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Outagamie County WIGenWeb - Historical Facts

Outagamie County

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History of CN&W Railroad

November 30, 1876 marked the date the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railroad was completed between Appleton and New London.  Extending its line from Manitowoc,   New London passengers were now able to connect with Milwaukee and Chicago.

The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad acquired MLS and W on August 19, 1893 thus making New London a part of the C & NW system.  A C & NW timetable from 1905 showed that four northbound and four southbound passenger trains came through New London each day.

Trains such as the Flambeau, The Twin Cities Express and the Fox River Express took travelers to such cities as Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Ashland.  The last passenger and mail trains came through New London on November 19, 1954.

New London was also a busy  freight terminal.  Trains 281 and 282 worked between Fond Du Lac and Ashland by the way of New London.  In addition there was a switch engine based here, and during the 1950's as many as 200 car loads per month were switched in and out of New London industries.  By 1971 the switch engine had been taken off as business declined. Throughout the 1970's fewer freight trains existed, and in 1981 service was reduced to twice weekly switch run.

On December 10, 1988, some 200 miles of Wisconsin trackage, including the New London branch, were sold by the C & NW to create the Fox Valley Railroad shortline.   Service continued twice weekly from Appleton until May of 1990, when due to poor track conditions, the line was taken out of active service.

Outagamie County History


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