Suburban Skyview: Unusual maintenance-of-way equipment works on railroad

  • An unusual consist of maintenance-of-way equipment passes through Shermer, Union Pacific's busy freight junction with Canadian Pacific on the border of Northbrook and Glenview.

      An unusual consist of maintenance-of-way equipment passes through Shermer, Union Pacific's busy freight junction with Canadian Pacific on the border of Northbrook and Glenview. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/8/2022 5:00 PM

An unusual consist of railroad equipment recently passed through Shermer, an important junction of Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific freight lines on the border of Glenview and Northbrook.

Assigned to maintenance-of-way service, Union Pacific's website touts the equipment, as "part tie pickup, part brush cutter, part ditch cleaner." A heavily modified locomotive powers the consist.

 

The high-tech equipment is part of its Scrap Material Recycling Team, according to the railroad.

Trackwork is taking place on the Union Pacific Milwaukee Subdivision between Elk Grove Village through Des Plaines, Glenview and Northbrook.

Installed several years ago, the bridge the equipment is passing over replaced one that was destroyed on July 4, 2012, when a northbound coal train derailed and the bridge collapsed. Tragically, a Glenview couple driving under the bridge were killed in the derailment.

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