Facebook Page

Train Festival 2011 -- The Journey to Rock Island, Illinois, Part 2 ~ July 20th, 2011

by Elizabeth Guenzler

Today was the rest of the journey to Rock Island for Train Festival 2011, which started the next day. After an excellent night's sleep at the Depot Inn and Suites, we were all ready for the railfanning adventure that lay ahead. After stopping for petrol in South Gorin, Missouri, the five of us made our way from Missouri into Iowa on Missouri Highway 27, which became Iowa Highway 27, to our first stop of Argyle.

UP 6670 leads an eastbound BNSF grain train at the Belfast Road crossing in Argyle. We then went to the bridge here and were rewarded handily.

Two views of the signals at the bridge.

BNSF 7877 West leading a stack train.

The DPUs of BNSF 7877 West.

The second train was BNSF 7468 East, heading down the straight track towards the bridge and us.

BNSF 7468 East had Norfolk Southern 2599 as its second locomotive.

The rear of the mixed freight on its way east.

BNSF 7294 West led a double-stack train through Argyle.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief was on time this morning.

As the Chief continued west, a BNSF freight came down the other track.

BNSF 5528 West was that train.

Next, a surprise, Ferromex ES44AC 4638, on the point of an oil train. We then made our way to Montrose.

BNSF 9130 West with an empty coal train.

The Mississippi River, BNSF 9130 West and "ESS Montrose" sign at Montrose.

Our route took us to Fort Madison where we had to wait until the bridge was closed to cross the Mississippi River. Once in Illinois, it was a short drive to Carman Road in Lomax.

BNSF 7899 West at the Carman Road crossing, MP 218.47 in Lomax.

The No Trespassing sign was still lettered for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. A drive along Illinois 94 to Road 975 North brought us to a huge trestle at Media.

The very impressive Media Trestle built in 1882, has over a 1,000 foot span and is six stories high. It was re-modelled for a second track in 1907 and replaced in 2017, six years after these photographs were taken.

BNSF 6243 West was my first train on the bridge.

The DPU of BNSF 6243 West, a grain train.

Close-up of the ATSF/BNSF Media Trestle while waiting for another train.

Soon, BNSF 7565 West came by.

That was followed by Norfolk Southern 9906 West.

Looking up at the steel girders of the six-storey Media Trestle.

Middle Creek with one of the Media Trestle supports. We left here and drove to Cameron.

BNSF 9788 East on the bridge at Cameron; my first time seeing the Grinstein-liveried SD70s, which I was quite partial to.

BNSF 7318 West passing BNSF 9788 East on the bridge.

The DPUs on BNSF 7318 West as the eastbound train continues to roll at MP 172.

We drove down to BNSF 9981 which was stopped and had SD70 9538 as its second locomotive.

As we saw the train starting to move, we quickly returned to the van and drove back to where we had been to catch the over and under shot that unfolded before our eyes. After that rare occurrence, we drove to Galesburg and stopped at City Hall where I was successful in acquiring a municipal lapel pin. It was then over to the Amtrak station.


Burlington Northern caboose 12534 (nee BN 10113) at Discovery Depot (the children's museum).

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 4-6-4 3006, built 1930 and donated to the City in 1962, at the Galesburg Railroad Museum.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 4-6-4 3006.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy baggage/railway post office car 1945 built 1924 and retired in 1960 is also here.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy caboose 13501 built in 1930 and retired in 1982.

The Galesburg Railroad Museum sign and a Sharon Coupler display. Chris then drove us to a surprise location, the Train House.

The Train House in Peck Park that has several rail-related displays and is welcoming to railfans.

The former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy crossing over the old Santa Fe; both lines are now BNSF mainlines.

The California Zephyr came through on its way to Galesburg. From here, we drove to Moline and checked into Motel 6 and had dinner. A brief drive to Rock Island to see the equipment and Train Festival being finalized occurred before we returned to the hotel for the night.

It had been an excellent day of railfanning and almost everywhere was new to me. The highlights were the Media Trestle and Cameron and our luck in the timing.