Passenger Service Returns to Villa Grove, IL - Briefly (April 1-5)

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    September, 2003
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Passenger Service Returns to Villa Grove, IL - Briefly (April 1-5)
Posted by mlehman on Sunday, April 01, 2018 11:34 PM

Was tooling into Villa Grove headed north this afternoon on the way home from Easter dinner with some kin. It was snowing hard, Mother Nature's April Fool's Joke of a Whte Easter on Central Illinois. Ahead, the crossing gates were down and lights flashing as IL 130 bumped over the UP/ex-MP/ex-CE&I. Even when running a ittle late, and we weren't at this point, I don't mind being stopped by a train here.

What loomed out of the blowing snow was not a train like I've ever seen in Villa Grove before...and I saw the UP's Challenger a couple of decades back and its sharp looking train.

It was Amtrak!

I'll be darned. I asked the wife to start shooting pics as we closed with our quarry, about a half-dozen vehicles back from the crossing. Then I shot a few more out my open window.  None very good, I was able to read the car number, 34005, on this one.

The Villa Grove water tower for authetication in the background.

An inquiry to a friend in the know about such things brought this somewhat cryptic citation, so I suppose we're looking at the Texas Eagle here in Villa Grove.

Link to the Amtrak service alert:

So looks like you have 4 more days of rare mileage Amtrak service through Villa Grove, but you have to buy you ticket and board in the Chicago area or to the south of this detour.  This is a crew change point and the train shortly began moving again without affording an opportunity t see the motive power on the head end. Enjoy!

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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