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Illinois photo locations?

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 27, 2021 2:07 PM

Lithonia Operator
We have now decided not to spend any nights in Chicago (we will go there in the afternoon to catch the Cardinal, and that's all), so we can spend more time roaming the Illinois countryside. Smile

My wife has decided she really wants to go to Galena, so we will do so. It looks like there is a good photo location there at the old depot.

How much traffic can I expect on that line? And whose line is it now? From what I've found so far, it would seem to be CN. But then I saw a reference to a BNSF wreck on that line. ??

If you are going to roam Illinois, for a railfan there cannot be a better place to roam than the Illinois Railroa Museum at Union, IL - 55 miles NW of the Loop.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, March 27, 2021 4:11 PM

Thanks, Balt. But I thrashed around a lot about going to the IRM, but finally ruled it out.

The focus of this leg of the trip is going to be current railroading, and trying to get photos of trains in interesting spots. Along with just enjoying the scenery and ambience of rural and smalltown Illinois. That's how Galena popped up; my wife has read that it's a charming place to visit, and is hot to go there.

I haven't gotten a read yet on how much train traffic there is in Galena, but I am guessing there is ample traffic along the nearby Mississippi River. (??) Of the photos I've seen of the Galena depot, not many had trains in them, so that's probably not a good sign.

My wife wasn't up for another big railroad museum, on this trip; we've been to quite a few. It's great to have a mate who enjoys most of this stuff, but she does have her limits, and this is her trip too.

Man, we just reserved a rental car out of Midway Airport. Lord, it's pricey! Yikes. I saw a thing on TV explaining why (it's Covid-related) rental cars are going to be scarce and expensive this summer. They recommended if you think you're going to need one, reserve it way in advance.

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Posted by MP173 on Saturday, March 27, 2021 4:32 PM

There will not be many trains in Galena, perhaps 4 in 24 hours (unless things have changed), but if there is one the scenery will be worth it.  Galena is a tour-isty little town...we stayed there one night, I have passed thru numerous times.  Plenty of trains on the BNSF river line.  Dubuque is an interesting spot also, both for trains and for things to do...I prefer Dubuque over Galena.

CP and CN thru Dubuque.  BNSF and CN thru East Dubuque, Il.  That tunnel is great, check it out.

Ed

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Saturday, March 27, 2021 8:27 PM

Thanks, Ed.

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Posted by blhanel on Monday, March 29, 2021 2:50 PM

Now you're talking my neck of the woods...

  CN at East Dubuque by Brian Hanel, on Flickr" alt="" />

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, March 29, 2021 11:01 PM

Thanks for posting that shot! I spent quite a bit of time on Google Map's satelite view trying to figure out where in heck the exit (for this train direction) portal is. I finally did, but it's mostly hidden by trees in the aerial view; you have to deduce it more than see it.

How many trains a day use the bridge/tunnel?

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Posted by THOMAS H CAIN on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 7:08 PM

I have rail fanned much of the Joliet westward Santa Fe.  There is an old glass factory in Streator Illinois.  At that location there is a tall pedestrian bridge over the yard area which can give you a great view of the area.  It is a tall bridge.

Further west is a nice view of the tracks at Ancona, Illlinois.

West of Intersate 39 is the town of Toluca which had a coal mining operation that piled up a pretty tall mound of earth that gives a commanding view of the town.  I think there was a button factory there, now closed.

Off highway 89 just south of La Rose is a deserted pipeline pumping station.  There is also another pumping station at Wilbern not that further down the tracks.

Further west is a nice bridge right over the tracks on local road #16 also known at Wind Haven Rd.  You can almost see trains coming from across the Illinois River.  The bridge over the Illinois River is pretty amazing but you would need to know someone from the local gun club.  Not recommended.

Chillicothe was a big stop on the Santa Fe, but there isn't much there anymore to see.  If you go out of town to the west and take local 16 to follow the tracks there is a nice bridge at almost the top of the ruling grade on this part of the railroa (1%+) that gives a nice view.

West of Galesburg there is a connection near the community of Cameron where the BN and ATSF come together.  There is a triangle formed by that junction and the Santa Fe and BN yards in Galesburg where you can park and pretty much see BNSF trains on the move in all directions all day long.  If you like just seeing trains it is pretty good.

Between Smithshire and Media is a brand spanking new BNSF trestle over Ellison Creek called the Media trestle.  Don't know if any of the old trestle is still standing. The new one is pretty substantial as it was a big trestle previously.

Dallas City is a quaint little town along the Missippi.  Trains shoot through there at full blast the same as most anywhere in Illinois.

Someone has already mentioned the Swingy thingy bridge over the Mississippi.  We have been there once when it was turned for a barge.

Hope that helps, enjoy the trip.

