Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Chicago Rail Link

Chicago Rail Link (CRL) took over the freight operations of Rock Island when Metra took over the commuter service to Joliet. (CSX does the freight further west of Joliet and Interstate Iowa handles the rest of Rock Island's Illinois route as well as Iowa. The boundary between CSX and IAIS operations keeps moving east as the Class I CSX becomes less interested in running local trains.) CRL has also taken over operations for other remnants of railroads down by the Calumet Lake region.

A history provided by UP:
This company was originally the LaSalle & Bureau County Railway, which was organized August 29, 1890. The Chicago area trackage was acquired from the CRI&P around 1980, and the present name adopted May 1, 1985. The original L&BC route was between LaSalle and Midway, Illinois, has since been abandoned. CRL merged with Chicago, West Pullman & Southern (CWP) on August 15, 1996, and CRL is the surviving company. The company is a subsidiary of OmniTRAX.
The green rectangle in the map below indicates that they are trying to sell the land where the track has been torn up in Blue Island Yard, Shortline has a detailed map that shows CRL uses the Root Street Junction interchange track to access the former NYC/Chicago Junction/Union Stock Yard and Transit Company to access the Ashland Avenue Yard and it uses the connector in the southwest quadrant of the 16th Street Junction to use the St. Charles Air Line to Wood Street and Western Avenue Yards.
Omnitrax
Update:
They are working with the FRA to test an improved grade crossing technology at their 104th Street crossing. Specifically, it senses an approaching train using sound and vibrations instead of track circuits. This history of signalling video explains what a track circuit is.

Craig Cloud posted this 11th photo in a set
Ever been to Irondale? The CNW reched via BRC I think, sitting next to CNW depot 1042 and 59, rare to see a geep with dynamics, most removed during rebuild.
Kevin Piper posted
What makes this photo interesting to me is I caught the best and the worst together. SW9 51 was the absolute nicest EMD switcher I ever ran, but SW1200 6 was nothing but bad. The 51 came to CRL from CWP&S, and had a well-maintained polished brass 6BL brake valve, great hot water heat, could pull like the Devil, and even had oak flooring and stained woodwork in the cab. Now the 6 on the other hand was leased from Relco and was loaded with electrical and mechanical problems too numerous to list. It could not pull its own weight, and lasted less than a month at CRL. All old EMD's are not equal! Chicago, IL, 8-10-89.

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