Live Blogging from the Rock Island Rail Road

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sat, 07/23/2011 - 11:08.

 

As the Chinese built QJ6988 steam locomotive is pushing backwards towards the switch which will allow the train to then head west past the Rock Island Arsenal - I am posting live via a hot spot.  More soon

As the Chinese built QJ6988 steam locomotive is pushing backwards towards the switch which will allow the train to then head west past the Rock Island Arsenal - I am posting live via a hot spot.  More soon  >TrainFestival2011.com has the details about the sold out event.  There are visitors from around the US here for the 3 day event. This morning the locomotive on the left in the image above pulled 17 cars from Rock Island to Iowa City, Iowa with 700 passengers on board. Running through spectacular farm land - with soy beans and corn, corn, corn - at about 50mph sends shivers down your spine.   Very exhilarating. Lunch is coming, more later.  

The 2 Amtrak  locomotives provide the electricity to operate the air conditioning compressors in the passenger cars - also, they are along for support in the event there is a mechanical problem with the steam locomotive.  The Amtrak locos also help on a few inclines.   Each Amtrak has about 4,500 HP.  The track we are riding is a "short line" - the large railroad corporations have abandoned these "short lines" and smaller, start up rail roads are operating them around the US.

Rock Island RR went bankrupt back a few years and the assets were purchased by and individual who then took on the business under the name Iowa Interstate RR.  The tourist steam train is running on the IIRR track at 45mph.   The gentleman who owns the line is on board.   

The world of steam train enthusiasts is intense.   

Lunch was chicken...more soon

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Shapes of trains

I love the shapes of early modern trains.