Re: Railroad tracks Cermak & Halsted area
Date: January 03, 2016 06:01PM
> Those two locomotives were, until recently, very
> well maintained. They are now scraped.
Sorry to wake the dead, but I am happy to report that all 3 of the locomotives that were stored on the Lumber District until 2013 or so were not scrapped and all eventually found new homes. They were all bought by Motive Power Resources, an Illinois based locomotive rebuilder and affiliate of the Burlington Junction Railway. Motive Power Resources has since leased all 3 of the locomotives out to different rail served industries.
The #1208 had been on the Lumber District the longest and was the first to leave. Many speculated that this locomotive would be scrapped, as in later years it served as a parts source for its siblings. It had been based on that line since atleast 2004, and worked the line solo until late 2007 when number 1206 arrived and eventually took over. I only saw this engine move under its own power once, when I began studying the line in early 2008 it was still in service and was kept idling 24\7 through the winter. It was finally retired by Spring of 2008 after apparently catching fire and losing power to 2 of its 4 axles. It never ran on the line again under its own power, it was covered in graffiti. It was eventually treated to a hastily applied baby blue paint job, stripped of many parts, and parked across the street on a spur track. BNSF pulled that spur up once Motive Power summoned the locomotive to their shops in Burlington Iowa. In Iowa the locomotive was restored to service and sent on lease to switch the Tate and Lyle plant in Decatur, Il.
#1206, the most famous of the Lumber District Residents, was the next to go. It received minimal modifications before being dispatched to the Sunny Farms Landfill in Fostoria, Ohio. It can still be seen there today switching cars in the same paint scheme.
#1209 was the last to go, and was likely in the best condition of the three locomotives. It arrived on the Lumber District less than a year before Central Illinois would call it quits. It was based on the adjacent and little used Illinois Northern Trackaage around 26th and California. BNSF has since abandoned and pulled this line up. 1209 was based on this little used line for some time. It arrived on the Lumber District and soon was pressed into service when #1206 broke down. Once the 1206 returned to service, the 1209 was repainted in a black and orange Western Pacific inspired paint scheme. The Central Illinois would only continue operation for a few months after this. 1206 was used the most frequently, but on a few special occasions, the locomotives were coupled cab to cab and run in tandem. It was also dispatched to Tate and Lyle and works alongside sibling 1208 there in Decatur.
All 3 of these locomotives (along with a fourth #1207) were Chicago veterans. They were built in Lagrange Illinois for the Belt Railway of Chicago in 1951. They served the Belt for nearly 50 years. New management arrived in the year 2000 and all older motive power was quickly purged from the Belt's roster. All 4 of the locomotives were bought by DOT Rail Services, Central Illinois Railway's former parent company. All four were then sold to Motive Power Industries in 2011. All four are still on Motive Power's roster as far as I can tell.
Interestingly, the two adjacent but disconnected lines formerly operated by Central Illinois, the Lumber District and Illinois Northern, were at one time connected. The Illinois Northern apparently used to cross the 4 North-South tracks at 26th and Western to serve the International Harvester Plant that was at that intersection. They also allegedly served the tracks running down to Domino Sugar and the refrigerated warehouse just east and Southeast of that intersection by the river. The Illinois Northern roundhouse was apparently in the vicinity too. These tracks are now served from the east side of the tracks via the lumber district, and the crossing has been pulled up. Tracks existed on both sides of the intersection until very recently when the Illinois northern was officially abandoned.
Those tracks that run east and then turn south to serve Domino Sugar between Leavitt and Hoyne around 2700 south were originally served by the southern-most girder bridge over Western Avenue just south of 26th street and Blue Island. I don't remember if any tracks are still intact there, but they were until atleast the early 90s. Now a Lumber District crew would bring its train to that junction, uncouple the locomotive, pull up, and back down that track around a very tight curve.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2016 06:16PM by franklinc55.