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Memphis Chapter Officers President – David Chase

Vice President – Bruce Smedley National Director – Bill Strong

Secretary – Oliver Doughtie

Treasurer – Thomas Doherty

Librarian – Mike Pendergrass Publication Editor – Tom Parker

October Meeting We had thirteen attendees at the October meeting. Bill Strong brought the meeting to order and discussed his recent trip to Kentucky where he rode on an excursion on the RJ Corman Railroad. Mike Pendergrass discussed taking his nephew on his first railfanning trip to Irondale, AL near Birmingham. John Stefanac discussed a recent trip to Washington DC where he visited Union Station. We had thirteen attendees at the October meeting. Bruce Smedley presented “The Last Gasp of Steam – Turbines and Duplexes” where he discussed turbine and duplex steam engines during the period from the late 1930s through the 1950s. A Turbine steam engine was powered by using steam to turn turbines which was then transferred to the wheels. Although a good design in theory, these engines rarely lived up to expectations as they were not as efficient as designed, often had maintenance issues and overall were just not as reliable as needed. Another prototype explored by railroads during this time was the Duplex steam engine. These engines looked similar to an articulated steam engine but they did not pivot. The Pennsylvania Railroad utilized a duplex known as a T-1. This engine had several problems, including slipping at high rates of speed, and was eventually replaced by the Q-2 model. The Q-2 was more successful but was ultimately replaced by diesel powered engines. Oliver Doughtie

November Meeting November's program will be “Trackside Memphis”, a slide presentation by David Johnston.

Cover Photo:UP 4-6-6-4 Challenger 3985 blasts through Glenwood, IL on a rainy Sunday morning in August 1993. Tom Parker photo.


Illinois Central Paducah Shops By Tom Parker

In the late 1930's and early 1940's, rail traffic was being impacted by the increase in transportation of goods by truck over the nation's burgeoning highway system. The railroads countered by increasing train speeds.5

Aerial view of IC (former CO&SW) Shops – Circa 1900

EARLY HISTORY Eighty Years ago, on September 1, 1927, John Markham, president of the Illinois Central Railroad dedicated the Paducah shops after more than two years of construction.1 Construction began in 1925 on a 110 acre site, which was the former location of the shops of the Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwestern Railway, The original CO&SW shops, which were completed in 1884, consisted of a six stall roundhouse, a blacksmith's shop, a boiler shop , and a brass foundry, and was constructed at a cost of $107,000.2 The CO&SW was purchased by the Illinois Central in December, 1893, from C. P. Huntington. Huntington created the CO&SW when he purchased the Paducah & Elizabethtown and the Paducah & Memphis railroads and consolidated them into a single railroad. Through the efforts of Paducah lawyer Q. Q. Quigley, the P&E shops were moved from Elizabethtown to Paducah.3 Bragging rights for the first locomotive built in Paducah actually belongs to the New Orleans and Ohio Railroad Company. The first “Paducahbilt” engine was the “James Campbell”. The engine was manufactured in 1859, and was named for the railroad's president. The NO&O was incorporated on January 9, 1852 and was a predecessor line to the CO&SW.4

1 2 3 4

Historical Marker # 1134, Kentucky Historical Society. “Main Line of Mid-America, Carlton J. Corliss, p 269 Ibid. Ibid, p 263

IC 2499 – The Illinois Central's only 4-6-4 (T. Parker collection) To meet this challenge, the always frugal IC decided rather than spend millions on new locomotives, it would opt to rebuild its fleet at Paducah. Through the rebuilding program, between 1935 and 1945, the IC was able to reduce their steam engine roster by 150 engines, but increased the cumulative tractive effort of the fleet by 10%. Not only were engines merely rebuilt, but 2-10-2's were stripped down to the boiler and rebuilt as 0-10-0's, 2,10,0's, 2,8,2's and 4-8-2's.6 Fifty Six 4-8-2's were constructed in this manner between 1937 and 1942. They even chopped up a 2-8-4 and create the IC's only 4-6-4, IC 2499. In addition, the shops built new engines from the ground up, including twenty 2600 class 4-8-2's.7IC's early 4-8-2s were dual service locomotives, but the Mountains built at Paducah were exclusively freight engines.8

