ELDON DEPOT COMMITTEE NEWSLETTER~FALL 2015~
Arrival of Rock Island No. 1275
This fall has been very exciting for the Eldon Depot Museum. In April 2015, the board of directors voted to purchase and restore an engine located in Silvis, Illinois for the museum. In May, they approved the transportation costs to have it relocated from Silvis to Eldon. While this may seem like a simple task, much courage, planning, effort and funds went into making it a reality.
On Friday, October 23, 2015, the beautiful red and yellow engine with Rock Island logo arrived by trailer through downtown Eldon to the Eldon Depot Museum. It had made the trek by rail from Silvis to Ottumwa, Iowa and then to Agency, Iowa where it waited to be lifted by crane onto the flatbed trailer. The trailer itself was something to be seen. The highway route passed Cardinal School District where students were standing outside waving to the engine.
A crowd had gathered in downtown Eldon to watch the engine arrive. While the crowd was in a festive mood before the engine arrived, a reverent silence came upon the crowd as the engine came by, perched high upon the trailer. It was truly a magnificent sight and something many never thought they would see in Eldon again. It was then lifted by crane to the track in front of the depot. On this day, the “Rock” was back!
Exploring the Locomotive
The Depot Museum Committee will begin attending to adding safety features to the engine as soon as possible. We ask that visitors refrain from climbing up onto the engine until those are in place. At that time, we will allow visitors to be inside the engine and encourage exploration. We have also purchased a flatbed car that will be placed between the engine and the current caboose.
Support and Funding Appreciation
We would like to thank the friends of the depot and the community for their support of the depot during this exciting time. We are especially grateful and acknowledge that none of this would have been possible without the generosity of the Jerry Fackler trust fund. Thank you Jerry.
* Photos provided courtesy of Justin Spencer