Monday, March 6, 2017

Rock Island Junction is now broken

A lot of track has been removed, but the connection between NS/Conrail and BRC still exists. In fact, this satellite image shows an eastbound freight using that connection. The turnout of NS/PRR to the BRC connection track is CP 509.
Steven J. Brown posted
Well this was a complete accident. I popped off the now image (top - February 24, 2017) because I thought it was interesting that a modern LED signal was protecting a severed track. No train in the image but it does have my rental car which, in compliance to Rule 9, was returned with footprints on the roof. As I was digging around tonight, I discovered almost the exact angle from forty years ago (bottom - October 9, 1977) of a Conrail freight heading from the BRC to the CR main.
Cameron Applegath Commercial Ave Yard. Very start of the BRC...for westbounds...

Stan Stanovich ...the relatively recent disconnection with the "J" at Rock Island Junction is a CN "thing!!!" (or since their acquisition of the EJ&E!!!)..

Bob Lalich commented on a post
Rock Island Jct was manned by a BRC employee. It was non-interlocked and all trains had to stop. The structure for the operator was more of a shanty than a tower. No levers. All the switches were hand thrown. Here is another photo by the same photographer showing the shanty. Power was returning to Colehour after dropping off a transfer at BRC's Commercial Ave Yard.
Lawrence Smith quite amazing - BO/CO pssgr trains ran through here for 70 or so years and the switches were always hand thrown.
Steven climbed the Pennsy embankment and is looking West under the Skyway. The lone track that is left under the Pennsy+NYC bridges is no longer used! But the track that climbs the embankment to connect with NS/Conrail is the important one and it still exists.
Steven J. Brown posted
Belt Railway of Chicago SW9 521 works under the Skyway at South Chicago, Illinois - October 9, 1977.

Joe Usselman posted
A pair of former Conrail dash 8's lead a train onto the BRC at Rock Island Junction in 2010.

Steven J. Brown posted
Westbound - Now and then - South Chicago - Forty years apart!
Norfolk Southern 9636 GE C44-9W (built 2001) leading on February 24, 2017.
Conrail 5956 EMD GP7 (built 1953 as PRR 8584) leading on October 9, 1977.
Dennis DeBruler I just noticed how the 2017 version shows both jointed rails and CWR tracks. And it shows that jointed rails don't have to dip at each joint as you see with poorly maintained track.
Joe Usselman posted
A BRC bound manifest approaches Rock Island junction in 2010 at Chicago.
[This NS/BRC connection is the one that still exists in the junction.]
John DeWit Woodlock II posted two photos with the comment: "CRL 4200,9469 @ Rock Island Jct-Chicago,IL 12 NOV 1.8"
John DeWit Woodlock II posted again
[I added a couple of comments including a link to Steven's 1977 view that is above.]


William Shapotkin posted
Jerry Smigla Looks like Rock Is. junction.
John Iwanski Beyond the Skyway, with a train visible on the bridge above the departing passenger train, would be I assume the PRR and NYC tracks, respectively.
Bob Lalich Both comments are correct.

Arturo Gross Flickr 1998 Photo, State Line Power Plant is in the background.

Arturo Gross Flickr 1995 Photo of a Conrail freight climbing the ramp towards the bridges.
Andrew Osborne: I work on CP and I come from Bensenville, down the BRC from Cragin to Rock Island Jct (this location on BRC) and come to this NS control point, CP 509. I sit here a lot sometimes waiting to enter NS territory to go towards Elkhart
Aruro posted the link and some of the comments include additional photos of the BRC-PRR connection.

In this posting Bob and Rob answered one of my questions concerning this area. Also "CSL had trackage rights on the B&O to reach Rock Island Jct."

Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. It is on my todo list to figure out which railroad had which of the five tracks that used to be here. BRC was northernmost. CRL/Rock Island went through there. I believe that Chicago Short Line had had there own track(s) through here, at least back before the B&O bridge was wrecked. It sounds like the PRR's Cummings Branch may have used the southern overpass.,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3

Bob Lalich The five tracks over Commercial Ave seen in the Google photo were two BRC tracks on the north bridge and three Rock Island tracks on the other two bridges. The single track bridge on the south was a Rock Island switching lead and spur to industries east of Commercial. CSL had trackage rights on the B&O to reach Rock Island Jct.

Rod Truszkowski Bob Lalich that photo is old the three bridges are still there but only on is used the junction was reconfigured about ten years ago or more. The only bridge used is the north one.the two r.i. tracks in the middle now veer over to the BRC track and then heads to cp509 and the district main. There is a switch that will let the trains also go down towards the ej&e yard. The two r.i. tracks are the old mains, they are owned by csl but one is controlled by the ns. The junction is controlled by the BRC south dispatchers.

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