Joliet Junction Railroad

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The Joliet Junction Railroad was a six-mile long short line freight railroad that operated in the Joliet, Illinois, area from 1994 until 1999.


The line, which ran between Crest Hill 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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[2] As a result, he applied for and received a $390,000 loan from the Illinois Department of Transportation to fund additional improvements.[2]


The Joliet Junction Railroad ceased operations in the summer of 1999.[3] 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.[3]


The Joliet Junction connected local shippers with the national railroad network at two connection points: with the EJ&E at Crest Hill, Illinois, and with CSX Transportation at Rockdale, Illinois.[1]


  1. ^ a b Shnay, Jerry (June 22, 1994). "New business rail line set to roll into operation soon". Chicago Tribune. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b c 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.
  3. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.

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