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The American Freedom Train in Crystal Lake, Illinois
August 5-6, 1975

The train's 22nd display city.

 
 

 

 

Crystal Lake, IL-- the first display city with locomotive #4449 in the lead.

The Popp family visited the train here.

Image: David Popp collection.

 
 

 

 

A set of stairs allowed visitors to get a look inside the cab of 4449.

The locomotive was less than 300 miles from its birthplace in Lima, OH.

Image: David Popp collection.

 
 

Recalls David Popp: I was 9 that summer, but I still remember the event well. In the photos, I'm the taller of the two kids by the lunar rover, which for me was the perfect marriage - the space program and trains wrapped into one package!

Our local hobby shop had a Lionel Freedom Train set for several years, and I would have killed to get my hands on it. Alas, it was very expensive. I would have had to cut lawns for the rest of my childhood to afford it.

Image: David Popp collection.

 
 

 

 

David joined the staff of Model Railroader Magazine 26 years later.

Image: David Popp collection.

 
 

 

 

Details of AFT movement from Chicago to Crystal Lake -- the first train movement with locomotive #4449 in the lead.

 

Images: Bob Skillman collection.

 
       
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