Sunday, May 18, 2014

SantaFe Corwith Yard

Update: 1989 video.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
SantaFe's extension of its main line from Kansas City to Chicago included the construction of the Corwith Yard in 1887. Midwest Compass and Wikipedia note that this yard at Pershing Road (39th Street) & Kedzie Avenue was the world's largest when it was constructed. With adjacent parking and buildings it covers nearly a square mile of land. Livestock trains would serve the nearby Union Stock Yards.

In the early 50s the yard was reconstructed to remove the old steam engine facilities, including a 35-stall roundhouse, and place the new buildings around the edge so that the maximum number of classification tracks could be placed in the middle. The above Compass link has an overhead aerial view before the reconstruction because you can see the roundhouse. Since this yard is the terminus of all SantaFe freight trains, the new buildings include extensive engine servicing and storage facilities. The new freight house was the first to include a "Towveyor" system operated on the endless cable principle (see above link for a picture). It served six tracks and could hold 156 freight cars. The right side of the above referenced picture is the north side of the yard and connects to the SantaFe tracks. The south side end of the yard had connections to the Indiana Harbor Belt, Belt Railway of Chicago, Grand Trunk Western, and the CR&I RR. The hump is at the south end. A study of resources indicates that by the early 90s, the 1952 facilities are still present, 2 more freight houses had been built, and TOFC facilities had been added to the east.

Since then, several of the classification tracks have been converted to more TOFC loading tracks that use rubber-tired gantry cranes and the name has changed to Corwith Intermodal Facility. The 2000 lifts done a day handle much more freight on the same surface area than the old freight-house/boxcar system handled. The old freight house area in the southwest part of the yard is now used by a JB Hunt Regional Terminal.

Update:
David M Laz posted
Taking care of diesels!The Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Corwith Yard engine terminal.
David M Laz posted
Corwith Intermodal Rail Yard Chicago Photograph by Steve Gadomski
Brian Morgan posted
Corwith Yard North. End of the line.Mark Leininger Wow! Terminal building in background. Corwith tower #1Brian Morgan That scheme is from the 1940's and 1950's. That is the BFC perishable from Bakersfield via Barstow to Chicago.Brian Morgan Just think they used to run six trains a day from Bakersfield for Chicago Eastbound with pure perishable loads throughout the entire consists. Assured fifth day delivery from California to Chicago.
[
I quoted several more comments, then I decided to delete them an suggest that you follow the "posted" link. The comments are dense with interesting information.]
Mike Croy posted
Here is an overview of the "new" Corwith yard as seen on the cover of the Santa Fe's 64th. annual report.
This view includes the new freight houses.

Mike Croy posted
Cover of a company pamphlet featuring the Santa Fe Corwith yard.
Jerry Jackson posted
Corwith, sometime in 1991.
[Before 2001 and some railfans doing silly (dangerous) things, it was easy to get access to railroad facilities to take pictures.]
Jerry Jackson posted
Loco Service Area, Corwith, 1988.
In response to a question about the "silver tanks," Jerry added a couple of comments:

Jerry Jackson commented on his posting
Sand tanks, gravity fed and heated in the winter.
Jerry Jackson commented on his posting
All Diesels have sand tanks located at both ends. The sand is gravity fed to the wheels, some are controlled automatically depending on wheel slip, some manually depending on the age of the Diesel and other factors. Pardon the SOO LINE photo, but this pic is worth 1000 words.
Jerry Jackson posted two photos with the comment:
Waycar Wednesday: Waycars get shoved off to the caboose tracks at Corwith Yard back in 88, IIRC. Back then, chat a bit, sign a release and don't be a twit. "Can we go out on the roof?" Sure thing.The crews and people at Corwith were outstanding to your visitors back then. My kids and I have fond memories from there. Great people.
1

2
Mike Croy posted

Mike Croy posted
[Note the smokestack configuration of the Crawford Generating Plant in the left background.]
Chuck Guzik posted
Sorry about poor quality....but this is an old photo taken before I could afford a decent camera. Back in the days when Railroads were approachable and actually helped young railfans learn. Taken from Corwith tower in Chicago around the early 1980s. The "B&O man" as they called it leaving Corwith and headed back east on the "IN". Strange move in that the B&O transfer pulled north of Ash St and backed west to the "wye" over I-55 and backed into the yard. Lots of auto parts flowed on this transfer. When done, caboose hopped back the very same way to the B&OCT and back to Barr yd. Great guys around Corwith at this time!

Mike Croy posted four 1967 engine photos and a caboose.

Mike Croy posted about the Mechanical Temperature Control (refrigerated cars) area.

J.B. Hunt wants a 3rd-party review of the division of revenues between it and BNSF. )Some Facebook comments.)

No comments:

Post a Comment