• Railroad employment in Springfield,Ill

  • General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.
General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.

Moderator: thebigc

  by NS212
Just wonder what railroads operate through Springfield, Ill. May move out there next year. Lookin' for work...
  by jg greenwood
NS212 wrote:Just wonder what railroads operate through Springfield, Ill. May move out there next year. Lookin' for work...
Several run through Springfield, not sure how many (if any?) actually have home terminals there though.
Amtrak, NS, UP, IC, BNSF and the KCS (GWWR) can be found in one form or another in Springfield.

  by NS212
Thanks, I was looking for either UP or BNSF! That's alright if there aren't any actual terminals there, I'm sure I could find some not too far away!

  by jg greenwood
NS212 wrote:Thanks, I was looking for either UP or BNSF! That's alright if there aren't any actual terminals there, I'm sure I could find some not too far away!
Nearest BNSF terminal would be Beardstown, IL. Not sure re: the UP.

  by emd_SD_60
Nearest UP terminal is in Dupo.

  by bn13814
Springfield is served by six railroads - AMTK, CN, IMRR, KCS, NS and UP. There isn't much local industry but there's enough train action to make it interesting. I'll try to break it down below:

AMTRAK runs ten daily trains on the Union Pacific's Springfield Subdivision, eight of which are Chicago - St. Louis Lincoln Service trains. The Chicago - San Antonio Texas Eagles are the other two trains.

CANADIAN NATIONAL runs a daily-except-Sunday local out of Clinton to serve customers and interchanges on the Gilman Subdivision between Clinton and Farmersville. CN has rights on the KCS to reach the ADM Grain elevator at Cockrell Station. Other customers are Illinois Valley Paving (former Sankey Construction), Contech Construction Products, Mid-States Warehouse (fertilizer) and Crown Mine III (Farmersville). Regular interchange is made with Illinois & Midland and Kansas City Southern.

ILLINOIS & MIDLAND recently downsized their Springfield operations (Shops Yard), moving the locomotive shop work to sister Tazewell & Peoria's Creve Coeur facilities. I believe the fuel storage tanks and depot have been razed. Rumor is most yard tracks will be scrapped. A switch engine is based at Springfield to perform local work (lumber re-load on yard property) and interchanges (mainly KCS, but also CN, NS and UP). It's unclear if this job operates beyond Springfield switching district limits, such as to Ellis where a Reed Minerals plant is still (presumably) served. Past customers like Solomon Colors and Thurman L. Flatt & Sons have sidings but haven't been served since c. 2000. Once a large customer, the Cargill Flour Milling plant closed in 2001.

On most days, IMRR runs a coal train (with UP run-through power) to the Dominion-Kincaid Generating Station east of Pawnee, with corresponding empties returning in the other direction. To reach it, IMRR excercises trackage rights on CN between Springfield and Cimic.

KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN's nearest "terminal" is at Roodhouse, at which an AM and PM roadswitcher are based. Usually the PM job gets to Springfield in the evening (after dark) on a few days a week. KCS serves the ADM Grain elevator, Brandt Conolidated, Freesen asphalt plant and plastic transload at Cockrell Station, and goes into Springfield to interchange with CN and IMRR at IMRR's Shops Yard.

NORFOLK SOUTHERN actually has a small yard in Springfield where about two or three local jobs are based. One "turns" to Decatur, the others go west (one to Jacksonville and Meredosia; the other I believe runs all the way to Hannibal - not sure though). The Formosa Plastics plant in Illiopolis is closed, permanently, it appears but fertilizer customers at Illiopolis and Buffalo still get service. The State Journal-Register is also gets some of its newsprint by rail. NS serves Brandt Consolidated at Curran, just SW of town. NS runs daily Detroit - Kansas City roadrailers, a Los Angeles - Columbus (OH) stack train joint with BNSF, and some auto parts, automotive and general merchandise trains through Springfield, amounting to something like a dozen movements per day.

UNION PACIFIC still uses Ridgely Yard to perform some local switching but most tracks were removed in the early 1990's by Southern Pacific. A local runs out of Bloomington Su, Tu and Th in AM, then the following day may continue down to Carlinville to switch Central Illinois Steel Company before returning north. The only customer served directly is Mid-States Warehouse, to which UP delivers an occasional potash train (which runs via the former C&NW).

An alternate-day Alton & Southern - Bloomington manifest train (MASBN/MBNAS) begins its cycle Monday and ends it on Saturday. Daily manifests MPRPB (Proviso to Pine Bluff) and MASPR (Alton & Southern to Proviso) use the Springfield Sub south of Ridgely, the old C&NW route (via IMRR trackage rights) north of there. These trains operate in second sections once or twice a week.

A Monterey Mine - Duck Creek coal train makes about two or three cycles per week, passing through Springfield. Unit grain trains coming out of Sterling and Allen Station (just west of San Jose) appear frequently, especially during the fall and winter months. Due to trackwork on the Jefferson City Sub in Missouri, frequent empty coal trains and even manifest MASNP have detoured through Springfield.

I don't claim the above is 100% accurate but it should be close. Hope it helps.
  by NS145
There are currently around 16-20 NS movements a day thru Springfield, not counting UP, CN, and KCS trains running between Iles and KC Jct. The actual number of trains per day varies over the course of the week, with Sunday/Monday action being the slowest, and Thursday-Saturday action being the busiest.

