Monday, July 31, 2017

NS/NKP and Aban/Erie+C&O Bridge over Grand Calumet River

(no Bridge Hunter?, Satellite)

It is hard to believe that at one time someone thought this river would be navigable!
Street View

Josh Lemier posted
Here in this epic photo Tom Golden got this shot on top of the Grand Calumet River Bridge with an Erie Lackawanna Westbound passing underneath in 1976.
Collection Of Sam Beck.
Mark Bilecki Sr. The Erie, Nickel Plate bridge was replaced with a culvert bridge by NW around 1983.
Mark Bilecki Sr. There was a control shack up there that was considered a tower.
Bob Lalich The operator on the bridge controlled the interlocking that allowed the railroads to jointly use the bridge and swap positions. West of the bridge, the EL was north of the NKP. East of the bridge, the NKP was north of the EL. Going way back, the operator also controlled the opening of the bridge. This portion of the Grand Calumet was navigable in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
Joseph Tuch Santucci This bridge continues to be used regularly as NS schedules numerous trains on the former NKP daily.

Ira Silverman posted
Can anyone identify this location? "I believe" it is in Hammond IN and that's the Amtrak Floridian coming at you.
William Vandervoort Couldn't have been the Floridian, at the time the only semaphore on the Monon in Hammond was the northbound home signal at State Line. Maybe this is the James Whitcomb Riley or Cardinal, which used the Erie through Hammond connecting with the C&O.
William Vandervoort Erie/EL called it CA Tower. The bridge was shared with Nickel Plate, those railroads traded places there. On April Fools Day 1976, Conrail was formed and they basically abandoned the EL line. C&O didn't want responsibility, having had trackage rights, and started rerouting the freight trains via B&O to Wellsboro, then the former Pere Marquette La Crosse Subdivision to join the C&O at La Crosse. For about a month the James Whitcomb Riley was bussed between Chicago and Peru IN, until arrangements were made to use the former Erie. In 1977, the train began using the Wellsboro routing and was also renamed the Cardinal.
William Vandervoort Wellsboro to La Crosse was not signaled. Though as I recall it had welded rail in decent shape. Here is a train order from one of my trips on the Cardinal, authorizing Amtrak to run "extra". What seemed strange was the angle at which we crossed the PRR main line at Hanna, and the fact that the crossing over paralleling US 30 had no gates, just flashers and bells. The westbound Cardinal was actually traveling slightly northeast at that point. Theoretically a straight line north from La Crosse to the B&O to would have been the Monon Michigan City Branch, which crossed the B&O at Alida. Wellsboro is 7 miles east of Alida, a 7 mile displacement which needed to be compensated over the La Crosse Subdivision.
Jon Roma I've read that, in the rush of getting Conrail underway, someone had forgotten about the joint Erie-C&O trackage, and the shutdown of that route had to be corrected after the fact.
Jon Roma commented on Ira's posting
Since many people are having a hard time visualizing the location of Ira Silverman's picture, I've taken a scanned page from the 1915 Sanborn fire insurance atlas and overlaid it with blue bullets that show the three pertinent interlocking towers. (Erie's "HY" Tower is out of frame and hence is not shown.)

The approximate angle the photographer was facing is depicted with a red arrow.

Josh Lemier posted
Here in this new cover photo we see two Erie Lackawanna Manifest Freights passing at Hammond, Indiana crossing the Calumet River Bridge. Date Unknown.
Photo Credit To Mike Raia.
Michael Mireles HD tower sits above....
Bob Lalich The EB likely originated at either 51st St Yard or Clearing on the BRC.
[A swing bridge that hadn't swung for years.]
Michael Dye posted
NKP 763, at 'ED' drawbridge. Hammond, FEB57.
[Monon's bridge is on the left.]
Michael Dye posted
RR East view of 'ED' drawbridge, Grand Calumet River. Hammond, FEB57.
[Monon's bridge is in the background.]

Michael Dye posted
A photo, looking North, taken from a floodlight tower in the Erie's Hammond yard, in JUN 1957. The single Monon track to the left with the Erie's main and yard leads to the right. I believe that is Douglas Street in the foreground. [Actually, it is Clinton Street back when it still went across the tracks.]
Nice view of the layout of the Monon and Erie/NKP Calumet bridges, in the far background.
Photo taken by my late Grandfather, C.L. Coates, Signal Gang foreman, Erie Signal Gang 33.

