UP St. Louis Service Unit About
St. Louis Service Unit, a Synopsis
Union Pacific's St. Louis Service unit is comprised of 17 main and branch lines in Illinois and Missouri. Stretching from Yard Center in Chicago to the
north, Dexter, MO to the south, Salem, IL to the east and Jefferson City, MO to the west. These lines are predominantly old Missouri Pacific lines with the
exception of the Bloomington and Springfield Subdivisions. This line was Southern Pacific's SPCSL line (SP-Chicago-St. Louis), which originally belonged to
the Chicago & Alton Railway, later Illinois Central Gulf, and then short-lived regional railroad Chicago, Missouri & Western. This route has received
government funding for high-speed rail, hosting 10 Amtrak trains daily; eight Lincoln Service trains (four each direction) between St. Louis and Chicago and
two Texas Eagle trains (one each direction) between Chicago and San Antonio, TX. Once a decrepit line devoid of maintenance, this corridor was completely
overhauled, with over 250 miles of concrete ties, fresh ballast, new rail, signals, and now even decorative fencing on both sides of the tracks to prevent
trespassers from wandering in front of an Amtrak train travelling at 110 MPH. In addition to the Amtrak trains, UP uses this line as a priority corridor for
intermodal traffic to and from the new Global IV intermodal terminal in Joliet, IL.
One of the largest sources of business on the St. Louis Service Unit has always been coal transloading along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. In recent
years, the coal industry has shrunk considerably with the departure from fossil fuels and the push for clean energy. However, Union Pacific still operates
coal trains from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to coal transload terminals at Cook (Metropolis, IL) on the Ohio River and Cora (Rockwood, IL) on the
Mississippi River. In addition, coal trains for electric utilities are delivered to AEP at West Labadie, MO, TVA at Chiles, KY, and Calvert City,
KY (delivered by PAL), Electric Energy at Joppa, IL, and NIPSCO at Wheatfield, IN (on Norfolk Southern). Currently, there is one active coal mine in the
southern Illinois coal fields on the the UP system. Peabody Coal's Coulterville Coal Company Gateway Mine in Coulterville, IL. This mine almost exclusively
serves NIPSO's (Northern Indiana Public Service Co.) Wheatfield, IN power plant with several trains per week. On a smaller scale, Gateway Mine also supplies
unit coal trains to Ingredion (formerly Corn Products) in Summit, IL, a suburb of Chicago, to power their massive food refinery complex. With the
diminishing coal indsutry, the St. Louis Service Unit has supplemented it's traffic volume with an increase in intermodal traffic. The opening of
Centerpoint Logistic's Global IV (also known as JIT - Joliet Intermodal Terminal) in Joliet, IL has generated many new intermodal trains serving southern
California, Houston, TX, and Dallas, TX. In addition the ramps at Yard Center (Dolton Intermodal), and Dupo move traffic to the same locations, as well as
across the border to Mexico.
One of the largest commodities on the service though, is the automotive business. UP has invested in Salem, IL as the hub for finished automobiles and auto
parts. The yard at Salem underwent a massive expansion project in 2015 and then transitioned to remote control operations in 2016. Salem gathers UP
automotive traffic from Yard Center and St. Louis (Alton & Southern Railroad) as well as interchange traffic from CSX at St. Elmo, IL, CN at Kinmundy, IL,
and NS at Sidney, IL. These carloads are then reclassified and trains originated for Spring (Houston), TX, Kirby (San Antonio), TX and Arlington (Ft.
Among other commodities, the rest of the traffic on the service unit is filled out with general freight moving south from Chicago to Little Rock, AR, Kansas
City and points beyond, as well as grain from the hundreds of midwestern grain elevators to feed mills in the south, and frac sand for the fracturing
process in the production of petroleum products. The list of UP train schedules in this section lists all scheduled trains that origiante, terminate or
traverse the service unit. Unit trains, such as coal and sand that are scheduled and run between the same two points, run regularly, or are contractually
binding, are listed. Other unit trains, such as grain, are not listed as many symbols are simply one-off versions.
The following is a list of the mainline, secondary mainlines and branch lines included in the St. Louis Service Unit timetable, followed by a brief
description of the line;
--Chester Sub - Mainline from St. Louis so to Dexter, MO and eventually N. Little Rock, AR.
--DeSoto Sub - "Buffalo Trail" secondary mainline south from St. Louis to Poplar Bluff, MO.
--Jefferson City Sub - Mainline from St. Louis west to its namesake town and connections to Kansas City.
--Joliet Sub - Former SPCSL mainline, along with the Springfield sub that connect St. Louis and Global 4, Joliet and Chicago.
--Marion Sub - Connects the Mt. Vernon Sub south to the Ohio River at Paducah, KY
--Mt. Vernon Sub - Running south out of Salem, IL connecting with the Chester Sub at Gorham, IL.
--Pana Sub - Mainline which connects St. Louis with Chicago, in conjunction with the Villa Grove Sub.
--Springfield Sub - Former SPCSL mainline, along with the Joliet sub that connect St. Louis and Global 4, Joliet and Chicago.
--Villa Grove Sub - Mainline which connects St. Louis with Chicago, in conjunction with the Villa Grove Sub.
--Pinckneyville Sub - Secondary mainline connecting the Mt. Vernon Sub at Mt. Vernon to the Chester Sub at Chester.
--Salem Sub - Mainline connecting the Pana Sub at Findlay to Salem Yard and southern connections.
--New Madrid Sub - BNSF trackage used to Lilbourn, MO where this connector sub runs to Intercounty Electric at New Madrid, MO
--Pea Ridge Sub (OOS) - Now known as the Cadet Industrial Lead, this line once served a quarry at Pea Ridge, MO.
--Pequot Sub (OOS) - formerly connected to "Mazonia" just north of Gardner, IL to the ATSF at Pequot, IL. Now used for storage.
--Sikeston Sub - Connects the mainline at Dexter, MO to the BNSF at Sikeston, MO.
--Sparta Sub - Serves Peabody Coal's Coulterville Coal Company Gateway Mine at Coulterville, IL
--Monterey Sub (OOS) - Formerly served the Monterey mine.
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