After finishing my annual Peoria Rail Users Series update, I said posts in the near future will be news driven.
Boy, have we had a lot of transportation and industry news this year!
The Peoria Journal Star is reporting that Ruff Brothers Grain is wanting to construct a new railroad yard to stage carload freight for BNSF Railway. Ruff’s operation would replace existing facilities that the railroad wants to downsize or close in Chicago.
I profiled Ruff’s grain facility on New Year’s Eve. Known as “Ruff Rail,” a rail loop allows efficient loading (and unloading) of 110-car grain shuttle trains. From what I can glean from the article, Ruff Rail will own an operate something similar to a Storage-In-Transit (SIT) yard at which eastbound carload freight is pre-blocked for Chicago connections or industries.
But there isn’t much to close in Chicago along BNSF’s Chillicothe Subdivision. Corwith Yard was converted to an intermodal facility years ago. Most interchange with other carriers (Belt Railway of Chicago, Canadian National, CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt, Norfolk Southern) is “pre-blocked” into solid trains at Galesburg and delivered directly to these connections. So perhaps work proposed at this new yard in Marshall County will replace those now used for servicing local customers. BNSF’s GM Yard at Hodgkins, for example.
Hopefully, I can find more information to satisfy my curiosity,
- David P. Jordan