The Gateway Eastern Railway (reporting mark GWWE) is a railroad subsidiary of the Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS), owning a 17-mile (27 km) main line between East Alton and East St. Louis, Illinois, United States. Originally created in 1994 as a subsidiary of the Gateway Western Railway, which acquired the East St. Louis-Kansas City line of the Chicago, Missouri and Western Railway in 1990, it was acquired by KCS along with its parent in 1997.
|Headquarters||Fairview Heights, Illinois|
|Dates of operation||January 1994–|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The line between East St. Louis and East Alton was completed by the Belleville and Illinoistown Railroad in 1856, as an extension of its Belleville-East St. Louis (Illinoistown) line. Ownership passed to the St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute Railroad, a predecessor of the Illinois Central Railroad, but in 1890 that company sold that segment to the Cairo, Vincennes and Chicago Railway, which became part of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (Big Four) and eventually the New York Central Railroad and Conrail. By 1906, the parallel Big Four and Chicago and Alton Railroad lines between Bridge Junction (East St. Louis) and Wann (near East Alton), the former just east of the latter, were being operated as a double-track line by both companies through reciprocal trackage rights.
In July 1993, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved purchase by Gateway Eastern of this line from Conrail, as well as a 1.9-mile (3.1 km) segment of the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line (Pittsburgh to St. Louis) from the Mississippi River just north of the Eads Bridge to Conrail's Rose Lake Yard at Willows. A short segment of trackage rights over the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis's (TRRA's) Eads Subdivision, also acquired from Conrail, connected the two lines. Gateway Eastern also had access to CSX Transportation's Cone Yard, west of Willows. Operations began January 28, 1994.
In order to connect its sections without trackage rights, Gateway Western bought a strip of land from CSX Transportation on which it planned to build the "Q Connection", crossing the TRRA north of "Q Tower". After a seven-year legal battle with the TRRA, during which Gateway Western placed the line in service in May 1995 through a temporary injunction, the courts ruled in favor of Gateway Western, then part of KCS, in 1998.
This article needs to be updated.(November 2010)
Gateway Eastern's primary business was switching ex-Conrail customers in the Alton area from Conrail's Rose Lake Yard (now CSX). It had one locomotive, a 1969 EMD GP38, and operated one scheduled train per day, five days per week. Interchange was with its parent Gateway Western, Conrail, and the Southern Pacific Transportation Company subsidiary SPCSL. The reciprocal trackage rights agreement from 1906 with the Alton continues to this day, now between Gateway Eastern and the Union Pacific Railroad (successor to SPCSL, purchaser of the ex-Alton main line).
- Lewis, Edward A. (1996). American Shortline Railway Guide (5th ed.). Kalmbach Publishing Company. pp. 127–128.
- "Class I Railroad Annual Report: The Kansas City Southern Railway Company To the Surface Transportation Board For the Year Ended December 31, 2007" (PDF). United States Surface Transportation Board.
- Interstate Commerce Commission, 28 Val. Rep. 90 (1929), Valuation Docket No. 264: The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company and its Leased Lines
- Interstate Commerce Commission, 40 Val. Rep. 1 (1932), Valuation Docket No. 851: Chicago and Alton Railroad Company et al.
- "WERTHEIM SCHRODER & CO., INCORPORATED AND GATEWAY WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY--CONTINUANCE IN CONTROL EXEMPTION--GATEWAY EASTERN RAILWAY COMPANY". Surface Transportation Board. December 11, 1997. footnote 3. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
- "Fight's Over". Traffic World. March 30, 1998.
- "KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN INDUSTRIES, INC., KCS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, AND THE KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY--CONTROL--GATEWAY WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY AND GATEWAY EASTERN RAILWAY COMPANY". Surface Transportation Board. April 28, 1997. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
- "2006 Main Line Maps" (PDF). Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 25, 2008. Retrieved November 25, 2008.