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Train Festival 2011 The Chase of Nickel Plate 765 7/22/2011

by Chris Guenzler

Having ridden to Bureau Junction, Illinois during the Grand Excursion 2004, it was a no-brainer to chase one of my favorite steam engines out across the Illinois countryside. Nathan, Gene, Bob, Elizabeth and I arose and went to the International House of Pancakes for breakfast before driving over to Train Festival 2011 to drop Gene and Nathan off for their trip. We took time for some pictures from outside the grounds.

The "Leviathan" always looks good.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy SW7 9255 was switching passenger cars this morning.

Leviathan 63.

The tank engines. It was now time to drive to the west end of the grounds to meet Keith Schmidt, whom I would be following with Bob Riskie and Bob and Elizabeth Alkire on the chase of Nickel Plate Road 765 today.

One of the QJs would be the power for the Walcott trains at Train Festival. We held a quick meeting to work out where we wanted to take pictures and decided that our first set would be by a factory in Moline so we made our way there.

This truck provided us with plenty of entertainment while we waited for the steam train.

The photographers were ready for Nickel Plate Road 765.

Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 765 rolled through Moline and we drove to a road crossing in Colona.

Nickel Plate 765 was really on the move coming through Colona. We then went on US Highway 6 to give chase but all we saw was smoke ahead of us so unless something happened, those would be our two runbys. Keith knew that the bridge was out on US Highway 6 east of Sheffield so we turned south into Buda then went east on 1200 Avenue, where we received a phone call that the train had stopped and made it to the next grade crossing, joining the other photographers.

Nickel Plate Road 765 west of Tiskilwa. Had he not stopped, this shot would not have happened. From here we drove to a petrol station in Tiskilwa to get some snacks in place of lunch then went over to the park and had our snacks.

The former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific station in Tiskilwa. Then we drove three miles east to a curve at the junction of 1030N and 2050 E in rural Bureau County and waited.

Our location on God's green planet Earth.

Our group of photographers here waiting for Nickel Plate 765.

Nickel Plate Road 765 started the trip back to Rock Island and headed west by our photo location. We drove east, getting on Interstate 180 which we took north to Interstate 80 and listened to the Chicago Cubs game as we sped west. West of Annawan, where Interstate 80 crosses over the railroad, we saw the train stopped so proceeded to Ford Road for our next pictures.

Nickel Plate Road 765 at Ford Road. We took US 6 back into Moline where we set up again for another set picture of the steam train.

Nickel Plate Road 765 in Moline. We drove into Rock Island and set up for the penultimate set of pictures.

The crew hard at work on a very hot day.

The Railfans Chasing Trains today wearing our shirts we were given.

Someone who knew me.

Nathan on the train.

The train leaving Moline. We returned to the van and drove over to Rock Island for our final pictures of the day.

Nickel Plate Road 765 had returned to Rock Island.

Nathan enjoying the end of his trip.

The train on its way to the Train Festival 2011 grounds. We met Nathan and Gene then went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner before returning to the motel to wait to leave for the night photo shot.