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Nostalgia & History > GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train


Date: 08/09/11 10:24
GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: highgreengraphics

On July 15, 1976, a friend of mine and I who had just graduated from high school were traveling from Wyoming to the midwest in a Volkswagen bus, and we found ourselves in St. Louis, MO, then East St. Louis of all places. We were driving around the river bottoms marveling at all the weed-choked abandoned-looking tracks seemingly going everywhere but nowhere. I think we were near a power plant on the left, note all the overhead high-tension wires, when we spotted a headlight, and set up at a dirt crossing. I thought the Alco-trucked GP-35 GM&O units were cool, and three BN SD's were nice, too. Later I realized that the coal hoppers were the original CB&Q pattern aluminum coal hoppers, relettered for BN. I have never known exactly where we were, all I remember is it was bleak there and oppressively HOT. My only GM&O photo! I simply held the slide under a light and photographed it, because a person contacted me and wanted to see it for a book or something. I don't have a photo scanner. Turned out okay, huh?

Do any of you St. Louis guys know where this was at?

Happy ancient railfanning! === === = === JLH



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/11 13:59 by highgreengraphics.




Date: 08/09/11 12:44
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: mopac1978

Venice Yard of the GM&O was adjacent to Union Electric's Venice power plant. Both were situated just south of the IT McKinley bridge approach, so that crossed over the yard. Farther down in the yard was an overhead crossing of a TRRA line. I see one of those bridges in the background, just not sure which one. Could this possibly be a shot of a northbound train, with the power plant on the right?



Date: 08/09/11 13:36
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: highgreengraphics

That is entirely possible, I just recall a power plant there somewhere, and it has been a long time ago, and I did not know where I was even then! So if true, would this be an empty or load, and is this a main line or a spur?

I see that by then, I was actually photographing ICG power, as the date of the IC-GM&O merger was 8-10-72. Glad they had not been repainted yet! === === = === JLH



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/11 14:09 by highgreengraphics.



Date: 08/09/11 14:14
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: mp_eagle

I believe that the location is Sauget, Illinois west of the Montsanto chemical plant. The truss bridge in the background would be the eastern approach to the McArthur bridge. To the left and out of the picture is the Cahokia power plant, the reason for all the high voltage lines. The condition of the right of way makes me think that this is the TRRA line to East Carondolet that GM&O used to connect to the Alton Road from the original GM&O. The train is likely to be the south bound empties from Commonwealth Edison to the Southern Illinois coal fields.

Just my guess
Chet



Date: 08/09/11 16:04
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: highgreengraphics

mp_eagle - You might be right, looking at Google maps satellite view, but wouldn't this train be a coal load southbound at Sauget, since the Illinois coal fields are north of here? The power plant you mention with its barge terminal and river are at the left, between what is now Pitzman Ave and Mobile St. South of Monsanto Ave. The compound A-frame powerline towers are here as are all the wires across the railroad. There is a big power substation to the right. The train is shown curving to the left in the fairly near background, and it looks like a track may have been torn out on the other side of Monsanto Ave, where the curve is visible in the photo, to the yard that is under the freeway interchange, and the truss in the background would indeed be the approach to MacArthur Bridge, which on Google now has a UP coal train sitting on the approach. Something northbound does not seem to have any truss bridge in the background. And since we are paralleling "Mobile St." would this be the GM&O main line? Does that sound feasible? I found a road called "American Bottom" there, that I think I vaguely remember we got a good laugh at, at the time after seeing the street signs. Looks like the area has changed since 1976! I am also curious as to where this train interchanged off the BN. === === = === JLH



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/09/11 16:26 by highgreengraphics.



Date: 08/09/11 17:33
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: billyiii87

this is one of the union electric coal trains that ran on CBQ and bn until 1983.. train ran from old ben mine 24 in Benton and orient mine 5 in Logan Illinois coal went to Matchens Missouri...there was 2 100 car set's also a 100 car set of 70 90 and 100 ton hoppers..



Date: 08/09/11 17:35
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: highgreengraphics

Did they run over GM&O to get to Machens? === === = === JLH



Date: 08/09/11 17:43
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: billyiii87

yes they did, they also ran on ICG from Christopher to Logan Illinois but this only lasted for a few years......never seen a pic with GMO power very cool



Date: 08/10/11 12:18
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: retcsxcfm

mp_eagle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe that the location is Sauget, Illinois
> west of the Montsanto chemical plant. The truss
> bridge in the background would be the eastern
> approach to the McArthur bridge. To the left and
> out of the picture is the Cahokia power plant, the
> reason for all the high voltage lines. The
> condition of the right of way makes me think that
> this is the TRRA line to East Carondolet that GM&O
> used to connect to the Alton Road from the
> original GM&O. The train is likely to be the
> south bound empties from Commonwealth Edison to
> the Southern Illinois coal fields.
>
> Just my guess
> Chet


I think you are correct.Been there many times.

Uncle Joe-Seffner,Fl.



Date: 08/10/11 17:41
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: icgspartadistrict

To all concerned,

First of all, Jim, thank you for posting the photo. I appreciate it very much.

Second, this was a southbound empty Union Electric Coal Train from the Portage de Sioux Power Plant at West Alton, MO. It was destined for Southwestern Illinois Coal Corporation’s Captain Mine at Percy, IL. These BN Silverside trains loaded out of Captain Mine for a time circa 1975-1976.

The location was Tolson Yard in Sauget, IL just south of Monsanto Avenue. This was former GM&O trackage that became ICG’s Sparta District.

The train's routing:

BN from West Alton to Alton, IL
Illinois Terminal from Alton, IL to Wood River, IL
ICG(GM&O) from Wood River to Venice Yard-Bridge Jct.
TRRA from Bridge Jct. To ICG Jct.
ICG from ICG Jct.-Wood Yard to Percy, IL

ICG power was added to the train because the 3 BN SD7’s did not provide enough horsepower to get the loaded train over the Sparta District.

Best regards,

John P. Kohlberg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/11 02:47 by icgspartadistrict.



Date: 08/10/11 18:13
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: mopac1978

Yep, after seeing the comments and re-thinking the surroundings, Sauget makes sense to me. Venice should have had more tracks around one side or the other if thats where it had been.



Date: 08/10/11 18:57
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: billyiii87

These trains loaded at captain mine too, i had know idea. I have some more pics of these trains i will post them later.



Date: 08/10/11 19:24
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: icgspartadistrict

Just so we are all on the same page, these trains did originally load out of a different mine in Southern Illinois on the Q/BN.

For whatever the reason, by 1975/1976 they were loading out of Captain Mine on the ICG at Percy, IL. This may have been what was known as a "Spot Contract."

If you have photos of these trains similar to what Jim saw, i.e. operating on the ICG, please post them.

Thank you,

John P. Kohlberg



Date: 08/10/11 20:45
Re: GM&O GP-35's with early Aluminum coal train
Author: billyiii87

I have a pic of them loading at old ben mine 24 in 1965 it's not on the ICG it's on the CBQ/BN beardstown sub there's all so a you tube video of the train heading Thru Centraila Illinois in 1973. and i also have a pic of one on the IC in 1971 on the east edge of Benton with 6 SD7s will post tomorrow



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