Chicago Road Trip 2013



I departed the Chattanooga area early in the morning of April 21st. My first photo stop was in Bowling Green, KY where I photographed a restored L&N E8 and passenger train statically displayed along the CSX main, next to the old passenger station.

My next stop was Louisville, KY and Jeffersonville, IN (across the Ohio River) to hunt down some regional action. Not much activity, but enough to get some half-decent shots of the Paducah & Louisville, and the Louisville & Indiana. I'm thankful I captured the latter railroad's green and yellow scheme before it gets phased out in favor of an equally attractive Tuscan red with a single yellow stripe.

On my way further north I stopped in the small town of Seymour, IN - hometown of John Mellancamp. The grain tower with the Chessie caboose in front of it can be seen in the distance at the tail end of the video "Pink Houses", shot over 30 years ago at the same location (this was back when Conrail was still operating the line that LIND now operates on). Another stop at Columbus, IN yields the Jeffersonville turn that has tied up for the evening.

I crashed for the night on the south side of Indianapolis, and the following morning I do some exploration of this city to see what I can turn up. I come across two beautiful pieces of Budd private varnish parked alongside the LIND main for starters. My search for Indiana Rail Road action would be fruitless, as a large amount of MOW activity was going on, but I was at least treated to a pair of SD9043MAC's parked with their train just south of their Senate Avenue yard.

After another stop in Lafayette, IN, I pushed the rest of the way to my destination of my brother's house in South Elgin, IL. The next morning I went out for a few hours before the weather turned bad to explore between Spaulding and West Chicago. I discovered that the tower still stands and is still in use in downtown West Chicago, where the CN (EJ&E) crosses the UP (C&NW).

I went out for most of Wednesday, and started my journey in Bensenville and Franklin Park. Since I had received a heads-up that an empty NS oil train with the PC and NYC heritage units was going to traverse the BNSF main, I later moved down to Brookfield, and enjoyed the parade of freights and dinkies running on the "Racetrack". Despite having mostly sunny skies, I did get cloud-boinked a couple of times.

I departed the greater Chicago area the following day, and followed through with a plan of following the CNIC main along US 45 through the granger heartland of Illinois. On past trips back home from Chicago, I had taken I-57 and could see the parallel tracks off in the distance. Realizing that the state route was a lot closer, I chose to take the slow and scenic route all the way down to Effingham. I managed to get a decent shot of the Tate & Lyle SD7 at Mattoon, just before the sun set.

I had budgeted some time for the Paducah, KY area the next morning, but the weather turned sour on me, and the only photographable material was this majestic Illinois Central mikado on display adjacent to the river front. After I took this shot, I beelined non-stop for the house.




Return to the IDIOT RAILFAN

Web page updated 04.27.13 by Mark S. Wurst Photography