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Monticello Railway Museum Featuring Southern Railway 401 8/21/2022

by Chris Guenzler

The two travellers, starting their westbound journey home, checked the Internet this morning then took their leave of the Pear Tree Inn in Terre Haute, Indiana, before going to the International House of Pancakes for breakfast. I then drove us Greenup, Illinois for our first station of the day.

Pennslyvania Railroad Greenup station built in 1870, and is home to the Depot Museum. We then went to find the covered bridge here.

Cunberland County Covered Bridge historic bridge re-created.

Jackson Covered Bridge over Embarras River built in 2000 as a replica of an 1832 bridge built at this site.

Old to New: Bridges across the Embarras River. The next town on our list was Toledo.

Illinois Central Toledo station built in 1880, whose current use is by the Kiwanis Club. I drove us next to Charleston.

Charleston's Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway/Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad station

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway/Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad freighthouse here. We then continued our way to the Monticello and found the museum.

Monticello Railway Museum History

The Monticello Railway Museum is a not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1966 as "SPUR"; Society for the Perpetuation of Unretired Railfans. SPUR's goal at that time was to maintain and operate steam powered passenger train excursions. In 1969 the name was changed to the Monticello & Sangamon Valley Railroad Historical Society, Inc., and then, in 1982, the name was again changed to Monticello Railway Museum (MRM), which stands to this day.

The origins of the Monticello Railway Museum can be traced back February 1966, when the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy operated its last steam excursion out of St. Louis, Missouri. On board that trip were three steam-loving students from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois -- Ted Lemen, Bill Gillfillan and John Morris -- who were devastated to learn that the end of the steam program was coming. They decided that something needed to be done to save the program. During the trip, the three students walked up and down the train recruiting people to write to the CB&Q in hopes that they would change their mind and keep the program running.

By the end of the trip, 110 passengers had signed up promising to write the railroad. In addition, the three students had also collected 50 cents from each person, and used the $55 to charter the Society for the Perpetuation of Unretired Railfans (SPUR), with a mission of saving the CB&Q's steam program. Unfortunately, the efforts of SPUR to save the program ultimately failed, and the last CB&Q steam train ran in June 1966. Soon after, the group began to set their sights on a new project: owning their own steam locomotive and running their own excursions. SPUR began looking for a good place to run a steam train, and eventually chose a lightly-used branch line of the Illinois Central Railroad that ran between Le Roy and Sabina, Illinois in rural McLean County. However, upon discussing the plan with the Illinois Central, it was determined that the IC's requirements for running steam excursions on their property were too expensive and complicated.

After the plan to run on the IC was abandoned, the Illinois Pioneer Heritage Center in Monticello contacted SPUR and encouraged them to have their operation in Monticello. SPUR discovered that Monticello would be a great spot for their operation, as several miles of abandoned right-of-way from the Illinois Terminal interurban railway were available for purchase. Around this time, SPUR purchased their first steam locomotive, a tiny 0-4-0 switch engine, No. 1, that worked for many years at a quarry in Montezuma, Indiana. The engine was moved to Monticello in November 1966 and placed on a small section of track that SPUR members had constructed in the Illinois Pioneer Heritage Center's parking lot. Members quickly got to work restoring it to operating condition.

Over the next two years, more equipment was obtained by the museum including some former Wabash passenger cars. In 1967, SPUR purchased their second steam locomotive, former Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 401, from a limestone quarry in Margerum, Alabama. In early 1969, efforts to acquire the Illinois Terminal right-of-way went into full swing, and in April of that year, SPUR renamed itself to the Monticello & Sangamon Valley Railway Historical Society. A few months later, a third steam locomotive, former Republic Steel 0-6-0 No. 191, was purchased. The acquisition of the abandoned Illinois Terminal right of way was completed in 1970, and efforts to rebuild the track began immediately. The little 0-4-0 that was kept in the Illinois Pioneer Heritage Center's lot was trucked to the new tracks, and ran for the first time on October 13, 1970.

