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CRP&A Member Exclusive: The History and Development of Madison’s Railroads

June 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Tuesday, June 20, 2023
7:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time), on Zoom
Registration closes at 4 pm CT on Monday, June 19

Registration Closed

CRP&A members can request the recording link at info@railphoto-art.org 

Our summer members-only program features a detailed look at the Center’s hometown Madison, Wisconsin, by our executive director Scott Lothes. These presentations are open to members of the Center and are presented to express our gratitude for member support. If you’re not a member, consider joining today to see this program as well as our past members-only events.


Before the 20th-century rise of car culture and the building of the interstate highway system, a town’s ability to attract a railroad was a significant marker of its growth and economic health. In 2023, as Madison is considering a possible return of passenger rail, it’s a perfect time to examine local railroad history.

Railroads played a tremendous role in building Madison and south-central Wisconsin, and they continue to play a critical role in the regional economy. At their zenith, nine different railroad lines radiated out of Madison. Seven of those routes remain in service today, although only four of them still extend to their original destinations. This presentation looks at how they came to be, how they have been used, and how and why they have changed over the past 165 years. Illustrations come from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the archives of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, including the collection of founder John Gruber, who grew up in Prairie du Sac and lived in Madison.

Join us on Tuesday, June 20, at 7 pm Central (5 pm PT / 6 pm MT / 8 pm ET) for this exciting program! This program is being recorded and will be made available to members by request.


This event is open to members of the CRP&A

Join Today! Become a member here




In 1955, a Milwaukee Road train rests nearby the Chicago & North Western depot with the capitol building visible in the background. Photograph by John Gruber.


June 20
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm