The Chester Sub is Union Pacific’s water level route through southern Illinois. This is the former Missouri Pacific line between Chester and Thebes, Illinois. We visit many of the scenic highlights along the line, including the Thebes bridge and the riverfront trackage in Chester. We visit nearly every town and village along the route, and rural scenic areas such as the Pine Hills and the Big Muddy River bridge at Aldridge.
This is the Union Pacific as it is today, with the latest motive power from General Electric and Electro-Motive in abundance. Also seen are a few examples of older motive power, such as GP38’s and Dash-7’s on the local freight. Power from other roads also make appearances, including BNSF, Canadian National, CSX, and Norfolk Southern.
While not as busy as some of Union Pacific’s other lines in the west, there is plenty of action to be had as the line is the main artery for traffic between St. Louis and Texas. Chicago traffic also joins the line south of Gorham, and additional coal trains traverse the line from St. Louis to Gorham where they veer north on the Mount Vernon Subdivision.