Galesburg (Cameron) to Aurora

Since the BNSF merger, a connection has been built between the former Santa Fe and former Burlington tracks, at Cameron, just west of Galesburg, to facilitate trains from the former ATSF route accessing the yards built by Burlington Northern SW of town. This connection is now used to transfer the Amtrak trains to the former Burlington line into the staffed station in Galesburg (the former ATSF station at Galesburg was not staffed in the Amtrak era), as well as to transfer freight trains between the two routes in various directions. The connection has wyes and crossovers at both ends of its short southeasterly segment, with signals governing the exits from the apexes of the wyes onto the connector in both directions, and signals governing the exits from the wye tracks onto the main line.

The former CB&Q main line, 2MT, CTC, with speed limits 75-50, heads due east from Cameron, where there are west-facing signals west of the east leg of the wye and a crossover (MP 169.9) east of the east leg of the wye, east-facing signals east of the crossover, and two grade crossings to Graham (MP 168.4), where there are signals, a crossover and a junction, with a signal bridge across all three lines as the now single track main line, carrying passenger, intermodal, and coal trains, turns east-northeast, and a double track freight line continues due east to the south end of the Galesburg Yard, along the west side of the Quincy line at Waterman. The main line passes a grade crossing, an acute angle grade crossing, a grade crossing, signals at Clay (MP 165.5), where two tracks resume, a grade crossing, a through girder bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, silos and a spur on the north side, two grade crossings, crossovers at Academy Plant (MP 163.6), and Academy (MP 163.4), where the west leg of the wye to the north end of the Galesburg Yard turns away southeast, there is a signal bridge, the east leg of the wye from the north end of the yard trails in from the south and the speed limit is 10 mph.

The line turns north-northeast and the speed limit rises to 30 mph, past A Plant West (MP 162.6), with a signal bridge and crossovers, A Plant East (MP 162.5), with another signal bridge, where the Quincy line trails in from the south (to the north of the wye, from that line, where the former Burlington line to Peoria heads away east), Galesburg depot (MP 162.4) on the northwest side of the line, with umbrella sheds on the platforms between the tracks and on the west side, and a former freight depot, now a museum to its north, former CB&Q 4-6-4 3006, a baggage/RPO car and a caboose, all stuffed-and-mounted on the west side north of the depots, a grade crossing at a street intersection north of the depot (Main Street, MP 162.2/3), signals at B Plant West (MP 162.2), a grade crossing, a crossover, a grade crossing, a signal bridge at B Plant East (MP 162.1), after which there is an extra track on the north side (and space for a (perhaps former) extra track on the south side), a bridge over a street, MP 161.7, where the main line bridges over the former Santa Fe line headed east-west and the line north to the Quad Cities and beyond turns away north.

The main line, again 2MT, CTC, continues north-northeastward, with speed limit 79-60, past a bridge over a street, a bridge over a road, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), twin bridges carrying I-74 overhead, a grade crossing, a large radio antenna on the east side, a road alongside to the west, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a road alongside to the east, a grade crossing, and a dirt road grade crossing, as the line leaves the rolling hills to the south and enters the flat prairie, thus crossing the boundary of ice age glaciation onto the 'Canadian Shield'.

There is a spur on the north side, a signal bridge, crossover, signal bridge, and silos on the east side at Wataga (MP 155.1), where a line once headed east to Victoria, a road alongside to the west, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), silos on the west side at Oneida (MP 150.8), where the line turns northeast, two grade crossings, industry and a spur trailing in on the southeast side, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a spur on the northwest side, a grade crossing, and a line curving away to silos on the southeast side at Altona (MP 146.7).

There is a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), three grade crossings, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge) and detectors at MP 142.6, a road bridge overhead, Intermeidate Signals at MP 141.4, a dirt road grade crossing, a signal bridge, grade crossing, crossover, grade crossing with silos on the northwest side, second crossover and second signal bridge at Galva (MP 139.3), where there is extra track on the north side, a Burlington line once trailed in from the west and a Rock Island line between Peoria and the Quad Cities once crossed at grade, five grade crossings with a road alongside to the south, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), four grade crossings, a signal bridge, crossover and signal bridge at West Kewanee (MP 133.3), a grade crossing, a spur on the northwest side, five grade crossings, spurs to silos on the northwest side, station platforms and a shelter on the east side, used by the Illinois Zephyr, at Kewanee (MP 131.1), where the speed limit is 55 mph through the town and the line turns east-northeast, a bridge over drainage, an extra track on the south side, a grade crossing, and a signal bridge, crossover, and signal bridge, with a spur on the south side, at East Kewanee (MP 129.5).

The line continues past a grade crossing, a spur on the north side, a road on the north side, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, detectors at MP 125.9, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, a spur on the north side, a grade crossing, a spur to silos on the south side at Neponset, where the line turns east, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, the line turns east-northeast, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a bridge over a UP (former C&NW) line coming north from Peoria, a bridge over a road, a spur on the north side, two road bridges overhead, a signal bridge, crossover, grade crossing, crossover and spur on the south side, and signal bridge at Buda (MP 116.6), a 70 mph curve to the east, a road bridge overhead, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a curve back to the east-northeast, two grade crossings, a bridge over the Iowa Interstate (former Rock Island) main line, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a road bridge overhead, a spur on the north side, and an acute angle grade crossing.

