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Traditional Geocache

Illinois Central--Freight Train: Tender

A cache by Woodlandnomad Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/12/2011
In Wisconsin, United States
1 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

Illinois Central--Freight Train: Tender

This series was created to celebrate my thousandth find and to say thank-you to the many cachers who have placed the caches that have given me such enjoyment. This series is especially inspired by imcgisme’s Beefies series and brainandbraun’ Whimsical Tales series with some help from rcflyer2242’s caches. The series is also designed with beginning cachers and especially kids in mind. All hides should be very easy and I hope that the cache containers help make it fun for kids of all ages. Families with small children and folks with complaining joints should note that the terrain for the passenger train series is straight forward and should not present much trouble. However, the terrain for the freight train series is varied. The railroad embankment near the beginning of the train is high and fairly steep, especially for the tender and tank car. These numbers should be pretty easy to guess, so it is possible to find the mystery train without climbing to these caches. Occasionally it might not be obvious where to find the log on the container. In these cases a hint will guide you. On the outside of each cache container is a series of numbers. Be sure to record the ones digit as you will need it to find the final: Mystery Train--At the Station. For example, if the number on the outside of the cache container reads 123, you would need to record the number 3.

The Badger State Trail runs on the former bed of the Freeport to Madison line of the Illinois Central. The line was originally constructed for the CM&N Railroad running from Freeport Illinois to Madison Wisconsin. It was completed in 1888 with the first train making the run on February 1, 1888. The final run was made in 1991. As part of the state of Wisconsin's Rails to Trails program, the Badger State Trail opened in 2007 with the final paved section from Purcell Road north to Madison opening in 2010. Click here for more information on the Badger State Trail.

The Tender

The tender is so closely associated with the steam locomotive that it is rare to see the two separated. The tender carries fuel and water for the locomotive. Originally, steam locomotives burned wood, later moving to coal, and still later some locomotives burned oil. The original tenders were simply U-shaped boxes surrounded by a water-jacket. Water from the tender was forced into the boiler originally by means of a pump, but later by means of steam injectors. Fuel was added to the firebox by the fireman by either throwing wood or shoveling coal. In the early twentieth century some American locomotives became so large that it was physically impossible for the firemen to shovel coal fast enough to supply all the fuel needs. These large locomotives required mechanical stokers which generally used an auger to supply coal. Corridor tenders were developed in the 1920s to handle the special needs of express trains. The corridor tender allowed express trains to run without stopping for refueling or re-watering. These tenders allowed for multiple tenders to be connected in a long string. The first use of the corridor tenders on the “Flying Scotsman,” an express train running between London and Edinburgh, had ten tenders connected in series. Some later locomotives would have as many twenty-two corridor tenders providing fuel and water. Not all locomotives required tenders. Some small locomotives, called tank engines, included a small fuel bunker and water tanks in the locomotive itself. Tank engines were typically used in switch yards. Tenders did not totally disappear with the end of the steam age. Tenders continue to see limited use on some routes through remote regions. However, today’s diesel tenders look like simple tank cars.

The Train Cars are on the track from approximately March 15 to November 15.
They are replaced by bison tubes for the winter.

The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to Steven Johnston, Badger State Trail Manager of the Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource managed lands require permission by means of a notification form. Please print out a paper copy of the notification form, fill in all required information, then submit it to the land manager. The DNR Notification form and land manager information can be obtained at:

(click to visit our website)

Additional Hints (Decrypt)


Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



231 Logged Visits

Found it 214     Didn't find it 4     Write note 8     Publish Listing 1     Needs Maintenance 3     Owner Maintenance 1     

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Current Time:
Last Updated: on 10/2/2017 10:19:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time (5:19 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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