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Train Festival 2011 -- Day 4 ~ July 24th, 2011

by Elizabeth Guenzler

This final day of Train Festival 2011 dawned very wet so the plans to visit Rockfort, South Elgin and Freeport had to be changed. None of us had planned to ride the excursions today; rather we would do some chasing. So our first photo location was Moline to catch the outbound Nebraska Zephyr on its way to Bureau Junction.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy E5 9911A leading the Nebraska Zephyr trainset through Moline on a very wet morning.

The Davenport, Rock Island and Northwestern station at 2021 River Drive. Built 1900 by Olaf Cervin, it was in active use until 1934 when converted to offices for Frank Foundry Company. The City of Moline purchased the building in 1994 and designated it a local landmark, renovating it as a visitor's centre. That closed in May 2008 and as of July 2011, it was vacant. It was later demolished in July 2016 due to the construction of an entrance ramp to the new Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River. Gene, Chris, myself and Bob then made our way to Davenport and the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern yards.

Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern GP38 3833 "City of Aurora" (ex. Kansas City Southern GP40 795, exx. Illinois Central Gulf 3059, nee Illinois Central 3059).

DME GP40 4002 "Spirit of 86" (ex. Union Pacific 653, nee Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific 4712).

Yard scene.

DME GP40 4005 "Larry Pressler" (ex. Union Pacific 631, exx. Missouri Pacific 631, nee Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific 4700).

Iowa, Chicago and Eastern GP40-2 4207 "City of South Beloit" (ex. Finova Capital Corp 5003, exx. NREX 7246, nee Southern Pacific 7246).

DME SD40-3 6050 (ex. HLCX 6050, nee UP SD40 3017) and DME SD40-2 6408 (nee UP 3503).

NREX SD40-2 7360 (nee Missouri Pacific 3168).

Iowa Chicago & Eastern GP9 103 (ex. I&M Rail Link 103 1997, nee SOO 403). We then went into Davenport and set up to catch the Train Festival 11:00 steam excursion on its street-running portion of the trip.

NKP 2-8-4 765 putting on a fantastic show as it travels down the middle of the street in Davenport on the way to Walcott.

Iowa Interstate GP38-2 701 (ex. LLPX 2302, exx. UP 411 2011, exxx. UP 1911 1997, exxxx. EMDX 742 1987, exxxxx. CR 7942, nee PC 7942) bringing up the rear of the steam excursion. From here, we returned to Train Festival for the last time before driving to the grade crossing at Central Park Avenue to catch the 14:00 train on its way to Walcott.

Iowa Interstate QJ 2-10-2 7081 leading the train through Davenport. A brief stop at Bettendorf was next.

I was surprised to see BNSF SW1200 3535 (ex. BN 193, nee NP 134) here in Bettendorf as I remember seeing it in New Westminster, British Columbia's Braid Yard in 2007. It was then back to the hotel, dinner at Montana Jack's then packing in the evening as we were leaving the next day.

Train Festival 2011 had been a great success and I was in my element in all the activities we participated in during the four-day event. Being able to both ride and chase the excursions had given me the best of both worlds.