A Mid-Continent Timeline (continued)
Compiled by Jim Neubauer from past issues of Railway Gazette, Mid-Continent's official newsmagazine.

January 1976: Land graded at the site of the new trainshed. Removed earth used for fill on the new east parking lot.
March 1976: Work begins on trainshed roof.
May 1976: Frank Wenban hired as summer manager. Kevin P. Keefe endorses Mid-Continent's participation in TRAIN, the Tourist Railway Association, Inc.
July 1976: Special Issue of the Railway Gazette marks 15th summer of operation for MCRM. Iron Mining, quarrying, railroad, and museum photographs are featured.
September 1976: Seabees swarm ashore at North Freedom as part of their training program, construct turnouts and track, pour concrete, and complete other chores.
November 1976: Ken Breher elected president of Mid-Continent. M&StL X709 arrives on TTX flat. 36-foot, 40-ton box #04492 rolls once again on Fox Pressed Steel trucks.
January 1977: Aged wooded Russell snowplow purchased from Boyne City Railway, crosses Lake Michigan on car ferry.
January 9, 1977: Thirty members turn out for Snow Train preparation in 35 degree below zero weather.
June 1977: Reconstruction of Baraboo River bridge pilings begun.
July 1977: Ground broken for new restrooms to be built in Pine Tree Park, donated by Vodak family. Three Baraboo men arrested and charged with stealing more than $10,000 worth of track parts.
August 9, 1977: Work halted on Baraboo bridge when it collapses. Two workers injured, but no Mid-Continent trains involved.
August 1977: Car 104 repainted from bright yellow and red "circus colors" to a more sedate Pullman green.
October 1977: DSS&A coach 213 nears complete restoration. Long-missing truss rods replaced on MLS&W coach 63, starting restoration project that lasts 25 years.
1978: CETA, Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, a federal program to start at Museum June 1. Thirteen employees hired. Douglas R. Smith employed full time as General Manager.
January 1978: Ex-UP Rotary Snowplow given to Mid-Continent with Vanderbilt tender.
February 1978: UTLX 12283, type II 1907-built tank car restored. Third Annual Snow Train big success.
May 1978: Opening Day features Balloon Ascension, 1903 Cadillac, and 1913 Ten-Wheeler to open 1978 season. Montana Western #31 in service.
September 30, 1978: First Autumn Color Weekend event held.
November 17, 1978: Rudy Fluegel ending 65 years of railroading, dies at 81.
December 1978: Board votes to lease Railway Inn restaurant in North Freedom. Picturesque old Walnut St. truss bridge over Baraboo River replaced by new concrete structure.
January 1979: 1970's Statement of Worth shows total expenses of $157,514, but excess funds (over budget) of $47,303.
February 1979: Super Winter brings Snow Train hardships: Minus 20's temperatures, 18-plus inches of snow, cylinder cocks froze open, freezing the R-1 to the tracks, coal frozen solid, cars frozen in place. Bad coal clinkers in firebox, and things went downhill from there.
November 1979: Mid-Continent sponsors TRAIN convention at Wisconsin Dells and at Museum site.
December 1979: Union Pacific rotary snowplow arrives at Mid-Continent. Parts were stolen off the plow while in transit; most are recovered.
February 1980: Snow Train gives another test of skill when a rail breaks under a train and derails two cars. Operations were realigned while new rail is spiked down.
January 1981: Plans for a new General Office Building are completed.
July 1981: Kewaunee Green Bay & Western locomotive #49 donated to Society. CB&Q #4960, owner by Museum, operates in Tennessee on the Bristol and Northwestern.
September 1981: John Johnson succeeds Harley Vodak as President of Mid-Continent.
November 1981: Mid-Continent offered Copper Range Railroad car 60, which is purchased. Dick Goddard becomes General Manager.
September 1982: C&NW 1385 completes summer of touring C&NW in Wisconsin on the Prosperity Special, heads for Boone, Iowa's "Pufferbilly Days." Mid-Continent Board approves in principle a plan for Chicago & North Western to rebuild the locomotive to FRA standards for use on its lines.
October 1982: Copper Range #60 arrives at Mid-Continent.
March 1983: C&NW, Mid-Continent agree to midwest tour for 1385 through Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois.
June 3, 1983: Train Order Board and mast, donation of Dr. Philip R. Hastings, put in place in front of North Freedom depot. Work is almost complete on the Section House, which was moved from Fond du Lac and originally used on The Milwaukee Road. The interior displays track tools, handcar.
