Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad: Spooner Train Ride

Me and Carley

I just have this thing for trains. I don't know why. I am intrigued by them.
This was one of the deals I blogged about on Eau Claire Consumer - dinner and a train ride for four on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad in Spooner, Wisconsin. And I just have to say, this was a really neat experience.

It rained all day and then miraculously, just before we set out for Spooner, Wisconsin, the rain stopped and the sun came out during our beautiful train ride.

I was surprised to see the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad and the Spooner Depot mentioned in this MSN article, All Aboard Eight Great Railways.

Me and Chuck
The article says, "The history of the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad provides a viewfinder into the glory days of railroading, when more than 20 daily passenger trains were greeted by one of the Upper Midwest's most majestic depots in Spooner, Wisc. Seventy-five percent of the town once worked for the railroad, and no less a dignitary than the future King Edward VII of England once disembarked. Today, a coupling of local train enthusiasts maintain the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad, which has expanded to daily summer service from what remains of the Spooner depot and includes the new Bed & Breakfast Train, inviting passengers to dine, sleep and breakfast aboard the train, an impressive feat for a scenic railroad."

Carley and Jesse

It is interesting to think about the history of the railroad--what it meant to individual towns and to our country as a whole. To think it was once the main mode of transportation, even transporting the King of England, and yet the Spooner Depot seemed to be as much of a train graveyard as it was a bustling little depot during the Saturday night we embarked on our journey. The depot was littered with abandoned trains and other machinery and things that hadn't been used in years, yet the dining car was full that night.

I enjoyed the time on the train, time with friends, and some good food (especially the cheese and crackers tray). More pictures from our night are below.

My Dinner

A view of the Namekagon River

Namekagon River


A view of the highway that we paralleled for part of the journey

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