Santa Fe Emporia Subdivision National Model Railroad Association

Mark Steenwyk's Milwaukee Beer Line
40 ft x 47 ft

The Milwaukee Road Chestnut St. Branch is a six-mile industrial line more commonly known as the “Beer Line”. As the name implies, the brewing industry (Schlitz and Pabst) are the major traffic generators, but there are also many other industries such as tanneries, corrugated container plants, and an American Motors body plant that require daily switching on this busy line. Sixty different car spot locations at nearly 40 different industries make for continuous switching activity along the line.

Set in 1975, you'll find brand-new MP15ACs toiling alongside worn-out F-units and FM switchers still working three shifts a day. There's no dispatcher as yard limits cover the whole line, but the clerk sets the pace for the three to four two-man crews. Also, a twice-daily transfer job shuttles blocks of cars from various points along the branch to the main classification yard in the Menominee River valley (staging).

Expanded after Prairie Rail 2012, the entire line is faithfully recreated for your switching enjoyment. Sound-equipped locomotives, reliable track and free-rolling cars help maintain the realism of the prototypical, handwritten switch-list based operations. Scenery is sparse and buildings are just beginning to define the surroundings, but that won’t detract from the realistic operations.

The Milwaukee Road Beer Line was featured in the November 2011 issue of Model Railroader.

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