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Steam & Excursion > Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local


Date: 05/13/22 12:51
Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local
Author: MaryMcPherson

The Murphysboro District of the Illinois Central Railroad was built in four segments.

The first was from the Mississippi River at Grand Tower, Illinois, to Mount Carbon, just south of the Big Muddy River across from Murphysboro.  The second was from Mount Carbon to Carbondale, when the original owner determined a connection to the I.C. was needed as the river could not be counted on as a year-round outlet for the products of the Grand Tower Mining & Manufacturing Company.  This became known as the Grand Tower & Carbondale, aka "The Granny Line."

The third portion was built by the GT&C's parent company from Grand Tower to East Cape Girardeau, Illinois.  The two Grand Tower lines were eventually combined, along with an additional line to a connection with the Chicago & Eastern Illinois at Johnston City, Illinois.  The combined lines were named the Chicago & Texas, reflecting the intention of the line becoming part of a bridge route connecting the C&EI with the Cotton Belt Route.  The C&EI had every intention of acquiring the line, but the I.C. swooped in first and consolidated the line with the original mainline and the Belleville & Southern Illinois Division of the St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute into the new St. Louis Division, based in Carbondale.

The I.C. then built the final piece of the line from McClure, east of East Cape Girardeau, to Gale on the Missouri Pacific and Thebes on the Mississippi River.

The portion from Carbondale to Thebes became the Murphysboro District, and never panned out as the bridge route that had been hoped for.  Just where the nickname "The Mud Line" came from, nobody knows at this late date.

By January, 1959, the local turn from Carbondale to Thebes was one of the last regular assignments for steam.  By the end of the following month, the last few operable Mikados would be parked and the crews that maintained them would see their jobs abolished.  A handful of 0-8-0 switchers would remain active, until a problem cropped up beyond the capabilities of the handful of mechanics still employed in the roundhouse.  Steam would be gone by the end of April in Carbondale.

Knowing the writing was on the wall, I.C. employee Jim Adams made the trek to Carbondale and loaded his recording gear into the cab of Mike #1536 for a ride on the Mud Line Local.  The loud long-bell three-chime whistles the I.C. used easily overdrove the microphone, as its location was on the fireman's side not that far ahead of the cab.  Since both the 1536 and the line itself are long gone however, I think we can overlook this defect in this series of historic recordings.

In this particular track, #1536 whistles off after the west switch of the Murphysboro District wye has been restored to its normal position for the south leg for passenger trains leaving downtown.  The Mike then begins marching west, blowing for the Oakland Street crossing and accelerating up to a brisk pace.  The whistle seems to have developed a bit of laryngitis once it gets up to speed.

The portion of the line from Carbondale to Texas Junction on the east bank of the Big Muddy at Murphysboro was maintained for passenger trains to and from St. Louis and by this time had been folded into the St. Louis District, so this would be the fastest running the train would see all day.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/22 13:34 by MaryMcPherson.

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Date: 05/13/22 16:05
Re: Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local
Author: Frisco1522

I love it.  He was hooking her up nice and doing some good accelerating.  I don't know what it was with IC and their whistles...............
I think IC should have stayed in steam and invited other engines to come run on them.  Mid America.
Makes me sad to think how many years ago this was.
Thanks Mary, keep Jim's work coming.



Date: 05/13/22 17:43
Re: Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local
Author: Goalieman

Love these Mary. Thanks for posting!

Blessings!
Markus V.
“The Fort” in Indiana

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/13/22 18:44
Re: Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local
Author: Txhighballer

The Mike was hustling right along. That whistle needed some TLC but it was a great recording. Thanks!!!!
 



Date: 05/13/22 19:40
Re: Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local
Author: grizzledgary

Fantastic recording, whatever the nits to pick, they sure didn't get in the way of my enjoyment as I listened to this several times. Minimal whistle, no bell, nothing to get in the way of hearing the subtle changes in the exhaust as the engineer gets it done. Thank you very much for sharing this audio time capsule with us.



Date: 05/14/22 11:48
Re: Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local
Author: EMD2024

grizzledgary Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Fantastic recording, whatever the nits to pick,
> they sure didn't get in the way of my enjoyment as
> I listened to this several times. Minimal whistle,
> no bell, nothing to get in the way of hearing the
> subtle changes in the exhaust as the engineer gets
> it done. Thank you very much for sharing this
> audio time capsule with us.

What he said. Wow!

MWPerkins

Posted from Android



Date: 05/18/22 09:48
Re: Mikado 1536 With the Mud Line Local
Author: tomstp

Great stuff Mary.  Thank you.



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