December 1983: Marinette Tomahawk & Western donates a pair of Hart Convertible Center Dump ballast cars to Mid-Continent. They arrive March 8, 1984.
February 1984: MGM/UA films movie "Mrs. Soffel" on location at MCRY, transforming railroad to represent Delaware Lackawanna & Western.
June 14, 1984: C&NW inspection train stops at North Freedom; officials and guests ride behind 1385 on Mid-Continent Railway. C&NW donates business car 440 in green and yellow; then returns car to Chicago for painting in Pullman green with gold lettering.
July 1984: Three engines under steam for Antique Transportation Meet.
October 1984: Institute of Museum Services awards a 1985 conservation project support matching grant of $15,750 to Mid-Continent to develop state-of-the-art roofing procedures to preserve/conserve six wooden coaches.
October 1984: C&NW 1898 Flagman's House from Lodi, Wis. Is donated and becomes crossing shanty at Walnut St. after restoration.
October 1984: Lightweight baggage car, once on City of Los Angeles streamliner, donated by C&NW to accompany 1385 on her travels. On the inside, one third is a toolroom for the engine, a third is used as a gift shop, and a third is set up for Museum displays.
November 1984: Ex-UP Oregon Short Line rotary snowplow makes first trip over line to Quartzite Lake to check clearances.
February 1985: OSL Rotary Snowplow makes debut in operation at Snow Train.
April 1985: Hillsboro & Northeastern, original operating home of MCRY in 1962 at Union, Wis., closes about April 1.
July 1985: Ten-Wheeler #1385 pulls Wisconsin Governor Earl aboard Circus Train from Baraboo July 9 on two-day trip of 220 miles. Previously on June 15, C&NW #1385 rode on tracks of Milwaukee Road, Tunnel City to LaCrosse.
September 1985: Full color copies of Gil Reid's painting of UP 2-8-0 #440 go on sale at Museum as part of steam program fundraiser.
January 3, 1986: Former Milwaukee Road RSC-2 diesel #988 arrives at Museum.
May 1986: Museum receives donation of Whitcomb diesel from W.F. Hall Printing Co. in Chicago and our corral of "critters" grows.
July 1987: On the Great Circus Train at Baraboo, 1385 blows a superheater unit; returned to North Freedom engine house for emergency repairs overnight. The engine rejoined the Circus World Museum special to the Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee at Janesville.
October 1987: Passenger excursions out of Brodhead, Wis. were operated Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 on a 30-mile roundtrip to Monroe over the Wisconsin & Calumet (later WSOR) railroad under local sponsorship.
March 1988: Mid-Continent enters rail heritage publishing with book "Foster's & Nobody Else's," about the Fairchild & Northeastern Railway. Thirty-ton Plymouth locomotive donated by Wisconsin Power & Light in Aug. 1987 arrives to join MCRM's critter corral of small industrial locomotives.
July 1988: Goodman Lumber #9, a Shay built by Lima in 1909, joins exhibits, awaits restoration. In the Railway Gazette, Part 4 of a 5-part series, "A Review of Railfan Photography," features pictures by Phil Hastings and caption commentary by David P. Morgan.
September 1988: Soo Line Historical & Technical Society holds annual convention at Mid-Continent, views MCRM's impressive collection of Soo family freight and passenger equipment, rides special wine-red wooden passenger train.
February 1989: Night photography sessions are a regular feature of Snow Train weekends. Sweet Soo, Waukesha's Ten-Wheeler No. 2645, moves to North Freedom. Lap-seam boiler prevents restoration to service. Soo Line dining-lounge car 2017 gets a new roof; Mt. Harvard, ten-section buffet solarium car, is donated to the Museum.
March 1989: TV commercial is made near Harvard, Ill., using #1385 and cars from the Museum for Illinois Tourism Office to recreate the Lincoln Funeral Train.
July 1989: "Mid-Continent Steam Story," a half-hour video about the Museum and Historical Society, is released to favorable reviews, goes on sale. Mid-Continent's new book, "Focus on Rails," completed in April 1989, is introduced in our gift shop.
October 1989: Ex-Milwaukee Road #988 headed passenger trains at Autumn Color Weekends. General Manager Dick Goddard retires after 10 seasons. Wisconsin Central donates Crossing Tower to Soo Line Historical & Technical Society, who delivers it to MCRM. The Queen Anne style architecture of the watchman's tower graces the Walnut St. grade crossing. Mazomanie Wisconsin Railroad Celebration, a fund-raiser for local historical society restoration work, features special trains pulled by engine 1385.
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