Illinois Central "Gruber" or "Charter" line

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Illinois Central "Gruber" or "Charter" line

Postby sandyriverman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:17 am

I am doing a little personal research project into this line, between Freeport, IL and Centralia, IL. No one seems to know where the name "Gruber" came from,though many use it. After the IC/GMO merger, and it became Illinois Central Gulf, it became known as the "Amboy district".

So far I have discovered that there seems to be very little modeling interest in the IC, and thus very little mention of it in model railroad places. There is an Illinois Central Historical Society, but there is a dearth of photos of places, and railroad structures, on the Gruber line, despite it's 125 yr history. Abraham Lincoln was a company lawyer when this line was originally built!

I would appreciate any pointers/links to any historical information on this line. Model Railroading Planning 2008 had an article on the interchange at Forreston, IL (actually "North" Forreston) with the Milwaukee line. A few actual car records were saved from that station, and between 9/1/50 and 12/1/50 plus between 12/10/51 and 6/12/52, nearly 8000 cars were interchanged at that spot, in only 14 months. This was certainly a very busy place in anyone's book. Yet less than 35 yrs later, it was dead, and torn up.

I am interested in finding out more about what happened and why, and wonder why more people are not interested in such a busy mainline double tracked road.

SR
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Re: Illinois Central "Gruber" or "Charter" line

Postby JayBee » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:26 am

Have you seen Jim Boyd's book "Monday Morning Rails". He grew up in Dixon, IL and there are photos taken along the line, along with anecdotes of his time railfaning it.
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Re: Illinois Central "Gruber" or "Charter" line

Postby sandyriverman » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:45 am

Thanks for the tip, I will check that out. Dixon was also a relatively busy place, according to what I have found so far.

SR
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Re: Illinois Central "Gruber" or "Charter" line

Postby SlowFreight » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:54 pm

If you look on flickr.com, there's some guys who railfanned the Gruber line back in the day, and you can probably contact them to get more info. I found a few dozen 70s-era pics along this line.
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