Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway

Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway


System map
EJ&E (red) and Canadian National Railway (blue) as of 2008
Reporting mark EJE
Locale Chicago and environs
Dates of operation January 1, 1889–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)
Headquarters Gary, Indiana

The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway (reporting mark EJE) is a Class II railroad that operates in the suburbs surrounding Chicago. The railroad is a link between Class I railroads in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. Nicknames for the railroad include "The J" and "The Chicago Outer Belt Line".

On September 26, 2007, the Canadian National Railway announced it plans to purchase a majority of the EJ&E, leaving only a small stretch of track in Indiana which will be reorganized as the Gary Railway. The purchase was approved on December 24, 2008 by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, and the deal was consummated effective February 1, 2009.[1]



The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern was created when several local railroads in Illinois and Indiana merged throughout the end of the 19th century. The original systems that would make up the EJ&E included the Joliet, Aurora & Northern Railway (which dates back to 1884) and Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company of Illinois. The Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway began operations on December 4, 1888 through the merger of these two systems.[citation needed] After the creation of the modern day EJ&E the railroad expanded by purchasing several other smaller lines including the Waukegan & Southwestern Railway; Gardner, Coal City & Northern Railway; Western Indiana Railroad; and the Chicago, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway.[citation needed]

The EJ&E moved to serve industries in the Hammond-East Chicago-Whiting industrial district by acquiring trackage rights in 1894. However, construction of the present line to Gary, Whiting and South Chicago was initiated in 1899 by the Griffith and Northern Railway. Connections with the Chicago, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway and the Western Indiana Railway further penetrated the district, although the EJ&E subsequently acquired both lines. In 1901, United States Steel Corporation purchased the railroad.

The railroad's passenger services began with the start of operations in January 1889.[2] The railroad stopped operating passenger trains in 1907,[3] but continued passenger service until 1909. During those two years, passengers would be transported by caboose.[4]

In 1988, United States Steel and the Blackstone Group formed Transtar Inc. to serve as a shareholder of the EJ&E and several other affiliated railroads and companies. In March 2001, the Blackstone Group ended their ownership interest in Transtar, resulting in its becoming a fully owned subsidiary of United States Steel.

On May 16, 2006, the EJ&E was the recipient of the 2005 Bronze E. H. Harriman Award for employee safety in group C (line-haul railroads with less than 4 million employee hours per year).[5]

Canadian National

On September 10, 2007, Crain's Chicago Business reported that the Canadian National Railway was in talks to purchase the EJ&E.[6] In 2004, Canadian National had acquired two railroads, the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad and the Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad, that also previously been owned by Transtar, but that at the time CN acquired them were owned by Great Lakes Transportation, LLC, a Blackstone Group subsidiary created when USS became the sole owner of Transtar). The purchase agreement was officially announced on September 26; CN would purchase the majority of the line. The purchase was initially expected to close in mid-2008, valued at $300 million.

In fact, the closing did not take place until January 31, 2009 (effective February 1, 2009), following regulatory approval of the purchase by the Surface Transportation Board on December 24, 2008.[7][8][9] Canadian National plans to use the EJ&E to route trains around Chicago, where they now face lengthy delays because of congestion in the busy rail hub.

In accordance with its agreement with CN, Transtar retained some railroad infrastructure in Gary, Indiana; this infrastructure has been reorganized as the Gary Railway to continue serving U.S. Steel's plants there.[10][11]

On Tuesday, March 10, 2009, the first two Canadian National trains debuted on the Elgin, Joliet, & Eastern, with plans to run six trains per day on the lines in the near future.[12]

Motive power

At the time of the railroad's sale, the EJ&E's roster[13] consisted of:

Image Locomotive Model Quantity Road Numbers Notes
EJE Yellow SW1200.PNG EMD SW1200 23 300-307, 310-324
EJE 446 EMD SW1001.jpg EMD SW1001 3 444-446
EMD NW2 1 450 Ex-Lake Terminal Railroad, paired with yard slug T2.
EJE SW1500.PNG EMD SW1500 1 460 Ex-Southern Pacific.
EMD SD18 5 615-616, 818, 851-852 #818 upgraded to SD18U.
EJE Engine Trio.PNG EMD SD38 2 650, 654
EJ&E SD38.png EMD SD38-2 20 656-675 Several upgraded to "-2/3" status.
EJ&E 703.JPG EMD GP38-2 1 703 Purchased in 1972. Sold to Birmingham Southern Railroad in 1987. Repurchased in 1996.
EMD SDM 6 804, 809-811, 813-815 Ex-Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. Rebuilt from EMD SD9s in 1990.


The EJ&E connects the following cities and large towns:

See also

Belt Railway Company of Chicago


  1. ^ http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090201/cn_deal_090102/20090201?hub=Canada&s_name=
  2. ^ p.246 Sanders, Craig Limiteds, Locals and Expresses in Indiana 1838-1971 2003 University of Indiana Press
  3. ^ p.14 Jaenicke, Paul W & Eisenbrandt , Ralph Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway 2007 Arcadia Publishing
  4. ^ http://www.ejearchive.com/page_faq.html#123
  5. ^ Association of American Railroads (reprinted by Norfolk Southern Railway) (2006-05-16). "Railroads Set Another Employee Safety Record in 2005". Archived from the original on 2007-02-13. http://web.archive.org/web/20070213232521/http://www.nscorp.com/nscorp/application;JSESSIONID_nscorp=E0D2wDZLZ8t844Gn6WZDlSVqmCEM2UEJtEicpNZ1tBcpy4wFlISk!-1862265230?origin=content.jsp&event=bea.portal.framework.internal.refresh&pageid=NS+News&contentId=english/nscorp/news/whats_new/whats_new/news051606.html. Retrieved 2006-05-24. 
  6. ^ Tita, Bob (2007-09-10). "Rail deal offers city a remedy". Crain's Chicago Business. http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/article.pl?article_id=28393&bt=Canadian+National&arc=n&searchType=. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  7. ^ "SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD APPROVES CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY'S ACQUISITION OF ELGIN, JOLIET & EASTERN RAILWAY" (Press release). United States Surface Transportation Board. December 24, 2008. http://www.stb.dot.gov/__85256593004F576F.nsf/0/37278E04696F2177852575290058EDF0?OpenDocument. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ Dowd, Allan (December 24, 2008). "Regulators OK CN deal for EJ&E, with conditions". Reuters UK. http://uk.reuters.com/article/americasDealsNews/idUKTRE4BN45C20081224. Retrieved January 4, 2009. 
  9. ^ Sturgeon, Jamie (December 26, 2008). "Canadian National Railway gets its wish, but pays for it". Financial Post. http://www.financialpost.com/news/story.html?id=1115975. Retrieved January 4, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "CN Railway to buy EJ&E line for $300 million". Reuters. 2007-09-26. http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSN2625746620070926. Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  11. ^ "CN to acquire key operations of Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway for US$300 million" (Press release). Canadian National Railway. 2007-09-26. http://cn.ca/about/media/news_releases/2007/3rd_quarter/en_News20070926.shtml. Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  12. ^ "Canadian National Railway trains to debut on Elgin, Joliet & Eastern line Tuesday". Chicago Tribune. March 10, 2009. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/mar/10/local/chi-cn-railroad-10-mar10. Retrieved March 20, 2009. 
  13. ^ http://www.ejearchive.com/page_dieselroster.html

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