Facebook Page
The Mercedes Of Steam / Turner Junction, West Chicago, Illinois Hot Spot

Bringing the World of Railroading To You
Since 1995

About / Contact / Home




Related Links


All pictures displayed are video captures from actual program footage unless noted.

Program 122
The Mercedes Of Steam / Turner Junction, West Chicago, Illinois Hot Spot

If the 1980's could be called "The Golden Age Of Steam Excursions", then that "Age" certainly attained its zenith in 1987 when Norfolk & Western Class A #1218 was restored to operational status. Captured on videotape by Kipp Teague, the big 2-6-6-4 roamed over the Norfolk Southern Railroad system as part of the corporation's Steam Excursion program.

A homegrown product of the Norfolk & Western's Roanoke, Virginia shops, the 1218 was completed in June of 1943 at a cost of $165,239. For its money, the railroad got 16 years of some of the most productive, efficient, operation ever attained by any class of steam locomotive, anywhere in the world.

Not only is there lots of video of the 1218 excursions, but also the 1218 being double-headed with the 611, and even triple-headed with the 611 and Nickel Plate 587. Kipp has a 1218 image gallery at you can visit by clicking here. You can also visit his Last Run Of The 611 site by clicking here.

Turner Junction, located just southwest of downtown West Chicago, Illinois is the oldest rail junction in the Chicagoland area. Once a meeting point for three major Chicago railroads, today the junction is down to only two. Today, a steady stream of freight trains belonging to the Union Pacific Railroad comprise most of the activity here, along with a liberal sprinkling of Metra commuter trains and an train operated by the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern. Videotape in November of 1998.

Welcome to Trackside Online, the official website for the television series Trackside. Be sure to come here often for the latest news and information about the show.

Sign Guestbook
View Guestbook

Check out the latest in
Trackside News


On May 24, 1988, an eastbound Norfolk & Western Class A 2-6-6-4 was on the Cotton Mill Trestle in Lynchburg, Virginia, crossing former Southern Railway trackage (foreground) and a N&W connection to the old C&O Railroad.  Today the 1218 on display alongside Norfolk & Western 611 at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Kipp Teague Photo

The 1218 rounding a curve as the rain falls.

Photo source:
Kipp Teague website

Noted author and Trains columnist Ed King gives his insights about the development of Norfolk and Western's Class A steam locomotives. Ed now resides in the state of Florida, but we met with him at Joliet, Illinois while he was returning to Chicagoland for a visit.

In 1998, while traveling to St. Louis, MO to meet with noted steam expert Scott Lindsay, we happened upon Frisco steam locomotive 1522 undergoing hydrostatic testing at the National Museum of Transport.

Scott, owner of Steam Operations of Birmingham, AL, was one of the main caretakers of both the 1218 and the 611. He was in St. Louis to assist the 1522 group.

However, the 1522 all to soon shared the 1218's fate.

In the background is N&W Class Y 2-8-8-2 in the background.

An eastbound Union Pacific freight passes under one of the few signal bridges on this line. This one is east of the junction

The UP route is also Metra's West Line. This westbound Metra train is accelerating away from the station in West Chicago. Although the western terminus on this line is Geneva, the next stop on the line, some go no farther than West Chicago.

Back To Programs