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Abandoned GM&O Line

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Abandoned GM&O Line
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 06, 2001 3:48 PM
GM&O had a line that ran from the main line at Dwight Il. (now UP) to the Illinois river at Lacon,there was also a spur that ran down to Washington.Does anybody know when this line was abandoned?May have had something to do with the IC merger since it crossed IC's old main line (also now torn up)at Wenona Il. Ron
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 10:59 AM
Ron,
From what I can remember thisline was abandoned in the 70's right as I-55 was being built. Too little traffic doomed the line. The entire line was hndled by an RS2 (I think) up unit the end that was based out of Washington. Dwight-Washington was the main branch with the spur instead going to Lacon. From my understanding the area by Dwight was the last part of Interstate-55 to be built and they didn't even wait until the rails were pulled up, instead excavating right over them. Two short areas aound Wenona were serviced until the IC was bandoned through there in the 80's.

Tom
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 13, 2001 4:14 PM
Thanks Tom, I thought somebody out there might know a little more info about this.I used to travel Rt.17 and Rt.89 along whats left of the right of way and I always wondered how long it had been abandoned.There are still quite a few culverts and small bridges left and also a stray telegraph pole here and there. Ron
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Posted by DwightBranch on Saturday, March 10, 2012 12:51 PM

Sorry this is such a late response but I was searching for posts on this branch and thought someone might still be interested. I grew up two miles from this branch in Toluca IL, and my first ride  on a locomotive occurred on this line in 1977 (age 12), on an ICG Paducah rebuild, at Evans Station, which is essentially a grain elevator between Wenona and Varna. I have a copy of the abandonment notice that was printed in the local paper  (I believe in 1978), all trains stopped running in 1979, and the track was pulled up beginning in 1980. Very little still remains unfortunately, and not one rail is still in use.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Saturday, March 10, 2012 10:28 PM

DwightBranch

Sorry this is such a late response but I was searching for posts on this branch and thought someone might still be interested. I grew up two miles from this branch in Toluca IL, and my first ride  on a locomotive occurred on this line in 1977 (age 12), on an ICG Paducah rebuild, at Evans Station, which is essentially a grain elevator between Wenona and Varna. I have a copy of the abandonment notice that was printed in the local paper  (I believe in 1978), all trains stopped running in 1979, and the track was pulled up beginning in 1980. Very little still remains unfortunately, and not one rail is still in use.

Dwight Branch:

First of all Welcome here! Welcome  Hope you enjoy your visits.

         Just Curious. Did this branch continue South from the Varina area and cross the Ohio Rive in the area of Cairo,Il   OOPS!  I had my spellings confused! Varina is in Iowa and Farina is in South Central, Illinois...My mistake.Crying

  The line then went thorough Columbus,KY, on through Union City Tn, Jackson,Tn.  IT was a t Jackson,Tn that the line split into two parallel  railroads down to the Gulf Coast.

 The GM&O when merged into the ICRR in 1973 or so, pretty much found itself the poster child for redundant, and was in large part rationalized out of the ICRR system by  salvage and sale to other railroads.

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by DwightBranch on Saturday, March 10, 2012 11:27 PM

No, it was a true branch (originally of the Chicago and Alton) off of the main line at Dwight, and ran from roughly 75 miles south of Chicago to Peoria, all of the track in Central Illinois. That is roughly 150 miles from Cairo IL or Kentucky.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 11, 2012 11:06 AM

I worked several times on that branch.  It ran from Dwight to Varna where there was a wye.  One leg went to Lacon, the other to Washington, IL where it crossed the TP&W.  Until the line was sold to the B&O, it had trackage rights on the TP&W and thus its passenger trains could continue to Peoria. 

The line terminated at Washington and never ever continued southward.

At one time the Chicago and Alton provided service from Chicago, via Dwight, through Streator down to Washington, over to Peoria, using trackage rights to Pekin, and using its own tracks to San Jose, IL, and then using its own tracks to Kansas City,

Art

 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Sunday, March 11, 2012 11:37 AM

artschlosser

I worked several times on that branch.  It ran from Dwight to Varna where there was a wye.  One leg went to Lacon, the other to Washington, IL where it crossed the TP&W.  Until the line was sold to the B&O, it had trackage rights on the TP&W and thus its passenger trains could continue to Peoria. 

The line terminated at Washington and never ever continued southward.

