KJRY Business/Traffic Questions

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KJRY Business/Traffic Questions

Unread postby rafter » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:01 pm

Hi all,

I have some questions about the Keokuk Junction railroad regarding traffic levels and the overall state of the railroad. First question I have is does anybody know the amount of annual traffic the KJRY oversees? I've seen a few different figures online ranging from 7,500 to over 12,000 (which is a pretty big gap). Just curious if anybody out there knows a solid annual traffic number

Second question(s) being the operations of the KJRY. Does the KJRY still operate a 24hr switcher at Keokuk for Roquette? Do they run daily or as-needed across the system? Is the track in good shape, or falling apart (from what pictures and videos show, it isn't in the best condition.

Third and last question, does anyone have access to an updated KJRY timetable? I have an old TP&W timetable from the 80s but I think that's pretty outdated.

Thanks in advance, any help is much appreciated.

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Re: KJRY Business/Traffic Questions

Unread postby bn13814 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:24 pm

rafter wrote:First question I have is does anybody know the amount of annual traffic the KJRY oversees? I've seen a few different figures online ranging from 7,500 to over 12,000 (which is a pretty big gap). Just curious if anybody out there knows a solid annual traffic number.


Main KJRY traffic sources:

- Switching inbound and outbound BNSF traffic at Roquette America's Keokuk plant.
- Corn shipped regularly from Sciota, Blandinsville and LaHarpe (and Burnside at times) to Roquette.
- Overhead traffic between Keokuk and Peoria area connections (TP&W, TZPR and UP are direct; most interchange is with Norfolk Southern via TZPR).

This figure may well amount to 12,000 or so if Roquette America traffic holds up, but declining demand for High Fructose Corn Syrup suggests carloads may not have held up as in past years. KJRY handled what may have amounted to several hundred carloads of spiral pipe for the Dakota Access Pipeline from mid-summer ato late-fall 2015. Traffic came off the Union Pacific at Sommer or Peoria and was hauled to a transloading site at Keokuk.

Second question(s) being the operations of the KJRY. Does the KJRY still operate a 24hr switcher at Keokuk for Roquette? Do they run daily or as-needed across the system? Is the track in good shape, or falling apart (from what pictures and videos show, it isn't in the best condition).


As far as I kmow, there are two Keokuk switch jobs which provide service seven days a week, 365 days a year. I'm not sure of on-duty times, but one is AM and the other PM. KJRY's LaHarpe Job runs Monday thru Friday with a late-AM departure from Keokuk (and mid- to late-afternoon return). The local based at Mapleton, seems to run westbound Mondays and Thursdays, and eastbound Tuesdays and Fridays with an East Peoria "flip" to make Peoria area connections following the eastbound trip. The Mapleton-based local may exchange traffic with the LaHarpe Job at Good Hope or LaHarpe. The Mapleton-based local switches one online customer, an Archer Daniels Midland Co. dog food ingredients plant in Bushnell.

Track condition varies with speeds of 10mph with some exceptions: Mapleton-Rawalts Jct. (20mph) and LaHarpe-Hamilton (20mph). It also seems that trains roll faster than 10mph under the bridge just west of Marietta.

Third and last question, does anyone have access to an updated KJRY timetable? I have an old TP&W timetable from the 80s but I think that's pretty outdated.


You may find one at memorabilia shows, like Grayland Station-sponsored shows in the Chicago area. You might even contact the railroad itself (actually, its parent, Pioneer Railcorp.) to see if they have any available.
Last edited by bn13814 on Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: KJRY Business/Traffic Questions

Unread postby AARR » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:18 am

Thanks for posting bn13814. I like this kind of info :) .

It's my understanding that overhead traffic is not very profitable for short lines. Any prospective new on-line customers for KJRY?
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Re: KJRY Business/Traffic Questions

Unread postby bn13814 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:37 pm

AARR wrote:Thanks for posting bn13814. I like this kind of info :) .

It's my understanding that overhead traffic is not very profitable for short lines. Any prospective new on-line customers for KJRY?


My overhead reference pertained to the ex-TP&W West End between LaHarpe and Hollis. KJRY originates the vast majority of it (Roquette America eastbound), so the carrier has some say in revenue requirements. Exceptions include scrap metal coming from UP at Peoria (direct) and NS (via TZPR) from time to time) to BNSF for delivery to Amsted Rail (Griffin Wheel Div.) in Keokuk. Recently, lube oil destined for another BNSF customer in Keokuk, Henniges Automotive, has been coming off the UP at Peoria (physical interchange is at or just south of Collier Yard in Bartonville). I'd assume these are profitable moves, however.

There have been several proposals that would have generated decent new business had they come to fruition. Most recently, the old Carter Lumber spur at Kolbe was cleared of storage cars and vegetation for a possible transload operation. But this project fizzled. Several years ago, a bio-diesel plant (completing with soybean crushing facilities) was planned for LaHarpe. Hitchcock Scrap Yard's decision to balk at the price of acquiring a stretch of BNSF trackage for a few miles south of Canton has prevented expansion and growth of that firm's business, and regular tonnage for the KJRY. Pacific Ethanol owns a small (37MGY) ethanol plant a few miles south, but it and prior owner, Aventine Renewable Energy, have never operated it.

KJRY's biggest drawback from an marketing and industrial development standpoint is that most of the carrier's mileage is in Illinois.
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Re: KJRY Business/Traffic Questions

Unread postby AARR » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:58 am

Thanks for the information, bn13184. Seems like you know about them. Hopefully you can update this thread periodically.
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