Monday, April 25, 2016

47th Street Tower: C&WI vs. IHB + GTW

Bob Lalich commented on Bill Molony's posting concerning C&WI's 47th Depot
Bob Lalich's text:
This station was located next to a very impressive interlocking plant at the junction of the GT, IHB Stockyards line, and leads from C&WI's coach yard and engine terminal. Here is a 1953 photo from the tower, which was located on the south side of 47th St. The trackwork includes a crossing through a switch!
Stan Stanovich ...Bob Lalich, I've seen this general area more days of my working life over the last 20+ years than not! The tower stood until 1999. I'm having a little bit of a problem orienting myself with this photograph! We're looking as the bird flies south here, the Stockyards line (49th line) is off to the right! To the left is the C&WI main toward 74th St and the Pennsy, completely out of sight to the left?!!!

Bob Lalich I'd say it's a bit SSW but you got it Stan Stanovich.

Phil Schmidt About when did the GTW and IHB stop using the 49st line from Elsdon? And is it still useable? I seem to remember something about it being restored by the CREATE project.

Stan Stanovich ...when I moved to Chicago in 1995 and started to work in the area as an engineer for what was then Conrail, the GTW/IHB connection just southwest of 47th St tower was basically all still in place. It appeared as if it hadn't been used in MANY years. It was all taken out in 1999 when the C&WI/Metra southwest route was relocated west of C&WI's former 51st St yard. Prior to this, the C&WI mains sat in between former PRR 55th St yard and 51st St yard. With the line relocation they became intermodal strip tracks 40 and 41 sort of effectively combining 55th St and 51st St into one yard, instead of dividing the two! It is collectively known today as the NS 47th St intermodal yard. I understand that earlier in time they were originally located where they were moved to in '99!!!

IHB stopped using the east/west route when the stockyards closed and GTW stopped using it when it quit running passenger trains to Dearborn Station via the Chicago & Western Illinois. Norfolk Southern must have bought the Metra/UP land along the Metra former C&WI mainline to expand its 47th Street Intermodal Yard.

In the upper-right corner, I noticed the long, narrow shadow on 47th Street. That is probably cast by the tower. You can also see the really long shadow over the tracks of the smokestack in the photo.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

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