December 2010 photos
Illinois Trip

Photos by Dave Ingles

On Nov. 30, I drove to Springfield, Ill., for a short visit, and returned on Dec. 3. Railroad action was not the primary focus, but I didn't pass up easy opportunities. Swinging off the I-39 thru Rochelle as per usual, I stumbled into a BNSF meet at Steward, east end of the BNSF's double-track on its C&I line thru Rochelle. This is eastbound stacks.

Westbound stacks meet eastbound stacks

The eastbound passes thru the town.

Down at McLean along I-55, I overtook that rarity on the old GM&O/ICG line -- a UP freight. Since I had just put my new plates on the van, I had to pose it accordingly. Wis. DMV thinks this stands for "alternate route," but we railfans know better! The train pulled up and stopped.

The plate-holder also applies in McLean, which is on "The Mother Road." My old plates read "EXLPR66."

Leaving town on Friday the 3rd, I caught ex-C&IM RS1325 No. 31 working in the I&M yard.

Shortly, an NS westbound came through town.

Heading north on I-55, I chanced about UP work trains north of Williamsville, busy improving tracks for higher speed passenger trains. Amtrak's Lincoln Service trains were operating Chicago-Bloomington/Normal only during this period, busing south of BNL, with the Texas Eagle detouring again on UP's ex-C&EI route. This is a rail train, with the little cab and straddle device moving back and forth over the concrete ties.

The Elkhart elevator has an ex-Santa Fe GP7 rebuilt, in BNSF's original color scheme. Herzog is the contractor here on t he UP work.

Looking south at Elkhart.

I detoured off I-39 to Ottawa, Ill., this time, and while another guy worked to the west in the CSX (ex-Rock Island) yard, this guy was parked at the east end.

The ex-CB&Q depot is HQ for this division of the Illinois Railway (formerly Illinois Rail Net), which runs the old CB&Q/'BN line from Montgomery, Ill., near Aurora, down to Ottawa and on to Streator. A 1-stall engine house north of the CSX (RI) diamond is its shop, where I found some units.

Hudson Bay Rwy. in Canada was apparently part of this conglomerate's empire, or may still be.

"That magic number" is still out there.

At the north end of town, this Illinois Rwy. job was switching.

Pulling off I-39 at Steward, I just missed an eastbound BNSF, but found the Savanna-Eola local in the yard at Rochelle's east end.

This eastbound surprised me.

The switcher was parked by the old depot site; there is a new yard office modular building here now.

Another eastbound was coming; I set up at MP84 west of the UP diamond.

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