Saturday, April 29, 2017

BNSF/CB&Q Congress Park Yard

Satellite
I learned that the name of the little yard here is Congress Park Yard in the comments on the following derailment that happened on or before 1967.
This is one of eight photos posted by Mike Croy.
[There are other views of this stock car. It is the stock car itself that I find fascinating. Most photos from the 1960s are of engines, not freight cars. So I think this is the first time I have seen a quality photo of a stock car. Note the outside truss bracing and the script "Everywhere West" logo.  There are also a couple views of a Big Hook in Mike's posting.]

20161017 6305
After rail fanning for a while where BNSF/CB&Q crosses over the IHB, I headed east along the tracks to check out the commuter stations. I was rather surprised to find that Pepperidge Farm was not the only line-side industry left along the Racetrack. When I saw cars on what looked like an industrial lead, I turned around to take some pictures.


BNSF seems to now use the Congress Park Yard for Maintenance of Way storage.


Since it is close to the connection with the IHB, it was once probably used to interchange local freight with the IHB. This Bing map image shows five cars spotted on the industrial spur.

Satellite
An older image even has the fallen flag of a Burlington Northern car.
Birds-Eye View
Congress Park was an interchange yard with IHB. Back before unit trains and Interstate highways, the major yards in Chicago were hump yards instead of intermodal yards. Interchange yards were important because they were where one railroad would deliver a cut of cars to another railroad.

Also, at one time, CB&Q served 500 industries east of Aurora. So small yards gave the local train a base from which to distribute cars to the various industries in the neighborhood and assemble the cars retrieved from those industries into a cut that they could take back to the railroad's classification yard.

Before the current configuration for Ogden Avenue, there used to be a truss bridge that took Ogden straight over BNSF and IHB. I was shocked to learn that before the truss bridge, Ogden had today's underpass configuration.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Other than the removal of the connector in the northwest quadrant, the yard has about as many tracks as it used to have. But it is now used for car and Maintenance of Way storage.

No comments:

Post a Comment