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CP Rail's Purchase of KCS

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CP Rail's Purchase of KCS
Posted by Bruce Frierdich on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 9:18 PM

Hi, I was in Elgin, IL a couple of weeks again and was stopped at a crossing to allow a freight train to roll by.  This is the former Milwaukee Road track that ran out to Omaha and KC at one time, before it was acquired by the Soo Line and then by CP Rail.  I believe it no longer goes to Omaha (someone can confirm or correct me on that) but still runs to Kansas City.  The moment was interesting in two respects: first, it is rare to see freight trains on that line.  There is some traffic but usually at night or weekends (to give Metra room to operate).  Second, the train was being led by a KCS GE.  Cool to see.  Also interesting for me - the first GE C44-9W I ever saw was a Southern Pacific locomotive running long hood forward on the CNW tracks that is on the other side of South State Street (Highway 31) probably 200 yards give or take from the former Milwaukee Road line.  As an aside (and I am probably rambling), we also used to see Southern Pacific GEs and big EMDs in Stevens Point, WI, running into the Wisconsin Central yard.  As I recall, the Southern Pacific had some sort of run through arrangement for a short time connecting a mine in Wisconsin with a processing plant.  (Maybe someone has details.)

Bruno

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, June 8, 2023 7:02 AM

In the 1990s, the Wisconsin Central would pick up 105-car taconite iron ore trains from the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range at Pokegama Yard south of Superior, WI.

Wisconsin Central would forward the trains to Chicago where they would then be forwarded by SP to Geneva Steel in Utah.

They took a roundabout route from Chicago to St. Louis to Kansas City to Pueblo and over Tennessee Pass to Utah.

Once UP bought SP in 1996, the trains ran on the Overland route across Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming to Utah.

Eventually UP was able to win the business and run the trains direct from Superior through Minneapolis to the Overland Route in Iowa, shaving hundreds of miles off the trip.

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Posted by ns145 on Thursday, June 8, 2023 8:36 AM

SP was able to underbid UP on this business because they used the empty taconite equipment to backhaul Colorado coal to a number of Midwest powerplants.  One backhaul move that I was able to personally witness and enjoy was to Havana, IL on the former C&IM.  Most SP coal trains only had two Dash 9's or AC4400's for power, which meant that Illinois & Midland crews had to double the famous Petersburg Hill northwest of Springfield.  Always made for a fun chase.  I even got a cab ride down the hill to retrieve the second cut of hoppers.  

These Havana coal trains continued to run for quite awhile after the UP diverted the taconite traffic back to its original routing.

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Posted by Bruce Frierdich on Thursday, June 8, 2023 8:53 AM
Hi,
 
First, thanks kgbw49.  (Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western?).  I appreciate the details.  Back to Elgin, I don't know why an SP locomotive would have been on CNW track (long before UP bought both lines).  Maybe some sharing arrangement.  That line runs out to Rockford, IL and used to go on to Freeport although I am not sure of its disposition.  Also, most of the traffic went to the Chrysler & Jeep plant in Belvidere, IL.  With that plant shutting down, one has to wonder what will become of that line.  There was talk of extending Metra out to Rockford either on the CNW line or Milwaukee Road but not sure where that stands.  (Maybe someone else has some more current information.)  Thanks again.
 
Bruno

 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 8, 2023 2:54 PM

Bruce Frierdich
Back to Elgin, I don't know why an SP locomotive would have been on CNW track (long before UP bought both lines). 

Because of the arrangement KGBW49 explained to get taconite from Minnesota to Utah. In joint operations like that, 'run through' arrangements were common. SP, C&NW and UP engines sometimes ran all the way into Minnesota on the DMIR or CN.

Run through operations became fairly common starting around 1960. New York Central engines used to run through from Chicago to St. Paul on the Burlington, an arrangement that continued under PC/BN and today with NS/BNSF.

Note that this is not exactly the same as trackage rights allowing one railroad to run it's trains over another railroad. It's when two or more railroads to work together on specific operations.

Stix
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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, June 8, 2023 8:44 PM

Bruce Frierdich
Hi, 
First, thanks kgbw49.  (Kewaunee, Green Bay & Western?).  I appreciate the details.  Back to Elgin, I don't know why an SP locomotive would have been on CNW track (long before UP bought both lines).  Maybe some sharing arrangement.  That line runs out to Rockford, IL and used to go on to Freeport although I am not sure of its disposition.  Also, most of the traffic went to the Chrysler & Jeep plant in Belvidere, IL.  With that plant shutting down, one has to wonder what will become of that line.  There was talk of extending Metra out to Rockford either on the CNW line or Milwaukee Road but not sure where that stands.  (Maybe someone else has some more current information.)  Thanks again.
 
Bruno

A blast from a 18 year old thread

https://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/36618.aspx

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, June 9, 2023 11:01 AM

Geneva Steel shut down in 2001.

