Jim Witten and I made a railfan trip out to Western Kentucky in May of 1998. Our final destination was Fulton. By this time IC Industries had sold off many of its tributary lines. The Kentucky Division was now the Paducah & Louisville. The famed Paducah locomotive shop was now operated by VMV. Most of the GM&O was chopped up into short lines or abandoned. After 1987 the “Gulf” was removed, and the name reverted back to Illinois Central. What we found was a prosperous looking operation.
1. IC 6032-6102 are stopped with a southbound freight near the yard office awaiting a crew. SD40-2 6032 was the last new locomotive ordered by ICG in 1975. IC 6102 came from the Burlington Northern. 05-23-1998. IC Fulton KY.
2. IC “GP40Rs” 3133-3113 roll in with s/b intermodal IO-03 (Chicago to New Orleans). There’s a big cut of grain on the front. Many of these rebuilt GP40s came from Rock Island. IC Fulton KY.
3. 20 SD70s purchased in 1995 were the latest thing on IC. IC 1016. Fulton KY.
4. Sometime after the last shot this duo got turned around! I don’t remember how, but with the Bluford Junction wye in the background it is possible. Why they wanted to turn these units is beyond me. Perhaps the toilet didn’t work! IC 1016. Fulton KY.
5. IC proved you can do something tasteful with a black paint scheme. IC 1008. Fulton KY.
6. Beats a horse on the nose! IC 1016. Fulton KY.
7. IC 1008-1016 dig in leaving town with northbound GECR (Geismar LA to Effingham IL – Conrail). IC Fulton KY.
8. IC 1008. Fulton KY.
9. I should have wiped the dust off the slide. IC 1008. View 2. Fulton KY.
10. IC 6034-6137 wait on North Siding with a s/b Bluford District grain train. The sand and fuel facility are still in use. IC Fulton KY.
11. IC 6034. Fulton KY.
12. You will notice that the Cairo District no longer extends south of Fulton toward Jackson. You will also notice that NS trains have to communicate with Fulton yard. West Tennessee Railroad now owns/operates the former ICG between Fulton and Corinth MS. NS has trackage or haulage rights. NS also has this arrangement over CN to northern connections including St. Louis. IC Cairo Bluford Dist.
13. The s/b Cairo Local pulls in behind IC “GP11s” 8713-8709. IC Fulton KY.
14. IC 6015-6121 arrive with s/b ESME (East St. Louis to Memphis). IC Fulton KY.
15. The yard job has IC 8416-8722. IC Fulton KY.
16. Operation Lifesaver “GP10” bears the subletter CCP. Chicago Central & Pacific became IC’s lines toward Iowa. They are now back in the CN fold. The appearance of these IC locos is a tremendous improvement over the ICG days! IC 8416-8722. Fulton KY.
17. JACH (Jackson MS to Markham Yard, Chicago) pulls to a stop behind IC 6052-6120. I like these Conrail-style train designations...easy to figure out. IC Fulton KY.
18. The Memphis crew gets off. IC 6120. Fulton KY.
19. IC 6120 is ex-BN. IC Fulton KY.
20. Its getting into the early evening when this northbound pulls in behind IC 1014-1010-3123-3135. I noted it as possibly IO-06 but it could have been New Orleans-Chicago IO-02. IC Fulton KY.
21. This train won’t tarry long. IC 1014-1010. Fulton KY.
22. IC gon 25008 with a C&O logo! IC Fulton KY.
23. This Trinity built gon looks sharp! IC 246015. 05-23-1998. Fulton KY.
We found a motel in expectations for a good day tomorrow.