Green Bay & Western Lines
The East-West Short Route
 [Home]     Information ] Locos ] Rolling Stock ] Photos & Stuff ] Ephemera ] Modeling ] References ] Site Map ]
La Crosse

Up ]


Dick Johnson, a rail historian in La Crosse, shared this map and info on the Green Bay & Western RR in La Crosse.

Here is map showing the layout of the Green Bay & Western terminus is La Crosse, Wisconsin. This is taken from the fire insurance maps which are on microfilm at the La Crosse 8th Street Library (thus there are lots of scratches on the print).

Of interest is the location of the turntable and roundhouse. When this location was originally inhabited by the Green Bay & Minnesota RR in 1876, it was shared by the Chicago & North Western (the GB&M had trackage rights on the C&NW from Marshland to Onalaska and the C&NW had trackage rights on the GB&M from Onalaska to this location at 9th and Green Bay Street. Originally there was a 200 foot long double-track train shed adjacent to the shared depot but by 1905 that was gone. In 1886 the C&NW built its own line from Medary Junction into downtown La Crosse, at 3rd and Vine, and no longer used the GB&W facility. Also in 1886, the Chicago, Burlington & Northern RR (later Chicago Burlington & Quincy RR) built its line from Oregon, Ill. to St Paul, Minn. via La Crosse, and this map shows the downtown line through this location going to its depot at 2nd and Pearl Streets, which also served several businesses along the way, including the Gund Brewery, and the track system connection it with the GB&W.

Also included on this page is a woodcut of the Gund Brewery (circa late 1870's). Seen in the upper right corner is the artist's rendering of the train shed with both RR's names painted on the roof. Note also the C&NW freight depot in the middle bottom of the image.

"Barlow" (lower right corner of the map) is the junction of the CB&Q and the La Crosse & South Eastern RR. From this point the LC&SE ran parallel to the CB&Q (southeast) to "South Junction" where the LC&SE overpassed the Q mainline and then ran south along the base of the bluffs to Stoddard and on to Chaseburg, Coon Valley, Westby and terminating in Viroqua. The LC&SE passenger trains used the CB&Q depot and were allowed to use the 1.9 miles of CB&Q tracks from here to the depot.

As a note to history, when the GB&M line was built from Onalaska to La Crosse, in 1876, the crossing of the CM&StP was known as "Green Bay Crossing". In 1886, when both the C&NW and CB&N also built lines through that same point, the name was changed to "Grand Crossing", reviving the name of the Southern Minnesota Railroad's depot, which was on the west shore of Mississippi, which was closed in 1880 when the CM&StP acquired the SMRR. The CB&W pulled out of La Crosse in 1922.

Click on the map for an enlargement.

From the collection of Dick Johnson.
This photo may not be reproduced without permission.

[ Top of This Page

 The Green Bay Route is maintained by Mark Mathu.
Visit the Guest Book or send comments to
Updated July 11, 2015