|Some historic sound clips
are now available for downloading and playing on your computer.
You may either click on a picture to activate your computer's default
audio player to hear now, or save the file for later playing.
These are MP3 files.
Right click on photo of desired file.
Choose 'Save Target As'.
In 'save as' box, save to desktop (can move later).
Both of the following files are from a recording by Kenneth L.
Bird, made at Bloomington, IL on May 12, 1970.
Hear the departure of #4, The Limited, as it heads across the
Washington Street crossing. (361 kb)
The distinctive blast of an Alco horn is heard here, as an
unidentified switcher removes a mail car from #4. (66 kb)
GM&OHS member Steve Eckert has
provided a little background on the creation of his videos which may be
viewed on YouTube (see links below). The Society's website isn't
equipped with streaming video, but for anyone wishing to download the
first of Steve's clips to their own computer, right-clicking on the
photo at left will do the trick (see audio instructions at the top of
this page). The file size is large at 11 MB, so allow for the time
needed to transfer.
Growing up along the GM&O main at
milepost 631 in Columbia, IL, I was saddened in late 1984 to read in the
Columbia Star that the ICG had successfully petitioned the line
for abandonment. Home video cameras were just becoming available; the
news was justification for a purchase. What a perfect way to preserve
some sites and sounds of the railroad (and some childhood memories).
Tuesday morning, February 26, 1985
was a warm, partly sunny day that was perfect for my first attempt at
videoing a train. For years the line’s only routine train was a daily
local originating at Venice, IL. It usually made its way past our
backyard around 10:30am. I set up early and waited for the usual orange
and white geep to lead its short train past. Right on time a headlight
popped into view from over a half mile away. Did I see nose stripes?
As the train got a little closer I confirmed my luck; a black and white
was in charge. Within moments I noticed a second unit; also a black and
white. What unbelievable luck! For the first time in years I was
witnessing a pure-GM&O lash up. Concentrating as well as I could, I
kept the camera focused on the locos as they passed. I rushed to my car
and headed south as fast as possible catching the train at the Waterloo
depot, then across some open farmland, and finally just south of
Burksville less than a mile from the site of the infamous 1966 head-on
collision. An edited version of this footage is available on a YouTube
video titled ICG Sparta Sub, 1985 (Part 1):
For two weeks I kept a careful eye
on the local hoping for additional GM&O power but came up empty. Then
one evening I noticed the local returning toward Venice with two units
up front, the trailing one a GM&O GP30. Hoping the ICG would assign the
same power south the following day (as they often did) I set up the next
morning. My hunch was correct; the same GP30 showed up in the lead. I
followed the train several miles south, videoing along the way. This
footage is available on a YouTube video titled ICG Sparta Sub, 1985
I never again saw a train with GM&O
power up front; however, I was very fortunate to capture two loaded coal
extras later that summer, just weeks before the line was abandoned.
Both were southbound, destined for the power plant at Baldwin. The
first train was led by three SD units, one an ex-GM&O unit in orange and
white. The second train was led by four Paducah-rebuilt geeps, all in
ICG paint. It was the last coal train over the line. I followed both
trains south, shooting video and feeling very nostalgic; it was nice to
see the line hosting heavy tonnage once again as it was built to do
decades earlier. These coal trains, along with various shots of ICG-powered
locals, are available on a YouTube video titled ICG Sparta Sub, 1985
(Part 3 of 3):