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Running A Railroad

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In the basement of an East Moline chiropractor’s office, you can go for a round trip on the Midland-Southern Railroad. The men who operate the line have a fifty year track record.

They are members of the Quad City Society of Model Engineers.

Model railroaders. The society was organized in 1964.

The society has formed its own model railroad. It runs on a north-south route in Illinois, and has a 1950’s look.

Sean Genung is a dispatcher. He can operate the trains with a smart phone. He sits in a simulated office, and is the eyes and ears of what’s taking place on the tracks.

The layout is four hundred feet of mainline track. Steam engines and passenger trains whirl their way through many small towns, including Toulon and Galt.

Mike Armstrong is a member. He is referred to as a foamer. A railroad buff foaming at the mouth to get behind the throttle.

Randy Rogers says the sound and the whistle is a nostalgia kick for him.

The scenery along the way is a 1950’s look. There’s a polka fest taking place in Toulon. Horses roam the countryside. Industry and agriculture dominate the landscape.

Mike Armstrong says he is never bothered if he has to wait at a railroad crossing for a train to go by.

It’s a part of Americana. It’s life on the Midland-Southern Railroad.


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