While ARRC Members Did Steam in the Valley . . .

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 . . . I was out in Illinois photographing a Chinese steam engine.

We came across this excursion by shear dumb luck. We had departed Galesburg that morning and were working our way back up to Interstate 80 for a fast ride home.

We picked up Route 6 near Sheffield. The Iowa Interstate (ex-Rock Island) main crosses the IAIS just east of town.

As we crossed the tracks we noticed a light way off in the distance. We thought it to be some good luck that we noticed the light and would be able to photograph a westbound IAIS freight. We turned around and went into “downtown” Sheffield where we noticed some tents and food vendors set up.

We inquired about the fair going on and were told there wasn’t any fair but the steam special was due in.

In short order IAIS Chinese-built (1986) QJ No.7081 rolled into town and stopped to unload passengers.

The trips were short, running from Tiskilwa to Sheffield and return. We did some shots while they serviced the QJ and took a few detail photos.

GP38-2 No. 707 was on the east end of the train and would lead back to Tiskilwa. We followed the train back east for a shot or two south of Wyanet, but as time was running short for us (I had to work the next morning) we elected to give up the chase and roll toward home.

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

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Cruising along the East Branch of the Hennepin Canal near Wyanet. That's Lock 17 off to the right if I remember correctly.

Cruising along the East Branch of the Hennepin Canal near Wyanet. That’s Lock 17 off to the right if I remember correctly.

A "going away" shot I while some fans take photos.

A “going away” shot I while some fans take photos.

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