Wednesday, July 12, 2017

NRG Joliet #6+#9/ComEd Plaines Generating Plant

There are electric power generation plants of both sides of the Des Plaines River south of Joliet, IL. The BNSF/Santa Fe and UP/GM&O run past the east (#6) plant. Their is a conveyor across the river to supply the west (#9) plant.

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Randy James posted
Commonwealth Edison EMD SW1200 16, built in 1964, switches at the Plaines Generating Plant near Joliet, Illinois, now the Joliet Station of Midwest Generation. In this late 1960s photo provided by Gary Thompson the locomotive has no engineer; coupled to it is a remote control car which was, in turn, worked by an operator at the facility's car dumper. Around 1970 the remote control system was abandoned and the locomotive was operated manually from its own controls. This unit, actually owned by Relco, is still on the property but has been out of service for a decade; stripped for parts, its awaits an uncertain fate. The plant currently uses another leased unit but has been testing a GenSet unit from National Railway Equipment Co. (NREX). This information comes from Wilbert R. Harrison, Operations Supervisor-Fuel at the Joliet Station, who at one time operated and maintained No. 16.
These plants would explain why I sometimes see a loaded coal train parked on the UP/GM&O tracks over Brandon Road when I go to visit the dam and lock.

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A view of the east plant from the Brandon Road River Bridge:

This is how I learned the east plant was Joliet #6.
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That view was taken when I pulled off Brandon Road between the railroads before crossing the bridge to get the lay of the land. The tracks are the BNSF/Santa Fe. When I zoom in, I can see people fishing from on the edge of the Brandon Road bridge. That is how I knew it was legal to park on the shoulder of Brandon Road north of the river. Once again, the state supporting fisherman also supports photographing dams and bridges.
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Looking through my Joliet photos, there was a full coal train parked on the Brandon Road overpass on May 23, 2015 also. That day I walked further out onto the river bridge, and I got both of the power plants.


A view of the west plant from Larking Avenue. The emissions from both stacks are clean enough that it is hard to tell that both units are running.
Another view of the east plant from the Brandon Road Drawbridge:
On a later trip, I took my telephoto lens (55-200mm) when I walked on the river bridge to get closeups of the dam. While I was there, I got another closeup of the east plant.

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