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The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern (EJ&E)


The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern (EJ&E), running on 200 miles of terminal trackage, runs a huge circle around Chicago, crossing every line entering the Chicago terminal. Owned by US Steel, the line begins at the US Steel facility in Waukegan. From Waukegan, which is located near Wisconsin on the north shore, the line heads south through the town of North Chicago. The line crosses the C&NW (UP), the BN, turns southeast to Joliet, crosses the Des Plaines River, ICG (GM&O), SF, Metra (RI), and then turns east into Indiana. The major yards for the EJ&E are the Joliet Yard on the southeast side of Joliet and Kirk Yard in Gary. The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway is a terminal railroad whose primary business is tied closely with USX's steel plants. It was one of a group of railroads owned by Transtar, a holding company now handling USX's transportation subsidiaries. Effective February 2009, it was sold to the CN Rail (Canadian National Railway). Some of the Gary operations remain with the Gary Railway.

Welcome to our Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad WebSite



Here's a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:

Elgin, Joliet & Eastern, The "J"

Snow on the J

A poem about the J

Reference Material

Gary Airport

EJ&E Maps

EJ&E Customers

Porter Branch

New Wrecker on the J

Pat Nixon in Chicago

Gary Railway
Aug. 3, 2011 – CN today announced plans for a US$165-million expansion of its Kirk Yard in Gary, Ind ., and relocation of its Chicago area locomotive repair shop to the upgraded freight car classification facility in Northwest Indiana.

The project will increase Kirk Yard's processing capacity to 2,500 cars per day from 1,500 today. Additional classification tracks, along with more receiving and departure tracks, will allow the yard to handle longer and more efficient trains, improve interchange with other railroads, and consolidate CN's switching operations in the Chicago area at a single primary yard.
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The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern (EJ&E) (or more simply,

The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern (EJ&E) (or more simply, “the J”), running on 200 miles of terminal trackage, draws a huge circle around Chicago, crossing every line entering the Chicago terminal zone.


Owned by US Steel, the line begins at the US Steel facility in Waukegan, Illinois. From Waukegan, which is located near Wisconsin on the north shore, the line heads south through the town of North Chicago. The EJ&E, in addition to being known as The J, is also known as the Chicago Outer Belt, the latter being that it's mainline runs from Waukegan, Illinois to Gary, Indiana around the outer edge of the Chicago area. It is headquartered in Joliet, Illinois. Reporting marks are EJE and radio frequencies: 160.350 (AAR 16) Road, 160.260 (AAR 10) Yard, 160.725 (AAR 41) Yard. It is a Class 2 freight railroad. Coal and steel are major commodities moved on the "J." The line serves four steel mills in the Gary/East Chicago area (U.S. Steel, LTV Steel, Ispat-Inland, and Indiana Harbor Coke), as well as steel processors in the areas surrounding Gary and Joliet, Ill. It connects with Belt Railway of Chicago, BNSF, Canadian National (Grand Trunk, Illinois Central, Wisconsin Central), Canadian Pacific (SOO), Chicago Central, Chicago Rail Link, Chicago Short Line, Chicago South Shore & South Bend, CSX, I&M Rail Link, Indiana Harbor Belt, Iowa Interstate, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific (CN&W).

Beginning in Waukegan, the line looks as follows:

The numerous branch lines from the EJ& E are listed here:

· AURORA BRANCH - Now abandoned and removed, this branch left the main at Normantown, and went north to Aurora.

· ILLINOIS RIVER BRANCH - Leaves the main near Plainfield, goes south through Minooka and crosses the Illinois River. Several chemical and plastics industries on this line.

· ROCKDALE BRANCH - Left the main north of Joliet, headed south to Rockdale.

· Two other small branches leave north of Joliet to serve the State Penitentiary and a gravel pit in Lockport.

· PORTER BRANCH - Left the main at Griffith crossing. This branch used to go east and connect with the CSX at Chesterton. Now only a small portion of the branch in Griffith remains.

· WHITING BRANCH - Leaves the Calumet Branch at East Chicago, runs north to Whiting and serves several oil refineries.

