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Hay all,
I turned 50 in November and am catching railfan fever again after raising a family for the past 20 years. We live in Ladd, Il and the backyard borders Illinois Railnets' LaSalle-Zearing branch (ex-BN). The current power on the daily (M-F) run is original GP20 demostrator Great Western Railway 5625.

I've dug out my 1988-early 90's VHS tapes of my railfanning trips. I lived in Nelson, Illinois previously. C&NW's SI line diverged there and I have lots of action under the coaling tower. The business train (w/ F-units till '90 then GP50's) would come out from Chicago at least once a month, turn on the wye and highball back.

Of course this was just before ditch lights and safety cabs and I did catch several cabooses.

The Soo Line from Bensonville to the Quad Cities was my fav out-of-town road. Lots of pacing from the open sunroof on my '85 Mustang.

We visited Streator when it was still Santa Fe and the Southwest Chief still stopped.

Street running in Dixon and on the Soo in Iowa.

Anyway, I'm in the process of editing and dubbing to DVD. I have some short excerpts on YouTube and am adding more every week.



During the 4 years I was most active, I made a compilation video (VHS) to give to the railfans who were along on the trips. Only 5 or 6 of those were ever made, but I want to find the master tapes and edit with maps, titles, narration etc. There are 5 DVD copies of the 89 master avail on eBay- heres the description of that DVD as told to my wife as we were watching it;

C&NW double stack under coaling tower, Nelson IL (winter)-C&NW near Nelson pacing-switch tracks at Dixon in snow- BN meet at Carter siding near Polo, Il including CNJ coach and trailing Santa Fe unit.

Hobart OK, 2 Farmrail jeeps parked-CRI&P depot with a box car on display-Old GE switcher-Hollis & Eastern CF7 with lumber train- Old Hollis & Eastern GE switcher #100-BN traffic at Rock River bridge at Oregon IL- LMX sharks- intermodal- C&NW Rock River Sterling from Rock Falls side leased high nose NW units

LaGrange EMD 75th Anniversary open house.

C&NW Nelson IL- Southern Illinois (SI) lead #892 and $6892 checking engines for cab control before going on to main line- Meeting #6860, #6835, #4612 (ex-Rock Island jeep)- Southbound highballs with C&NW bay window caboose.

C&NW executive F units biz train Nelson IL- Day/Night MARS light- track inspection lights. Slow run-by under coal tower coming into wye. Spectacular sequence on land bridge, Sterling IL meeting mixed freight.

Detouring Amtrak near Nelson IL, Thanksgiving Day 1989- C&NW and BN over/under near Fulton IL. Conrail run throughs.

Streator IL, SF coming off Conrail from East. SF F45- Kodachrome unit- Run through executive cars on piggy back train Southwest Chief station stop at Streator- Conrail coil train westbound at diamonds. SantaFe GP 30 and AT&SF cupola caboose.

Freeport/Rockford CC&P – local job with ex-MILW units. Roadfreight ex-IC units, including 2 black high nose jeeps- Wigwags! New red units with black and yellow caboose. Haley’s Comet- 17 engines pulling into fuel bay at Freeport Yard.

Nelson IL, C&NW more under coaling tower (fall/winter).

BN Mississippi River meet at Mississippi Palisades (fall foliage) Tiger stripe (orange & black) unit.

Wisconsin & Calumet F units, excursions, to Zenda Wi and back. Units 106 & 901. Baggage, 2 coaches, push pull, pacing from sun roof in my 85 Mustang –

C&NW more at Nelson (dusk).

BN East Dubuque meet.

BN fall foliage multiple meets on the siding on the hill just east of Savanna

Quad City Rocket “hot dog” excursion- weekend afternoon version of a dinner train- CF7- ex-C&O observation car on IAIS in Iowa -Scenes from observation car crossing Mississippi River- Chasing Eastbound SOO freight, Clinton to Leaf River. 3 hour chase. Includes Southern Pacific & Rio Grande cabooses. Crossing Mississippi at Sabula IL- coming out of Mississippi River valley at Savanna IL. #772 CP Red, 2 trailing units in red & white.

Any comments appreciated!!

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New Member
That's Great stuff man that brings back a lot memories. That horn on the "F" Unit I remember sitting in Rochelle before we had cell phones,Internet atcs monitor all we had if we were lucky was a scanner. But that horn when we heard that the hearts started racing. The stuff we got tired of seeing I wish we had back but who would of thought a lot of the units are gone:(. That when I was 15,16 17 years old. Got married at 21 and did not get back into it until I was 38 years old Boy did I miss a lot. 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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