Posts Tagged ‘Decatur & Eastern Illinois Railroad’

No Work in Newman Today

March 8, 2021

The covered hopper on the siding is evidence that the grain facility in Newman, Illinois, is served by the Decatur & Eastern Illinois Railroad. But train 101 has no work in Newman today and is merely passing through. The image was made on Feb. 27.

When In Doubt Look for a Grain Elevator

November 24, 2020

I was chasing a light power move of the Decatur & Eastern Illinois when I find myself in the tiny Hamlet of Camargo, Illinois.

I wasn’t sure what I would find but most towns in central Illinois have a grain elevator next to the railroad tracks.

I don’t know if the D&EI serves this particularly elevator but I do know it hauls a lot of agriculture commodies.

It just happened that none of them were moving on this particular job, which featured a pair of SD40-2 locomotives.

The heritage of this route is Baltimore & Ohio. At one time it extended from Indianapolis to Springfield, Illinois.

Most of the line is abandoned west of Decatur, Illinois, and within Indiana.

SD40-2s on the Prairie

November 17, 2020

I grew up in east central Illinois so I am well aware of how flat the landscape is there.

Yet if you seek to make photographs of railroads in action it can be more of a challenge than you think to create images that scream “this is the prairie.”

Illinois is sometimes called the Prairie State although little native prairie land remains. Today it is a moniker for being farmland.

 You might be surprised and at times frustrated at how many trees there are along the railroads of Illinois. Open views that suggest a vast open landscape can take some doing to find.

In the image above a pair of SD40-2s working for the Decatur & Eastern Illinois are running light eastbound a little east of Tuscola.

I had photographed a D&EI train at this same location last summer when crops were still in these fields.

Now those crops have been harvested and the field in the foreground plowed for the winter.

Plowing after harvest used to be commonplace but is less so today.

Patriot On Rails

September 2, 2019

Patriot Rail is a holding company for 12 short-line railroads, most of which are located in the southern and western United States.

The Decatur & Eastern Illinois is not one of those Patriot Rail properties, but it has its share of patriots.

I was in Tuscola, Illinois, recently when I spotted an eastbound D&EI train with three locomotives and a cut of covered hopper cars.

On the lead unit, a Helm Financial GP40-2, was a standard-sized American flag. It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen Old Glory flying from a locomotive, but it was a first for me seeing a flag this large.

The D&EI operates on former CSX tracks in Illinois and Indiana. In Tuscola, the short line uses a former Baltimore & Ohio line that at one time extended from Indianapolis to Springfield, Illinois.

It previously was the Decatur Subdivision of CSX and continues to see a significant amount of agricultural traffic.

HLCX No. 4210 was built for Southern Pacific but still wears the colors of the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern.

New Short Line Takes over CSX Routes

September 11, 2018

The Decatur & Eastern Illinois Railroad began operations this past Sunday on former CSX tracks in western Indiana and east central Illinois.

The first train left Decatur, Illinois, en route to Paris, Illinois, using two leased locomotives, blue FURX GP38-2 5514 and WAMX 4002, a former Canadian National Railway GP40-2LW.

The new railroad is owned by Watco Companies and covers 126.7 miles of the former CSX Decatur Subdivision and the Danville Secondary.

The system extends from Decatur to Montezuma, Indiana. At Chrisman, Illinois, another route runs to Terre Haute, Indiana, via Paris.

The former route is ex-Baltimore & Ohio trackage that once stretched from Indianapolis to Springfield, Illinois. The latter route was once New York Central territory.

Connections for the D&EI include CSX at Terre Haute and Hillsdale, Indiana; the Eastern Illinois Railroad at Metcalf, Illinois; Union Pacific at Tuscola, Illinois; and Canadian National and Norfolk Southern at Decatur.

The D&EI will be based in Paris where many of the its customers are located.

The herald of the new railroad features an ear of corn framed by the outlines of Illinois and Indiana.

WATCO Buying CSX Lines in Indiana, Illinois

July 9, 2018

Two CSX secondary routes in Indiana and Illinois are being acquired by Watco Companies.

The 126.7 miles of track involved in the transaction includes the Decatur and Danville Secondary subdivisions.

The routes are former Baltimore & Ohio and New York Central respectively.

Watco plans to name the property the Decatur & Eastern Illinois Railroad will be the new name for the 126.7 miles of track that Watco will acquire from CSX as the Class I railroad seeks to prune its network of lower-density, non-core routes.

The Decatur Subdivision extends from its namesake city in Illinois to Montezuma, Indiana. It once extended between Indianapolis and Springfield, Illinois.

The Danville Secondary runs from Terre Haute, Indiana, and Olivet, Illinois, and also includes the Paris Industrial Track in Paris, Illinois.

The track between Terre Haute and Paris once was part of the NYC’s Indianapolis-St. Louis mainline and hosted such crack passenger trains as the Southwestern Limited, Knickerbocker and Missourian.

The track north of Paris was a Central route that linked Northwest Indiana and Cairo, Illinois.

Watco has told the CSX union members who work on the affected lines that it will have employment opportunities in Decatur and Paris.

The Pittsburg, Kansas-based short line company is looking to hire four conductors, five engineers, a locomotive laborer, a track inspector, two track laborers and two track foremen.

CSX, which put the lines up for sale last January, expects the sale to close in early August.

Affected CSX employees who choose not to go to work for Watco, retire or resign, will be given the option of remaining with CSX.

Neither CSX or Watco disclosed the terms of the proposed sale.

Watco operates 38 short-line railroads in the United States with 5,100 miles of track. It also holds 31 industrial contract switching contracts.