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    Photo Essay: Rail operations at Fort McCoy

    Rail operations at Fort McCoy

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Transportation specialists with the Fort McCoy Logistics Readiness Center...... read more read more

    Transportation specialists with the Fort McCoy Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) Transportation Division and Soldiers with the 107th Support Maintenance Company of the Wisconsin National Guard unload Army vehicles and equipment Aug. 4, 2022, at Fort McCoy, Wis., from a railcar on the cantonment area at the installation.

    The 107th had 24 railcars overall full of equipment and vehicles returning from a training deployment.

    The 107th is the latest of many units over the last decade to hold rail movements at Fort McCoy. As a matter of fact, for the many decades of Fort McCoy’s existence, the capability to transport cargo and equipment to and from the installation by rail has always been there. And it’s a capability that will continue, LRC officials said.

    During World War II, for example, the railroad at Fort McCoy was one of the main forms of transportation for bringing troops in for training and home after the war as well as for moving cargo and equipment in and out of the installation.

    In July 2020, former Technician Fifth Grade Donald Whitaker visited Fort McCoy and recalled when he boarded a train and left then-Camp McCoy after serving two years, six months, and seven days in the Army during World War II. Whitaker also recalled what it felt like arriving by train to get ready to leave the Army.

    “I just remember coming in by train (to McCoy) knowing you were getting out, and we were all saying the sooner the better,” Whitaker said.

    Those earlier days of rail on post did involve transporting people more than today, but rail still remains as important as ever to support the Army’s transportation needs, said the Installation Transportation Officer Douglas “Terry” Altman with the LRC Transportation Division.

    “Fort McCoy remains very active in the rail operations,” Altman said in 2021. “In 2020 alone, we coordinated three rail movements, and it has been continuously active here especially in recent years.”

    Conducting rail operations on post has also been done under improved conditions thanks to improvements to the post’s rail infrastructure in recent years, Altman said.

    Rail infrastructure improvements really took off starting in 2016 when eight on-post rail crossings were removed and replaced with new precast concrete panels and 136-pound rails, said Construction Inspection Branch Chief Dan Hanson with the Directorate of Public Works.

    Then further work began to take place with support from the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) of McAlester, Okla. This work included replacing old rail lines with industry-standard 136-pound rails that improved the installation’s rail capability, Hanson said. The weight designation refers to the weight of each 3-foot section, or 1 yard, of rail.

    Then from 2017 to 2019, MCAAP and Fort McCoy personnel worked together as thousands of railroad ties were replaced, thousands of feet of track were replaced, and other related work was completed.

    “Everything that was done really helped keep the installation ready to support any rail transportation needs the Army needs to have done here at McCoy,” Altman said.

    Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”



    Date Taken: 08.30.2022
    Date Posted: 08.30.2022 11:25
    Story ID: 428312
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

    Web Views: 16
    Downloads: 0