Over the next couple of years, the M&SV continued to expand, acquiring more and more equipment for their collection and upgrading their tracks on the former IT right-of-way. A portion of a popcorn field adjacent to the museum's tracks was purchased for use as a yard to store the growing equipment collection. (Today, this site is known as Camp Creek Yard and is home to the museum's main yard, restoration facilities and locomotive shed.) While the museum's tracks were not connected to the national rail network, delivering equipment was relatively easy, as the Illinois Central operated a branch line that ran less than 100 feet west of the museum's track. New equipment arrivals to the museum would be brought in by the IC and "straight-railed" over to the museum's line, meaning that the IC's track would be dismantled, rebuilt to connect to the museum's, then disassembled again after the equipment had been delivered and returned to its original state.

Prior to 1972, the M&SV only operated trains for its members. This changed on Memorial Day of that year when steam locomotive No. 1 operated the first public excursion over the group's entire railroad. Locomotive No. 191 arrived in Monticello later that year and was operational by October 1972. Work continued on expanding the line north towards the village of White Heath. By 1980, two-and-a-half miles of track had been laid on the former Illinois Terminal right-of-way. Around the same time, the former Illinois Central depot from nearby DeLand was relocated to the M&SV's grounds and turned into a gift shop and place to purchase train tickets.

In 1982, the M&SV renamed themselves once again to the present-day Monticello Railway Museum. The museum continued to expand, and in 1987, MRM acquired 7.5 miles of the Illinois Central line that paralleled their original track. This acquisition allowed museum trains to reach downtown Monticello, which greatly increased the number of visitors and made accessing the museum easier as passengers could now board trains downtown and take them to the main museum site. A few months later, the former Wabash depot in downtown Monticello was relocated to the museum's Illinois Central tracks and today serves as MRM's Monticello depot. While the museum's original line on the Illinois Terminal right-of-way remains in place, trains normally traverse the former Illinois Central line to reach downtown Monticello.

Since then, the Monticello Railway Museum has grown to be one of the largest railroad museums in the area, and currently has over 100 pieces of historic railroad equipment in its collection. Steam locomotives No. 1 and 191 last operated in the 1980s before being placed on static display, but Southern No. 401 was returned to service in 2010 and is the pride and joy of the museum.

In recent years, the museum has been taking steps to make its operation even better. A historic locomotive turntable has been acquired along with several new locomotives, cars and cabooses. Other big plans are in the works to make the museum more exciting than ever. We hope that you will come join us to share our passion for all things trains.

Out by the highway is Western Industrial Aggregates 0-4-0T 1 built by American Locomotive Company in 1924. This was the Museum's first piece of equipment and was acquired in 1966 from the Western Indiana Aggregate & Stone Company in Montezuma, Indiana and weighing 27 1/2 tons, this 0-4-0 came with a saddle tank. 1 ran from October 12th, 1972 until 1988.

This sign welomes you to the museum.

Southern Railway 401 information

Southern 2-8-0 401 was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in December 1907 and was at the time a larger locomotive, built with simplicity in mind. 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, Illinois, arriving there in January 1968. It was unloaded and stored at Decatur until October 1971, when it and 12 other pieces of equipment were moved by rail to the museum site. 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.

Southern 2-8-0 401 came from the shop to the station. Elizabeth and I went inside the station to pick up our tickets for the 12:30 train then walked down to the stored equipment and started to explore this extensive museum.

Illinois Central three-bay open hopper car 65018 built by Illinois Central in 1955. These cars were used for hauling coal out of the southern Illinois coal mines.

General American Transportation Company tank car 7297 built by General American Tank Car Company in 1925. Featuring a riveted construction, this car has a capacity of 8,018 gallons and was most recently lettered as SWFT 1

Bates and Rogers Locomotive Crane 11442 built by Industrial Brownhoist in 1944, and Norfolk & Western Bunk Car 527103 built by Norfolk & Western in 1965. Oil fired, the crane has a lifting capacity of up to 60,000 lbs and can move under its own power. This machine is currently used at the museum for heavy lifting jobs.

Quaker Oats Company plug-door boxcar 127 built in 1964 and was originally a St. Louis-San Fransisco Railroad boxcar. It was saved from the scrap line in Decatur, Illinois and donated to the museum; this car is currently used for storing spare parts. It was repainted in 2021.

Illinois Central steel-sided boxcar 41390 built by General American Transportation Corporpartion in 1937. The boxcar was once the standard means of transporting most goods across the United States, and this steel sided boxcar is typical of what was used.

