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Looking for Employee
The railroad is unable to search for past employee records.
You may be able to find some help at the US Railroad Retirement
Board site at: http://www.rrb.gov/default.asp
The the Will County Historical Society also has some original
EJ&E employee records dating back to the 1880's. Their site
is at: http://willcountyhistoricalsociety.org/ And lastly, there is the: Will County Genealogical Site at: http://will.ilgenweb.org/
The "EJ&E Archive" site is in no way directly affiliated
with the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Co., Transtar Inc.,
US Steel Corp., or the Canadian National Railway Company. All original content on this site is Copyright ©2012
the EJ&E Archive - Email: email@example.com
- 1/31/2009 - The Last Day -
The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway
officially ceased to exist January 31st, 2009, at
11:59 PM. At midnight, February 1st, the line became
Canadian National property. Over 120 years of history
went out with a whisper. There were no special trains
or ceremonies... Just business as usual.
Goodbye 'J', we'll miss you...
The Last EJ&E Stateline Coal Train heads West
on the Eastern Sub 1/31/09 by Bill Grenchik
- 12/24/2008 - It Was a Good Fight, but
Not Quite Enough
STB Approves CN's Acquisition of Eligin,
Joliet & Eastern Ry.
The Surface Transportation Board today unanimously
approved the Canadian National Railway Company and
Grand Trunk Corporation application to acquire control
of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company
(EJ&E), subject to a number of Board-imposed
In announcing the decision, Board Chairman Charles
D. Nottingham stated:
"Approval of this important railroad merger,
with the conditions we have imposed, marks a significant
step forward in our nation's efforts to alleviate
rail and highway congestion. I am pleased that the
Board agreed, in a bipartisan and unanimous manner,
after an unprecedented public involvement process,
to grant the relief that this merger will provide
to the many Chicago neighborhoods that have been
disproportionately burdened for many decades with
severe rail traffic-related roadway congestion."
In reaching its decision, the Board considered
both the transportation-related aspects of the transaction
and the potential environmental impacts. In considering
the transportation aspects, the Board found that
the transaction will not result in a substantial
lessening of competition, the creation of a monopoly,
or a restraint of trade in freight surface transportation
in any region of the United States. The Board also
found that any minor anticompetitive effects that
may result will be outweighed by the overall transportation
benefits of the transaction.
In considering the environmental aspects of the
transaction, the Board found that, although the
transaction will result in environmental benefits
to those living in and near Chicago, it will have
adverse environmental impacts on communities along
the EJ&E rail line. The Board undertook an extensive
evaluation of the environmental aspects of the applicants'
proposal, hosting 22 public meetings over an 8-month
period in the Chicago area. A Draft Environment
Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued and widely circulated
in that region, and the Board received more than
9,500 public comments in response to the DEIS. The
Board issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement
on December 5, 2008.
After carefully considering the results of the
environmental analysis and the comments raised—both
pro and con—the Board imposed substantial
environmental mitigation to minimize potential adverse
environmental impacts of the transaction. The mitigation
- Two highway-rail grade separation projects (and
requires applicants to bear 67 percent of the cost
of one and 78.5 percent of the cost of the other);
Cameras to monitor highway-rail
crossings to assist in the timely response of
School and pedestrian safety measures;
Noise reduction measures; and
A 5-year environmental reporting
requirement mandating applicants to file quarterly
reports on the implementation of the Board-imposed
In addition, the Board imposed a 5-year, formal
oversight period, with applicants required to submit
monthly operational reports to the Board. Finally,
the Board's decision also requires applicants to
comply with mandatory labor protection, with their
extensive voluntary environmental mitigation, and
with the negotiated agreements that they have entered
into with Amtrak and communities in Illinois and
Indiana containing tailored mitigation that applicants
have agreed to provide.
Chairman Nottingham added: "I commend the
approximately 10,000 citizens who submitted comments
to the Board, and I thank the Board's dedicated
environmental and legal staff, for ensuring that
this decision was made in an informed, balanced
and expeditious manner.
"The Board issued its decision approving,
with conditions, the applicants' acquisition of
EJ&E today, December 24, 2008, in Canadian National
Ry. and Grand Trunk Corp.—Control—EJ&E
West Co., STB Finance Docket No. 35087. That decision
will be published in the Federal Register and is
available for viewing and downloading on the Board's
Web site at http://www.stb.dot.gov,
under "E-LIBRARY" on the home page, then
under "Decisions & Notices," beneath
the date "12/24/08."
