32nd Annual Meet to be held in Litchfield, IL on April 28, 2017

Before you know it, another year rolls by and it is time to start making plans for attending the 32nd Illinois Traction Society Annual Meet, which will be held in Litchfield Illinois, the site of multiple events. IT fans Mike Schafer and Litchfield local, Lonnie Bathurst, will be your hosts to welcome you to another excursion of exploring the Illinois Terminal.  This annual event will be held at the Litchfield Community Center, 1100 South State, Litchfield, Illinois, (217) 413 6605

Our informal evening get-together will be held at 6 PM, Friday, April 27th at the historic Ariston Café, 413 North Historical Old Route 66, Litchfield at the time of your choice. (reservations accepted for tables of 5 or more – ( 217 ) 324 2023).

Beginning at 8:30 PM, THE Film Festival returns and will be held in the meeting room of the Holiday Inn Express. Pizza and cocktails will be available.

On Saturday, April 28th, there will be several overlapping events to enjoy.  From 9:30 AM till 3 PM: The railroad memorabilia swap meet will be held at the Litchfield Community Center, 1100 South State, Litchfield, (217) 413 6605 and offer a variety of items for sale or trade, appealing to both collector and modeler.

From 8:30 till 10:00 AM: The Litchfield Train Group, ( as featured in historic RMC July – October 2014 issue ) located at 510 North State St., (side door of the Ameriprise Building) will be open for viewing and operating.

At 10:30 AM and at 1:30 PM : A deluxe elegant tour bus will follow a narrated tour of the IT’s Hillsboro line between Staunton and Hillsboro. Boarding will be at the Community Center and advanced reservation required.

At a time to be determined...  Noted rail photographer and author Mike Schafer will present the clinic of ?????? in the meeting room of the Community Center.

At 4:00 PM the Illini Terminal Railroad will present a photo opportunity with engine 1604 conducting run-by photography opportunities and a staged scene at Rt. 66 with a 1957 Chevrolet staged on the highway with the locomotive in the crossing.

The annual social hour will be held at 5 PM and dinner will be served promptly at 6 PM. The evening dinner will consist of Prime Rib Beef, Fried Chicken, Tortellini with Cheese, Twice-Baked Potato, Salad, Green Beans, Dessert, and Tea, Coffee, or Lemonade  The cost of the dinner will be $27.00.

After dinner the State of Society report will be given followed by the evening program of a multi-media presentation by Mike Schafer entitled “????”.

At 11:00 AM Sunday - Just a suggestion for those who linger in Litchfield on mid-Sunday morning… The Ariston Café’ has a wonderful brunch that you might find worth staying around to please your palate.

This is an event you will not want to miss.  We look forward to seeing you in Litchfield!

Reservations required no later than April 16, 2018.

> Meet Itinerary and Reservation Form <

New Resources To Be Available Soon

The internet has proven to be a great source of information for conducting railroad research as well as a means of communication for Illinois Traction Society members.

To further enhance this channel of information, the society website will add additional links that will feature access to useful information to both the modeler and historian.  The Register of Freight Equipment details the freight and work equipment rosters of steam, electric, and diesel eras. Information details the car series, builder dates, length, Capacity, car data , and assignment.  The Roster of Stations is an entire system list of stations by division and an alphabetically listed section. The roster lists the station distance, and information about most locations. In addition, there will also a roster of sub stations, interlockers and block signals. The Plat Maps are a complete set of 1927 system blueprint maps showing distances from each siding of the Electric Division.

Publication Schedule

The 2017 ITS Monthly Wall Calendar is currently available.
The Spring 2017 issue of The Flyer is due out April 1st, 2017.

On The Property

February 2017
The former IT Freighthouse is showing its age with structural issues on the east side of the building. It is reported that the building may be demolished as the roof has collapsed.

December 2015
The Springfield passenger station located on Clear Lake Ave. was deemed a structurally unsafe building and torn down.  This beautiful, two-story yellow brick building was also the offices for the Electric Division housing the General Superintendent, Trainmaster, Electric Superintendent, Manager of Passenger Traffic, dispatchers and support staff.  The attached freight house is still in service being used by owner Henson Robinson Co. as a warehouse.  Although the stone oval emblem near the top of the roof line could not be saved, the “OFFICE ENTRANCE” stone over the office entry was saved and is now on display at the Chatham Railway Museum, Chatham, Illinois.

