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Western Railroad Discussion > "They All Come to Blue Island..."


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Date: 12/15/12 13:26
"They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: aussiehinz

The only one of the seven Class I freight railroads that doesn't make regular and frequent appearances through the busy Chicagoland junction at Blue Island IL is Kansas City Southern, and even power from that road can occasionally be seen in head end lash ups belonging to the other carriers. The symmetrical interlocking with the series of parallel Calumet Sag Channel bridges has long been a favorite train watching location for both variety and volume of operations, and rarely disappoints. Although I visited there yesterday afternoon, I really didn't feel like posting my frivolous pictures on a day of such collective national sorrow as yesterday turned out to be. In fact, I didn't even learn about the enormous agony unfolding in Connecticut until arriving back home late in the afternoon, unknowing of the tragic news while watching the parade of trains at Blue from the sidewalk on Broadway. In a selfish way, I suppose it was somewhat of a blessing, being able to enjoy the unseasonably mild weather and pleasant sunshine for a bit longer than many, momentarily blissful in my ignorance of the events taking place.

For any interested, here, is a sample of some of the activity I witnessed during a two hour respite yesterday afternoon.


Cheers,

aussiehinz


1. A UP eastbound heads toward Barr Yard on the CSX Blue Island SD.

2. A BNSF mixed merchandise train heads toward IHB's Blue Island Yard on the CSX (B&OCT) owned McCook SD, operated here as an integral component of the IHB Main Line.

3. An IHB switch job behind Genset 2140 heads west to work the Vallero (former Clark Oil) refinery in Alsip IL.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/12 13:42 by aussiehinz.








Date: 12/15/12 13:26
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: aussiehinz

4. An eastbound NS auto train is next, heading toward IHB's Gibson Yard in East Chicago IN.

5. CN's regular afternoon eastbound train brom Belt Railway's Clearing Yard heads across the CSX-IHB diamonds on the former Grand Trunk Western main line.

6. A CSX intermodal train out of Bedford Park prepares to swing onto the Blue Island SD and head toward Barr Yard and the east.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/12 13:32 by aussiehinz.








Date: 12/15/12 13:27
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: aussiehinz

7. While the CSX eastbound intermodal train was passing, another eastbound auto train with a healthy brace of power off the UP moved through, heading for IHB's Gibson Yard.

8. Shortly thereafter, a merchandise drag behind a lone CSX unit made its way toward Barr Yard.

9. In fading afternoon light, an IHB road assignment heads west behind a pair of Genset switchers.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/12 13:39 by aussiehinz.








Date: 12/15/12 13:52
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: Milwaukee

I note a bridge that has the tracks pulled up. Who's line was that and when did that line get abandoned?

I see reference the existing lines having GTW, IHB, and B&OCT heritage. What other lines in the past ran trains through here. If I remember correctly Rock Island had their line close but they didn't run through there.

Thanks for sharing. Good to see it still has nice variety.



Date: 12/15/12 14:03
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: ATSF100WEST

The former Rock Island (now IAIS/Metra) is on the overpass in the last image with the IHB train. The BRC also ran over the B&OCT.

Bob

ATSF100WEST......Out

Milwaukee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I note a bridge that has the tracks pulled up.
> Who's line was that and when did that line get
> abandoned?
>
> I see reference the existing lines having GTW,
> IHB, and B&OCT heritage. What other lines in the
> past ran trains through here. If I remember
> correctly Rock Island had their line close but
> they didn't run through there.
>
> Thanks for sharing. Good to see it still has
> nice variety.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/12 14:04 by ATSF100WEST.



Date: 12/15/12 15:05
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: 3rdswitch

One of my favorite Chicagoland locations for sure. Nice shot from the steps, they actually let you come up?
JB



Date: 12/15/12 15:28
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: PasadenaSub

Very nice. Do any Amtrak trains happen to come through Blue Island?

Rich



Date: 12/15/12 15:37
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: PGR94

When did IHB get the gensets?