At one time the Chicago and Alton provided service from Chicago, via Dwight, through Streator down to Washington, over to Peoria, using trackage rights to Pekin, and using its own tracks to San Jose, IL, and then using its own tracks to Kansas City,

Art

http://www.gmohs.org/SecondaryPages/Maps.htm

To Art S. and Dwight Branch:

                                               I thought the above link would be appropriate to add here. It is a part of the GM&O Historical Society's website and contains enlargable maps..  (click on appropriate map to enlarge)

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Sunday, March 11, 2012 11:38 AM

artschlosser

I worked several times on that branch.  It ran from Dwight to Varna where there was a wye.  One leg went to Lacon, the other to Washington, IL where it crossed the TP&W.  Until the line was sold to the B&O, it had trackage rights on the TP&W and thus its passenger trains could continue to Peoria. 

The line terminated at Washington and never ever continued southward.

At one time the Chicago and Alton provided service from Chicago, via Dwight, through Streator down to Washington, over to Peoria, using trackage rights to Pekin, and using its own tracks to San Jose, IL, and then using its own tracks to Kansas City,

Art

http://www.gmohs.org/SecondaryPages/Maps.htm

To Art S. and Dwight Branch:

                                               I thought the above link would be appropriate to add here. It is a part of the GM&O Historical Society's website and contains enlargable maps..  (click on appropriate map to enlarge)

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by DwightBranch on Sunday, March 11, 2012 1:27 PM

artschlosser

I worked several times on that branch.  It ran from Dwight to Varna where there was a wye.  One leg went to Lacon, the other to Washington, IL where it crossed the TP&W.  Until the line was sold to the B&O, it had trackage rights on the TP&W and thus its passenger trains could continue to Peoria. 

The line terminated at Washington and never ever continued southward.

At one time the Chicago and Alton provided service from Chicago, via Dwight, through Streator down to Washington, over to Peoria, using trackage rights to Pekin, and using its own tracks to San Jose, IL, and then using its own tracks to Kansas City,

Art

 

 

I have a 1970s ICG timetable somewhere that showed the P&PU yard in East Peoria as the terminal where the locals tied up. The last year it was a once a week train running east from Dwight to Varna and then south to Washington, and then as normal on trackage rights on the TP&W into East Peoria, Saturday morning around 7 or so at Evans/ Varna. I was 11 or 12 then but a big railfan already, and I wish I would have been more willing to get on my bicycle and ride the two miles to Evans at 6 or so on Saturday morning to see it, I would ride my bike from Florida now to see it. Very, very little traffic, Evans had piles of corn cobs that were loaded in antique 40 ft. high gondolas to be used to make perfume I believe, but as I recall even the elevators didn't ship grain because of competition from barge traffic on the Illinois River only 18 miles away. We didn't like the ICG because they ripped up all of their track in Marshall, Woodford, Livingston, La Salle etc. counties in 1980-1990 or so, including the Dwight branch, the former IC Charter Line (Amboy District, which crossed the Dwight Branch in Wenona), the Pontiac District, etc., but I doubt the GM&O would have been able to keep the Dwight Branch either. I have been unable to find the ICC abandonment application anywhere online (I have a copy for the Amboy District) but would love to see one, it would tell who shipped what and how many cars in the last year or so before abandonment. My guess is that Metamora Woodworking, which made displays for Hallmark Cards, would be the only major shipper/ receiver of any size on the line, everything else was a car or two of fertilizer per year, etc.

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Posted by DwightBranch on Sunday, March 11, 2012 1:58 PM

@ artschlosser:

 

When did you work on the Dwight Branch (I am guessing out of Bloomington)? Do you have any photos?

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Posted by greyhounds on Sunday, March 11, 2012 11:14 PM

artschlosser

 

At one time the Chicago and Alton provided service from Chicago, via Dwight, through Streator down to Washington, over to Peoria, using trackage rights to Pekin, and using its own tracks to San Jose, IL, and then using its own tracks to Kansas City,

Art

 

I'll give a congratulatory salute to anyone who knows the correct pronunciation of "San Jose", IL.

There's a short history of the Dwight branch in Glendining's "The Chicago and Alton Railway."  I'll look it up and post.   My 1926 Official Guide shows no through service from Chicago via Peoria and Glendining doesn't mention such service.  But,  the guide does show a Chicago-Kansas City overnight passenger train that left the main line at Bloomington and ran through San Jose, Mason City, Petersburg, and Jacksonville rejoining the KC main at Roodhouse, IL.

