A comment for Fred Frailey's column concerning this bridge indicated that in the 1980s the plant was a duPont (later ETI) explosives plant. That would explain why it is off "Dupont" road. Another comment from Trains login NebraskaZephyr is:
Know this bridge and the area well, having grown up along the RI in Utica, IL and worked for the Daily Times newspaper in Ottawa.
When the K&S was mostly abandoned in the late 1930s, the Rock Island kept the track a bit beyond the DuPont plant to service a grain elevator a mile or two southeast at a place the railroad called Langham. As recently as 10 years ago, the derelict elevator was visible on the horizon from the front gate of the plant.
Another interesting tidbit about that remnant of the K&S is the switch barely visible at the bottom of Fred's second photo. It leads to Conti-Carriers, a rail-barge transfer facility for bulk materials. Originally that parcel of land was developed by Chicago Bridge & Iron into a shipyard that hummed round-the-clock cranking out LSTs for the U.S. Navy. The Seneca-built LSTs joined the Manitowoc-built submarines in heading off to war down the Illinois River.
Fred, I've always been a great fan of your work and I'm glad you got to take a tour of my old railroad stomping ground.
Before I learned about the K&S, I studied satellite images to see where the railroad went after it crossed the river. What surprised me was how easy it was to follow the abandoned line to Mazon, IL. It was harder to follow the old line from Mazon to Gardner, IL. And I was unable to follow it past Gardner. Also, www.flashearth.com was easier to follow than maps.google.com. Below is an excerpt from an aerial photo taken in 1940.
Below is a screen shot of the aerial mapping web page that records the 1940 aerial photo I used for the above image of "land scars."
|Bill Molony ->|
RAILROAD HISTORY BUFFS OF ILLINOIS
The Kankakee & Seneca Railroad connected with: The Big Four and the Illinois Central in Kankakee at MP 0.0Bill Molony: The K&S was owned 50% by the Big Four and 50% by the Rock Island. It was constructed for the purpose of providing a through route between the Big Four and the Rock Island that bypassed Chicago.
The Wabash in Essex at MP 18.0
The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern in Coster at MP 22.9
The Chicago & Alton in Gardner at MP 23.9
The Santa Fe in Mazon at MP 30.8
The Rock Island in Seneca at MP 42.5
|safe_image for KLASEY: Kankakee & Seneca Railroad the local 'short line'|
"The Kankakee & Seneca Railroad died in 1933, at the age of 51."
|Josh Biggers ->|
Here we have an Eastbound Kankakee and Seneca mixed passenger/freight train arriving into the town of Bonfield, IL. This was taken some time between 1900 and 1910.
The train is lead by a CRI&P 4-4-0. I can't tell what engine number she is but judging by the shape of the boiler and steam domes she has a 500 number.
Notice the brakeman on the roof of the boxcar behind the locomotive.
Comments indicated that 4-4-0's could be powerful for such a small engine because that was a rather long train.