The Biron Spur serves the Consolidated Paper mill.
The 2.23-mile Biron spur was built in June, 1896 to serve a new paper mill in Biron. This was the only new
track constructed during the financially troubled
years of the Green Bay Winona & St. Paul
Railroad, the immediate predecessor of
the Green Bay & Western. The paper mill became part of Consolidated Papers
in 1911 (and finally Stora Enso in 2000).
The spur is located at Coyne (mainline milepost 93.5) and leaves the main line
heading east and then travels north-northeast to the mill at Biron. The line terminates
in a six track yard at the Consolidated Papers mill, with a few of the yard tracks extending into the mill
buildings. Because there was no wye at the main line, trains had to back up the
spur to serve the paper mill. This backing movement was one of the primary
reasons why the GB&W maintained a caboose fleet up to the time it ended
operations in 1993.
The primary inbound load was pulpwood in eight-foot lengths in bulkhead
flatcars, although gondolas were occasionally used. The pulpwood was unloaded by
rubber tired Prentice loaders and stacked about twenty feet high between pairs
of tracks. When the mill needed pulpwood the Prentice loaders would load
trailers and pull them into the mill. The east tracks would often be used to
spot kaolin tank cars and hoppers of coal for the mill. The tracks that extended
into the mill building were used to unload paper pulp shipments.
The finished product was typically shipped out by semi truck.
Thanks is due to Darin Umlauft, Stuart Pate,
Dale Konkol and Kevin White for providing the basis of this