Joe



Date: 12/15/12 16:01
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: aussiehinz

For "JB:" They don't, usually. I got lucky; the crossing tender came down to use the bathroom and I asked if I could shoot the impending train from the first landing. He waited with me until I did, then I returned to the sidewalk.

For "PasadenaSub:' No, there are no scheduled Amtrak trains that use any of the routes through Blud Island Jct. There have been very rare detours over Metra's Rock Island District between Joliet and Chicago, but there would be very little utility for Amtrak over any of the routes involved at BI.

For "PGR94:" IHB's four NRE 3GS21B "Gensets" were built and delivered during the summer of 2011.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/12 08:01 by aussiehinz.



Date: 12/15/12 16:22
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: meh

Thanks for the great photos.

Here's an aerial view of the area.

https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=41.649892,-87.685028&spn=0.007568,0.013282&t=h&z=17



Date: 12/15/12 17:14
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: DNRY122

Yup, they sure do (or in this case, did). One of two Rock Island EMD AB-6 units in commuter service, with its days on the Rocky Mountain Rocket in the distant past, as seen in Sept. 1971.




Date: 12/15/12 17:55
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: rantoul

1. A UP eastbound heads toward Barr Yard on the CSX Blue Island SD.

2. A BNSF mixed merchandise train heads toward IHB's Blue Island Yard on the CSX (B&OCT) owned McCook SD, operated here as an integral component of the IHB Main Line.

1. ex B&OCTT main... 2. Indiana Harbor main... Separate railroads though they interconnect to each other at your spot, correct? Thanks for the great photos.



Date: 12/15/12 18:10
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: dt8089

In the future you may see Amtrak on the Rock Island Line. The Chicago to St. Louis High Speed route
will run from Joliet to Chicago via Blue Island instead of the current route through Lockport and Lemont.
BTW nice shots. It's too bad we're not allowed up on the Rock Island embankment for that's where the good
angles are. Dan



Date: 12/15/12 19:17
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: trainman630

Well I see you found the freight trains.



Date: 12/15/12 19:37
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: ats90mph

I've hung out at BI, Vermont St. To watch the old RI and IC. Still a show.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/15/12 21:10
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: 567Chant

If a modeler built a layout like that, no one would believe it.
...Lorenzo



Date: 12/16/12 00:08
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: SD45X

I think IAIS now works out of Western St. yard. These Gevos were being wyed.
The Rock Island rush hour.

Great stuff, keep it coming!!






Date: 12/16/12 06:53
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: irhoghead

Back in the early 1980's, Amtrak had set up a detour for the then Hoosier State to run on the GTW from Chicago to wherever it met up with its regular route (Thornton Junction?) for a few days or maybe even a week or two due to a trackwork project on its regular route. It was neat to see F40s and Amfleet running through Elsdon and Blue Island regularly for a little while. From what I recall, there wasn't much time lost at all on those detours. Made we wonder if that wouldn't have been a good regular route for those trains, given all of the problems it always seems to have getting in and out of the city on its normal trek. Back then, the GTW was still all double track all the way in, although the track from Elsdon Yard to Chicago was a bit on the slow side by then.



Date: 12/16/12 07:18
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: 3rdswitch

The last time I visited when you could freely roam about was in the eighties when these shots were taken from the exRI embankment. Still not bad shots from the crossing.
JB






Date: 12/16/12 14:14
Re: "They All Come to Blue Island..."
Author: calumet

aussiehinz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> For "PGR94:" IHB's four NRE 3GS21B "Gensets" were
> built and delivered during the summer of 2011.

To amplify, those mentioned above are four axle units numbered 2140-43. The units shown in the last photo are six axle units, also NRE and numbered 2160-63. The model designation is '3GS21C' with the 'C' indicating six axles, the '21' for total horsepower (2100 hp) and the '3' for three (700 hp) engines. Three of them have been delivered so far, with the fouth due probably in January.

Four SD20 units will be traded in for them. Two are already off the property.



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