Three C&NW movements pass through the junction at Rochelle, IL in the days before UP ownership and the railfan park. The parking area used to be on the north side of the tracks, limiting your photo options and resulting in backlit conditions. But we made do with it somehow...
Re-Opening of Ex-C&NW Line in Fitchburg and Oregon 9/29/2014
When a rail line goes out of service, the general assumption is usually
that it will be abandoned for good.
The former Chicago and Northwestern line between Madison and Evansville
last saw a train in October, 1996 when the last Union Pacific train ran
from Madison to Janesville. The city of Fitchburg and the village of Oregon
came together to buy the line from UP rather than allow it to be abandoned.
On Monday, September 29th, 2014, their efforts paid off when the first
train ran to the new Lycon ready-mix plant on the north side of Oregon.
HighIronofWisconsin Productions was there to cover this rare and historic
event. 30th Anniversary SD40-2 WSOR 4030 led the inaugural run.
This is actually the second of three long-dormant rail lines or line
segments in Wisconsin to be returned to service. A section of the old Soo
Line in northern Wisconsin reopened in 2012 to serve a sand mine at Poskin,
and another ex-C&NW line, between Plymouth and Sheboygan in eastern
Wisconsin, is a work in progress with service also to be provided by WSOR.
Yet MORE Rochelle Action
Three intermodal trains at Rochelle, IL around 1990. If you are a student
of modern railroading, just look at how the face of intermodal traffic has
changed in the 19 years since I took these videos. Many times I would film
the entire train, nowdays I am glad that I did.
The C&NW Relics of Sheboygan and the Shoreline Subdivision
The Union Pacific Shoreline Subdivision is a remnant of the Chicago and
Northwestern's main line between Milwaukee and Green Bay, now essentially a
long branch that terminates at Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It is seldom
railfanned due to its low traffic and tendency for that traffic to run at
night, but what daylight traffic there is offers some unique shot
opportunities. These include one of the last pairs of C&NW-style WRRS
"Harpes" wigwag crossing signals still in service, a couple of scenic
bridges, and occasionally GE locomotives still in patched CNW paint.
From late August through mid-September 2012, I railfanned the Shoreline
several times and chased a couple of coal empties trains south to
Milwaukee, all of which had some combination of UP 6718 (AC4400CW in
patched C&NW paint, ex-CNW 8816), UP 6940 (AC44/60CW, built as an
AC6000CW), and UP 6032 (AC4400CW) for power.
In this half-hour program, we'll explore the relatively large amount of
abandoned C&NW track and infrastructure still present in Sheboygan, chase
the UP YSB52 local job as it works customers around the city, and follow
the coal trains along the line. We'll also get a brief look at the UP
Granville job, which uses the beginning of the Shoreline out of Butler to
access its own branch line at Wiscona.