· SOUTH CHICAGO WORKS BRANCH - Originates from Kirk Yard in Joliet, runs along the ex-Conrail and CSX tracks through East Chicago, Whiting, Hammond, and into Chicago to the US Steel Works. Interchange with Belt Railway of Chicago (BRC) and Chicago Short Line (CSL) -p)

· CALUMET BRANCH - Leaves the EJ& E main in Gary, runs west into East Chicago and Hammond to State Line crossing. The portion to State Line is now abandoned.

The major yards for the EJ&E are the Joliet Yard on the southeast side of Joliet and Kirk Yard in Gary. Smaller yards are in Waukegan, in south Chicago near the US Steel Works, and the East Chicago yard on the Whiting Branch. With the closing of some US Steel facilities, the traffic on this road is different than several years before. Operations have slowed down and most operations are between Joliet and Gary.

The Elgin Joliet and Eastern Railway is a terminal railroad whose primary business is tied closely with USX's steel plants. It is one of a group of railroads owned by Transtar, Inc since 1988. Transtar, Inc is a holding company now handling USX's transportation subsidiaries. USX maintains a 50% interest in Transtar.

Other members of the US Steel Transtar family are:

Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Bessemer & Lake Erie Union Railroad McKeesport Connecting Railroad Birmingham Southern Quebec Cartier Railway

The Joliet, Aurora and Northern Railway incorporated April 30, 1884 for the purpose of constructing a new railroad from the Indiana state line westerly through Joliet and Aurora to the banks of the Mississippi River opposite Dubuque, IA. Actual operations began two years later between Joliet and Aurora. By that time, another group to be known as the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern, planned to construct a rail line from Valparaiso, IN to Joliet, IL thence north to join the Milwaukee Road near Elgin. The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern purchased the completed portions of Joliet, Aurora and Northern in October 1888 and began its own operation January 1, 1889. In January 1891, the EJ&E acquired two more important links--the Gardner, Coal City and Northern (which had been built from Caster, IL south of Coal City to Walker near Plainfield where it joined the EJ&E) and the Waukegan and Southwestern (which had been building from Waukegan toward Elgin). This completed the trackage Waukegan, IL to McCool, IN just east of Griffith, IN. EJ&E moved to serve industries in the Hammond-East Chicago-Whiting industrial district by acquiring trackage rights in 1894. But construction of the present line to Gary, Whiting and South Chicago was begun in 1899 by the Griffith and Northern Rwy. Connections with the Chicago, Lake Shore & Eastern and the Western Indiana further penetrated the district. EJ&E subsequently acquired these lines. Ownership by United States Steel began in 1901.

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com
Distance from East Joliet Station Interchange Notes
73.08 Waukegan UP: crosses the Chicago & North Western (C&NW) North Shore passenger line -a)
69.48 North Chicago

67.09 Upton UP: crosses the C&NW North Line
65.57 Rondout Southwest through Rondout where Canadian Pacific’s SOO line crosses -b)
60.27 Leithton Wisconsin Central crosses -c)
53.22 Lake Zurich

49.31 Barrington NW Northwest Line interchange
43.83 Sutton

37.63 Spaulding CP interchange; USX coal for the Gary coke works enters here
35.45 Munger IC interchange
29.29 West Chicago UP (C&NW) interchange. Coal trains for the NIPSCO power plant near Gary enter here.
22.19 Eola BNSF interchange. Coal trains for a generator near the Illinois/Indiana border enter here.
20.63 East Siding Crosses over the Burlington Northern (BN) near Normantown -d)
18.92 Frontenac

9.90 Walker Illinois River Line 19.56 miles to Clay Pit
9.42 Plainfield

8.68 Gravel Pit

6.02 Coynes

3.46 Rockdale Jct Turns southeast to Joliet and crosses the Des Plaines River. Former interchange with the Joliet Junction Railway which operated the J's old Rockdale Line.
2.37 Bridge Jct

0.00 East Joliet Meets the Illinois Central Gulf (now Canadian National) former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio (GM&O), Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe (ATSF) (now BNSF) and the METRA (former Rock Island) line through Joliet Yard -e) -f) -g)
2.65 Marble Falls