- 2/25/2008 - Help Save Grasselli
The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is attempting
to save Grasselli interlocking tower and move it to
HVRM's museum site in North Judson, Indiana. The tower
was recently deactivated in 2007. Located in East
Chicago, the tower use to control the interlocking
for the IHB, EJ&E and at one time, the B&O
Chicago Terminal as well. To get more information
on how the effort is progressing and how you can help,
go to: www.grassellitower.com
- 9/26/2007 - The Rumor to End All Rumors
After suffering decades of buyout rumors, it looks
like one rumor has finally found its mark. I was going
to post a long, heartfelt, political rant about this,
but decided against it... EJ&E fans know how they
feel about this, and nothing I could say would ever
do justice to that. I imagine we'll all have to suffer
the "I told you so" posts on the rail forums,
from all the self proclaimed experts that said this
was coming. If you say something will happen enough
times, I guess it will come true eventually. I'm sure
we'll all hold out hope for a miracle, but past history
shows us that the miracle rarely comes. The EJ&E's
flag is now at half mast and most likely due to be
lowered. Yet another great railroad in a long list
of railroads is about to die... and with it... a little
more of our heritage.
- CN Press Release -
CN to Acquire Key Operations of Elgin, Joliet and
Eastern Railway for $300 Million
MONTREAL, QUEBEC and PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA--(Marketwire
- Sept. 26, 2007) - Canadian National Railway Company
and United States Steel Corporation announced today
that their respective Boards of Directors have approved
an agreement under which CN will acquire the major
portion of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company
(EJ&E) for $300 million (approximately C$301 million).
The acquisition will significantly improve the fluidity
of CN's rail operations in the Chicago region, rewarding
customers with faster transit times and more reliable
service. Under the agreement, U. S. Steel's Transtar
subsidiary will retain railroad assets, equipment,
and employees that support the Gary Works site in
Northwest Indiana and the steelmaking operations of
U. S. Steel. Transtar's remaining operations will
become the Gary Railway.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory review by
the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). Both
CN and U. S. Steel believe that if the application
is approved by the STB as filed, it should allow closing
EJ&E, a Class II railroad, operates over 198
main line miles of track encircling the City of Chicago
from Waukegan, Ill., on the north, to Joliet, Ill.,
on the west, to Gary, Ind., on the southeast, and
then to South Chicago.
CN President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter
Harrison said: "This acquisition is good news
for railroading in Chicago. Chicago is essential to
CN's rail operations, yet it presents us with major
operational challenges. This transaction will improve
rail operations on the CN system and the rest of the
Chicago rail network by moving CN trains out of the
urban core to EJ&E lines on the outskirts of the
Chicago metropolitan area."
U. S. Steel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
John P. Surma said: "This transaction is positive
for all involved. Our EJ&E employees and customers,
and the communities in which we operate will benefit
from the EJ&E being part of a large Class I railroad,
while U. S. Steel will be able to focus on the railroad
assets serving Gary Works."
Harrison said: "This acquisition not only will
give CN an opportunity to expand its service to the
North American steel industry, but also will drive
new efficiencies and operating improvements on CN's
network. Streamlined rail operations and reduced congestion
resulting from this acquisition will benefit current
CN and EJ&E customers, the City of Chicago, nearby
communities, and the overall rail network in the region."
CN plans to invest approximately US$100 million for
integration, new connections, and infrastructure improvements
to add capacity on the EJ&E line and allow network
synergies to be realized over time. The acquisition,
which will be financed with debt and cash-on-hand,
is expected to be slightly accretive to CN's diluted
earnings per share in the first year following STB
The combination of the two rail networks is straightforward
and will allow EJ&E's existing traffic to be moved
more efficiently and at lower cost. There are no shippers
served only by CN and EJ&E (2-to-1 shippers) who
will lose direct rail competition as a result of the
acquisition, nor will there be any other adverse impacts
on competition. As in past transactions, CN is committed
to keeping gateways open and honoring trackage rights
agreements with all connecting carriers.
Gordon T. Trafton, CN's Senior Vice-President, Southern
Region, said: "This acquisition will bring EJ&E's
experienced railroaders into the CN family and will
bridge what has been the missing link to connect the
Eastern, Western, and Southern regions of CN's network.
We will apply our proven business model in implementing
this acquisition using the measured, step-by-step
approach we have employed in our previous transactions
to flawlessly integrate these operations."
- 9/25/2007 - New EJ&E Book Available
A new book has been released by Arcadia Publishing on
July 9th that's titled: "Images of Rail - Elgin,
Joliet & Eastern". The book was written by
by Paul W. Jaenicke and Ralph A. Eisenbrandt and consists
of 128 pages.
- 6/29/2007 - All New Look
for EJ&E Switcher -
Mike Janke surprised EJ&E fans when he photographed
the J's SW1001 #446 sitting outside WSOR's Horicon
paint shop, in this all new yellow and red scheme.
