• Milwaukee Road 261 Trip

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by Joe
Hey, here's an actual "trip" on the TRIP Forum. I am going to travel from Chicago Union Station to Rock Island, Il, behind the MILW 261. There are 3 intermediate stops and hopefully (*fingers crossed*) sunny skies and a photo-runby. Anyone else here going?
  by Gilbert B Norman
WBBM Newsradio 780 had a segment on the upcoming 261 tour aired this morning (515A).

The segment had an interview with a representative of the sponsor, Don Crimmin, who I once met "many, many, many moons ago". Mr. Crimmin addressed the many problems, such as unavailability of insurance, inherent to operating these trips. All told, interesting and informative - and not all that much of an "infomercial".

It will be just great to observe a locomotive and obs car (Cedar Rapids) that came from MY Road (MILW employed 1970-81) rolling on by 18.34 this Friday.

Incidentally, "this is the place" for posting any trip reports of these excursions.


  by Joe
Looks like no rain! YES! Partly sunny(optimists) or partly cloudy(pessimists). Everyone here in Chicago, go watch the 261!

  by John_Perkowski
The baggage car the 261 folks own is one of the first generation Beavertail observation cars.

Remember when this train came to KC a few years back. I'm so used to 844 that 261 "not quite" looked narrow guage... ;)

  by gtb75
Joe wrote:I am going to travel from Chicago Union Station to Rock Island, Il, behind the MILW 261. There are 3 intermediate stops and hopefully (*fingers crossed*) sunny skies and a photo-runby. Anyone else here going?
I was on the run from St. Paul to Milwaukee on Sunday and the run from Milwaukee to Union Station on Tuesday. Unfortunately, neither of those two runs had photo-runby's on them... I purchased the route guide while I was on the train which lists all of the significant stations / landmarks on the route, but does not say where they will actually be stopping. You mentioned that they were planning 3 intermediate stops - do you happen to know for certain where they will be? I see mention of La Grange, Rt. 59, and Galesburg on the 261 web site, but those seem like oddly spaced locations for stops to me. I was figuring something like Naperville or Aurora as a likely first stop out of Chicago. If I recall correctly, all of the stops we made on the two trips I rode were also Amtrak stops. Any help would be greatly appreciated so that I can meet 261 somewhere along the way and create my own runby :wink:
  by Gilbert B Norman
I will make it my business to be trackside today @ 18.34 (Prospect Street Clarendon Hills).
  by Gilbert B Norman
Being ex-MILW, but obviously with my service 1970-81 long post dating that of 261, I still think to see her coming through Clarendon Hills today reminded that "MY" road has not yet died, even though its existence as an operating railroad ceased June 30, 1985.

Had the sponsors arranged return transportation to Chicago (pooch would have been just fine), I could well have gone myself.

Eighteen cars, and she was hardly "breaking a sweat"; yes, there were two Amtrak P-42's behind, but I believe they were only providing HEP.

You looked just great, old girl!!!!!!!!
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by MikeF
Gilbert B Norman wrote:You looked just great, old girl!!!!!!!!
Agreed! I shot some pictures Wednesday and Thursday nights while 261 was on display at 18th & Western, and caught it in action at Plano and Mendota on Friday. Great looking train.

  by gtb75
I was able to meet her at Rt. 59 where she stopped for about 5-10 minutes. It sure was nice being able to get a runby in since my two excursions didn't have runbys (due to scheduling I'd guess)! The Amtrak diesels were indeed only along for HEP... While most (if not all) of the cars that The Friends of the 261 own / lease have their own generators onboard, they are air-cooled units that aren't known to be terribly reliable. Anybody who was on the sweltering 2002 trips to Galesburg and Rochelle knows that :) On the runs from St. Paul to Milwaukee and from Milwaukee to CUS earlier this week, we had 10 coaches and only one P-42 for HEP...

  by Joe
I had a GREAT time!! If any of you saw some one hanging out the window of the 6th car (silver) with a video camera, that was me! I got lots of soot in my face and hair. In Galesburg, we arrived at 3 and had to turn on a wye. That took an hour and we were on our way at 4. We arrived in Rock Island an hour late (6:30) because we had be doing about 10mph about 10 miles out of RI. There, it took another half an hour to uncouple the 261, and move us onto into the unloading area. The next day I got lots of pics of the train leaving Davenport.

  by Gilbert B Norman
I was standing on the WB platform (eniineer's side) , Mr. LeMay, at Clarendon Hills holding a cell phone so that some freinds could hear the sound of the runby.

I can only reiterate I would have put my "copper in the hopper" had there been a reasonable and practical means to get home from Rock Island. I'm certain had the sponsors arranged for a pooch (Greyhound, Van Glader, Coach USA, HOOKARES), they could have filled it. Absent that, the only alternative would have been a one way auto rental likely originating out at MLI (Quad Cities INTERNATIONAL Airport). God knows what kind of $$$$ we would be talking about for that.

Hope somene from "Friends of 261 is reading".

  by MikeF
According to Friends of 261's Web site, there was an arrangement for bus transportation back to Chicago.

Joe, how did you get home?
  by Gilbert B Norman
Glad to learn of it after the fact.

  by Joe
I went with the 20th Century Railroad Club and they had some special trips planned. We stayed overnight in RI, then on Saturday everyone with the club got a ride on a riverboat, which was part of the "Grand Excursion" celebration. After the short cruise, we got on the bus for CUS.