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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Alan Follett on Tue May 8 13:59:35 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon May 7 15:48:16 2012.

> Item, there used to be a viable short cut between ATSF and NYC
> entirely bypassing Chicago. Do BNSF and NS make use of this?

Actually there were two bypass lines that meet that description. There was the ex-Michigan Central Joliet Branch, passing about twenty miles south of central Chicago; and then, about fifty miles out, there was the Kankakee Belt Line, from South Bend to Zearing, Illinois, interchanging with the Santa Fe at Streator and Burlington at Zearing. The Joliet branch is long gone, but the Kankakee Route is still moderately busy, with 8-10 trains a day connecting NS and BNSF.

As a sidelight, in the mid-1950's Santa Fe and New York Central briefly considered running a through Century-Chief bypassing Chicago via the Joliet Branch.

Alan Follett
Hercules, CA


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