Illinois Railroads (IL)

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Chicago Area

9/30/14 - (from a CARMA contributor) - The source of the frequently reported interference on AAR Channel 73 (161.205 MHz) has been located. It is the Norfolk Southern Railroad transmitting from a 180 foot tower with 280 watts ERP located at Columbus Avenue and Maplewood Avenue in Chicago. It is used by the NS Police, the channel is NXDN and it is encrypted. I can hear the channel as far west as Oswego and north in Buffalo Grove and beyond.

In the center of the US, connecting the different companies, is Chicago (see RailChicago): the largest US rail gateway. The Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad WikiPedia and the Belt Railway of Chicago. WikiPedia Without them, traffic would come to a halt. Both switching railroads sort this mess out every day and keep traffic moving.

Railroad Companies

Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (NEIRC)

  • The 495-mile Metra system serves 230 stations in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry and Kane.

Metra Commuter Rail

Metra Police / Public Safety

  • History
  • Travelers Information Stations on 1630 AM located in: University Park (Will), Naperville (Du Page), Mokena (Will), Northfield (Cook), Roselle (Du Page)
  • 457.375 Repeater 151.4 PL Mobile Extenders (former use)

Northeast IL Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (METRA)

  • 150.89 (repeats 153.515) (NFM, NXDN) - at Chicago Union Station WQXZ480


  • Routes and frequencies On Line On Track Amtrak page
  • Train personnel usually use the frequencies for the track owner they are running on, in a particular area
  • Chicago Union Station: add 160.170 and 161.265 repeaters, 161.565 portables and 173.325 mobiles WPCT556. Also, 157.6575 mobiles KCN544.
  • Lumber Street Yard (Chicago): add 161.535 portables WRYT333, 159.900 repeater, w/159.585 input (NFM/NXDN) KVU343
  • Licensed for multiple other frequencies at the Lumber Street yard in Chicago KNFX766
  • Bases on 218.425, 218.725, 218.775 (NFM Digital / NXDN Data) WQLD446

Chicago Union Station

  • 461.7375, 464.4625 4w ERP repeaters (NFM, DMR) WQRC885


  • Corwith Yard (3526 W 43rd St, Chicago) - 461.250, 464.275 repeaters (NFM, NXDN) WPLG303
  • Corwith Yard (4231 S Hamlin Ave, Chicago) - TTX ATMC 159.690 (repeats 154.540, NFM/DMR) WRYV992
  • BNSF Agents have a number of (encrypted) talkgroups on STARCOM21.
  • All Agents at BNSF have VHF/UHF radios (either APX7000s, APX NEXT or a UHF portable). Those radios have all 13 Zones and 7 Citywide frequencies. Most often you will hear BNSF on Zone 6 or Zone 10. The UHF radios have many other municipalities who are on UHF. In addition, the UHF radios have Metro 1-6, the U-TAC channels and a few CTA frequencies.
  • The VHF portables have ISPERN, IREACH, ESMARN, local municipalities, the VHF Interop channels, three fireground channels and of course the 97 AAR channels.
  • BNSF also has a VHF repeater on 161.205 but it is not used much anymore since the NS Police are also on that frequency with their powerhouse NXDN transmitter.


  • CSX Police is using STARCOM21 talkgroups 35105-35108 (2/2022)
  • 457.425 portables (40 kmra Bedford Park), 454.0 repeater (2101 W 59th St, Chicago - 5w) (NFM) WRDW886

Union Pacific Railroad

Global 1 Intermodal Facility (1425 S. Western Avenue, Chicago)

  • 463.3 repeater (D703): H&M International Transportation: Terminal Operations? WRCF791

Proviso Yard, Global II Intermodal Facility (Northlake, IL)

  • 160.815 repeater (28w ERP), repeats 160.41 (NFM, NXDN) WRMP987

Metro East St Louis

  • Madison and St Clair Counties have many railroads that cross in from St Louis MO (and coming from Chicago)
  • St Clair County Railroad Wiki Page

There is another major rail center located in East St. Louis, with switching operations by Terminal Railroad Association (Class III with 2 Mississippi bridges) WikiPedia Info Map

TRRA owns and operates Madison Yard, the largest classification/switching yard in the St. Louis region. Consists of 80 inbound, outbound, and holding tracks with a capacity of 2,200 cars. The company is planning to expand Madison Yard to hold another 1,500 railcars, for a yard total of 4,000. Owned by BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway (Illinois Central until 1999), CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, and Union Pacific Railroad. All own one-seventh of the railroad except UP, which owns three-sevenths.

