Away we go

Its been a while since I sat down and wrote out a blog post…

I want to take a minute to introduce my new blog and my latest project or layout.  Welcome to the Chicago & Northwestern Marshline Subdivision!  This blog and this website will be dedicated to tracking my journey creating a prototypical model railroad.  My model railroad will use the CNW Marshline subdivision in the 1970’s as its setting and I aim to stick to it as close as possible (only taking “minimal” modelers license)

For those of you who don’t know, I grew up on the Marshline, literally.   The tracks ran right next to my parents house.  I can remember running outside and chasing the trains down our property line.  The engineer would always give a wave and an extra toot of the horn.  I would love watching the trains slowly lumber by hauling an eclectic mix of freight and equipment to places unknown.

The former Marshline Right of Way in West Rosendale, WI.  Looking West – Photo by Andy Dorsch.

I picked this prototype as the foundation for my model railroad because, I wanted to preserve the history of my roots.  I wanted to recreate the trains I saw rolling by my house when I was a kid.  Its the real reason I got started in this hobby.

I invite you to come along on this journey.  Together we are going to explore how to build a model railroad that uses a railroad of the past as its inspiration.  Everthing from the model railroad layout design to the types of cars and locomotives we have on the tracks will try and follow what the real railroad had.  So I encourage you to climb aboard, ask questions and make comments.

Thank you for taking the time to read along.




4 thoughts on “Away we go

  1. Hi-

    Good stuff. I grew up in Wisconsin Rapids at the west end of the CNWRR bridge over the river in the late ’60’s & early ’70’s. We’d sled at night down on the hill as the grade approached the bridge. It was always a scary sight when the engine light from eastbound train would creep around the corner in our direction. By then, the bridge and entire grade were in such lousy shape that I recall the max speed was 5 MPH or thereabouts.

    I have lots of old photos and postcards of the bridge, including the last trains in ’76-’77 when they were ripping out the tracks and hauling the scrap from east to west. Sad times….

    Let me know if you’re interested in copies and I’ll gladly forward.

    Joe Kryshak
    formerly, Wisconsin Rapids


    1. Good Morning Joe!

      That’s funny that’d you’d mention that you used to sled down the hills near the ol’ line. I did the same thing my parents house was right on the line and there was a big hill that the railroad went through that was fantastic for sledding! Always had to watch for trains!

      I am interested in copies of your pictures and postcards! If you’d like, you can send them to

      Thank you for reaching out. Its always nice to connect with someone with ties to the old Chicago and Northwestern!

      Andy Dorsch


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