Arlyn Colby’s interest in western Wisconsin railroad history has resulted in “The Park Falls Line,” his fifth book in a series about local abandoned branch line railroads.
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, then 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. It 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. Today the line has been transformed into the Tuscobia Trail, an all-purpose trail enjoyed by many ATV riders.
A chapter about each town on the line gives its history, a railroad track plan in the town, and many pictures. The book’s 224 pages include 286 pictures and 171 maps, charts and diagrams. It sells for $35 plus $5 postage and handling, and is available in perfect or spiral binding.
Colby, who taught mathematics and coached for many years at Barron High School and graduated from Eleva-Strum Central High School and UW-Eau Claire, previously wrote four books about local abandoned branch line railroads. They were The Mondovi Line, The Blueberry Line, The Chippewa Valley Line and The Cornell Line.
For more information about the five books, visit at www.wisconsinrailroadbooks.com.