C&E: Milwaukee's Chicago and Evanston

This is a draft that inadvertently had the Publish button clicked. So be it. It has enough info to be useful.

<See also the draft about Peerless Confections!!!!!>

Former Wonder Bread plant
Steve Winike posted
Mike Porcaro On Diversey at Lakewood in Chicago?
Sharon A Walker There was one on Clybourn & Southport & Webster. Now the Webster Theaters.
Charles Chamberlin Helps build strong bodies 8 ways ...
Paul Gulbransen Their slogan- good memory

Other resources for the C&E: maps1, maps2David Daruszka's blog, Chicago Reader (the article is interesting, but read it and close it because the advertisements can hang your browser) ("Inconvenience to the sweat set occurs, at most, one or two days a week, whenever the Peerless Candy Company receives a shipment of sugar syrup. Peerless, on Lakewood between Schubert and Diversey"), Chicago Switching Lakewood, Chicago Switching overview (maps).

Lou Gerard posted in Facebook
Lou Gerard's comment "The Conductor throws the switch so the Division St. job in Chicago can go in and get a car out of the Midwest Zinc siding with caboose #5. October 1989."

Lou Gerard posted
Lou's comment:
SOO LINE GP9 2550 on Kingsbury south of North Ave. in 1996. A large Whole Foods Market now occupies the area to the left.

Second picture in above posting

Lou Gerard posted
SOO LINE train crossing Fullerton at the
Lake Shore Athletic Club, 1989.
It looks like the club is the "Lakeshore Sport & Fitness Lincoln Park."

There are still tracks in Fullerton Ave. and at least to a block to the south!

Michael O'Connor We used to drink at the Schubert Inn. We would double park on Lakewood in front of the bar. When the Hostess factory on Diversey was getting a delivery of flour or sugar or corn syrup, the engineer would put up just so far, give a blast of the horn and we would all go out and move our cars so he could cross Schubert and make his delivery. In fact there was almost alway a lone tank car at a siding on the NE corner of Lakewood and Schubert.
Lou Gerard Those tank cars were for the Peerless Candy factory.
Bob Mucci There was a passenger station at Fullerton.
James Connelly the train come on tuesday up until a few years ago. there was a breakman on the front opening the locked chain on thepath starting at clyborne going past treasure island ,the workout club on fullerton, past the bar till it hit the factory. the brake man then would run back to re lock the path. fun chicahgo stuff
Philip Berger I wrote this piece about the freight line for the Reader almost 25 years ago - interesting story

Lou Gerard posted
SOO LINE train on Lakewood and Schubert
passing the Schubert Inn. 1989.
Christopher Brandt They stopped using them about 7 years ago. When Peerless Candies closed. [2016-7=1999.]

Ray Carl i remember this as a kid. served Peerless Candy among many others on Lakewood. Wonder Bread's original Chicago Bakery was on the West side across from Peerless. when Hodgkins was built along the BNSF line this became just a route garage and bakery store. Chicago Terminal took over the line before most of it was torn up due to the city changing the area to residential.
Philip Nick With a Milwaukee Road bandit in the lead.

According to Google Map, you can still see tracks in Lakewood. This photo was shared and got the additional comment:

Lou Gerard That was at Deval crossing with the C&NW. My Dad worked for the SOO, and this was the first wreck he went on to help clean up.

Nelson Herrera posted and Tim M. Hickernell shared
Nelson's comment: "1935 Wrigley Field"

What looks like a grain elevator in the background was a coal yard.

Tim M. Hickernell I love the train that is visible on the old Milwaukee Road Evanston Line, just about to cross Clark Street.

Bob Lalich Hard to tell if that is a train or just a cut of cars. It could be though. I have never seen a good photo of a train on that line.

Gary Elliott When I was a little kid, my Grandpa took me to the Cubs game and I'd go stand by the top row third base side and watch the Milw. switch the coal yard and a couple of warehouses in the area. Never got hassled by the Andy Fraines cause there was no one there anyway.

David Daruszka commented
More pictures of the coal company are in the retail coal bunks posting.