#446 was originally on the Lake Terminal Ry. It had
worked on the EJ&E in the old LT paint scheme
for a number of years. The unit was recently refurbished
by the EJ&E shops, and Edward Weisensel had also
photographed #446 as it arrived to Horicon for paint.
The assumption was that the unit would receive the
usual EJ&E green switcher scheme... but out came
the yellow & red instead. USS apparently wants
to have all switchers painted in this scheme from
- 5/12/2007 - New Track for
Shearson Line -
It was discovered that the Shearson Line
will apparently be receiving a fairly major upgrade
soon... Ribbon-rail was spotted laying alongside the
RoW. Speculation is that the BP oil refinery on the
line will be eventually be producing more traffic,
due to a switch to canadian crude oil.
- 1/31/2007 - The 'Voice of
the J' Retires -
Anyone who's ever listened to EJ&E radio
easily recognizes the familiar voice of Dispatcher
"BK". His witty dispatching style is completely
unique in the railroad world. BK retires this month
after many years of dedicated service on the J. Good
luck in your new life BK... The radio just won't sound
the same without you.
- 12/3/2006 - Happy Retirement
to Dan McKee! -
EJ&E Security Officer Dan McKee will
be retiring this month... Good luck in the future
Dan, and thanks for helping to keep the railroad safe
all those years.
- 7/23/2006 - Visit Walt's
Hobby & Model Shop! -
Due to some road construction in the area,
Walt's Hobby & Model Shop, a mainstay in the area
for decades, has had a bit of a slow down in business.
Show your support for this local shop... They always
have plenty of EJ&E & GM&O items in stock.
They are located at: 2207 Plainfield Rd., Crest Hill,
IL (Right next to Joliet) Phone: (815) 741-0043
- 3/3/2006 - Happy Retirement
to C. Collins! -
After 38 years on the railroad, Electrician/MoW
Supervisor C. Collins is retiring. Congratulations
Mr. Collins, and good luck with the start of your
- 8/1/2005 - Sutton Siding
Open for Business -
A new 9000' siding has been installed on
the Western Sub between Spaulding and Barrington.
The siding has already been in use for about a month,
and was created to help relieve new traffic, such
as the CN bridge trains, and UP coal trains.
- 6/23/2005 - Lake Zurich
The new Rt. 22 bypass that's been planned
has finally come to the Railroad. Track crews are
building the shoe-fly track around the area where
a new bridge for the road will cross under the EJE.
A J ballast train is up there as well as numerous
hi rail vehicles. The only public road to see it from
is Genessee St., but there's a really neat view from
Old Rand Road and the LZ Depot. Speed limit will be
10MPH throughout the duration of bridge construction,
so there will be nice chances to catch trains at the
Depot. Source: Adam R.
- 5/28/2005 - The Ronald McDonald
House Passenger Special Runs on the J -
On Saturday, May 28, 2005, there was a special
passenger train run by the Ronald McDonald House charity
organization, on the EJ&E. Consist for the train
was: Amtrak P42 66, and private cars Skykomish River,
Montana, Caritas, Pointe St. Charles, Puget Sound,
Sierra Hotel, Little Juniata River, Warrior Ridge
and Pennsylvania 120. The train left Chicago Union
Station at about 7:45 AM. The train entered the J
at Rondout, being lead by Amtrak Genesis #66. Once
on the EJ&E, the train picked up its EJ&E
escort power for the trip, which was #660 & #663.
The train reversed to Waukegan, then started RR east
again towards Joliet. The train stopped briefly in
East Joliet Yard, then continued onto Gary. As it
approached Stockton Jct., it ran briefly onto the
Lakefront line, then backed up and stopped short of
Kirk Yard Jct. The train then came down through Pine
Jct., and minus its EJ&E power, entered the NS
for its trip back to Chicago Union Station. Source:
- 1/15/2005 - New Ohio Central
Lease Power -
The EJ&E has leased three SD40-2 units
from Ohio Central. The units all have the full OC
Maroon and Yellow scheme. They were leased to help
out with the Winter taconite trains, and general duties.
The OC numbers are 4022, 4023 & 4025, and as of
this date, those were the ID's they were sticking
with. Look for the triple set to possibly work the
BNSF taconite trains from Eola. It's unknown how long
the units are expected to stay.
- 12/29/2004 - New IRL Train
A new train designated AXS-1 started operating
on the Illinois River Line in October 04. AXS stands
for Auxable Switcher. This is a train the runs in
addition to the JSW-1/2 that still runs on the IRL.
