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A drive by at the west end of Main Street, Lena, makes clear that the warmth of the stone base of the tower, topped by the pleasant glowing brick, it is nonetheless a masterpiece in masonry. Its height was achieved in the days before mechanical cranes or tall jibs to expedite the craftsmanship...100 feet above the earth. But, of course, it took a number of years to rise at all.

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The Daylight Special Roars Into Carroll County

The Daylight Special roared through Savanna Saturday, July 18. The private vintage car passenger train, pulled by the Southern Pacific's huge Steam Locomotive 4449, was about an hour behind schedule and arrived in Savanna at 3:00 p.m. After a brief service stop in the Savanna rail yard, the train proceeded through Chadwick and Milledgeville on the BNSF line en route to Chicago's Union Station. View the video below of the train going through Savanna, IL. (PA photo/Tom Kocal)

The Daylight Special, a private passenger train pulled by Southern Pacific's massive steam locomotive 4449, traveled through western Wisconsin and northern Illinois on its way from Minneapolis to Chicago. Pulling vintage passenger cars, SP 4449 ran the route of the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, now BNSF, through La Crosse, Prairie du Chien, Cassville, East Dubuque, Savanna, Chadwick, and Milledgeville. The excursion is one leg of a 5,000 mile journey for the restored locomotive making its way across the country from Portland, Oregon to Owosso, Michigan for Train Festival 2009.

Southern Pacific "Daylight" steam locomotive 4449 is operated by the Friends of SP 4449, a Portland non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, maintenance, and operation of the former Southern Pacific 4-8-4 steam locomotive. The July 18th passenger trip is operated by the Friends of the 261 of Minneapolis. A limited number of tickets may still be available for the return trip via Milwaukee August 2 & 3. Ticket information may be found at www.261.com. In October, SP 4449 will pull fall color steam excursions from Minneapolis to Winona, Minnesota and Winona to La Crescent. Tickets for these trips are still available in first, premium and coach class at www.261.com or by calling between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

No. 4449 was built by Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio for Southern Pacific in May 1941. It is the only surviving example of Southern Pacific's GS-4 class of streamlined steam locomotives. No. 4449 spent its early career assigned to the Coast Daylight, SP's premier passenger train between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Together, SP 4449 and its water tender weigh 433 tons. The oil burning locomotive is 110 feet long, rides on 80-inch driving wheels and weighs 475,000 pounds.

SP 4449 was retired in 1957 and placed on display in Oaks Park in Portland, Oregon. In 1974 it was removed from the park, restored and returned to service in 1975 traveling the United States pulling the American Freedom Train.

Video by Tom Kocal

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