Photos by David Lowell
David Lowell’s Chicago & Illinois Midland Railroad is a 10’x16’ oval with a 15-foot shelf extension. It depicts the southern two-thirds of the Chicago and Illinois Midland Railway’s 121 mile route between Peoria and Taylorville Illinois in the mid 1950s. Through the liberal use of modeler’s license, the trackwork represents multiple locations along the line. Starting at the southern end at Taylorville and Peabody mine #58, trains work east to CIMIC and then north over Illinois Central trackage rights to Avenue Tower and home rails. At “Shops” (Springfield) is the main yard and the Pillsbury facility. Continuing northward from Springfield they pass Shops and Ridgley Towers, dip in and out of the Sangamon River valley a couple of times, cross Pecan Run Trestle and then up the big hill at Petersburg. At Havana is the rail to river coal transfer facility. The line sees high tonnage coal drags, freights, switch runs, and passenger traffic. 4-4-0s, 2-8-2s, 2-10-2s and Milwaukee Road SD-9 demonstrator units power the assignments. The layout is controlled with DCC. Occasionally time is advanced and green EMD SW-1200s, RS1325s, and/or SD38-2s can be seen roaming the rails.