I'm curious as to the changes that came with the NS era. Industries lost (or gained?), trackage abandoned and changes in operations.
The IT's flagship trains, northbound 200 and southbound 201 (203 until 1978) handled a lot of traffic between St. Louis industries and connections and the same at the Peoria Gateway. It is my understanding that these trains handled a good deal of overhead traffic between the Rock Island at Peoria and the Frisco at St. Louis. This traffic flow apparently started dying out when the Rock was virtually shutdown by a strike in August 1979 and most certainly ceased when the carrier was forced to liquidate after March 1980. It is possible that some of this traffic was diverted to the Burlington Northern and thus changed to a BN Peoria ITC St. Louis SLSF routing. If so, it finally ended when the BN acquired the Frisco in November 1980.
With this loss of traffic, trains 200 and 201 were reduced to alternate-day operation north of Springfield and IT's remaining major traffic sources were terminal switching in the St. Louis and Decatur areas and the ADM feed pellet and soy meal shuttles from Decatur to Granite City and Alton.
By the time the IT merged with N&W in May 1982, trackage rights on other railroads was given up and trains 200 and 201 were discontinued.
On an aside, given the IT's north-south orientation and the fact that some Peoria - St. Louis traffic remained until the end, I'm curious if N&W/NS solicited any of this business following the merger. The routing would be circuitous since the old Peoria Secondary was embargoed as a through route and saw only locals under N&W/NS (any Peoria - St. Louis traffic would have been via Gibson City).
I know the N&W/NS inherited a good deal of traffic form the IT merger inluding that from ADM, Granite City Steel, Shell Oil, Clark Oil & Refining, Conoco and others. I'm kind of curious as to how things have changed under NS control.
thanks in advance,