John David Larson posted
A Soo Line switcher "street running" in Chicago south of North Avenue in 1999. Even though Chicago is still the nation's railroad capitol actual freight service in the city like this had all but vanished by this date - and might be completely gone by now.
Bucky Buchholtz posted
Milwaukee Road C&E North Line switcher at C&E Junction on Kingsbury- the crew is trying to get the switch points to throw all the way back, a frequent problem at this location with the scrap yard right there. July, 1986.
There are several photos of Wrigley Field in Raymond Kunst's posting, but I was not able to figure out where the C&E tracks passed it. Did it share the tracks with the streetcars in this area?

Dave Weber posted
North of Wrigley field
All the comments agree the picture label is wrong. This is looking south and you can see Wrigley Field on the left side of the tracks in the background. The cars look like the 1950s.]
Rollie Tocups shared
Cub fans line up outside Wrigley Field next to boxcars on the Milwaukee Road team track. 1967.
Both the original and and shared posting have interesting comments.]
Stephen Karlson commented on Rollie's share
I scanned this picture from an issue of First and Fastest. The grease joint appears to be on the site of the coal dealer used to be across the street from the ballpark.
Wayne DeMunn commented on his own posting
[The Milwaukee is curving in from the bottom, past the silos (coal I believe), then straight north.]
Given that curve, you can clearly see traces of the diagonal where it moved east from Lakeland to Seminary Avenues.

Growing up in Chicago posted
David Daruszka The railroad tracks belonged to Milwaukee Road and serviced customers as far north as Wilson Ave. There was an interchange yard with the CTA at Wilson, and they owned electric freight locomotives to service the few customers still extant north of Wilson. The line originally was the Chicago and Evanston branch of the Milwaukee Road, and had commuter passenger service as far as Wilmette until 1908. The CTA tracks essentially follow the railroad's old right of way. The freight service ended as the industries it served went out of business. If you look at the photo of the streetcar below you will see the silos of the coal company that sat near Wrigley Field.
Tim M. Hickernell shared Jim Arvites's post.
Milwaukee Road and tower at Wrigley Field. When I moved into Lake View 27 years ago, the line had just been suspended north of Belmont, but the crossing signs were still on Belmont. You can still see all kinds of remnants of the line in Lake View and Lincoln Park. Unfortunately the line runs no more this far north, after losing all remaining clients north of Clybourn. Can you imagine trains running by Wrigley today? Shared from Forgotten Chicago via Jim Arvites.

James Boudreaux posted
Wrigley Field, the Milwaukee Rd. and a CTA PCC. Photographer unknown
Eric Reinert Looks like Cubs vs. NY Giants June 22-24, 1951.
Paul Bourjaily commented on Tim's posting
Here's another with the crossing gates in prominent view, probably from the 40's.
Sue Morre Gustafson posted
Phil Sorrentino All those people must be headed for Wrigley Field not in the photo !Karen Lusak Looks more like they are leaving. Don't remember lines like that waiting to get in.
Greg Reynolds Kevin Kratow, the photo appears to be taken from the left field side of Wrigley looking SW.Michael Andrews Milwaukee road. It ran down towards the Wilson yard and actually adjoined the elevated concrete CTA tracks after Irving Park Road. BTW, the north end of the Red line there after Sheridan all the way out to Evanston runs on what was an old railway.
Nina D. Gaspich Was this the "Sugar Train" that went to the candy factories around Belmont and Lakewood?
Rob Olewinski Cmraseye Nina D. Gaspich yes, same line

Kevin Hickey Newest cars appear to be 1967.
Greg Reynolds commented on the above posting
Here is the approximate camera position & viewpoint shown in a 1950s aerial photo
Jeff Bransky commented on the above posting
Jeff Bransky This map is captured from a USGS map dated 1963. This map shows the tracks curving to the southwest after heading south next to Wrigley. The tracks have been removed or paved over now. In Google Maps it looks like an alley or parking lot currently runs for a couple of blocks SW and then the right of way is taken over by housing. The photo is looking SW at the curve as it crosses Addison. The people waiting in line are possibly waiting to get into Wrigley Field or they are just leaving and waiting for the CTA.
Jeff Bransky commented on the above posting
The ball park, coal yard, and tracks from a different perspective. Note, the bleachers are under construction all around the field. This photo was found at this website, date and original source not available:

