Monday, April 3, 2017

BNSF/Santa Fe Bridge over Des Plaines River in Lemont, IL

(no Bridge Hunter, Satellite)

(Update: in 1947 the Des Plaines River was to the top of the rails of this bridge.)

20140514 0023, taken from the High Bridge at 26mm because I wanted to include the two Egrets on the left
Looking Upstream

Digital zooming of the above
I didn't notice until I looked at the satellite image that there is a set of unused piers downstream of the existing bridge.

I struggled to get a photo of the upstream side from Canal Bank Road. The struggle was trying to find a break in the treeline along the bank. This is the best I found with the restriction of staying on the road.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
I went back to a 1938 aerial photo to see what was on the old piers. To my surprise, the bridge had already been replaced with the current bridge that provides a more gentle curve for the approach. Or the piers were for an old interurban railroad. But the only interurban I have read about in this area stayed on the south side of the river and canal.

2021 Update:

Jerry Jackson commented on his posting of the CSSC Bridge that is about 500 feet further down the track
Jerry Jackson commented on his posting of the CSSC Bridge that is about 500 feet further down the track

Halsted Pazdzoir posted
BNSF. LCHI105 has had a decent amount of pre-merger power lately, and today was no exception.
Lemont, Illinois
I caught the same train in Romeville, IL:]

Dennis DeBruler posted four screenshots with the comment:
Halsted Pazdzoir posted a photo of the Oct 9, 2019, LCHI105 on the Des Plaines River bridge. I (almost) caught the same train moving fast in Romeoville, IL. The lead locomotive, a covered hopper, and the shoving platform were Cascade Green. The green covered hoppers I have seen in the past were old BN cars. This one had a BNSF livery. All of the BNSF grain cars that I have seen before were brown.
William Brown The Covered Hopper is a Sugar Car.
Sean Ross The very first BNSF hoppers were green, some with large logos, some small.

Halsted Pazdzior posted
A three pack of leased units run CHIGAL across the Des plaines River. This train snuck up on me and I was a few seconds from missing the shot. Luckily things worked out for the best.
[We had 5" of rain in two days, but I see the river is high in the other photos as well. Only Bob's 1987 photo link below shows the top of the piers.]

Robby Gragg Flickr photo taken 2017 Oct 17
Three former Santa Fe Dash 9s lead L-CHI102 west through Lemont, IL. What year is it again?
[We had heavy rains in the metro area on Oct 14, 2017. That is why we can see debris blocked on the other side of the piers. There reason he is asking about the year is that three "war bonnets" is very rare in 2017. We now mostly see pumpkin orange BNSF locomotives. The two orange rectangles behind the cabs in the second and third units are replaced air conditioners. Note that the red paint has various degrees of fading to pink. They are indeed old units.]

Jay Brown posted
The Retro BNSF Feel...
A pair of Heritage 1 SD40-2s take a Local around the bend over the Des Plaines River in Lemont, IL.
Robert Learmont No air conditioning, ultra happy crews enjoying all the extra headroom in those cabs the past few days.
Larry Rajchel Best looking freight locomotives ever built.

I have to figure out how they are getting to this spot along the river.
Sam Foster posted
While most Chicago railfans were enjoying Showcase Weekend at the Illinois Railway Museum, me and a few friends ventured down to Lemont, Illinois to catch BNSF local train M-CHIGAL. When we heard the train would have a BN GP30 carbody in the lead, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shoot it in golden hour lighting. The shot couldn’t have turned out better.

[A BN livery on the former Santa Fe brings out the railfans. Jake Rubin posted a photo of the train crossing the canal.]

HalstEd Pazdzior posted
L-CHI105 had a Burlington Northern leader today. Seen here crossing the Des Plaines River in Lemont. After finding out they were running wrong main I did everything to try and get a little elevation. I climbed the old bridge abutment, climbed a step ladder, and held the camera over my head. Probably a funny sight for the engineer.
[The lead unit has a GP-30 car body, and the second unit is a B-unit (no cab).]
Dennis DeBruler: The B-Unit has the H1 livery.

Nick Hart posted
High above the Des Plaines River, L CHI105 heads west into Lemont with a trio of BN painted EMD's leading the charge.
SD40-2 1795
SD40-2 1958
GP39M (GP30 carbody) 2740
[It is a big deal that there would be three locomotives still in BN green in 2020. It is even more of a big deal because this is on the former Santa Fe route.]

Dennis DeBruler commented on Nick's post
This view makes it obvious that there are abandoned piers and that they tried to position the new piers upstream of the old piers. And yet the old piers still catch a lot of debris. These abandoned piers are a lot less obvious in ground level photos.

Jay Brown posted
Continuing with the Autumn Theme, heres the last day of colorful trees, as a severe storm wiped out many of the leaves that night.
M-CHIGAL1 19A cruises over the Des Plaines River with a 90’s consist for the record books.
October 2019 @ Lemont, IL

Jay Brown posted
A bit of ATSF action on the Transcon this afternoon. June 2nd, 2020 @ Lemont, IL.
Dennis DeBruler Matt Buhlig caught the same train crossing the Lemont Bridge.
[A rare paint scheme for 2020. That is what brought out the railfans.]

ATSF Des Plaines River 4/87
This is the site of the original Chicago Portage which enabled small boats and canoes to go between the Great Lakes and Mississippi water systems. This geographic feature is the reason Chicago became a great transportation center.
[A view of the upstream side]

I was going to skip yet another set of old paint jobs until I realized these were pulling a stack train rather than a local and Stan provided some insight into train operation.
Jake Rubin posted
Former glory. BNSF 645 doing what it does best. Leading hot intermodal trains on the former Santa Fe mainline. Lemont 11/01/20
Stan Stanovich: ...excellent photograph Jake Rubin, I’m glad you were able to catch this in decent light! This particular train arrived Chicago as NS 21G, I believe the BNSF symbol is QNYCLAC. Today the power was swapped at Ashland Avenue. If practicable, it is changed at Colehour. As of recent times, NS is making an effort keep their power and turn the train over to the BNSF with theirs!!!

Two of the photos shared by Bruce Blackadar from his album:
This short WB local came as I was putting the drone up and I hadn't yet gotten it into the position I planned. But I think I like this angle at least as well. BNSF ex-Santa Fe transcontinental main, Lemont, IL,8/13/21.

The angle I planned for the bridge over the Des Plaines River. Unfortunately, no more trains came before the sun set. I'll come back here sometime to try again. BNSF ex-Santa Fe transcontinental main, Lemont, IL,8/13/21.

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