Chasing CN 2110 and CN 2593 on the Centralia Subdivision

 Back in May of 2014, my dad and I followed Canadian National's (reporting mark CN) Centralia Subdivision south through central and southern Illinois. After driving south to Makanda, Illinois, we wound up chasing a manifest freight train, led by CN 2110 and CN 2593, back north to Irvington, Illinois. 

CN Centralia Subdivision

The Centralia Subdivision runs between Sandoval Junction (milepost 247.2), at Sandoval, Illinois, to the station name of Illinois (milepost 263.1) at Cairo, Illinois. Sandoval is about six miles north of Centralia, and Centralia is about 60 miles due east of St. Louis, Missouri. Cairo is the southernmost town in Illinois and sits at the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River. The Centralia Subdivision was once a part of the Illinois Central Railroad (reporting mark IC) and became part of Canadian National when CN purchased the IC in 1998. The subdivision is part of the CN (ex-IC) mainline running between Chicago, Illinois, to New Orleans, Louisiana. You can click here for a map I created showing the subdivision's route and stations.

CN 2110 and CN 2593 northbound on the Centralia Subdivision at Makanda, IL.
With a thumbs up from the conductor, CN 2110 and CN 2593 roll north on the Centralia Subdivision at Makanda, IL.

The town of Makanda is about 45 miles north of Cairo, Illinois, and lies within the Shawnee National Forest. We first caught CN 2110 and CN 2593 leading their train north at Makanda Road and Main Street, which is milepost 316.2 of the Centralia SubdivisionThe mileposts count up going south from Chicago.

CN 2110 and CN 2593 roll north on the Centralia Subdivision at Elkville, IL.
CN 2110 and CN 2593 roll north at Elkville, IL.

We then gave chase but weren't able to catch up and get ahead of the train again until twenty-three miles further north at Elkville, Illinois. Elkville is north of Carbondale, Illinois. We caught the train as it rolled north at West Main Street, MP 295.4 of the Centralia Subdivision. 

Looking across a corn field at CN 2110 and CN 2593 at Walnut Hill Road in Irvington, IL.
Looking across a corn field at CN 2110 and CN 2593 at Walnut Hill Road in Irvington, IL.

The train was rolling north at a fast pace, and we wouldn't get ahead of it again until just south of Centralia, Illinois. The subdivision's namesake town. We managed to get ahead of the train and capture our last photographs of it at Irvington, Illinois, about forty-two miles north of Elkville. Here the train is approaching the Walnut Hill Road crossing at MP 257.6.

A panning capture of covered hopper CN388769
A panning capture of covered hopper CN388769.

Photographs taken on May 10, 2014.

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