Originally this plan started out as a quest for some generic scenery to provide running space between key scenes on the layout like Sturtevant, New Lisbon, Wisconsin Dells and others. We figured that typical Midwestern scenery would be easy – some taller grass, maybe some farm scenery, sprinkle in a few trees and a creek here or there and we’d be golden! Well building something generic isn’t how Modutrak group-think goes – a prototype would be a “more ideal” so says the group. So a discussion started and Keith Kohlman provided the following prototype track diagram from the 1950′s that shows the Milwaukee Road trackage from Franksville, Wisconsin to Caledonia Wisconsin:
Closer inspection reveals a fair amount of interesting stuff going on here. There are two passing sidings between the two towns, a series of crossovers, some industry sidings, a couple of depots, a stream crossing or two and a few grade-level crossings. Very quickly this started to look interesting to the group and a series of old photographs came out of storage revealing more and more about the area.
Here is a photo of the depot at Caledonia taken some time in the late 1950′s:
Caledonia was mostly a farm and dairy community (and still is) and the depot provided a means to get milk out the larger cities, not to mention supplies that were regularly dropped off at the industry siding directly across the tracks from the depot. Plus being between Chicago and Milwaukee it was also a passenger stop between the two cities. The depot and passing siding are no longer there today.
These two modules are mostly complete, but still get regular maintenance and detailing to try and improve the scenery as new or better techniques or tricks are discovered. A gallery of images follows below…