Monday, June 25, 2012

Photowalk #2: East Troy Electric Railroad Museum

Saturday afternoon, I participated in my second Photowalk with one of my Flickr groups, Cream City: Milwaukee.  One of the members, Randy, suggested the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum since they were having their Train Fest, and he knew there would be more trains on display than on any of their normal days.  I thought this was a great idea for a visit, especially since I wanted to continue my "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" theme of photos that I have been taking lately.

Normally, the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum offers train rides to and from The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, a popular area tourist attraction that is a working farm and has wonderful produce, dairy items and baked goods for sale.  They are best known for their fresh, homemade apple pie in a bag.  The train ride only costs $12.50 and you can ride the train unlimited all day.  I decided to make this outing a full train experience by buying a ticket and riding the Chicago Elevated to the farm and back.  The trip takes about a half-hour one way, but not only do you get the experience of riding on a historical train, you get to see some really nice rural scenery along the way.

I didn't go into the Elegant Farmer on Saturday since I had to get back to the station on the next train going back for the photowalk.  But I did spend some time taking photos at the train station.  The red train, above, is used primarily for the museum's special dinner train service which costs $68.25 per person.  This particular train travels from East Troy to Phantom Lake, and diners get a four-course meal including appetizers and desert, as well as access to their onboard bar.  For the Train Fest, this train was also used during the day for a wine and cheese trip (not sure how much that cost) which traveled back and forth to The Elegant Farmer. 

Before the Chicago Elevated train departed the station, I was able to board and take some pictures of the historic interior.  You can see them below.

Once I got back to the station, I met up with my fellow photographers and the photowalk began.  Unfortunately, we didn't realize that the historic trains that were outside that day were being put away by the time we started at 2:00.  But, we were granted access to the garage where the trains are kept, and, despite a lot of dust and some oil on the ground, we all had a lot of fun going onto the trains and getting our shots.  I decided to make this even more of a challenge by only using my telephoto lens, and, except for having to back away from the trains for some of the longer shots, I'm glad I made the decision.  The shots below were taken inside and outside the garage.

After we took our pictures inside the garage, we went around the small downtown square and had ice cream at this really cute, old-fashioned parlor.  The parlor even had antique cameras on a hutch against the wall.  We then returned to the East Troy station, and I took a few shots of some of the memorabilia they had displayed inside.

I had a really good time at the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, and had fun getting to know some more of my photowalkers.  It is a great way to spend an afternoon, and it's always a learning experience to see how others interpret the area we visit.

If you would like more information on the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, visit  For more information on The Elegent Farmer in Mukwonago, visit


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