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Southern Railway 401 Charter Train Monticello, IL 5/17-18/2018 Part 1

by Chris Guenzler

I got up at 4:00 AM and prepared for my trip. I ate my breakfast then checked the Internet and was ready for Super Shuttle at 4:48 AM when they arrived two minutes early. I was their last stop and within ten minutes I was heading for security being TSA Pre Check and I zipped through. Then I waited for my first of two flights to get me to Chicago.

Southwest Airlines Flight 915 5/17/2018

On this flight I just read my Jethro Tull Heavy Horse New Shoes Edition book that took me to Denver.

Southwest Airlines Flight 807 5/17/2018

On this flight I finished reading the book and did my Sudoku puzzles that made that flight pass by quickly. I deplaned at Midway then took the shuttle to the Rental Car Center where I received a Nissan Sentra. I drove slowly through traffic down IL 50 to US 30 then made my way onto Interstate 57. I stopped at a KFC in Manteno and ate as I headed south and then at Champaign I took Interstate 74 the twenty miles to Monticello. I checked into the Best Western there and received a very nice gift basket from them. After storing my stuff in my room I drove the short distance over to the Monticello Railroad Museum.

Southern Railway 401 Night Photo Session Monticello

Southern 401 was built in December of 1907 and was at the time a larger locomotive, built with simplicity in mind. It is a 2-8-0 wheel arrangement, with a total locomotive weight of 82 tons, spread over 4 pairs of driving wheels, and a two wheel leading "truck". This locomotive was purchased by the museum in 1967 from Alabama Asphaltic Limestone, in Margerum, Alabama. It was then shipped on a flat car to Decatur, IL, arriving there in January of 1968. It was unloaded and stored at Decatur until October of 1971, when it and 12 other pieces of equipment were moved by rail to the Museum site in Monticello. It was towed on its own wheels from Decatur to Monticello in 1971. From 1971 to 1995, the locomotive was on display in our collection of equipment, with occasional work being done to stabilize and prevent further deterioration to the locomotive.

In 1995, a donor stepped forward with a proposal to return an operating steam locomotive to Monticello Railway Museum, one not having run here since 1987. To that end, a process was begun to identify what we felt was the best candidate for restoration. After considering several alternatives, it was decided to restore 401 to operational status.

My first picture of Southern Railway 2-8-0 401 under steam.

Two more pictures of this beautiful engine under steam.

My good friend Steve Barry was also at this event.

The view without Steve in it.

Three more views of Southern Railway 401 under steam this early evening. I then went inside the car barn to see what they had in it.

Canadian National FPA-4 6789.

Illinois Central Business Car 7.

Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal Company Bobber Caboose C1735.

Canadian National FPB-4 6862.

Illinois Central Railroad SD-40 6071. I then walked back outside.

Republic Steel 0-6-0 191.

Another shot of Southern Railway 401 at Stair Tower.

Our host Joshua Scott went over the safety rules as what time we should meet in the morning. He runs really well done steam trips as I was on his Knoxville charter before the Nashville NRHS Convention last year.

Waiting on the darkness with the Southern Railway 401 and many of my friends here tonight.

The signal made for a good picture as well.

I like using this switch light in some of my pictures.

Still waiting on darkness.

A photoline at this event.

It is almost dark.

This is how a night photo session should be without actors and the props used by them. They are all in period costumes and did one fine job this evening. A tired Chris returned to the Best Western and after watching Tampa Bay beat Washington, I called it a night.

5/18/2018 got up, showered and shaved then went downstairs to have breakfast. I sat down and was joined by another rider I knew from past trips. I returned to my room and the key would not open the door. I went downstairs and got the manager who tried his keys but they would not open it either. He went and got more keys and finally it worked so I got my stuff and checked out. I wanted pictures of the Monticello Wabash Station but had one picture I needed first.

Western Indiana Agriculture 0-4-0 1. From here I drove into town and found my next stop.

The Monticello Wabash Railroad train station. From here I drove to MacDonalds for hot cakes and sausage. After breakfast I drove around town looking for any railway related things before returning to the museum with plenty of time to look it.

Norfolk & Western caboose 555047.

Norfolk & Western caboose 500836.

Wig wag crossing signal.

Norfolk Western Caboose 557530.

Illinois Central RS-3 704 really ex Long Island Railroad 704.

Green Bay & Western RS3u 308.

Milwaukee Road NW-2 164 and Wabash Railway F-7A 1189.

Milwaukee Road URTX 26012.

Norfolk Southern Slug 9838.

Mississippi Eastern 4-6-0 303 built by Baldwin in 1916.

Southern Railway 401 in the steam shop building.

Illinois Central Caboose 9570.

Gulf Mobile & Ohio Caboose 2954.

Pennsylvania Railroad caboose 477692. With that it was time for the Southern Railway 401 to put its charter train together. Soon we all saw smoke and made a photo line.

First our engine ran by the station.

The engine then pulled up to the switch for the siding the mixed train was in.

Next he backed into the siding to get the train.

Next he came by our photo line.

A picture of Southern Railway 401 after he went by the photo line.

Then he backed up to put the combine car onto the station platform. Joshua then gave us a safety briefing followed by the plans of the day. We then all put our stuff on the train before we walked to our first of many photo locations for today. The photo train for today included Southern Railway 2-8-0 401, Wabash wooden outside braced box car, Illinois Central Covered Sand Hopper 100040, Illinois Central outside braced work car X1937, Illinois Central box car 41390, Illinois Central combine 892 along with Northern Pacific caboose 1878.The train backed by our photo location.

The back up move 1.

Photo Runby 1.

Back up move 2.

Photo Runby 2.

Clck here for Part 2