AXS-1 runs Mon-Fri, with a start time in Joliet of
7AM. The train leaves Joliet with about 30 cars, switches
Auxable off the IRL, then returns to Joliet.
- 12/8/2004 - Batavia Rd.
Gets Gates -
This probably won't mean much to most people,
but it does to me... The crossing at Batavia Rd. in
Warrenville finally had gates installed today. I grew
up near this road when it was just a sleepy crossing,
with flashers only... And it stayed that way until
today. But that's progress, and probably for the better
anyway. Source: Rob
- 5/10/2004 - Passenger Special
The Chicago Railroad Superintendents Association
ran a special train over the EJ&E on May 4th.
The train started from Chicago Union Station that
morning, then took the St. Charles Air Line to the
CN/IC main, which then got them to the EJ&E at
Matteson around 11:30 AM, where they picked up their
J Pilot. It then went West on the EJ&E to Rondout,
where it entered the CP/Metra line around 2:20 PM,
and proceeded back to Union Station. The train consisted
of: Amtrak Genesis #128, WSOR business car "James
M. Gardner", WSOR sleeper-lounge "Notre
Dame", Amtrak 53500, 54533, 54556, 54558 and
CSX theater car "Georgia". Source: Mike
- 2/1/2004 - EJ&E Gons
Derailed on NS -
On Sunday Feb 1, around 8:00 AM, an NS train
had 23 EJ&E gons loaded with steel slabs derail
in Corunna, IN on the former Water Level Line. The
derailment started one car back from the power. The
cause of the derailment was unknown. The slabs are
reportedly salvageable, but at least 20 of the gons
will be scrapped.
- Last Days for Old Joliet Locomotive
This is very sad
news to report... It's been discovered that the old
Locomotive Shop and attached Round House will probably
be torn down within just days of this date. Supposedly,
the Power House and Blacksmith Shop won't be far behind.
The huge 3 story Locomotive Shop built in 1912, had
been occupied for sometime by US Rail, a company that
worked on passenger cars. Their E unit was often times
parked out in front of the shop building. The ex BN
units around the side of the building were also theirs,
along with various passenger cars. The equipment has
apparently been turned over to the EJ&E for them
to dispose of as they see fit. The Locomotive Shop
will then be left for the wrecking ball. The small
attached Round House on the North end of the building,
will also be torn down. This is NOT the main EJ&E
Round House that's still in use. The buildings being
torn down were sold by the RR in 1990. It had been
reported for years that the old Locomotive Shop building
had been in quite bad shape. There was a rumor floating
around that someone was trying to turn it into a museum.
Obviously they were unsuccessful. It's unknown how
well documented the buildings have been over the years.
Hopefully sufficient photos exist of the structures,
since they will soon be the only evidence of what
they once looked like. Note... Trespassing of any
kind in an attempt to get photos of the buildings
before they're gone will not be tolerated by the RR,
and is not recommended.
- 10/29/2003 - First Remote
Units Arrive -
Remote controlled locomotives have finally
arrived on the EJ&E... SW1200 #305 and #311 are
the first units to be fitted with remote control equipment.
At this time, most of the equipment has been installed
in #311, and both units should be working in the Gary
Works mills by the end of the year. First a study
will have to be conducted in the mills to check the
ability of the locos to receive signals from the controllers
in the various areas of the mill they will work in.
- 9/30/2003 - Plainfield Depot
The old EJ&E Plainfield Depot has been
restored and is ready for public viewing. It was moved
from its original location on the West Sub main in
1999 by the Plainfield Historical Society, to a new
location at Lockport St. and Van Dyke Rd. The depot
is available for tours by appointment, and will also
be open during certain city events. To make an appointment,
call the Plainfield Historical Society at: 815 436
- 7/1/2003 - EJ&E Cabeese
Live On -
EJ&E cabeese have been getting repainted
and restored during the month of May. So far, 531
and 539 have both been spotted in Joliet with brand
new paint. The paint is a dark orange and includes
a stenciled "The J" logo. The 539 in particular
also has one of the old style EJ&E logos stenciled
on it as well. Caboose 549 has recently been restored
for the City of Whiting and will be displayed at their
park on 119th St. A dedication for the caboose will
be held at the Standard Diamond Baseball Complex in
Whiting, on August 23rd at noon. For additional info,
contact Whiting Hobbies at 1206 119th street, Whiting,
- 6/29/2003 - DPU on the J
Recently, all Plaines coal trains from the
Union Pacific with 135 cars or more have been operating
with distributed power units (DPU). EJ&E Engineers
were trained for DPU at the Union Pacific's West Chicago
training facility. This would mean many Plaines should
now have a unit operating on the end of the train.
