The new rail siding for Prairieland FS’s recently-expanded Atterbury, Illinois elevator is complete.
At least that’s what it looked like the evening of October 25, 2014.
It took long enough. Several times since learning of expansion plans, I swung by to check for progress. On March 17, 2013, the elevator expansion was underway, but no track materials had arrived. Same situation on June 5 that year.
I made another trip on November 29, 2013 and found that track materials had arrived, and were stored just south of town. It appeared that track construction would have to commence shortly and progress rapidly or the contractor would have to wait until spring.
I made another visit on March 9, 2014 only to find nothing had changed. Same for May 26. A few months later, I noticed photos posted on Prairieland FS’s website showing the track expansion, which had apparently begun in June.
I made another trip to Atterbury on August 23 to find some track laid south of town and crossties laid north. It appeared that no progress had been made following another inspection on September 6.
I considered checking again Friday (Oct. 24), but was unable to do so. Saturday, I made a second trip to the Springfield area, and was determined to check Atterbury while there was sufficient light.
Below are before and after photos taken at various times 2013 and Saturday, October 25, 2014. The first set shows the Illinois & Midland Railroad mainline from the southeast side of the elevator. The next set shows before and after the railcar loader was built. The third set shows the elevator from the northwest looking southeast.
Then-Lincolnland FS elevator seen March 9, 2013 looking northwest from Atterbury Street
Same location as above, seen October 25, 2014
This view taken June 5, 2013 shows the location where railcar loader would be built
Same location, but slightly different angle, shows railcar loader on October 25, 2014
Looking southeast from Hardin Avenue on November 29, 2013
Same location as above, October 25, 2014
Finally, although this siding is completed, it doesn’t appear to have been used yet. Prairieland FS can load 25 covered hoppers at a time here. Likely destinations in the Peoria-Pekin area. The Illinois & Midland Railroad has direct access to two processors in Pekin – Aventine Renewable Energy and Illinois Corn Processing LLC – and a barge loadout on Crystal Lake. Sister Tazewell & Peoria can deliver to multiple rail-to-barge docks and also Archer Daniels Midland Co. in Peoria.
Shipments to ADM or Tate & Lyle in Decatur are possible as well, though that would require an interline movement with either Canadian National or Norfolk Southern via Springfield.
– David P. Jordan