There are detectors at Wyanet (MP 110.7), silos on the north side, a spur on the south side, a bridge over a river, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, an acute angle grade crossing, two dirt road grade crossings, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a bridge over a river, the line turns east on a 65 mph curve, a grade crossing, an acute angle grade crossing, a spur on the north side as the line turns east-northeast again, and Princeton (MP104.2), where there is an Amtrak station with a depot on the south side and platforms on both sides, and a Rock Island branch once headed southeast to Bureau. There is a grade crossing at Main Street (MP 104.25) just east of the depot, a spur on the south side and then on the north side, a grade crossing, an Absolute (Holding) signal bridge, a road bridge overhead, a highway bridge overhead (US 34), twin I-80 bridges overhead, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, an acute angle grade crossing, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a spur on the north side, a grade crossing, a spur on the north side, four grade crossings, and Intermediate Signals (signal bridge) at Malden.

The line continues past a grade crossing, silos on the north side, a signal bridge, grade crossing, crossovers, and two sets of searchlight signals at Zearing (MP 95.3), where there is an old depot building on the north side of the line a branch to LaSalle heads south-southeast and one to Denrock once headed northwest, two dirt road grade crossings, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a spur to former silos on the north side at Arlington, four grade crossings, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), two adjacent grade crossings at Clarion, two grade crossings, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, detectors at MP 85.5, a spur on the north side, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a signal bridge at West Mendota (MP 83.1), where a Burlington branch once trailed in from the west, and IC and Milwaukee lines once trailed in from the south,  the line angles north through town past a grade crossing, a spur on the west side, a grade crossing, former CB&Q 2-8-2 4978 on the west side of the line south of the Amtrak station at Mendota (MP82.6), where the platforms and depot are on the west side of the line and there is a grade crossing just north of the depot.

There is a spur and silos on the east side, along with three extra tracks on that side, a grade crossing, cantilever signal bridges surrounding a grade crossing at First Avenue (MP 82.1), where IC and Milwaukee line once headed north,  and the line turns east-northeast past a spur trailing in on the north side, out onto the prairie, with an extra track still remaining on the south side past signal bridges surrounding crossovers at Electrics (MP 80.8), the twin overhead bridges of I-39,  a dirt road grade crossing, a spur to silos on the north side, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge) at Meriden, two dirt road grade crossings, a bridge over drainage, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), three grade crossings, an extra track trailing in on the north side, a signal bridge, crossover, flat crossing where a UP (ex-C&NW) line crosses at grade, crossover and signal bridge  at Earlville (MP 72.1), where the former depot is on the north side of the line, east of which Burlington lines once headed north and southeast, silos on the north side, three grade crossings, a bridge over a river, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge) at MP 69.9, two grade crossings, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, and a spur and silos on the north side at Leland.

The line continues past a grade crossing just east of the silos, a grade crossing, a spur on the south side, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a bridge over a stream, a dirt road grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), three grade crossings, a road alongside to the south, a dirt road grade crossing, a signal bridge, crossovers, grade crossing and signal bridge at Somonauk (MP 59.2), two grade crossings, extra tracks on the south side, a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, the end of the extra track, a bridge over a river, a grade crossing (MP 57.03), detectors at MP 56.9, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing at Main Street (MP 56.4), a road alongside to the south, Sandwich (MP 55.9), three grade crossings (one is at MP 55.91, one at Merk Avenue (MP 55.64)), a spur on the north side, two grade crossings, a spur curving away to the north at a plastic molding company that uses covered hoppers to deliver plastic pellets (in 2006), Intermediate Signals (signal bridge) and a grade crossing, three more grade crossings, a depot on the north side at Plano (MP 51.5), a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, a spur on the south side, a grade crossing, industry on the south side that uses covered hoppers, a bridge over a river, a grade crossing, a spur curving away north, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a spur curving away north, a grade crossing, a spur curving away north, a bridge over a highway, and the signal bridge, crossovers, and signal bridge at Bristol (MP 45.5).

There is a bridge over a stream, an acute angle grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing,  the line turns northeast, detectors at MP 43.8, a road bridge overhead, Intermediate Signals (signal bridge), a grade crossing, extra track into industry on the north side, two extra tracks on the north side that then trail in, a highway bridge overhead, another highway bridge overhead, a grade crossing, a signal bridge, crossovers, and a signal bridge at Montgomery (MP 41.0), where a Burlington line from Ottawa trails in from the south, as the Fox River comes alongside to the southeast, yard tracks and then extra track on the north side, the line bridges over a former Milwaukee branch, and turns east-northeast (MP 39) as the two track line from the Twin Cities trails in from the west-southwest, with signal bridges on both lines, at Aurora Junction (MP 38.4), forming a three track line, which crosses the Fox River on a deck girder bridge and then reduces to two tracks at crossovers with free-standing signals, crosses a bridge over a street below, passes the old CB&Q depot on the south side of the line, and turns northeast on an embankment that bridges over a number of streets (South Broadway Street, East Benton Street, East Downer Place, East Galena Boulevard, East New York Street, Spring Street) and passes the Aurora Transportation Center (MP 38.1, elevation 643 ft., located on North Broadway Avenue) on the west side of the line, the place where the commuter service from Chicago ends, with North Lincoln Avenue alongside to the east.