NOTE: Peoria Area Rail Users are posted alphabetically by railroad station
Yes, Caterpillar actually does have a manufacturing facility in its headquarters city!
The Caterpillar Rubber Processing Facility (RPF) on SW Washington Street has been in operation since the winter of 1974. After purchasing the shuttered Hiram Walker & Sons cooperage plant, Caterpillar build a three-story structure to house rubber mixing equipment. Originally built to produce beaded tires, the plant now makes raw rubber.
This facility is BNSF Railway’s lone customer in Peoria. That railroad’s “Peoria Local” provides as-needed service, usually a few times a month. Covered hopper loads of carbon black and silica product are easily identified by car markings and stenciling.
Due to a late-October 2005 derailment, BNSF’s uptown trackage is isolated from its Galesburg-Peoria mainline. Until (or if) the connection is restored (which now seems unlikely), BNSF’s local train must use parallel Tazewell & Peoria RR trackage to reach what is known to them as “Cat Tire.”
- David P. Jordan