Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Southern Pacific locomotives on The Racetrack

"The Racetrack" is the BNSF/BN/CB&Q 3-track mainline between Aurora and Chicago. It is famous among railfans because it handles over 100 passenger and 50 freght trains each day. And since I live just a few blocks from the Main Street Station, it is of special interest to me.

I knew the UP had trackage rights on The Racetrack because it bought the Southern Pacific, which had trackage rights on the route. I copied the following from the BRC over Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal notes because Zaky not only explained where the SP trains terminated, he answered my question as to where the SP entered CB&Q territory.

Zaky Joseph posted
We turn back the clock to August of 1989. Here is Southern Pacific train LBCH-T (Long Beach, California to Chicago/Bedford Park , Illinois - trailers) . It has just exited trackage rights from the BN racetrack at 26th st., and is heading south on the BRC Kenton line, passing over the Chicago Sanitation Canal bridge. The train is about to cross the Santa Fe at Nerska and the IC (ex GM&O) at Lemoyne. Power for this train is a Denver Rio Grande and Western gp 40, a leased Santa Fe b 23-7, and a Saint Louis and Southwestern (Cotton Belt) b40-8.
Dennis DeBruler Thanks for explaining the bigger picture of why a SP train would be southbound on BRC tracks. Where did SP trains enter CB&Q territory to exercise their trackage rights into Chicago?
Zaky Joseph Dennis DeBruler from Kansas City, they SP would enter the Kansas City Terminal Railway after crossing the Kansas River, then head north, cross the Missouri River, where it would get onto Q rails: all the way to Galesberg, then the Mendota Sub to Aurora, then the Chicago Sub to the BRC connection at 26th st.

The motivation for these notes is another posting by Zaky.

Zaky Joseph posted four photos with the comment: "Southern Pacific activity around Chicago. Trains symbols, locations and dates provided."

1
SP train EUCH-Q (Eugine, Oregon to Chicago/BRC Clearing Yard) passes over the Desplaines River eastbound on the BN racetrack through Riverside, Illinois. December, 1990. A SP sd45 #7511, and two SP sd40-2Ts are in charge, all facing east.
Dennis DeBruler It looks like you had to do some hiking in the wilderness to get that shot. Thanks for pointing out the tunnel locos. I would have missed that the fan grills are down by the walkway rather than in a flare near the roof.https://www.google.com/.../@41.8259116,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3
Zaky Joseph Dennis DeBruler yup, I had my hiking boots on. Back then, I would stop by the Riverside Police Department and let them know I'd be back there, in case the crews complained about it. As long as I didn't cross tracks and stayed far enough away from the right of way, they didn't mind.

2
SP train EUCH-Q heads south on the BRC crossing over the Chicago Sanitation Canal bridge approaching Nerska and Lemoyne. Chicago, Illinois. December, 1990. Rio Grande sd45 #5331 plus a SP sd40-2T and a SP sd40-2 are in charge.Dennis DeBruler So DRGW had bought SP by the end of 1990.

3
SP train CHRO-M (Chicago/BRC Clearing to Roper Yard -Salt Lake City, Utah) heads north on the BRC with a SP sd40-2 "kodachome" leading, a Morrison Knudsen sd40-2 (ex BN), a SP sd40-2 and a SP gp60; passing through Lemoyne and Nerska, going to the BN racetrack. August 1988.

4
SP train CHLB-T (Chicago/Bedford Park, Illinois to Long Beach, California -Trailers) heads west on the BN racetrack with two SP speed lettered gp 60s and a SP sd40-2 at the Lavergne Interlocking. Berwyn, Illinois. August, 1990.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Zaky's post
Of course the searchlights have now been replaced by tricolor heads. This view is looking West at the interlocking from the LaVergne Station platform. (As a true railfan, I don't like trains skunking the rails :-)) Actually, I got plenty of commuter train shots. During the 17 minutes I was there, 5 of them passed me. Most didn't stop.

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