8.22 Brisbane Turns east and continues through Brisbane.
14.04 Frankfort

21.60 Matteson Illinois Central (ICG) interchange -h)
24.90 Chicago Heights CSX and UP interchange -i)
31.29 Dyer Crosses into Indiana and goes through Dyer (CSX interchange) -j)
33.81 Hartsdale CR interchange. Turns northeast, through Hartsdale (old Pennsylvania Railroad)
36.90 Griffith turns north at Griffith (CSX) (GT) -k) -l)
39.75 Van Loon through Van Loon (NS)
41.75 Ivanhoe Ivanhoe (CSX and IHB), crosses the CSS& SB -m) -n)
42.86 Cavanaugh Whiting Line junction is here; junction with the Belt Railway of Chicago (BRC) -o)
46.53 Kirk Yard goes through Pine Junction, and into Kirk Yard.
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Gary, Indiana
Railroad pictures from Gary, Indiana

Gary Railway

The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway officially ceased to exist January 31st, 2009, at 11:59 PM. At midnight, February 1st, the line became Canadian National property. Over 120 years of history went out with a whisper. There were no special trains or ceremonies... Just business as usual.

Equipment disposition
1. It's Gary Railway, not Gary Railroad
2. Judging from the map CN provided in its purchase application to the STB (p.240), the diamonds will remain at Griffith, or at least one of them will since GTW will no doubt be single-tracked west of Griffith. The connection to the north-south main will be built well east of the diamonds.
3. GTW thru Blue Island will not have zero traffic. In the purchase application, CN estimates it will continue to run 2-3 trains a day over it. There is no indication that a "switch connection" will replace the remaining diamond. The GTW may disappear a few years down the road but for now it stays.
4. A very reliable source has said that when the deal was first announced, it was agreed that CN gets the road power, the SW1001s, four SW1200s, two slugs, and the flatcars. Gary Railway/USS will keep the rest of the SW1200s and slugs, the NW2, the SW1500, and the EJ&E car fleet except for the flatcars. There may be a little juggling here and there, but it should end up roughly like that.

Under the agreement, U. S. Steel’s Transtar subsidiary will retain railroad assets, equipment, and employees that support the Gary Works site in Northwest Indiana and the steelmaking operations of U. S. Steel. Transtar’s remaining operations will become the Gary Railway. .

Before applicants acquire control of EJ&EW, EJ&E plans to transfer all of its land, rail, and related assets located west of the centerline of Buchanan Street in Gary (together with the real property and related fixtures associated with the hump and Dixie leads located east of Buchanan Street) to EJ&EW, which at that time would become a rail common carrier. As noted above, this transaction is the subject of the SubNo. 1 related filing. EJ&E would retain its land, rail, and related assets east of the centerline (other than the real property and related fixtures associated with the hump and Dixie leads). It is expected that, if the Control Transaction is approved and applicants acquire control of EJ&EW, EJ&E would change its name to Gary Railway Company, and EJ&EW would assume the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company name.

You can monitor Gary mill operations on frequencies 160.725 and 161.550. Find out about former EJ&E locomotives working in the mill. 300, 301, 303, 304, 305, 307-T8, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 324, and 460. The mill has its own roundhouse to maintain these units. Gary Railway (GRW) trainmasters, and yardmasters co-ordinate all of their moves. I just heard GRW 317 calling Kirk westend on 160.260 (the EJ&E yard channel) saying they had ten loads to deliver from the tin mill. Frequency 161.550 is still shared by EJ&E, and GRW operations. The GRW traffic on 161.550 is yard work, where operations on 160.725 is working in the mill. Seems to be the forgotten part of the Jay. Unfortunately there is little to see from public roadways. Mill activity seems to be holding up pretty well considering the economy.

Currently the Gary Railway's primary customer is the U.S. Steel works in Gary, Indiana. However, it also serves four additional steel processing groups: ArcelorMittal USA, Tube City IMS, Brandenburg Industrial, and the Levy Company. The railway interchanges with Canadian National at Gary as well as several other Class I rail carriers connected along the lines of the former Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway.

