Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lemoyne Junction: BRC vs CN/GM&O/Alton

Arthur Gross Flickr photo

I included the connector as well as the crossing itself in the satellite image. Nerska Junction is just north of I-55.


WSOR/Milw South Bridge over Rock River in Janesville, WI

(Bridge Hunter, 3D Satellite)

Steven J. Brown shared
Soo Line 1003 crossing the Rock River on her way into Janesville, Wisconsin - August 13, 2017.
It's nice to see a steam locomotive being run properly so that there is not a lot of black smoke pouring out of the smokestack.

The steam locomotive is returning from a charity event near Galewood for the Shriners Hospitals for Children - Chicago. Metra helped because the engine used the Western Avenue Yard for servicing. A couple of summers ago, Metra ran excursions on a former-Milwaukee route with the steam locomotive NKP 765.

I had to study the satellite image because there are two former-Milwaukee routes through Janesville, and they both cross the rock river. But only the southern bridge is surrounded by green. Base on the the bridge abutment in the photo, I concluded that Steve took the picture from the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Metra+CP/Milwaukee Galewood Yard

I had never heard of Galewood, then I read about it twice in one afternoon. The first time was in the caption of a Marshal W. Beecher photo on page 33 of Trains Magazine's Special Collector's Edition: "A westbound Canadian Pacific train passes through Galewood during its complex trip across Chicago in August 2009." I can not reconcile the curve in the tack and the Willis/Sears Tower in the background with a satellite image. But the map on page 18 of that issue shows it is along the now Metra tracks between the BRC junction and Tower B-12.

The second time was when I saw this Facebook posting:
Steven J. Brown posted
Soo Line 1003 is at Hanson Park heading to Metra's Western Avenue yard from Galewood after a charity event for the Chicago Shriner's Hospital for Children - August 12, 2017.
I found the silos, but it is not clear what they are (or were) used for. Like the CP+Metra/Milw Bensenville Yard, Metra owns the mainline tracks past the yard and Canadian Pacific owns the yard tracks. Like many rail yards that existed to serve industries before trucks and roads were developed, this yard was a lot bigger in the past.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
There are still industrial buildings in the area and some of them have the telltale signatures of rail service such as road crossings and curved buildings. Below is a tree-filled curved-bulding signature of another industrial spur.
An industrial building has been replaced by an elementary school, but the curve in the parking lot probably reflects the different ownership of an industrial spur. This rail yard probably also served the industries along the Bloomindale Line and fed the yard on Goose Island.

I see this yard also served a branch that went north and served industries west of Narragansett Avenue including Radio Flyer and these industrial spurs (below). (One spur went all the way over to Normandy while the curve of the building in the middle indicates a branch spur went down the middle of the block.)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Metra/Milwaukee Western Avenue Yard

(Satellite, Street View)

I had my daughter drive me around the Chicago area so that I could take pictures of bridges, etc. We went up Pulaski Road past UP/C&NW's 40th Street Yard, but it was elevated and my view was bad. We headed east again on Chicago Avenue. Because of cars on Grand Avenue waiting at the traffic light, this is the best shot I got of Metra's Western Avenue Yard.

20150502 0583
I see I did catch a sand tower, something I've recently started labeling after someone asked why do engines need sand. We can also see the western bridge in this yard that provides power hook ups to the commuter cars when they are parked in the coach yard. I discussed these bridges in detail in BNSF/CB&Q Aurora Commuter Train Yard.

This was the first view I got that made me realize that we were passing the Milwaukee yard that Metra got when it bought the Milwaukee tracks in the Chicagoland area when Milwaukee went bankrupt. The big Metra sign on the relatively new engine service building was a big clue that I was passing their yard. Below are some street views from Grand Avenue.
Street View
Street View, zoomed
[So this is where they keep their cute little switching engines.]
Looking at a satellite image, I wondered if that big parking lot south of the Metra yard used to be part of the Milwaukee yard. This 1938 aerial photo shows that the parking lot land was indeed part of the Milwaukee yard. (The rail yard just south of the parking lot is the UP/C&NW California Yard, and it also stores and services commuter trains.)

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BNSF/GN Bridge over Columbia River near Rock Island, WA

(Bridge HunterSatellite)

Photo taken by Aaron Hockley, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
From Flick from Bridge Hunter

Jim Kleeman posted
In the early morning a partially dressed BNSF 4837 strides across the Columbia River at Rock Island, WA. The dispatcher referred to the Seattle - Chicago intermodal as the "Sea Chicken" when it left Wenatchee a few minutes earlier. Someone has a sense of humor early in the morning. 740 AM 9/13/1998
That appears to be a really massive pier in the middle of the river.

BNSF/Santa Fe Bridge over Illinois River at Chillicothe, IL

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Pictures, Satellite, RailPictures)

Birds-Eye View
It is interesting that Chillicothe has a rail bridge, but no road bridge. Looking north of the current bridge on a satellite image, it appears that at least two other bridges used to cross the river. You would think they would have turned one of those old rail alignments into a road across the river. Long embankments across the flood plain were used so that the bridge is high above the river. This means that the main span does not need to be movable.

A video of an eastbound BNSF double stack crossing the bridge. (source)

Bill Molony posted
Five EMD F-units roll the eastbound Santa Fe Super Chief - El Capitan across the Illinois River near Chillicothe in October of 1964.
Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting
SW Chief 1989.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Old Crown Brewery in Fort Wayne, IN

A couple of years ago I was trying to remember the name of the brewery that used to be north of State Street between Spy Run Avenue and St. Joseph River. This photo answers that question.
Mark Deprey The old Centlivere Brewery on North Clinton st also made old Crown Beer

Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana posted
John Hamm commented on the above posting
 I still have one of their old heavy-heavy cardboard beer cases from the 60's. Wonder if it is a collector's item now. This has been a general tote in my garage for decades.