Rock Island / Santa Fe Railroad Museum

The old Rock Island track that runs between Peoria and Bureau, IL, is used by Iowa Interstate Railroad.

The Railroad Museum is the former Rock Island Depot in Chillicothe Illinois The Depot was spared the fate that awaited most depots owned by Rock Island due to the hard work of the Chillicothe Historical Society. The depot was donated by the Rock Island Railroad to the Society in 1980 for use as a Railroad Museum. It was in terrible shape at that time but after many hours of blood , sweat and tears by Society Volunteers it was reborn. It is a standing example of the era when passenger trains ran between Peoria and Chicago, IL. The track is now operated by the Iowa Interstate RR

Dianne Colwell’s brother, Don Gill, who was a Superintendent on the Santa Fe Railroad, obtained the Caboose (waycar) from the Santa Fe Railroad. The Caboose was moved from Kansas City over Santa Fe tracks to site siding, E 10, at Chillicothe, IL. It was then transferred to the Rock Island tracks.

Prior to moving the Caboose to its present location, rail and ties donated by the Santa Fe Railroad were laid to the north of he Depot by a Santa Fe track crew. Ballast for the track was donated by Galena Gravel. By using 2 company end loaders, Martin Marietta employees John Gerber and his Son Scott, slid the caboose on greased bridge ties and positioned it on the rails laid behind the Depot

Steve Rippeteau, a Brakeman / Conductor on the Santa Fe. was instrumental in obtaining paint for the Caboose. He had heard that the DuPont Chemical Company had donated paint for a Caboose in Fort Madison and requested paint for this car. The company agreed to supply all the Emoron Paint need if applied by a professional painter. Santa Fe employee, Curt Huffman picked up the paint in Fort Madison and transported it to his home where it was then picked up by Earl; Pierce and Vern Whittemore for transportation to Chillicothe.

Superior Sandblasting, the low bidder, sand blasted and painted the Caboose exterior and under carriage. The large logo stencil was obtained from Santa Fe. Roger Miller painted the Santa Fe logo and other directories. The interior was cleaned and painted by Roger Mannering, Earl Pierce and Vern Whittemore. Vern Whittemore was responsible for the electrical hook up from the Depot. Many other members helped out in other roles needed to make this a very nice exhibit. Many hours of work went undocumented such as the brickwork and fence construction needed to secure the Caboose and is greatly appreciated by the Society.