Monday, October 2, 2017

General Mills in St. Charles, IL has closed

Mark Llanuza posted two photos with the comment: "its the 2006 in St Charles riding on the former CGW line with famous Radio Rex Hauser going across the Fox River and switching General Mills."


General Mills has been removed from Google, but it is still in Bing. After tracing the track, I realized this must have been a second General Mills plant in the Fox River Valley because it is along the remnant of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy's original mainline from Aurora to the Galena & Chicago Union tracks, which it used to access Chicago. (G&CU became the C&NW, and it is now the UP. CB&Q built its own route to Chicago in the 1860s.) I need to check out the activity of this plant when I do a field trip to see the JB Tower in West Chicago.


So I went to Plan B to find the General Mills that Mark was referring to. Tracing the CGW route to the east from the bridge, it was severed by the DuPage airport. But an industrial spur was built to the south to connect it with the UP/C&NW mainline. (The C&NW merged with the CGW in 1969 and then C&NW tore up most of the CGW routes because they were redundant with the C&NW after trucks replaced the horse and wagon.)

Tracing the route west of the bridge finds the track ending at a big vacant lot.
Looking at 1963 and 1996 aerial photos this lot has always been vacant. But there was a lot of industry east of Randall Road. Those industries must have been torn down a while ago because that area has been completely rebuilt.

While tracing the route west of the river, I did find the remnants of a couple of other rail served industries. You can see a little stretch of the north siding still peaking through the weeds on the right side of the image.
And we can see tracks for either a double track mainline or a mainline and industrial siding left in Debruyne Street. But there are no tracks left on the bridge. It makes you wonder what UP is going to do with the bridge.

I checked out a 1939 aerial photo for the General Mills plant, but this whole area was

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