Brown also founded the Belt Railway of Chicago (BRC) in 1883 by using the charters of the original three railroads to build a branch west at 74th Street that turns north just before Cicero Avenue and then goes north to the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway at Cragin. Another BRC ancestor branch was built east of where C&WI's eastern mainline curved from due east to southeast. This is why a 1920 C&WI map (below) includes the Belt's routes. (Wikipedia)
Some of the trunk railroads that connected with the C&WI bought the terminal railroad so that the C&WI could build the Dearborn Station and the C&WI would provide access for the passenger trains. The station was completed in 1885 and closed in 1971 when Amtrak was formed. During the 1930's and 40's, C&WI provided commuter service to Dolton. Metra is investigating the resumption of that commuter service. The former C&WI tracks have already been connected to the former Pennsy tracks at the 21st Street Crossing to support the SouthWest Service over the former Wabash tracks.
Wikipedia provides the following list of towers starting from the north:
12th Street tower, 15th Street tower, 16th Street tower, 21st Street tower, 40th Street tower, 47th Street tower, Ford Street tower (59th Street), 74th Street tower, 81st Street tower, Oakdale (later remote controlled by 81st Street), Pullman Junction, South Deering (112th St., later remote controlled from Main Line Drawbridge), Main Line Drawbridge and the famous State Line tower, which was North America's largest interlocking controlled by strong-arm mechanical levers. Pullman Junction was not a conventional interlocked junction, although there was a small interlocking machine for the signals protecting the C&WI-BRC junction there. The crossings were protected by gates and tilting targets. All trains were required to stop. Switchtenders were located at Dearborn Station, 31st Street, 80th Street and Pullman Junction.
Centralized traffic control was introduced in 1973, combining 40th Street and 47th Street, later 59th Street and 74th Street, a four-tower combination was operated by the train dispatcher located at 47th Street tower after their relocation from Dearborn station.
|1920 Map from the Indiana Historical Society|
- 37th Street Yard: Chicago & Eastern Illinois
- 47th Street Yard: Wabash
- 51st Street Yard: Erie and C&WI. So this probably also supported Monon, GTW, and C&O.
|1906 The Official Railway Guide: Freight Service, Page 76|
|Bill Molony posted|
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway 4-6-2 Pacific-type #3419, drifting along the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad's tracks towards the 12th Street Tower and Dearborn Station on the morning of May 30, 1934 with the 17 cars of train #6, The Ranger.
The 3419 was one of 50 3400 Class 4-6-2's built for the Santa Fe by the Baldwin Locomotive Works between 1919 and 1924.Bob Lalich Very interesting photo! The reefers are spotted on a Wabash track. The platform was covered by a structure in later years. No cars spotted at the C&EI freight house on the right.Stuart Pearson Santa Fe's 4-6-2's, and many other Western Railroads Pacifics were often time bigger than Eastern RR's Hudson's (4-6-4's) due to clearance problems in the East.
|Bill Molony posted|
This map shows (in red) the lines of the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad Company, and its numerous connections, as they were in 1916, 100 years ago.At that time, the C&WI and Dearborn Station hosted the passenger trains of the following railroads:
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe
Chicago & Eastern Illinois
Chicago Indianapolis & Louisville
Chesapeake & Ohio of Indiana
Grand Trunk Western