Saturday, October 4, 2014
Today's Train of Thought- This is My Kettle, This is My Spout, October 4th 2014.
Today's train of thought takes us to the north central corner of Land of Lincoln with Ominitrax's Illinois Railway. The railway operates just over 100 miles of track over three disconnected lines in northern Illinois, but more notably the line serves as a sort of test track or proving ground for motive power destined for other Omnitrax lines throughout the US and Canada.
Traffic for the Illinois Railway includes steel, paper, fertilizer and other agricultural commodities, but most noticeably in recent years, frac sand. Much of the sand originates from the US Silica mine near Ottawa, IL and moves in unit trains of anywhere from 60 to 100 cars before being handed off to the BNSF in Aurora, IL. In fact- if the Ottawa sand trains aren't running with BNSF power, then chances are that they're using the Hudson Bay SD50s.
Here, railpictures.net contributor Steve Smedley caught Kettle Falls International GP38-3 #2256 is seen leading a local on the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy tracks outside of Mt. Morris, IL in May 2010 with the IR's Oregon job. The geeps had recently replaced some former Santa Fe GE B23-7s.
As for the Kettle Falls International Railway, they operate more than 130 miles of Y-shaped former Great Northern trackage in north central Washington State and southern British Columbia, hauling lumber, forestry products and chemicals with four axle geeps.