Covering the Midwest: Entertainment City, Mason City, Twin Cities, and Quad Cities is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Steam Chaser
On July 14th, I made a trip to Branson, MO, with some family members on Vacation. While I was there, I was able to shoot the unique Branson Scenic Railway, a tourist operation operating out of the downtown Branson area. Most of these shots are from nearby Hollister, but the last shot is the Branson depot.

GP30 in Hollister by stlgevo51, on Flickr
F9PH in Hollister by stlgevo51, on Flickr

BSRX 99 by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Hollister Depot by stlgevo51, on Flickr
F9PH at the Station by stlgevo51, on Flickr


Steam Chaser
Immediately when I got back home, we got in another car and went north. We needed to be in St. Paul the next day at noon, so we had a long drive. However, our trip was productive, as we stayed in Mason City, IA, for the night. Mason City is home to the Iowa Traction Railroad, one of the last electric freight operations in the country.

That night, I took some night shots near the AGP plant in Mason City.
Iowa Traction Steeplecabs by stlgevo51, on Flickr
IATR 54 and the Moon by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Electricity and Industry by stlgevo51, on Flickr
The next day, we got up and saw that the IATR was moving. We chased it to their yard where we watched them switch a little, but we had to get moving towards Minnesota.
Catenary Cave by stlgevo51, on Flickr
IATR 51 Near the Shops by stlgevo51, on Flickr


Steam Chaser
Twin Cities

We didn't get to do much railfanning in the Twin Cities, but I did some. The first two shots are from the CP near the Ford Plant. The first shot has a SOO GP38-2, which is rare for me.

CP and SOO by stlgevo51, on Flickr

Pulling From the Ford Plant by stlgevo51, on Flickr
We also swung by the Minnesota Commercial. The MC has some really cool power, and not an EMD in sight! All operations are carried out by old GEs, ALCOs, and MLWs!

Cool Power by stlgevo51, on Flickr

T-2, an Oddball by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Minnesota Commercial 75 by stlgevo51, on Flickr


Steam Chaser
Quad Cities-Trainfestival2011: Day 1

We departed the Twin Cities and headed for the Quad Cities and Trainfestival2011. That Friday, I chased the NKP 765 to Bureau and back. We took a break in midday, but we were back for the sunny afternoon run as the Nickel Plate Berkshire returned to the festival.

A Nice Way to Start by stlgevo51, on Flickr

765: East Moline by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Blasting throught colona by stlgevo51, on Flickr
The Sun is out at Mineral by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Blasting Off in Atkinson by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Rock River Bridge and Steam by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Slowing for the Quad Cities by stlgevo51, on Flickr

NKP 765 by stlgevo51, on Flickr

Stopping Traffic by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Almost There! by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Smokin' by stlgevo51, on Flickr


Steam Chaser
Quad Cities-Trainfestival2011: Day 2

Saturday brought more steam as we attempted to chase the 6988 on its trip to Iowa City. We failed miserably, only ending up with 1 shot. We chased the Walcott excursion from Davenport to Walcott and back before getting some lunch. Our last shots from the trip are of the 7081 leading the second Walcott excursion westbound.

IAIS Rock Island Heritage Unit by stlgevo51, on Flickr

Dumb Cars by stlgevo51, on Flickr
IAIS 6988 over Government Bridge by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Starting Off on the Right Track by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Not Quite a "Santa Fe" by stlgevo51, on Flickr

All You Can Eat by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Backing to the Quad Cities by stlgevo51, on Flickr
One Last Shot by stlgevo51, on Flickr
Bringing up the Rear by stlgevo51, on Flickr


Steam Chaser

I will add Videos as I edit them. Here's the first one, the NKP 765 chase:

Looking back, I wish I would have had more time in the Quad Cities to go to the festival. I wanted to see the engines on display there. Also, we have to go back to the Twin Cities often, so although the stay wasn't great this time, next time I will have a better understanding of where the rail action is. I need to get back to the MC to get some better shots of the rare power!

Thanks for looking!


Active Member
Awesome Shots stlgevo51! Really good stuff! That second to last shot is probably my favorite with the smoke between the trees!


Steam Chaser
Thanks guys! I really like the IATR too!

Brad- I liked that shot as well! Something about a smokey steam engine is always cool to see. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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