The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (CRI&P) is connected to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) at Ottawa, Ill., which is on the Streator Branch 41 miles west of Montgomery. A few days before the accident, CRI&P trains started detouring over the CB&Q tracks between Ottawa and Chicago because of a defective CRI&P bridge over the Des Plaines River at Joliet, Ill. Some time before 8:45 p.m. on the day of the accident, CRI&P passenger trains No.4 and No. 10 were combined at Ottawa to detour eastward over the CB&Q to Chicago, via Montgomery interlocking. This combined train, consisting of six CRI&P diesel-electric units and 19 cars, operated on the CB&Q as Extra RI 656 East. It left Ottawa at 8:45 p.m. with a CRI&P engine crew, a CB&Q engineer-pilot, and a CB&Q road foreman of engines in the control compartment at the front of the locomotive. A CB&Q conductor-pilot and a CRI&P train crew were at various locations in the cars.
Approximately 2 hours after leaving Ottawa, Extra RI 656 East arrived at Montgomery interlocking, where it stopped on the Streator Branch main track with the front end 675 feet west of switch 14 and 195 feet west of signal 24-23, which indicated Stop. About the same time, the men on the locomotive saw a detouring westbound CRI&P passenger train, Extra RI 634 West, stopped on track No. 1 east of the interlocking station. A few minutes later, they saw the headlight of No.3, a west-bound CB&Q passenger train, approaching on track No.2 and surmised that their train would be routed eastward on track No.2 after No. 3 passed. While Extra RI 656 East was waiting for No.3 to pass, a warning device sounded in the control compartment of the first diesel-electric unit and the CRI&P fireman went into the engine room of this unit to determine why the warning device had sounded. Immediately after the fireman left the control compartment, the CB&Q road foreman of engines noticed No.3 had been diverted to the Streator Branch main track at switch 14 and was closely approaching at high speed. He promptly called a warning to the CRI&P and CB&Q engineers and ran to a side door of the control compartment, where he started to jump from the locomotive. Before he could jump, however, No.3 struck the front end of Extra RI 656 East, killing the CRI&P engineer and the CB&Q engineer-pilot. The CB&Q road foreman of engines and the CRI&P fireman were injured.
Number 3, a westbound first-class passenger train, consisting of 3 diesel-electric units and 15 cars, left Aurora at 10:45 p.m., 3 minutes late, and proceeded westward on track No.2. A few minutes later, it approached Montgomery interlocking at 63 miles per hour, as indicated by the speed recording tape. The engineer and fireman were in the control compartment at the front of the locomotive, and the other crew members were at various locations in the cars. Signal 5-3 indicated Proceed as the train approached Montgomery interlocking, and this indicated to the enginemen that the route was lined for movement of No.3 through the interlocking on track No.2. The route, however was improperly lined for movement of No.3 from track No.2 to the Streator Branch main track, via switch 14. The engineer apparently first became aware of this when the train reached the area of the interlocking station at which time he initiated an emergency brake application. A few moments later, the train passed the interlocking station, entered the Streator Branch main track at switch 14 and, while moving at 52 miles per hour, struck the front end of Extra RI 656 East.
This is combined Train 93-5, The Georgian (#93) and The Humming Bird (#5), departing Dearborn Station daily at 3:45 PM, arriving at Evansville, Indiana at 9:55 PM, where it is handed over to the L&N and continues on to Nashville, Tennessee. At Nashville, it is broken into individual trains, with #93 continuing on to Atlanta, Georgia and #5 continuing on to New Orleans, Louisiana. The June 1965 edition of The Official Guide lists a Sleeping Car included for #93 (4 Section, 4 Roomette, 5 Double Bedroom), as well as a Sleeping Car for #5 (10 Roomette, 6 Double Bedroom), a Club Lounge, a Dining Car, and unreserved seat Coaches.
