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The Drive to Rock Island 7/20/2011

by Chris Guenzler

I was up and packed before heading to breakfast with Bob and Elizabeth in the lobby. Nathan and I loaded the rental van and filled our ice boxes full of ice for our drinks then Gene brought out his luggage, as did Bob and Elizabeth. We left the Depot Inn & Suites and I drove out the same way we returned from Wyaconda yesterday. Outside of Baring, the low fuel light came on since Nathan had forgot to fill the van last night. We stopped in Rutedge but the station there had no petrol and the fellow told us he acquires his petrol from South Gorin.

We made it there, Nathan filled it halfway and we all felt better as we headed to Wyaconda where we took Route A north to US Highway 136, turned right and went through Medill and onto Wayland, where we turned right onto Missouri Highway 27. Once we crossed the Des Moines River, it became Iowa Highway 27 then turned left onto Belfast Road, taking that to the BNSF crossing.

BNSF Union Pacific 6670 East at Belfast Road. We went back to Iowa Highway 74 which we took north to Argyle then turned onto Road J72, turned right on 180 Avenue then right again on 295 Street, which turned into 195 Avenue, taking that to the bridge that overlooked Argyle.

Argyle, Iowa.

Our group on the Argyle bridge.

BNSF 7877 West with DPU's on the rear.

BNSF 7468 East with Norfolk Southern 2599 as the second unit.

BNSF 7294 West.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief was running right on time at Argyle.

Amtrak met a BNSF westbound here this morning.

BNSF 5528 West.

BNSF Ferromex 4638 West.

The view north down the road at Argyle. We returned south down 195 Avenue, turned left onto 290 Street, which changed names but took us to US 218, which we took south to 300th Avenue, then turned left, going over to US 61, which we turned left on. We saw an empty BNSF coal train so turned right onto 280th Street to get pictures.

BNSF 9130 West at Montrose. We returned to US 61 which we took into Fort Madison, stopping at Burger King for lunch. After lunch, Bob and I walked over to the Dollar General store for some ice cream then stopped by the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and Santa Fe stations and by Santa Fe 4-8-4 2913. After that we left Fort Madison, turning right onto Iowa Highway 2 to cross the Santa Fe toll bridge, which was open to let a barge travel south down the Mississippi River.

No road or rail traffic could cross the river until the bridge was closed. Once it was, we drove across, paying the toll in the middle, before reaching Illinois. From there we drove Illinois Highway 96 north to Lomax where I turned off onto Carman Road and went to the tracks just as the crossing gates started to drop.

BNSF 7899 West at Lomax. We returned to Illinois Highway 94 which we took into Stronghurst and found an eastbound BNSF train sitting.

The Santa Fe Stronghurst station which has been removed.

BNSF 4966 East. We headed out of Stronghurst on Illinois Highway 94 and turned right onto Road 975 North which took us through Media. After going under the BNSF mainline, we turned left onto 950 North and had our first look at the Media Trestle. We took Road 1960 under the trestle then set up for some pictures of this impressive structure.

The BNSF Media trestle built in 1910, is 741 feet long and was built as a single track, later expanded to accommodate a second track. Media is located at approximately MP 205 on the former Santa Fe line from Chicago to Fort Madison, Iowa.

BNSF 6243 West on the Media Trestle.

This is a very impressive trestle on the BNSF Transcon Line.

BNSF 7565 West on the Media Trestle.

BNSF Norfolk Southern 9906 West. We drove back into Media then turned right on Road 1875 East that took us to US 34, on which we turned right into Monmouth and took Illinois Highway 5 into Cameron. We parked the van and walked down to get pictures and it did not take long.

BNSF 9788 East at Cameron.

BNSF 7318 West with DPU's 7284 and 7552 on the rear. We drove down to a parked BNSF coal train having engine problems.

The stopped BNSF 9981 East just west of Cameron.

BNSF SD70MAC 9981 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1998.

BNSF SDM70MAC 9538 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1995 in the Grinstein scheme.

The train then started moving and we returned to the van and drove back to where we parked then walked down to get the over-and-under shot.

The over-and-under shots at Cameron. From here we drove into Galesburg where we stopped at City Hall so Elizabeth and I could get city lapel pins before making our way to the Amtrak station.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 4-6-4 3006 built by Baldwin in 1930 on display in Galesburg.

The steam engine and a BNSF coal train heading west. From here I took them to a surprise location.

The Train House in Galesburg was my surprise photo location for them. No one was home so we sat in the shade waiting for a train to come.

The former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy crossing over the former Santa Fe, now both owned by BNSF.

Amtrak's California Zephyr arrived at Galesburg. After that we filled the rental van before driving to Moline and checking into the Motel 6 for our stay here. We went to Arby's for dinner then drove down to the Train Festival grounds and enjoyed the sights and sounds of steam locomotives in Rock Island, after which we returned to the motel and I wrote this story before calling it an early night.