Conrail. East Peoria. 1995. (Part II)

Here’s a slideshow showing the last moving Conrail freight train I ever photographed.

I saw this on a sunny Monday morning, December 4, 1995. I noticed this train departing P&PU’s East Peoria Yard and promptly beat it to Farmdale Switch only to wait until it pulled eight cars from TP&W’s Industrial Spur.

When it finally began moving again, train PEHI, led by SD60M 5560, had 44 cars. After six photos, I probably ran out of film, which explains a mad dash to Farmdale Road to capture the whole in train in seven shots!

Outbound loads were typical for this train: wire rod (in gondolas) and fencing and/or nails (in boxcars) from Keystone Steel & Wire; alcohol (in tank cars) and distillers grain (in covered hoppers) from Midwest Grain Products of Illinois; and carbon dioxide gas (in tank cars) from BOC. Numerous gondolas were likely scrap metal empties while the hoppers were metallurgical coal (unloaded at Keokuk, Iowa) or coke (unloaded at Keystone Steel & Wire) empties.

I probably saw a Conrail train (from a distance) while at the U. S. Air Force Museum at Dayton, Ohio in July 1997. For a decade after the Conrail Transaction (June 1, 1999) a pair of Conrail blue units were common power for Norfolk Southern’s D49, and later D46, local turns to East Peoria. On October 31, 2015, I rode a Conrail Shared Assets Organization (CSAO) passenger special out of Newark, New Jersey behind Bennett Levin’s Pennsylvania RR-painted E-8As with then-president Ron Batory onboard. But December 4, 1995 was the last time I’d photograph an actual moving Conrail freight train.

– David P. Jordan

PIA Posts March Record!

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Peoria Int’l Airport posted an all-time passenger record in March 2017.

This as expected, since March is ski season, and Spring Break for college students. According to a press release from April 13, 61,199 passengers were handled last month. This figure not only beat previous March tallies, but the airport’s all-time record of 61,156 passengers in a single month, July 2015.

New service by American Eagle to Charlotte and that carrier’s deployment of larger jets to Dallas/Ft. Worth are also cited for the record traffic. For the year, business is up 8,250 passengers,or 5.5 percent, over 2016. If the trend continues, 2017 should be another record year.

– David P. Jordan

Ask Peoria Station

NOTE: I don’t know how long this blog will be available. William “Billy” Dennis passed away Monday, April 3, and I know nothing of plans to continue his blogpeoria project.

It is time for another “Ask Peoria Station.” Feel free to ask any transportation related question. As always, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find one.

– David P. Jordan

A TZPR a followed by a TP&W

Seeing two local trains in a row isn’t bad, especially on a warm, sunny April Fools Day!

It is April, but I’m not fooling. Early Saturday afternoon, I caught TZPR 1520 (an ex-Apalachicola & Northern SW-1500) pulling 21 empties across ADM’s River Track at Bridge Junction in Peoria (ABOVE). The 1520’s crew had just pushed the cars out of ADM’s South Yard, which is out of view behind me.

Closely following TZPR 1520, TP&W 3046 (a former Indiana & Ohio Railway GP40) pulled 13 cars through the same location (BELOW) enroute to East Peoria. The last six were set out at TZPR’s East Peoria Yard.

– David P. Jordan