|Excerpt form 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 328|
|Excerpt from Engineering Diagram|
|1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP|
How did all those Christmas present orders get to those small C&NW communities across the road's service area? Part of the answer is here at the C&NW's Wells Street transfer shed. Boxes, barrels and crates either came or went through here (see posting below). This is how things got done before FedEx and UPS. The building in the background is, of course, the newly opened Merchandise Mart.
[Looking East. The bridge and the mainline to Navy Pier are to the right of this photo.]
This is an interior photo of the C&NW freight transfer station at Wells Street where it connects to the Merchandise Mart. This photo dates from the mid 1930s. These guys were the FedEx and UPS of their day. The photo is held at the archives of the C&NW Historical Society.
This is a photo of the Wells Street Chicago freight transfer shed. This is how Christmas orders got shipped in the mid 1930s. Note the box car which will be either loaded or unloaded at the right of the photo. If it is being loaded, it will be sent out to the community were all the orders came from. This was the modern product shipping facility of it's day.
David Daruszka commented on a post
The North Western maintained a freight yard at the Mart, which was originally designed as a warehouse.
Jeff Bransky posted two images with the comment:
There once was a freight yard under the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. You can see the outline and support columns of the Mart and loading docks in the first photo. The second image shows the yard before the Mart existed.The Wells Street Station and the old RR swing bridge are also shown. The second photo shows that, at that time, the Kinzie Street Bridge was also a swing bridge, as was, the Wells Street Bridge.
|Jon Roma posted|
This is something I had the great fortune to stumble onto at a swap meet some 20+ years ago – a track plan diagram of the interlocking for Chicago & North Western's Wells Street station.
This station sat on the site now occupied by the Merchandise Mart, and served as C&NW's headquarters and downtown passenger and freight terminal until the new Chicago Passenger Terminal at Madison and Canal was opened in June 1911. That terminal is now known to the public as Ogilvie Transportation Center.
There are PDFs of this map on my website at https://www.jonroma.net/signaling/plans/na/#chicago-north-western. The old passenger terminal must have been a challenge to operate, with only a two-track lead, the movable bridge, and the Milwaukee Road crossing at grade immediately west of the river. That crossing appears not to have been part of the interlocking depicted here, so it would have involved every train making a statutory stop.
|David Daruszka commented on Jon's post|
Here's a signal diagram for the station and tracks leading out. It appears that crossing was signaled.
[I think David is referring to the Milwaukee Road crossing that Jon mentioned in his comment.]
Jon Roma I have not been to the library yet to find the original, but I did grab across the Google scanned articles – there are two, one covering each of the two divisions!
Apropos of the Milwaukee Road crossing on the west bank of the Chicago River, I found the following:
"This tower controls all possible movements into and out of the yard from all approaches. The drawing shows the crossing on Canal street, which is that of the Evanston division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Road provided with signals and derailing switches. While this is incorporated in the plan of the signaling, it is not the intention to at the present, put this into service."
I've extracted and put the PDFs onto my website:
Part 1: https://www.jonroma.net/.../Interlocking%20and%20Block...
Part 2: https://www.jonroma.net/.../Interlocking%20and%20Block...
|Patrick McNamra commented on Jon's post|
Xavier Quintana posted a February, 1977 photo of Wolf Point. You can see the Holiday Inn that replaced the freight house.