BRC Timeline

Cool Timeline


The 59th Street Branch Central Avenue crossing enhanced. In addition to removing the existing crossing and replacing it, the project included gauging curves and de-stressing rail. Gauging requires removing spikes, plugging and bringing rail back to the appropriate distance apart.


Classification yard was enhanced with Clearance Track Circuit technology as part of an ongoing project.


Belt Police drives Illinois Rail Safety Week partnering with more than 300 state, local, county and railroad law enforcement agencies.


Belt employee achieve world-class safety with a frequency/severity ratio of less than 1.


BRC locomotive fleet grows with new ECO locomotives. Known as 230 locomotives, they now include locomotive 230 to 237.


American Association of Railroad Superintendents recognized Mike Paras, general manager transportation, with the prestigious Leadership Award at the 117th annual meeting in Newark, N.J.


Engineering Department employees completed much needed repairs to the 80th Street bridge.


New flat screen monitors that display dispatcher screens from all major railroads in the Chicago area went into service. Three 46-inch monitors display traffic from BNSF, Norfolk Southern and Canadian National. Several small flat screens display traffic from Union Pacific, CSX and Indiana Harbor Belt lines.


$3 million project replaced the bridge over four-lane street traffic on West Ogden Avenue, east of the intersection of West Ogden Avenue and West 26th Street. The current structure was about 100 years old.


$54 million to be spent on improvements tie and rail replacement; turnout replacement; interlocking resignaling; bridge replacement and repair; retarder replacement; air system upgrades; installation of remote and power switches; roadway machine replacement; Digicon dispatching upgrades.


The clearing yards have more than 298 miles of track.  Belt Railway is one of the largest intermediate switching terminal railroads in the United States and employs more than 500 people.  Belt employees handle an average of 6,900 cars and hump an average of 3,000 cars each day.  


Belt Railway’s engineers completed redesign and rebuild the track.


Facilities enlarged and terminal classification yards outside of city limits placed.  Learning of the expansion plans, seven additional railroads bought stock in the company.  Construction began at a small rail yard in the Industrial District that had handled small-scale switching jobs.  


Five major railroads; Louisville, New Albany and Chicago Railway; Chicago and Atlantic Railway; Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad; Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway and the Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway; signed leases to use Belt Railway’s tracks and terminal.


John B. Brown, a real estate promoter, convinced Western Indiana Railroad to charter the project and built a series of connecting railroads that formed a “belt line,” linking every major railroad in the city.