Pedestrian Underpass Located!
At our Winter Event in February, 2018 (one and a half years ago), someone said there was a new pedestrian underpass in West Chicago but they couldn't remember where. After we left the West Chicago Pal Joey's that cold and windy afternoon, several of us drove around town looking for it. In fact, we even thought we found it just east of the new train station.
Unfortunately, a short exploratory walk later, we discovered that underpass did not go under all the tracks and come out on Geneva St as we had anticipated. This underpass was intended only for west bound commuters to get back to the METRA parking lot without having to walk across the other two tracks!
Well today, after our joint reunion with the class of '64 (and thanks to Barbara Alm Mazzochi), the new underpass has finally been located. As you can see from the the picture below, it goes under the EJE/CN tracks, rather than the CNW/UP tracks, and connects the students west of the Canadian National tracks with the high school and the new football stadium. No wonder it took so long for us to find it!
Please, current WeGoan's, don't laugh so hard. Some of you didn't know it's location either!
Memorial for Coach Kerner...
From his obituary page on the Norris-Segert website:
A memorial visitation for Dick will be held on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club, 2241 Route 59, West Chicago, IL 60185 beginning at 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with a memorial service from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and then continuing the celebration of Dick's life from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Union Pacific 4014 "Big Boy" was in West Chicago
On July 26, 2019, the Union Pacific's "Big Boy", a 4-8-8-4 steam locomotive, rolled into West Chicago. This was one stop on an eight state tour celebrating 150 years since the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Hundreds of people lined the tracks to see this piece of history pass by. Over the next three days, crowds gathered at the Larry S. Provo Training Center, 335 Spencer St (behind the police station) to see engine 4014 up close. Many of these people waited in lines for over an hour and a half to tour the "Experience the Union Pacific" car which contains information and pictures of the Golden Spike ceremony at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869.
Videos shot by Richard Mann and Reid Simmons.
The Big Boys were designed by the Union Pacific Railroad to pull heavy trains up steep grades, especially the Wasatch Range in Utah, without helper engines. Twenty-five Big Boys were built for the UP by ALCO (the American Locomotive Company) in 1941. They were the largest steam locomotives ever built and they remained in revenue service, primarily between Ogden, Utah, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, until 1959.
In 1961, while most Big Boys were destined for the scrap yards, 4014 was donated to the Rail Giants Museum in Pomona, California. Today, only seven other Big Boys still exist in static displays and museums across the country.
In 2013, the Union Pacific reacquired 4014 and sent it to their Cheyenne, Wyoming shops for a multiyear complete rebuild. At the same time, it was converted from a coal burning engine to #5 oil. In May, 2019, it was fired up for a test run under its own power. Later that month, 4014 joined UP's 844, a 4-8-4, as part of the railroad company's Heritage Fleet.
The last large steam locomotive to come through West Chicago was UP's 3985, a 4-6-6-4, in 1995. Unfortunately, 3985 had mechanical problems in 2010 and is currently awaiting a rebuild in Cheyenne after which it too will join 4014 and 844 as part of UP's Heritage Fleet!
Recent Site Changes
8/17/2019 - Added a picture and story about the newest pedestrian underpass in town.
8/17/2019 - Archived our Summer Event & Joint Reunion stories and removed them from the Calendar.
Pictures from today's joint reunion will be added as soon as we receive them from the photographer.
8/16/2019 - Added a short story, from Terry Duber, to our Washington DC trip page.
8/6/2019 - Updated the Big Boy video.
8/5/2019 - Added a short announcement for Coach Kerner's memorial service.
8/1/2019 - Added a short story, of a 1940's stream locomotive's visit to West Chicago, to our Home page.
8/1/2019 - Archived the announcement of Coach Kerner's passing.
7/24/2019 - Added Coach Kerner's passing obituary to our Faculty & Staff page and a note to our Home page.
7/24/2019 - Added an update from John Kent to our Classmate News page.
7/22/2019 - Rearranged the main menu. Moved WCCHS sub-menu to the main menu. Switched the order of the Community and Remembering menus. These changes are to give more emphasis to our class, for whom this site is dedicated.
7/22/2019 - Added an update on Jim Thompson to our News page.
7/20/2019 - Added a new Faculty & Staff page under Remembering, WCCHS. Moved Mr DeLap's and Mrs Wissing's passing from our Home page as well as Mr Horward's passing and Mr Kerner's fall from our archives to this new page.
7/14/2019 - Extended the payment due date to August 3 and revised the news letter (left) accordingly.
Site Changes are continued on our Site Change Log page.
Going up! Construction has already begun on a 2nd floor addition to the west side of the school. Most of us will remember this area as the visitor's bleachers on our old football field. Click below to: