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Alcos On The Belt Railway / Blue Island, Illinois Hot Spot

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All pictures displayed are video captures from actual program footage unless noted.

Program 102
Alco's on the Belt Railway / Blue Island, Illinois Hot Spot

They're all gone now, the Belt Railway of Chicago's six Alco Century C424's. And by the last decade of the 20th Century they were also the last Alcos operating in Chicagoland. Given road numbers 600 to 605, the BRC's C424's were built in the late 1960's in Schenectady, New York by the American Locomotive Company, more commonly known as Alco. BRC's Alcos ran out their final miles in BRC service during 1999. We videotaped them at BRC headquarters in Bedford Park, Illinois with the cooperation of now-retired motive power superintendent Ken Smith in the summer of 1995, revised in 1997, and again in 2002.

The Blue Island, Illinois Hot Spot features a triangle of busy mainlines with all different kinds of trains. Also visible just to the north are the heavy bridges across the Cal-Sag channel. An interview with the tower man is featured. The activity here is quite varied, and frequent. Taped in early fall, 1995.

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During their tenure on the Belt Railway, the C424's were considered to be the most economical diesels for the railroad to operate.

The 251 diesels inside BRC's C424's were powering locomotives ballasted to over 270,000 pounds, making them heavier than the standard Alco model.

The unmistakable face of a Belt Railway of Chicago Alco Century. This one is southbound on the Indiana Harbor Belt at LaGrange, Illinois.

The C424's usually operated in two's and three's over much of the BRC's system. The 602 and 601 roll through Forest Park with a transfer freight and past this position signal as they swing north. Today, the signals, like the locomotives, are gone.

C424's #603 and #602 pass underneath Burlington Northern's Chicago-Aurora triple track mainline at LaGrange, Illinois.

C424 #600 waits as a Burlington Northern C30-7 rolls past with an eastbound coal train.

A Canadian National freight crosses the Cal-Sag Channel and heads south through Blue Island on one of the junctions numerous bridges.

This is actually a Union Pacific train, even though it's led by three, high nosed, ex-Chicago & Northwestern GP-9's.

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