5 The Illinois Central's Kentucky Division, Cliff Downey, November 1999, “Green Diamond” (ICHS) 6 The Illinois Central's Kentucky Division, Cliff Downey, November 1999, “Green Diamond” (ICHS) 7 The Illinois Central's Kentucky Division, Cliff Downey, November 1999, “Green Diamond” (ICHS) 8 Steam Locomotive Profile: 4-8-2 Mountain, Classic Trains Magazine, June 20, 2006.

IC DIESEL ERA The steam era on the IC came to a close in the late 50's and early 60's. The Illinois Central's steam fleet was replaced by GP7's, GP9's and GP18's. Beginning in the late 60's, these engines were showing their age and once again the IC was faced with the question: Replace or Rebuild? Once again the decision was made to rebuild aging units rather than to replace them.9 Even though the IC had purchased a number of new locomotives in the late sixties, the railroad found it needed more locomotives in the 2000 horsepower range10 as well as non-turbocharged six axle units for heavy hauling. Paducah began rebuilding “geeps”, switch engines and even a few passenger engines. GP7's became GP8's, GP9's (and one lone GP18) became GP10's and GP11's, and SW7's, SW9's and NW2's became SW14's. To fill the need for six axle units, the IC bought SD24's and SD35's from other railroads and rebuilt them into SD20's for use in coal and grain service.

ICG 8753 - The Last ICG GP11 - From The Collection of Kevin Pearson

VMV With the passage of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, railroads were subject to much less government regulation and eased restrictions against abandoning or selling off portions of a railroads tracks. The ICG wasted no time “rationalizing” it's routes and abandoned or “spun off” most of its branch lines. On February 25, 1986, CG&T Industries announced their intention to purchase most of the ICG Kentucky Division and the historic Paducah Shops. CG&T was owned by David Reed and Jim Smith. On August 27, 1986, VMV Enterprises begins operation of the former ICG Paducah shops.12 The initials VMV came from the names Velma, Marie and Vera, the names of the wives of three of the original investors.13 On April 2, 2002, VMV Enterprises ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy. VMV was subsequently purchased by National Railway Equipment and reopened on June 30, 2003, retaining the VMV name14.

ICG 200 - The First Paducah Rebuild, Photo courtesy of & copyright by Chuck Zeiler The first rebuild was IC SW7 #200 in early 1967. The program ended in 1982 when the last GP11 rolled out of the shop.11 9 “Paducah Pilgrims”, Paul Burgess, March 2006, “Green Diamond”(ICHS) 10 “Used Diesel Locomotives Purchased by the IC & ICG, David Daisy, March 2005, “Green Diamond”(ICHS) 11 “paducah Pilgrims” Paul Burgess, March 2006, Green Diamond”(ICHS)

12 Pennyrail, Western Kentucky Chapter NRHS Newsletter August, 2006

13 Don Stracks UtahRails[]: 14


4-8-2 IC 2351 was rebuilt from a 2-10-2 at Paducah. It features the distinctive Paducah sand dome. Photo at Memphis, TN 11/26/47.(T. Parker collection)

IC 2613, one of twenty 4-8-2's built from the ground up by the IC at Paducah in 1942-43, was the last operational steam locomotive on the IC. This photo was taken in Louisville, KY in May, 1960, when it pulled an excursion train over the L&N15

SW-14 ICG 1500 was rebuilt from SW-7 IC 1212 at Paducah in 1981, and was still in service on the IC/CN as of April, 2006. (Photo by Chuck Zeiler) 15

SD-20 ICG 2036 was rebuilt from SOU SD-24 6340 in 1982. Still owned by the CN, it is under long term lease to National Railway Equipment who has in turn leased it to the IHB.(Photo by Chuck Zeiler)

GP-8 ICG 7723 was rebuilt from GP-7 SLSF 606 in 1975. It was scrapped in 1993 (Photo by Chuck Zeiler)

