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Nostalgia & History > Speeder Car Ride on the ex-ICRR in Mendota, Illinois


Date: 11/16/20 13:05
Speeder Car Ride on the ex-ICRR in Mendota, Illinois
Author: MWBaker

One of the highlights of the Mendota (Illinois) Railroad Crossing Days held annually in June is to ride the Gandy Dancer Express (Gandy Dancer was a slang term used for many years to describe railroad track workers.)

It features a Burlington Northern motor car and an eight person Milwaukee crew car, and operates on a short section of former Illinois Central Charter (a.k.a. "Gruber") Line tracks west of the Railroad Museum building.
Note this section of the ex-IC heading north curves east just beyond the museum and follows an industrial siding hard against a warehouse.

The southern bit of extant track has restored vintage rail cars parked as seen in the video on the return trip.
The BNSF Mendota Sub serves as access to the rail network, but there is no permanent connection.

Mendota is a stop for most of the (at my last count; pre-COVID) 8 Amtrak trains out of Chicago.

This is video of me and my kids in 2006 or 07. At about 1:05 to 1:20 we pass the location where a Milwaukee Road line coming down from Beloit, Rockford and Rochelle entered this IC trackage past the Union Depot.
Just south of Mendota the MILW branch split off and continued on to Ladd, Howe and the crossing of the Illinois River and ultimately to Oglesby, Illinois.

More info on the depot museum;
http://www.mendotamuseums.org/UDRR.htm?fbclid=IwAR127IavbAagG3u2oJprOLGiSddAMjj01ZaBsVPaxJvcn4DSJ238AvX_3t4

An H.O layout of the Mendota area is inside the museum as well as many other RR artifacts.

Happy to hear any updates on Mendota, but this clip from over a dozen years ago is a cherished memory with my kids being that age!


 

Mark Baker
La Salle, IL
Historic ROWs trace w/ USDA Aerials



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/20 13:13 by MWBaker.

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Date: 11/16/20 13:52
Re: Speeder Car Ride on the ex-ICRR in Mendota, Illinois
Author: New773

That’s a really cool video! I never knew they had these rides. Do they still have two of the ex-ICG commuter cars parked at the end of that line that you were riding on?



Date: 11/16/20 14:09
Re: Speeder Car Ride on the ex-ICRR in Mendota, Illinois
Author: MWBaker

Pic grab; Dec 2017 from a short Youtube video.

I'll hope for a more definative reply/disposition but those 2 commuter cars were moved north of the museum onto a private industrial area in Mendota as shown and either burned as fire fighting practice or as prep to being scrapped or both.

Many sides to the story I suppose and it made room for other vintage cars to be displayed down by the museum...

 

Mark Baker
La Salle, IL
Historic ROWs trace w/ USDA Aerials



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/20 15:15 by MWBaker.




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