Frank Trussell makes the last B&O train special

Illinois Journey

Eighty years of Beardstown-Flora rail passenger service came to an end on Saturday, March 24, 1951.
    Frank Trussell, often called “Mr. Bluff Springs,” decided to make that day a memorable one for those along the line and especially for 153 youngsters from the Bluff Springs area.
    Though the line’s passenger service had been handled by doodlebugs (gas-electric cars) for 20 or so years, Trussell felt the last train should be powered by a steam locomotive with a Railway Post Office (RPO) car and two passenger coaches in tow. Trussell’s niece, the late Phyllis Reichert of Bluff Springs, recalled the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad initially resisted the idea. However, Trussell, who managed the Bluff Springs Farmers Elevator from 1923 to 1968, had a close working relationship with the railroad by virtue of the fact the elevator was a major online freight customer.


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