Santa Fe 2903's Excellent Adventure

In March 1995, Illinois Railway Museum (and contractor RJ Corman) orchestrated the movement of Santa Fe 4-8-4 2903 from display outside the Museum of Science and Industry to the Illinois Central Railroad so that the engine could join IRM's collection at Union, IL, west of Chicago. This involved moving the engine about a mile and a half across a park and through the streets of the Hyde Park neighborhood to the most practical point to connect with an active rail line. This was done using sections of panel track leapfrogged in front of the engine and lots of back and forth movements to effect turns in minimal space.

None who were there will ever forget the week-long spectacle.

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Going through the park North of MSI along Lake Shore Drive

Turning West towards Hyde Park Blvd. (Larger version of above)

Entering Hyde Park Blvd

On Hyde Park Blvd

Moving Panel Track

Another view on the street

Front of separated tender

2903 parallel to IC embankment

Track prepared for tender

Tender almost reunited with engine

Once 2903 was safely on the IC main it was towed south to Pullman Junction where the Belt Railway took over. The C&NW moved it to IRM at Union, IL. The IRM crew documented each step along the way in chalk on the boiler backhead.

Backhead diary Large! (By 1995 standards! LOL)

2903 at IRM (from IRM web page)


Visit the IRM Web Site

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