The railroad operates 30 locomotives to move cars around the yard, deliver cars to local industries, and ready trains for departure.

Regional and Shortline


Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad

  • 161.3475 (repeats 160.5075) at Pingree Grove, Davis Junction and Harper IL WPMF611
  • 161.3475 (repeats 160.5075) at Savanna IL WPMF610
  • 161.3475 (repeats 160.5075) at Genoa IL WQXQ542

Decatur and Eastern Illinois Railroad (DREI) Facebook WATCO RailFan wiki Union Pacific Customer info

D&EI (reporting marks DREI) operates two lines acquired form CSX Transportation, and one acquired from NS:

  • DREI Danville Subdivision: Danville, IL to Terre Haute, IN (ex-NYC)
  • DREI Decatur Subdivision: Decatur, IL to Hillsdale, IN (ex-B&O)
  • DREI Charleston Subdivision: Metcalf to Neoga (Eastern Illinois RR, ex-Nickel Plate / Clover Leaf)
  • 160.200 WRCK797 M DREI 160.2 Operations 06 (Paris, Metcalf) FMN
  • 151.670 WRCK797 M DREI 151.67 Operations (Paris) FMN
  • 151.730 WRCK797 M DREI 151.73 Operations (Tuscola) FMN
  • 153.050 WRCK797 M DREI 153.05 Operations (Decatur) FMN
  • 153.125 WRCK797 M DREI 153.125 Operations (Tuscola) FMN
  • 153.185 WRCK797 M DREI 153.185 Operations (Decatur) FMN
  • 153.275 WRCK797 M DREI 153.275 Operations (Metcalf) FMN
  • 153.440 WRCK797 M DREI 153.44 Operations (Decatur) FMN
  • 153.5825 WRCK797 M DREI 153.5825 Operations (Metcalf) FMN
  • 153.635 WRCK797 M DRE I153.635 Operations (Tuscola) FMN
  • 158.280 WRCK797 M DREI 158.28 Operations (Decatur) FMN
  • 158.415 WRCK797 M DREI 158.415 Operations (Tuscola) FMN
  • 159.825 WRCK797 M DREI 159.825 Operations (Paris) FMN Business
  • 160.1175 WRCK797 M DREI 160.1175 Operations (Metcalf) FMN
  • 160.125 WRCK797 M DREI 160.125 Operations (Paris) FMN

Metro East St Louis

Alton and Southern

Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA)

  • Switching and terminal railroad in the metro St. Louis area, serving local customers and connecting BNSF, CN (ex-IC), CSX, NS and UP, as well as KCS. See Illinois Railroads

The Prairie Line Facebook Railfan Wiki

  • 640 Pierce Blvd, Ste 100, O'Fallon IL; FCC FRN 0033316589 (no other licenses found)
  • Provides Rail Switching Services, Logistics and route planning/optimization, Strategy that encompasses the entire transportation approach in the supply chain, Track Maintenance, Container/Car Repair

Industrial Site/Real Estate Development, Owns and operates its own fleet of locomotives with a broad range of power for any facility type.

  • 50-25W mobiles on 451.8, 456.8, 464.55, 469.55, 456.8125 (NFM Nationwide) for Track Maintenance WRWB972 Issued 1/23

Metro East Industries (E St Louis) See St Clair County IL Businesses See St Clair County IL Railroads

  • 151.6625 153.245 WPKW387 RM 446 DPL MetroEast Industries FMN
  • 151.7875 WPKW387 BM 114 DPL MetroEast Industries FMN
  • 153.365 WPKW387 M 516 DPL MetroEast Industries FMN
Frequency  Input   
License  Type  Tone  Alpha Tag  Description  Mode  Tag 
151.66250  153.24500   WPKW387   RM  446 DPL  MetroEast Ind B Railroad Services  FMN  Business 
151.78750      WPKW387   BM  114 DPL  MetroEast Ind A Railroad Services  FMN  Business 
153.36500      WPKW387   516 DPL  MetroEast Ind C Railroad Services  FMN  Business 

Related Businesses

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