Four years after Canadian National swallowed the Illinois Central we travel part of the Mainline of Mid America and look at day to day operations. We start at Centralia and move south along the Centralia Subdivision. Along the way, we stop at every town until we reach Wetaug. Wetaug is the last passing siding north of Cairo, Illinois, the very southern tip of the state.
A wide array of motive power makes an appearance, including Wisconsin Central SD45’s, Union Pacific SD70M’s, and Norfolk Southern runthrough power. Pure Illinois Central lashups are seen, as well mix and match lashups of locomotives falling under the C.N. banner. In addition to mixed freight, coal and grain trains, passenger trains make an appearance in the form of both Amtrak’s Illini and City of New Orleans.
Highlights of the program include pacing both Amtrak’s Illini and a northbound freight, a look at the yard and engine terminal at Centralia, and southbound trains grinding up Cobden Hill. SHot in 2003 many changes have come to the railroad since then. The yard at Centralia has been completely closed down, and the railroad has moved to directional running. All northbound trains travel the Centralia Subdivision, while all southbounds save those with local work take the Edgewood Cutoff to the east. This program is a must for all fans of the Illinois Central, as it documents a railroad in the midst of change.