Southern four-bay covered hopper 7990 built by Magor Car Company in 1961. Built of light-weight aluminum, this car, also known as "Big John", revolutionized shipping grain via rail. Previously shipped in boxcars, this car allowed for easy loading and unloading of bulk grains. It was designed and built to suit the needs of the growing southern poultry market.

Pennsylvania Railroad caboose 477692 built by the railroad in 1917. This caboose is a standard Pennsylvania RR design and was acquired by the Museum in 2017 after being a roadside fixture in Chestnut, Illinois for decades.

Norfolk & Western caboose 500836 built by Pittsburg & West Virginia Railroad in 1943. One of the most classic caboose styles used by northeastern railroads, this was actually a kit offered by the Bethlehem Steel Company, assembled by the railroads. 500836 currently sports Norfolk and Western livery.

Southern Railway RS3 Slug 9838 built by Southeastern Specialties in 1977. Once Alco diesel locomotives were past their prime, many on the Southern Railway found a second life. 9838 was built out of an RS3 switch engine in 1977, becoming a slug, and was later re-numbered Norfolk Southern 948. A mother unit provided power to the four traction motors to assist in switching operations.

Mississippi Eastern 4-6-0 303 built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1916, for the railway in Quitman, Mississippi. The railroad was chartered in 1903 to haul lumber felled from tracts of timber in Eastern Mississippi owned by the Mississippi Lumber Co. By October 1933, however, most of the timber had been cleared. The sawmill at Quitman shut down and the logging railroads were removed. After eighteen years at the Mississippi Eastern, the locomotive then began a long, drawn-out odyssey through the southern, eastern and mid-western United States.

In 1934, 303 was sold to the dealer Birmingham Rail & Equipment Company and then re-sold to the Lancaster & Chester Railway Company, in Lancaster, South Carolina, as 32. In 1946, it was bought by the Hampton & Branchville Railroad also in Lancaster, before being sold to Byron Andrews in 1963 to operate excursions as York Southern 1 on Maryland & Pennsylvania trackage out of York, Pennsylvania. George Hart's Rail Tours took over the running of excursions on the M&P in 1964, and Andrews' equipment, including 32, went into storage. 32 was then sold through a court sale in 1968 to Leveran & Sons Scrap Yards in York, Pennsylvania, who, in turn, sold it to Richard Jensen of Chicago, Illinois, in 1970. It was finally sold to William Latham of Rockford, Illinois, in July 1986, who donated it to the museum in 2000.

Union Refrigerator Transit Company refrigerator car 26006 built by General American in 1950.

United Refrigerator Transport Company 26012 built General American Transportation Corporation in the 1950's.

Swift Refrigerator Car 15879. The Swift Refrigerator Transportation Company was a private refrigerator car line established around 1875 by Chicago meat packer Gustavus Swift. Back then, cattle cars were quite numerous as the best way to move meat was while it was still alive. Attempts to keep cut meat cold while being shipped resulted in one odd experiment by Swift running a string of ten box cars which ran with their doors removed! This was not viable and in 1878, Swift hired an engineer to design a ventilated car that was well-insulated and refrigerated by means of an ice compartment on top of the car. There was an initial lack of interest thanks to railroads set in their practices but Swift's cars caught on. By 1900 there were 3,550 cars on the roster, 5,000 by 1910, and 7,000 by 1930.

United Refrigerator Transport Company Insulated Boxcar 26010 built by General American Transportation Corporation in 1950's these boxcars had thick, insulated walls. They were used to transport canned goods or other temperature sensitive commodities. They protected goods against both excessive heat and cold. 26012 is currently privately owned and being restored into its URTX scheme.

Swift Refrigerator Car 25005 built by General American Transportation Corporation in 1954.

Swift Refrigerator Car 15978 built by General American Transportation Corporation in 1954.

Lauhoff Grain Company box car 5571 built by Chicago Freight Car Company in 1966. Originally built for the Rock Island Railroad, 5571 spent the last years of its service life leased to the Lauhoff Grain Company. Donated to the museum in 1984, this car is used for extra storage space. I then went inside one of the car barns, where there was little room between the lines of equipment, so did not have the best angles for photography.

llinois Central coach-lounge car 3336 "Forest Park" built by Pullman Standard in 1958. This unique car was used on the IC's "Green Diamond" and is a combination coach and lounge/bar car.

