La Grange, Illinois

La Grange, Illinois

41 49' 2.625" N, 87 51' 51.5" W

October 12, 2008 14:05 EDT

First of all, I didn't go down to Chicago just to watch trains this time. I was actually down there to go to the Great American Train show in Wheaton, but I had some time left over, so I went over to La Grange (which was high on my list of choices to go). Being a two-tier crossing (i.e. bridges versus diamonds), there wouldn't be any interference by trains on the other line, respectively. Because of this, this crossing in particular offered a lot of opportunity for trains. Boy, was I right. In the two hours I was there, I saw twenty six, count'em, twenty six locomotives. Well, given the first three I saw while on my way there (I-294 crosses over BNSF's Willow Springs Yard) or when I was at the Great Midwest Train Show (UP's line through Elmhurst, etc. was behind the fairgrounds), that makes twenty one in two or so hours, just over ten an hour, which is fairly good. I also broke #500 with BNSF 7600.

Railroad Model Number Time Location
BNSF GP39-2 2943 ??:00 EDT Willow Springs, Illinois
BNSF GP38 2169 ??:00 EDT Willow Springs, Illinois
UP ES44AC 7771 ??:00 EDT Wheaton, Illinois
CN SD75I 5668 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN C44-9W 2598 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN SD40-2 5385 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN-IC SD40-2 6136 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN GP40-2L 9424 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
METX MP36PH-3S 0401 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF ES44DC 7631 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF C40-8W 0913 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF SD40-2 6890 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN SD75I 5712 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN SD75I 5686 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CEFX AC44 1005 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF C44-9W 4072 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN SD70I 5621 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
CN-IC SD70 1039 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF ES44AC 7398 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF C44-9W 4728 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF ES44AC 7600 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
AMTK P42 0134 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
AMTK P42 0002 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF ES44AC 7547 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF ES44AC 7436 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois
BNSF C44-9W 4118 ??:00 EDT La Grange, Illinois

Overall, I really enjoyed this crossing. From where I was on the north side of BNSF's Triple-track and to the west of IHB's line, the BNSF was somewhat obscured by trees (later in fall, winter, or early spring might be better), but the IHB line (which, ironically I didn't see a single IHB train on; they were all CN) was clear of obstructions. There are probably better angles you could go from, such as the foot bridge along Ogden Ave., or the parking lot that boarders the transfer track in the southeast quadrant (but that's 'under the overpass', if you get my drift). If you only care about the BNSF line, you could go to the Metra/Amtrak station just to west of the crossing (most of the Metra trains I couldn't see were accelerating out of or slowing down to stop at the station). The westbound trains on the BNSF have a tendancy to sneak up on you; eastbounds blow their horns for a crossing to the west of there, along with their bell for the station. Trains on the IHB were generally slow, and because of the wide open view, were easy to see from a ways away. As a final grade, I'd have to give La Grange/Congress Park a 9.5/10. Not much could be better, except for a better sight line to the BNSF line, which there probably is.