GP-11 IC 8731 was rebuilt from MBTA 7556 and is now in service on the South Central Florida as SCFE 9030. In this photo taken on the lowline at Memphis, TN, the 8731 is dead in tow with the IC name and logo painted over, en route to its new owner (T. Parker Photo)

Rock Island 886

Moving on down the tracks Signature locomotive at Wheels O' Time Museum taking short trip for progress' sake

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 By ANITA SZOKE of the Journal Star

The Old 886 hasn't moved for more than 20 years. But soon, the 131-ton Rock Island steam locomotive outside the Wheels O' Time Museum will take a little trip. Construction plans to widen Illinois Route 40 in front of the museum from two to five lanes are forcing the museum to move its trademark locomotive 25 feet back from its current location.

Photo courtesy of Bobbie Rice and used with permission Rock Island 886 was the last steam locomotive to pull a train out of Peoria, IL. The city of Peoria asked the Rock Island to donate the engine to the city for permanent display. The request came too late, however, as the 886 had been scrapped just a few weeks prior to the request. The railroad obliged by renumbering RI 887 to RI 886 and donated it to the city instead. The engine was put on display in Detweiler Park, just north of the Peoria passenger station. After a number of years, the city decided that the upkeep on the engine was too big a burden for the city and the Peoria Regional Museum Society acquired her and after cosmetic restoration, moved her to Wheels o' Time Transportation Museum ( in Dunlap, IL, about 10 miles north of Peoria. The following articles from the Peoria Journal Star ( describe the move of RI 886 necessitated by the widening of Illinois Route 40 in front of the museum. (Special thanks to Sharon Deckard, Ed Sanders and Bobbie Rice for photos and to Jerry Smith of the Peoria Journal Star.)

That may seem like no big deal, but, in reality, the short move is no easy feat. Because of the locomotive's heft, the railroad ties in the new location first must be reinforced, which is done by Rail Works, a St. Louis company specializing in rail repair. The work crews were out Monday repairing the track to prepare for the big move.

Photo courtesy of Ed Sanders and used with permission "We have to make the track more stable so it could support (the locomotive)," said Bill Trent, one of the founding members of the museum, 11923 N. Knoxville Ave. That will take a couple of days. Once that is done, one or two big "wreckers" - which are cement mixers converted into wreckers sporting all-wheel drive and a heavy-duty 30,000-pound winch – will pull the locomotive on the reinforced tracks down to its new location.

That's if the wheels of the locomotive will move. "We're hoping they will turn, we don't know because they haven't been moved for more than 20 years," said Gary Bragg, co-founder of the museum.

steam locomotive to operate into Peoria on the Rock Island lines.

The wreckers are from the same company, Balagna House Moving Inc., that moved the locomotive to the museum from its previous location at Detweiller Park in 1985, he said. For that move, the locomotive - which had ended its working career in 1952 - was jacked up onto wood cribbing and then onto house-moving dollies with hand-operated hydraulic jacks and moved seven miles through Detweiller Park to the museum. "(The wheels) moved the last time, we think they will this time," Bragg said. The big move is scheduled to take place sometime around Oct. 9 if all goes as planned. If the wheels don't turn, they may be able to slide the behemoth down the tracks, Bragg said. But if all else fails, Bragg said he just might take up a suggestion from a witty tipster who gave him this piece of advice: "Just put a bar of soap under each wheel and they will slide," he said with a laugh. "But I hope the moving of it will be anticlimactic. It's the other work beforehand that's a lot of work."

Photo courtesy of Ed Sanders and used with permission

Slow and Steady Wheels O' Time steam locomotive rolls again after more than 20 years Tuesday, October 9, 2007 By ANITA SZOKE of the Journal Star PEORIA - The Old 886 didn't go without a bit of a struggle. But in the end, the Rock Island steam locomotive's big wheels turned after all, and the 131-ton behemoth slowly inched its way down 25 feet of track Monday to its new resting place in front of the Wheels O' Time Museum. Construction plans to widen Illinois Route 40 in front of the museum from two to five lanes forced the museum to move its trademark locomotive 25 feet back from its location at the museum, 11923 N. Knoxville Ave. It was no easy feat.

