Bloomer Shippers Connecting Railroad
|Bloomer Shippers Connecting Railroad|
|Dates of operation||1985–|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Headquarters||Gibson City, Illinois|
The Bloomer Shippers Connecting Railroad (or Bloomer Line) (reporting mark BLOL), headquartered in Gibson City, Illinois, is a Class III railroad serving agricultural communities in east-central Illinois.
In June 1985, the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad (ICG) sold a portion of its circuitous route between Kankakee and Bloomington to a new spin-off railroad company which called itself "The Bloomer Line" (after the ex-Illinois Central Railroad division it had purchased). Specifically, the Bloomer Line purchased the right-of-way between Herscher and Barnes. The railroad has since taken the line between Herscher and Kempton and Barnes and Colfax out of service.
At Chatsworth, the Bloomer Line makes a connection with the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway. In May 1990, the railroad purchased from the Norfolk and Western Railway its ex-Wabash Railway line from near Risk south to Gibson City. Connections to N&W successor Norfolk Southern and ICG successor Canadian National Railway are made at Gibson City.
The Bloomer Line is owned by Alliance Grain Company, which owns the eight grain elevators served by the railroad. It is primarily a grain transporter, shipping carloads of corn, soybeans and wheat from these silos to the connecting railroads, but also serves several other industries, including a soybean processing plant in Gibson City and a fertilizer distribution facility in Colfax.
Bloomer Line locomotives are painted bright red and labeled in a font which looks very similar to that used on the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad.
Locomotive maintenance was conducted at Chatsworth until shops were constructed at Gibson City after that line was purchased.
|Locomotive Number||Locomotive Model||Notes|
|BLOL 1||Plymouth Locomotive Works DE 12-ton||Lettered for Alliance Grain, BLOL's parent company|
|BLOL 7504||EMD GP10 (GP9 Rebuild)||Ex-BLOL 704 < SPCX 704 < OHCR 704 < MSRC 1083 < GMSR 8222 < Illinois Central Gulf 8222 < née Illinois Central 9222|
|BLOL 7549||EMD GP10 (GP9 Rebuild)||Retains high hood. Ex-Conrail 7549 < CR 7343 < Penn Central 7515 < New York Central 7515 < née NYC 5943|
|BLOL 7561||EMD GP10 (GP9 Rebuild)||Ex-Conrail 7561 < CR 7402 < Penn Central 7402 < New York Central 7402 < née NYC 6002|
|BLOL 7591||EMD GP9||Has a short hood. Ex-Burlington Northern 1949 < née Northern Pacific 370|
|LTEX 3801||EMD GP38-2||Leased from Larry's Truck and Electric. Heritage unknown.|
|LTEX 3802||EMD GP38-2||Leased from Larry's Truck and Electric. Rebuilt from EMD GP35 of Missouri Pacific heritage. Initially rebuilt to GP35M by Wisconsin Central Limited.|