The train picked up two Kansas City  sleepers at San Jose that had been forwarded from Peoria.  Two ex C&A lines crossed at San Jose.  They're both gone now.

"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, March 12, 2012 7:05 AM

The town in Illinois is pronounced San JO-See, the town on IC's Iowa Line near De Kalb (Genoa) is pronounced Je-NO-uh, etc., etc., etc.  Illinois is full of butchered place names.

Paul The commute to work may be part of the daily grind, but I get two train rides a day out of it.
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Posted by mudchicken on Monday, March 12, 2012 10:03 AM

The line abandoned officially June 19, 1979 under Interstate Commerce Commission Finance Docket FD-26764 (Federal Citation 360ICC188)

The reason the line survived as long as it did was because it had few bridges, long tangents and was flat. I know the last Division Engineer for the GM&O at Bloomington and when they pulled the plug on the line, it was horribly light rail (70#; the newest was laid in 1900) with Weber joints (Ick!) and an adventure to run on. The IC had access into Peoria via a different route (Old PD&E), so the line went away at merger into ICG.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by DwightBranch on Monday, March 12, 2012 2:16 PM

As has been mentioned, the main route used by the C&A/ GM&O to serve Peoria was a combination of the Jacksonville District (the original main line to St. Louis south of Bloomington, the south end of which is still used by KCS to reach St. Louis from Kansas City) and the Peoria District (part of a bankrupt line the Alton bought), which crossed at San Jose. Up until the ICG merger a train a day left the big yard in Bloomington for the P&PU yard in East Peoria.  I think the latter, the district from Springfield to Peoria, crossing at San Jose,  is what you are mentioning as having bad track. In the late 80s when I was a student at ISU in Bloomington/Normal there were still former GM&O operating employees out of Bloomington who had worked that line and they also talked about the bad track. The Dwight Branch on the other hand had been an Alton line all along, and was laid with 90lb. rail as I recall. There was one large bridge that needed replacement, crossing the Vermillion River in Streator, and for that reason the line was restricted to four-axle power. The Dwight Branch was the shortest distance for cars to travel between Peoria and Chicago on the C&A/ GM&O/ ICG, but the longer route via Bloomington was more convenient. Here is a photo of what is likely a  Le Tourneau/ WABCO earth mover out of Peoria (Cat's are made in Decatur) moving north on the Dwight Branch as evidence of some interchange business:

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=574350

BTW thanks for the ICC number. Now, does anyone know how to find the application for abandonment for the Dwight Branch online? So far it has been extremely frustrating trying to find it in the Federal records database.

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Posted by greyhounds on Monday, March 12, 2012 7:39 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

The town in Illinois is pronounced San JO-See, the town on IC's Iowa Line near De Kalb (Genoa) is pronounced Je-NO-uh, etc., etc., etc.  Illinois is full of butchered place names.

Salute!

Although I'd phonetically spell it San Joze.  It's in Mason County, IL;  where I grew up.  I recall it as having around 600 inhabitants.   Mason County has about 13,500 people total.  Which is less than it had in 1857.

"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by greyhounds on Monday, March 12, 2012 9:10 PM

DwightBranch

As has been mentioned, the main route used by the C&A/ GM&O to serve Peoria was a combination of the Jacksonville District (the original main line to St. Louis south of Bloomington, the south end of which is still used by KCS to reach St. Louis from Kansas City) and the Peoria District (part of a bankrupt line the Alton bought), which crossed at San Jose. Up until the ICG merger a train a day left the big yard in Bloomington for the P&PU yard in East Peoria.  I think the latter, the district from Springfield to Peoria, crossing at San Jose,  is what you are mentioning as having bad track. In the late 80s when I was a student at ISU in Bloomington/Normal there were still former GM&O operating employees out of Bloomington who had worked that line and they also talked about the bad track. The Dwight Branch on the other hand had been an Alton line all along, and was laid with 90lb. rail as I recall. There was one large bridge that needed replacement, crossing the Vermillion River in Streator, and for that reason the line was restricted to four-axle power. The Dwight Branch was the shortest distance for cars to travel between Peoria and Chicago on the C&A/ GM&O/ ICG, but the longer route via Bloomington was more convenient. Here is a photo of what is likely a  Le Tourneau/ WABCO earth mover out of Peoria (Cat's are made in Decatur) moving north on the Dwight Branch as evidence of some interchange business:

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=574350

BTW thanks for the ICC number. Now, does anyone know how to find the application for abandonment for the Dwight Branch online? So far it has been extremely frustrating trying to find it in the Federal records database.

