By the late 1980s the ICG was suffering from years of neglect as parent company Illinois Central Industries wanted out of the railroad business. That way out came as the railroad was spun off as an independent company. With the spin off came a return to the old Illinois Central name, and a new black paint scheme harking back to the days when the Illinois Central was known as the Mainline of Mid America. By 1987 much of the old GM&O, the “Gulf” in Illinois Central Gulf, had either been sold off or abandoned.
This DVD was filmed in 1988 and 1989 on the Champaign and Bluford Districts. Locations include Centralia, Edgewood, Effingham and Bluford. In addition to trackside scenes, there is plenty of pacing filmed from U.S. 45 between Kinmundy and Watson as well as between Effingham and Neoga.
Most of the Illinois Central’s power of the era appears in this program, including Paducah rebuilt GP8’s, GP10’s, GP11’s, SW14’s, SD20’s and one of two GP26’s. Other rarities include SD40 prototype 6071 in new black paint and SD28 9451 months before it was destroyed at Freeburg, Illinois. During the time this program was filmed, Illinois Central Gulf era paint schemes were slowly being replaced by the new image Illinois Central black. We see orange and white power with both ICG and IC lettering as well as units in the 1980’s “grayback” scheme. The original Green Diamond scheme also makes an appearance.