The Monticello Railway Museum is located off Exit 166 on the
I-72 at Iron Horse Place in Monticello, IL. It's about a twenty-five minute drive from Champaign, IL, or fifty minutes from Bloomington, IL.
The museum was founded in 1966 as "SPUR, Inc" (Society for
the Perpetuation of Unretired Railfans, Inc) with the goal of encouraging the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad to continue operating its steam-powered railfan excursions. When that failed, the organisation began to search for equipment and
a suitable location to operate its own steam excursions. In 1969,
it was invited to Monticello by the Illinois Pioneer Heritage
Center and moved its first piece of equipment, 1925 Alco 0-4-0T #1, to a vacant lot near the Center. The organisation changed its name in 1970 to the Monticello & Sangamon Valley Railway Historical Society, Inc., and then shortened it in 1982 to its present name.
The museum has continued to grow over the years, and it now has over one hundred pieces of railroad equipment in its collection, including several restored diesel locomotives. Unfortunately, when we visited, there was very little on display.
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Above, Nelson's Crossing Depot was donated to the museum in 1977. It is an ex Illinois Central depot building formerly located in Deland, IL. Built in 1919 and rebuilt in 1942, it was moved to the museum in 1980 and functions as a ticket office and gift shop.
The museum operates excursion trains from Nelson's Crossing to downtown Monticello's historic Wabash Railroad depot from May to October and on public holidays. For a donation, visitors can also operate one of the locomotives during the "Throttle Time" programme.
Built as #3 by Alco in 1916 for the Central Steel Co., of Massilion, OH, (later Republic Steel Corp.,) this 0-6-0 is a typical example of an early twentieth century American switcher. It was renumbered #191 in 1940.
After fifty years working at Massilion, it was sold to the dealer Preston Duffy & Son in Columbus, OH, then to J. David Conrad of Columbus, OH, in 1969 and, finally, to the museum that same year. #191 arrived at Monticello in 1971 and, after receiving an overhaul, it operated at the museum from October 1972 until 1987.
The 0-6-0 dominated switching duties on US railroads right up to WWI, although increasingly heavy freight loads had already brought more orders for 0-8-0s. After WWI, the success of the USRA 0-8-0 design resulted in a reduction in demand for 0-6-0s. Although orders did continue right into the 1940s, 0-6-0s were generally used on lighter duties and in smaller yards.
#191 is a coal burner weighing 158,000 lbs. It has 51" drivers and 21" x 26" cylinders. Operating at a boiler pressure of 180 psi, it delivered 28,800 lbs tractive effort.
This Ten Wheeler (4-6-0) type locomotive was built as #303 by Baldwin in 1916 for the Mississippi Eastern Railway Co., in Quitman, MS. The railroad was chartered in 1903 to haul lumber felled from tracts of timber in Eastern Mississippi owned by the Mississippi Lumber Co. By October 1933, however, most of the timber had been cleared.
The sawmill at Quitman shut down and the logging railroads were removed. After eighteen years at the Mississippi Eastern, the locomotive then began a long, drawn out odyssey through the Southern, Eastern and Mid-Western US.
In 1934, #303 was sold to the dealer Birmingham Rail & Equipment Co., and then resold to the Lancaster & Chester Railway Co., in Lancaster, SC, as #32. In 1946, it was bought by the Hampton & Branchville Railroad also in Lancaster, SC, before being sold to Byron Andrews in 1963 to operate excursions as York Southern #1 on Maryland & Pennsylvania trackage out of York, PA.
Left, the tender still bears the number "ONE", although the locomotive did not steam again (it's possible it had a defective boiler), and Andrews ran services from 1962-63 using leased M&P diesels.
George Hart's Rail Tours took over the running of excursions on the M&P in 1964, and Andrews' equipment, including #32, went into storage.
#32 was then sold through a court sale in 1968 to Leveran & Sons Scrap Yards in York, PA, who, in turn, sold it to Richard Jensen of Chicago, IL, in 1970. It was finally sold to William Latham of Rockford, IL, in July 1986, who donated it to the museum in 2000.
#32 weighs 135,000 lbs and has 56" drivers and 19" x 26" cylinders. Operating at a boiler pressure of 180 psi, it delivered 25,640 lbs tractive effort.
FPA-4 #6789 was built in 1959 by the Montreal Locomotive Works. It is one of Alco's FA series designed to haul freight.
The units were built by an Alco/GE partnership in Schenectady, NY, from 1946 to 1959. Both A and cabless B models (FB) were produced.
