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Before and After
Mendota Rail Museum
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2003 Mendota's 150 Birthday
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4978 C.B.&Q Steamer
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Model Train Display in HO Scale
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Train Photos Gallery 1
Train Photos Gallery 2
Illinois Central pics
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Ray's Train Video
Gate Towers
Charlie Martin
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Before and After
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The depot before renovation 1992
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After restoration in 2000
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As you look at the below photos you will be able to see how far we have come in a few short years. Our volunteers have literally transformed a three block area in the center of town. We have created something wonderful for all those in the town and all who come from abroad. It was an eyesore but now it is a paradise of trains. A tribute to our rich railroad history of yesteryear. Still today the trains rumble through and passengers on the Amtrak trains take notice of the classy depot with the Steam engine display nearby along with other eye-catching rolling stock.
  We must never forget the hard work involved in transforming this area. The names are many and we need to give credit to whom credit is due. It is so easy to take it all for granted now that it all looks nice, but we must not forget the images of what it looked like in the early 90's. Volunteers such as Allan and Mary Russell, Diane and Gale McCully, Leo and Norma Muhlach, Lee Stocking, Bill Greenwood, Harry Schaller, Pat and Judy Reed, Bill Widmer, Don Reese, Henry Auchstetter, Bill Hein, Ken and Marilee Holzner, Matt Holzner, Horace Hume, John and Shirely Pierson, myself(Ray Tutaj Jr.), Bill Schlosser, Bill Gish, Dean Otterbach, Bill Patterson, Ebe Stanberger, Bill Heinzinger, Dave Costello, Howard Neilson, Hank Nashold, John McCue, Ekana and 11th st. Nurseries and a host of others which are too numerous to name. It was thier time and effort which made a difference in the qaulity of life for us all. A million thanks for the dedicated hardwork. I hope we can keep growing. I know I truly appreciate all of thier efforts! I remember when the museum first opened in Aug 97, I said,"Mendota's past is it's future."  So we must preserve and build upon our past to attract visitors who take interest in our history.

A view looking south toward depot 1994
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Photos by Ray Tutaj Jr.

The IC curve to freeport started here
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Caboose at left is on ex Milwaukee Road track

Union Depot in 1999
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Our museum grounds in 1992
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desolate and depressing it was but now a dreamland

Aand now the grounds is a rail museum
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and an Amtrak Station

Milw Road Combine car 1998
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I will post the newest pic shortly

The Milwaukee Road Combine car oct 2002
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Looking good!

As you see we have come a long way. We must not take it for granted. Let's appreciate highly all those volunteers who helped in anyway. It takes a large group of people to do this kind of thing. We need each other, for each one of us has important talents to offer. Next time you see volunteers at the museums, tell them thank you for taking the time to be there for you!

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