Photo courtesy of Ed Sanders and used with permission The locomotive is owned by the Peoria Regional Museum Society and is housed and maintained by the Wheels O' Time Museum. Built in 1909, the train has been a museum exhibit since 1985, a donation from the Peoria Park District, which displayed it for years at Detweiller Park. It was the last

For months, museum officials had greased and oiled all of the locomotive's joints in preparation for the move, because the Old 886 hasn't moved for more than 20 years. The locomotive, built in 1909, ended its working career in 1952 and is not operational. It was the last steam locomotive to operate into Peoria on the Rock Island lines.

Then, because of the locomotive's heft, the railroad ties in the new location had to be reinforced, which was done Sept. 24 by Rail Works, a St. Louis company specializing in rail repair.

said Gary Bragg, president and a co-founder of the museum, which houses and maintains the locomotive. The train is owned by the Peoria Regional Museum Society.

On Monday morning, house movers arrived from Balagna House Moving Inc. of Farmington, the same company that moved the locomotive to the museum in 1985 from its previous location at Detweiller Park.

So the crew used large pry bars to loosen up the brake pads a bit. They then chained the front of the winch truck to a nearby tree, a big silver maple that has been dedicated for many years in memory of Bob Parks - the son of one of the original founders of the museum, John and Midge Parks - who was killed in 1978 by a drunken driver when he was in his late 20s.

By the time the crew from Balagna arrived in a winch truck, a small crowd had gathered at the museum's parking lot to see history in the making.

Photo courtesy of Bobbie Rice and used with permission

Photo courtesy of Bobbie Rice and used with permission

"We're curious, we wanted to see if it would move," said Barbara Madsen, whose husband Mike Madsen is a new volunteer at the museum. They brought their granddaughters, Jaime Tollefson, 12, and Tara McClelland, 11, who were out of school for Columbus Day, and dog Emmy to join in on the fun and get a little history lesson, to boot.

The locomotive then gave up any resistance and for the next 5 to 10 minutes, slowly crept its way down the track.

The movers maneuvered the winch truck onto the tracks behind the locomotive, and, using a large hook, attached steel cable to the train to pull it to its new location. But it wouldn't budge, and the winch truck then began to slide on the railroad ballast, the gravel rock that covers the railroad ties and forms the bed of the railroad. On to Plan B? Turns out, although all the brakes on the locomotive earlier had been loosened, one brake slipped back on,

"The tree is what helped it. Once it was tied to the tree, the winch had plenty of strength to move it," Bragg said. "Everybody is very pleased with how it turned out. Thanks to the big tree. "This was a major move for us. Big day."

Searching for Remnants of the Milwaukee Road in Iowa and Minnesota or

Innovative Uses for Former Railroad Property (Part 1) Walter Lang You may remember that in addition to the Central European Railroads that I grew up with, I have a strong interest in the Milwaukee Road. This interest arose when I first learned about the Milwaukee Electrification operating about two thirds of the trackage through the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest under wires. Later I found out about the Hiawatha Streamliners, which only furthered my interest in this particular Railroad. Now that I’m temporarily living in the “Lower Great White North” and therefore pretty much within the old Milwaukee Territory, I took the opportunity to explore the area to search for remnants of the Milwaukee Road, and even came prepared with a camera – sometimes at least.

A pre 1952 herald still exists on the northeast side of the Winona freight house nicely sheltered from the elements under a roof overhang. Judging from the condition of the rest of the building, I don’t believe that it was applied recently.