Gary Railway should not be confused with former streetcar company Gary Railways

See also a WebSite for employees of Gary Railway

Gary Railway
Gary Railway operating inside US Steel plant

Gary Railway
Gary Railway operating inside US Steel plant

Gary Railway
Gary Railway operating inside US Steel plant

Gary Railway
Gary Railway operating inside US Steel plant

Gary Railway
Gary Railway operating inside US Steel plant

Gary Railway

Here is the Gary Railway operating at street level.



Tube City IMS, a Gary company that serves U.S. Steel's Gary Works is implementing the Lean and Green Locomotive, a new locomotive with a retrofitted engine expected to significantly reduce diesel emissions in the region. Read more:

Does any one have a reference for when the Gary & Western started and ended?



Don't have a print reference but I've heard from a couple of good sources that it was built about the same time as the Gary Works, say 1904-06.

Here's the story as I understand it. Around the turn of the century the Chicago, Indiana & Southern built a line running east from Indiana Harbor to Burns Harbor. The western half of this route was torn up when Gary Works was constructed. To connect the eastern half with their north-south route (now IHB's Kankakee Line), the G&W was built east from Ivanhoe thru Gary and curved north toward the lakefront on Gary's east side to connect with the eastern segment of CI&S. NYC controlled both CI&S and G&W and merged them into the NYC system in 1914. They were then leased to IHB which operated them as a single route.

Old timetables appear to indicate that the segment from County Line Rd east to BH was eventually sold to another RR--perhaps EJ&E.

The line was gradually abandoned by Conrail (who inherited ownership) mostly in the 1980s to where it now ends on the west side of Gary.

I can't be 100% certain of all this, but that's what testimony and evidence indicate, and it does seem very plausible.
Snow Blowers on the

Click on picture at left
to see more about snow blowers on the "J"

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Central Pasco & Gulf Railroad

Central Pasco & Gulf Railroad

The Central Pasco & Gulf (CP&G) is a 7 1/2" gauge railroad being constructed within Pasco County's Crews Lake Wilderness Park. The park is near Shady Hills in the north central portion of Pasco County Florida. The railroad is based upon the Orange Belt Railway. which ran from Sanford to St. Petersburg through Pasco County. The major towns on the CP&G are named for stops/stations on its route.
OK! Now how does this Florida project get on a WebPage for the "J"???
A lot easier to understand than some Canadian railroad owning the "J"!!!
Reason for inclusion is simple: Rules Examiner / Road Foreman of Engines for CP&G is EJ&E Alumnus! See this on both our Florida and Scale-Model WebPages.

A Poem About The "J"

The EJ&E is causing a flack
you can`t get to Chicago with out crossing our track.
Orange and green is the way to go
so just go with the flow.
It`s ok to go our way
but remember you must pay.
We don`t merge we don`t care
we will be there every ware.
Don`t think we are cheap
because we have an old geep.
Remember when you see the orange
it`s fresh not faded and we were never aided.
NOW's the time to have some fun
because all the geeps still run.
We are not fast we are not slow
we are just on the go.
We love the J hope you do too.
This is all I have to say
but remember it`s the J all the way.
Thank`s

Written April 21, 2005 by Al Hentsch

REFERENCE

Complete List of
Indiana Railroads
Complete List of
Illinois Railroads
Elgin, Joliet & Eastern steam locomotives
United States Steel locomotives
EJ&E from "Shortlines of Chicago"
Chicago's Northside Switching
DPD Productions for the railroad hobbyist
Joliet Junction RR
EJ&E Kirk Yard in 1955
Our favorite Short Lines
Interesting Railway Stations
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Congress OKs funds for STAR




Chicago-area service: Commuter rail system would link suburbs

Congress has approved $1 billion in funding for the Chicago area's first suburb-to-suburb commuter rail service, though it's still unclear what route the line would take through the Joliet area.

The transportation bill includes funding for the proposed 55-mile Suburban Transit Access Route, or STAR line, which would link Joliet to Hoffman Estates and O'Hare Airport along an Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway track.
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Gary/Chicago International Airport

Gary/Chicago International Airport has landed $57.8 million in Federal Aviation Administration money that airport proponents say will cement its position as Chicago's third airport.

The money will be used to add 2,000 feet to the northwest end of the airport's main runway. The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad tracks, which lie 130 feet from that end of the runway, will be moved westward.

