The Project

Rock Island Railroad Train Depot

Hello Denver
Early in the work.
Future Model Train Enthusiast
Rock Island Railroad
Jacob Kruse Working on the Mountian
One of Rusty's personal trains on his bridge.
Denise Anderson
Rusty Working on Ballast
Mountian Bridge

On 910 2nd Street in the Rural town of Fairbury, Nebraska is the Rock Island Railroad Train Depot, home of the Rock Island Railroad Western Division Headquarters now known as the Rock Island Railroad Museum. This is the only Rock Island Railroad Train Depot out of 36 in Nebraska to be restored in its historic form. It is also the largest depot in existance between Chicago and Denver, the main line for Rock Island railroad.

The Depot is a two story building. The first floor has Rock Island Railroad artifacts and memorabilla that was donated my former employees and their families. All of which are cool. It also has a gift shop. The second floor that used to have the trainmasters office, superintendants office, telegrapher and dispatch rooms. Now it has meeting and inormation rooms, childrens interpretive room and an HO scale train layout. The train layout is undergoing a transformation and is growing.

The people working on the transformation are JPG Mags very own Rusty Nabity,and Denise Anderson, Zach Schacht, and Jacob Kruse. They are building a new HO scale train layout showing the Rock Island Railroad route from Chicago to Denver with a stop in Fairbury at the Rock Island Railroad Depot in Fairbury. Construction started December 18, 2012 and is expected to be finished by the start of the Railroad days event in the first week of June 2013 and the grand reopening of the Museum and model train room. An event I hope to attend.

Everyone has put countless man hours in on this project, as of this writing Rusty has spent last night and is spending tonight at the museum working on the train model. Even at home Rusty has put in some hours. He constructed two bridges by hand out of scrap materials. Zach is 17 and all of his free time is used at the museum. He is there weekends, after school and anyother time that he can get into the building. Jacob and Denise are there as often as their schedules will allow. All four are very focused and dedicated to the project. Rusty even created a facebook page (Rock Island Train Depot Model Railroading Enthusiasts) for communication of the project and so that others like me can keep up with the progress. I have been to the model a couple of times and have been amazed at the work that has been done. I wait for the chance to see the project completed. It will be an amazing sight to see.

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—The JPG team

3 responses

  • Fred Moskey

    Fred Moskey said (17 Feb 2013):

    Nice story, lots of photos to go with it. My vote!

  • Rusty Nabity

    Rusty Nabity gave props (18 Feb 2013):

    very nice man

  • Sheila Ping

    Sheila Ping   said (4 Mar 2013):

    wonderful story Walt and great photos, I still remember when my boys were young and in boy scouts, the rr museum here in Portland they had lots of models set up, it was amazing and somethng we as parents got to see with them, this story brings back those memories

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