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Decatur Area Railroad

US > Illinois > Macon (County)

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Decatur Area Railroad

This feed is designed to broadcast NS Road and yard operations in and near Decatur, IL, as well as CSX and CN in town.
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Feed Notes

Decatur, Illinois Railroad Feed

AAR Channels monitored:

About Decatur:

Decatur is home to 3 major Class I railroads today. Decatur was once served by the Wabash, Illinois Central, Baltimore & Ohio, Pennsylvania Railroad, and the Illinois Terminal. Today, Norfolk Southern is the largest railroad in town, with CSX and Canadian National holding a few small switching operations. Customers in Decatur for this rail traffic include ADM and Tate & Lyle, both of which process agricultural products. NS has a massive flat switching yard, which is split into two parts, the eastbound and the westbound side. Each side operates on its own channel. The westbound yard is under control of the East Decatur yard master, and the eastbound yard is under control of the Brush yard master. ADM is also the biggest rail customer for NS. ADM has 2 plants along the old IT main (now NS). NS's ADM operations can be heard on a separate channel. The IT main connects to the Lafayette District main #2 at Brush, and follows Faries Parkway and Garfield Ave past ADM East and West Plant, and across 22nd St to North Yard.

The NS mainlines run the former Wabash routes out of Decatur. The Springfield-Hannibal District runs straight west from Wabic (for WABash and Illinois Central crossing) through Springfield and Hannibal, MO towards Moberly, MO, and on further to Kansas City. The Brooklyn District branches south, running double track from Mosser (just west of Wabic) to Granite City via Taylorville and LItchfield. The Brooklyn District dispatcher can be heard issuing track authorities to train proceeding between BD Junction, just south of Decatur, to Winston, which is the BNSF Beardstown crossing in Litchfield. Heading east out of Decatur, the Lafayette District runs from Decatur to Peru, IN, and also includes a small branch to Frankfort, IN, located on the west end of Lafayette, IN. The final road channel covers the Bloomington District, which branches off the Lafayette District about 12 miles or so east of Decatur, heads north to Gibson City, where it then turns west and heads towards Bloomington and Peoria.

The Canadian National has a small but lengthy yard running north-south near the center of town. A few trains a day run into town on the CN, and they cross the NS past the south end of the CN yard at Wabic. Occasionally, CN brings in a coal train to ADM East Plant. CN runs south towards Mattoon and Effingham, and northwest to Peoria. CSX has a small yard located southwest of Tate & Lyle and north of Rt 36. Only a couple trains come in and out on the CSX. NS interchanges once daily with the CSX at Wabic.

Regular traffic that can be heard during the day include 33J, 255 and 256 Triple Crown road railers, as well as a 398 late in the afternoon on the Springfield Hannibal District. 31N heads south from Decatur early in the morning, followed by 301 later, then 181 in the evening, usually when 32Q and 302 arrive. 21A or 21T are the double stack trains out of Harrisburg, PA. These seem to have no set schedule, but they will either go south on the Brooklyn or west to Moberly. 15E is usually an early morning train from Elkhart to UP's Dupo Yard in St. Louis via Peru and Decatur. Occasionally, coal trains off the Monterey Branch near Carlinville can be heard coming up the Brooklyn. 402/404 are loads, 403/405 are empties. 404/405 goes to ADM in Decatur, and 402/403 continues past Decatur and up to the IAIS in Peoria, destined for Cedar Rapids, IA.


My radio receiver is a Whistler handheld scanner, WS1010, using an additional dual band antenna. I have ordered new equipment to hopefully provide a larger listening area, as well as discover ways to increase audio quality. This feed most definitely is a work in progress.