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Illinois Central Railroad freight trains photo gallery

By | July 19, 2021

The Illinois Central is the Railroad of the Month for July 2021

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Railroaders on the rear platform of a red caboose behind a long train. Color photograph.
Steam locomotive with freight train

Mountain on the prairie

IC 4-8-2 2539 strides across the flatlands near Chebanse, Ill., with a southbound freight in September 1954.

Photograph by Philip R. Hastings
Steam locomotive with freight train
Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train

Iowa Division meat train

The three Geeps heading IC’s Council Bluffs–Chicago freight CC-6 pause just west of Dubuque, Iowa, before crossing the Milwaukee Road’s line along the west bank of the Mississippi River (track at left) and continuing east with reefers of meat in October 1957.

Photograph by William D. Middleton
Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train
Caboose at rear of freight train

Shoving toward the Thornton quarry

Crewmen keep watch as a train of empty hopper cars backs toward the rock quarry at the east end of IC’s 3-mile Homewood–Thornton branch south of Chicago in October 1960.

Photograph by J. David Ingles
Caboose at rear of freight train
Steam locomotives on two freight trains meeting

Meet on the old VS&P

IC Mikados 1515 (left) and 1794, each heading a freight train, meet at Haughton, La., on the old Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific in the 1940s.

Photograph by Harold K. Vollrath
Steam locomotives on two freight trains meeting
Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train

Orange and white at Homewood

Illinois Central 6000 — the road’s first SD40 — and GP40 3011 bring a freight into Markham Yard in Homewood, Ill. The date is June 15, 1974 — two years after the Illinois Central Gulf merger.

Photograph by J. David Ingles

Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train
Steam locomotive with freight train

Cairo Turn northbound

IC 4-8-2 2613 swings through an S-curve near Cobden, Ill., with the Cairo Turn, returning north to Carbondale, In January 1959.

Photograph by J. Parker Lamb
Steam locomotive with freight train
Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train

Reefers and coal cars

On an October 1960 evening, IC GP9s 9098 and 9220 bring a coal train north through Homewood, Ill. Cut in behind the Geeps are two refrigerator cars.

Photograph by J. David Ingles
Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train
Steam locomotive with freight train

Paducah rebuild on a local

IC Mikado 2130, rebuilt at the road’s Paducah (Ky.) Shops from a 2-10-2, heads a short local freight north near Litchfield, Ill., in September 1954.

Photograph by Philip R. Hastings
Steam locomotive with freight train
Steam locomotive with freight train

Kentucky coal country

Steam locomotive 4-8-2 Mountain-type No. 2524 rolls east through Princeton, Ky., on IC’s Paducah–Louisville line, with empty coal hoppers in February 1960.

Photograph by Fred B. Furminger
Steam locomotive with freight train
Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train

Banana train

At Champaign, Ill., a GP7-GP9 duo leads a seemingly endless train of refrigerator cars carrying bananas from the port of New Orleans to Chicago in December 1957.

Photograph by Bruce Meyer
Road-switcher diesel locomotives with freight train

 

All through July 2021, Classic Trains editors are celebrating the grit and glory of the Illinois Central Railroad. Please enjoy this photo gallery of IC freight selected from the image archive of Kalmbach Media’s David P. Morgan Library.

Only from Classic Trains!

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