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The Trip Home From Train Festival 2011 ~ July 25th and 26th, 2011

by Elizabeth Guenzler

With Train Festival 2011 now complete, today was the start of the journey home. But as usual on such trips, there were several stops on the way of interest to us railfans. Once everything was packed, we headed out to the bridge over the BNSF tracks at Edelstein Hill for our first train of the morning.

BNSF 4826 East, with CSX ES44DC 5411, at Edelstein Hill. We then drove the short distance to Houlihan's Curve.

Norfolk Southern 2590 West. Our next stop was in Chillicothe, where there are two stations.

The Santa Fe station.

The Rock Island station, donated to the Historical Society in 1980 and now the Chillicothe Historical Society Railroad Museum.

Santa Fe caboose 999130 is displayed beside the station museum.

Myself enjoying Chillicothe. Our next stop was Dunlap and the Wheels O'Time Museum. Although the museum was closed, we took photographs of the outside displays.

Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific 4-6-2 886 (nee 887) built 1909 and retired in 1952. It is one of only three Rock Island steam locomotives saved from the scrapper. The last Rock Island steam-powered train to leave Peoria was hauled by 886, which the railroad agreed to donate to the City, but it was discovered too late that the engine had already been scrapped. The railroad still had an identical engine, 887, which they simply repainted as 886. It initially went on display at Glen Oak Park and then at Detweiller Park, where it fell into disrepair. The park board sold it to the Wheels O' Time Museum in 1984.

Milwaukee Road combine 2716, rebuit from lightweight open platform baggage car. It later became Toledo, Peoria and Western 124.

Toledo, Peoria and Western bay window caboose 508.

Chicago and Eastern Illinois coach 800 "Danville".

Toledo, Peoria and Western observation coach 1.

The observation platform end of this car.

The front end, undergoing restoration.

W.O.T. Plymouth switcher 2, history unknown. We made our way to Peoria and I was successful in acquiring a lapel pin from City Hall. We then heard a train horn and found a light engine move.

Tazewell and Peoria GP9 3000 (ex. Western Kentucky 3419, exx. Tradewater 3419, exxx. Precision National 3419, nee Illinois Central GP7 8909).

The Rock Island station.

A Rock Island turntable in Riverfront Park in Peoria. This was the first time I had seen a turntable in such a setting.

Looking through the turntable.

The 1891 Rock Island station in Peoria, whose clock tower was removed in 1939. Last used by the Peoria Rocket in 1978, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same year. Tilley's Restaurant was occupying the building during our visit. After lunch in East Peoria, we found our way to East Pekin and Pekin.

BNSF ES44AC 6075 on the point of a stopped train.

BNSF SD70 9233 as the second locomotive.

BNSF SD70MAC 9811 (nee BN 9843) in the Grinstein paint scheme. I have always been partial to this livery.

The Chicago and Illinois Midland station in Pekin, named Antonini Depot.

The directory of businesses that occupy the Chicago and Illinois Midland station. There was a line of C&IM equipment on display behind the station.

The line of Chicago and Illinois Midland equipment.

Chicago and Illinois Midland steel caboose 275.

Unidentified C&IM combine.

C&IM heavyweight coach, number unknown, which is part of Varsity Publications.

C&IM boxcar, number unknown, also part of Varsity Publications. We departed here, crossed the Illinois River and drove west to beyond La Harpe to Canton.

The 1914 Chicago, Burlington and Quincy station in Canton, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

Canton Railroad 45 ton Whitcomb switcher 1998, nee Barber Asphalt Company 50010. It was sold to the United Electric Coal Company and donated for display. Our next stop was Bushnell.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy wooden station at Bushnell.

BNSF caboose 750 (nee ATSF 999750) was here. Our drive took us across the Mississippi River into Missouri and Medill.

BNSF 5349 East. The last stop before La Plata was Wyaconda.

The Missouri countryside at Wyaconda.

The bridge over the BNSF tracks.

Unfortunately, no trains were to be seen. we made our way back to the Depot Inn and Suites in La Plata and while Nathan and Chris returned the rental car to Kirksville, Bob and I relaxed then the four of us went to the Silver Rails Gallery. What a difference from January 2010!

The self-explanatory sign.

The entrance area with merchandise for sale.

On the walls are photographs by several people; these by Carl Morrison.

J. Craig Thorpe's display.

Chris Guenzler's display.

Stained glass artwork of Joe Bridges.

Former Santa Fe Mojave District dispatching board.

Magazines and book in the Richard Hamilton Memorial Library. Richard was the founder of Let's Talk Trains, the Internet radio show.

A Richard Hamilton collage.

Harold and Hilda Marshall, founders of the Depot Inn and Suites.

Wooden carvings by Jackie Hadnot. We returned to the hotel and watched Amtrak's 40th anniversary video before Chris drove Nathan, Bob and I to the station for our trip on the Southwest Chief to Kansas City. We said our goodbyes then boarded and upon arrival at Kansas City, we checked into the Fairfield Inn and flew home to Seattle the next day.

This day had been a fitting end to a fantastic week of railway-related drives, chases and rides surrounding Train Fetival 2011. I have many memories and souvenirs of the event and ancillary activities and I enjoyed all of them.