That picture is just so central Illinois.  I love the place.  I think it's wonderful.  I once took one of my X's down to the annual Popcorn Festival.  After seeing the place, she described my hometown as "This little town surrounded by corn."  I had never thought of it that way, but she was right on with her description.

That's definitely a Le Tourneau truck.   Cat never has made off road trucks in the Peoria area.  But they have factories in both Decatur and E. Peoria.  I don't know what they manufacture in Decatur now, but E. Peoria has always been where they make the big stuff.   You know, like D-11 bulldozers.  (Cat's future in Illinois --?)   They'll not move out of the US, in fact they're moving production from Japan to the US.  But they're not bringing it to Illinois.

The railroad obviously should have dumped that line long before they did.  The pictured train has at least a four man crew.  Ain't no way that's gonna' work.

OK,  I'll try to summarize the account of Gene V. Glendinning in his book "The Chicago & Alton Railroad."  (pp 83-85)

Railroads were expanding in 1869 and Lacon, IL had been bypassed.  They were on the east bank of the Illinois River and a railroad had been laid on the west bank.  The C&A was in no mood to build new lines.  It was happy with a Chicago-St. Louis Route that served major coal fields needed to supply Chicago.

But, there was coal west of Streator and the coal company was building a railroad to an IC connection on the IC's "Charter Line" that ran from E. Dubuque through Freeport, Bloomington, Decatur, to Centrailia and on to Cairo (Kayro!).  But also, the good people of Lacon wanted access to Chicago, not Cairo, etc.

So they formed a delegation that journeyed north to Chicago to meet with C&A Superintendent McMullin and asked for the C&A's help.  And to the Lacon delegation's delightful surprise, a deal was cut.

If the Lacon delegation could get the line graded, the C&A would do everything else.  (McMullin knew a deal when he saw one.  The C&A had plans to build north from Hopedale, IL into the coal fields.  If he could get someone else to pay for grading a line, he'd take the deal.  It really didn't matter to the C&A if they accessed the coal from the north or the south.)

The C&A bought the coal company's rail line and laid track to Washington, IL (It's pronounced "Warshington".  People in central Illinois put an "R" in the word "Wash" or "Warsh")

So, the C&A made a rare expansion and built to the coal as well as to (as promised)  Lacon and on to "Warshington, IL"  At "Warshington" they connected to what was to become the TP&W and ran on in to Peoria.  They developed a lively passenger trade in competition with the Rock Island for the Chicago-Peoria passenger business.  But the coal mines played out and the passengers went away.   Lacon never did develop into anything.

The railroad should have dumped the line long before they did.  But that sure is a great picture.

Finally, get a copy of Glendinning's "The Chicago and Alton Railroad".  Look at the maps.



"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:36 AM

DwightBranch

As has been mentioned, the main route used by the C&A/ GM&O to serve Peoria was a combination of the Jacksonville District (the original main line to St. Louis south of Bloomington, the south end of which is still used by KCS to reach St. Louis from Kansas City) and the Peoria District (part of a bankrupt line the Alton bought), which crossed at San Jose. Up until the ICG merger a train a day left the big yard in Bloomington for the P&PU yard in East Peoria.  I think the latter, the district from Springfield to Peoria, crossing at San Jose,  is what you are mentioning as having bad track. In the late 80s when I was a student at ISU in Bloomington/Normal there were still former GM&O operating employees out of Bloomington who had worked that line and they also talked about the bad track. The Dwight Branch on the other hand had been an Alton line all along, and was laid with 90lb. rail as I recall. There was one large bridge that needed replacement, crossing the Vermillion River in Streator, and for that reason the line was restricted to four-axle power. The Dwight Branch was the shortest distance for cars to travel between Peoria and Chicago on the C&A/ GM&O/ ICG, but the longer route via Bloomington was more convenient. Here is a photo of what is likely a  Le Tourneau/ WABCO earth mover out of Peoria (Cat's are made in Decatur) moving north on the Dwight Branch as evidence of some interchange business:

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=574350

BTW thanks for the ICC number. Now, does anyone know how to find the application for abandonment for the Dwight Branch online? So far it has been extremely frustrating trying to find it in the Federal records database.

