Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MoW: Welding of McCook Crossing Diamonds (Santa Fe vs. IHB)

(CRJ) McCook Crossing is where BNSF/Santa Fe's mainline crosses the Indiana Harbor Belt. I have studied satellite images of the crossing. and it is surrounded by industrial properties. So I'm glad others got pictures before railroads raised their security to neurotic levels.

Jerry Jackson -> Chicagoland Railfan, used with permission
Jerry's comment:
Working on the diamond. The IHB/ATSF diamond at McCook need constant attention. From the millions of tons crossing north and south on the IHB to the 65 mph trains heading east and west on the Santa Fe. Here in the first shot, a CSX crew does some welding as an IHB transfer crosses northbound. This was shot in 1987. The second shot was shooting from the opposite direction, as another crew welds the same spot a few years later.
Jerry Jackson -> Chicagoland Railfan,
Used with permission
Note that the reporting marks for the C&NW hopper is Chicago and Great Western. A Maine Central car in the Midwest was probably rare. CSX doing the repairs reminds be that B&OCT shared this route with IHB.

Jerry Jackson comment on above posting
There was a lot of maintenance required there.
Santa Fe would run through the diamonds at 60+ mph.


Michael Wayne Sitter posted

Michael Wayne Sitter posted
Michael Wayne Sitter commnt:

Eastbound CP transfer on the IHB with a pair of SD40-2s crossing the BNSF at McCook, IL in the winter of 1997/98. - Michael W. Sitter
Jerry Jackson provided the info:
Yes, it definitely looks like McCook. Shot looking west from the east side of the diamond, the ATSf right-of-way to the right. The CP transfer his going west by timetable on the IHB. The shadows show the Sun to be in the south. 
Mike Breski posted
Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad · 19680421 04 IHB 8719 8782 McCook, IL
Jerry Hongoltz posted
Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad in the mid-seventies with a yellow color scheme
With wood slat caboose.
Chuck Earley Not sure is that pipes lines for switches for a interlocking on left side.
Kam Miller Yes. Rods, not pipes, though. I think this location is McCook. US Highway 66 Bridge (Joliet Road) in the background. Not sure though if that is the Chicago & Illinois Western under the front truck of the Olive Green NW2 or the Santa Fe. I know it would be the Santa Fe behind the caboose if this is McCook.
Jerry Jackson Yes, that's the old C&WI [C&IW] diamond under the second unit. The shot was most likely taken from the ATSF tower at McCook. VERY cool shot.
Jerry Jackson posted this photo as a comment in another posting with the text: "I believe this is Ken Rehor's photo."

John David Larson posted
For as often as you could see power from any road anywhere in Chicago, finding these two roads in the same frame, Santa Fe and Chicago and Northwestern, is not something I saw very often. In fact, this could be the only time in the year 1995 at McCook.
Thomas Merritt I believe SF and C&NW used to exchange coal trains here, that loaded at York Canyon, NM and went to a Wisconsin Electric plant on the C&NW, so this meet-up was probably more commonplace than one would expect.
Larry Hegstad Your right.. One of the wildest lash ups of CNW I witnessed was at McCook! It had an SD-18, two geeps, and two Dash-9's! ATSF pulled up to take over the train with 3 Dash-8's! Dang, wish I could find my pictures!!
Rob Olewinski Cmraseye Got a slew of CNW GP7/9's doing the honors here once!
Update:

Ramon Rhodes posted
McCook circa 1940. [Barriger Collection Photo]
Jerry Jackson Looking ATSF West. Amazing photo! Thanks Ramon!
Flickr from John W. Barriger III IHB Album
Bob Lalich 5y 
McCook looking NW, crossing of C&IW and AT&SF.
This was a great place to sit and watch trains until the road was blocked off ! I was one lucky rail fans to get to visit the interlocking tower before it was knocked down in the 1970's.

Jack Delano, Jan 1943
Rockysmycat: "Looking to the northwest at McCook, the Santa Fe crossing. I recognize the jog in the mainline on the other side of the diamond." [Shorpy]

Gerry Grzyb posted
Inbound Texas Chief at McCook
.[Comments indicate 1970 and the tower burned down.]
Jerry Jackson posted
I posted this pic as a comment to a remark that the speed limit at the McCook, IL IHB/ATSF double diamond was 30mph. It may be now but not back in my day. Sixty for freight and sixty-five for Amtrak. I should say this span of personal experience was from the early eighties until late 93.
John LaRochelle In the 1970's the speed for both passenger and freight Norfolk and Western trains over the B&OCT/IHB diamonds at Chicago Ridge was 60 MPH. B&OCT/IHB/MILW road was 40 MPH. It was music to my ears.
Jerry commented on his posting
Jerry posted again
Ramon Rhodes It was Vulcan Materials. They supplied the Santa Fe with ballast for the Chillicothe subdivision for years. You recognize their ballast because it was white in color. Once they started charging higher prices for washed ballast rock, the Santa Fe went elsewhere for their ballast and the profile of the Chillicothe subdivision changed. New ballast was brought in from other locations of different colors.