Baltimore & Ohio caboose 2210 built by Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1929 in their Washington, Indiana shops. This class of caboose were among the last wood cabooses in railroad service and this particular one is privately owned.

Wabash tank car 161. This tank car is 34 feet long with an empty weight of 18.5 tons. It was last used by the Norfolk Southern Railroad in Decatur, Illinois, as a stationary sludge storage tank.

Chicago & Alton Railway Post Office (RPO) 903 built by American Car and Foundry in 1903. This car is a combined RPO, baggage and coach car. It is also equipped with wood-framed trucks.

Illinois Central Coach 2855 built by Pullman in 1918. The Illinois Central Burnside Shops rebuilt this coach in 1955 and it is a sister coach to the museum's Illinois Central 2920.

Chicago & Alton combine 758 built by Chicago & Alton in 1892. This wood car was used as the Museum's "snack car" for a number of years.It was rebuilt from RPO 936 around 1905.

Chicago & Illinois Midland Wrecking Crane, with boom car X32 and X83, built by Industrial Brownhoist in 1927. Crane X32 has a 150 ton lift capacity and X83 is its accompanying idler car. This crane is oil=fired, and is currently stored indoors awaiting restoration.

Chicago & Alton box car 3516 built by Chicago & Alton in 1906. The 3915 is a classic example of the car builders art at the turn of the 20th century. Featuring all wooden sides, wooden center sill, and truss rods. This car's last use by the railroad was as storage at the Bloomington, IL shops, and was donated by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.

Illinois Central observation-lounge-sleeper 3312 "Gulfport" built by Pullman Standard in 1942. This round end observation car is one of the two observation cars built for the 1942 Panama Limited streamliner.

Chicago & Alton baggage car 827 built by Pullman in 1892 as Pennsylvania Railroad baggage-buffet-library "Caesar", for use on the joint Pennsylvania Railroad/New Haven "Colonial Express". It was re-configured into a full baggage car by Pullman in 1920 and sold to Chicago and Alton.

Northern Pacific wooden caboose 1879 built by the railway in 1879. It was numbered Northern Pacific 1280 and later Burlington Northern 10913.

Unkown caboose.

Wabash parlor car "Clara Morris" built by Pullman in 1927 and used in Pullman pool service in the east. When purchased by the Wabash, it was renamed the "City of Decatur".

Illinois Central Jordan Spreader X9151 built by Jordan in 1929. This unique, but very versatile piece of equipment, was pushed by a locomotive that also supplied air for its controls. Its large wings spread out to clean and regulate ditches, ballast, and even plough snow.

Illinois Central flat car ICX2000 built in 1944. Used to carry materials and pile driver equipment, this car also functioned as an idler. This would allow the pile driver to be moved in a work train from site to site.

Illinois Central bridge crane X238 and tender X4352 built by Illinois Central. This flatcar-mounted steam crane carried a pile driver attachment. The 238 was coal-fired and capable of moving under its own power and was primarily used for driving piles for bridge construction. This particular crane is believed to have worked on the line now owned by the museum.

Illinois Central wide vision caboose 9570 built by the railroad in 1969. The wide vision feature offered greater visibility and view of the train. This caboose is privately owned.

Illinois Central SW14 407 built by General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel Division in 1950 as Illinois Central IC SW7 9411. It was one of 112 SW14 locomotives rebuilt by the Illinois Central Gulf, which made up the backbone of the the railway's switcher fleet and were a constant presence in yards throughout the central Illinois region for decades. 1407 was donated to the museum by GATX Locomotive Group in 2022.

Milwaukee Road NW2 1649 built by General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel Division in 1947. This locomotive worked across the Milwaukee Road system before being retired and sold to a private party in Rockford, Illinois. The locomotive was donated to and arrived at the museum in 2000. After arrival, an operational restoration was begun that was completed in late 2003.

