Springfield to Mazonia

The line runs along a street through the center of town, with speed limit 15-10 mph, past the Springfield passenger station on the east side of the line (MP 185.1), just south of a former flat crossing with an erstwhile Big Four line (now an alley), and turns northeast, with speed limit rising to 25 mph at MP 184.7, past a grade crossing just north of the depot, a grade crossing, a grade crossing at Carpath Street, a grade crossing, a through girder bridge over a street, a grade crossing at 5th Street as the line angles north-northeast, a closed grade crossing (N-S Street), a grade crossing (E-W Street), 8th Street alongside to the east, a location where there was once a connector east to the IC line, a grade crossing over an East-West street and one over a North-South street whose intersection is immediately east of the line, a bridge over a north-south street, a grade crossing at Ridgely Street, with 11th Street just to the east of the line, and a 10,175 ft. east side siding at Ridgely ( CP X183, MP 182.9), where the speed limit is 35-25, that IC line trails in from the south and a Chicago & Illinois Midland line heads north, with a yard on the northwest side of the main line.

The line turns north, with speed limit now 79-60-50, except for 70-50 on curves at MP 182.1 and 181.8, and then north-northeast at Sherman (MP 177.6), where an Alton line once headed north, the 9,625 ft. siding at Elkhart, Broadwell (MP 163.4), four grade crossings in Lincoln, a former flat crossing with an IC line at MP 156.8, where the speed limit falls to 70-50, the passenger station at Lincoln (MP 156.4), a small brick depot on the east side of the line, a grade crossing north of the station, two grade crossings, a flat crossing with an IC line at Athol (MP 155.7), after which the speed limit rises to 79-60-50 again, a bridge over a divided road, a divided road alongside to the east, a grade crossing, dual highway bridges overhead (I-55), a grade crossing, I-55 alongside to the east, Intermediate Signals at Kruger, a grade crossing, a road bridge overhead, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 147.6, Lawndale, Atlanta (MP 145.8), where there was once a flat crossing with the IT, a grade crossing in town, a bridge over drainage, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals and a detector at MP 141.9, the 12,430 ft. east side siding at McLean (MP 140.9), with two grade crossings in town, a street alongside to the east, and a grade crossing within the siding, the highway alongside to the east again, a dirt track grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, two dirt track grade crossings, Funks Grove, a detector at MP 133.8, the highway moves away, a road alongside to the east, a road bridge overhead,  Brackens Siding, the highway returns, Intermediate Signals at Shirley, an embankment, a bridge over a road, a cutting, a road bridge overhead, dual road bridges overhead (I-55/74), two grade crossings, an embankment, a cutting, a road bridge overhead, and a bridge over a street.

At Bloomington (MP 126.6), there is a spur west to a Cargill Elevator (once another Alton line to the west),  another NS crossing, this time of the ex-Wabash Kansas City line that also hosted the former Peoria & Eastern line, with a connector in the north quadrant, by the closed passenger depot on the west side, and a grade crossing. The speed limit falls to 20 mph between the old station and MP 126.3, past grain silos on the west side, an ex-SP (former Alton) yard, rising to 40-25 thereafter, past a street alongside to the east, a road bridge overhead, a bridge over a street, a bridge over a canal, two bridges over streets, a grade crossing, a bridge over a divided street, a bridge over a street, a closed grade crossing, and a grade crossing.

At Normal (MP 125.6), where there was once a flat crossing with the original IC main line due north (i.e., not to Chicago), of which just a spur to the north remains, Amtrak’s modern “Bloomington” depot on the east side of the line is adjacent to the Illinois State University campus, mostly on the west side of the line, which continues past a grade crossing just north of the station area, a grade crossing with a divided street, a grade crossing, north-facing signals, two road bridges overhead, and a grade crossing..

From Bloomington to Joliet, the line runs parallel to historic Route 66 (as well as I-55, which is now separate from old US 66), initially heading northeast, with speed limit reverting to 79-60-50 at MP 123.8, past Towanda, which has grain silos east of the track, a grade crossing, more grain silos, and a grade crossing in town, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 115.1, a road bridge overhead, Lexington, where it turns north-northeast, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, rail-served grain silos on the east side, a grade crossing, the 11,440 ft. siding at Ballard (MP 105.6), with a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, and a road bridge overhead, within the siding, a grade crossing, a closed grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, Chenoa (MP 102.3), a grade crossing, grain silos on the east side, a grade crossing, and a flat crossing with the TP&W.

There is a grade crossing, a road alongside to the east, two grade crossings, a bridge over drainage, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing, rail-served grain silos on the east side, a bridge over a river, Intermediate Signals and a detector at Ocoya (MP 96.6), a grade crossing, the 11,770 ft. west side siding at Pontiac (MP 91.9), where the speed limit is briefly 60-40 on a curve, with a grade crossing, a bridge over drainage, and a grade crossing within the siding, a grade crossing in town, a bridge over a river, a grade crossing, Pontiac passenger station with depot on the east side, there were once flat crossings with IC and Wabash branches, a grade crossing north of the depot, two grade crossings, a spur heading northeast, a grade crossing, and a large RR Donnelley printing plant on the east side that receives paper and ship printed product by rail over this line.

The line continues past a bridge over drainage, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a grade crossing, a spur on the east side at Cayuga, with a wye to large grain silos, a grade crossing, more grain silos on the east side, Intermediate Signals, the 12,760 ft. east side siding at Odell (MP 81.7), with a road bridge overhead, a dirt road grade crossing, and extra track on the east side within the siding, grain silos on the east side and three grade crossings in Odell, a detector at MP 80.2, two grade crossings, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals, a grade crossing, a road bridge overhead, three grade crossings, and the 12,375 ft. west side siding at Dwight (MP 73.6), where there are grain silos on the east side, two grade crossings, an Alton branch once trailed in from the west, a restored depot on the west side of the line at the passenger station, a grade crossing, extra track on the east side, and a flat crossing with the ex-NYC Streator line. Dwight also  has a large RR Donnelley printing plant that receive paper and ship printed product by rail over this line.

From Dwight, it is just a short step past a grade crossing, extra track on the east side, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, two grade crossings, two dirt track grade crossings, a road bridge overhead, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at Gardner, where the Kankakee & Seneca railway once crossed on the flat, a dirt road grade crossing, two grade crossings in Gardner, old grain silos on the east side, a grade crossing, more grain silos on the east side, a grade crossing in town, a grade crossing, a road alongside to the east, a detector at MP 62.8, and a bridge over a river, to Mazonia (CP X063, MP 62.6), where an EJ&E line once headed north, and the former Alton Route splits into two portions, once run as paired track, one heading north to Pequot and one heading northeast.