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Western Railroad Discussion > Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024


Date: 03/28/24 20:42
Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: trainmandan

Greetings to the Western Board members! A lot of activity has occurred in the Chicagoland / northern Illinois area over the past month since my last post. Here's some highlights of the action.

1) CP 7051 (SD70ACU) is at the end of its journey leading CPKC 181 as it rumbles past the Bensenville Metra station and prepares to take a lunar signal onto the Bensenville Yard lead. 2/26/24

2) Due to a number of mechanical issues sidelining some of the SC44 Charger units, Amtrak 164, the Phase IV heritage unit, was called in to assist on the Hiawatha turns. Here it is seen (looking relatively clean) pulling train 342 out of the Glenview, IL station with some of the new Venture coaches in tow. Quite the contrast in paint schemes. 2/29/24

3) KCSM 4554 ("Grey Ghost" Ac4400CW) leads the charge solo on CPKC freight #254, seen here passing through Des Plaines. I've caught quite a few Grey Ghosts in my railfanning career, but this might be the first solo run I've encountered. 2/29/24

More to come!








Date: 03/28/24 20:46
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: trainmandan

4) It's not every day you see a KCSM "Grey Ghost" lead a train nowadays (though they certainly have become more prominent around Chicagoland in the wake of the CPKC merger). But a pair together? And the only units on the train? Now that's rare! KCSM sisters 4554 and 4551 are the assigned power on tonight's rendition of CPKC 180 out of Bensenville, seen here rushing swiftly through Genoa, IL, creating a train straight out of the early 2000s that one would've likely seen down on Rich Mountain in Arkansas. If only it were Halloween.... 3/1/24

5) Ok, not Illinois, but worthy of inclusion. Wisconsin and Southern's two SD60M locomotives painted in the new, employee-designed red and silver scheme - #s 6023 and 6022 - team up to lead train T001 through Zenda, WI, less than 10 minutes before midnight. The train is seen here passing the large "Zenda" station sign, which bears homage to the line's old Milwaukee Road heritage (note the two tiny MILW signs one either side of the signpost). There's even a small Milwaukee Road memorial at the base of the sign! 3/1/24

6) With the new SD70MACH locomotives entering service on the MD-W and MD-N lines, Metra has begun to re-assign some of the F40PH locomotives that have recently been on those routes to other parts of the system, mainly the UP lines. One of them, the "City of Chicago" commemorative unit #104, is seen here bringing an outbound over the Fox River in Geneva, IL, preparing to make its stop in the historic city. While I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this photo as I couldn't generate a lot of light onto the bridge from the south side, there was just enough to make for a passable B&W photo, harkening back to the days of O. Winston Link's work. 3/2/24

More to come!

 








Date: 03/28/24 20:48
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: trainmandan

7) CP 8757, CPKC's "Every Child Matters" commemorative unit, leads a KCS GE on CPKC grain train 346 through Des Plaines, IL. 3/3/24

8) After trailing on M337 the day before, two Illinois Central SD70s (#s 1038 and 1036) ply the rails of the former IC Iowa Division, seen here rolling past the former depot in Burlington, IL on CN X338 (extra section of M338) as the raindrops fall from a low-pressure system spiraling over northern Illinois. 3/8/24

9) UP 5307 and UP 4404 charge underneath the coal tower in DeKalb, IL, with UP's OCS train, heading westbound out of Chicago after coming up from the St. Louis area earlier in the day. Tonight's rendition has a special guest - the first car behind the locomotives is C&NW 553, which had been stored at Metra's Elburn facility since July 2022. There had been talk of the Illinois Railway Museum looking to acquire the car, but those plans never came to fruition. Tonight the OCS made a special stop at Elburn to pick up the car and take it with the rest of the trainset to Council Bluffs, where its fate is unknown (at least by me). 3/9/24

More to come!