Here are the "Core" thru freights:

27V - varies (Racks, daily)
33J - AM (Manifest)
#263 - Late AM-early PM (Roadrailer, runs Tu-F)
#145 - Mid-late PM (Ford autoparts, hottest train on the line)
#255 - Evening (Roadrailer, runs as needed, usually mid/late in the week)
21T - Evening (Intermodal, runs Tu-Su)
#315 - Late night (Manifest, usually with wide loads)

#260 - Late night (Roadrailer, runs usually ~4 days a week via Springfield)
20T - Early AM (Intermodal, runs M-Sa)
#398 - Mid/late AM behind 20T (daily)
#278 - Evening (Manifest, runs daily)
#122 - Late night (Manifest, odd schedule does not run every day)
#272 - Late night (Racks, runs daily)

D37 - AM (Decatur-Springfield Turn; runs to Jacksonville on Saturday)
D31 - Late AM/Early PM (Springfield-Bluffs/Naples Turn)
D33 - AM (Bluffs-Jacksonville local)
D23 - PM (Bluffs-Hannibal Turn)

Extras: These trains run frequently and spice things up
D2M/D2N - Grain trains to Curran, Naples, or Griggsville and return. At least one train runs everyday. May run lite WB to p/u a loaded train, or haul mtys west and loads east, or s/o mtys and run lite east.
62G - pig iron to Naples and return (usually runs lite WB and gets train at Naples)
61Q - pipe loads for Illiopolis
60Q - pipe empties WB from Illiopolis
55T, et al. - Iowa grain trains from BNSF at Hannibal EB
#120/22J/25G/28E/29T - Extra empty auto racks EB. These trains usually run Eb in the late PM ahead of #278, irregardless of the symbol used.
#297 - New symbol for WB racks, runs usually 2-4 times per week late night/early AM

  by D1054
Can I say many thanks to all for posting on this topic, as I find the information listed very interesting.

I was in Springfield IL for 2 days last August on a family holiday and managed to take a few photos the one morning on what I would call the freight line, I also managed a few shots of the Amtrak services. (would have liked to spent a bit more time with the trains but my wife had other plans!!)

The one morning I set my self up by the Sheriffs Office and managed to see 4 freights between 7 & 8am.

One guy who worked in the Sheriffs office got talking to me and told me that it’s always busy around 8am.

I also heard other trains during my stay but managed to be in the wrong place each time.

Main reason for the visit was to visit Nokomis IL and managed to be by the rail way for about 4 hours but did not see any trains that day.

Any one know what could be seen here ?

I really would like to return one day

Regards Mike (in the UK)
  by NS145

The NS is really busy in the early morning. Usually the D37 local starts things off coming in from Decatur, followed by 20T, #398 and 33J (sometimes #260 will start the eastbound "parade" after dawn). Anytime between 9:00 AM and noon, D37 will "flip" back to Decatur and D31 will want out of the yard to head west to Bluffs. #263, the WB Roadrailer, has been running in the late morning as of late too. The afternoon hours tend to be the slowest. Unfortunately, the busiest time is in the late evening/overnight. Bad for pictures, but it is fun to chase trains east or west of Springfield on old US 36 at night. Nothing like pacing #255 or 21T at 60 mph!

As far as Nokomis goes, I really don't have a clue about traffic levels. I would assume that the UP runs at least 10 trains a days thru Nokomis. I know that the UP runs at least one pair of hot intermodal trains between Chicago and Texas via the Pana Sub. If you travel about 30 miles west to Walshville, the traffic picks up, as there is a connection with BNSF. BNSF runs an assortment of manifests and taconite trains into the East St. Louis area via trackage rights. In addition, you can watch all the BNSF coal trains and empties running on the BNSF mainline to and from the Paducah, KY area. If you go east to Findlay, IL the traffic will really pick up on the UP. Findlay Jct. is where the direct line to Texas diverges from the line to St. Louis. Along the way you can check out the old Big Four interlocking tower at Pana.

If you plan to make frequent trips over to this side of the "pond", I would suggest that you purchase a radio scanner that can monitor the railroad high FM band (160.215-161.565 Mhz). Listening to railroad radio traffic can eliminate a lot a wasted time trackside. Railroads like NS and CSX are very easy to track, as their crews "call" all of the signals they observe as they proceed down the line and provide their train symbols as well (e.g., Clear, I&M Crossing 145). Other railroads that use radio-based dispatching systems, such as track warrant control, are also very easy follow. Around Springfield that would be BNSF, CN, KCS, I&M, and the UP's Peoria Sub.

Hope this helps.


  by D1054
Many thanks Matt, again this information is very interesting,

Hope I am not going off topic but the reason for the visit to Nokomis IL is that my wife’s grate grandfather left the UK after the 1st world war and moved to Nokomis and died there in the 30’s.

This was one location that I wonted to take a photo of a train at during our visit to the USA. Think I must have picked the wrong day as I did not see any trains.

Any one have a photo of a train taken at Nokomis that they could mail me?

Hope to return and try again may be summer 2009 if things go to plan.

Any way I have a day booked off work tomorrow and the weather looks like it will be bright so I will be out with my camera to try and fot a few UK freights

Regards Mike in the UK

  by cifn2
emd_SD_60 wrote:Nearest UP terminal is in Dupo.
Or Salem, IL