Bloomington was the eastern terminus for the GM&O's motor train to Kansas City by way of Jacksonville, Illinois. A pair of Electro-Motive diesel-electric cars ("doodlebugs") with a trailer combine plied the route in a daytime run, meeting each other halfway. (There was at least one backup unit.) The westbound train left Bloomington at 8:00 a.m. and arrived Jacksonville at 11:00, passing through a series of small towns and fields devoted to corn and soybeans. (Click here for the 1956 Bloomington-Kansas City timetable which will open as a PDF in a new window.) The trains made their last run on April 14, 1960. For more commentary on "doodlebugs," visit the "Nonsteam Rarities" page on Richard Leonard's Steam Locomotive Archive.

I have photos — some by my brother David — from two runs of the "doodlebug," plus a few earlier shots of the train at the Bloomington depot. With the first run, we did not ride the train but chased it with our family car as far as Stanford, the second stop west of Bloomington. The second run was on June 10, 1959, when my brother and I took the train to Jacksonville where our father met us and we attended the Methodist Conference session at MacMurray College. For some reason my photos from this trip end at San Jose. I either ran out of film or wasn't interested in the C&IM crossing at Petersburg or the Jacksonville depot area. Below are links to photos taken on both runs, and you can also page through the entire set.