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Posted by LANDON ROWELL on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 9:32 PM

You say you now intend to go to Galena but do you still intend to follow the Chillicothe sub to Galesburg? If so, I suggest the old Santa Fe and Rock Island stations in Chillicothe. The RI station is now a museum and if you are lucky you might catch an Iowa Interstate train going by it. You are likely to catch a BNSF train at the ATSF depot. The Santa Fe road overpass between Chillicothe and Edelstein has a great view of BNSF climbing Edelstein Hill. The overpass over the yard at Galesburg has been mentioned, but Galesburg also has a railroad museum with historic equipment next to the Amtrak station. Southwest of Galesburg, Cameron features a very busy crossing of former BN & ATSF main lines.

If you have time to go to Southeast Iowa before heading north, check out the former ATSF alongside the Mississippi River before it crosses into Ft. Madison, IA. Here you can see BNSF, UP, and Amtrak trains passing and old ASTF 4-8-4, the old ATSF station (now a museum), and a restrored historic fort. Heading up to Burlington, the old RI freight station is still standing at the entrance to Riverfront Park, almost under the Mississippi River highway bridge. If you are lucky and it isn't a weekend, you may see a Burlington Junction swithcher come by with some cars. There is also a steam loco next the the former CB&Q Amtrak station.

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Posted by blhanel on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 8:56 AM

Lithonia Operator

Thanks for posting that shot! I spent quite a bit of time on Google Map's satelite view trying to figure out where in heck the exit (for this train direction) portal is. I finally did, but it's mostly hidden by trees in the aerial view; you have to deduce it more than see it.

How many trains a day use the bridge/tunnel?

 

Yep, it's pretty well hidden, but if you find downtown East Dubuque and go to the north end of the main drag, you run right into it.  As far as train frequency goes, I would guess less than four a day give or take a couple.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 2:09 PM

LANDON ROWELL

You say you now intend to go to Galena but do you still intend to follow the Chillicothe sub to Galesburg? If so, I suggest the old Santa Fe and Rock Island stations in Chillicothe. The RI station is now a museum and if you are lucky you might catch an Iowa Interstate train going by it. You are likely to catch a BNSF train at the ATSF depot. The Santa Fe road overpass between Chillicothe and Edelstein has a great view of BNSF climbing Edelstein Hill. The overpass over the yard at Galesburg has been mentioned, but Galesburg also has a railroad museum with historic equipment next to the Amtrak station. Southwest of Galesburg, Cameron features a very busy crossing of former BN & ATSF main lines.

If you have time to go to Southeast Iowa before heading north, check out the former ATSF alongside the Mississippi River before it crosses into Ft. Madison, IA. Here you can see BNSF, UP, and Amtrak trains passing and old ASTF 4-8-4, the old ATSF station (now a museum), and a restrored historic fort. Heading up to Burlington, the old RI freight station is still standing at the entrance to Riverfront Park, almost under the Mississippi River highway bridge. If you are lucky and it isn't a weekend, you may see a Burlington Junction swithcher come by with some cars. There is also a steam loco next the the former CB&Q Amtrak station.

 

Wow. A great new trove of info!

Thanks, Landon!

Everyone's info is being copied into an ever-growing document that I'll carry with me.

Yes Yes

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Posted by LANDON ROWELL on Sunday, April 4, 2021 2:46 PM

Train frequency in East Dubuque is much higher that the 4 per day that was mentioned. This number would refer to the CN line that passes through Galena and the tunnel in East Dubuque. The CN crosses BNSF here and BNSF runs many more trains per day.

Also in Dubuque, the Mississippi River Museum and Aquariam is excellent, covering everything from river commerce to fish and wildlife.

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Posted by blhanel on Monday, April 5, 2021 2:24 PM

LANDON ROWELL

Train frequency in East Dubuque is much higher that the 4 per day that was mentioned. This number would refer to the CN line that passes through Galena and the tunnel in East Dubuque. The CN crosses BNSF here and BNSF runs many more trains per day.

 

Which is what he asked about.  Yes, BNSF runs a lot of trains past there.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, April 5, 2021 6:59 PM

THOMAS H CAIN

I have rail fanned much of the Joliet westward Santa Fe.  There is an old glass factory in Streator Illinois.  At that location there is a tall pedestrian bridge over the yard area which can give you a great view of the area.  It is a tall bridge.

Further west is a nice view of the tracks at Ancona, Illlinois.

West of Intersate 39 is the town of Toluca which had a coal mining operation that piled up a pretty tall mound of earth that gives a commanding view of the town.  I think there was a button factory there, now closed.

Off highway 89 just south of La Rose is a deserted pipeline pumping station.  There is also another pumping station at Wilbern not that further down the tracks.

Further west is a nice bridge right over the tracks on local road #16 also known at Wind Haven Rd.  You can almost see trains coming from across the Illinois River.  The bridge over the Illinois River is pretty amazing but you would need to know someone from the local gun club.  Not recommended.

