In Illinois Junctions 2 we visit 6 Illinois Hot Spot locations. The first location is Centralia, in Southern Illinois. Here the mainline of the former Illinois Central (now CN), goes south through town, and so does the BNSF and Norfolk Southern, which parallels the CN line for several blocks in downtown Centralia. We see a variety of NS trains, as well as several BNSF coal trains. Most of these coal trains have distributed power units on the rear. NS uses the BNSF to pass through Centralia, and both BNSF and NS cross the CN on a diamond before splitting apart south of town. Trains on BN and NS tend to run a bit slower than CN, due to speed restrictions, but this is a good location for train watching. We also have a special segment watching an older BNSF unit do some switching. Next we head a few miles north to Odin, where the former Baltimore and Ohio Cincinnati to St. Louis line crosses the former IC line. Now its CSX crossing CN. Here we see a CSX auto train take the siding, and the crewmember throws the switch manually. This train causes Amtrak’s northbound Illini to stop south of the diamond, so we get it departing as it accelerates northward.
Moving north we are north of Champaign, at Chenoa and catch two Amtrak trains within 10 minutes, since they had a meet just south of town. The Rail America line crosses here on a diamond and we see the old depot along the former GM&O line, which is now Union Pacific. Both these trains going flying through town in our short visit. Heading east we visit Woodland Junction. This is located 5 miles south of Watseka, where we visited in Illinois Junctions. Woodland Junction is where the C&EI lines split, and Union Pacific heads east toward St. Louis, and CSX heads south toward Evansville, Indiana. We see a good number of Union Pacific trains, including some with WC, SP, and Cotton Belt Power. A limited number of CSX were seen due to trackwork. Southward we go, and a visit was made to Danville, where the CSX line from Woodland Junction crosses Norfolk Southern’s Mainline between Ft. Wayne and Decatur. We were only here a few hours but several trains on each line were seen, including 4 straight Westbounds on NS. This is indeed a busy diamond.
Our final stop is in Effingham, where the CN mainline(Former IC from Chicago to New Orleans), crosses the former Pennsy line, which is now CSX. Several CSX trains interchange with CN here, as well as CN yard engines are seen. The neat thing about Effingham, is the old Depot on the Northeast quadrant of the diamond forms a nice background. We see several trains on both railroads in the afternoon, and both the northbound and southbound Amtrak Illini trains which make passenger stops in Effingham. The next morning we are back for more action in low morning sunshine to watch trains rattle over the diamond once more, but from a different angle. As in Illinois Junctions, Illinois Junctions 2 has a lot of variety of railroads, trains, and locations. Illinois is unique in having nearly every major railroad, most of which are seen in these videos.