- 6/27/2003 - New Lease Units
Two new lease units are being tested on the
railroad for about 30 days to see if they will be
kept longer... GECX 5987 and GECX 5988. Both are ex
Union Pacific SD-60s, and were originally CNW units.
Both units continue to wear the UP scheme.
- Apollo Deal Off -
As part of a new
labor contract between USS and the United Steel Workers
of America, regarding USS's acquisition of the bankrupt
National Steel... The original deal for Apollo Management
of NY to purchase Minntac and the EJ&E Ry., among
other assets, was canceled. For now, USS still owns
the EJ&E, with Transtar operating them.
- Barrington Tower Closes -
On the morning of May 4th at 1:45AM, the UP signals
were pulled down at Barrington Tower for the last
time. The cables to the tower were then cut, and the
first train ran through the newly configured interlocking
at 9:15AM. The EJ&E will now control the plant
from Joliet remotely. The tower has had very little
responsibility over the years. The tower will probably
remain standing for some time to come. The equipment
of value will be donated to IRM.
- 10/16/2002 - USS Signs
Letter of Intent to Sell Transtar -
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X - News) announced
today that it has signed a letter of intent to sell
its Clairton, Pa., and Gary, Ind., coke operations,
its Minnesota iron ore operations (Minntac), and its
wholly owned transportation services subsidiary Transtar,
Inc. (Transtar), to an entity formed by affiliates of
Apollo Management, L.P. (Apollo) of New York City. The
transaction is subject to the negotiation of definitive
agreements and other customary conditions, including
approvals from the board of directors, lenders and regulatory
agencies. The parties plan to reach definitive agreements
by year-end 2002 with closing expected to follow in
the first quarter of 2003.
Under terms of the letter of intent, it
is anticipated that U. S. Steel would receive approximately
$500 million in cash and retain about a 20 percent interest
in the new company, with the new company assuming all
collective bargaining agreements, certain employee benefit
obligations and certain other liabilities. U. S. Steel
currently estimates the transaction could result in
a pre-tax loss of up to $300 million. The new company
and U. S. Steel plan to enter into long-term contracts
to supply U. S. Steel with its domestic iron ore and
coke requirements and to provide U. S. Steel with transportation
U. S. Steel Chairman, CEO and President
Thomas J. Usher said, "This sale would enable us
to redeploy capital to other potential uses such as
strategic acquisition opportunities, debt reduction,
or voluntary contributions to employee benefit plans."
He added, "This would be an important step in our
strategy to focus on growing our higher value-added
domestic operations and to continue to expand globally.
At the same time, we would secure a stable, long-term
supply of our critical raw material requirements at
market-based prices and preserve the vital transportation
services provided through Transtar. "We believe
the sale of these assets would be in the best interests
of all of our stakeholders. We are also pleased to participate
as a minority equity owner with Apollo in the growth
of these excellent businesses in the years ahead."
Charles C. (Chuck) Gedeon, currently executive
vice president-raw materials for U. S. Steel, would
leave U. S. Steel to lead the new company. Gedeon, who
started in the steel industry as a laborer, has more
than 40 years of experience covering virtually every
aspect of the steel making process. He has been responsible
for the raw materials operations since he joined U.
S. Steel in 1986. Operating managers and employees of
Clairton Works, Gary Coke, Minntac and Transtar would
also join the new company.
Josh Harris, a founding partner of Apollo,
said, "We are extremely pleased to be partnering
with the domestic industry's premier steel producer
and excited about the growth prospects for the new company.
The leadership of Chuck Gedeon, the experienced management
team and the corps of dedicated employees at these facilities
are a strong formula for success." Apollo, formed
in 1990, is a private equity fund based in New York.
Since its inception, Apollo and its affiliates have
managed the investment of over $13 billion in capital
in a wide variety of industries. Clairton Works and
Gary Coke operations are both ISO 14001 certified and
are leaders in environmental stewardship. Clairton Works
employs about 1,500 people and is the country's largest
coke producer, with an annual capacity of 4.6 million
net tons. Gary Coke operations, with approximately 550
employees, has an annual capacity of 2.1 million net
tons. Minntac, U. S. Steel's taconite mining operations
in Mt. Iron, Minn., mines iron-bearing taconite and
converts it into high-iron content pellets in a process
called beneficiation. With an annual production capacity
of 16.4 million net tons, Minntac is the largest producer
of taconite pellets in North America and employs about
1,550 people. At the end of 2001, U. S. Steel had 695
million net tons of iron ore reserves, all of which
were and would continue to be assigned to Minntac.
