Monday, November 28, 2016

Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria over Spring Creek near Spring Valley

ITS/CO&P was an interurban. I don't normally do interurbans because trying to learn the Illinois railroads is daunting enough. But this is an impressive bridge.

Kerry Bruck posted
Ken Hejl The train in the valley is actually the C&NW. The far grade is the steep hill vehicle road that went from Greenwood down to the mine.

The C&NW served three coal mines on the west side of Spring Valley.
I've written a few postings about BNSF/BN/CB&Q/IV&N in Peru. (Search Towns and Nature with the string "peru, il:" and ignore the results except for the titles beginning with "Peru, IL:") I was trying to follow the IV&N further west, but I had to go back north to US-6 to continue West. I came to a hill that was steep and long enough to allow me to try downshifting the minivan that I had bought just a few weeks earlier. Since the transmission has six gears, it did not have numbers for the lower gears like my older minivans had. So I had read the owner's manual to figure out how to use the "+" and "-" indicators. The manual did not make sense. I used this hill to determine that the van works the way I think it should rather than the way the manual explained.
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I'm already significantly down the hill before I took this picture. The BN labeled bridge reminded me that the IV&N climbed out of the Illinois River valley using the Spring River valley.

Looking at a 1939 aerial photo, I'm reminded of another reason why I don't research interurbans --- they were abandoned by the time of these photos. Kerry Bruck added the following comment to his posting:
The CO&P left the streets at the south end of Greenwood Street--one block east of Rt 89. The bridge in the photo is crossing the C&NW yards where the C&NW served Spring Valley Coal Company, Mine #1 (located to the right of this photo-East), an interchange with the CRI&P more or less to the left of this photo-West), and a short spur with a steep grade to access a lumber & coal company (between the trestle and the yard below-ran from the yards a block to the West of Greenwood Street). After crossing the C&NW and then Spring Creek, the CO&P ran a short distance on a grade--the land elevation rises quickly East of Spring Creek. A short distance East on this grade the CO&P crossed over the CB&Q which ran through a cut at that point. The CO&P then ran where a gravel road still exists South of Webster Park and turned to the North on the Eastern most street of Webster Park. It ran North to Route 6 and then East to Peru.

The red line is my current guess as to where the trestle was. Harold J. Krewer confrimed this was correct. (I had posted some earlier guesses that were quite wrong.) Harold adds: "That road extending from the bridge site and making the dogleg northeast appears to be on the old CO&P grade."

1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Ken Hejl Followed the entire ROW from Greenwood to Rt. 6 about 3 years ago. 80 years later, it is all intact except for the 2 bridges. Walked from Greenwood to the western bridge abutment and then from Rt 6 to the eastern abutment. In Webster Park, it actually ran behind the homes on the eastern end of Webster, not in the street. People's back yards end at the ROW. It is raised above the yards. Used to work with a guy that lived there. At the south end of Webster it curved 90 degrees west ( a heavy tree line) and crossed Oak St. It continued west where gravel road is now (also called Oak on maps). Where the gravel road turns left, down the hill, the ROW went straight to the IV&N abutments. From there west, it is very grown in, but passable ( I went in the spring) through the dogleg area to the east end of the bridge. Last time I was out there was in the 70's when the C&NW was still in. An old set of stairs and loading area remains at the west end of the IV&N abutments. I might add that I walked with permission of the land owner. It is all owned by Western Sand & Gravel now.




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