2014 Christmas in Illinois – BNSF Transcon

You are thinking “more trains? Oh please, please no!” When we visit the Southwest we almost always stop in at La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona – a mere 1,590 miles away on the very same rail line just 3/4 of a mile from Andrew and Henriët’s house.

The BNSF trans-continental (Transcon) rail line terminates at the Cicero rail yard which lies just a couple of miles east of Riverside and there is lots of coming and going.

The weather has been relatively mild – lower 30’s with light winds and no precipitation. Picture taking trackside is easy and yields some nice views so I just had to get over there.

Inbound oil train

Inbound oil train. BNSF leading the way. Canadian National helping behind

Because this is the Transcon you are likely to see more than just BNSF motive power. There is plenty of other roads’ power to see. Amtrak and Metra use the lines for passenger traffic while Norfolk Southern and Canadian National are common freight carriers (if my experience holds over time). Here’s a picture where four different rail lines are represented

Four roads represented in this Chicago inbound at Riverside, IL

Four roads represented in this Chicago inbound at Riverside, IL

I don’t know if BNSF is leasing the power from the other railroads or if those roads have trackage rights. I’ve seen quite a few oil trains coming and going.

Norfolk Southern  heading west on the BNSF transcon

Norfolk Southern heading west on the BNSF Transcon

Here an oil train and an Amtrak eastbound pass one another

Oil train passing an Amtrak at Riverside, IL

Oil train passing an Amtrak at Riverside, IL

Here we see a westbound Amtrak train passing a Chicago bound Trailer on Flat Car.

Passing TOFC and Amtrak at Riverside, IL

Passing TOFC and Amtrak at Riverside, IL

Even if nothing else is happening you can count on a Metra commuter every 20-30 minutes on a weekday

Metra passes every 30 minutes each way between Chicago and Aurora

Metra passes every 30 minutes each way between Chicago and Aurora

Chicago-bound Metra at Riverside, IL

Chicago-bound Metra at Riverside, IL

Container trains are another common site here. I think the Cicero yard is a big intermodal transfer point.

Chicago-bound BNSF stack train at Riverside, IL

Chicago-bound BNSF stack train at Riverside, IL

I even saw a small Union Pacific train today.

Union Pacific leads and , unmarked and Norfolk Southern locomotives heading west at Riverside, IL

Union Pacific leads and , unmarked and Norfolk Southern locomotives heading west at Riverside, IL

There are overhead signals about every mile or so. By looking up or down the line you can can an idea when something is coming. If a track has a red light looking down one end of the line a green on the other you know something will be coming by in a few minutes.

Overhead train signals as far as the camera can see

Overhead train signals as far as the camera can see

Sunday night was slow but I was rewarded for my patience as the sun was going down along with the temperature. Citirail locomotive headed into Cicero yard.

Last pic of the day. Citirail inbound on the BNSF Transcon at Riverside, IL

Last pic of the day. Citirail inbound on the BNSF Transcon at Riverside, IL

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
This entry was posted in Trains, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s