17 June 2009

Fun with maps

[I am not a railfan; I just play one on the Internet.]

You learn something new every day. Today I learned that the Joliet Junction Trail, one of the regional trails of the Forest Preserve District of Will County, follows the ROW of an abandoned line of the former Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway.

I was trying to puzzle out the lines that Canadian National plans to abandon once the EJ&E has the capacity to replace them. Supposedly those include the one right next to my apartment, supposedly from McCormick Place down to Chicago State University. (If you know me, you know I navigate by landmarks. Never ask me for directions, even in my own neighborhood.) That doesn't seem entirely correct, but it's what I read here on Hyde Park Progress. I still haven't puzzled it out, but I did find some very informative maps that I shall save for future reference.

EJ&E Archive Map (PDF; EJ&E Archive)
CN and Class 1 Railroads (flash; CN)
CN's acquisition of the EJ&E Railway (CN)
CN proposed acquisition of EJ&E rail lines (PDF; CN)
Regional railroad map (PDF; CN)
Location Map (TRAC, but precisely where they got it isn't clear, and my efforts to track down a copy at the full resolution haven't been successful)
Metra's Proposed STAR Line (PDF; Metra)

And my own:

Well, not quite my own, but a photo of a section of the Chicagoland Bicycle Map* on my bedroom door. One night, having nothing better to do, I marked the EJ&E with a yellow highlighter for quick reference the next time I read a new batch of complaints about CN's acquisition or another screed about the STAR Line. (This helped me to determine, for example, that the proposed "Northwest Naperville" stop isn't located anywhere terribly useful, and that Barrington is indeed mightily screwed.)

The three fresh yellow lines mark spurs off the main line, one of which (apparently) is now the Joliet Junction Trail. The one south of Plainfield continues down across the Illinois River to the Dresden area. (Note that "the Dresden area" is not an official designation but my own, since everything along and near that stretch of the river is labeled as Dresden This and Dresden That. I think "Dresden" used to be a town nearby, back in the I&M Canal days.)

And now that my toilet has been fixed (again, so they say), I suppose I should get back to figuring out what it is that I actually do and somehow make a resume out of it.

*Are they going to change the name of that, too? Perhaps "Geographically Non-Specific Two-Dimensional Personal Active Transport Planning Assistant" would help reduce the rampant confusion about what it is that representational system formerly known as the "Chicagoland Bicycle Map" really shows and where, exactly, it applies. [/snark]


At 18 June, 2009 09:17, Blogger Benjamin said...

What is it about the abandonment that you're still puzzled about? Maybe I can clarify.

At 18 June, 2009 18:12, Blogger Jennifer said...

Well, since you know everything, what and where are the lines that CN plans to abandon?

At 18 June, 2009 20:52, Blogger Benjamin said...

The only one I know about is the St. Charles Air Line, the tracks CN follow from Grand Crossing (75th St.) up past McCormick Place, then curving west around 16th St., across the never-to-move-again railroad bridge. But I admit to equal confusion as to what other lines CN might abandon.


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