Transtar owns several rail lines, a barge
line and a number of transportation-related entities
and has approximately 1,700 employees. All of Transtar's
direct and indirect operating subsidiaries would be
included in the proposed transaction, except Transtar
Logistics, LLC, which provides transportation management
services to U. S. Steel and third parties. The operations
to be sold include the Birmingham Southern Railroad
Company and its subsidiary Fairfield Southern Company,
Inc.; the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company;
the Lake Terminal Railroad Company; the McKeesport Connecting
Railroad Company; the Union Railroad Company; the Warrior
& Gulf Navigation Company and its subsidiary, the
Mobile River Terminal Company, Inc.; and Tracks, Traffic
and Management Services, Inc.
Consummation of the transaction described
above and the anticipated financial impact on U. S.
Steel are forward-looking statements which are based
on a number of assumptions concerning future events
made by management and information currently available
to management. This release lists many but not all of
the factors that would determine whether the transaction
is consummated and the timing of any closing. Many of
these factors, such as regulatory approval and the ability
of the new company to obtain financing are beyond the
control of U. S. Steel. Investors and other readers
are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking
statements. In accordance with "safe harbor"
provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995, cautionary statements identifying important
factors, but not necessarily all factors, that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those
set forth in the forward-looking statements have been
included in the Form 10-K of U. S. Steel for the year
ended December 31, 2001, and in subsequent filings for
U. S. Steel.
- Power News -
SD38-2 #659 is in pieces at the Gary Shops right
now, undergoing the dash 3 rebuild. It's due out in
July. Switcher #305 is also in the shops undergoing
a major overhaul, so it would appear that it's going
to be around for sometime. Painting has been handled
lately by the Wisconsin Southern's shops. It is presumed
that 305 will get the proper dark green paint this
time, and not the "lime green" color some
other switchers received in the past. Ex DM&IR
SDM #804 is sporting a fairly large American flag
on its nose now as well.
In other power news, its been reported
that many of the Gary Mill switch jobs that the
J handles, may be going to remote control in the
future. This would be a significant loss of jobs
for the crews. This is still all in the beginning
stages though. Negotiations are still ongoing over
remote loco issues in general, with the unions.
It apparently costs approximately $100, 000 per
unit to equip them with a remote system. The USS
Gary Works inner railroad (the C Line Express) already
runs remotes on these jobs: No. 13, 1 for the Q-Bop,
1 for No. 1 Bop Shop, 1 for another High Line West
of the No. 1 Bop Shop, 1 for the Skull Cracker at
the North end of the mill, and 1 for Tube City.
Source: Neal & Brian
- Ex Union RR/B&LE Units in Service
The ex URR/B&LE, now EJ&E 672, has made
its appearance out of the Kirk Yard shops. The ex
URR/B&LE, now EJ&E 671, made its appearance
about a month or two ago. Three more ex URR/B&LE
units are on the storage track at the Kirk Yard pit.
In other news, the EJ&E 660 blew its motor the
other day... Seems it threw a couple of rods. It will
take its place in line early for the Dash 3 upgrade
now. It is also one of our engines equipped with the
video camera. Source: Neal
- Status on the Railroad -
USX has No. 6 down for a month. They are talking
about shutting down No. 4 also due to slow biz.
In the Tin Mill, the Galvanizer (Pickle) will be
shut down permanently some time soon in 2002.
An unknown company was out in Kirk
Yard in November making detailed inspections of
EJ&E gons in the West and D&R yard. This
company will buy the gons and lease them to the
EJ&E. It is unknown if the lettering will change
to the new company for leasing.
Still the oil biz. is still slow for
the EJ&E and Whiting. All the tank cars are
still in storage in the West yard and recently more
tank cars set out in Pine yard for room.
In Joliet, the yard is plugged with
Equistar cars and no room for switching. There was
some talk that the Relco engines in storage in Joliet
might be moved on the Rock Island to Senica in order
to free up some space for switching crews. Source:
- Eco-Friendly Engines -
While the J SD38-2s slowly get rebuilt into the
-3 standard, there's some unique equipment being added
to them at the same time... Equipment that makes them
easier on the environment, and in particular, the
environmentally protected Romeoville Branch that services
the Will County Power Plant. This line has special
rules of operation to protect the wetlands it runs
through. The line is nicknamed the "Bug Line"
by J crews, because of a certain species of dragon
fly that's protected in the area. Up until recently,
the only engines that could pull trains on the line,
were the specially equipped SD9s (Bug Engines) that
had drip pans and other devices to help protect the
area. As the SD38-2s get rebuilt into -3 standards,
they will also get this equipment, allowing them to
run on the Romeoville Branch as well. Neal explains..
