>Oookkk. Here goes. Last week we went to Bloomington via US 24 and I 55. Not much rail >action to of speak but found plenty of stuff to gawk at. LOL. I noticed the old NYC Conrail >branch that crossed the TPW and US 24 looks like its being removed south of the former >crossing but looks used north of there with a new connector track in place between the TPW >and the old NYC branch.
That connector is not new. It was rehabilitated on 1995 when TP&W assumed service to the Cropmate fertilizer facility north of Kentland. That track should remain in place for the awhile because NS wants to rebuild it between the state line near Danville and Schneider because they are dissatisfied with CN trackage rights between Gibson City and Chicago.
>Saw the old Wabash right of way has been built on in Forest but all the approach and home >signals on the TPW are all still in place turned aside. Noticed what looked like either a depot >of other RR related building north of were the Wabash/TPW crossed. Lots of poles up on the >old Wabash as well.
>Back in Crescent City saw a really cool looking mural on the north side of the tracks by the >grain elevator depicting a TPW train. Also saw the plaque for the 1970 wreck.. All i can say >was wow...
>We turned onto 55 at Chenoa and followed the old GMO all the way to Bloomington. As no >surprise saw no trains. Hmm.. But the line looked to be in pretty decent shape and the rails >all look shiny as heck. How much rail activity besides Amtrak does this line see?
A tri-weekly local works north out of Bloomington as far as Cayuga (large grain terminal north of Pontiac). It departs Bloomington late Mo, We and Fr, returning early the next morning. Grain extras and occasional manifest trains may be seen on this line but UP has ended regular through freight service north of Bloomington. South of Bloomington, manifests MASBN (Mo-We-Fr) and MBNAS (Tu-Th-Sa) operate while daily manifests MPRPB and MASPR use the line south of Ridgely (Springfield) coming off the IMRR and the ex-C&NW. A local works south from Bloomington early Su, Tu and Th to Springfield. The following day, it usually works further south to Carlinville before heading back to Bloomington.
Does UP >have any plans for the line?
If the union agrees to a Joliet – East St. Louis run-through district and a connection is built into Logistics Park, UP would run daily intermodal trains on the line.
>When was the old depot torn down?
>While we were visiting friends in town i heard horns two times in 3 hours. Don’t know if this >was activity on the GMO or on the old NKP. The old NKP looks like its pretty active with the >Mitsu' plant and several grain silos online. How far west is the line in service and what is in >Peoria that NS serves? Is the old PE still in use in and around Bloomington? Saw part of the >old PE on the west end of town but didn’t have time to check anything out.
The ex-NKP goes to East Peoria. Each weeknight, D49 works west to interchange with P&PU. NS serves no customers west of the Evergreen FS elevator at Yuton.
>On Sat/Sunday we went to Peoria to the big hamfest and on the way i saw the old ATSF >Pekin branch (as well as the old PRR right of way) under 74 near Morton. Who uses/used this >line after the ATSF quit in the 80s? It looked pretty rusty under 74. How far does it go into >Morton and does it go to the 'Cat plant? There is a funny looking sign along the line just >north of the 74 overpass that looks like a upside down huge white broom. Never seen >anything like it here in Indiana. What does it say and what did the ATSF use it for?
This would be TP&W’s “Morton Industrial Spur.” Three customers are served – Nestle USA/Libby’s (September and October canned pumpkin shipping season), Fort Transfer Company (inbound herbicide unloaded on main track, since early 2002) and Morton Buildings (inbound lumber). The line needs just short of Rt. 98 at a place where the road once crossed the old ATSF Pekin Branch. The Caterpillar plant shipped by rail until no later than the mid-1990’s. I work there and I saw TP&W come into town Tuesday mid-afternoon and Thursday mid-evening this week. I don’t know about the sign.
>On the way back took 9 through Gibson City (i work with a guy that has the last name >Gibson and kidded him about going through his namesake town!LOL) and saw a NS grain >train sitting on a siding along 9 and a eastbound grain train with all CP rail power on the >main waiting i assume, to take a signal to head towards Gilman. Saw the old NKP right of >way that crossed 54 on the east side of town. When was the line removed?
That elevator spur that crosses Rt. 9 just west of town was built in late 2001-early 2002. The old NKP was pulled east of Gibson City in winter 1990-1991 after seeing its last revenue train in 1989.
>Took 54 north towards Gilman and ran beside the CNIC Springfield line and did see any >trains but all the signals were lined up green for a northbound.
>Got into Gilman and waited on a SB CNIC coal train. Got back into Indiana and saw nothing >moving. didn’t have time to check out the Bloomer line or the KBS but their track all looked >good to me.
>The crossing of the KBS/TPW at Webster was kinda cool in that the old MILW uses 2 sets of >signals on either side of the diamond. Does the TPW and KBS interchange cars here? I saw a >few hopers setting near the diamonds but couldn’t see if they were interchanged or not.. >Corn was too high!
TP&W appears to deliver carloads of New Mexico potash and nitrogen fertilizer solution (and possibly anhydrous ammonia) to KBSR. They MAY also deliver some covered hoppers loaded with sunflower seeds or something because Wagner Products has a birdseed plant 10 miles to the south of Webster at Stockland.