Friday, September 22, 2017

C&WI 74th Street (Hamilton Park) Tower

(Satellite, torn down around 1999)

Many of the freight trains that go through this wye also go through the 81th Street wye.

Robert Daly posted two photos with the comment: "C&WI tower at 74th St (Hamilton Park), Oct 17 87."



1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
David Daruszka commented on Robert's posting
Tower in red circle.

Bob Lalich Flickr, May 1986
Big Smokestack
It almost appears that the Conrail lead unit has a giant stack as it passes 74th St Tower on the C&WI, 5-86.
conrail trains were actually quite common on this portion, usually or always sent from
the ford/ 59th street tower southbound on tracks 4, 5 or 6 to the 80th street
switchtender, t.v. trains as they were identified , the t.v. train would enter onto the
belt rail way and head to rock island jct to join the conrail line.
you can imagine my re-action seeing the missing tracks. the summer of 1979 was a good year for me on the c.w.i., being 19 and a switchman, & switchtender at 80th street and pullman jct before the belt inserted c.t.c in the fall.

Some comments on a post:

Jon Roma 74th was the junction of the C&WI main line with that of the Wabash (northwest leg of the wye) and the Belt Railway of Chicago (southwest leg of the wye). There was still another junction at 80th/81st Street. I've been told that's a spot not to linger at too long. The South Side is full of interesting railroad junctions, and I would have liked to experience some of this "back in the day".

Ean Kahn-Treras The layout of the junction forms a wye. CWI to Wabash at 74th Street. BRC to CWI above 76th Street. CWI mainline also goes straight north to south between 74th and 76th Street.

The diagonal line cutting across the bottom half of your map grab is th
e Rock Island. It crosses the BRC/CWI overhead, and is not technically a junction. 80th Street referenced, by Jon is just ahead though.

There have been an unfathomable amount of changes to this corridor within our lives. All the railroad names referenced here are only for historical purposes. I'll do a quick summary of present day routing/operations.

74th Street is definitely a busy place nowadays, but mainly along only one third of the wye. The southwest connection (BRC to CWI) features heaps of CSX, UP, NS and BRC movements. This is roughly milepost 15 of BRC's Kenton Line between Cragin and CP509/Rock Island Junction. BRC runs a pair of trains from Clearing to their own South Chicago Yard daily. The rest of the movements along this stretch of the BRC consist of: CP to/from eastern Canada via NS (Conrail) Chicago Line, UP to/from the Villa Grove Sub, CSX to/from the Villa Grove Sub and to/from CP501 via NS (Conrail) Chicago Line, NS to/from Landers (Wabash), to/from Calumet Yard (NKP) and finally to/from the Chicago Line (Conrail).

The northwest wye is almost 100% Metra movements as this leg is part of the Southwest Service. As Jon notated this leg would have been the Wabash breaking away from the CWI. There are apparently a small handful of NS stack train transfers between Ashland Ave, and 51st/55th Street intermodal terminals and Landers Yard that would use this leg as well.

The straight north south routing on the east side of the arrangement at 74th would have been the mainline of the CWI. Nowadays you can count pretty much only on Amtrak's Hoosier State or Cardinal (depending on the day) to be the one move to use this part of the junction. In theory I guess there could also be NS stack transfers between the Conrail side mentioned before, but this time headed for Calumet Yard. I am not certain though.

80th Street, to the south along the CWI and BRC is also vastly simplified compared to days gone by. The CWI at this point split into a passenger and freight main for both the State Line mainline and the Dolton branch. That total would add up to 4 different arrangements splitting apart at 80th Street. Things get quite confusing around here. Feel free to reference the Chicago Rail Junctions' entry on this corridor titled THE CHICAGO & WESTERN INDIANA / BELT RAILWAY CORRIDOR. It is found near the bottom of that webpage.

Ean Kahn-Treras Nowadays 80th Street is just a couple sets of switches. CSX and UP headed for the Villa Grove Sub/Dolton use the western most trackage. Trains bound for CP 509 and the NS (Conrail) Chicago Line use the middle. Calumet Yard and NKP side of NS operations bound trains use the eastern most track that raises up and over the CP 509 bound trackage.

Jon Roma commented on a post
Here's what 74th Street looked like in the Sixties.

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