Illinois Central GP11 8733 built by General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel Division in 1958 as Illinois Central 9386, and was rebuilt at the Paducah Shops in Kentucky in 1980 as a GP11. The locomotive was donated by Canadian National-Illinois Central in 2001. This unit has been restored to operational condition.

Chicago & Illinois Midland RS1325 31 built by General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel Division in 1960. C&IM 31 is one of only two RS1325's built and combines design elements of both road and switching locomotives. It worked in Central Illinois its entire career, was acquired in November 2020 and is operational.

Wabash Railway F7A 1189 built by General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel Division in 1953. Number 1189 was the last F7A ordered by the Wabash and was the last built by General Motors Division, Ltd. at London, Ontario, and spent most of its operational time in Fort Erie, Ontario. Retired in 1979, 1189 was sent to Decatur, Illinois to be scrapped but was donated to the Museum by the Norfolk and Western in 1980. After arrival at the museum, much body work was done as well as required mechanical work to return the locomotive to service.

Illinois Central baggage car 635 built by Pullman in 1911 as coach 3111. It was rebuilt by the Illinois Central into a baggage car.

A unidentified passenger car in the paint shop.

Union Tank Car Company tank car 1145 built by the company in 1972. This unique tank car consists of three compartments, each having a capacity of 3,380 gallons for a total of 10,140 gallons.

Green Bay & Western RS3u 308 built by American Locomotive Company in 1955. This photo is from my second visit here in 2007 since I forgot to take a picture of it this time.

Wabash coach 1238 built by American Car and Foundry in 1927. This was one of more than twenty-three passenger cars purchased by the Wabash in 1927. Among the cars purchased, the coaches were called "chair cars" by the Wabash, and were equipped with Haywood Wakefield "Sleepy Hollow" seats. These cars were likely used on all the Wabash passenger trains. In later years, many of these 1927 coaches were retired to the railroad's Orland Park, Illinois to Chicago commuter service. After the Norfolk and Western absorbed the Nickel Plate Road and Wabash in 1964, this car was renumbered Norfolk and Western 1807 and six years later, sold to Sol Tick scrapyard in Decatur on 5/14/70. A number of these cars were saved from the scrapyard in the 1980s, but most eventually succumbed to scrapping.

Illinois Central Railroad RS3 704 built by American Locomotive Company in 1955 as Long Island Railroad 1559 in 1955. The Gettysburg Railroad renumbered it to 301, and then later sold it to the Maryland Midland Railroad. It is currently painted in Illinois Central Railroad livery as 704 for the 150th anniversary for that railroad.

Illinois Central dormitory car 1906 built by Pullman in 1916. It originally provide accommodations for the train crew, sleeping 28. It has been converted to a ten-person private car. It was used on trains to Miami and New Orleans from Chicago and is privately owned.

Norfolk & Western bay window caboose 557530 built by New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate Road) as 430 in 1960. This style offers a better view for the conductor of their train than a cupola would. She is currently waiting restoration.

Soo line wood caboose 99100 built by American Car & Foundry in 1910, privately owned.

Milwaukee Road URTX insulated box car 26012 built by General American Transportation Corporation in the 1950's. They were used to transport canned goods or other temperature-sensitive commodities and protected goods against both excessive heat and cold. 26012 is currently privately owned and being restored into its URTX scheme.

Gulf, Mobile & Ohio wide-vision caboose 2954 built by International Car Company in 1968, is privately owned.

Gulf, Mobile & Ohio flat car 70557 built by General American Transportation Corp in 1951. This flatcar is currently carrying the old boiler from Southern 401.

Elizabeth and I met up and walked back to the station, taking photographs of the consist of our train that we would soon be riding.

Illinois Central caboose 9831 built by Illinois Central at their Centralia Shops in 1941; this caboose was used in high-speed freight and local service throughout the railway's system.

Illinois Central combine 892 built by Pullman in 1918. The 892 was sold to American Steel Foundries in 1947 for use as a brake test car for testing new passenger car trucks and brake systems. To that end, and among other modifications, the car was fitted with a glass floor over the wheels. This was used so truck and brake engineers could observe how well different truck and brake rigging systems worked.