This is Train Number 3, The Abraham Lincoln. According to the June 1965 edition of The Official Guide, it departed Chicago's Union Station daily at 4:50 PM (CST) and arrived in Saint Louis at 10:10 PM. Included in the consist was a Observation-Parlor Lounge Car (#30), Parlor Car with Drawing Room (#31), Cocktail-Lounge for Parlor Car and Coach passengers, a Dining Car, and Reclining Seat Coaches. Also listed is a connection at Saint Louis with unnamed MP Train Number 7 which continued on to Little Rock, Arkansas.
Also pictured is the bridge over the White River, approved for construction on May 25, 1903. The Army Corps of Engineers determined that the White River was a navigable stream, so a turn span 285 feet long was designed into the 1091 foot long bridge (not including the short five panel timber approaches at each end). A contract was let out to the Phoenix Bridge Company, and the materials for construction were floated up the river on steamboat-powered barges. By June 1, 1904 the bridge was in service after a minor setback on March 24, 1904 when a flash flood caused a 27 foot rise in the river washing away the false work under one of the 80 foot girder spans, dropping the span into the river. The turn span was not yet complete, lacking the turning machinery. By June 20, 1904 the turn span was completed, tested, and never turned again. The arrival of the railroad in Cotter all but killed off the river barge business. Typical power north of Cotter in MP's steam era was double-headed 2-8-0's.
Rio Grande passenger trains #3 and #4 were in actuality a contract service for the Missouri Pacific so that its 'Colorado Eagle' train could reach Denver, rather than terminate with the MP freight trains in Pueblo, Colorado. Ready for its afternoon departure to Saint Louis, the seven car train will go out on August 20, 1964 behind D&RGW 5654 and Texas & Pacific's 1951-vintage E8 33." Texas & Pacific's E8 33 was built in August 1951 as number 2013 (c/n 14558) on EMD Order 6104, renumbered around 1961 as 33 to fit into MP's scheme, retired in March 1970 and traded to EMD for SD40's.
I was driving south on I-65 and happened to see headlights approaching from the west. I jumped off the Interstate, but by then this train had already passed me. I had to take some liberties with the local speed zones to get this photo, and even then the best I could do was get ahead a short distance, pull over and stick the camera out the window. The hogger was working his engines. A visit to Google Earth today shows that these rails have since been removed. * NOTE * Mark E left a Comment asking if I was sure this was shot in 1984. I went back and looked at the slide mounts (there are three slides in this sequence), and they are all stamped June 1982 and sequentially numbered. According to crcyc.railfan.net the E8's were all retired in January 1978, so I'll admit there is some question about the validity of the date. I do have a couple of slides of a CR E8 in Chicago commuter service dated July 1978. I was on a business trip and these are slides from my employer's camera, so they are not as carefully marked as they should be. The slide date stamp is all I can go by at this point.
The tracks below are the old Cleveland line, it originates in Cleveland and winds it's way through eastern Ohio and ends at the Ohio River across from Wheeling WV. That line was originally called the CT&V (Cleveland Terminal & Valley). The line today is abandoned from Urichsville Ohio to the river. CSX still owns a small portion in Cleveland, CVSR from Cleveland to Akron, Metro, our bus company, from Akron to Canton. Wheeling & Lake Erie operates the Akron-Canton line for the industries and CVSR runs passenger excursions on it June through August. South of Canton, it's abandoned to Dover. From there to Urichsville is operated by RJ Corman. Finally, the Pennsy, CA&C (Cleveland Akron & Columbus) came onto the main just 100' or so to the left of that image at AY interlocking, and ran concurrent with the B&O until Warwick Ohio. (Clinton) From there, it would continue to Columbus. Each company owned one main track between AY and Warwick. From Hudson south, most of it is torn up. The track through Hudson is the Cleveland & Pittsburgh line. That has been PRR/PC/CR/NS, still quite active today.
This photo opportunity is the result of my parents taking me on a round trip on the Denver Zephyr from Chicago to Colorado Springs in August 1964. While the Colordo Springs Connection cars were cut into the DZ, that took about an hour, I took photos. I spent the next 12 hours behind this locomotive set enjoying the ride back to Chicago.