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For those of you in the area, Soo Line 1003 is heading to Chicago for a special event for METRA.

Events Currently Scheduled for 2022

Ferry of Locomotive and Equipment to Chicago Partial Schedule

August 5 (To Chicago)

  • Depart Fox Lake Metra station 7:35 PM
  • Depart Siding Grayslake 8:05 PM
  • Move Past Morton Grove 9:15 PM

August 6 – Private Event

August 7 (From Chicago)

  • Depart Rondout 7:20 AM
  • Arrive Fox Lake 8:05 AM
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Paced 1003 Rondout to Deerfield Friday night and Ingleside to Fox Lake Sunday morning and again about 7 miles north of Fox Lake, where he took siding. Alas, the festivities were too much for the old gal (109 years old, built in 1913) and a gasket in the feedwater pump blew. Fortunately the crew had a replacement in the tool car, so I assume she was off and running ( I had to leave, so not confirmed).   Beautifully groomed locomotive !!   

I got into railroading and model railroading because of the Soo Line! We moved to River Forest in 1972 (I was 12) and our house on Forest Ave. was the second house south of the main line (two tracks then). The trains would gently shake the house as they rumbled by (they were limited to 25 mph, but they'd sometimes go a little faster at night when no one was watching). A friend of mine, Jeff, two more houses down and I set up a layout (HO then) in his basement on two 4 X 8's. On weekends, I'd sneak out of our house after my folks went to bed and we'd run trains 'til the sun came up. I operated the manual signals and dispatched and he'd run 'em. Somehow, Jeff got in with one of the Soo conductors who'd take him for an all-day excursion in the caboose when he came by on some Saturdays. He'd stop the train at the Forest Ave. crossing and Jeff would just hop on board; boy was I jealous of that. I'd walk to school on those tracks with another friend, Dave, and, every so often, they'd leave a train on one of the tracks up on the viaduct, so I got to see the rolling stock close up. We also climbed on top of a boxcar or two. Unwise, but the view was great! On occasional Saturdays, my church youth group would go up to Cedar Lake in Lake Villa and yet another friend of mine, John, and I would rent a rowboat (alas, those boats are gone now), row across the lake, and watch the trains fly by up there. It was fun to see the Soo trains really moving up there. Finally, I've got to admit I got into a little mischief when Dave and I figured out how to actuate the grade crossing signals with a piece of wire. At the Thatcher Ave. crossing (two blocks west of Forest; there were gates there), we'd go down the tracks a few hundred feet and stretch the wire across the rails bringing down the gates and stopping traffic. What we didn't realize was that we were also messing with the road signals, too. When we learned that, we quit fooling around.

Anyway, that's my Soo Line story. It's great to see the heritage equipment in action and I wish I could be there for the celebration. Thanks for the photos and video!

Bill

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