At its peak the Milwaukee Road route system encompassed over 10700 miles. The August issue of Trains magazine featured a map of the system showing the extent of the network near its peak and also nicely outlines what is left and who operates the remnants. At the center of the system were two double track raceways out of Chicago. The first one went to Milwaukee, La Crosse and along the Mississippi River to the Twin Cities and extended from there all the way to the Pacific coast. The Twin City – Chicago route is now owned and operated by the CP, although mostly reduced to a single track. The second line went west from Chicago to Savanna, IL and across Central Iowa to Manilla while “avoiding” most of the major towns and cities. There the line split into a southern branch towards Council Bluffs/Omaha and a northern branch to Sioux City. This line was double tracked all the way from Chicago to Manilla until 1934. After that year the second track was gradually removed in various locations until the majority of the line in Iowa was abandoned in 1980. The only portions remaining are the section from Council Bluffs to Bayard, IA now owned by the BNSF and the section between Green Island and Sabula, Ia and on to Chicago, which is now a part of ICE. The first time I came near the

Typical appearance of the former Milwaukee Road right of way in Iowa today.

former right of way (near Tama, IA in 2005) I could not find anything, as if all had vanished underneath cornfields. Consulting satellite imagery courtesy of Mapquest, I could confirm that this was indeed the case. Further east towards Marion/Cedar Rapids however, large sections were clearly identifiable, so on one of my first Memphis/Rochester roundtrips I took a detour to check things out and a few months later on a second occasion, I came back with a camera. Iowa County Road E 44 parallels the former right of way (ROW) between the small towns of Elberon and Atkins towards Cedar Rapids. This area is not as flat as the area around Tama, so the ROW stands out clearly as it required a number of cuts and fills. Some of the minor cuts have been filled in to grow a few more stalks of corn or soy bean sprouts and other sections have been “utilized “ in various ways (see pictures). It is hard to imagine that this was once 97 mph track and served once as the route of the “Pacific Limited”, a Chicago – San Francisco run operated by the Milwaukee, SP and UP. This train met its demise in the Great Depression and was later replaced by the daytime “Midwest Hi” and the overnight train “Arrow”. Both of these trains were discontinued when UP “chose” in 1955 to have their “City” streamliners forwarded from Omaha to Chicago by the Milwaukee Road instead of the Chicago and Northwestern. The Milwaukee hoped to get a larger share of the freight forwarding business as well, but that did not materialize. Instead it sold out its soul, when it dropped its distinctive orange and maroon paint scheme from its Hiawathas in favor of the dreadful armour yellow to match the UP streamliners. Passenger Trains over this line ended on Amtrak day with the exception of occasional detours. Amtrak used the former Burlington route for its California Zephyr and does so to this day

A section to be used as a future bike trail maybe?? There are quite a few telegraph poles left along the former right of way near Elberon, IA as seen from SR 21.

The old bridge supports halfway hidden underneath trees at the entrance of Elberon indicate that this was once a double tracked line.

You decide: An attempt by the local farmers to convert the old road bed into a fishing pond (not sure I would try the fish) or a local dump?

During the 70s the condition of the track continued to deteriorate and got so bad that in late 1978 all thru traffic was detoured over the Chicago and Northwestern between Clinton and Tama before the entire line between Green Island and Slater was abandoned in 1980, the same year Lines West were shut down west of Miles City, MN. By the end of 1982, all track had been removed and Nature (including humans) started taking over the ROW. A “reforested” section of the right of way near van Horne, IA. It could be very useful as a windbreak to minimize soil erosion, however, it is oriented in the same direction as the prevailing winds, defeating the purpose.

It’s easy to tell where the railroad once passed through the little towns on the way. This picture was taken in Adkins, IA.

About 120 miles further north the Milwaukee road operated another east west line, which ran pretty much parallel to the main line across central Iowa and was known as the Northern IowaDakota line out of the Mississippi River valley. It connected Marquette with Mason City and Sheldon in Iowa, continued on to Mitchell, SD and terminated in Rapid City. This line was an extension of a line a line across Wisconsin from Milwaukee through Madison to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River.

Hiawathas no more, only private traffic to a barn at the far end near Keystone, IA.

Westbound ICE freight (114 cars) from Marquette to Mason City accelerates at the top of Monona Hill after climbing out of the Mississippi River valley.

