With 12 incredible days of steam action and some of the hottest days in the US Midwest since the 1930’s, we could not think of a better name for our 3 Volume Steamin’ Summer video project.
Volume 1 - Two Chapters - 91 minutes
Little River Railroad #110 / Celebrating 100 Years - Little River Railroad in Coldwater, Michigan threw an impressive three-day party for their 100 year old locomotive. Three visiting tank engines, Viscose Company #6, Flagg Coal #75, and (making its debut) Lehigh Valley Coal #126 were the guests of honor. Little River Railroad #1, also a tank engine, made for a total of five steam engines.
The first two days featured four daily trips between Coldwater and Quincy each pulled by one of the tank engines, and a longer trip to Hillsdale, Michigan pulled by #110. On the third day, all five engines teamed up to power two spectacular Quincy trips. We cover it all!
Tank Engines to Rock Island - following their visit to Little River Railroad, all three visiting tank engines needed to go to the four-day Rock Island Train Festival. This programs shows how the engines are carefully loaded on special trucks and shipped as heavy loads over the highway.
Volume 2 - Four Chapters - 80 minutes
QJs to Rock Island - Iowa Interstate Railroad’s two Chinese QJs traveled to the festival as a double-header, the first day with a passenger consist from Newton to Iowa City. The next day they brought a record-setting 55 car freight train to Rock Island. We get the first look at QJ 6988 after mostly cosmetic changes and a new whistle made it appear and sound more like a North American steam locomotive.
NKP 765 to Rock Island - we cover a portion of Nickel Plate 765‘s journey across Indiana on the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway. The scorching heat actually caused the entire railroad to shut down for part of the day.
Silver Creek & Stephenson - the Freeport, Illinois operating railroad museum conveniently scheduled a Photographer’s Special between the events at Little River Railroad and the Rock Island Train Festival. Great steam action provided by a 1912 Heisler, plus a Brookville “critter” and antique cars and trucks.
Rock Island Train Festival - Days 1 & 2 - This one-time event brought together 7 steam locomotives, historic and modern diesels and more to a Mississippi River site in Rock Island, Illinois. The festival featured daily steam trips to Walcott, Iowa and all-day trips to other destinations pulled by steam and diesel. This chapter features Day 1 Walcott trips pulled by NKP 765 and QJ 6988 from onboard and trackside, and the all-day Bureau, Illinois excursion with 765 on Day 2. We also capture the excitement on the festival grounds both during the day and after hours, and a cab ride in 765.
Volume 3 - Four Chapters - 87 minutes
Rock Island Train Festival - Days 3 & 4 - This one-time event brought together 7 steam locomotives, historic and modern diesels and more to a Mississippi River site in Rock Island, Illinois. The festival featured daily steam trips to Walcott, Iowa and all-day trips to other destinations pulled by steam and diesel. This chapter features QJ 6988 with an all-day run to Iowa City and QJ 7081 on two Walcott, Iowa trips on Day 3. Day 4 coverage begins with the historic diesel-powered Nebraska Zephyr train-set on an all-day journey to Bureau Junction, Illinois and the afternoon Walcott trip. Festival ground action includes late Day 4 locomotive movements as trains are made up for journeys home for 765 and the QJs.
765 Travels Home - we spend the day with the beautiful Lima as it travels across Illinois to Logansport, Indiana with its passenger consist. The scenery is great and the locomotive and crew puts on a great show!
The QJs Return to Newton, Iowa - we take you on a high speed chase across Iowa as the QJs double-head home carrying two Iowa Interstate business cars and a short freight train following the Festival.
Steam at Monticello - we visited the Monticello Railway Museum on a warm August weekend. We came to see Southern 401, a 2-8-0 built in 1907. On display at the museum since 1971, it returned to steam in 2010 and operates one weekend per month. The museum has a HUGE collection of operating diesels, freight and passenger cars, and a lot of track to on which to operate.