June 2014
The I-74 interstate bridge that passed over the top of the IT Secondary (Ex-Pennsy Main) at Morton is being removed and the overpass filled in.

November 2013
St. Louis:
It has been 55 years since Illinois Terminal PCC cars would elegantly grace the St. Louis skyline gliding across the elevated structure en route to the subway leading the IT passenger station on 12th Street. The PCC’s would give way to an all-diesel freight operation ranging from an S-2 Alco to a pair of SW1200’s, to a lone switch engine delivering boxcars of newsprint to the lone customer under the subway. In 2004, even that would dissipate into an abandoned bridge with the rails removed. However, new life has been breathed into the elevated structure under the direction of the Great Rivers Greenway District, which in 2005 purchased the 1.5 mile structure and right of way. The projected plan is to convert the structure into a linear public park and greenway and walking/biking trail. The trestle project begins at Branch Street where it will connect with the Riverfront Trail and the existing McKinley Bridge Bikeway. The “Trestle” is elevated above North Market Street adjacent to Produce Row and continues over Intersate70 and terminating at ground level at the intersection of Howard and Hadley streets. Efforts are underway to identify a bicycle and pedestrian path that would connects the Trestle at Howard and Hadley streets. In the summer of 2012 work got underway to paint a segment of the structure over Interstate 70.

For a June 2002 cab ride over the elevated courtesy of Kent Kloos and Scott Nauert go to

June 2013
A new Sam's Club, under construction at the former Cottonwood station, has uncovered the supports for a former water tank.  The foundation is being cleared and no other information is available.

January 2012
Springfield: The former passenger station at 2015 Clear Lake Avenue has stood semi-vacant since the owner Henson Robinson Plumbing and Heating Co. moved out eight years ago. Since that time the building has been used as a warehouse (freight house section) and it has had “For Sale” signs on it. Recently, Henson Robinson Company has purchased the Petersburg Plumbing and Heating Company and the former station “will be revived”.

May 2011
St. Louis: Work is continuing on the former elevated structure, converted to a biking trail.  The Elevated Overhead Wire Supports are undergoing a transition to “beautify and make practical” uprights.  From the area south of Branch Street, the posts are retaining their original appearance.

Venice: The last remaining remnant of the Venice Highline of the steel structure over the KCS (GM&O) main line, adjacent to the Venice power plant, has been removed.

Edwardsville: As pictured on the 2011 Spring FLYER, page 25, the entire block pictured has been razed and replaced with all new office space.

Springfield: It has been confirmed that the Ridgley Substation (north side of Springfield) has been razed.

December 2010
Danville: An art project is underway in the downtown business district to paint murals on various buildings.  A mural featuring the Illinois Traction will be one of the projects, in addition to a C&EI RR mural.

St. Louis: Work is continuing on the former elevated structure, converted to a biking trail.  The Elevated Overhead Wire Supports are undergoing a transition to “beautify and make practical” uprights.  From the area south of Branch Street, the posts are retaining their original appearance.

June 2010
Springfield: The former Ridgley Substation, located on the north side of Springfield near the Sangamon River, has been sold to the adjacent landfill. The substation, a yellow buff brick, tile roof with center tower, served both the main line (Springfield-Peoria) and the “Smelter Line” which extended from the substation to Sangamon Avenue, Springfield.. The bay window faced the Smelter Line as this was originally planned to be the main line into Springfield. The building was purchased by Dr. James Woodruff with the intention of restoring the building into a museum. When he passed away, the plan went with him. It is reported that the substation will be covered over by the landfill.

St. Louis: Work has begun on filling in the IT’s subway between O’Fallon Street and Convention Plaza (Delmar Ave) with foam blocks. IT members in attendance to the 24th annual meet were the last group of IT enthusiasts to view this subway before this project began.

March 2010
The former ITS Depot at Carlinville, Illinois is undergoing an exterior renovation of tuck pointing, painting, signage and redoing the lighting.  The building is owned by the Body Depot Spa Salon.  To further preserve the interurban history of the depot and area, a wall is being dedicated to display old photos of people’s memories of the depot.  Anyone with photos of the Carlinville Depot they would like to share are welcome to call (217) 854-2175 or stop by.

