Facebook Page

Train Festival 2011 Day 1 ~ July 21st, 2011

by Elizabeth Guenzler

Today was the beginning of Train Festival 2011, where everyone attending would immerse themselves steam and diesel railways, both large and small, and enjoy the first excursion of the event. After breakfast, we dropped Chris off at the grounds and Nathan drove us over to the Iowa side of the Mississippi River.

A view of Train Festival from Davenport, Iowa, one of the Quad Cities. Davenport and Bettendorf are on the Iowa side and Rock Island and Moline are on the Illinois side, separated by the Mississippi River. We then returned to Rock Island.

A steam train and paddle wheeler mural in Rock Island.

The informational plaque about the mural. After parking, we all queued up in the correct line to pick up our tickets and entered the grounds. As the miniature railway was the first attraction Bob and I came upon, this was ridden and photographed first.

One of the steam engines of the 7½" gauge miniature railroad from the Mill Creek Central.

Mill Creek Central Raiload 7½" gauge miniature engine from Coshocton, Ohio.

Mill Creek Central train making its trip with plenty of happy passengers.

Sullivan Railroad 15" gauage miniature steam engine.

Wasatch Railroad Contractors Cagney locommotive and Heber City Miniature Railroad Company.

A familiar locomotive was here that made its debut at Train Festival 2009 - Leviathan 4-4-0 63.

Front view of this 'new' steam engine.

Leviathan was looking proud and gleamed in the morning sun.

Myself beside the Leviathan, wearing the namesake T-shirt that I bought two years earlier.

Train Festival scene.

History board about Leviathan.

History board about Lehigh Valley Coal 0-6-0T 126.

Lehigh Valley Coal 0-6-0T 126, owned by John and Byron Gramling.

Viscose Company 0-4-0T 6, owned by Scott Symans.

The three tank engines that visited Train Festival.

Flagg Coal 0-4-0T 75, also owned by John and Byron Gramling.

History board for the Nebraska Zephyr, which is owned by the Illinois Railway Museum.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy E5A 9911A "Silver Pilot" (nee Fort Worth and Denver/Colorado and Southern 9952A). This is the last E5 in existence of the sixteen built.

Front view of Chicago, Burlington and Quincy E5A 9911A "Silver Pilot" (nee Fort Worth and Denver/Colorado and Southern 9952A).

Myself in front of "Silver Pilot".

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy coach 960 "Venus", part of the Nebraska Zephyr trainsset.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy coach 4626 "Vest", part of the Nebraska Zephyr trainset.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy coach 4627 "Minerva", part of the Nebraska Zephyr trainset.

Interior of the "Minvera".

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy dining car 150 "Ceres", part of the Nebraska Zephyr trainset.

The door leading to "Ceres".

The gallery of "Ceres".

Dining area of "Ceres".

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy parlour/observation car 225 "Juno", part of the Nebraska Zephyr trainset.

Myself in "Juno", enjoying the air conditioning, a welcome relief from the heat of the day.

Interior of "Juno".

The other end of "Juno".

The rear of the Nebraska Zephyr as it moved around the Train Festival site.

History board about Chicago and North Western F7A 411.

A gleaming Chicago and North Western F7A 411 (ex. Metra 305, nee Chicago and North Western 4082C). Built 1949 and is part of the Illinois Railway Museum collection.

History board about Iowa Interstate ES44AC 513.

Iowa Interstae ES44AC 513 in Rock Island livery, one of the modern locomotives in display.

Front and rear view of IAIS 513.

Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern GP40 4001 "City of Wall" (ex. National Railway Equipment 181, nee Missouri-Kansas Texas 181 1966).

The inner workings of DME GP40 4001 "City of Wall" were on display.

BNSF ES44C4 6688.

From newer diesel locomotives to older, in the form of Chicago, Burlington and Quincy SW7 9255 (ex. Davenport, Rock Island and Northwestern 121, exx. Burlington Nothern 121, nee CB&Q 7255). It was built in 1950 and retired in 1983 then donated to the Illinois Railway Museum in 1988.

SW7s doing what they were intended - switching cars.

It was fascinating for me to watch the switching maneouvers and made me wish I could have seen such action in the 1950s and 1960's.

It was very nice to see Iowa Interstate 2-10-2 6988 again after having ridden it in 2008.

The cab and tender of Iowa Interstate 2-10-2 6988.

Iowa Interstate 2-10-2 7081, also ridden behind in 2008.

Side view of Iowa Interstate 7081.

A steam freight train at Train Festival 2011.

It was then time for the first excursion of the event - a two-hour trip to Walcott at 14:00 hrs. We boarded the train and took setas in one of the Montreal commuter coaches whose windows do not make it very easy for photography.

View of the Mississippi River with smoke from one of the 2-10-2's blowing along the train.

Approaching the bridge before street running in Davenport.

A blowdown before the bridge in Davenport.

The Railfans Chasing Trains crew on board this train. Chris and Nathan were not on this trip as they had driven to Galesburg to pick up Bob Riskie.

The timing of our return was perfect in that we were able to watch Amtrak P42DC 156 and P42DC 66, both in heritage livery, lead the train of private cars into Train Festival grounds; the private cars would be used some of the weekend's excursions.

Some of the Friends of 261 cars arriving in Rock Island.

The Amtrak locomotives lead the train of excursion equipment into Rock Island. A group of us went to Jumar's Casino for a buffet dinner then returned to the hotel. The first night photo session was cancelled because of thunderstorms and I relaxed and caught up on things before calling it a night.

What a fine collection of locomotives and passenger cars Train Festival presented! This had been an excellent day and there was plenty more excitement, steam excursions to chase and ride and rare mileage to be ridden throughout the rest of the weekend.