"While the engines are in for
dash 3 re-fit, they are being totally re-piped to
become environmentally safe. So there will be a
very minimal amount of any oil or grease droppings
from them. BTW, they are also being totally re-wired
and re piped for all the air lines. So basically
you can say it's a frame up restoration, with the
cost approximately $500,000. This will extend the
life of these engines 20+ years or more."
Many of the old SD9s will eventually
be leaving the EJ&E in trade for the five SD38-2s
coming over from Union RR. Source: Neal
- "New" Power Coming to
the J -
It appears the EJ&E is beefing up its roster
of road locomotives. There are reports that Utah Railway
SD40 units will be arriving any day now and will be
kept on a lease. Utah numbers for these units were
9001, 9007 & 9011. The new lease unit marks will
be MPEX and then numbered 750, 751 & 752 while
working on EJ&E. These units were made available
after Utah Ry. received its new MK5000Cs. The loaner
SD40s are said to be turbo equipped, which is surprising
since the EJ&E has never been big on turbos.
There is also a report that a total
of 5 Union Railroad SD38-2s will be showing up before
the end of the year. These units were originally
on Bessemer & Lake Erie not too long ago, but
came over to URR. With the steel slowdown, they
apparently don't need them now. The URR will supposedly
get J switcher #459 and some other yet to be announced
switchers in trade. The original numbers for the
SD38-2s while with Bessemer & Lake Erie were;
870, 872, 876, 879 & 890. The URR numbers given
to them were; 50, 51, 52, 53 & 54. These 5 SD38-2s
are the total that URR has now, so they would be
left with none.
The J's SD38-3 rebuild is progressing
along, though the #656 is still the only unit to
be finished and in the new white stripe scheme.
The 668 was recently painted in the white stripe
scheme, but it was not rebuilt to -3 standards.
- Naperville Commuter Railway May
Head North -
Suburban leaders will soon find out whether there's
enough demand to create a commuter rail service between
Waukegan to Naperville to the Indiana border.
In November, a consultant will have
completed an 18-month study to shed light on how
many people might use the commuter line and where
future stations might be located along the rail
line, which now runs freight service along the Elgin,
Joliet and Eastern Railway.
Last month, a task force of local
leaders along the EJ&E met in Naperville and
elected Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod and West
Chicago Mayor Michael Fortner to co-chair the group's
steering committee. In that role, the two will ingest
the results of the study and debrief local officials
on the findings in an attempt to gain support for
So far, there are five to six towns
that have been identified as potential sites for
stations, including West Chicago, Joliet, Chicago
Heights and Hoffman Estates, at the 780-acre Prairie
Stone Business Park in Hoffman Estates. The park
is home to more than a dozen corporations and includes
an extension of Northern Illinois University and
the 2 million-square-foot headquarters for Sears,
Roebuck and Co.
"I think a lot of it would be
job-related," said McLeod, about the potential
market for riders. "There are people who will
travel two hours each day to get to work."
The single EJ&E railroad track
currently takes freight trains in a 105-mile arc
around Chicago, from Waukegan to Naperville to the
Indiana border. The first phase of the study established
that the current rail could handle commuter service.
Officials are in the second phase, which includes
14 parts. The current part will also look at multiple
land-use scenarios at each of the potential stations,
allowing town leaders to decide what kinds of development
should surround the stations. Source:
Daily Herald by Kimbriell Granderson
- USX to Become U.S. Steel Again
It's been announced by USX, that they will be
doing more corporate reorganizing, and splitting off
its steel business, and energy business, into two
separate groups. USX Marathon Group will become Marathon
Oil, and USX will become U.S. Steel again, like it
was before changed in 1986. So technically, the J
can now be called a "Steel Road" again.
Source: USX Press Release
- Transtar, Inc. Becomes Wholly Owned
Subsidiary of USX Corporation -
USX-U. S. Steel Group (NYSE: X) announced that,
effective today, Transtar, Inc. has become a wholly
owned subsidiary of USX Corporation, following completion
of the Reorganization and Exchange Agreement announced
October 4, 2000.
As a result of this transaction, Transtar's
direct subsidiaries -- The Birmingham Southern Railroad
Company; the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company;
The Lake Terminal Railroad Company; the McKeesport
Connecting Railroad Company; the Union Railroad
Company; the Warrior & Gulf Navigation Company
and its subsidiary, the Mobile River Terminal Company,
Inc.; and Tracks, Traffic and Management Services,
Inc. -- become part of USX Corporation.
Thomas W. Sterling, who was named
president of Transtar, Inc. in August 2000, will
continue in that position.