At this location the Milwaukee built its first bridge crossing the Mississippi. Unlike other bridges crossing the river, which were either swing or lift bridges, this one had a pontoon section. If the bridge needed to be opened to let river traffic through, the pontoon section could be swung to the side. This bridge was in operation until 1961, when ninety years of age and an Army Corps of Engineers project on the river doomed the bridge. It was dismantled and trains no longer cross the river at this location. From its beginning, Marquette had developed at one point into the largest railroad facility in the state of Iowa – at least that’s what is claimed at the local railroad museum. There was a large yard together with a 25 stall roundhouse, coaling facilities and shops not much of all that is left. The rail line through Marquette was home to the passenger trains “Sioux” and the “Marquette”. The former was a daytime connection between Chicago and Sioux Falls with a sleeper to Rapid City, the latter an overnight train providing Pullman service

Switching in Marquette Yard – or what’s left of it that is!

A good ol' rib side box car built in Milwaukee's own shops and with both the Milwaukee lettering and herald still faintly visible. Probably hasn’t moved for month's or even years. I saw it two months apart at the same spot in Calmar, IA.

The former Milwaukee Depot in Calmar, IA, now a restaurant.

From left to right: (Ex-) Milwaukee track in good shape (Northern Iowa line near Castalia, IA), badly in need of alignment (Calmar, IA), now in service as a bike trail courtesy of the Rails-to-Trails program (former Calmar, IA to Austin, MN connector, abandoned in 1982), Telegraph poles that still carry nicely stretched wires, although no longer in use (location not disclosed to keep them out of the hands of certain collectors).

between Chicago and Mason City. Both trains offered a connection form Calmar to Minneapolis. Those services, however, were discontinued in the early 50s. A lot the local railroad history is explained and on display at the local museum. The depot building housing the museum, however, is not the original, which was torn down in 1963. The replacement structure, however, is an old Milwaukee depot building from across the river in Blue River, Wisconsin and was moved into town by truck in 1996 and beautifully restored. It houses an impressive collection of Railroad artifacts and bits of local history – most definitely worth a visit. The Northern Iowa line is still mostly intact and in operation, although the Dakota and Iowa portions are no longer connected with each other. The section between Sheldon, IA and Canton, SD has been abandoned and the track removed. On the South Dakota side the track is mostly still in place, but not operated on at present. There is plenty of train traffic through Marquette along the Mississippi River and up Monona Hill into interior of Iowa. The track is now owned and operated by ICE and might soon be again in the hands of the Canadian Pacific, should the DME/ICE purchase be finalized. Ironically former CP subsidiary Soo Line spun off all the trackage that is currently operated by the ICE in the late 80s. Second Part follows.

ICE freight with ex CP engine in the lead passing through Monona, IA on ex Milwaukee track.


TP&W 508 at the Wheels O' Time Transportation Museum, Dunlap, IL. Photo by Ed Sanders and used with permission. CORRECTION: The location of last month's caboose was incorretly shown as Yuma, Arizona. The actual location was Yuma, COLORADO.

Meeting Schedule November 12 , 2007 December 10, 2007 Meetings are the 2nd Monday of each month in the White Station Branch Library from 7-9 pm. 5094 Poplar Avenue Memphis, TN (in front of Clark Tower)

Contact the Editor Tom Parker 3012 Wood Thrush Drive Memphis, TN 38134

THE MEMPHIS BUFF welcomes contributions for publication. Copyrighted materials must contain the source. Original documents and photos are preferred for clarity. Enclose a SASE for the return of your materials. Articles sent via the Internet should be in Microsoft Word format. Photos should be JPEG files @ 72 dpi and at least 800x600 size. Consideration for a cover photo would require a much higher resolution. THE MEMPHIS BUFF is a not-for-profit publication for the Memphis Chapter of the NRHS. All credited photos herein are copyright by the photographer and may not be reused without permission.

November 2007 Memphis Buff  

llinois Central's Paducah Shop Paducah Picture Gallery Searching For the Remnants of the Milwaukee Road (Part I) Moving Roc...

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