Illinois Traction Society Presentations

One of the functions of the society is the “Preservation and Presentation of ITS History” which is accomplished by presenting custom tailored programs to various groups, free of charge. Here are some of the programs that were presented on behalf of the Society:

April 1-2, 2017 Lincoln Square Train Show-Urbana
April 6, 2017 St. Louis Chapter NRHS
April 8-9, 2017 Heartland Train Show-Normal
April 13, 2017 St. Louis Railroad Enthusiasts
May 18, 2017 Catlin Lions Club
June 21, 2017 Maroa Lions Club
June 23-24, 2017 St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet, Collinsville, Illinois
June 26, 2017 Mt. Pulaski Township Historical Society
December 3, 2016 Decatur, Macon County Historical Museum
October 25, 2016 Monticello, First Christian Church Young At Heart
August 24, 2016 Decatur, Kiwanis Golden K of Decatur
October 4, 2015 Chatham Railroad Museum “Railroad Day at the Museum”
September 26, 2015 St. Louis Museum of Transportation, “Go By Train at the Museum”
August 2-7, 2015 Logan County Fair, Lincoln, Illinois
October 1, 2014 The Lexington Group - St. Louis, Missouri
June 3, 2014 Piatt County Historical and Genealogical Society, Monticello, Illinois
May 15, 2014 The ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) Club, Decatur, Illinois
May-June 2014 issue
Illinois Heritage
Illinois Heritage Magazine, a publication of the Illinois State Historical Society has a feature article about the history of the Illinois Traction/Illinois Terminal Railroad in central Illinois and a promotional story of the Illinois Traction Society.
January 12, 2014 NMRA Illinois Valley Division-Midwest Region, Springfield, Illinois
April 20, 2013 NRHS - Atlanta Chapter, Atlanta, Georgia
March 18, 2013 NMRA - Gateway Division, Town & Country, Missouri
January 23, 2013 Maroa Rotary Club, Maroa, Illinois
March 24, 2012
Oglesby Mansion: History Comes Alive, "The Illinois Terminal and Decatur"
September 12, 2011 An ITS presentation was given to the Macoupin County Historical Society in Carlinville, Illinois.
August 2 thru 7, 2011 A continuously running power point presentation was on display at the Logan County Fair in Lincoln, Illinois. The space for the display and electronic equipment was furnished by ITS member Bob Metz and P&M Communications, Decatur, Illinois.
November 18, 2010 Decatur West End Neighborhood Association
November 1, 2010 Elwin Methodist Church Men's Group
July 31, 2010 Mackinaw Depot
March 16, 2010 Forsyth Rotary Club
February 17, 2010 Long Creek Township (Decatur) Senior Citizens
February 16, 2010 Sangamon County Historical Society
February 11, 2010 Menard County Historical Society
February 2, 2010 Decatur ladies Kiwanis

Norfolk Southern Debuts Illinois Terminal Heritage Unit

Norfolk Southern is honoring its predecessor railroads during 2012, its 30th anniversary year, by painting 20 new locomotives in commemorative schemes that reflect the heritage of those predecessors.

On June 26, 2012, NS 1072, an EMD SD70ACe, unit was released from the Progress Rail Services’ facility in Muncie, Ind. The heritage locomotives will be used to haul freight across Norfolk Southern’s 20,000-mile, 22-state network.  And, late on the evening of June 26, 2012 comes this photo.

Go to Norfolk Southern Corporation for further information on the Heritage Locomotive Fleet or the Heritage Locomotive Family Portrait.

ITS Brewster Green Paint Available

The Illinois Traction Society's stock of Brewster green paint is down to a count of sixteen 1oz. bottles remaining, and there are no plans to produce more when these are gone.  Our Brewster green paint was manufactured to be compatible to Badger Modelflex acrylics. It is the actual Brewster green color, which is very dark under typical layout conditions.  Mix in a few drops of Modelflex light gray or white with the BG to lighten up the color to achieve a faded, used look.  Each bottle is lovingly shaken (not stirred) by a little old ITS fan in his basement each month to assure the best in quality and freshness!  As a trivia aside to fans of the Old West, the majority of those wooden freight wagons were painted Brewster green with yellow wagon wheels.  We are set up to only accept checks or money orders at the moment - one bottle will be $9.00 (includes $2.50 s+h), made payable to Illinois Traction Society, and sent to:

Michael D. Fortney
ITS BG Paint
9089 Hardesty Run
Bloomington, IL 61705-6975

Illinois Terminal Motor Decals

Resin Car Works announces three new decal sets for Illinois Terminal motors. The sets are $6 each, including shipping.

Set IT001 is Dulux lettering for the Brewster Green car bodies of Class B & C motors.
Set IT002 is general black lettering for the orange car bodies of the Class B, C, and D motors.
Set IT003 is white lettering for the Apple Green car bodies of the Class B motors.

