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The Illinois Railway, a subsidiary of Omnitrax, commenced operations on May 1, 2005 after purchasing the Illinois Railnet from owner North American Railnet. Illinois Railway operates four separate ex-BNSF lines in Northern Illinois.

The first line acquired, in 1997, runs 56.6 miles south from a connection with the BNSF from Montgomery, IL, along the Fox River to Streator, IL. Traffic is primarily silica sand. The second line, acquired in 1999, runs 23.5 miles north from a connection with the BNSF at Flagg Center, IL, to Rockford, IL. Traffic is primarily scrap steel. The third line, acquired in 2004, runs 7 miles from Oregon to Mt. Morris, IL. Traffic is primarily silica sand at Oregon. The fourth line, also acquired in 2004, runs 17.6 miles from Zearing to La Salle, IL. The IR also has trackage rights on the BNSF from Flagg Center to Oregon, IL, from Montgomery to Zearing, IL, and Mongtomery to Eola, IL. The railroad interchanges with the BNSF at Flagg Center, Montgomery and Eola; CSXT & IAIS at Ottawa; and the IC&E & UP at Rockford.

Illinois Railnet was owned by North American Railnet Inc. which is headquartered in Bedford, Texas. It is a privately held company that operated four other Class 3 railroads in the U.S. They are the Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado RailNet; Camas Prairie RailNet; Georgia & Florida RailNet; and Mississippi & Tennessee Railnet. They also operate one Class 3 railroad in Canada, the Alberta RailNet.

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2000 JGKirchner
Revised January 06, 2006