Rock Island commuter coach 2541 built by Standard Steel Car Company in 1925. This car spent its time in commuter service to and from Chicago. Retired in the early 1970's, it was purchased by the museum in early 1972, arrived in Monticello in April of that year, and pressed into immediate service. The car underwent extensive truck and wheel work in 2011. A new interior, including steel work in the floor supporting structure was done in the winter of 2020.

Nickel Plate Road open air car 1907 built as a flatcar in 1929. It was was restored and converted by MRYM into a "Vista Gon" with railings and seats to allow passengers to ride outdoors. This car is a favourite for museum visitors during the summer months and when steam engine 401 is running.

Nelson Crossing Depot built in 1919 by the Illinois Central in Deland, Illinois. We boarded the open air car for Elizabeth's first trip here and my second. We started up the line, passing the open display cars which we would walk through after our excursion.

Nickel Plate Road baggage car 329 built by Pullman in 1929 for baggage and Railway Express Agency use.

Delaware & Hudson baggage car 405 built by American Car and Foundry in 1957 and sold to the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad in 1963. It currently houses exhibits on display where visitors can learn about railroad history.

Illinois Central sleeper 3531 "Council Bluffs" built by Pullman Standard in 1950 as Nickel Plate Railroad "City of Findlay". It was purchased by the Illinois Central in 1965 and rebuilt. This streamlined sleeper is known as a 10-6, meaning there are 10 roomettes and 6 double bedrooms. This car was donated to the museum in 2001 by the Pacific Railroad Society of San Dimas, California.

Illinois Central Railway Post Office and mail storage car 404 built by Pullman in 1918. This car was used to sort and deliver mail via train and is on display for visitors to explore. It was rebuilt in 1947 at the Illinois Central Burnside Shops.

Illinois Central baggage car 518 built by American Car and Foundry in 1937. This car was used by the Railway Express Agency to transport mail and packages on Illinois Central trains.

Lincoln Sand & Gravel 44 ton switcher built by Davenport Locomotive Company in 1940 for Morrell Meatpacking in Ottumwa, Iowa. It is one of seven switchers built in this style 44-tonners of this style. It was sold to Lincoln Sand & Gravel, in Lincoln, Illinois and renumbered 44. Donated to the museum in 1975, it saw use until the late 1980s and early 1990s. 44 is currently on display at the museum.

Stair Tower and Signal System completed in 2013 as a replica switch tower. It contains a lever machine and a bank of electrical relays that control the nearby signals.

Rankin Building completed in 2011 and contains four tracks that hold two motorcars each. Motorcars are rolled out and spun on pedestals to get on tracks.

Looking back to where we began.

The view ahead.

Looking back before we stopped to switch the tracks so we could go to Monticello.

The conductor was dropped off to do his duties.

The tracks on which we came from the station.

We passed Stair Tower.

One last view of Lincoln Sand & Gravel 44.

Republic Steel 0-6-0 191 built by American Locomotive Company in 1916 as Central Steel Company (later Republic Steel) 3 in Massilion, Ohio. During its fifty years, it was re-numbered 191 then was sold to the dealer Preston Duffy & Son in Columbus, Ohio, then to J. David Conrad in 1969 and finally, to the museum that same year. 191 arrived at Monticello in 1971 and, after receiving an overhaul, it operated at the museum from October 1972 until 1987.

Wabash Railroad box car 82697 built by the railroad in 1941. This car was used for general merchandise and consisted of steel sides and a steel floor.

Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad two-bay covered hopper 80129 built by American Car and Foundry in 1953. It was designed and built to haul heavy, dense materials such as sand and/or cement. This car was renumbered to Illinois Central Gulf 100040 after the merger of the Illinois Central and Gulf Mobile & Ohio railroads.

General American Transport Company tank car 509 built by the company in 1965. It was repainted in 2021.

A.E. Staley Company tank car 105 built by General American Tank Car Company in 1928. Featuring a riveted construction, this car has a capacity of 8,018 gallons. The reporting marks carried by this car were SWFT 2, and possibly OTX 8489, as the latter mark and number were found stamped in the car's center sill. Any other marks/numbers for this car are unknown. Restored and painted in 2020 with assistance from the A. E. Staley Museum in Decatur, Illinois.

Wabash Railroad steel caboose 2824 built by the railroad at their Decatur, Illinois shops in 1949. It has been backdated to late Wabash exterior and interior arrangements by the Wabash Historical Society, and equipped with interior exhibits.