Color versions can be seen at the Resin Car Works site,  Go to the Decals & Parts page and scroll to the bottom for the IT decals.  An HO scale Class B motor kit is under development at Resin Car Works.  Production is not expected until 2017.

Tru-Color Paint

Over the last several years, a new paint manufacturer, Tru-Color Paint, has burst onto the modeling scene.  "Tru-Color Paint is a solvent based paint with an acrylic polymer used as the binding agent which adheres very well to plastic or metal models, when those models are properly prepared."  The company offers well over one hundred different colors in their line, including motive power, passenger, and freight car colors mixed to match those used by a particular railroad.  Of special interest to Illinois Terminal modelers are the following paints:

TCP-199 IT Freight Car Brown (1944-1960)
TCP-253 IT Mandarin Orange [sic] (electric era)
TCP-254 IT Terracotta [sic] (electric era)
TCP-303 IT Light Green (diesel era)
TCP-304 IT Yellow (diesel era)

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price per 1oz. bottle is $5.69 and is available from your favorite hobby shop (such as long-time Illinois Traction Society supporter Hobbyland, 616 N. Main St., Bloomington, IL 61701, 309-828-1442, ).

For more information, go to


The IT IN Miniature

February 2017
has announced the August 2017 release of a four set GP-7: green and yellow nose striped paint scheme (1969-1977) with cab script lettering and body block lettering. The HO models are equipped with DCC and sound and fully detailed. Unit 1501 (ATHG 64276) has the cab script lettering with black shading. Unit 1502 (ATHG 64277) has the cab script lettering with black shading and the offset IT on the body. Unit 1503 (ATHG 64278) has the cab script lettering with red shading and unit (ATHG 64279) has the yellow cab numbers and yellow block lettering on the body.

Bachmann Trains: has released the Norfolk Southern heritage Illinois Terminal SD70ACe locomotive.

January 2015
Updated the release of the 4650 Cu. Ft. Covered Hoppers in the May 1980 ADM logo and the November 1966 Tabor & Co, Decatur, Illinois logo.  Each model features a choice of six car numbers with etched metal roofwalks, sharp painting and lettering, and come equipped with metal wheelsets and kadee couplers. The HO models list for $37.95 and are tentatively due out September 2015.  The N scale models list for $24.95 and will released at a date to be determined.

ADM 4650 Cu Ft Covered Hopper 
Built:  NEW  5-80 
Car Numbers HO Scale Stock No N Scale Stock No
65002 47080-01 67080-01
65027 47080-02 67080-02
65042 47080-03 67080-03
65058 47080-04 67080-04
65071 47080-05 67080-05
65086 47080-06 67080-06
Tabor & Co. 4650 Cu Ft Covered Hopper 
Built:  NEW  11-66
Car Numbers HO Scale Stock No N Scale Stock No
46678 47081-01 67081-01
46683 47081-02 67081-02
46691 47081-03 67081-03
46704 47081-04 67081-04
46717 47081-05 67081-05
46722 47081-06 67081-06

November 2013
Unions Starch & Refining Co. red tank cars were a common sight in the 1940’s-1950’s as a part of the IT Peoria or Madison bound train consist, as well as being handled by the local switch engine in the Granite City area.  Intermountain Models is producing a set of six cars (GATX: (01)-22351, (02)- 22356, (03)-22364, (04)- 22367, (05)- 22370, (06)- 22375. The car is run in both HO and N and tentatively due out February 2014.

Union Starch & Refining Co. Tank Car Model 
ACF Type 27 Riveted 8,000 Gallon Tank Cars Features:  Sharp Painting and Lettering.
HO Models equipped with Metal Wheelsets and  Kadee® Couplers.

