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Western Railroad Discussion > Colona, Illinois Question


Date: 10/02/13 14:15
Colona, Illinois Question
Author: CSXT_8437

Good Evening:

In Colona, Il, does the IAIS actually get on BNSF for a short distance instead of crossing on a diamond? Which railroad controls this crossing? Who controlled it in Rock Island / CB&Q days? Also, how many trains per day run on each railroad?

Thank you in advance. I know it is a lot of questions.



Date: 10/02/13 14:55
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: nssd70

No diamond anymore. IAIS runs on the BNSF for a very short distance.The attached photos should help. I think BNSF runs around 20 a day. IAIS maybe 3 or 4.
Doug






Date: 10/02/13 16:58
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: zr190

In Rock Island days, RI disptchers controlled the crossing.
RI had 2 main tracks and the Q/BN had one.
There was a connection in the Southwest qaudrant
that allowed EB RI trains to head South on the Q.
This was used by RI trains going to/from the RIP (Rock Island-Peoria)
line at Orion Jct.
BNSF derailed on and tore out the last diamond and they replaced
it with the current arrangement.
zr190



Date: 10/02/13 17:03
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: NebraskaZephyr

After a BNSF derailment destroyed the diamond, the IAIS main was realigned to swing onto and immediately off of the BNSF Barstow Sub via a pair of power switches controlled by the BNSF dispatcher.

This arrangement is not only easier to maintain than the diamond, it also permits BNSF to access IAIS's Silvis yard directly to pick up unit trains of DDG bound for Texas feed lots.

When (if?) the IDOT improvements to IAIS are made for the promised Chicago-Moline Amtrak service, the "tables will turn", so to speak...The junction will still be a pair of power switches, but realigned to the old Rock Island r-o-w (putting the slow-speed "S" curve on the BNSF side) and control will go to the IAIS dispatcher in Cedar Rapids as part of the installation of CTC on the IAIS portion of the route (actually, a re-installation, as RI had CTC from Silvis through here east to MP 148 near Atkinson, IL).

NZ



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/13 17:05 by NebraskaZephyr.



Date: 10/02/13 17:54
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: bnsfsd70

Thanks, Google maps.

- Jeff




Date: 10/03/13 05:34
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: trainboy03

The latest story I've seen about Colona is restoring the diamond when Amtrak comes along. First I've heard of the IAIS being the primary alignment with switches.

The derailment that took out the diamond occured in late November 2003, almost 10 years ago. The east switch was installed right away which allowed IAIS trains to detour over the BNSF from Colona, into Barstow and west to East Moline. The west switch was installed in May of 2004. IAIS crews refer to the switches as "the wiggle."

IAIS trains have to request their route from the BNSF dispatcher. I've just recently heard stories from a retired BN signal maintainer. He told me the BN didn't gain control of the diamond until 1983, 3 years after the RI shut down. He said they had to break into the RI control cabinet and hard wire the routes for the BN, forcing the Iowa RR Company to request permission by the red signals.

Edited to attach one of my favorite photos showing the "wiggle," IAIS 703 West back on July 9, 2006. It's easy to imagine and see the old alignment to the right where the diamond should be. This is a 10mph "wiggle."

Erik



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/13 05:43 by trainboy03.




Date: 10/05/13 04:52
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: NebraskaZephyr

trainboy03 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The latest story I've seen about Colona is
> restoring the diamond when Amtrak comes along.
> First I've heard of the IAIS being the primary
> alignment with switches.

Erik, three reasons I've heard for keeping the dual switch arrangement:

1. The original angle of the diamond is an oddball that requires custom fabrication, which means you also need to have a custom-built spare plus certain parts on hand.

2. Conventional diamonds are a royal PITA to keep surfaced and lined. IMHO I don't think Colona would be a candidate for one of those new ORSS (One Route Slow Speed) flange-bearing diamonds that are all the rage now due to the coming passenger service on IAIS and significant tonnage on BNSF.

3. BNSF still needs to enter IAIS here to pick up unit trains of gluten, syrup, etc. out of Silvis. I don't think either BNSF or IAIS wants to see-saw those trains out of Silvis via East Moline and Barstow. A diamond would require (re)installing the connection track in the SW quadrant to permit BNSF to operate to/from Silvis out of Galesburg. Why maintain two switches AND a diamond when two switches will do?

NZ



Date: 10/05/13 06:17
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: CSXT_8437

When (if?) the IDOT improvements to IAIS are made
> for the promised Chicago-Moline Amtrak service,
> the "tables will turn", so to speak...The junction
> will still be a pair of power switches, but
> realigned to the old Rock Island r-o-w (putting
> the slow-speed "S" curve on the BNSF side) and
> control will go to the IAIS dispatcher in Cedar
> Rapids as part of the installation of CTC on the
> IAIS portion of the route (actually, a
> re-installation, as RI had CTC from Silvis through
> here east to MP 148 near Atkinson, IL).
>
> NZ

Why would the BNSF willingly give up control of this location?



Date: 10/05/13 11:34
Re: Colona, Illinois Question
Author: NebraskaZephyr

CSXT_8437 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why would the BNSF willingly give up control of
> this location?

IDOT (using Federal funds) is supposed to pay for installing CTC between Wyanet (BNSF connection) and Moline on IAIS. If the Fed's money is involved then they will want passenger trains to have priority.

The RI was the first railroad to Colona, so they (and their successors) always have had the right to control the crossing (second railroad pays for the crossing, but first road gets to control it). The RI was shut down, but never abandoned, the trustee kept legal control of the property through the lease to Iowa Railroad (IRRC) right up until it was sold to Heartland Rail in 1984 and they hired IAIS to run it.

IAIS has never particularly wanted to take the crossing back from BNSF as they have been to this point a "dark" railroad and no need to set up a one-lever CTC installation.

Also, while BNSF runs a fair number of trians over the route, a lot of it is bulk commodities and very little time-sensitive traffic..no Z trains. I doubt if it's politically worthwhile for BNSF to fight over waiting for 4 Amtraks and about the same number of freights and you have the other 23 hours of the day to run all the trains you want.

NZ



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