Friday, February 5, 2016

1899 CN/IC Tunnel, "West Cabin" and Swing Bridge in East Dubuque, IL

(Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesJohn A. Weeks IIII; John Marvig; see satellite below)

1899 is the date for a total rebuilt. The original bridge was built by Andrew Carnegie and opened on Jan 1, 1869.

(Update: The CGW had trackage rights on the IC through this tunnel and over this bridge. At the other end of the tunnel was East Cabin.)

Bill Molony posted
Circa 1910 post card view of the bridges between Dubuque, Iowa and East Dubuque, Illinois.
This bridge has had a long ownership history. It began life hosting trains from the Illinois Central Railroad. The Illinois Central became the Illinois Central Gulf in 1972. This line was sold to the Chicago, Central, and Pacific in 1985, but returned to the Illinois Central in 1996. The IC merged with the Canadian National in 1999. Other railroads had trackage rights over this bridge, including the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy and the Chicago Great Western. The CGW merged into the Chicago and North Western in 1968, but the C&NW abandoned its usage of this bridge in 1981. [John Weeks]

Sj Hunter posted a video
Sj's comment:
Speaking of Chicago Central&Pacific,here's some action of them from the mid 90s at East Dubuque crossing the BN.

East Dubuque, IL. CN/IC/CC&P/ICG/IC owns the line with the tunnel and it is crossing BNSF/CB&Q.

CB&Q, IC, and CGW had joint trackage along the river. CN/IC/CC&P/ICG/IC then curves away from the river line in the vicinity of George & Dale's Food & Brew to tunnel through the river bluff to make the curve necessary to cross the bridge.
Dennis Weber posted
This is a I.C. Empty Grain Train That the BNSF Interchanged rto I.C. @ East Dubuque,Ill. Train Comes out of a Curved Tunnel Onto The BNSF Main Line Heading to The Mississippi River Bridge. { Train is Westbound}
William Brown posted
The IC/CC&P/CN tunnel at East Dubuque, Illinois. Used by CGW, CB&Q and BN. Do not try and run an Auto Rack through it. an early 1900's Postcard.
Joe Ikon added the text "The road that crossed in front of the tunnel was old US 20, it went up the side of the cliff and had a bridge that crossed Mississippi parallel to IC RR bridge into Iowa." and the following three photos.




Steve OConnor posted

William Shapotkin posted
Many of us are familiar with (or at least aware of) "East Cabin" interlocking, located in East Dubuque, IL. This is where the BNSF (ex-BN/CB&Q)/CN (ex-IC)/CGW (using CB&Q-IC trackage rights) met east of the East Dubuque Union Station.
What few of us are aware is that there had also been a "West Cabin," where the BNSF (ex-BN/CB&Q)/CN (ex-IC) x/o each other west of the portal (at the east end of the CN (IC) bridge across the Mississippi River.
Here is a pix of "West Cabin" -- to-date the only view I have come across. View looks east in this undated pic.
[This tower must have been torn down rather early because I see views below that would have had it if it was still standing.]

Was this the east portal and trees have gotten a foothold? Or did they remove the stone work from the west portal?
Mark Jones posted
W. L. “Bill” Heitter, an ICRR employee and prolific Midwest railroad photographer took this photo of IC 2-10-2 #2814 exiting the tunnel at East Dubuque on April 28, 1952– near the end of steam on IC’s Western Lines. My late Uncle, W.B. “Barney” Baxter, Rockford, IL agent/ operator would tell me about hooping up orders to steam double-headers and how they would “whistle back” in acknowledgment when they got them. He said he never forgot how that sent a chill down his spine hearing that. Happy New Year w/ IC Western Lines steam memories thanks to this fine photo by Mr Heitter!
Randy Olson Many of BILL;'s action shots of a CGW train , show his dad as the engineer.. Bill was a great story teller , lots of interesting facts , and humor.., like how IC & CGW would "race" each other along a stretch of track East of Manchester....

Jason Leverton posted
Ardi Carl Can't go there anymore! East Dubuque cops will get you for trespassing!
Richard Scott Marsh Yeah it was a city street but they gave in to the BNSF.

Greg Mross posted
IC 8414 exits the tunnel in East Dubuque, IL in November of 1997. This tunnel is unusual in that it makes a hard 90 degree turn after the trains cross the Mississippi River and the Burlington Northern.

Robert Laschinski posted
CGW used trackage rights on the IC to get over the missisippi river. Heading east over the swing bridge over the Burlington double track main and directly into this curving tunnel. We also experienced this riding the IC passenger train " Land O Corn"
Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting
Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting

Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting
Allen Troupe posted four photos with the comment:
Yesterday Robert Laschinski posted a picture of the West end of the East Dubuque tunnel that was used by the CGW. Here are some pictures of the bridge the CGW used. They were taken today from the flood wall North of the bridge on the Dubuque side of the Mississippi. As you can see a CN train led by 3 CSX locomotives was heading East while I was taken the photos. The last picture is a close up of the swinging gate that allows barges to pass through.



Brian Sopke posted
ICG GP10 #8168 at East Debuque, IL on March 24, 1984. Lundeen Photo, Brian Sopke Collection.

