Edwardsville & Pontoon Beach, IL?

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BN Oly

New Member
I will be in the area on business in a couple of weeks, anything of particular interest in the area? Also, any unique motive power to be found in the St. Louis area, like ALCo and such?

Thanks in advance!


Displaced CNW Fan
If you're looking around Edwardsville proper- the only lines left are the NS (ex-Wabash) main line that skirts the west side of town and the UP (ex-NYC) Pana Sub. main line which passes a couple miles north of town.
In Pontoon Beach there isn't much to see besides the Alton & Southern's line up to Mitchell (Lenox Tower) which sees moderate traffic. The best place to head would be to Mitchell itself in the vicinity of Lenox Tower. There the NS, UP (ex-GMO and NYC mains), KCS, A&S and Amtrak can all be seen. Coming from Pontoon Beach proper, head north on ILL 111 to East Chain of Rocks Road and turn west. Chain of Rocks will turn into ILL 203 in Mitchell just south of the tower. Heading west from Pontoon Beach will take you into Madison (UP's ex-CNW yard), Granite City (Granite City steel) and Venice (TRRA yard)
Edwardsville has really changed in the last 20 years since I grew up there- back then the CNW (ex-L&M), NS (ex-NKP main) and the remnants of the Illinois Terminal were all still in existence in town. Now all are abandoned and are bike trails part of the Madison County Trail system.
If you are interested in historical items- the L&M enginehouse is still at the corner of Brown Ave and Schwartz Street in Edwardsville, painted blue. This is what it looked like in 1993-


The ex-NKP depot is still in town too- but has been moved off it's original site to the former N.O. Nelson works property nearby off (also on Brown Ave.)
Hope you find some interesting things to see!

BN Oly

New Member
Thanks, thats great info. I will mostly be in that area. Depending on time I may take a weekend trip to Arkansas to see the A&M. I haven't seen a live alco in 12 years.

Great shot of that CNW too! Standard cab Dash-8's are a good looking locomotive, and CNW's paint scheme was the best they came in.


Steam Chaser
You will not be too far from Madison Yard. I would suggest going there if you have some time. No Alcos, but TRRA's beautiful GP38-3s are worthy of seeing. Also, the Tri City Port off of Route 3 is good to see some interesting power, including an Illinois Terminal-inspired SD40-2, along with a few switchers and a Paducah Rebuild GP8. An old Alco S4 was repowered with an EMD prime mover for the Manufacturers Railway by Morrison Knudsen in the 1980s and now serves the loading dock just north of the Tri City Port. Lastly, for good power, the Manufacturers Railway is still running, but on borrowed time. If you have a spare morning, that would be the place to go. Every morning at 7 am they make a few runs from the enginehouse up the grade to the AB brewery. The EMD switchers in their beautiful paint schemes may not be around much longer. It is a little farther away than Pontoon Beach, so take that into consideration.


Outstanding In My Field
It's a long way from Edwardsville down to Arkansas to see the A&M. You might not even see a train when you get there.


Displaced CNW Fan
Just for old times sakes here's a couple more of the former CNW main at Pontoon Beach and Edwardsville-

BUMAA southbound as seen from the ILL 111 overpass in 1993- this was Stallings siding on the CNW.


BUMAA southbound under the Center Grove Road overpass in Edwardsville in 1989. The overpass had just been finished that year- the historic Leclaire water tower can be seen in the distance-


Lastly- a Coffeen coal empty comes in off the old NKP in Edwardsville in the summer of 1992, past the former Nickel Plate depot which had already been moved by this time. The train will stop in town, run around their train and head north on the CNW to Monterrey Mine near Gillespie.


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