The other former Transtar subsidiaries
-- the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company;
the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Company;
The Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company; and
USS Great Lakes Fleet, Inc., and their subsidiaries
-- will be owned by Great Lakes Transportation LLC,
a newly formed affiliate of The Blackstone Group,
a New York-based private investment bank. Source:
USX Press Release
- Ex B&LE Units Now in Service
The ex B&LE SD38-2s that recently came to
the J, have been fixed up at the Gary Shops, and are
now in service on the railroad. The unit that was
numbered 877 on B&LE, is now the 670 on the J.
The B&LE 658 will retain its number, since that
was its original number from when it started on EJ&E
to begin with. Both units are still in B&LE black
and orange. Neal has already got some good shots of
the #670, which you will find on the locomotive page
of his photo section.
- Small Fire at West Chicago's Tower
A small fire broke out in the tower at West Chicago
this afternoon. It started in the lever machine and
was caused by a cross protection relay. The relay
opened and arced across the contacts, starting a small
fire. The fire department was called, but it was kept
under control. The problem was fixed soon after, and
everything is now back to normal.
- "New" Power on the EJ&E
It's reported that Bessemer & Lake Erie RR
is sending over units 877 & 658 to the EJ&E.
Both of these units are SD38-2's, and are still in
B&LE colors, but they now have "EJ&E"
stenciled on the sides. The 658 was originally on
EJ&E, but it was sold to B&LE in 1986.
UPDATE: Apparently a new rebuild program
has been started with the J's SD38-2's. The first
unit (#656) was just completed, and is being painted
right now. It was given new traction motors, and
a new prime mover. It also has a computer now, and
new electronics, which will bring it up to dash
3 standards. The railroad will reportedly rebuild
2 units a year this way, and they will then be designated
SD38-3's. Source: Neal
- 1/19/2001 - New Signal Equipment
Cut-over Completed -
Signal maintainers were working late Friday night
(19th), putting the finishing touches on all the
new signal equipment being installed between Joliet
and the new Turner Jct., on the Western Sub. Within
this section of track, what was once called Coynes,
will now be known as Turner Jct., and what was originally
the old Rockdale Jct., will now be known as West
Turner Jct. is the start of the siding that goes
East to Bridge 198. The West Bridge Jct. plant includes
a set of crossovers that are midway between Turner
and the bridge, and also the switch that goes back
to the main just before the bridge. Over the past
months, new signals and equipment have been installed
along this section of track, along with the installation
of a powered switch at the Romeoville Branch that
goes to the Will County Generator. This means the
section from Joliet to Turner Jct. is now technically
CTC. Crews will no longer have to be bothered with
aligning the Romeoville Branch switch properly.
While the signal department was still testing Friday
night, #802 leading a coal train out of Will Co.,
was the first train through the new system after
it had been cut-over. It was reported that the train
no longer needed a warrant to move from the Romeoville
Branch, as that is part of the new plant now. This
might make it a little harder for people who like
to chase the trains to Will Co., but there may still
be hints of when trains are coming out to the branch.
Also being cut-over around the same
time was the new "paperless train sheet"
computer system for the control center. This system
creates digital train sheet info based on real time
reporting from track circuits, car & train control,
and the crew caller. Input can come from the field,
the Dispatcher, or even the Monroeville, PA offices.
Most work in the field has been completed for this,
and final testing and programming is now being done.
- EJ&E is a Steel Road Again!
TRANSTAR REORGANIZATION: Transtar, Inc. (``Transtar'')
announced today that it has entered into a Reorganization
and Exchange Agreement with its two voting shareholders,
Transtar Holdings, L.P. (``Holdings''), an affiliate
of Blackstone Capital Partners L. P., and USX Corporation
(``USX''). In this reorganization, Holdings would
exchange all of its shares in Transtar for 100% of
the ownership of four direct Transtar subsidiaries
-- the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad Company; the
Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Company; The
Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company; and USS Great
Lakes Fleet, Inc., and their subsidiaries. As a result
of this transaction, USX would become the sole owner
of Transtar and its remaining direct subsidiaries
-- the Birmingham Southern Railroad Company; the Elgin,
Joliet and Eastern Railway Company; The Lake Terminal
Railroad Company; the McKeesport Connecting Railroad
Company; the Mobile River Terminal Company, Inc.;
the Union Railroad Company; the Warrior & Gulf
Navigation Company; and Tracks Traffic and Management
Services, Inc. and their subsidiaries. This reorganization
will allow USX and Holdings to follow their independent
strategies for the units they will own. No changes
in service will occur as a result of this reorganization
Consummation of the reorganization is subject to a
number of conditions including approvals by the Surface
Transportation Board and antitrust clearances.
Source: Transtar, Inc.-Patrick Yough