Christmas Memories...............

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MadCoW1, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    Let me take you back to Madison, Wisconsin in late November of 1966. The scene is at the Milwaukee Roads' West Washington Ave. depot. And the place is filled with hundreds of children and anxious parents. Folks are walking amongst one another exchanging greetings and Christmas cheer. Sipping hot chocolate while waiting for the arrival of a very special train. "The SANTA Express"
    The Santa Express was an FP7 pulling 6 bi-level passenger cars that would make a round trip to the east to fetch that very special person to make the Christmas Season official. And it was our job as kids, to get it done. So when the train pulled into the station, you can just imagine the excitement that rippled through the throngs who were lucky enough to go.
    Once on board, my face was pressed against the window for this was a train ride!! I was on the upper level, having a great view of things. We headed east and soon were crossing the CNW/Milwaukee diamond in, yes IN, lake Monona. The only place in the world where railroads cross at grade, in the middle of a lake. And then on through the mid-western countryside for what seemed like a hundred miles. Then we could feel the train slowing to a stop.
    Excited voices filled the air........."Is that his sleigh?"....."I think I see him!!"......."THERE HE IS, SANTA!!!" And sure enough, the Jolly ole' Elf boarded the train and we lurched back towards the west and Madison.
    On the way back, Santa made his way through every car and greeted all with warm Christmas greetings, and coloring books too!! After he finished our car, I returned to my gaze out the window, secretly wishing for the day when I would be an engineer. When we got back to Madison, we were heroes. Santa was safe and in town for the Christmas Season. Our mission a success. We could sleep easy now, at least some could. I was thinking about that day for a long time to come. And that beautiful yellow/gray F unit.........and the gleaming cars........and the other trains........and.....................

    I don't model the Milwaukee but took up the CNW instead. Here is my version of the Santa Express heading west.

    And the MadCoW tailcar says it all..............

    Merry Christmas from our family to yours,

    Johnny and Stacey
  2. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Merry Christmas!

  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Great stuff Johnny! :thumb: :thumb:

    Merry Christmas!


    PS - Are you going to model that diamond...? ;)
  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    That's GREAT!!! Merry Christmas!!!!
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Most excellent, love the street and sidewalk!
  6. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Excellent. What fun to go fetch Santa.

    And Happy Solstice to all, and to all a long night. :)

    FYI the solstice is scheduled to occur at the following time today (21 Dec 06):

    19:20 eastern
    18:20 central
    17:20 mountain
    16:20 pacific

    - John
  7. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    And to you as well Sir!!
  8. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Andrew. Yes I'm doing the diamond, in fact as this layout is double-decked, the diamond scene will be almost directly above the trestle in the photo.

  9. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    Thank you Gary. And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

  10. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    I'm about an hour away from it!! Wahoo!!! I think I'll have a nip and a nap!!

    Thanks John,

  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Enjoyed the story and the great photograph's. Merry Christmas. (I hope the political correctness police don't make me take Christmas out of the greeting)
  12. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    If you could do that, I would be forever greatful....Having lived in Madison for 10 years, back in those days, they were, as they say...The best years of my life...!!! I used to take the train to Chicago from the West Washington Ave. I can still see (in my mind's eye) the old station and all the tracks that crossed W.W. Ahhhh...the good ol' days.

    And a Merry Christmas to you and to all here at The Gauge...!!!sign1
  13. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Terrific pics Johnny. Thanks for the holiday wishes! Right back at ya!
  14. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    I think we're safe! Thanks Jim and Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!!.

  15. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    Hello Gus, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Not sure what you were requesting of me but I will be glad to help if I can. Nice to hear from someone familiar with the Madison 'railscene' from the 60's.
    West Washington Ave. -1960-1969:

    12-Tracks crossing the Ave.
    Large Depot
    Large Yard with Illinois Central diamond at west end
    8-Stall Roundhouse
    Icing platform
    Milwaukee scrapyard

    West Washington Ave. -Today:

    1-Track(Wisconsin Southern) crossing the Ave.
    Large Depot(Restaurant) w/ static train display on platform(E-unit/4 or 5 cars

    Everything else.........Gone.

    Memories, Keep 'em alive and share!! Thanks Gus!!

  16. MadCoW1

    MadCoW1 Member

    My pleasure Ralph. Have a great Holiday.


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