Chillicothe was a big stop on the Santa Fe, but there isn't much there anymore to see.  If you go out of town to the west and take local 16 to follow the tracks there is a nice bridge at almost the top of the ruling grade on this part of the railroa (1%+) that gives a nice view.

West of Galesburg there is a connection near the community of Cameron where the BN and ATSF come together.  There is a triangle formed by that junction and the Santa Fe and BN yards in Galesburg where you can park and pretty much see BNSF trains on the move in all directions all day long.  If you like just seeing trains it is pretty good.

Between Smithshire and Media is a brand spanking new BNSF trestle over Ellison Creek called the Media trestle.  Don't know if any of the old trestle is still standing. The new one is pretty substantial as it was a big trestle previously.

Dallas City is a quaint little town along the Missippi.  Trains shoot through there at full blast the same as most anywhere in Illinois.

Someone has already mentioned the Swingy thingy bridge over the Mississippi.  We have been there once when it was turned for a barge.

Hope that helps, enjoy the trip.

 

Thanks, Thomas! More great info. Yes Yes

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Posted by LithoniaOperator on Saturday, April 17, 2021 12:17 AM

We had assumed that Covid would be on the run by early June. But that's not looking likely now.

This trip involves a lot of fairly close contact with people on trains and planes and buses and restaurants. The vaccine is 90% effective, but then there's that other 10%.

We're starting to get a bit nervous, and the time for making changes or cancellations is nearing ...

We've been so psyched for this trip, but we may have to postpone. ☹️

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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, April 17, 2021 6:49 AM

Go.  Keep your six feet physical distance, wear your mask.  This event will last as long as certain people can milk it...

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, April 17, 2021 8:39 AM

tree68

Go.  Keep your six feet physical distance, wear your mask.  This event will last as long as certain people can milk it...

 

While I agree that you should go and just take the standard precautions, I disagree that it's political.  It's a worldwide epidemic, not anything to do with political stances.

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Posted by LithoniaOperator on Saturday, April 17, 2021 1:37 PM

Backshop

 

 
tree68

Go.  Keep your six feet physical distance, wear your mask.  This event will last as long as certain people can milk it...

 

 

 

While I agree that you should go and just take the standard precautions, I disagree that it's political.  It's a worldwide epidemic, not anything to do with political stances.

 

 

I agree with Backshop re the pandemic. 

I do appreciate you guys encouraging us to go. We are definitely still leaning that way. But it's hard to decide what is "acceptable risk" when the consequences could be so dire.

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, April 17, 2021 1:48 PM

When my wife and I travel, we normally get carryout and carry hand sanitizer and masks in the car.  We've just gotten our second vaccine but haven't reached the 2 week limit yet.  While taking all available precautions, this seems to be semi-longhaul and at our ages (early 60's) we like to travel and can't put our lives on hold indefinitely.

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Posted by LithoniaOperator on Saturday, April 17, 2021 2:29 PM

My biggest concerns are many hours in a coach on the Pennsylvanian, and quite a few on the Cardinal. (White Sulphur Springs - DC. Chicago to WSS is a roomette.) Our flights are relatively short; and as you say takeout food is a good option. And in June, outdoor dining will be prevalent and fun. It's just those two coaches that worry me. Well, there's also DC - Philly in a coach.

But we are fully vaccinated, with Pfizer, and are very careful people.

We'll probably take our chances and go. But that's not certain.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, April 17, 2021 4:43 PM

LithoniaOperator
My biggest concerns are many hours in a coach on the Pennsylvanian, and quite a few on the Cardinal. (White Sulphur Springs - DC. Chicago to WSS is a roomette.) Our flights are relatively short; and as you say takeout food is a good option. And in June, outdoor dining will be prevalent and fun. It's just those two coaches that worry me. Well, there's also DC - Philly in a coach.

But we are fully vaccinated, with Pfizer, and are very careful people.

We'll probably take our chances and go. But that's not certain.

If you are vaccinated - don't Imprision yourselves.

Go out and live with masking and social distancing as necessary.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, April 17, 2021 8:35 PM

LithoniaOperator
The vaccine is 90% effective, but then there's that other 10%.

The two approved vaccines are 95% and 94% effective at preventing infection, and even those that get infected are usually mild cases.  As of yesterday, out of 75+ million that have been fully vaccinated, only 75 have died, or precisely a one-in-a-million chance.  In our state (Michigan) the 3 people who died had tested positive for Covid some time prior to their vax.

I was fully vaccinated by late March, and did not want to miss my annual trip out west to ski.  I sat next to somebody on 3 out of 4 flights.  Restaurants were usually socially distanced.  I rode a shuttle bus once that was supposed to be limited seating, but the bus driver did not want to leave people standing at the bus stop (I would have been one of those left behind).  I occasionally rode up the ski lift with another person (masks required on lifts), but on 4-seat lifts, you are further away than on the plane.  It was a short 5 day trip, but I am glad I went.

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