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Nostalgia & History > Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...


Date: 03/20/17 11:05
Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...
Author: NebraskaZephyr

On a sunny but cold Sunday afternoon in February 1980, I set out from my home along the Rock Island main in Utica, IL and headed to Silvis to see what could be seen. The liquidation order had been handed down by the Federal bankruptcy court and the KCT directed service was in full force, but (at least in IL) the railroad had kept plodding along like it always had and the notion that a railroad of this size could just completely cease to exist was hard to comprehend. Surely someone will step in and take over the railroad...a railroad this busy is critical to the national network.

​Upon arrival in Silvis, I went to the footbridge near the crew dormitory, that train crews used to get over the arrival yard on their way to and from the crew office/locker room. Before too long, Extra 244 West (which I had heard pass through Utica while at church earlier that morning) had caught up to me and was pulling in to yard its train. I was struck by the complete emptiness of this portion of the yard and how Silvis, always considered the busiest and most important hub of the railroad, could be reduced to such irrelevance.

​It was in that moment that a 19-year-old railfan realized not only could this railroad go away, it was already well on its way to doing so.

​I hope you enjoyed the look back. Next week I'll try to post another memory from that afternoon on the footbridge.

​NZ




Date: 03/20/17 11:11
Re: Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...
Author: dcfbalcoS1

      Am I correct that the muddied spots on the track to the right in the photo are low joints that have been pumping watery mud when trains run over that track ?



Date: 03/20/17 11:15
Re: Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...
Author: mcfflyer

Spectacular image.  And that one single image tells the whole story.

Lee Hower - Sacramento



Date: 03/20/17 12:26
Re: Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...
Author: NebraskaZephyr

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>       Am I correct that the muddied spots on
> the track to the right in the photo are low joints
> that have been pumping watery mud when trains run
> over that track ?

Yes, sir, you are correct!

NZ



Date: 03/20/17 13:10
Re: Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...
Author: aronco

What may one conclude from your admission that you were listening to the trains while in church?  Was it just a whistle or did you have a cleverly concealed ear bud?

Norm

Norman Orfall
Helendale, CA
TIOGA PASS, a private railcar



Date: 03/20/17 17:42
Re: Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...
Author: rrman6

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>       Am I correct that the muddied spots on
> the track to the right in the photo are low joints
> that have been pumping watery mud when trains run
> over that track ?

I recall that gray/tan mud pumping from various joints on the Rock Island's GSL mainline after a rain between Pratt and Greensburg, KS back in the late 50's and early 60's.  If the same track was here yet today they'd be pumping dust.  Too dry...too many range fires nowadays!



Date: 03/20/17 19:02
Re: Maroon Monday: Realizing The End really WAS Near...
Author: SCKP187

Nice image---a lot sobering though.
Brian Stevens



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