A friend of mine, Art Purchase, shot this 18-minute video of Peoria area rail action on July 5-6, 1990. Because this is PURE GOLD, I thought I’d share it here and comment on the action a bit since so much has changed in 26 years.
The video begins with an Iowa Interstate (IAIS) local heading southbound through Chillicothe, Illinois (then a second scene closer to Peoria). The location appears to be Moffitt Street on the city’s northside. Galena Road Gravel Co. had yet to start loading construction sand here. The siding seen to the left of the train was removed, and a switch was built on the south end.
The train’s consist is interesting. The first two cars appear to be of the type used by BF Goodrich’s Henry plant to ship polyvinylchloride resin. Behind these were two IAIS hoppers were used in ballast service. Then, another covered hopper that I believe was used by Goodrich to ship resin, followed by three empty vinyl chloride tank cars (from Goodrich). At least the first of the next two tank cars last contained sodium hydroxide solution (that is what the stenciling on the car appears to say). A centerbeam flat car loaded with lumber is bound for a P&PU-served customer, possibly Carver Lumber at Pioneer Park. The two Conrail boxcars – CR 209540 and CR 209911 – are “XP”-type boxcars assigned to paper service, possibly newsprint. The Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway and Soo Line covered hoppers bringing up the rear may be the same ones shown on an eastbound Norfolk & Western freight the next day!
The next scene shows CF Industries’ locomotive moving on TP&W’s Mapleton Industrial Spur. Air Liquide’s ex-MG Industries liquid oxygen plant wasn’t built until 1994, thus allowing the clear view from Wheeler Road.
P&PU 603 is shown hauling five C&NW-marked covered hoppers through the North Valley enroute to the Iowa Interstate interchange at the North Limit Yard.
P&PU 609 is shown hauling the Pekin Local through Hilliards (Creve Coeur) bound for East Peoria. Note six C&NW covered hoppers ahead of the ethanol tank cars.
At about 5 minutes, 36 seconds into the video, a 25-car eastbound Norfolk & Western freight is shown behind a pair of geeps. Note the Container-On-Flat-Car (COFC) and Trailer-On-Flat-Car (TOFC) traffic, and Caterpillar tractor loads.
Next we have some Chicago & North Western action! First, at what I believe is the Rt. 9 crossing near the CILCO power plant south of Bartonville, is a northbound freight. Part of this, and another right behind it, is shown. The next view at W. Farmington Road shows the first train after having added some Peoria cars at Sommer, which leads me to conclude that this is SPBOA (South Pekin IL to BOone IA, Manifest). The train following it at Rt. 9 was probably MAPRA (MAdison IL to PRoviso IL, Manifest).
Action following the W. Farmington Road is at Molitor Jct. where the ex-C&NW Elm Subdivision crossed Burlington Northern’s Galesburg-Peoria line and junctions with the C&NW main. The train shown being shoved is a bit of a mystery, but it may be BOSPA (BOone IA to South Pekin IL, Manifest) either ducking into the Low Line (to Peoria) to get out of SPBOA’s path, or wayfreight WPE01 shoving a cut of cars to Limestone Siding (stub track scene in W. Farmington Road scene) for pickup by PRMAA. Not sure why they didn’t wait for MAPRA!
Priceless video of P&PU 600 pulling a train up the Kellar Branch begins at ten minutes, 17 seconds. Years ago I purchased a print of P&PU 600 pulling an empty boxcar (GMSR 49556) from the old Cohen’s Furniture Co. distribution center in Peoria Heights. This video was taken the same day! Note the different boxcar in the third scene. That is the car pulled from Cohen’s!
We are then treated to action on the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe’s Illinois Division at Houlihan’s Curve and Edelstein Hill.
The final scenes show a TP&W GP20 pulling a lone Burlington Northern boxcar off the the Industrial Spur that served Hagerty Bros, Federal Warehouse Co., United Facilities and Demeter Inc. (grain elevator & barge dock). The final scene indicates this train added an empty centerbeam flat car that had earlier been pulled from Illinois River Lumber Co. closer to the river.
– David P. Jordan