Larry Buell Ramon I'd correct. We loaded a lot of ballast for a number of years. Two things happened. Vulcan didn't want to wash the stone as they had plenty of highway work ('92-'93) so they tacked on a surcharge. Also, the rock seam of dolomite was softer and tests indicated that it would break down faster. Pedernel ballast became the go to ballast for the RR.

Ramon Rhodes The quarry is still there and it still sends ballast out but it is mostly on the Indiana Harbor Belt Line.
Jerry Jackson posted three photos with the comment: "BRC at the diamond in McCook. 1987-90."

1

2

Donny Albertson posted
A Santa Fe w/b pig train with the hot power at the time, the B39-8's accelerates towards McCook crossing on 26MAR1990
Donny Albertson I was trying to find my way to the crossing and just happened upon this train.Jerry Jackson Those are B40-8's. The B39-8's were 7400-7402. Still a good shot though.



Greg Mross posted
McCook,IL August 1988.
[It is nice to see some IHB action as well as BNSF/Santa Fe.]
Ramon Rhodes posted
Jerry Jackson How can they kick up dust at 30 mph?
Ramon RhodesGroup Admin It's 30 "over" the crossing. They usually come sprinting right up to the crossing and then reduce speed just before they cross it!
Jerry Jackson My ears are still ringing from when it was 60 for freight and 65 for Amtrak.
Kyle Penn Those ES units also have air ducts that blow moisture off the track and sometimes kick up dust.
Dennis DeBruler Imagine what a racket was like before the use of articulated trucks and just 40-foot cars. My main experience with trains pounding the diamonds is the BNSF crossing the former Rock Island in Joliet. You can tell how many platforms a deep-well car has by the sound of the trucks hitting the diamonds.
Ramon RhodesGroup Admin BNSF beats the piss out of those Joliet diamonds. Note the ever present pile of ballast just off to the side to place in that bottomless hole below the track that eats rock.
Dennis DeBruler I took a short video of a westbound at Joliet to catch the speed and sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aggm7O5rRRk
Jerry Jackson posted
Belt Railway of Chicago's heavy locomotives were made to PULL. This train stalled, sitting at the signal protecting the IHB/ATSF diamond in McCook. The 602 and 605 was grinding sand like crazy. When they finally got their train going at basically 2-3 mph, I was able to walk over to the wrong side and shoot this one. Late 80's shot.
Rob C Dargan One couldn’t pull 25 cars but two were unstoppable!Mark Bilecki Sr. They were only 2400 hp, but heavily ballasted.


Ramon Rhodes posted
 Santa Fe trackchart
Ramon Rhodes posted




Ramon Rhodes posted 14 photos about this junction covering the history from 1930 to now. The photos includes adding a second connector in the southwest quadrant to help relieve congestion at this junction. Fortunately he posted to a public group so you can follow the link and read it on Facebook.

1968 Track Profile, p101
Jerry Jackson posted
A pair of EMD SD70M Demonstrators are fresh from the factory and only about a half mile up the road from EMD LaGrange. A CNW/UP train with a pair of C40-8's goes by on the IHB. July 1992 in McCook, IL
Nathan Mackey posted
Looking south at McCook of a train coming off the Santa Fe for the Harbor. We were up all night on some WC transfer so I went for a walk with the camera to stay awake. February 2000.

Gerry Grzyb posted "Inbound Texas Chief at McCook." [He catches a corner of the tower. The comments indicate 1970 and that the tower burned down soon after this photo while it was still active.]

A 1961 photo that shows part of the tower.

A Flickr photo of a southbound CSX auto-rack train on the IHB tracks approaching the BNSF diamonds.

Eddie posted a photo looking southwest along the BNSF/Santa Fe route.

Eddie posted  a Flickr photo with the comment:
A northbound Norfolk Southern Railroad freight train traveling over the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad, enters the westbound interchange connection track at Mc Cook Junction.
This train is entering on to the BNSF Railway's former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad line.
Mc Cook Illinois. May 2007.
So NS and CB&Q can run through using just their own tracks, but NS and Sante Fe have to use a lot of the IHB route to make the connection.

A video of Santa Fe trains pounding the diamonds in 1986  You can hear the difference in sound when 5-packs roll across the diamonds.


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