FDL Fond du Lac release 100006:0


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Apparently the CDP does not consider the HTML file a dependency for the sessions. It doesn't seem to download with them automatically. You will need to download and install the FDLHTML file in order to use the switch lists. Sorry, should have mentioned.

There have been far more downloads of the route than of any of the sessions, and I'm curious about that. I hope someone will comment.

For those who have downloaded the original version of FDL Fond du Lac, here are the readme notes which will accompany future updates, should you prefer not to receive those:

DIRECTION on the track is timetable direction: East (toward Milwaukee and Chicago) and West (toward Fond du Lac or Horicon). Other references here may be compass direction.


1. The locomotive shall lead the train at all crossings with other railways (Soo and Chicago & Northwestern). Where that is not possible, a full stop shall be made before proceeding through the crossing unless the signal is clearly visible to the engineer.

2. In accordance with Wisconsin laws, the bell shall ring continuously while in motion through populated communities. In Iron Ridge between the East switch and the road bridge; at Neda between the Neda Road crossing and the Bat Cave; at Mayville, Knowles, and Brownsville between the east and west 15 MPH limit signs; at South Byron within the 20 MPH zone; at Fond du Lac all trackage west of the freeway overpass posted 20 MPH or less. (WC 167.35.128(a)(iii))

3. Eastbound trains approaching Iron Ridge Track 4 shall not activate the branch switch until the engineer has ascertained there is no opposing traffic.

4. Trains containing adjacent cars longer than 53 feet shall observe a maximum speed of 20 MPH between the 25 MPH signs at the Nasbro Curve (MP 147.7).

5. Passenger trains are authorized during daylight hours (only) to operate at up to 45 MPH in zones posted 40 MPH.

6. Movements on foreign trackage shall yield to all other traffic.

---------------------------------------- SAFETY FIRST---------------------------------------


This line was modelled as the "Iron Ridge and Mayville" by Paul Larson (p. 41, ed. Lynn Westcott, "101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders," Kalmbach, Milwaukee 1956-)

The Milwaukee line through Iron Ridge is the Old North Main, from Milwaukee to La Crosse, since eclipsed by the the line through Janesville. There once was a mill or elevator on the south side just east of the road bridge.

The branch takes the high ground up a 2% (ruling grade westbound) and runs through a series of ridges which are glacial drumlins, piles of debris left as the ice receded at the end of the last Ice Age. Sharp grades and bogs are characteristic. Older topographic sources clearly show a spur leaving the branch at the summit west of Neda and wrapping around the ridge to the east to some customer in the valley beyond. A cement floor can still be seen on Google Earth(tm) at that facility. The cutting through the ridge can still be seen despite the overgrowth. Before the glaciers this was ocean floor and limestone is everywhere. Limestone Country at Jones' Switch is the major supplier these days but backyard pits are common.

South of the branch east of South Mayville is a weird drumlin; as it is quarried for rock the gaps become garbage landfill. There was once a wye at the east end of South Mayville, long disused. The subgrade has been modelled. Tabco makes both paper and electronic filing systems. Seneca does various food products; I think this is a frozen vegetable plant.

Up to 1890 Mayville was a source of high-grade iron ore, possibly an old meteor strike, but it played out. Hence the rusty rock in places. The Mayville elevator is no more but we have it anyway. There was a spur off the siding that ran up to the top of the hill and tracks can still be seen up there beside the warehouse. The East Branch of the Rock River wraps around Mayville; there once was a paper mill on the left (south) bank below the dam, presumably with its own spur. A notable feature in Mayville is the Old Limestone School.

Metalcraft of Mayville shows what may have been a spur or perhaps a drainage ditch. I've chosen to model a spur. Metalcraft does ductwork and shaped sheet metal. Here they supply fenders and cowling to the John Deere plant in Horicon. Metal scrap goes to the recycler in Fond du Lac (SOO).

