brianpwestgate wrote:Why did CSX want their portion of the ROCK, and why do they still keep it. Seems like it would be natural for them to hand the whole thing over to IAIS.
After the Rock went down, the EJ&E operated the subdivision until the Chessie System purchased it. It naturally passed to CSX during its formation. So your question would more likely be, "why did Chessie want the subdivision," or "why doesn't CSX spin it off to IAIS?" The subdivision is profitable. There are multiple industries on-line in Morris, Seneca and Marseilles. The larger industries move sizable amounts of industrial chemicals, phosphates, finsished steel members, and plastic pellets. And in Ottawa and Utica, there's sand. Fecking rivers of it. All of the sand from Utica heads east with CSX, while in Ottawa U.S. Silica splits its production with CSX and Illinois Railnet, who send it down to Streator for NS or up to Aurora for BNSF. This traffic is why Chessie wanted the subdivision, and it alone is sufficient to require a pair of small yards in Ottawa and two trains daily.
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for CSX to give the New Rock to IAIS. In fact, in 2005, the portion of the New Rock that ran west from Utica through LaSalle, Peru, De Pue, and on to Bureau Junction and southwards was given to the IAIS. Customer demand on this portion of the sub was waning, and it is now a part of the IAIS First Sub. Having shed the less profitable portions of the line, CSX has been active in investing in the remainder. A lot of work has been done on signals, track, and grade crossings to increase train speed. An ethanol plant has been built in Seneca, and CSX is in between development and construction for a new intermodal park between Seneca and Morris.
The New Rock has old customers that generate moderate traffic, was viewed by developers as ideal for ethanol production and an intermodal facility which will generate new traffic, and it doesn't stretch all that far from the major yard in Blue Island. Why fix something that's broken, or sell something that's making money?