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Shortline/Regional Railnews

Canadian Conversion of the Bessemer

Canadian National has been making

changes to the Bessemer & Lake Erie roster. Six Illinois Central SD70s were sent east to replace six B&LE SD40-3 “tunnel motors” in April. The B&LE units are being shipped to Quality Rail Services in Madison, Ill., to be rebuilt and repainted into CN colors. The fi rst unit to return was B&LE No. 902 (originally SP SD45T-2 No. 9189 built in 1972). On May 25, 2015, the 902 was part of the consist for Norfolk Southern train 11X at Conway, Pa. No one knows if the former B&LE units will return to home rails or if they will be reassigned to other portions of the CN system.



Locomotive News

Huron Central is leasing MREX 5644 and NREX 5665 , a pair of former Cana- dian Pacific SD40-2s from National Rail- way Equipment. Further, Huron Cen- tral is leasing NRE-built 3GS21B genset NREX 2020... Parrish & Heimbecker SD40-2 9 has been assigned to its termi- nal in Hamlin, Sask. It was built in 1967 as Southern Pacific SD45 8875... Lake Line Railroad has returned GMTX SW1001 98 and is now leasing former Wabush Lake Railway RS18 911... The Canadian Wheat Board is leasing a former Cotton Belt (SSW) SD45T-2 to switch its Leader, Sask., terminal. EFCX 1001 was built as SSW 9373. It received a 16-cylinder block and a new paint scheme at Metro East Industries before heading to Saskatchewan. The locomotive is painted black with a large three-colored panel on the long hood (green/blue/gold)

with CWB initials.

Mobil Grain has purchased Canadian Pacific SD40M-2s 5491 and 5493 for use on Last Mountain Railway in Saskatch- ewan... Long out of service Hudson Bay Railway GP30 2508 has been sold to J&L Consulting for scrapping.



Traffic on Iowa Interstate’s Peoria Sub continued to be strong with interchange trains running to and from both Tazewell & Peoria and Norfolk Southern during April. In fact, during the 24-hour period


on April 1, five trains ran on this subdi- vision, not including the regular Bureau to Peoria “Rocket” local. Included were four PESI (Peoria, Ill.-Silvis, Ill.) trains and one SIPE (Silvis-Peoria). Most days, just one through train each way plus the “Rocket” operate the line. On April 14, the Newton switcher crew pulled the two IAIS business cars, Nos. 101 and 100, out of their winter storage shed and took them to South Amana to prepare for summer trips. NTSW 14 de- parted Newton with IAIS GP38-2 No. 719 for power and the two business cars.

Rock River Bridge Fire

On the morning of April 4, westbound train BISI 03 discovered a fire at the old Rock River Bridge, adjacent to the bridge currently in use. Pilings for the old bridge were on fire, and IAIS mainte- nance of way employees and Colona Fire Department personnel handled the fire. The fire department reported clear of the main track at 1:50 p.m., and at 2:30 p.m., the track was returned to service.

Dimensional Load Iowa Interstate and BNSF Railway

moved a high-wide transformer from Grimes, Iowa, to Alpha, Ill., in late April. The IAIS DMSW 29 crew pulled the car on April 29, and a crew out of South Amana called for 5:00 p.m. was deadheaded to Des Moines for the train. DMSA 29 departed Des Moines with IAIS GP38-2 712 for power, two TTHX flats as buffers, and CCRX 40016. The special arrived South Amana on April 30, where it was tied down until later in the morning. IAIS GP38-2 712 was taken off the train at South Amana, and

replaced by IAIS GP38-2 700. The next move was as XSASI 30 (Extra, South Amana-Silvis). The train was delivered to BNSF at Moline, and BNSF pulled the train that night. The car was unloaded at Alpha, and the transformer trucked to Oak Grove, south of Milan.


More B&LE Changes

In late April Bessemer & Lake Erie SD40T-3 902 was released from Quality Rail Services in Madison, Ill., repaint- ed in full Canadian National colors. This marks the first Bessemer unit to be repainted. On April 27, it was spot- ted headed north from Chicago on Train A403, which terminates at Proctor, Minn., on the former DM&IR. Orange and black B&LE 900 was still at QRS in early May and might also be released wearing CN colors like its sister. CN has assembled a four-unit set of tunnel motors to handle ore trains oper- ating on the Iron Range Subdivision out of Two Harbors, Minn. Matched sets of these units are unusual and northeast- ern Minnesota is likely the only place to find four of this body design regularly operating together on a Class I railroad. Work on adding a second main track to Steelton Hill in far western Duluth gained momentum in April as crews added a new temporary control point near Nopeming Junction that will con- nect to the new track to the existing mainline just south of Interstate 35. In 2016 a new bridge spanning the highway will complete the project from Steelton to Nopeming Junction, thus easing a major bottleneck on this DM&IR route

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