Twin-Steam Weekend Part 1
Soo 1003 charter
Oct. 16

Photos by Dave Ingles

With information that Soo 2-8-2 1003, which is stabled in Hartford, Wis., would be out with a "photo charter freight" for steam photographers on the Wisconsin & Southern on Saturday, Carol & I decided to go for a "twin-steam weekend" and go north before heading for our main target, Monticello Railroad Museum's newly outshopped Southern 2-8-0 401, down in east central Illinois, running both days. We'd save 401 for Sunday.

En route to Horicon, Wis., WSOR's hub, in late morning, we kept hearing radio transmissions indicating that 1003 was indeed out on the charter. Participants pay several hundred dollars for two days of staged photo runbys, and a night session, so we as non-participants don't wish to intrude other than grabbing a few shots without getting in their way. Grade crossing and highways are, after all, public property, and my interests don't go to dozens of the same kind of shots. I have grabbed a few photos on a couple of these before, but you never know which will be truly the last one. (It turns out that in early November, we learned that a Santa Train at Hartford on WSOR on Sat., Nov. 13, will likely be Soo 1003's last steam-up appearance, as she is due for major work for which there are insufficient funds at present.)

After a wild goose chase a bit to the north, we heard a radio transmission re: Soo 1003 that told us he was SOUTH of Horicon, where I'd never known of these charters to "play." So we turned around and eventually found the train, between Woodland and Rubicon, just as he was completing his last photo runby and beginning the backup move to Horicon for servicing; he'd go north of there in the afternoon, but we couldn't hang around for that, so made some "backup shots," which were fine. This is just leaving his last photo runby spot south of Woodland. We were the only photographers at this spot; everyone else was driving on north (participants follow by car, they don't ride the train). As always, slides come first with me.

Backing thru Iron Ridge.

Backing across Highway S north of Iron Ridge.

We'd shot the 1003 on a Santa Claus train 3 or 4 years ago here, from County S looking north, and the steam group decided to hold one last southbound runby here, so we got in on that before heading south. This is the train backing up to the crossing at which the photographers would stand, aptly named Strange Road After one forward runby, he continued to back up to Horicon, the crew saying they didn't have enough water to make a second forward runby.

Finishing the runby; I shot only slides of him coming-on, from this kind of distance, telephoto, across the road. I'm told on Sunday he added a flat car with two tractors on it behind the tender for more "local flavor."

To me, you can't tell he's backing up, but maybe that's just rationalization.

OK, here you can tell; this was my "coming-on" viewpoint for slides.

This page was designed and is maintained by Mike Condren. If you have materials
that you would like to contribute, contact me at