Daily Post: Canadian National on Illinois Central, Chicago, November 2013

This was Once an Eight Track Mainline.

And there are still six tracks, but now it is in effect two parallel lines; a four-track electric suburban route run by Chicago’s Metra, and a double track line run by Canadian National.

On November 7, 2013, Chris Guss gave me a whirlwind tour of Canadian National operations in Chicago, largely focused on former Illinois Central lines.

Canadian National's 33891 rolls southward on the former Illinois Central at East Pershing Street in Chicago on November 7, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.
Canadian National’s 33891 rolls southward on the former Illinois Central at East Pershing Street in Chicago on November 7, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.

We scoped this location on East Pershing Street south of downtown, knowing that Canadian National’s southbound freight from Waterloo, Iowa (symbol 33891) was on its way. We didn’t wait long before it came into view.

In the course of about 25 minutes, we caught the freight followed by a wave of passenger trains run by Metra, South Shore and Amtrak.

The old Illinois Central catenary adds an element of intrigue to the gritty atmosphere of this line.

While waiting for trains, an enthusiastic baker came by and offered us butter cookies. Tasty too!

I exposed photos with three cameras, working with both my Canon EOS 7 and Lumix LX3, plus my Dad’s Leica M4.

During out short visit the sky over Lake Michigan quickly changed from blue to gray, a weather condition all to typical of Chicago.

Chicago Metra Electric
One of Metra’s 1970s-era Illinois Central electric EMUs comes zipping along under wire. Chicago’s distinctive skyline looms in the distance. This view was made from East Pershing Street, Chicago on November 7, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.
South Shore train on the former Illinois Central at East Pershing Street in Chicago on November 7, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.
South Shore train on the former Illinois Central at East Pershing Street in Chicago on November 7, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.
Amtrak 390 roars northward on the former Illinois Central at East Pershing Street in Chicago on November 7, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.
Amtrak 390 roars northward on the former Illinois Central at East Pershing Street in Chicago on November 7, 2013. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D fitted with an f2.0 100mm lens.

 

What happened to Illinois Central? See my new book North American Railroad Family Trees for evolutionary discussion of the  North America rail network.

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