Eager faces patiently awaited the arrival of the Nebraska Zephyr at the Quincy Amtrak Station on Saturday. Many area residents had been waiting hours just to catch a glimpse of the streamlined piece of history.
Thanks to the cooperation of Amtrak and the BNSF Railway, the Nebraska Zephyr finally came barreling through ... it was scheduled to pass the Quincy Amtrak Station at 1:40 p.m., however it was running about 20 minutes behind schedule.
The next stop was a turnaround in West Quincy and a short stop in Quincy again at about 2:40 p.m. on it's return to Chicago's Union Station.
Tickets were available for different segments of the trip. To ride from Chicago to Galesburg it was $129 coach and $229 parlor; from Galesburg to Quincy and return to Galesburg it was $139 coach and $239 parlor and from Galesburg to Chicago it was $129 coach and $229 parlor. Ultimately it would take three tickets to travel the entire excursion from Chicago all the way to Quincy and return to Chicago ... a total of 524 miles.
Click here for the complete trip schedule. The train in all her glory will make a second appearance at the Quincy Amtrak Station on Sunday, September 23.
According to the Illinois Railway Museum website, the Nebraska Zephyr was last in service in 1968. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) used this train and an identical sister train in 1936 between Chicago and Minneapolis. They became known as the "Trains of the Gods and Goddesses," because the cars were named for Greek and Roman deities.
The name Nebraska Zephyr was officially given to the two trains in 1947 when they were moved to transport passengers between Chicago, Omaha and Lincoln.
All the proceeds of this weekend's excursions will benefit the continued restoration of the Nebraska Zephyr.
If you're looking for more historic train information, you really should check out the Illinois Railway Museum online. They encourage the public to join in their education, restoration and preservation efforts.
Are you a train enthusiast? Tell us if you went out to see the Nebraska Zephyr this weekend! Post your comments below or on our Facebook page here.