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  Trip Report: Train Festival 2011 - Chapter 3
  Thu, Jul 21
Train Festival 2011 Day 1
  From: Train Festival 2011 Dates: Jul 19-24, 2011 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo Schedule
The schedule and letter with my tickets for Friday's Bureau run
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Photo 47
The first official run of Train Festival 2011 was powered by NKP Berkshire 765, pulling passengers from Rock Island out to Walcott and back.
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Photo 48
The runs stopped just short of County Road Y-40, on the east side of town. At that point, 701 would start them back to Rock Island. Heard on the radio this first run, from the 765 crew: "You know 765 has a 25mph speed limit going backwards, right?" 701 crew: "Uhhh... no?"
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Photo 49
The regular east CBBI train comes through Walcott on Thursday, 21 Jul 2011, following the first RI-Walcott steam turn back to town. (Dan Holmes photo)
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Photo 50
500, 157, 714, and 507 dropping down Davenport Hill beneath Locust Street on their way to Rock Island
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Photo 51
We thought we'd take advantage of Thursday being a slower day at Train Festival to go in and look around. Still lots of people, still an inferno, but we figured it would be less crowded than Fri-Sun. (I'm cheating - this picture of the front gate was actually taken by my father late Sunday afternoon.)
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Photo 52
Just as we were arriving, the second Walcott run was headed out through the yards. They had the industrial track all fenced off and staff posted at the crossings to ensure trains could move through the limits safely.
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Photo 53
For the second run, they'd substituted QJ 6988 for NKP 765. Here they are departing the yard just after 1300h
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Photo 54
While they'd counted on Train Festival runs moving through the limits during open hours, I don't think they'd planned on the regular BNSF traffic. There was some interesting radio discussion on how and when to bring the BNSF Clinton Local through the limits, but eventually they did - very slowly. Pinkbonnet 555 and repainted sister unit 5437 lead the local off the Crescent Bridge towards Rock Island.
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Photo 55
The trains on exhibit weren't always the easiest to photograph in the afternoon light, but IAIS 513 was up at the front of the line.
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Photo 56
513 with the Centennial Bridge and the Nebraska Zephyr in the background
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Photo 57
Leviathan is a modern replica of Central Pacific #63, an 1868 Schnectady-built 4-4-0. It was unveiled two years ago at Train Festival 2009 in Owosso, MI. More information about it can be found on its official website.
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Photo 58
You've seen Chicago & Northwestern 411 before, pulling the Nebraska Zephyr down on Tuesday. The 1949 F7A was built as CNW 4082C, and was used in commuter work work train service for CNW and Metra before becoming part of the Illinois Railway Museum's collection in 1999.
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Photo 59
I know, I know, it's another BNSF GEVO. But at least 6688 here is one of the ES44C4s, making it a little unusual. Plus it's only the second C4 I've ever seen.
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Photo 60
Given the stark light, I decided to play with HDR a bit. I keep going back and forth on whether to post this one or not, so here it is - if you don't like it, don't look.
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Photo 61
On the north side of the equipment display area were the small steamers. In order, they're Flagg Coal Co. 75, a 1930 Vulcan 0-4-0T; Lehigh Valley Coal 126, a 1931 Vulcan 0-6-0T; and Viscose 6, a 1924 Baldwin 0-6-0T. It's Thursday mid-afternoon and scorchingly hot (100+ degrees on this white rock surface), so there aren't many people out examining the equipment.
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Photo 62
Little tank engines aren't really my thing, so I didn't go to great lengths to pull off great shots against horrid light, but they're all beautifully restored and operational machines.
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Photo 63
While sister engine 6988 is out working, 7081 sits in the yard. Unlike 6988, 7081 retains its full Chinese appearance.
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Photo 64
Here comes the second Walcott run back into the yard, with the Modern Woodmen building in the background. With that, the intense heat was overcoming my parents and myself, so we decided to retreat to cooler environs at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants just down the street from the event.
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Photo 65
After dinner, we went up to the Rock Island yard to catch the inbound Amtrak special from Chicago. Routed via Galesburg and Colona on BNSF rails and then over IAIS into the festival, the train brought down the passenger cars to be used on the long distance steam excursions for Friday and Saturday.
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Photo 66
I'm not exactly sure what CB&Q 9255 was doing out running around, but here it comes right behind Amtrak.
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Photo 67
Clear of the main yard, the train creeps along along First Avenue towards Train Festival in downtown Rock Island. Amtrak was nice enough to provide us two of their heritage paint P42s - AMTK 156 and 66 (phase I and II heritage paint, respectively).
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Photo 68
The plan was to take the newly arrived passenger train across the Crescent Bridge to Davenport, and turn it on the wye connecting into the IC&E mainline. However, given delays for boats and problems getting bulletins to the crew needed to enter the IC&E, it took forever. So, I just sat around sweating my rear off and taking pictures of things that interested me, like the Crescent Bridge.
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Photo 69
Finally, thanks to some help from an IC&E man from Nahant Yard, they received authority to pass over the bridge and wye.
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Photo 70
Almost certainly never going to see this again - two Amtrak heritage engines pulling a passenger train over the Crescent Bridge.
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Photo 71
One of the few shots I got of Amtrak 66, the Phase II heritage engine.
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Photo 72
Milwaukee "Sky Top" tail car Cedar Rapids hangs out over the Mississippi while they throw the switch onto the IC&E. Strangely, the car is about to re-enter former Milwaukee rails along the river.
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Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2011 by Nathan D. Holmes, with some photos copyright Dan Holmes (where indicated) (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. 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 1D Mark III or 7D using either a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS/USM, Sigma 18-50mm, or a Canon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS/USM.