Wednesday, July 12, 2017

NRG Joliet #6+#9/ComEd Plaines Generating Plant

(see below for Satellite)

(Update: Kevin Piper posted a history and some photos. Captain Mine)

There are electric power generation plants of both sides of the Des Plaines River south of Joliet, IL. The BNSF/Santa Fe and UP/GM&O run past the east (#6) plant. There is a conveyor across the river to supply the west (#9) plant.

Dave Arganbright posted
Here's a shot that you probably couldn't take unless you were on the train crew: CC delivering coal to the old Com Ed Plaines generating station. A shot that can't be replicated today. My photo from 1987.
Steve Rosen were you on that crew? i took that trip a couple times with the CC back when i worked at belt and corwith.
Dave Arganbright Steve Rosen yes.

Randy James posted
Commonwealth Edison EMD SW1200 16, built in 1964, switches at the Plaines Generating Plant near Joliet, Illinois, now the Joliet Station of Midwest Generation. In this late 1960s photo provided by Gary Thompson the locomotive has no engineer; coupled to it is a remote control car which was, in turn, worked by an operator at the facility's car dumper. Around 1970 the remote control system was abandoned and the locomotive was operated manually from its own controls. This unit, actually owned by Relco, is still on the property but has been out of service for a decade; stripped for parts, its awaits an uncertain fate. The plant currently uses another leased unit but has been testing a GenSet unit from National Railway Equipment Co. (NREX). This information comes from Wilbert R. Harrison, Operations Supervisor-Fuel at the Joliet Station, who at one time operated and maintained No. 16.
These plants would explain why I sometimes see a loaded coal train parked on the UP/GM&O tracks over Brandon Road when I go to visit the dam and lock.

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A view of the east plant from the Brandon Road River Bridge:

This is how I learned the east plant was Joliet #6.
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That view was taken when I pulled off Brandon Road between the railroads before crossing the bridge to get the lay of the land. The tracks are the BNSF/Santa Fe. When I zoom in, I can see people fishing from on the edge of the Brandon Road bridge. That is how I knew it was legal to park on the shoulder of Brandon Road north of the river. Once again, the state supporting fisherman also supports photographing dams and bridges.
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Looking through my Joliet photos, there was a full coal train parked on the Brandon Road overpass on May 23, 2015 also. That day I walked further out onto the river bridge, and I got both of the power plants.

A view of the west plant from Larking Avenue. The emissions from both stacks are clean enough that it is hard to tell that both units are running.
Another view of the east plant from the Brandon Road Drawbridge:
On a later trip, I took my telephoto lens (55-200mm) when I walked on the river bridge to get closeups of the dam. While I was there, I got a closer view of the east plant.

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Drones allow one to get better views of industrial sites that are closed to the public.
HalstEd Pazdzior posted
Plaines Generating Station drawfs IC 1035. L522 is your symbol today with 7 tank cars for Zenith Terminals.

Kevin Piper posted
BN 6780 leads a Plaines coal train for the EJ&E near Savanna, IL, on a very cold 1-15-78. I chased this train east, but it was dark when it arrived at Eola. The C30-7 in the rear was set out in the yard there, and the first three units were run-through on EJ&E to Joliet.
Kevin Piper Once owned by Com Ed, but not anymore. Just south of I-80 east of Rockdale. The plant no longer burns coal. It uses natural gas now.Kevin Piper GM&O, then ICG served the plant. GM&O first delivered southern Illinois coal. The plant later switched to Wyoming coal from BN. During it's final coal years it used only UP trains. EJ&E was dropped from the BN routing in 1979, to a BN-ICG haul from Chicago to Joliet.
Dennis DeBruler If you look at a satellite image, you can see a conveyor across the river so that the west plant can be fed from the coal unloader on the east side of the river.,-88.../data=!3m1!1e3
Kevin Piper River barges also brought coal to Plaines. Com Ed used a nice looking SW1200 to unload trains there.
Dennis DeBruler That reminds me that the electric company was part owner of a downstate railroad to help load those barges. Of course that was back when Fisk and Crawford were still running and Will County was still burning coal.
Kevin Piper posted
What does this photo have to do with EJ&E? A lot! During the 1970's, BN coal trains to Commonwealth Edison's Plaines powerhouse in Joliet were routed via the EJ&E from Eola. EJ&E crews ran the BN power through, and handed the trains to ICG crews at Collins Street. This is a westbound Plaines empty about to reach EJ&E rails at Joliet's Collins Street for a crew change. 7-7-76. KEVIN PIPER PHOTO
Greg Benco Not having a car to drive, or a camera, my 5 speed bike had to do. A friend of mine and I were usually chasing these between Ohio St. and the yard. I remember one time there was a loaded one waiting at Collins St. After the crew change, they were given the clearance to go. Had 3 U30C's. He barely got onto Collins St. when he just stopped. Engineer backed off the throttle and tried again, but didn't get much further. So my friend and I road our bikes toward the north leg of the Y past Henderson to see why he wasn't moving. He ended up burying at least 2 loaded cars about 3' into the dirt. Not sure how many cars actually went on the ground, tho.Kevin Piper EJ&E beefed up the running track for coal trains with heavier welded rail, and tie bars on curves, through the Collins Street yard area because of derailments.Greg Benco I remember the derailment that they had here. The old alignment was different than this. This is right before he crosses Ohio St. In the distance is Jackson St. He's coming off the ICG.
Kevin Piper Notice the rebuilt track in the photo.
Kevin posted again
Greg Benco This is Ohio St. at the south end of the steel mill. He's coming off the interchange with the GM&O. He's got less than a mile to go before Collins St. GM&O and Santa Fe off the pic to the right.Dave Rodriguez Those BN hoppers would parked right across the street from my house. I lived right down the street from H yard near the wye that ran into East Joliet yard

Kevin Piper posted
EJ&E 707 drifts downgrade as it crosses Rowell Avenue on its westbound approach to East Joliet. In the distance is Commonwealth Edison's Plaines Generating Station, a future destination for BN coal trains traveling over EJ&E. 10-17-66. LOUIS CERNY PHOTO
Dennis DeBruler The smoke is a reminder that they used to let everything from the fire go up the smokestack.Kevin Piper All natural gas there now.Kevin Piper All gas now. Will County too.
Ken Morrison note the not-so-busy Milwaukee Road tracks behind the white car.
Dennis DeBruler The former Chicago, Milwaukee & Gary:
Dennis DeBruler Now the Wauponsee Glacial Trail,,-88.06252,18.5z
Dennis DeBruler I-80 must have been built after 1966.

HalstEd Pazdzior posted
CN train L522 drags a huge 50 car train to Zenith Energy. Plaines Generating Station makes a big train seem small.    3/21/22

HalstEd Pazdzior posted
YJOL202 hustles past the Plaines Generating Station.

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