Sunday, August 14, 2016

Crab Orchard & Egyptian Railroad (COER)

Please go to American-Rails  and search for "crab orchard" for the history of the railroad after its formation in 1971 as a tourist line.

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The route was part of an IC branch that went to Marion from the IC mainline at Carbondale. East of Marion, it curved south and went to Metropolis and then east to a ferry service across the Illinois River at Brookport. After IC built its cutoff route from Edgewood south to Metropolis, the branch through Marion became obsolete. The track east of Marion is not in my 1972 RR Atlas.


Nathan Beasley's posting has some history.

Peter Huffman posted
COER 900181. Ex-BNSF. Latonia, KY 5-27-16Jason Birkner Auto-Max articulated autorack. Designed to haul SUV's.
TJ Cloke COER = Crab Orchard and Egyptian Railway. Located in southern Illinois. Their claim to fame is being the last railroad to operate steam locomotives in common carrier freight service; which lasted until 1986.
[I wonder if COER has become the kind of shortline that can't fit all of its cars on its own tracks because it goes after the per-diem charges. This car design is just a few years old. I wonder why BNSF is dumping them already.]


Judging from some of the signs I saw, they must run training classes for other railroads. But it must also be a legit shortline because I saw a cut of "trash container cars" while I was there.


They still have signs of their steam legacy.


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