Date: 03/28/24 20:51
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: trainmandan

10) KCSM 4524 (AC4400CW) trundles into Davis Junction, IL with CPKC 181, preparing to meet counterpart 180 (which is currently holding on the main behind me). The town painted its water tower and added new LED lights to it sometime within the past year or two and is within easy sight of the Junction Road grade crossing, affording some nice head-on photographic opportunities. 

11) KCSM 4884 (ES44AC) accelerates out of Davis Junction, IL with CPKC 180, having just met counterpart 181, which entered the siding while 180 held on the main. 

12) KCSM 4524 (AC4400CW) leads a KCS SD70ACe on CPKC 181, seen here hustling past a pile of rails, spikes, and old paint cans in Kirkland, IL as it speeds towards its terminus at Bensenville.

Three photos taken 3/9/24.

Still more to come!








Date: 03/28/24 20:54
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: trainmandan

13) KCSM 4500, a "Grey Ghost" AC4400CW, hustles past the Itasca, IL Metra station with inbound CPKC intermodal 181. The train is just a few miles from its termination at Bensenville. 3/10/24

14) "Awful Good" - This is an Irish phrase whereby the word "awful" can mean "very" - in this case, "very good". Seems to be appropriate for this scene, where an Aer Lingus flight makes its approach into O'Hare International Airport while KCSM 4526, a "Grey Ghost" AC4400CW, creeps over the hill on the approach to the Tower B-17 interlocking leading CPKC sand train 640. I used an 18-55 mm lens for this shot and subjected the photo to significant cropping, which makes the non-focused nature of the subject stand out a little more (plus it would've been better if the train were closer). I'll need to use a telephoto lens for any future shots, but as it was my first time using this angle, I'll take it. 3/24/24

15) METX 88, a former Amtrak Pacific Surfliner F59PHI, leads an outbound MD-W train under the Tower B-12 signals in Franklin Park, IL, moments away from making its next stop. The green signal is for CPKC 640, a loaded sand train led by the KCSM "Grey Ghost" AC4400CW in the previous photo. 3/24/24

STILL more to come!



 








Date: 03/28/24 20:57
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: trainmandan

16) KCSM 4526, the "Grey Ghost" AC4400CW from photo #14, leads CPKC 640, a loaded sand train, under the Tower B-12 signals in Franklin Park, IL, on its way to NS interchange.

17) KCSM 4532 (AC4400CW) leads a sister KCSM unit on CPKC 181, seen here trundling through the Tower B-17 interlocking in Bensenville, IL as it begins its entry into Bensenville Yard.

18) CSXT 523, an increasingly rare YN2 AC4400CW, leads KCSM 4544 (AC4400CW) on CPKC 540, a loaded ethanol train, seen here trundling through the Tower B-17 interlocking in Bensenville, IL as it prepares to duck into the yard for a crew change before going to NS interchange.

3 photos taken 3/24/24

Ok, that's enough for now, I think I've shared plenty for folks to digest. Appreciate you taking a look!








Date: 03/28/24 21:35
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: ButtedKnuckles

Great stuff! 



Date: 03/29/24 05:56
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: bmarti7

Superb night shots and great collection overall. Thanks for including the short approach of Shamrock 125 (Airbus 330-200 - Shamrock is the Aer Lingus ATC call sign).

PCBill



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/24 05:58 by bmarti7.



Date: 03/29/24 06:50
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: MILW86A

Thanks for sharing good stuff
MILW86A 



Date: 03/29/24 12:53
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: pbouzide

Really good images here. Great to see the familiar ex-MILW Chicagoland locations from your skillful composition and camera work.



Date: 03/29/24 17:17
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: ns1000

Great shots!!



Date: 03/30/24 06:52
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: refarkas

Superlative images!!!
Bob



Date: 03/30/24 11:48
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: Ritzville

Excellent series!! Congrats on IOTD!

Larry



Date: 03/31/24 05:48
Re: Chicagoland / Northen IL Update - 3/28/2024
Author: bobk

Fantastic series, especially the night shots!



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