(1) You are NOT going to get the application online. Not gonna happen for pre-1996 documents.

(2) You may want to see if Librarian Christine Glaab at STB and see if she has any of FD-26764 on film and pay a modest copy fee.

(3)Because this is an FD- docket instead of an AB- docket, there is a chance that the abandonment process started prior to 1976 and those records went to National Archives 2 (College Park) during the 1976 pre-Staggers restructuring and downsizing of the ICC.

(4) More likely, the records no longer exist. The 1976-1996 files and records were turned over to the Intermodal Institute of the University of Denver Law School instead of NARA (Archives) . Those idiots recklessly managed to allow 6 1/2 of the 8 semi trailers sent to them by ICC/STB to be destroyed by a combination of water damage, mold and pure neglect. Still trying to figure out how some of the file cases (shrink wrapped and on pallets) were crushed. The surviviving documents (1 1/2 truckloads) were recovered by the State of Colorado and placed in a climate controlled warehouse on the Fitzsimmons Campus of the CU medical complex here in Denver/Aurora. Hard to find, harder to get at.

"Buttonpushers' don't get far with survey or railroad records; you're actually gonna have to get out there and dig, using good-old fashioned detective work. If you can't get access to a bound set of volumes of the ICC, drop me a note offline. (The firm I currently work for, headquartered at Bloomington, has dealt with multiple projects on that former C&A/GM&O line.)

 

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by DwightBranch on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 1:04 PM

@greyhounds

 

Thanks for the tip on the book. Interestingly, I know a bit about "the coal company's rail line" this book refers to, it was the Rutland, Toluca and Northern, which was centered in Toluca (my hometown) and whose main purpose was to connect the mine in Toluca with the "coal washer", a place on Big Sandy creek north of Varna where they dammed the creek and used the water to separate small pieces of coal from rocks. A person wrote a self-published book on the RT&N available at the Toluca library that included some of what is in Glendinning's book, but not from the perspective of the C&A, I intend to pick it up, thanks for the tip. I wonder how much coal the C&A actually shipped, the mine in Toluca closed in 1924, and those in Wenona and Rutland at roughly the same time (due to competition from strip mines in southern Illinois), and I am sure that the IC and the Santa Fe (who had originally built the mine in Toluca for locomotive coal) got most of it . My Great Grandfather, a miner,  was in poverty after the mines closed and earned a bit of money stoking engines for the RT&N at night. Every so often you will see a film clip of two steam engines crashing together, that was the RT&N, when the RT&N shut down during WWII they sold tickets in an idiotic spectacle by crashing two of their worn-out former C&A engines together, many were injured including losing eyes from flying debris. But back to the point, the branch stayed open for another 50 years, I would love to talk to someone who worked in planning at the GM&O post-WWII and ask what paid the bills for that branch, or what they were hoping would happen- export grain through Lacon maybe?  BTW yes some people do say "warsh your car" in the area I live in but it was mostly the German farmer types for some reason, my town was mostly Italians who came to work the mines and they didn't say that so I escaped it.

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Posted by DwightBranch on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 1:20 PM

@mudchicken

 

Thanks for the info, I wonder if libraries along the line might not have copies, say Streator or even Peoria. When I go back through there I want to do some retracing of the line and will check it out. I would guess that Canadian National has a copy somewhere, just a few years ago they had to reopen the Amboy District abandonment case because IC sold land it didn't own but had been given as a land grant and was supposed to revert to the original owners' heirs, so I am sure that they must maintain their records. I don't doubt that they still own parts of the Dwight Branch as well even thirty-two years later. Coincidentally I also attended the University of Denver (international studies though, not the law school). The law school used to be located at the former Colorado Women's College campus near old Stapleton Airport, but relocated to a new building on the main campus (Evans Street)  around 2004, I wonder if any of the ICC records still exist.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:21 PM
Quoting DwightBranch: "As has been mentioned, the main route used by the C&A/ GM&O to serve Peoria was a combination of the Jacksonville District (the original main line to St. Louis south of Bloomington, the south end of which is still used by KCS to reach St. Louis from Kansas City) ".
 
