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  Trip Report: Milwaukee 261 on the Mississippi - Chapter 1
  Milw 261, Davenport to Muscatine
Tuesday, 20-Sep-2005
  From: Milwaukee 261 on the Mississippi Dates: Sep 20, 2005 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
First sighting of the day... I heard something go in the hole at Camanche, so I figured 261 must have arrived. Here we see 261 accelerating southwards from the siding.
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Photo 2
Highballing along the Mississippi just south of Princeton, IA
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Photo 3
Just when we were rolling along at track speed, the warrant ran out at MP 175. Unfortunately, the work train ahead wasn't done dumping ballast, and so we sat here for nearly an hour.
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Photo 4
Another side shot of 261 while stopped at MP 175.
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Photo 5
261 sitting, along with part of Tuesday's compliment of railfans
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Photo 6
The guys in the tool car, trying to get a little break of cool air through the doors
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Photo 7
Back on the move just north of Le Claire
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Photo 8
The famous "Cedar Rapids" brings up the rear past the Le Claire station warning sign
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Photo 9
With the traffic and low speed limits of town, I didn't get far enough ahead again until the riverfront park just beyond the I-74 bridge in Bettendorf, IA
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Photo 10
NSR 1938, the tool car, also known as the "Earling"
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Photo 11
NSR 1615 is the second car in the train, and painted as Milwaukee Road's "Grand Canyon"
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Photo 12
The third car is NSR 3103, painted as Milwaukee Road's "Wisconsin Valley"
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Photo 13
Fourth car is NSR 31, Milwaukee Road's "Minnesota River"
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Photo 14
The fifth and final car is also the most famous - it's NSR 800040, otherwise known as the Milwaukee's Skytop Lounge "Cedar Rapids".
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Photo 15
What would any run down the river be if I didn't shoot it coming under the Government Bridge?
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Photo 16
A look at 261's builder and trust plates (probably replicas to prevent pilfering)
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Photo 17
Cedar Rapids brings up the rear against the Davenport skyline.
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Photo 18
The day started relatively peacefully, with few fans chasing the train. By the time it passed through Nahant, there was a full-blown (but usually well-behaved) gaggle following the thing.
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Photo 19
261 is about to cross over to avoid another IC&E train, as well as pass under I-280.
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Photo 20
The view from the riverbank at Buffalo, IA
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Photo 21
Back at full speed just past Montpelier Junction (where the Ipsco spur breaks off)
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Photo 22
Nearing the end, 261 runs through the old Muscatine downtown amongst groups of onlookers
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Photo 23
That's it for the day - 261 stops at the Muscatine IC&E office. From here, the crew is still figuring out where to move to in order to take coal and water, but the run for the day is finished.
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Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2005 by Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. This allows and encourages others to copy, modify, use, and distribute my work, without the hassle of asking me for explicit permission or fear of copyright violation. I encourage others to consider CC or other Open Content-style licensing of their original works.

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 10D using either a Canon 28-105mm USM or a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.3 IS/USM.