Any Milwaukee Road memorabilia in downtown Milwaukee?

I am taking the Amtrak Hiawatha from Chicago to Milwaukee in a few weeks for the Midwest Gaming Classic show. Are there any locations in downtown Milwaukee that have any interesting memorabilia from the Milwaukee Road? I remember the Milwaukee Amtrak station had some nice model displays. Please let me know if there are any other Milwaukee Road displays in the area.

Original Post

Dan:  30 years ago I lived there and enjoyed seeing the "0" gauge club (Milwaukee Union Terminal or MUT) on the south side of town.  It was built in a former Milw Rd commuter station under the RR bridge on National Ave.  At that time, most of the members were up in age and I really don't know if they have continued the RR.  At that time it was supposed to be the oldest Model RR club in the USA, having been started in about 1935.  Before WWII it was outside 3rd rail, "o" gauge scale, but in the late 40's it was all redone to accommodate two rail operation.  I'd be interested in knowing just what has happened to that layout and bunch of guys.  The layout itself was huge and went through several rooms of the old station facility.  I also remember being in the building when a train would pass overhead, shaking the whole place and making a lot of noise.

Paul Fischer

I’d reach out to the Milwaukee Lionel Club and arrange a visit to their club. It is a very impressive layout with a nice collection of trains on display. It’s about a 20 minute drive from downtown Milwaukee. Im sure they would also be able to direct you to real train sites that you are looking for. 

In 2015 my wife and I took the Hiawatha to see the "The Art of the Milwaukee Road from the Milwaukee Road Collection of the Milwaukee Public Library" exhibition at the Grohmann Museum (Milwaukee School of Engineering) which is located within walking distance of the Milwaukee Amtrak station. Nice exhibit but unfortunately was not a permanent one. However you might look into what the Library might have available or on display.

Btw, opening May 11th at this museum is "Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography."

FWIW my only stay in Milwaukee (i.e. not just passing through) was a weekend I spent there in early 1982 for a college bowling tournament. Odd thing I remember is I saw maybe one Milwaukee Road engine the whole time. Everything else - and there were quite a few trains - were C&NW.

- Stix

It's a little surprising some folks don't know about the Milwaukee club. The Milwaukee Lionel Railroad Club is large and very active. Google their impressive website.  Among other things, they do a lot of great special issue Lionel cars. I've bought quite a number of them over the years. They also have a huge Trainfest event every November. It always gets a mention on the Forum.

If anyone's in Minneapolis, there's a lot of Milwaukee Road memorabilia in the old Milwaukee Road depot downtown.


The Milwaukee Lionel Club is in New Berlin.   I am not sure if a buss line goes into the Industrial park the Club is Located in, as far as the 2-rail club I'm not sure of any contact information for the club, it has been a while since they had an open house after Trainfest.  To the South you will pass the Sturtevant Rails Railroad museum in Sturtevant.  Usually I have it open the first and third Sundays from noon to 3 pm may thru September (depending on weather), however if a forum member is in the area contact me and If I am free I will be more than happy to open things up..........

Model Railroading is Fun
Mike Slater


Thanks for all the helpful replies. I was hoping there was a restaurant or hobby shop in downtown Milwaukee that had some Milwaukee Road memorabilia. All I saw was this large Hiawatha painting tucked in one corner of the Amtrak station. I saw the preserved MR bay window caboose in Sturtevant on the trip there and back too.


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