Three different classes were built. The FA-1/FB-1, with a 1,500 hp rating, was built from 1946 to 1950 with a 1,600 hp version produced in 1950. The 1,600
hp FA-2/FB-2, along with a dual service FPA-2/FPB-2 equipped with a steam generator for heating passenger cars was built from 1950 to 1956. The 1,800 hp FPA-4/FPB-4, with a 251V-12 prime mover was built from 1958 to 1959 by MLW.
#6789 retired in 1989 and was acquired in 1994 by a private owner. It is 54' long and weighs 241,700 lbs. Delivering 53,000 lbs tractive effort at 11 mph, it has a top speed of 92 mph.
NW2 #1649 was built for the Milwaukee Road by EMD in 1947.
An EMD 12-567 prime mover powers a GM D15C generator to drive four GM-D37 traction motors. The 248,000 lb NW2 developed 31,000 lbs continuous tractive effort at 11 mph with a top speed of 65 mph.
One thousand, one hundred and forty-five NW2s were built from 1939 to 1949, one thousand, one hundred and twenty-one for US railroads and twenty-four for Canadian.
You can see MP NW2 #81 on the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum Yard page of this website.
We got just a few head end shots of Illinois Central #6071 standing near the engine shed. It was the first of nine SD40s produced by EMD between 1964 and 1965 to test the company's new 645 prime mover. Built as EMD SD40X #434 (like Union Pacific's DDA40X, the "X" stands for experimental), it rides on an SD35 frame.
In 1966, EMD updated its catalogue with the new SD40 production models powered by the 645 prime mover. #434 was later sold to the Gulf Mobile & Ohio as #950, and then to the IC as #6071. It was donated in 2000 by Canadian National, who took control of the IC in 1998.
This unit was built by EMD as GP9 #9386, part of the last order of GP9s bought by the IC in 1958. It was rebuilt in 1980 as GP11 #8733 at the IC's Paducah Shops in Kentucky, one of fifty-three of various GP7, GP9 and GP18 units rebuilt between 1978 and 1981. Internally they had Dash 2 solid state electrical equipment.
Most GP11s were retired before CN's purchase of the IC, although many still operate on shortlines or are preserved. #8733 has been restored by the museum and, as seen here, hauls passenger trains on its line.
This RS-3 was built by Alco as #1559 for the Long Island Railroad, one of ten delivered in 1955 (#1551-#1560). When the Gettysburg Railroad bought it, they renumbered it #301, and later sold it to the Maryland Midland Railroad. When we visited, the unit was painted as Illinois Central #704 for the railroad's 150th anniversary in 2011.
One thousand, two hundred and sixty-five
RS-3s were built for US railroads, ten for Mexico, forty-eight for Brazil, six for Cuba and five for Algeria. Ninety-eight were built for Canadian railroads by Montreal Locomotive Works. With an Alco 4-cycle Model 244 V12 prime mover powering a GE 581 generator to drive four GE 752 traction motors, they delivered 52,500 lbs continuous tractive effort at 10 mph with a top speed of 65 mph.
Long Island RS-3 #1555 is on the Gold Coast Railroad Museum page of this website. RDG RS-3 #467 is on the Steamtown Yard, NN RS-3 #109 on the Northern Nevada Railroad Museum, WM RS-3 #195 on the B&O Museum Yard & Car Shop and NW RS-3 #300 on the Virginia Museum of Transportation page.
#9838 started life as an Alco RS-3, although I haven't been able to identify the original unit. It was rebuilt as a slug by the Southern Railway in 1977, reclassified as an RP-A4U and later became NS #948. The Southern built seven RP-A4U slugs (#9835-#9841) in 1977, renumbered #945-#951 when they joined Norfolk Southern in 1982. They were all retired in 2000.
A slug has motors, but these are fed from a coupled locomotive (usually referred to as "the mother"). It thereby produced additional tractive effort without the cost of another power plant.
Built in 1940 for Morrell Meat Packing in Ottumwa, IA, as #2301, this is one of only seven 44 toners of this type built by the Davenport Locomotive Co., in Davenport, IA. Powered by two 6 cylinder 150 hp Cummins diesel engines. It was sold to Lincoln Sand & Gravel, in Lincoln, IL, and renumbered #44. Donated to the museum in 1975, it was used there until the early 1990s but is currently not operational.
You can see another Davenport 44 tonner, USA #1216 on the Ogden Union Station page of this website.
Industrial Brownhoist, Bay City, MI, built this 30 ton lift, oil-fired steam crane for Bates & Rogers Construction of Chicago, IL. It is coupled to GMO Flat Car #70528.
You can see more Industrial Works and Industrial Brownhoist cranes on the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Yard page of this website, the B&O Railroad Museum Yard & Car Shop, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, Nevada Northern Railroad Museum, Ogden Union Station, Lake Superior Railroad Museum and Gold Coast Railroad Museum pages.