Craig Holmberg commented on the above posting
Craig Holmberg commented on the above posting

OGR Forum, scroll down a little  (credited as Illinois Railway Museum, ca 1950.)
Looking north from the intersection of Clark and Addison. Notice the silos where Henry's would later be built.
[The silos held coal.]
A photo posted by Jeff Bransky
Little known today, Milwaukee and St. Paul RR tracks ran right along Wrigley Field heading north after crossing through the intersection of Addison and Clark Streets. Street cars ran on Clark and Addison. The tracks continued north and then shared the CTA elevated tracks starting alongside the cemeteries. A coal yard with tall silos stood on the triangle NW of the intersection. Passenger service was curtailed in 1917 but freight cars can still be seen in the mid sixties.
Jim Arvites posted a better scan of the above photo
From a bygone era, possibly 1930's, it is Game Day at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It looks like the Cubs were playing the old New York Giants. The game has just ended and baseball fans are catching the elevated Chicago Rapid Transit and Clark Street Streetcars to go home.
Jim Arvites posted
A CTA PCC Car crosses the Milwaukee Road tracks at Wrigley Field in Chicago in the early 1950's.
Jeff Bransky commented on  Jim's posting
Whenever the subject of RR tracks at Wrigley Field comes up I love to pull out this USGS map clip from 1963. The Milwaukee Road tracks and the red line elevated tracks can be seen on the map.
Milwaukee gave the route north of Wilson to the CTA with the understanding that the CTA would serve the few remaining industries along the track, most coal retailers. Milwaukee handed off freight cars to the CTA at Wilson.
Sam Carlson posted
Lou Gerard Wow! At Wilson Yard!
Ralcon Wagner Terrific! The freight loco used to move loads of coal between Milwaukee Road branch and CTA el line at Montrose/Wilson connecting track in Chicago. This image was made between 1960 and 1973. Looks like the loco was freshly painted. Great find!
Lou Gerard According to the info on the back of the print, it is from 1961.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Richard Mead's posting describes the passenger service, and David provided photos of several of the depots as comments.

B&LE 1918 Silicon Steel Bridge over Allegheny River at Acmetonia, PA

HAER PA,2-OAK.V,1--10 from pa3714

Oblique view of cantilever truss over main channel, looking NNE from south abutment. - Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, Allegheny River Bridge, Spanning Allegheny River, East of Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76), Oakmont, Allegheny County, PA

The bridge was designed by two U.S. Steel subsidiaries - the railroad and the American Bridge Company - as a showpiece for their parent company. This structure not only introduced new silicon steel to American bridge construction, but also helped revive continuous truss design. [pa3714]
 I included the label "metalIron" because this was evidently the first bridge built with silicon steel, which was stronger than existing steel. It is also a pioneering bridge because it used continuous spans rather than simple spans that were cantilevered and generated an upward force on some of the piers, especially during construction. This double track bridge replaced a single track bridge. The old bridge had a steel trestle for the north approach. That trestle was buried in an embankment when this bridge was built. Furthermore a "felling trestle" was built parallel to the existing trestle so that dump trains would not interfere with the normal ore trains. "Engineering News remarked, 'It is not often in any part ofthe country that a perfectly serviceable steel viaduct is treated in this way;... [Here] two such viaducts, side by side, are being buried.' The embankment, however, allowed U.S. Steel to dispose of 1.2 million cubic yards of slag from its mills, which may have outweighed the scrap value of the steel trestles." "With the trusses continuous across two piers, train loads are distributed among the three spans, requiring less material than an equivalent series of simple spans....The bridge was clearly intended as a showpiece for U.S. Steel" [pa3714data]

Note that the piers of the old bridge were extended using cut-stone even though reinforced concrete was becoming a more common construction material by 1918.

3D Satellite
Both a Flickr photo and a Facebook photo show iron ore trains on the bridge in the 21st Century. It is nice to know that there is at least one blast furnace still working somewhere in the Pittsburgh area. It looks like the old Homestead Works may be gone, but there are two blast furnaces still standing near Braddock, PA