Wednesday, March 23, 2016

B&OCT's Barr Yard and Turntable

(Satellite image is below)
Kevin Piper posted
Western Maryland power would often show up in the
Chicago-area to liven things up a bit. This westbound is
arriving at Barr Yard on 1-12-80.
I've been waiting to post until I get a chance to take some pictures from the Halstead Bridge over Barr Yard. But Kevin's photo is a good excuse to post because the "from the sky" views of these big yards are more informative than pictures from a bridge. Plus I can always add any pictures I do end up taking.

The Western Maryland engine is a reminder that it was part of the Chessie merger along with the B&O and C&O. The second engine is so dirty that I could not read what it was. The second boxcar has the Chessie Cat logo. The BN Cascade Green cars are also another reminder of a previous era of railroading. In fact, that many boxcars in a train is now a rare site.

Satellite, Turntable
The yard was a lot smaller in 1938. That is very unusual. Normally yards shrink, not grow. Barr Yard is now the main interchange yard for CSX in the Chicago area.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
 It looks like they may have been strip mining coal south of the yard.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Four pictures posted by Scott Griffith with the comment "Barr yard area."
Henry Freeman I'm not sure when Barr Yard was originally established, but the current yard is largely the result of a three-year expansion project, which was completed in 1948. When that work was done, Barr had East and West receiving yards holding 345 and 500 cars and East and West classification tracks holding 1,144 and 1,209 cars, respectively. Despite the improvements, it remained a flat switching yard and had a turntable, engine facilities, repair tracks and a stock servicing yard. It was the main yard for B&O road-haul freight traffic in and out of Chicago and the classification point for traffic handled by the B&OCT in intermediate switch. Barr Yard is listed in the B&O's 1935 Form 6, so it at least pre-dates that. At that time, the main yards on the East and West ends had capacities of 662 and 616 yards and there was an East End Section D yard with a 265 car capacity.
David Daruszka The yard was opened in 1886 by Chicago & Calumet Terminal Railway.
Henry Freeman  I found Barr Yard mentioned in a 1910 agreement on Transfer Service pay. Since the B&O didn't acquire what would become the B&OCT until 1910. Barr may have been associated with a B&O predecessor.




Scott Griffith posted
Henry Freeman I would guess 1948.
Scott Griffith posted seven photos with the comment: "Diesel shop at Barr yard." Some of the photos show the coaling tower or the turntable.







Steven J. Brown posted
CSX manifest with SD40-2 8423 (built 1966 as WM SD40 7472) arriving Barr Yard in Riverdale, Illinois - January 16, 2006.
Joe Zeller posted two pictures with the comment: "I absolutely love my job. Especially today, when I cut and installed glass in a forklift at the Barr Yard. I hope to do more flat-glass there, thanks to Mike at the car repair shop."



Two of the nine photos posted by Scott Griffith with the comment: "Steam Locomotive B&O ROAD power at Barr Yard, im pretty sure these have never been seen before."

2: selected because of the coaling tower
7: selected because of Halstead Avenue Tower before Halstead had an overpass
This is the first time I have seen a tower skunked by steam instead of a train!
Kevin Piper posted
CSXT 2590 and 4201, Riverdale, IL, 2-19-90.
Kevin posted again
Michael Buckley Was a big yard for the CSX in Chicago . Hunter Harrison closed it and runs there traffic thru th BRC what a waste .

Bill Edrington Great shot of some wretched-looking power. CSX must have been saving its pennies to buy its 42% of Conrail.

Charles Scherer Was not the BRC the most powerful, with the most leverage overs all RR in and through Chicago. Amazing to me in such a large market, didn't they have trackage rights around and through most of Chicago?
James C Bradley posted
Ex Erie Lackawanna F unit at CSX Barr Yard today! Man am I glad I went to Barr today.
[This shows me that Barr Yard doesn't have a fence and that it may be worth visiting to get pictures.]

One of five photos posted by Scott Griffith.

Scott Griffith posted
1947 Barr Yard
Kevin Piper posted
For many years, one of my favorite haunts was the old B&OCT Barr Yard in Riverdale, IL. There was always something to see at the engine facility. I witnessed the late B&O years with the coming of Chessie System during the 1970's, then the colorful early CSX period. I haven't been back in about 25 years. This was a typical day at Barr on 3-9-89.
Donny Albertson posted
It's the blue grey era on CSX at Barr yard with a line of GP15T's and a B36-7 still in SBD paint on 24MAR1990.
Steve S Czajkowski posted two photos with the comment: "Barr yard Riverdale with B&O Chicago Terminal steam locomotives lined up under the coaling tower .spring 1953 Same coaling tower Sep. 76 .Halsted st bridge in background."


Crew Heimer posted
Barr Yard Offices 1977
Jeff Barks posted, increased contrast and lowered brightness
IHB Blue Island and CSX Barr Yard.
[Barr Yard is on the right (North) side.]
John Eagan posted, 1979, Flickr
John Eagan posted, 1974, Flickr
Evie N Bob Bruns posted
Here's a view of Barr yard looking west from Halsted Street bridge 10/3/1982. My memory of yard letter is bad, a little help?
Henry Freeman commented on Evie's posting
This might help with Barr Yard orientation. The date is 1977.
Bob Lalich Thanks for the map Henry Freeman. What is the purpose of G yard - the equipment conditioning yard?
Scott Griffith G yard was a old auto loading yard, now primarily used for M&W equipment

Francis Otterbein shared a link to a public group with the comment: "A single GP15T is seen from the Ashland Avenue Control Tower pulling a cut of cars west out of Barr Yard. Note the strings of retired first-generation diesels on the north end of the yard. (Jim Mirabelli photo.March 21, 1985)"

A Flickr photo of the west yard tower from the cab of a switcher.

Aug 10, 2017: CSX has laid off half (60) of the workers in this yard. I've already read complaints of CSX trains parked in the south suburbs blocking crossings because they did not have yard space for the train. Are other yards such as BRC Clearing Yard that much better at handling trains than Barr Yard is? This also assumes that other yards in the Chicago area are so underutilized that they will still have capacity to handle CSX's traffic as the economy heats up.

John Eagan Flickr 1979 Photo of the coaling tower.

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