Night photo shoot will raise funds for Rock Island E units

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Rock Island E8 No. 652 and E6 No. 630 pose for a night photo session in Oelwein, Iowa, in August 2017.
Jerry Huddleston
MANLY, Iowa – S & B Productions will hold a night photo session with Rock Island E6A No. 630 and E8A No. 652 on May 30. The event will raise funds to make the units operational. The photo shoot will be held at Iowa Northern Railway’s Manly Yard.

Nos. 630 and 652, built in 1941 and 1952 respectively, once pulled Rock Island’s famous Rocket streamliners, including trains that passed through Manly, a Rock Island division point just north of Mason City. They are the only surviving Rock Island E units and are owned by Iowa Northern President Dan Sabin, a former Rock Island employee.

An Iowa Northern crew will be on hand to move the units for different set ups since they are not currently operable. The cost for the event is $40 (plus fees), with 100 percent of the proceeds going to help pay for repairs to make the units operational. Since it will be May 30 when the sun stays up late, the event will start around 9 p.m. when it begins to get dark. Directions will be emailed to those who purchase tickets a few days before the event.

Night session lighting will be by Chris Guss, locomotive columnist for Trains. Participants will need to bring a tripod and cable release to be able to take photos (cell phones will not work for this event).

For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to

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