This is not quite correct.  The C&A mainline from St.Louis to Chicago ran through Springfield, not Jacksonville.  According to the book 'The Chicago and Alton Railroad' by Gene Glendinning, the fledgling St.Louis, Jacksonville, and Chicago did have the grading done in 1859 between Jacksonville and Whitehall, but it was not until 1867 that the first train ran from Bloomington to Godfrey.  Lincoln's funeral train used the C&A from Chicago to Springfield.
 
That book also chronicles the shakeup that occurred in 1899 when Edward Harriman got control of the C&A.  He already had the IC, had gotten control of the Union Pacific, and now the C&A.  The book says he engineered the collapse of the St.Louis Peoria and Northern which ran from Grove (on the P&PU - 5 miles south of Peoria) through Springfield, and on toward St. Louis.  In 1900, he attached the part north of Springfield to the C&A and the south part to the IC.  In train orders, that junction in San Jose was called the P&N junction.  (San Jose would rhyme with 'pan posie' as spoken on train orders.)  San Jose then had 2 stations, one to the south of the crossing and one to the west.
 
So the 1901 Official Guide shows a slightly different road from what the 1893 Guide had.  There were 4 trains daily from Chicago to Kansas City.  Three went through Bloomington, and one went through Peoria over trackage rights, Washington to Peoria granted in 1895 and cancelled in 1931 when the B&O took over.
 
The 1910 Guide shows there were more shakeups in management.  The C&A is now part of an empire along with the Clover Leaf (Toledo, St.Louis & Western), the Minneapolis & St. Louis, and the Iowa Central.  Although it seems to be allied with the Clover Leaf, they do not intersect anywhere.  (But neither did the Alton and the GM&O when they merged!)  Trains in both directions terminate at Peoria, no through trains. 
 
The Francis cutoff has been laid which the St.Louis to KC trains are using 
 
The airline from Springfield to Murrayville has been laid.  Three trains both ways daily, Chicago to KC;  only one uses the airline.
 
When I first worked at Chenoa, I was surprised that the connector track was double tracked, although the TP&W and the GM&O had but one switch on their main lines.  I was told that the C&A used to have Peoria service via the TP&W.  Undoubtedly the double 'siding' allowed an engine to drop off the cars and then run around them to get back to their train.
 
So now there's a third way to get to Peoria.  A coach and parlor or sleeper were dropped off twice a day each way.  The Dwight branch also sees two trains each way plus a Chicago to Streator train.
 
One other change.  Odd numbered trains now go south, and even numbered trains go north, as it is today.  These things seldom get mentioned in books.
 
A 1916 Guide shows more changes.  The C&A is a solo act again.  Chenoa is still a drop off point for Peoria Service.  Service south of Peoria has picked up; one train splits at San Jose - one part goes down the P&N to Springfield, the other part through Jacksonville and on to St. Louis.
 
Still 3 trains Chicago to KC but only one of them uses the airline.
 
Trains of the Rutland Toluca and Northern are shown. 
 
The 1922 guide doesn't seem all that different.
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Posted by Rockfan 71 on Sunday, March 18, 2012 11:03 AM

All I can say is WOW! I was the one that originally posted this back on the "old" Trains site, and I never expected it to come back from the dead with such great info! This line has always interested me. I've made many trips along what's left of the right of way and I always have a hard time keeping my eyes on the road, the Amboy district has the same effect.  I've spent hours looking for pictures of the Dwight-Washington branch but have only found a couple:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60523918@N02/5769566102

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29865095@N00/5924496989

Anybody that's interested in the ICG Amboy district, AKA "Charter" or "Gruber" line, there are tons of great pictures on Jim French's Flickr photostream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29865095@N00/sets/72157605240462693/

DwightBranch, have you read "Rails across the heartland" by R.G. Bluemer? Great book.

Thanks to everyone that has replied and hopefully it won't end here...

 

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • 493 posts
Posted by DwightBranch on Sunday, March 18, 2012 1:23 PM

Rockfan 71

All I can say is WOW! I was the one that originally posted this back on the "old" Trains site, and I never expected it to come back from the dead with such great info! This line has always interested me. I've made many trips along what's left of the right of way and I always have a hard time keeping my eyes on the road, the Amboy district has the same effect.  I've spent hours looking for pictures of the Dwight-Washington branch but have only found a couple:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60523918@N02/5769566102

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29865095@N00/5924496989

Anybody that's interested in the ICG Amboy district, AKA "Charter" or "Gruber" line, there are tons of great pictures on Jim French's Flickr photostream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29865095@N00/sets/72157605240462693/

DwightBranch, have you read "Rails across the heartland" by R.G. Bluemer? Great book.

