Saturday, May 23, 2020

Americans consume a lot of sugar (Indiana Sugars)

I'm noticing that the distribution of sugar is one of the few industries that still use carload rail service.

Street View of United Sugars
BNSF (CB&Q+Santa Fe) is loosing the Sweetner Supply Corporation business in Brookfield, IL. But it is gaining the "largest single sugar transfer facility in the U.S." in Montgomery, IL. (more below)

Jeff Wojciechowski posted two photos with the comment:
Back in 2016 the BNSF business train visited Montgomery, IL for the grand opening of the nations largest free-standing sugar storage dome. More information about the dome here:
https://www.crystalsugar.com/sugar-processing/factories/montgomery-il/
[The linked article has a time-lapse video of the construction. But the dome just pops into the video at -1:10. I realize that the time scale is quite compressed. But I can't believe it was built in just one frame.]
1

2
Someone must have figured out how to build big domes. While looking along the former Rock Island Pullman Branch I noticed that St. Marys Cement has a big one also. But it is barge to truck.
3D Satellite


Domino Sugar is one of the few remaining industries that BNSF (CB&Q) serves along the South Branch + Chicago Ship & Sanitary Canal. As documented in the Domino Sugar notes and 1860s Industrial Park, there used to be a lot of industry along the waterway.

Recently, I spotted another sugar transload facility. I thought I saw it along the former Rock Island Pullman Branch while researching the location of a Sherwin-Williams Plant, but now I can't find it. Bummer.

While searching for that plant, I did find Indiana Sugars.
Satellite

Dennis DeBruler posted four images with the comment:
While studying the rail service to Indiana Sugars (blue rectangle), I noticed some things. First of all, the green line from the left to the right is appropriate because that is an abandoned IHB branch. But I don't understand what the second green line represents. Also, the red line shows where NS has abandoned another section of the Wabash route. The yellow line shows a connection between the remaining Wabash remnant and CSX/MC that allowed NS to abandon its track. This change is significant because that probably means NS conceded Indiana Sugars carload traffic to CSX. And judging from a satellite image, that carload traffic is significant.
The NS abandonment is recent because the tracks are still in all of the crossings. On Massachusetts Street we see that a spur was abandoned a long time ago and the "mainilne" is now gone. Not only has the track for the spur been removed, the crossing warning had been moved closer to the mainline. One crossing warning was removed, but one is still standing. The gate has been removed, but there is no Exempt sign on it. So what is are school busses and oil tanker trucks supposed to do at this crossing? An Exempt sign can't be that expensive. It really bothers me when a Class I railroad can't properly abandoned a track. I checked the Broadway crossing. It is even worse because it still has both poles without gates, but without Exempt signs. Is Gary stuck with the expense of removing the tracks from nine roads?
The current field of trees between Massachusetts and Virginia Streets used to be industries.

1
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1Q91IBeZLh916Q5auDaQ9-x25vh0&ll=41.59746402882454%2C-87.34525363264424&z=14

2
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5951449,-87.3357666,3a,75y,238.85h,77.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1saze9EarDMKZ3FrODStw6jw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

3
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5950189,-87.3357654,3a,28.5y,321.28h,90.98t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_s-XnMFpm9QIgw5uP1p3TQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

4
1959 Gary Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

The owner of Indiana Sugars, Maurice Yonover had to fight the ICC to quit accepting N&W's lies about rail service and deny their request to abandon their service to Indiana Sugars. [gary-railroad-blog, shared]
George M Stupar posted
September 8th 2014, Gary IN, The Bakery job power waits on the ex Wabash Railroad 4th District mainline. Indiana Sugars is at left.
George M Stupa I was up there a couple of weeks ago, on May 11th. NS 4703, the GP33 ECO with the green stripe, was working the Indiana Sugars job. Used up a lot of digital megapixels on that motor. Shot about thirty photos, but I'm not sure if they qualify for this group, like in being historical. Otherwise I'd post a few because they came out really well, with the green stripe loco and all.
Dennis DeBruler I think railfanning the switching of industries is historical because it is an example of how all industries looked up through the 1910s. But some stuff, e.g. flying switching and poling, won't have contemporary examples.

George M Stupar posted
May 11th 2020, Gary IN, A view east of Indiana Sugars north siding from Virginia street.
Korry Shepard Any pics of the south side where they installed the new track?
George M Stupar Korry Shepard Stay tuned Korry. Have some older pics of the south side track from the early 80s.

George M Stupar posted
May 11th 2020, Gary IN, The Bakery Job is ready to head back west on the former Wabash Railroad 4th District mainline, after completing its work at Indiana Sugars.

George M Stupar posted
December 1984, Gary IN, Former Wabash Railroad 4th District mainline, Corn syrup tank cars are being switched on the Indiana Sugars long south siding. A covered hopper for granular sugar is on the main. The engine is out of view on the main near the Indiana Harbor Belt overhead.
Mark Egebrecht Was THE IHB still there at this time?

George M Stupar posted
View from the Indiana Harbor Belt highline of the Indiana Sugars south siding, Gary IN 1984, looking north.

If Indiana Sugars in Lemont is not served by rail, certainly Sweet Specialty Solutions is. Their location in Burr Ridge is not rail served.
Satellite

And some plants use so much sugar they skip the transloading to trucks: e.g. Ferrara Pan Candy and Bloomer Chocolate. But some have switched to trucks: e.g. Worlds Finest Chocolate. Chicagoland still has plants that make corn syrup, and they are rail served. (I listed some in Pope Glucose Factory.)


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