horseshoe curve on an even more impressive fill on one helluva grade.

One has to wonder what it was like running the line into and out of Royal City with tonnage in tow. Just the same, one wonders if there still are any T&E with us that could share their stories about running on the Royal City line or have they too now passed away like the Milwaukee taking their untold unique experiences into whatever lies beyond? We will likely never know.

One thing’s for sure, our visit was a time for reflection on what was, what is, and what might have been.

Thanks Harley for sharing your Milwaukee memories with me!

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