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Monticello Railway Museum

Saturday March 7th started with stamping of all mated parts for later identification for easier reassembly.

The last train witnessed passing the turntable in Peoria March 7, 2020 prior to disassembly was this Tazewell and Peoria switch engine. (Behind the trees in this shot)

Telehandler staged on deck of turntable.

Removing remaining temporary bolts to allow lowering the Arch.

Lowering arch to ground level.

Late in the afternoon after removal of arch and about 1/3 of bridge timbers.

Friday March 6 was a beautiful late winter day. Here crews from City of Peoria wrap up removing a couple of tree stumps, removing permanent fencing and placing temporary fence during the disassembly process. Railway Museum volunteers preparing to start removal of wooden deck.

Volunteers removing the wood walk-way and permanent handrail preparing to remove and salvage bridge timbers.

Volunteer marking each joint of turntable pit rail with different colored paint prior to disassembly. This step will allow easy identification when reassembling at the railway museum.

Volunteer using cutting torch to remove bolt heads from mounting bolts securing bridge timbers to deck of turntable.

At the March 1, 2020 work day, two members review CAD drawing of proposed location of turntable after moving to the museum. Illinois river is in the background.

The turntable has witnessed barge traffic on the Illinois River since 1928. The former Rock Island yard, engine facility and round house were right on the riverfront.

Volunteers assessing and preparing to remove spikes, rail anchors and joint bars.

Volunteers cleaning 8"10" of dirt and debris between pit wall and outside pit rail in preparation for removing ring rail anchors and plates.

Volunteer pulling spikes.

Volunteers assessing top of turntable and making chronological list for disassembly.

Volunteer taking measurements to develop CAD drawing of turntable and pit.

Volunteer taking measurements to develop CAD drawing of turntable and pit.

The gallows/arch centered on turntable. This is not ornamentation; rather, a critical functional part of the turntable. Power supply for the motors comes in from the top and powers contacts that rotate 360 degrees. This power is then distributed to the operators station.

Volunteers in turntable pit assessing current condition.

Overall view from riverfront park with the Illinois River in the background. This location has been home to the turntable since 1928.

Volunteer removing pit ring rail nut with cutting torch.

Before and after. Nut closest to pit wall was very worn and removed with cutting torch. Bolt on inside of rail still had threads visible. Penetrating oil was applied for later attempt at removal.

Volunteer removing 1" rivet with cutting torch. This is base of the arch/gallows in center of turntable. Volunteers painstakingly removed each rivet than replaced with 1" bolts. Essentially, making our own version of an Erector set for ease of disassembly in the very near future!.

New 1" bolt being installed.

Overall view base of turntable on a beautiful late winter day.

One of the museum's youngest volunteers was busy making his version of the plan for relocation of turntable to the museum. Younger volunteers are the future of the museum. Your thoughtful donation will help fund current and future projects of the museum.


The Monticello Railway Museum depends upon many sources of income to acquire, restore, maintain and operate the museum and we welcome donations. Donors help fund and facilitate many projects at the museum and provide income above and beyond train tickets, gift shop sales and membership dues.

While our volunteers perform the majority of the required labor for restorations at the museum, the need for money to purchase materials and equipment is increasing. Now that work on steam locomotive #401 is complete, the amount of consumable shop materials used is increasing. For example: acetylene and oxygen for the cutting torch; drill bits and cutting tools for the machine shop; grinding wheels and wire wheels for metal preparation and LP gas for heat to allow our volunteers to work during the winter are costing several-hundred dollars each month.

A gift donation towards restoration work would be greatly appreciated. In addition, thoughtful family members, in your name, can make a donation to the museum.

Either way, your donation is appreciated and contributes to our overall financial security and will help us collectively facilitate much needed improvements at the museum. As a reminder, the Monticello Railway Museum is a registered 501 (C 3) not for profit organization and all donations to the museum are tax deductible. All donors to the museum will receive a letter acknowledging the donation.