Thursday, April 2, 2015

NS's 47th Street Yard Intermodal Yard

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Update: C&WI used to have a passenger station at 47th Street. Bill Molony explains this picture: "Wabash Railroad Class M1 4-8-2 Mountain-type #2823, arriving at the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad's 47th Street station."
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Update: Ted Lemen caught GTW 5629 at the C&WI roundhouse in 1966.



Between 47th street and 55th street, there were three yards between the Chicago and Western Indiana (C&WI) right-of-way on the west and the Pennsy right-of-way on the east. (Trains)

  • 47th Street Yard: Wabash, passenger coach yard.
  • 51st Street Yard: C&WI, passenger coach yard for Erie, Monon, GTW, and C&O. Also, at least Erie, serviced their engines here.
  • 55th Street Yard: Pennsy, after the steam and passenger train era, it became a circus ramp intermodal terminal that they operated as their "Truc-Train" service.

Norfolk Southern got the rights to the 47th street yard when it acquired Norfolk & Western because the N&W had already acquired the Wabash RR. NS got the 55th Street Yard when it got the Pennsy mainline in Chicago as part of the Conrail split. And it got the 51st Street Yard when C&WI was split between Metra, UP, and NS. NS has merged all three of these yards into one big yard.

We learned when we studied the north alignment part of  CREATE's P4 (Grand Crossing) Project that Norfolk Southern plans to buy land south of their 47th Street yard to expand it. The $285 million project will add 85 acres to the yard. The March 30, 2015 Chicago Tribune had a front page article that was continued onto another whole page. The article explains that NS has been buying properties for over a decade now and has 531 of the needed 557 parcels of land. 22 owners are still saying "no" to selling their homes. Some want to stay. Some want more money. The person leading the fight against NS lives in Cambridge, MA. (Update: land acquisition is still an issue.)

Ald. Willie Cochran has observed that the expansion should create 400 jobs at about $69,000 salaries as well as an estimated $146 million in overall economic impact. (dnainfo)

To address the concerns of the Englewood community concerning high asthma rates, NS said that 36 of the 38 trucks that move trailers around the yard will have cutting-edge pollution controls by 2018. And container cranes will see an immediate reduction of harmful exhaust emissions. In all, it will provide $3 million for transportation improvements, while also contributing thousands of dollars to local schools. Additionally, they will help with landscaping improvements for Sherwood Park and give its unused 59th Street rail line to the city as part of an elevated bike trail project. NS also said it would sponsor a $1 million fund for sustainability projects in Englewood. (ProgressIllinois, SustainableEnglewood)

The NS web page has a menu that provides the following destinations for intermodal service from this yard. The times are for Monday departures. Most destinations have the same times for each day of the week. Why does it take an extra day to go to Detroit instead of Toledo? Even if it goes to Toledo and then Detroit, it should not take an extra day. After all, the Buffalo+Albany+Ayer train can drop of the Albany block and get to Ayer in just 3 hours.
NS, click Intermodal option

DestinationLeavesArrives
Albany, NYM 2000Th 0500
Ayer, MAM 2000Th 0800
Buffalo, NYM 2000W 0700
Cleveland, OHM 2300W 1600
Detroit - Livernois, MIM 2230W 1000
Harrisburg, PAM 1700W 0500
Morrisville, PAM 1700W 1000
Taylor, PAM 2000F 1300
Toledo, OHM 2330Tu 1130

The following arrival times are for trains that leave on Monday. Some of the asymmetries make sense. For example, Cleveland is a separate train because they don't want its availability to be impacted by delays of the Ayer+Albany train. But why is there service from Erail, NJ, but not to it?
OriginationAvailable
Albany, NYTh 0500
Ayer, MATh 0500
Buffalo, NYW 0600
Cleveland, OHW 0800
Detroit - Livernois, MITu 1830
Erail, NJW 1230
Harrisburg, PAW 0800
Morrisville, PAW 1200
Taylor, PAF 0600

This information that I found on Trainorders does not help clarify what is happening with Toledo and Detroit.

47th St. Intermodal Terminal:
205 AYER, MA (PAS)- CHICAGO, IL (47TH)
206 CHICAGO, IL (47TH) - AYER, MA (PAS)
20Q CHICAGO, IL (47TH) - MORRISVILLE, PA
21Q HARRISBURG, PA - CHICAGO, IL (47TH)
21Z RUTHERFORD, PA - CHICAGO, IL (47TH)
22K CHICAGO, IL (47TH) - AYER, MA (PAS)
23K AYER, MA (PAS) - CHICAGO, IL (47TH)
25T MORRISVILLE, PA - CHICAGO, IL (47TH) (SA)
25Z ERAIL, NJ - CHICAGO, IL (47TH)
26T CHICAGO, IL (47TH) - HARRISBURG, PA
-All trains go via ex-NYC Chicago Line.

NS, click Corridors option
I'm still trying to figure out which of the above trains are double-stack vs. just one stack.
Update:

Norfolk Southern posted
NS has posted three things they did in 2015 to reduce rail yard emissions:
1. Introduced the Eco locomotive, a locomotive rebuild program that recycles older locomotives and outfits them with new low-emission engines.
2. Rolled out the “Sleeper,” an engine-heater system that eliminates unnecessary locomotive idling in winter months. 
3. Expanded work on a rebuild program to create locomotive “slugs” – units with traction motors but no engines. The slugs are paired with diesel-powered locomotives to add emissions-free pulling power and reduce fuel burn.


Now I'm left with the question of where is the "Calumet repair shop?" It would be the shops they got from the Nickle Plate in their Calumet Yard.


Mike Croy posted 13 1967 photos of the C&WI 47th St. rouudhouse.

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