AMTRAK RAILFAN TIPS

CSX TRANSPORTATION

Monon Subdivision

The former Monon Railroad's route into Chicago has changed in recent years, making it perhaps Amtrak's most interesting routing serving Chicago. Between Union Station and 74th Street, Amtrak uses the same route as Metra's Southwest Service. And between 74th Street and 81st Street, the Cardinal uses trackage which is controlled by Belt Railway Of Chicago. Between 81st Street and Dolton is the former Chicago & Western Indiana's Dolton Branch, now part of Union Pacific's Villa Grove Subdivision. This line originally mostly handled trains of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, which later became part of Missouri Pacific, and finally now Union Pacific. The route operates at street level through the Roseland neighborhood on Chicago's south side, before climbing high over the Illinois Central and Metra Electric lines near the Kensington Junction. South of there is a bridge over the Calumet River, where the route crosses into Dolton, where Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad ownership originally began on Union Pacific's Villa Grove Subdivision. Dolton is the location of the main UP yard in the area, and south of there is Thornton Jct., where the route turns southeast over the former Grand Trunk Western line, now the CSX Elsdon Subdivision. And at Munster, Indiana, the route turns south to finally enter the former Monon line, now part of CSX. Previously, the Monon had its own trackage north of Munster, through Hammond, and connecting with the Chicago & Western Indiana at State Line.