Note: The Terminal Railroad Association Historical & Technical Society has a history of this tank car in its 2010 issue, No. 70. The back issue (also featuring Mail at Union Station, St. Louis and Wabash photos in 140 pages) is available for $35.00 plus $4.00 for shipping. To order: TRRAH&TS, P.O.Box 1688, St. Louis, MO 63188-1688.
Built: NEW 5‑30
Car Numbers HO Scale Stock No N Scale Stock No
22351 46331-01 66331-01
22356 46331-02 66331-02
22364 46331-03 66331-03
22367 46331-04 66331-04
22370 46331-05 66331-05
22375 46331-06 66331-06

May 2013
Bluford Shops:
Pre-Orders are now open. For the first time, Bluford Shops is announcing new caboose runs simultaneously in HO and N. Many of the 16 new road names will be available in 2 road numbers (each sold separately.) Pre-orders for this group should remain open at least through mid-Summer but as usual we will send out a two week warning prior to closing the order books. First draft artwork is shown here using the HO car template and is subject to improvement by our development team. HO Caboose Features: Ready-to-run with Kadee couplers, wire grab irons and cut levers, metal wheels and appropriate trucks for the road name. N Caboose Features: Ready-To-Run with operating knuckle style couplers, wire grab irons, etched metal railings, and appropriate trucks for the road name. HO Caboose MSRP: $49.95. N Caboose MSRP: $36.95

For Illinois Terminal modelers, Bluford Shops is decorating their “Version 1” (short-body bay window all-steel) caboose. This should be a nice stand-in for the wood-bodied, steel bay window prototype. It will be available in 2 road numbers. HO Scale: 31090 Illinois Terminal #805; 31091 Illinois Terminal #804. N Scale: 21080 Illinois Terminal #805; 21081 Illinois Terminal #804. Several Illinois Terminal locomotive runs have been produced in both scales in recent years by multiple manufacturers.

For further information, see or contact Bluford Shops Sales Office: Ph. 618-822-6833 or Production Office: or their Mailing Address: Bluford Shops, P.O. Box 152, Bluford, IL 62814

June 2012
Intermountain: HO and N Scale: ITC Yellow & Red 4750 Cu Ft. covered hopper in six numbers to be released in December/January. HO list price of $31.95 and N list for $22.95. Reservations due by June 30, 2012.

45312 side view
45312 side view
45312 3/4 view
45312 3/4 view

HO and N Scale models of this 4750 Cu Ft Rib-Side Covered Hopper feature etched metal roof walks with sharp yellow and red painting with dark green lettering.
HO models equipped with metal wheel sets and Kadee® couplers.
N scale models equipped with Micro-Trains® trucks and couplers.

Note: For additional information, see "The ITC 100-ton P-S Covered Hopper" on page 4 in the Fall 1993 issue of The Flyer that also features "Block Signals: IT's Silent Sentries.

Built: NEW 12‑73
Car Numbers
HO Scale Stock No
N Scale Stock No
45312-14 65312-14
45312-15 65312-15
45312-16 65312-16
45312-17 65312-17
45312-18 65312-18

January 2012
Athearn: Is delivering the HO IT SW1500 in three roads numbers-December 2011. Script lettering on cab with “IT” on body. Athearn # 96721- IT 1509, # 96722-IT 1510 and # 96723-IT 1514. Each unit has a suggested retail price of $124.98.

Walthers: 56’-Thrall All Door boxcar IT 7811 # 9120-60604. The HO model is a yellow with green script lettering and expected delivery of December 2011 at a cost of $21.98 per unit.

Microscale: ITC 2nd Generation Locomotive Stripes decal sheet # 87-1355. The sheet of yellow nose/pilot stripes is $6.50.

Imperial Hobby Productions: HO ITC Double-ended PCC kit. Features a one-piece resin body shell with a details cast in place with super resilient wheel covers and dummy couplers. Plastic frame accepts Bowser’s # 125100 traction drive. The undecorated kit is #87169.

Shoreline Decals: IT PCC green and cream decals available in HO #-Illinois Terminal Railroad PCC. Cost $6.00.  For additional information or to order decals, contact Paul Mayer at

June 2010
Athearn: Announces the release of HO ready to Run SW1500 Norfolk Southern 2290. This unit is the former Illinois Terminal 1511. Athearn Number-ATH 96667 has a suggested retail price of $109.98.

Inter Mountain: Available November-December, Modified 1937 AAR Boxcar, lettered Illinois Terminal with white oval emblem. The six car numbers are; 6304, 6327, 6323, 6412, 6459 and 6473. To order; “HO” 45826 ($29.95) and “N” 65826 ($19.95). POB 839, Longmont, CO 80502, phone 800-472-2530

March 2010
Atlas has announced the release of an “O” gauge Illinois Terminal RS-1 locomotive in November of 2008.  The O Master model is in the green/yellow “football” scheme with roman lettering.  The 2-Rail Gold Model 5964-1 bears No. 752 and model 5964-2 bears No. 756.  The 3-Rail TMCC model 6964-1 bears No. 752 and Model 6964-2 is No. 756.

