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Trackside Hot Spots Volume Three

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

Program 123
Trackside Hot Spots Volume Three

If you're going to do a show about railroads and railroading, what better place could you ask for than the railroading Capital Of America, Chicago, Illinois. In a city replete with junctions, crossings, and crossovers, it's comparatively easy to find places featuring a lot of rail traffic in a concentrated area. Today on Trackside, we'll review four such locations.

Dolton, Illinois is the featured Hot Spot segment. Dolton is one of the more unusual places Trackside has visited due to a plethora of crossings. It may have been a gray day, but the activity was jumping. Videotaped in February 1997.

Rochelle, Illinois represents a busy intersecting point between the Union Pacific's ex-C & NW Chicago - Omaha line and Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Chicago - Twin Cities route. This Hot Spot is one of the most frequently visited places we've been to.

Ash Street is located in the shadows of Interstate 55, alongside of the Illinois-Michigan canal, four miles southwest of Chicago. This spot featured an almost constant parade of Union Pacific trains, sprinkled with trains from Illinois Central and Wisconsin Central. Videotape in November of 1997.

Homewood offers a mix of freight trains, electric powered commuter trains, and Amtrak passenger trains. Homewood is located 23 miles from of Chicago and is situated alongside the Illinois Central Railroad's main artery to New Orleans and other points south. Videotaped in November of 1997

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Indiana Harbor Belt diesels lead a train of auto racks eastbound across Union Pacific's former Chicago & Eastern Illinois line. In a half-mile, it will pass under Illinois Central's Chicago/New Orleans and arrive at IHB's Blue Island Yard..

Canadian Pacific trains showed up on all three railroads the day we were in Dolton. This one is also westbound on the IHB.

At Rochelle, Illinois, Burlington Northern Santa Fe's line from Chicago to the Twin Cities intersects Union Pacific's line to Clinton, Iowa and other points west. This view is looking west toward the crossing before the railroad park has been completed.

The BNSF line through Rochelle, originally a part of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad, was once the route of the famed Chicago - Minneapolis Twin Cities Zephyr.

Our first train of the day was this one heading east toward Aurora.

Ash St. is a junction point for the CSX, Union Pacific, and Illinois Central. The Santa Fe used to cross through here too, but the line has since been partially dismantled.

Illinois Central's Iowa line passes east-west through Ash St. This SD40/SD40-2 duo is heading westbound.

Homewood, Illinois is located at the southern end of Illinois Central's Markham Yard. Several train movements at once are not an unusual occurrence at Homewood.

A pair of Paducah-rebuilt switchers move a freight train into Markham as yet another set of SD40-2's back down onto a waiting southbound grain train.

Metra operations here consist of electric powered bilevel cars. Metra purchased this operation from the Illinois Central.

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