Note that the navigable portion of the South Branch ended east of Western Avenue because the Sanitary and Ship Canal was still being built in 1897.
|1897 plus paint|
To determine which slips are left today, I first compared Bing's Bird's Eye View with Google's satellite images. They agree. Most of H and about half of D, G and "I" still exist. The only heavy industry that is left is the Fisk Generating plant west of slip D, and that is closed and scheduled to be torn down to make room for a servicing facility of CTA's buses. Note that the Chicago International Produce Market was built on top of slips L and M.
The following 1915 maps cover South Branch Dock Company's slips. I notice that the South Branch west of where the Sanitary and Ship Canal starts has not been filled in yet.
|pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 348|
|pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 349|
|Bird's Eye View|
Update: Steve Malachinski posted:
Building off the success of the elevated 606 trail, the City of Chicago has announced plans for a new at-grade recreational trail coming to the abandoned BNSF railroad route between the city’s Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods. While the findings of an initial feasibility study were presented to the community by the Chicago Department of Transportation on Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially announced the project on Sunday morning. Dubbed the "Paseo," the biking and walking path will ultimately extend 4 miles across the lower west side. Work will soon begin on the first phase of the project which follows Sangamon between 16th and 21st Streets. Future phases will extend southwestward to 32nd Street and Central Park Avenue and may see construction begin as early as this fall.
Franklin Campbell The Illinois Northern did cross the CJ tracks at Western and connect to the CB&Q tracks. They had a few customers there along with their roundhouse I believe. I think the diamond connecting the lines was pulled up around the time of the BNSF Merger. Domino Sugar and a warehouse along 26th and western were served from the Lumber District side from then til now.
I am happy to say that it doesn't look like the section atleast west of Loomis will be going anywhere anytime soon. BNSF just rebuilt the spur that ran south along Paulina into the scrapyard along the river. The scrapyard hadn't recieved rail service in some time, but they have 3 gondolas sitting along the river now awaiting loading. Domino Sugar still gets cars too.
Steve Malachinski Recently talked to a BN trainmaster and they just got some NEW business along that line.
Franklin Campbell Yeah I heard the same thing! According to Security at the Scrapyard on Paulina, a new warehouse is being built just Northwest of the scrapyard. They are supposed to get a spur branching west from the street trackage on Paulina which still looks to be under construction as it is still fenced off.
Ed has a Flickr photo from 1983 when BN was still switching the spur along Pauline Street. A comment indicates the engine is a SW7.
The Illinois Northern
A Smurf unit with a switch job slowly creeps along on Illinois Northern trackage in Chicago. When I first saw this track, I thought it was abandoned, but boy was I wrong! I have now seen two trains on it. The Smurf was in 2010, the Heritage unit was in 2013.
This industrial branch was once accessed by a bridge over the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal from Corwith Yard. That trackage was torn up several years ago and now the branch is accessed only from the former BN triple-track to the north.