On The Trail

Word has been announced that an agreement has been reach with Ameren-IP to grant permission to build a hiking/biking trail between Sherman and Williamsville north of Springfield.  Speculation is that an additional trail will be built south from Lincoln to connect at Williamsville.  The eventual goal will be to have a trail from downtown St. Louis to Lincoln, in part restoring the former IT right of way.

Illinois Terminal Sign Restoration

The St. Louis Museum of Transportation Trolley Volunteers (MTTV) have undertaken the restoration of the Illinois Terminal Central Terminal Building sign which hung over 12th Street for many years. This sign is significant not only as memorabilia from the Interurban Age, but also as an early use of neon in advertising displays.  The Trolley Volunteers will clean and stabilize the sign structurally and restore the neon lettering on both sides of the sign. It will then be permanently displayed undercover in The Roberts Building near the trolley stop at the East end of the Museum grounds with an interpretive sign. In the shadow of the Roberts' Building, the sign will glow warmly even on the brightest days.

It is estimated that the cost of this project, including the electrical to light the sign, is about $4000. Anticipating an enthusiastic response from the local railfan community, we are already proceeding with this project. We expect to complete the work by November of this year. If anyone has information on the history of the sign, we would like to hear from you. We do not have accurate data on when the sign was installed or removed. The Trolley Volunteers would welcome any financial contributions to this effort. Neil Norkaitis is the co-ordinator of this restoration effort and for additional information or to make a contribution, please send to:

Transport Museum Association
I.T. Sign Restoration
2967 Barrett Station Road
St. Louis, MO 63122

Donations Sought for ITC GP7 Restoration

The Illinois Railway Museum, Union, Illinois, is home of the only surviving Illinois Terminal GP7, No. 1605, formerly 1506.  A new traction motor and generator have been obtained to place this locomotive back in service, but funding is lacking to complete the restoration.  All labor is a volunteer effort.  If work can be completed, the unit will be part of the “Take the Throttle” of the 25th ITS annual meet, April 30, 2011.  Please send your donation payable to Illinois Railway Museum and notation marked “ITC 1605” and send to:

Illinois Railway Museum
ITC 1605 Fund
P.O. Box 427
Union, Illinois 60180-0427

IRM a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible.

The Reincarnation of the IT’s 2301

For those in attendance of the Illinois Traction Society 24th Annual Meet, they were surprised with the unveiling of a replica of the Illinois Terminal No. 2301. This magnificently painted locomotive rolled into a grassy, open area to the delight of the oohhs and ahhhs of the 88 members present. To further thrill the crowd, ITS Secretary and engineer Judy Jenkins revved up the motor, resulting in the sounds of applause and group approval of this revived Illinois Terminal heritage. The event was concluded with a group photo and memories for a lifetime. However, as Paul Harvey would have said, “…and now for the rest of the story”.

Last summer, Terry Respondek, President of the Respondek Short Line Railroad and a member of the Illinois Traction Society, expressed an interest to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Illinois Terminal, but in a unique manner. As an IT fan and former employee (engineer), his fleet of locomotives bears resemblance to the Illinois Terminal heritage of green and yellow; with stripes. From this the idea was presented to paint a Respondek locomotive in the original delivery scheme.

Based on company records, the original paint color was matched and lettering decals were created using original IT blueprints. Former Union Pacific/C&NW 3086, an SD40-2, (the IT 2301 was an SD39) was used for repainting.. A crew of volunteers converged on the locomotive and in a short time, had reincarnated 2301. The June 2010 (Number 373) issue of Railroads Illustrated pages 16-17 provides an interesting article with photos about the effort to place this unit in service.

Articles Published in Trains Magazine

The July 2012 issue of TRAINS magazine features an article “From Desk to Diesel: One Engineer’s Story” written by ITS Secretary Judy Jenkins. The 6-page story describes the training and related events for Judy to train to become an FRA Certified Class I engineer. This is a most interesting story to capture the spirit to fulfill a lifelong dream as she puts you in the engineer seat for an experience of a lifetime.

The February 2012 issue of TRAINS Magazine, page 9, features a story covering the Illini Terminal Railroad dedication at Litchfield, Illinois. The article briefly describes the story of the operation of the line and the history of the Illinois Terminal clad paint scheme locomotive.  The Fall 2011 issue of the FLYER, page 46, also offers further insight to this Illinois Terminal revived heritage road with photos and story.