Nelson Crossing station.

The wig-wag signal on their property.

The train crossed the Camp Creek Trestle.

Southern Railway 401 put on a steam show this afternoon.

Beautiful Illinois scenery.

The Illinois Terminal Railway bicycle path followed our route.

The Monticello Wabash Railroad station built in 1889 and moved to its present location along the former Illinois Central tracks in 1987, and restored by the Monticello Depot Association. Everyone was allowed to de-board here and could just be here for about ten minutes, or stay longer and take the next train back.

Southern Railway 401 sitting in Monticello. We reboarded the combine car.

The train started back to the museum grounds.

Southern Railway 401 took the big curve out of Monticello.

Running along the Illinois Terminal Railway bicycle path, 401 performed a blow down.

Taking the curve after Cemetery Road.

The train recrossed the Camp Creek Trestle.

Approaching the museum.

Rounding the curve at the museum to contine our journey.

After passing the museum the train took this curve.

We ran down a straight track. Both Elizabeth and I were were thoroughly enjoying this ride.

The train took another curve and was going more slowly. We learnt that this track had very recently been replaced.

Running down the straight track to the end of track at White Heath, as far as the ride went. Now we will return to the museum.

We returned to the museum grounds and detrained.

Southern Railway 2-8-0 401 after the trip. Next we went into the Nelson Car Barn which was was completed in 2012 and extended two years later. It contains three tracks that can hold up to seven passenger cars each, and has an elevated walkway along the side to enter or view into the display cars.

Canadian National Steam Generator 15421 built by Canadian National in 1956.

Canadian National FPA-4 6789 built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1959. It spent its entire life pulling passenger trains through Canada first for Canadian National Railway, and then for VIA Rail. It was retired in 1989 and acquired in 1994 by a private owner. It is regularly used to haul the museum's passenger trains.

Quebec Central Wedge snow plough 40065 built by Russel in 1918. This plow is pushed by a locomotive to clear the tracks of snow. It has operable wings that extend outwards, pushing snow further from the tracks. This plow once saw service on the former Illinois Terminal track for one winter in the 1970s.

Illinois Central SD40 6071 built by General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel Division in 1964 and was the first SD40 built, constructed on the frame of an SD35. It operated as a test bed for EMD's then-new 645 power plant, before being purchased by the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio. It spent its career plying the rails of both the GM&O, then the Illinois Central Gulf, before being donated to the museum by Canadian National in July 2009.

Illinois Central tool box car X1957 built by the railroad in 1925. Modified from an automobile boxcar in the mid 1920's, the 1957 was used to store and transport tools, parts and other track materials to work sites. This car is believed to have been primarily used with bridge gangs.

Baltimore & Ohio wooden bobber caboose 1735 built by the railroad in 1910. It is known as a bobber caboose for its light-weight two-axle design. These cars were also typically used in yard transfer service.

Wabash office car 6 "Iowa" built by American Car and Foundry in 1911 as parlour car 81. It was converted to office car "Iowa" by the Decatur Shops in November 1929. It was stored by a private owner in Bedford Park, Illinois for many years before it was moved to the museum in 2009. An interior and exterior restoration was completed in 2018.

Shedd Aquarium Aquarium Specimen Transport "Nautilus" built by Pullman Standard in 1949. The "Nautilus" began life as Chicago and Eastern Illinois car 304 "Turkey Run". After its retirement, the John G. Shedd Aquarium of Chicago purchased the car to replace their original car, also named "Nautilus". The Shedd Aquarium contracted with Thrall Car of West Chicago to convert this C&EI car from its original configuration into what it is today. This is a unique car in that it is designed to transport live, salt water animal specimens from all coasts of the United States, back to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Santa Fe six section-six roomettes-four bedroom sleeper "Pleasant Valley" built by Pullman Standard in 1942. This sleeping car was previously owned by the Illini Railroad Club as their "Chief Illini".

Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 8 section-4 roomette-3 bedroom-1 drawing room "Timothy B. Blackstone" built by American Car and Foundry in 1950. Retired in 1969, it was sold to the Pacific Railroad Society as PAR 2 and renamed "Golden Sunset", and was later renamed back to "Timothy B. Blackstone" and assigned PPCX 800367. In 2015, the Pacific Railroad Society sold the car to the Monticello Railway Museum.

