Joliet Junction Railroad
The Joliet Junction Railroad was a 6-mile long short line freight railroad that operated in the Joliet, Illinois area from 1994 until 1999.
The line, which ran between Crest Hill, Illinois and Rockdale, Illinois, was a former branch line of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway, which had been out of service since 1991, after a fire severely damaged a wooden trestle.
In 1994, Minooka, Illinois businessman Donald L. "Don" Bachman, who owned a locomotive-rebuilding company called Relco, founded the Joliet Junction Railroad, acquiring its trackage from the EJ&E, which had sought to abandon it after the fire. Bachman learned that it would cost $90,000 to replace the bridge, plus significantly more for other expenses to bring the line up to code. As a result, he applied for and received a $390,000 loan from the Illinois Department of Transportation to fund additional improvements.
The Joliet Junction Railroad ceased operations in the summer of 1999. Bachman and Relco then sold the trackage for $467,424 to the Forest Preserve District of Will County, which created a bike path, called the Joliet Junction bike trail, over the former right-of-way.
- Shnay, Jerry (June 22, 1994). "New business rail line set to roll into operation soon". Chicago Tribune. p. 3.
- Young, David (December 13, 1994). "Long and short of short lines - Tiny railroads extend their reach, taking over track left by big operations". Chicago Tribune. p. 1.
- "Bike path to run along former rail spur - Theodore to U.S. 6: Completion expected by early 2002". Herald-News (Joliet, Illinois). November 29, 2000.