Thanks to everyone that has replied and hopefully it won't end here...

 

 

Hi Rockfan, yes a subject dear to my heart. The second of those Flickr photos is not the Lacon depot, which is still standing. The photo is actually the Varna depot (I have a photo of it I am looking at that I took after the track was pulled up), looking west. The Lacon depot is right next to the marina at the bottom of the Illinois River/ Rt. 17 bridge, it didn't have eaves or gables, and is now a burger restaurant on the order of a Dairy Queen, called something like the "ice cream station" I think.

Here are a few other photos I know of:

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2558974

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2491360

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=574350

Regarding the Amboy District: I lived around 7 miles west of there (either Rutland or Wenona) , and in 1984 when I was a student at IVCC in Ogelsby, I was hanging out in the yard in La Salle when the local turn came into the yard. I believe I spoke to the father of that guy who set up the Flickr account. The trains ended that year, but a cement company in Oglesby bought the Illinois River bridge and enough track to connect to the Rock Island near the old Westclox factory (that was on the national news earlier this year when some kids started a fire that gutted it). I have a set of train orders from that last year. The rest of the line was mostly torn up, I had no idea until a few weeks ago when I was looking for ICC reports on the Dwight Branch that someone tried to buy the whole Amboy line but couldn't come to terms with ICG, they were going to call it the Freeport and El Paso. (http://federal-circuits.vlex.com/vid/freeport-paso-intervening-37658168)

Here is a photo of engines at Wenona, it says it is on the wye with the Dwight Branch, I emailed the guy to see if he had any more photos but he didn't respond:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=131995&nseq=38

 

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Marseilles, IL
  • 22 posts
Posted by Rockfan 71 on Monday, March 26, 2012 4:21 PM

Too bad they couldn't save the Amboy district, I've never seen any reference to that before, thanks. I've made a few trips down Rt 89 to Peoria this week and I'm pretty sure I know where that trestle at Low Point was now. I found a couple more pics too:  http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,2374066

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 133 posts
Posted by bn13814 on Sunday, April 08, 2012 12:06 PM

DwightBranch

Here is a photo of what is likely a  Le Tourneau/ WABCO earth mover out of Peoria (Cat's are made in Decatur) moving north on the Dwight Branch as evidence of some interchange business:

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=574350

That's a Caterpillar truck. The reason it was on that GM&O train was that a loading/unloading platform served by the GM&O just north of Washington. This was for machinery and large vehicles going to or from Caterpillar's Spring Bay proving grounds.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • 493 posts
Posted by DwightBranch on Monday, April 09, 2012 3:48 PM

bn13814

 

 DwightBranch:

 

Here is a photo of what is likely a  Le Tourneau/ WABCO earth mover out of Peoria (Cat's are made in Decatur) moving north on the Dwight Branch as evidence of some interchange business:

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=574350

 

 

That's a Caterpillar truck. The reason it was on that GM&O train was that a loading/unloading platform served by the GM&O just north of Washington. This was for machinery and large vehicles going to or from Caterpillar's Spring Bay proving grounds.

Interesting. I believe the proving grounds are in Washington now, right? But when I look at that truck I wonder how it made it across the Vermillion River bridge in Streator, which had a weight restriction that limited the line to four axle power.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 133 posts
Posted by bn13814 on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 7:41 AM

DwightBranch

Interesting. I believe the proving grounds are in Washington now, right? But when I look at that truck I wonder how it made it across the Vermillion River bridge in Streator, which had a weight restriction that limited the line to four axle power.

Caterpillar's proving grounds are located off Rt. 116 south of Germantown Hills and north of Washington (not to be confused with the Edwards Demonstration Grounds, which was served by the BN).

I'm not sure how often Caterpillar sent equipment to the proving grounds (and presumably back to the plant where built) but this truck might have been received from the Illinois Central at Wenona. The IC served the truck's Decatur assembly plant, so the one in the photo it may be returning there. The truck looks like a 769B.

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