Continuing is a running feud between Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his Illinois allies over Jackson's proposed Abraham Lincoln National Airport in south suburban Peotone.

Gary/Chicago is a reality on the ground capable of serving people's needs, not a cornfield somewhere.

Not mentioned, is the fact that Chicago/Gary airport has a tremendous asset in being in close proximity to the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad.
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EJ&E Customers

Steel Mills (not just USS)
Steel Bar Producers
Steel Sheet Processors
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Petroleum
Chemicals and Plastics
Manufacturing
Distribution
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Electric Utilities
Scrap Processors
Miscellaneous

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The EJ&E used to have a branch in western Indiana called the Porter Branch. I think the J's original plans was to head for La Porte.



The Porter Branch was built parallel to the Michigan Central because there was enough business to justify both.

What became the Joliet Cut-Off of the Michigan Central was originally chartered as the Joliet & Northern Indiana Railroad in 1854 by a group of Joliet businessmen that wanted a direct connection with the East, bypassing the time and expense of routing via Chicago over either the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad or the Illinois & Michigan Canal. The J&NI was completed between Joliet and the Michigan Central at Lake Station (aka East Gary), Indiana (45 miles) in May of 1855. The MC had acquired control of the J&NI even before it was completed. While the Joliet Cut-Off had its share on line customers, it was primarily a bridge line for through traffic between the MC on the east end and the C&EI in Chicago Heights, the IC in Matteson, the Wabash in Steele and the C&A, the Rock Island and later the Santa Fe in Joliet. It operated local passenger service to Joliet until 1925.

The EJ&E completed its eastern extension from McCool to Porter to connect with the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway (a fierce MC competitor) in 1893. It also connected with the B&O and the new Detroit-Chicago line of the Wabash that was completed across northern Indiana the same year. The "J" offered its customers three friendly connections in Indiana, while anything routed east-bound over the Joliet Cut-Off stayed on the MC. The EJ&E line from Griffith north to Gary was originally a branch line that was added in 1901.

Later in the 20th century, both the MC and the LS&MS became part of the New York Central System.

The "J" in Porter is seen in a map of a passenger wreck in Porter.

Sometimes the POTUS train was for the First Lady. Then it is FLOTUS!



In 1970, Pat Nixon`s trip started at Chicago`s LaSalle St. station and took her via Rock Island tracks through Joliet to "Minooka" where the special train moved on to the EJ&E Ill River line enroute to Dresden & Goose Lake. Mrs Nixon rode most of the trip in EJ&E parlor car #101 the last car in the train. The train was powered by two Rock Island diesels# 648 was one. The special included 4 RI cars and EJ&E coaches 101 and 103.

She rode the train to Collins road where she got off and was taken by motorcade to O`Hare.
The following article appeared in the Joliet Evening Herald on March 9, 1906; you may find it of interest.

E. J. & E. HAS NEW WRECKER



ONE OF THE LARGEST MADE FOR USE BY A RAIL-ROAD

A machine which will lift the heaviest locomotive and place it where desired, and of such delicate touch that freight cars, loaded to their capacity can be picked up from their track like toy cars and set on another track - this is the description of the new wrecker purchased by the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern railroad.

The wrecker arrived in the Joliet yards and was tested yesterday at Coal City on some loaded freight cars. These cars weighed over fifty tons, but the wrecker picked them up and set them wherever desired as a model wrecker should.

But these cars were just about half a task for the wrecker. Its limit is above a hundred tons, high enough so that the heaviest loads encountered in a wreck can be handled and the tracks cleared in short order.

The wrecker was made at the Bay City Machine Works, Bay City, Mich., and is one of the largest made for railroad use. Its weight is 106 tons, or 212,000 pounds, and its cost is about $15,000, several thousand dollars more than the price of the average freight locomotive. The locomotives cost in the neighborhood of $12,000.

The wrecker with its train will be left continually in the Joliet sheds, except when in use, and will be constantly connected with the boilers so that steam will be up all the time, and an instant's notice will be sufficient to send the train out on the road to the scene of a wreck. A crew will always be in readiness for call for such service.

The wrecker is a great improvement over the wrecker formerly in use by the E. J. & E., and will facilitate the company's work in emergencies considerably.

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