Tomah to Babcock

Point of Interest

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

This line was built in 1873 and was abandoned around 1915. Today, WI Route 173 sits atop the right-of-way for most of its length.

I am looking for information on this railroad as my grandparents settled in that area in 1887, when the logging business was booming.

Lillian Jorgensen


There was also a logging line that branched off this one at Mather and ran northwesterly, serving several tiny logging settlements in eastern Jackson County. There was an extensive network of spurs and branches that were moved as logging needs dictated. The Mather branch and associated spurs were abandeoned by 1900. If anyone has any information or photos of the Mather branch, please share!

St. Louis, MO


I've often wondered why Highway 173 was as straight as an arrow and almost perfectly level through this area.  Finding out it sits on an old railroad right-of-way explains a lot.

Bicycle Bill
Onalaska, WI


Bicycle Bill

I drove on 173 a few times. Your right, I always felt that if you let go of the steering wheel you could go all the way from Valley Junction to Babcock without leaving the road. I think if look closely you can see soon of the old ROW in Valley Junction today. In late 50's early 60's, I rode the Milwaukee Northwoods Hiawatha, known as the "Valley", from New Lisbon to Wisconsin Rapids a few times. This spur from Tomah met up with the Valley line at Babcock. Also My releatives run and own Wetherbys Cranberry's in Warrens WI.

South Milwaukee , WI


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Do you have any pictures or information about Tomah to Babcock? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.