Canadian National FPB-4 6862 built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1958. It is similar to the 6789, except that it does not have a cab, making it a "B" or Booster unit. The "B" units operate with a standard locomotive equipped with a cab that can control both locomotives. It spent its life pulling passenger trains both for the CN as well as VIA Rail Canada.

Nickel Plate Road baggage car 356 built by Pullman in 1924.

Norfolk & Western caboose 555047 built by International Car Company in 1976 and was one of six cabooses in a final order by the N&W.

Illinois Central caboose 9926 built by the railroad in 1950. This steel side caboose features a large sliding door on both sides and replaced wooden cabooses of previous decades. This caboose is privately owned.

Chicago and Alton Railway Post Office car 903 built by American Car and Foundry in 1903. This car is a combined RPO, baggage and coach car. It is also equipped with wood-framed trucks.

Illinois Terminal Railroad SW1200 784 built by General Motors Electro-Motive Diesel Division in 1955 and is one of twelve SW1200s delivered to the Illinois Terminal Railroad. It operated throughout Central Illinois, including on the same trackage currently used by MRM's passenger trains. The Illinois Terminal renumbered 784 as 1210 later in its service life, before later serving with both the Norfolk & Western and Norfolk Southern Railways. It was retired in 1994 and sold to the Sequatchie Valley Railroad, where it worked in short line service before being acquired by Knoxville Locomotive Works. It was acquired in November 2020 in a parts trade with Knoxville Locomotive Works, it is only the second Illinois Terminal diesel locomotive to be preserved. The engine will undergo a mechanical and cosmetic restoration as funding permits before joining the railway's operating fleet.

Illinois Terminal long deck caboose 806 built in 1924. This style was generally used when transferring cars to/from other carrier's yards in a metropolitan areas, or on short local runs.

Illinois Central office car 7 built by Pullman in 1917 as Illinois Central office-observation car 17 and re-numbered in 1940. It was then sold to Chicago Madison & Northern 7 "Doonin". Later, it was sold as Thompson Farms Co 7. This car is privately owned.

Boston and Maine coach smoker 4803 "Black Bird" built by Pullman-Standard in 1947, sold to Wabash as 1420, converted to a coach by the Norfolk and Western and re-numberd 1827 then transferred to the Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Hstorical Soceity.

Illinois Central dining car 4112 built by Pullman Standard in 1946 as Chicago and Eastern Illinois 505 "Shakamak Inn". The C&EI used it on their Whippoorwill service which which ran from Evansville, Indiana, to Chicago, Illinois. It was sold to Illinois Central in 1962 and donated to the museum by the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society, and moved from Baton Rouge to Monticello in 2007.

Illinois Central dining car 4110 "Shadrach Bond" built by Pullman Standard in 1949. This car was donated to the museum by the Pacific Railroad Society of San Dimas, California in 2015. It underwent an extensive restoration by museum volunteers and is operational as a dining car.

Illinois Central coach 2920 built by Pullman in 1925. This heavyweight coach is a typical day coach that would have been used on the "City of New Orleans". This car has comfortable reclining seats and is equipped with heat and air conditioning. I then walked through the passenger car display.

Southern Railway 401 started its next excursion.

Southern Railway 401 reversed its train to Monticello. I waited for Elizabeth to complete her walk through and photography in the display train then we acquired some souvenirs before leaving this fantastic railway museum. Elizabeth was completely enthused about her experience and had no idea the museum was so extensive. She really enjoyed all the displays and her first ride behind 401.

I drove us to a rest area and from there, Elizabeth drove us to Quincy, Illinois where we stopped for sustenance and refreshment at the Texas Roadhouse. I then drove us the rest of the way to La Plata where we checked in at the Depot Inn and Suites for two nights. The young woman asked if we would like to have the Pullman Suite and we said "Yes please!" That evening, we did our laundry for the first time on the trip as the previous three hotels either did not have such facilities or they were under repair. We spend a good night in the Pullman Suite in the very comfortable beds that are throughout this wonderful hotel.