They had to get out of the way to allow this empty westbound unit coal train past, presumably from a power plant on the shores of Lake Michigan near Waukegan. Today the EJ&E has been absorbed by the expansionist Canadian National
Easter Sunday. Before joining in the Easter Egg hunt in Naperville I spent the morning at Rondout, where the Soo Line (ex-Milwaukee Road) crosses the EJ&E, and where the Mundelein branch of the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee interurban crossed the Milwaukee. A southbound Soo Line freight approaches the EJ&E crossing, passing the abutments of the CNS&M bridge.
Day 6 started on a bum note, I had a puncture. I had a space saver tyre but needed to get the puncture repaired at the local Goodyear workshop. That delayed me, but the delay turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it meant I caught this Soo Line northbound mixed freight headed by SD60 6005 street running through New Albany on the former Monon. The Soo gets to Louisville on account of its takeover of the Milwaukee Road which had trackage rights over the Monon (now CSX) from Bedford to Louisville.
I was making my way towards Naperville to meet up with Mel Finzer, but stopped en-route at Rochelle where the BN Twin Cities mainline crosses the CNW overland route. On the BN a trio of the LMX units on a double stack crossing the CNW.
I spent the night in Dubuque, IA - which actually is on the West Bank of the Mississippi. Day 9 found me on the top of the palisades above the river with the BN mainline to the Twin Cities and the Pacific Northwest just below. The light was pretty dreadful. A leased LMX B39-8 is on the head end.
SP GP40-2 7623 on an eastbound over the former GM&O, which the Espee acquired from the bankrupt Chicago, Missouri & Western in 1989. The storm broke as I arrived in Bloomington-Normal where I stayed the night.
From Bedford I drove to Indianapolis, to look round the shop at Union Station and from there to Lafayette, where I stopped the night. So Day 7 started with this picture of a Norfolk Southern train on the former Wabash. 3933 is an ex-Southern Railway GE U Boat, a U23B.
Train 851 the Indianapolis to Chicago Hoosier State making its stop in downtown Lafayette. The building on the right is the former Monon station building, now a theatre. The superliner car at the head end was being deadheaded back to Chicago from Amtrak's Beech Grove shops in Indianapolis.
I was very surprised when, shortly after the Hoosier State had departed to Chicago a southbound freight headed by a Chessie GP40-2 made its way slowly through downtown. Like many other mid-west towns and cities downtown Lafayette is not what it once was.
By the time the train pulled through Bedford, IN the sun was out. Like many US small towns the centre of Bedford has long since lost it's importance to the town, just empty shop fronts, a few thrift stores and generally feeling unkempt. Sad.
From New Albany I drove north, it isn't possible to follow the line all the way so I was determined to get to Orleans where there were still some semaphores. Not realising the state of the former Monon's track I arrived in Orleans well over an hour before the train. The last semaphores were removed in 2010 and much of the Monon south of Bedford is out of service.
Day 4, Sunday. I started really early from Corbin to drive down the Cumberland Gap Parkway through the Cumberland Gap to the Natural Tunnel State Park, where the NS uses a natural tunnel. Approaching the tunnel a pair of NS light engines led by a B30-7.
Corbin is a railroad town, with a large yard serving the surrounding coalfield. Although of lesser importance than in former years CSX, the successor to the Louisville & Nashville, is still a major employer in town. A loaded unit coal train leaves town behind a C30-7
North of Whitley City it's SD40-2 6118 again, presumably the earlier piggyback must have overtaken this slower merchandise train in one of the passing sidings. This was my last picture along the CNO&TP today, from Highway 27 I headed NE towards Corbin in CSX territory.