Best described as the misadventures of an Amtrak On Board Service Director, the July and August 2010 issues of TRAINS magazine is publishing an article written by ITS Editor Dale Jenkins. In 1974, this writer resigned his position as Special Agent for the Illinois Terminal to pursue a career with the fairly newly created Amtrak as an On Board Service Director. What followed was series of true misadventures in the performance of his duties. Near the end of that year, reorganization would end the dream/nightmare and return Dale to the home rails of the Illinois Terminal.

Illinois Terminal 277 Runs Again!

Illinois Railway Museum resident passenger motor 277 has once again come to life as her wheels churned over the rails of the museum, pulling the life giving power from the overhead wire to excite every railfan's interest for the first time in 29 years.  On October 4, 2008, 277 with trailer 518 in tow made four round trips on the main line of the IRM.  This special event was the official makeup day for the rained-out Member's Showcase Weekend activities of September 13-14.  Thanks goes to Rod Turner, Electric Car Department Curator, and his talented staff of volunteers whose work started on the 277 earlier in the year and continued throughout the summer with a goal of operating the 277 and 518 for Member's Showcase Weekend.  Overall, the car was not in too bad of shape, but some of the air and electrical components needed to be cleaned and "exercised" to overcome nearly 20 years of "sit-itis".  Contactors were cleaned, fuses replaced, bearings polished and lubricated.  One of the most vexing problems was an air brake problem that caused the 277 to go into emergency application and then make it nearly impossible to "recover" brake pipe pressure.  The problem was found and corrective measures were taken.

While the interior of 518 is in decent condition, much of the interior of the 277 is disassembled from an aborted restoration project that was started years ago.  The original canvas roof is leaky and needs replacement and a proper restoration would entail the inspection, removal, renewal and refinishing of literally hundreds of metal and wood parts on both cars.  If any ITS members would like to support the continued care and further restoration of these cars, a donation can be sent to the Museum and stipulate that it go specifically to the IT 277, 518 or any other IT piece of equipment in IRM's collection.

Illinois Railway Museum
P.O. Box 427
Union, IL 60180-0427

The museum is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.  All donations are tax deductible.

For those of you able and interested, please consider donating.  The timing couldn't be better and if anyone is interested, perhaps we could offer our volunteer assistance to help further the project along.  For anyone interested in assisting further, feel free to contact the webmaster directly and I will see that your message and interest are forwarded to the appropriate individual(s).

Illinois Terminal 170 "BosenBirney" Safety Car

Recently an interesting and important development has come to light.  A group in Northern Texas has taken the lead, obtained all important grant funding, to help with the research and pattern work to have new journal boxes cast for the Brill 79E type truck used under many of the "Birney" single-truck streetcars.

They are now ready to have journal boxes cast and have invited all interested museums and organizations to join with them and help lower the unit cost.  It was confirmed that the IT 170 now residing at Illinois Railway Museum did indeed use these journal boxes.  IT 170 was used in service at Galesburg and Alton, Illinois and with its service life over, the original Brill 79E1 truck was removed and the body was used as an office in the Saint Louis, Missouri subway terminal.  There is a cost estimate of $1780 for a set of 4 journal boxes.  All money raised would initially go to fund the acquisition of the journal boxes and anything above and beyond that amount would go toward the further restoration of IT 170.

Quoting from recent messages posted by long time IRM volunteer and IT Society member Bob Kutella,

"Progress and support for this idea has been remarkable, and not just from the friends and members of the electric car department. As of this evening (ed., 11/15/2006), we have donations and pledges for donations from 22 people. You know who you are and a heartfelt thanks. If you have pledged a donation but not yet sent it, please do so as soon as you can. Timing is very tight to draft an IRM check and get the deposit down to Texas.

So the goal is even more likely reachable, but not yet met. If you are considering a donation, please do so right now while fresh in your mind. The funds are needed, and we are already closely examining the next steps and remaining work, including getting truck suspension springs if funds allow.

On a positive note, I can confirm that we have the needed air compressor, a DH 16, and two 25 HP GE 264A motors, in stock; and can confirm that the machining work on the box castings is planned to be done by our volunteers in house.

This is a broad based team effort - please join the team."

For those of you able and willing help with this effort, the immediate need is to GET THE JOURNAL BOXES.  Checks may be made payable to "Illinois Railway Museum".  The funds should be noted on the memo line or with a cover note that they are to be considered a RESTRICTED donation to the IT 170 or to the fund R170, for those accounting types.  The address for IRM is:

Illinois Railway Museum
P.O. Box 427
Union, IL 60180

The museum is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.  All donations are tax deductible.

