"To go forward." That’s the literal translation from Chinese to English for the famed QJ Class. Built in Datong, China in 1985, this particular QJ operated on the Jitong Railway before dieselization forced its retirement in 2005. In 2006, two examples, IAIS 6988, and IAIS 7081 were shipped from China to the United States. After modifications to make them FRA compliant, they hauled sporadic excursions on IAIS trackage in Iowa and Illinois since.
On this day, IAIS 6988 was pulling a total of 4 excursions between Annawan and Geneseo, IL to help benefit the Annawan-Alba Firefighters Association. Here, the 6988 crosses over Mud Creek with the westbound 11:30 train. in the background, A strong storm cell passed through minutes earlier, bringing with it torrential rain and near tropical storm like winds.
Original tags: , QJ , Forward , 2-10-2 , steam , locomotive , railroad , rail , road , train , trains , Iowa , Interstate , IAIS , rails , lightning , stripe , rural , annawan , IL , storm , spring , excursion