The art I find in what most despise…
Rails: The one thing that both moves America and is responsible for my life, or lack thereof. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with two things – railroads and the arts. As I consider myself very artistically impaired with a paintbrush, I took to a hunk of metal, added some glass, and started playing off of that idea. The end result (what I am now), is defined by them, and revolves around them almost infinitely.
Regardless of if you consider yourself a fan of drawn-out, sentimental introductions or not, I offer to you my perspective, from the railhead.
GECX ET44AC 2042 runs west to run around their coke train in the background, and head back to the ArcelorMittal steel mills. This locomotive is less than two years old, but was assigned to work a railroad that is so small, it only employs eight people.
It’s the last call for South Shore Line train 508 as it prepares to run down the middle of 11th street in Michigan City, IN. Throughout several city blocks, the South Shore tracks run down the middle of the street. This is known as streetrunning, and Michigan City is home to longest streetrunning stretch of railroad tracks in America.
Just like the other shot of IHB train 324, the same concept applies to the west side of the same yard. This is train 322, which serves the same function. Bryan, a good friend of mine, was running the train this day.
BNSF locomotive 1653 lives a new life these days, being owned by the COOP elevator in the background. The unit does nothing but move grain and corn around all day – doesn’t get much more redneck than that…
A CTA Red Line run glides into Fullerton station on the North SIde of the city. Nothing but hipsters and junkies roam this area.
Amtrak’s Blue Water Service flies east toward Port Huron, Michigan under a beautiful Thanksgiving Sunset.
After heavy rain showers, Indiana Harbor Belt train symbol 144 heads west toward Osborn Yard. Power for this job is the IHB 1516, an EMD SW1500 built in 1972.
Amtrak’s Cardinal Service heads North through Lowell, IN toward Chicago. This is arguably the last area that this train line runs through anything rural.
The CTA’s Howard Terminal serves as a major terminal for all northbound L lines – the Yellow, Red, and Purple line trains are all serviced here. In this case, a car set is being run to the south side of the city to gradually work its way back North.
Train number L505 (Local Freight, Zone 0, Departure 5) heads southward down the former EJ&E Matteson Subdivision.
It’s an extremely glum day as the Chesapeake and Indiana railroad readies 20 loads of fertilizer for transfer to Norfolk Southern. This locomotive is in the original paint of its original purchaser, the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railroad.
Canadian National train number R980 heads back east toward Gary from South Chicago, passing through the picturesque lakefront city of Whiting, Indiana.
The Chesapeake and Indiana railroad runs 55 carloads of fertilizer through the small town of LaCrosse, IN. In the lead are two recently acquired EMD GP38-2 locomotives, sharing heritage from the Southern Railroad.
Indiana Harbor Belt train number 324 wraps around the Osborn Connector to pull 75 loads of autos out of Gibson Yard, and will shove back 20 or so cars up. This train has been despised by Hammond motorists for years, as most see it “pointless for a train to pull forward, just to go back.”