Oliver Waltman Remember this tunnel very well. I was once assigned there as Track Supervisor. First day there was a derailment of ballast cars in the middle of tunnel.
Brian Sopke I bet that was fun to clean up.
Oliver Waltman Had to pull cars back on track one at a time. Could only work inside tunnel a short period of time due to fumes.
Dennis DeBruler This is the first time I have seen a photo of the whole bluff. Most photos are just of some sheet metal in a hole. A textbook example of sedimentary rock.
Doc Donaldson Layer after layer of history.
Dave Durham posted
East Dubuque Illinois Central RR tunnel, 1905, unknown photographer, Illinois Digital Archives, Galena Area Historic Photos

Cody Baertschi posted on July 3, 2017
Sad day in Dubuque, as a CN employee fell off the bridge around 3:40 AM. They have transitioned the search and rescue to a body recovery mission.
[A reminder that railroading is still a dangerous job.]
Mark Llanuza posted
Photographer Terry Norton captured train 192 coming out of East Dubuque tunnel 1967. [photo collection Mark Llanuza,]
Ray Weart The CGW had trackage rights on the IC from Dubuque Jct, IA (Just across the river) to Portage, IL where their main line split off and went up the hill out of the Mississippi River valley.
Jerry Jackson posted four photos with the comment:
BNSF CP Cabin is in the background as another BNSF Intermodal heads east around this dramatic (Aided by Tele.) curve in East Dubuque, IL 2013. If I step back 50 feet and turn North, this is the view. The Tunnel turns 90° to the west, crosses the BNSF and crosses the Mississippi on the old swing bridge. A very interesting and active area.



Mike Ironman posted some different views of this area, including CN power on the BNSF tracks.




Mike Ironman added 2/4/18

Mike Ironman added 2/4/18

Mike Ironman added 2/4/18
Jerry Jackson posted two photos with the comment: "Exiting the tunnel at East Dubuque, IL is IC/CN SD70 1016. The wig-wag signal was a bonus. Fall 2002."

Jerry Jackson commented on his posting
The Tunnel is still operable, they're two different lines. The BNSF runs along the river, the CN train is coming out of the tunnel and crossing the river.
[Jerry is looking South along the BNSF/CB&Q route.]
Jerry Jackson posted three photos that include the south entrance, as well as the usual west entrance, of the tunnel with the comment: "Coming, going and crossing. The CN/IC @ East Dubuque, IL winter of 2012. That's the BNSF main at CP Cabin in the second shot."
Jeff Lewis I'm guessing that tunnel can't accommodate auto racks due to the curvature within.
Ray John Auto racks and containers are not allowed on the Freeport sub, per my friend who's an IC conductor.
Richard Scott Marsh It will take stacks with 2 8' but not hi cube containers. Racks scrape at the top center. I've seen the aftermath.




Jim Arvites posted
View of Chicago, Pacific & Pacific GP-10 #1788 leading an eastbound freight out of the old Illinois Central tunnel at East Dubuque, Illinois in 1993.
(Jim Arvites Photo)

Tim Adams posted six photos with the comment:
The Dubuque Railroad Bridge carries a single track across the Mississippi River between Dubuque, Iowa, and East Dubuque, Illinois.
It has 5 spans and a swing-span dating back to the late 1800s. It has been upgraded and renovated several times, It is currently operated by Canadian National Railway.
The original swing bridge was constructed by Andrew Carnegie and operated by the Dunleith & Dubuque Bridge Company in December 1868, and was primarily used by the Illinois Central Railroad. Other railroads had trackage rights over this bridge, including the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy and the Chicago Great Western. The bridge has 5 spans and a swing-span and was totally rebuilt in 1899..
The east end of the bridge connects to a railroad tunnel on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. There isn't enough room between the river and the bluff for the rail line, so the railroad heads into the bluff, and makes a sweeping turn to the south, where it meets up with BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) mainline.
Prior to the construction of the bridge, railroad cars, wagons, and travelers of the 1860s had to be carried across the Mississippi on ferry boats.
Tim Adams For the full view of the bridge walk North on the riverwalk on the Iowa side from Paddlewheel Plaza. Walk North to the Dubuque Star Brewing Company for the close up view of the tracks and bridge. 
Tod Riebow shared
Looking out of the train tunnel opening in East Dubuque onto the railroad Bridge. June 1909. You can see the shot tower across the river that the artist assumed was a smokestack..

A nice view of the river bluff on the Illinois side:

 I wonder if the train is a BSSF/CB&Q train with CSX run-through power.




Digitized by Google, p484

Two of the photos posted by Jeff Wojciechoski with the comment: ""
[US-20 Bridge in the foreground and US-61+151 Bridge in the background.]


In 1997, David Wilson caught an IC engine peaking out from the tunnel and then crossing the bridge.

Robert Jordan shared his RailPictures photo of the bridge at night with the comment: "CN days but the IC swing bridge at Dubuque looking east. I went out there several nights with my Border Collie. We sit up the levee, play fetch or talk to kids hanging out waiting for the EB. This was around 1:30."

Mike Ironman posted 9 photos from "Vantage Bluff."

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