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Posted by Bruce Frierdich on Saturday, June 10, 2023 10:54 PM

Hi,

Sorry to sound snarky but what's Geneva Steel got to do with the post?  Maybe I missed something.    

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Sunday, June 11, 2023 9:59 AM

Geneva Steel's plant was a customer for a joint operation that hauled taconite in coal gondolas from the Iron Range to the plant and the same gondolas then handled a backhaul of coal.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, June 11, 2023 10:22 AM

Just to add - originally pulled by combinations of SP and Wisconsin Central SD45-2, SD40T-2 and SD40-2 locomotives (prior to SP being bought by UP) which would have brought those SP run through Stevens Point.

Here is picture of one of those taconite trains in Utah on the way to Geneva Steel with an SP tunnel motor and Wisconsin Central SD45-2 locomotives:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1635590

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Posted by Ed Kyle on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 12:40 PM

Bruce Frierdich

Hi, I was in Elgin, IL a couple of weeks again and was stopped at a crossing to allow a freight train to roll by.  This is the former Milwaukee Road track that ran out to Omaha and KC at one time, before it was acquired by the Soo Line and then by CP Rail.  I believe it no longer goes to Omaha (someone can confirm or correct me on that) but still runs to Kansas City.   

You are correct.  The line west of the Mississippi River to Council Bluffs/Omaha was mostly abandoned during the 1980s.  The line to Kansas City is currently being upgraded to serve as CPKC's "core north-south ... main line" from the Midwest toward Mexico.

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Thursday, June 15, 2023 12:09 AM

kgbw49

Just to add - originally pulled by combinations of SP and Wisconsin Central SD45-2, SD40T-2 and SD40-2 locomotives (prior to SP being bought by UP) which would have brought those SP run through Stevens Point.

Here is picture of one of those taconite trains in Utah on the way to Geneva Steel with an SP tunnel motor and Wisconsin Central SD45-2 locomotives:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1635590

 

 

Point of order, WC did not have SD45-2s. the WC units in that picture are SD45s. 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, June 15, 2023 8:28 PM

Thank you for the assist!

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Posted by Bruce Frierdich on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 10:05 PM

Hi, Just to clarify and perhaps clutter the inbox, the SP loco was on the CNW track in Elgin. That line stubs at Freeport. No taconite on that line. It never leaves northern Illinois. The taconite trains were in Stevens Point in central Wisconsin. 

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 5:02 PM

Bruce Frierdich

Hi,

Sorry to sound snarky but what's Geneva Steel got to do with the post?  Maybe I missed something.    

 

Adding information on why the all-rail movement of taconite stopped. kgbw49, ns145 and wjstix were discussing it.  In fact, you mentioned it in your opening post but called it a "processing plant". Maybe you should remember what you posted.

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Posted by Bruce Frierdich on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 9:31 PM

Hi. 

you're correct and I'll watch that going forward. Thanks 

bruno

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Posted by ns145 on Thursday, June 22, 2023 1:55 PM

Bruce Frierdich

Hi. 

you're correct and I'll watch that going forward. Thanks 

bruno

 

There is no good answer to your original question.  The Belvidere line was served out of Proviso Yard in Chicago.  Most likely a random SP Dash 9 showed up at the Proviso engine terminal and the C&NW used it on a Belvidere turn before sending it back west towards home rails.  It is also possible that the SP owed the C&NW some horsepower hours and the C&NW put the unit into captive service out of Chicago.

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Posted by Bruce Frierdich on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 6:28 PM

Hi,

That would be my guess as well.  Regardless, it was pretty cool.  Haven't seen any SP locomotives for years.  After the acquisition, you'd see some SP locomotives and a few times a Cotton Belt locomotive.  All memories now.

Bruno

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 6:39 PM

Bruce Frierdich
Haven't seen any SP locomotives for years.  After the acquisition, you'd see some SP locomotives and a few times a Cotton Belt locomotive.  All memories now.

Apparently there are still quite a few running around (of course most of them terribly tatty by now).  The last one I saw here was about 4 months ago.

For a long time after 1996 someone appeared to be spending considerable effort making sure that if there was an ex-SP locomotive in a consist, it would be on the point.  When I chased 3985 up into the Bootheel in 2004, at the first potential runby location there was a SD40 or SD45 in full mountain trim, with all the lights and appurtenances -- that was real big-time railroading compared to what I came of age with on EL and PC...

(Took me over three minutes to open the archived folder and another 1:17 just to convert the file clip -- but it was locomotive 8584)

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Thursday, June 29, 2023 7:19 PM

There ar stragglers, For instance, one of the GP60s currently being serviced out of Roseville is a Cotton belt unit. Only reason it even has a patch is due to the renumbering that happened a few years back.

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