For those of you able and interested, please consider donating.  The timing couldn't be better and if anyone is interested, perhaps we could offer our volunteer assistance to help further the project along.  For anyone interested in assisting further, feel free to contact the webmaster directly and I will see that your message and interest are forwarded to the appropriate individual(s).

By the way, your webmaster concurs with Dr. Harold Cox's analysis in his book, "The Birney Car", available on line at , that they would be better named "BosenBirneys" in recognition of design and development work of the Illinois Traction System's own J. M. Bosenbury, Superintendent of Motive Power and Equipment.

Go to to see this car on the Illinois Railway Museum web site  With our help, this car can once again run in the Illinois countryside!

Trail Update

The ITS Trail Committee Inc. is a not-for-profit organization composed of dedicated volunteers from Staunton, Sawyerville, Benld, Gillespie, Carlinville, Edwardsville and St. Louis.  Although the organization only came together in January, 2006 it has already garnered the endorsement of many organizations, municipalities and governmental agencies in the area.  Since the trail from Worden to Staunton is already approved and funded and the trail from Benld to Gillespie has been in existence for several years, this project will provide the key missing link between the two.  It is reported that the Madison County Transit District is planning to connect Worden with the closest trail which ends just southwest of Hamel.

The next major goal is to raise $15,000 to pay for a preliminary engineering study the results of which will be used in a grant application for funds to complete the construction phase of the trail.  As a fund raiser, the group is inviting donors to advertise on a Safety Vest which is bright yellow with reflector strips.  These vests provide excellent visibility for Morning walkers during dark winter morning walks and runs.  They are also a good idea for bicyclists in almost any weather and are available for $35 each.  Polo shirts are also available in sizes S/M/L for $23 and XL/XXL for $26.00.  These tastefully done polo shirts and vests will make great Christmas presents for your loved ones!  For additional information, to join, or to order a vest or polo shirts visit the group's web site at

Sam Nagy Wins State Contest For IT Drawing

Each year the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Coal Development sponsors a contest for all Illinois Junior High School science students. The students are to create poster size drawings of some aspect of history and importance of Illinois coal mining. Thirteen winners are chosen to have their art put on the annual Office of Coal Development calendar.

Sam Nagy, son of ITS member Frank Nagy, was one of the 13 winners out of 1,500 entries to have his drawing put on the 2011 calendar. Sam’s drawing depicts a 1940’s era coal mine in the background with coal hoppers being loaded at the tipple. The tracks lead to the mine are under wire, and an Illinois Terminal Class “D” freight motor sits in the foreground waiting to pick up the loaded hoppers.

The thirteen winners were honored at a reception on May 7th at the Governor’s mansion in Springfield. Each one received a fifty-dollar savings bond and a certificate of achievement signed by Governor Quinn.

It is fitting that the Illinois Terminal be represented on the coal mining calendar because of the railroad’s long association with the coal industry in Illinois. A tip o’the hat and a hardy slap on the back with hearty congratulations to Sam!!

Announcing the new Illinois Central Railroad Heritage Association

Excitement is building around the formation of the new Illinois Central Railroad Heritage Association!  The ICRHA is dedicated to preserving and disseminating the history of the Illinois Central Railroad, its predecessors and successors including the Chicago Central & Pacific, Illinois Central Gulf, Paducah & Louisville, Mid-South, and IC lines now operated by Canadian National.

Everyone is invited to join and share the benefits of membership which include the Mid-American, an excellent full-color quarterly journal, an annual calendar, an annual convention, and more.  Regular membership costs only $34.00 per year.  Sustaining membership is $65.00 and includes the annual calendar (to be published for 2008).  Members with addresses outside of the United States pay $58.00 and $89.00 respectively.  Join now and the first issue of the Mid-American will be sent to you right away (while supplies last).  Articles in the premier issue focus on the Paducah & Louisville Railroad, the Seminole, and the Dodgeville, Wisconsin branch.

The ICRHA is not affiliated with the Illinois Central Railroad, its successors or parent companies, or any other historical society.  It is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation chartered in the state of Illinois.  Checks or money orders in U.S. dollars should be sent to: ICRHA Membership Services P.O. Box 47 Bucklin, MO 64631.

©Illinois Traction Society, This Page Updated February 7, 2018