Lincoln service speed limit increased

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George Harris

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*the 79mph speed limit. I've heard that Illinois Central passenger trains often operated around 100mph.
First, the current Chicago to St. Louis route was GM&O, previously Alton Route and never had a speed limit faster than 79 mph. However, I have heard that the GM&O was known to allow some fudging on speed limits where conditions permitted.

Second, there was a section of the ICRR in Illinois that had a passenger train speed limit of 100 mph. I don't know the limits of this section otherwise than "in Illinois". Much of the remaining ICRR mainline did have a 79 mph limit, and if the train was on time it was generally observed. If the train was late, at least if the premier trains, which were the Panama Limited, City of New Orleans, and City of Miami, where the engineer felt reasonable to do so, he would likely go faster. Remember these were the days of relatively short crew districts and men at the top of the seniority roster, so they knew their track well and had no intention of doing anything stupid. A random thought here, I recall in one discussion at the time, the average age of these guys on top passenger trains was around 70.
 
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TC_NYC

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I've only ridden the CHI-STL corridor once but one thing that really surprised me is how the trains had to pull into a siding and then reverse out. This is the only route that I've ever experienced this on. Have they at least fixed this?
 

George Harris

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This speed limit table from 1960 shows 100 mph between Champaign and Branch Jct (Centralia). That's 120+ miles with hardly any curves.
CLASSIC HIGH SPEED
Considering that the St. Louis line is being "gussied up" with continuous welded rail and concrete ties before these higher speeds are allowed it should be noted that the ICRR 100 mph limit was on tracks with jointed rails on timber ties throughout.
 

jpakala

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I've used the Chicago/Saint Louis trains a lot and never had backing up to exit a siding.
 

NES28

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Jan 18, 2019
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I've used the Chicago/Saint Louis trains a lot and never had backing up to exit a siding.
This used to be a frequent occurrence, before the IL DOT improvements to the track and signals on the sidings, as well as the additional ones.
 

Cal

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According to Jeb Brook's Empire Builder video, they did that sometime in North Dakota or Montana. Can't remember which
 

AmtrakMaineiac

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I've used the Chicago/Saint Louis trains a lot and never had backing up to exit a siding.
That happened to us once on the Eastbound Downeaster when we had a 3 way meet with a Westbound passenger and Westbound freight, they put us in the siding behind the freight then we backed out after the other passenger had passed. Pretty slick actually.

I have heard that freights often do this even on double ended non CTC sidings to avoid having the conductor walk the length of the train to throw the switch to exit the siding.
 
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