Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grand Funk Railroad Connection to Independence, Iowa

Located in 42N country is Independence, Iowa (42°28′13″N 91°53′38″), the county seat of Buchanan County. The small town prospered when the railroad was built and stopped in the community. In 1859, the first train service came to town and in 1891 the Illinois Central Railroad built a new passenger depot in Independence. In modern times, the depot has been relocated along Highway 150 on the north side of Independence with the restored building serving as the home for Buchanan County Tourism and Visitor Center.

On display behind the depot is former Grand Trunk Western Steam Locomotive #8300, restored as an Illinois Central Locomotive. The 86-year old, three car train (locomotive, coal tender and caboose) serve as the centerpiece for the depot's rail collection. The top two photos were taken today on a gray, solid overcast day. Compare those two images with the bottom photo from Randy Jenkins in 1998.

From the website:
"Northwestern Steel & Wire 30 (ex-Grand Trunk Western 8300): Grand Trunk Western 8300 was the first of the P-5 class 0-8-0's, built in 1923. While the other NS&W engines were re-numbered using the last two digits of their GTW numbers, no. 8300 kept the middle two, becoming no. 30. A coal burner to the end, she still has half a load of coal in her tender from her last run. Unfortunately, this has trapped moisture against the sides of the bunker, and as a result, the tender is rusted out very badly, and some of the coal has fallen through to the track. Owned by the Illinois Railway Museum, but stored in Galt, Illinois she is shown here in October, 1998...In November 2000, no. 30 was sold for display at the Buchanan County Visitor Center in Independence, Iowa." The bottom photo is courtesy of the parkengine.railfan website.

And the link to the aforementioned band? The locomotive was once a part of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad which runs through Flint, Michigan. In the late 1960s, the rock band Grand Funk Railroad was formed in Flint and derived its name from the railroad. Within three degrees we can tie to We're an American Band. Know that.

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