Nelson to DeKalb

From the wye junction on the south side with the former C&NW line to Peoria, at Nelson (MP 104.3), where the eastbound track became CTC, and there is a controlled siding on the south side, the line heads just north of due east, continuing Two Main Tracks, CTC, Automatic Train Control, speed limit 60 mph, past a former coaling tower, crossovers at NQ (MP 103.0), where there used to be a tower, that controlled siding ends and there was once a C&NW line diverging to the east to rejoin the main further east, a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at MP 100.3, a former  45 mph speed restriction on curves between MP 100.0 and MP 97.0 as the line turns east, a road bridge overhead, Dixon (MP 97.9), where there is a spur on the north side to Medusa Portland Cement, on the Rock River, and there was once a bridge over an erstwhile Illinois Central line, a grade crossing, a road bridge overhead, a bridge over a road, a spur trailing in on the north side, and a dirt road grade crossing.

There are detectors at MP 95, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, two grade crossings, crossovers at Nachusa (MP 92.9), where that erstwhile section of line trailed in on the south side. a turn just north of due east, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a bridge over a stream, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing, rail-served silos to the south at Franklin Grove (MP 88.0), a road alongside to the north, extra track to the north, a grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing in town, rail-served silos to the south, the station at Ashton (MP 83.7), three grade crossings in town, signals and crossovers at Ashton (MP 82.7), a dirt track grade crossing, an angled dirt road grade crossing, rail-served silos to the south, a dirt road grade crossing, a bridge over drainage, and an angled grade crossing.

There is a cantilever signal bridge controlling the west end of the lead on the south side into Global Three (MP 79.9), a road bridge overhead, Flagg (MP 79.0), and detectors at MP 78.8, Intermediate Signals (new signals turned sideways in June, 2012), the west end of Global Three on the south side (MP 78.4), a bridge over a river, at least twelve tracks at the intermodal yard at Global Three, on the south side, the east end of Global Three on the south side (MP 75.9),and an angled grade crossing, to the angled flat crossing (speed restriction 40 mph for TOFC trains and 35 mph for all others) with the double track BNSF Twin Cities line at NX (MP 75.3), where there is a railfan pavilion in the 'vee' (i.e. on the south side) and a grade crossing just east of the pavilion.

The line turns east past a road bridge overhead, two grade crossings, Rochelle (MP 74.8), two extra tracks to the north, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, crossovers at Dement (formerly RX, MP 73.3), where an industrial spur trails in on the south side, a road bridge overhead, a pond to the north, dual I-59 road bridges overhead, Creston (MP 69.7), a pond to the north, a dirt road grade crossing, three grade crossings in the town of Malta (MP 64.3), a bridge over drainage, a grade crossing, a dirt track grade crossing, detectors at MP 64.0, signals and crossovers at Malta (formerly MA, MP 63.0), a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a bridge over a street, a bridge voer a river, a bridge over a street, a (former?) 50 mph speed restriction from MP 59.0 to MP 57.5, six grade crossings, a former freight depot to the north, a grade crossing, and three west-facing extra tracks to the north, through the junction with the line south to Troy Grove (and once to Spring Valley) at DeKalb (MP 58.3).