Knowles and Brownsville are still growing. Between them we pass by Nasbro, a cement plant that folded up in the Depression. We still have the kilns; though in reality they are long since scrap, the bases remain. South Byron is far into decline; the siding is now the main. The old main and depot have been removed. West from South Byron we crest a ridge and begin the long slide down to the East Branch of the Fond du Lac River. This is the ruling grade eastbound.

Crossing the East Branch valley we rise to the CNW "Oakfield" branch crossing. This actually runs southwest through Janesville, but not here. The Interstate has not yet been modelled. Still thinking about it. The Badger State Cement plant is notional -- once the new freeway is in, it will be dismantled, surely, but until then it's a place to wrestle loads of rock and cement. Mercury Marine, the huge plant to the west, makes outboard motors. I've installed the intermodal terminal where their shipping/receiving plant is and given them a spur by the foundry to receive bulk steel and aluminum ingots. Next spur is Brenner LLC, the tank makers, who receive coil steel and aluminum. West of Military Road is the turnoff to the downtown yard and depot. Beyond is Agri-Land's fertilizer and pesticide depot, and so on across the West Branch of the Fond du Lac to the West Yard and the Soo interchange.

The West Yard industries are notional but in keeping with Fond du Lac's growth in light manufactury. Most of that product moves through Intermodal, but Kustom Electronics makes radar sets and detectors, receiving components. Amalgamated Grocers is a supermarket distributor. Peter Piper's receives cucumbers, pickling spices, jars and packaging and ships -- guess what? From here the Soo runs up the west side of Lake Winnebago through the North Fond du Lac yard (not modelled). If we added a baseboard we could put in a major metal recycler that has two spurs. The turntable probably never existed where it is but it is needed because the AI drivers do not operate well in reverse.

Downtown trackage follows the historic line. The line used to run off through town to the northeast and connect with the CNW line from Sheboygan, now defunct, which served the Port of FDL when it was a hub for lake shipping before road and rail encircled Lake Winnebago. The team tracks and freighthouse occupy what is now the county jail. The depot is spotted in a likely location for the precursor Fond du Lac, Mayville and Amboy RR, so is not a standard CMSTP&P depot. Industries here represent Wisconsin's premier exports: sausage and cheese. The Philips plant receives components and produces automotive lamps and indicator bulbs. Loads go east for Dearborn and west to Saint Paul-Minneapolis.

The Oakfield Branch also serves as the CNW-SOO-MILW interchange. Between Hickory Street and the Soo main lies the Land O' Lakes feed mill.

To keep the line profitable the Milwaukee switcher at Fond du Lac handles interchange traffic and local switching for the Soo and CNW along with MILW traffic. It is likely found shunting Warehouse Specialists and the GoldenCow dairy off the Soo and the Land O' Lakes mill. The old SW burro is marginal for some of the work so the Power Desk is thinking of replacing it with a GP9.

Sections of this line were abandoned in stages. All that's left now is the spur from our West Yard down to Agri-Land; "Intermodal" is on a spur from the Canadian National's Soo-CNW, which no longer goes downtown on CNW but sweeps west to connect with the Soo east of Warehouse Specialists; the Wisconsin & Southern operates from Iron Ridge up to Seneca Foods.


Winnebago Distributors (West Yard): Receives petroleum products
Port of Fond du Lac Intermodal
Land O' Lakes Mill: Receives agricultural products, pallets and bags;
ships animal feed in bulk and bag.
Badger State Cement: Receives crushed limestone, pallets and bags;
ships cement bulk and bagged.
Limestone Country (Jones' Switch): Ships limestone, crushed and aggregate.

The other customers typically require some time to empty and load cars so are left for the session creator. They are suitable for non-interactive rolling stock. A car-card system might work well here but I just use the switch lists. I use a spreadsheet template blank form, fill it in, print it as a .pdf, crop and size to 2-1/2" wide and export as a .jpg to include in the HTML asset. I wish there was a way to make the check-off blocks active.

How do the empties on the Limestone tail track get filled? They just push them through with one of those hulking great dump trucks. Then guys ride them down the spur on the hand brakes. Whee!

Bob Kluckhohn

(C) 2014 Robert H. Kluckhohn, Jr.