Retired Barron teacher and railroad enthusiast Arlyn Colby has released his fifth book, each detailing a different abandoned railroad line.
His interest in western Wisconsin railroad history has resulted in “The Park Falls Line,” the fifth book in a series.
This 75-mile railroad in northwest Wisconsin was built by the Omaha Railway in 1902. Originating in Barron County, it traversed through southern Sawyer County and into western Price County.
It branched off the Omaha’s mainline track from Eau Claire to the Twin Ports north of Rice Lake. Locations on the line were Tuscobia, Brill, Angus, The Narrows, Birchwood, Wooddale, Yarnell, Lemington, Couderay, Radisson, Ojibwa, Winter, Loretta, Draper, Kennedy, Kaiser and Park Falls.
The Park Falls Line was built to move hardwood logs to area sawmills and became a general freight line after the logging industry ended.
The railroad line was abandoned in 1965 and converted from rails to trails by 1968. Today the line is an all-purpose trail called the Tuscobia Trail and enjoyed by many hikers, bikers, skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle riders.
A chapter about each town on the line gives its history, a railroad track plan in the town and many pictures.
The book has 224 pages that include 286 pictures and 171 maps, charts and diagrams. It sells for $35 plus $5 postage and handling, and is available in Perfect binding or Spiral binding.
Colby taught mathematics and coached for many years at Barron High School. He is a graduate of Eleva-Strum Central High School and UW-Eau Claire.
His four previous books about local abandoned branchline railroads include “The Mondovi Line,” “The Blueberry Line,” “The Chippewa Valley Line” and “The Cornell Line.”
Find more information about the five books at www.wisconsinrailroad books.com.
Colby’s next book will be “The Spring Valley Line and Ellsworth Lines,” about the Omaha Railway’s track from Emerald to Weston through Spring Valley and the track from Stillwater, Minn., to Ellsworth through River Falls.
Anyone having photos or information about these lines is asked to contact Colby at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-418-0258.