Thursday, January 11, 2018

CN/EJ&E Locals L528 and L509/L508

A normal railfan sees an interesting locomotive. I see a local freight that has some boxcars.
Robby Gragg posted
Almost nine years after the J fell to the CN, EJ&E 667 leads the Walker local north through Plainfield. Nice to see a J unit on home rails in 2018.
Dennis DeBruler I see the Illinois Line joins the mainline in Plainfield, so is the "Walker local" what service the industries along the Illinois Line?
Robby Gragg The Walker local switches the industries between Van Dyke Rd and 135th St on the mainline. A different local works the River Line.
Gregg Wolfersheim L528 also works Butterfield Center just north of the Tollway. L509/TL508 serves the East Morris area.
Butterfield Center has at least two companies that consume paper. The two excessive height boxcars in the local are known as "paper boxes."

Satellite, Butterfield Center
The closest Van Dyke Road I could find to the EJ&E was way out west of County Line Road. But its latitude is basically the same as the north end of the EJ&E Joliet Yard. So following the mainline south from 135th Street, I find:

Satellite, tank car at Coilplus
  • Coilplus Illinois has a tank car (photo to the right). That is a surprise. I would expect it to receive, if not ship, coils of steel.
  • Logoplaste, I counted 14 tank cars on the sidings. They evidently make plastic bottles for other manufacturers. This is the first plastics factory I have seen that receives liquids instead of plastic pellets in covered hoppers.
  • Ravago, a plastics company that does use covered hoppers. Eight sidings, and each one had at least eight hoppers.
  • Railway & Industrail Servicies, their web site was broke. I'm guessing from the name and the satellite image that it is a freight car repair company.
  • A branch that goes south to some industries along the Des Plaines River.
  • A branch that goes north that is the Bug Line. This used to deliver unit coal trains to the Will County Generating Station (NRG #18), but any generator units that are still running have been converted to natural gas. I did spot three open hoppers on a spur in Rocks Etc.
In a small yard south of Material Road, I saw a few gondolas on the west track and several hoppers on the right track. Is this long term storage because the tracks are no longer used or is this storage so that they can quickly serve the quarries along this line?
I've noticed that the power plant maintains a bigger pile of coal than it did when it was still burning it. And I see in this satellite image that it is actively processing one of seven barges.
3D Satellite
And I just found a locomotive parked on their property. Given the color, I doubt if it is a CN/EJ&E locomotive. Has NRG turned their coal handling facilities into a rail-to-water transloading facility?

These industries east of Morris is a big reason CSX bought part of the Rock Island route when it was liquidated. The CN/EJ&E River Branch is on the right, and the CSX/RI is the diagonal cutting across the upper-left.

CN/EJ&E also serves a couple of chemical plants south of the river using a bridge that the Coast Guard recently replaced. There is a spur that serves the Dresden Nuclear Generating Station.

South of Collins Road is a modern looking facility with three spurs on the property (see below). BUT, the road crossing has been paved over!
20150714 2746

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