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home : news : north central illinois   April 29, 2016

9/9/2013 3:01:00 PM
Steam train attracts crowds


NewsTribune photos/Kim ShuteA steam locomotive chugs past the old Tiskilwa railroad depot. The ride was part of a joint fundraiser between the Tiskilwa and Sheffield fire departments.
+ click to enlarge

NewsTribune photos/Kim Shute
A steam locomotive chugs past the old Tiskilwa railroad depot. The ride was part of a joint fundraiser between the Tiskilwa and Sheffield fire departments.

Staff of a steam locomotive prepares for departure.
+ click to enlarge

Staff of a steam locomotive prepares for departure.

Kim Shute
Bureau County Reporter



TISKILWA — Hundreds of train enthusiasts gathered in Tiskilwa on Sunday for a chance to ride the rails behind an old-fashioned steam engine as part of a joint fundraiser by the Tiskilwa and Sheffield fire departments.

Tiskilwa fire chief Randy Philhower said a portion of proceeds from the event will be used by the Tiskilwa department to equip a newly purchased fire truck that is expected to be delivered Nov.1.

Philhower hopes to raise about $5,000.

Passengers had the opportunity to ride behind a steam locomotive on one of several trips between Tiskilwa and Sheffield. Philhower said both departments were approached by the railroad, which offers a similar ride to other fundraising organizations because the distance between the two towns was the ideal length for a steam train ride.

Philhower said both departments sold out the 800 tickets in the total they had available. “We had people calling from as far as Chicago and Wisconsin for tickets.”
Tiskilwa Community Association and Friends of the library also were on hand serving food and drinks in a joint fundraising effort for the new Tiskilwa library.

Fifteen firefighters spent about a month organizing the event, and Philhower estimates about 40 additional volunteers pitched in to make the event a success.

“I think it’s the nostalgia and history which brings people out. This isn’t something you get to do all the time,” Philhower said.












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