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Locomotive Lifter

Locomotive Lifter

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted the sadly derailed train car along the North Cedar Lake Regional trail? I am happy to report that all is well, the car is back on the tracks and this is one of the cool machines they used to put it back where it belongs. I was able to have a conversation with some of the crew and found out that these are the machines that they use to lift anything that’s off track, including locomotives! They pull up along side of what they are going to lift, the crane on the left is what they hook on to the lift and the thing on the right of the machine is a huge counterweight. They pick it up and just drive it to where it goes, just look at those treads! Locomotives weigh upwards of 350,000 pounds, so it needs to be pretty stout.

Chicago Metra: Kenosha Station

Chicago Metra: Kenosha Station

I got up early this morning and went down to the Chicago Metra station to see people leaving Kenosha for the big city. Hard to believe the commuter train comes all the way up here to lil’ ol Kenosha, my home town. FYI, I’m back home from Minneapolis for my dad’s funeral.

Out of Track

Out of Track

I found this tragedy on a maintenance spur off the BNSF A line track near I-394 & Hwy 100. It seems that a miscalculation was made as to how long the spur really was at some point. Every time I bike past this I wonder what that day was like for the unfortunate souls involved. It’s been sitting in the mud for at least a month & cannot be an easy thing to put right. Exactly how big of a crane do you need to lift a 89,000 pound railcar and move it 50 feet back to the track?

Head On

Head On

Two trains meet in the Cedar Corridor. The oncoming Union Pacific engines are passing under 394 by Penn Avenue with the Minneapolis Skyline in the background.

Norfolk Southern Engine

Norfolk Southern Engine

Engine 7715 rumbles through the Cedar Corridor on the BNSF main line coming from out west. Last time I was out visiting the family farm in South Dakota, we  followed this line all the way in to town. It’s amazing how much traffic is on this line!