City of New Orleans train has local connections - Republic-Times | News

City of New Orleans train has local connections

By on April 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Nathan Stahl

Kyle Dudley

Dave Dudley

“All along the southbound odyssey – the train pulls out of Kankakee
And rolls along past houses, farms, and fields
Passing trains that have no name, and freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobile”

Famed folk singer Arlo Guthrie covered these lyrics written by Steve Goodman about traveling on the City of New Orleans train that runs 934 miles from Chicago to New Orleans, La. But boarding the train —that debuted in 1947 — as a passenger, even as a famous one, doesn’t seem to compare to the stories coming from three Monroe County railroaders.

Pictured is the City of New Orleans operated by Illinios Central Railroad until 1971. While today’s looks more like the Amtraks that can be seen cruising the railways every day, this was the City of New Orleans of Steve Goodman and Arlo Guthrie’s era.

Monroe County’s Dave Dudley is a fourth-generation railroad man who spent eight years on the City of New Orleans. His son,  Kyle Dudley, is a conductor who currently rides the City of New Orleans. And Nathan Stahl has been an engineer on the City of New Orleans for three years.

Read their stories in the April 19 issue of the Republic-Times. If you don’t already receive the paper, you can subscribe by calling 939-3814 or clicking here, or pick up a copy at any of these locations.


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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net