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Train Festival 2011 Day 2 ~ July 22nd,, 2011

by Elizabeth Guenzler

Today we would chase the Nickel Plate 765 excursion, known as the Bureau Rail Express. Nathan and Gene were going to ride this steam trip from Rock Island to Bureau Junction. After breakfast at IHOP, we drove over to the Train Festival grounds.

Iowa Interstate QJ 2-10-2 7081 in the morning sun.

Nickel Plate 4-8-2 765 steaming up and ready for today's trip.

Mid-America Railcar Leasing baggage dorm 3105 (ex. Southern Pacific 3105, exx. Amtrak 1624, exxx. Amtrak 1532, exxxx. SP 3105, nee Texas and New Orleans 303). PPCX 800701.

Mid-America Railcar Leasing 46-seat coach "Golden Sand" (ex. Amtrak 4010, exx. Amtrak 4411, nee Southern Pacific 2378). PPCX 800748.

Mid-America Railcar Leasing coach "Mohave" (ex. Rail Journeys West "Tolani", exx. Amtrak 4739, exxx. Amtrak 4868, nee ATSF 2826). PPCX 800651.

Mid-America Railcar Leasing coach "The Reveler" (ex. MRLX "Bryce Canyon", exx. Amtrak 4618 1979, exxx. Amtrak 4554, nee UP 5489 1960).

Mid-America Railcar baggage car 104 "Thunder Bay" (ex. WPLX 104, exx. Great Lakes Western 104, exxx. VIA 15300, nee Canadian National 9261).

Iowa Interstate business car 100 "Hawkeye" (ex. Kansas City Southern 40 "Arthur E. Stilwell, exx. MidSouth Rail Corp "The Prospector", exxx. Ontario Northland 203 "Moosonee" 1965, nee St. Louis-San Francisco 2 "Tennessee" 1928).

Iowa Interstate business car 101 "Abraham Lincoln (ex. Amtrak 8096 "Eagle Pass", exx. UP 4812 "Proud Heritage", nee UP 4812 1949). PPCX 800082.

We relocated to 4th Avenue above the grounds for an overview with commuter cars used for the hourly rides, Iowa Interstate's steam engines and the Friends of 261 passenger cars.

Iowa Interstate QJ 2-10-2 7081 and 6988 steaming with the Centennial Bridge in the background.

A general Train Festival scene.

Santa Fe full dome "Nenana" and MILW 53 "Superdome".

Some of the Friends of 261 passenger equipment.

PPCX 800628 lounge car "St. Croix Valley" (ex. North Star Rail 3101, exx. Georgia Southwestern 2003, exxx. Amtrak lounge 3101, nee US Army Hospital Car 89536).

PPCX 800787 coach "Wisconsin Valley" (ex. Amtrak 3103 "Le Pub" for Montrealer, exx. Amtrak cafe-diner-lounge 3403, nee US Army Hospital Car 89553).

MILW "Super Dome" 53 (ex.(ex. NCDOT 400301 "Mount Mitchell" '96, exx. UPRR for OLS and excursion use 1995, exxx. C&NW 421 "Powder River" 1985, exxxx. Rail Travel Association 53 1983 (rebuilt), retired 1982 to Great Western Tours, exxxxx. VIA 2701 1978, exxxxxx. CN 2701 1974, exxxxxxx. CN 2401 "Athabasca", nee MILW 53. PPCX 800862.

Santa Fe full dome "Nenana" (ex San Luis and Rio Grande 511, exx. Sierra Western 523, exxx. Great Western Tours - Eureka Southern, nee ATSF 511). PPCX 800124.

MILW Skytop parlour/observation car 186 "Cedar Rapids". PPCX 800040.

The Williams White and Company Machine Shop in Moline where we joined several other railfans who were chasing the steam excursion today.

Nickel Plate 2-8-4 765 leading the train through Moline.

"Cedar Rapids" proudly bringing up the rear. The next photo location was in Colona.

The Iowa Interstate (Rock Island) signal at MP 168.00.

Nickel Plate 2-8-4 765 sped through Colona. We drove on to Tiskilwa.

Passing through Tiskilwa.

The former Rock Island station here. We drove three miles east the junction of 1030N and 2050 E in rural Bureau County.

Nickel Plate 765 and the train pass our photo location. A drive along Interstate 180 to Interstate 80 to Annawan was where we set up for our next photographs.

The steam train passes MP 175 of Iowa Interstate, otherwise known as Ford Road in Annawan. From there, it wsa back to Moline.

Nickel Plate 2-8-4 765 and the train pass through Moline.

The train coming into Rock Island after a very successful excursion to Bureau Junction. After dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, I returned to the hotel to relax and catch up on things. Chris, Bob and Nathan returned to Train Festival for today's night photo session. The following are Bob's photographs.

Nickel Plate 2-8-4 765 and the Friends of 261 "St. Croix Valley".

Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern GP40 4001 "City of Wall".

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy E5A 9911A during the night photo session.

Much as I enjoy riding steam excursions and everything that that entails, it is always fun to chase and see the engines and passenger cars. That is one of the reasons I am so partial to runbys as they give you the best of both worlds; the opportunity to ride and experience the atmosphere and ambience of the train (never mind what type of passenger cars are in the consist) and the ability to see and hear the full train as it performs the photo runbys.