Friday, November 9, 2018

IR: Illinois Railways/Illinois Railnet


BNSF sold four segments of its CB&Q ancestry to Illinois Railnet between 1997 and 2004. In 2005, Omnitrax bought those segments from North American Railnet and renamed it Illinois Railways. [IlliniRail]

The section between Ottawa and Montgomery has been significantly improved because Omnitrax has plowed at least some of  its revenue from sand trains back into maintenance. The sand mines around Ottawa produce sand with a grain size and hardness that makes it ideal for fraking oil and gas wells.

Omnitrax, click the yellow rectangle near the upper-right corner
The corporate ancestor of the Mongomery to Streator segment was Ottawa, Oswego & Fox River Valley. The segment between Ottawa and Streator is now used to store cars. Labeling Streator as an interchange station is marketing hype.

Milwaukee had trackage rights over the Flagg Center to Rockford segment. But Milwaukee is now gone.

Zearing to LaSalle is a remnant of the corporate ancestor Illinois Valley and Northern Railroad. The branch to the east north of I-80 was bought by Peru, IL when another railroad abandoned it. Peru contracts with Illinois Railways to operate it.

I don't know why Mt. Morris is important.

Update: Nikki Burgess shared a link with the comment:
IN today's Federal Register; Illinois Railway has filed to abandon the track section of the old CB&Q it has operated between Davis Junction and Flagg Center. Certainly a well known part of northern Illinois railroading, and now it's over. The segment north of Davis Junction will remain in service for now.
Dennis DeBruler Thanks for the summary. I opened the .pdf, but I didn't even bother to try to find some real info in it since you provided it. I wonder if there is a race between IRS and STB employees as to who can be more obtuse.

Michael Q Quagliano posted
Does anybody know anything about these cars and line?
Rail line looked not used for awhile and even had a large buckle in the rail right behind the last coal car. This is at the Richards Road crossing (MP 93.71) on the Illinois Railway just outside of Streator.

A Street View shows the track in good shape and empty. But then I noticed the date of Oct 2008, more than a decade old.

1 comment:

  1. Mt. Morris had a long history of printing plants. The section from Oregon to Mt. Morris served the Quebcor World plant there. A few boxcars of paper once to twice a week. Quebcor declared bankruptcy, sold themselves off to Quad Graphics. Quad Graphics has shuttered the plant in Mt. Morris. The last loads out of it were a few battered gondolas of scrap parts from the plant. This segment is now used for long term storage of frack sand cars for the nearby plant or other unneeded cars.