Saturday, December 13, 2014

CN/IC Trains and MoW

During a trip south on I-57, I was able to grab some shots of Canadian National (formerly Illinois Central) trains.

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Just south of Kankakee, I took this picture to capture a tower that is still standing and to record that CN has upgraded their mainline to the new signals needed for Positive Train Control. Note the signals down the track beyond the tower.
That location beyond the tower is where the signal in this picture is located. Note that there is an engine in the background as well as the foreground engine that is leading a train. These engines were not moving. So these signals must control access to sidings. The following picture verifies that the train was quite short. Unfortunately, the resolution of the pictures was not good enough to get the numbers on the engines.

I could not figure out how many bays are in the covered hopper just behind the last tank car. The other 4 hoppers have 3 bays. A count of the car types is in the first numeric column below.

covered hopper 5 17
tank 4 36
bulkhead flat 1

10 88

When I stopped in Ashkum to check the grain elevator's use of their old ground storage facility, I noticed that CN had some MoW equipment parked on a siding.

North of Buckley, I caught up with a southbound mixed freight. The resolution of the pictures is not good enough to get the numbers on the two engines. I finally went past the train south of Buckley. I took enough pictures that I was able to determine the car type counts. The count of car types is the second numeric column above. The mix is similar to a typical mixed freight through Downers Grove -- lots of covered hoppers and tank cars and a few lumber and fewer box/refers -- except it also had several vehicle cars. What few vehicle cars come through Downers are in unit trains.

North of Rantoul, on the former east/west IC branch, was parked the following -- 2 engines, 20 cars, and a caboose. The cars look like 4-bay covered hoppers. It is too bad the resolution is not good enough to see the logos. The logo does not look like CN. Using two engines for 20 cars seems to be overkill.

And I do wish I had a better shot of the caboose. But there are limits to what you can grab at 70 miles per hour. The following is at camera resolution.

I determined that this branch is now the Fisher Farmers Grain and Coal. The 2014 Illinois map that labeled the railroad west of Rantoul as FFGC also labels a railroad east of Rantoul tpast Dillsburg as ZCGL. But I could not find any info on ZGCL with Google. Satellite maps indicate there is a grain elevator in Dillsburg, but the Google maps show that there is no longer a track past Kentucky Avenue.

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