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Shorewood Ghost Train

Art, history and technology to converge in a first-of-its-kind sensory experience as the Shorewood Ghost Train Public Art Installation moves forward

The Village Board has unanimously accepted the Shorewood Public Art Committee’s plans for a new installation called ‘The Ghost Train’, an artistic sensory experience which will enable visitors to travel back in history, imagining the round-trip journey of the ‘Twin Cities 400’ which was operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway from 1935-1963 and crossed Capitol Drive at the Oak Leaf Trail Bridge.

The Ghost Train designer is Marty Peck, principal of Creative Lighting Design & Engineering, a Germantown-based firm specializing in the expressive use of light in architecture. Through innovative lighting and sound technology, Peck will create the allusion of a Ghost Train crossing the bridge twice each evening to recall the schedule, speed and drama of the passing of this historic 400 train. At other times the bridge will have a subtler artistic illumination. A comprehensive traffic study for this project will be conducted prior to the installation to ensure that any potential traffic safety issues are addressed.

The Ghost Train Committee is in the final phase of fundraising for the project as the project enters its design phase. The tentative Ghost Train launch timeframe is Halloween 2016, providing an exciting lead into Shorewood’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2017.

“This will be a first-of-its-kind experience that blends art, history and technology and we believe it will draw interest not only in Shorewood but throughout Wisconsin and beyond,” said Guy Johnson, Village President.

The Ghost Train is the next phase of an exciting long-term public art vision for Shorewood, according to Pat Algiers, The Ghost Train Committee Chair and a member of Shorewood’s Public Art Committee.

“We envision The Ghost Train as a creative artistic experience that will both entertain and educate viewers of all ages and provide a memorable way to celebrate Shorewood’s railroad history,” Algiers said.

Touted as the fastest passenger train in the world, the Chicago and North Western Railway’s ‘400’ routinely covered the 400 miles between Chicago and St. Paul, MN in just 400 minutes –including its travel over Shorewood’s Oak Leaf Trail.

A Chicago & North Western Rail Road (C&NW RR) passenger train crosses Capitol Drive, stopping traffic. Later, the Capitol Drive underpass was constructed in 1925 to prevent auto back-ups.

Shorewood Historical Society

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