Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today's Train of Thought- First Light, March 14, 2012

Today's Train of Thought takes us to a frigid and snowy Hawkeye State to a line that's changed hands no less than three times since 1996.

In 1985, the Illinois Central Gulf spun off a series of lines throughout the Midwest and Deep South that they deemed redundant. Many of these lines exist today as regionals like the Indiana Railroad or Paducah & Louisville. Around that same time, the ICG's former Illinois Central Chicago to Omaha, NE line went to the newly-formed Chicago Central & Pacific. In addition to the main line across northern Iowa, the CC&P also had a branch to Sioux City, IA and the Cedar River line, which went north from Waterloo, IA to Albert Lea, MN and south from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids, IA.

The CC&P lasted a little more than 11 years when the Illinois Central made the somewhat unusual move of reacquiring the railway lock, stock and barrel in 1996- about two years before the Canadian National would acquire the IC.

Here, contributor R Scott Marsh catches Canadian National local freight L575 with Illinois Central SD40-2 #6201 leading and Elgin, Joliet & Eastern SD38-2 #678 trailing along with a Canadian National GE trailing. The train is seen just outside of St Ansgar, IA with a lengthy cut of grain cars for a customer on the Osage sub north of Waterloo at daybreak on Jan 30th, 2012.

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