Does anybody have any operating information on the Bloomer Shippers Line Railroad in central Illinois? I want to do some rail fanning and photography of this little line but never can seem to catch any action on the rails....... Perhaps maybe Mike Deberg knows something about this operation, as he is from nearby Bloomington, Illinois. Thanks to all in advance......
I live just south of Gibson City and I took these in August 2002. These diesels were freshly painted. Paint scheme reminds me of the Burlington Route. Don’t know what they look like now. Very rare to see any action on the Bloomer which is the old Wabash mainline time Chicago.
Thanks for the pix N%W1218! I was down in Gibson City last Thursday, and was told by the guys at Alliance Grain in GC, that right now they are doing track work, and things should pick up by September for the grain rush. The line has some great photo spots for southbound trains at Charlotte, Cullom, Sibley, and at Strawn. I want to check out other spots on the line west of Risk. I look forward to railfanning this neat little line.
My agri-based in-laws live on a farm in Chatsworth and haul their harvested grain to the elevator in nearby Charlotte, IL, which is served by the BLOOMER line. Not much action on this small rural railroad, but traffic picks up at harvest time.
Because the route is on flat terrain with corn and soybean fields all around, there's no "scenery," so the BLOOMER couldn't be a money-maker as a part-time short line tourist railroad. Except for those who consider watching plants grow exciting.
If there were two or more vintage elevators served by this bloomin' road, and the virus ends its strafing run, so we can come out of our bomb shelters, and travel, l might ride it, even if not steam.
I'm not a big fan of slow passenger trains on flat territory. To get me out onto the plains for a train ride it would need to run for some distance at 40 MPH or better, unless the track had some significant meaning for me.
If this is part of the ex-Wabash Chicago-St.Louis main line, then yes, I'd buy a ticket. I rode the Banner Blue from Chicago to St.Louis on its last trip, in 1967.
I'm not sure what the class of track the former IC - ICG section is. If it's excepted track, it's a max 10 mph speed limit for freight, and revenue passenger trains can not be operated.
The former Wabash-NS section is most likely in better condition, where track class is concerned, but, I doubt the Bloomer would ever be interested in having a tourist train. Not with the Monticello Railway Museum located at Monticello, IL.
First off, as a tourist line, that is a not going to happen scenario. The Bloomer Line is operated by the Alliance Grain Company out of Gibson City, Illinois, and having talked to the G.M. about operations, they have enough on their plate, without operating a railfan tourist line. And the track is 10 MPH.....