Saturday, September 30, 2017

CGW Austin (also Chicago Transfer and 48th Ave.) Yard

(Satellite)
The "Austin" name is because that is the town it was in. The "48th Ave." name is because that was the former name for Cicero Ave.
Mark Llanuza posted
Eastbound 192 at Austin Yard 1967 [photo collection Mark Llanuza]
Tom Casper That is the six pack I like
Ean Kahn-Treras yeah...holy crap. Passing right by the Central Ave station on the Forest Park branch. It doesn't have much time left in service either as it was abolished as a station stop in September of 73.

I'm gonna have to get you a photo of the CSX candy job [Ferrara Candy Company] passing this exact spot so you can see how little has actually changed here. Very neat, Mark

The caption on Mark's photo raised the question: where is Austin Yard?
The yard the CGW leased from the B&OCT was called the "Chicago Transfer Yard" and it lays just south of the Eisenhower Expressway between Cicero and Laramie Avenues in Chicago. The yard is lightly used today by the CSXT to serve a couple local industries. CGW freights normally operated directly into the B&OCT yard and the power layed over there, while the small amount of local traffic CGW handled was set out and switched at "the Transfer". [Trains]
It would have been the 48th Ave. Yd. on this map:
B&OCT Map
As usual, there were more, and longer, tracks in 1938. But I'm surprised how much vacant land was south of the yard. I'm used to seeing a lot of "brown land" in today's aerial views of railroad and industrial areas, but I'm not used to seeing what appears to be a lot of torn down industrial buildings in 1938.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Zoomed into engine service facilities on the east end of the yard.
Update:
Dennis DeBruler posted a link of a CGW map with the comment:
Chicago Great Western shared access to downtown Chicago with Wisconsin Central. That shared route is now owned by B&OCT. CGW was abandoned by C&NW rather soon after they bought them. WC had the Schiller Park yard. Where was CGW's Chicagoland yard?
Ean Kahn-Treras Chicago Transfer Yard roughly on the Chicago/Cicero border. Laramie and Roosevelt/12th St.

Paul Turner So the line that servers Ferrara Pan alongside 290 was originally CGW?
Chris Schultz Paul Turner B&OCT.
Paul Turner So always B&OCT?
Dennis DeBruler Paul Turner No
The first owner of the completed shared route was the Chicago & Great Western. (The adjective "completed" means I skipped railroads that got charters but did not do much with them.) Note the ampersand. This was not the CGW. Back then (circa 1880s) CGW was using the name Minnesota & Northwestern. WC back then, in Illinois, was called Chicago & Wisconsin. (Many railroads in 1928 were constructed from shorter railroads that were chartered and built in the 19th Century.) I'll simplify the history by using the CGW and WC names in these notes. The C&GW used a temporary passenger station at Wells and Polk Streets in 1888.
Henry Villard became president of the Northern Pacific in 1881 and wanted to gain direct access to the Chicago market so he leased WC. Then he formed Chicago & Northern Pacific Railroad and used it to buy C&GW in 1889 along with some other shortlines that C&GW had acquired. He opened Grand Central Station in 1890 and convinced B&O to move their passenger trains from the IC tracks to this station in 1891. Pere Marquette also moved their trains to this station.
Mr. Villard not only entered the passenger market with a grand new station, he entered the freight market by consolidating many little railroads as the Chicago Terminal Transfer Railroad. Then his Chicago operations went bankrupt and B&O scooped them up in 1910 to form B&OCT.
The above was an attempt to summarize the info in the boct-history-4-11-1947 file in the Files section of this group.
(I want to thank Bob Lalich for providing me the copy of the B&OCT history file that I uploaded to Files.)

Andre Kristopans The line east of the Madison St grade crossing was B&OCT. Back in 1800s was owned by the Northern Pacific Ry (the one out west, who owned the Wisconsin Central at one time). B&O got a hold of it in the 1890s as part of a bankruptcy. CGW was a tenant. Freight yard was leased from B&OCT, roundhouse east of Cicero, also leased part of B&O roundhouse at Roosevelt Rd downtown. As an aside B&OCT was not absorbed by CSX, it still exists as an operating entity with employees, and in fact some of CSX's newer GE's are on paper owned by B&OCT!


Andre Kristopans Chicago Transfer Yard was owned by B&OCT. CGW rented certain tracks but not whole yard.
Dennis DeBruler Did CGW rent stalls in this roundhouse as well?
How did WC and CGW passenger trains use the B&OCT Lincoln Coach Yard. And the roundhouse in Robey Street Yard? Or did B&OCT handle the coaches like C&WI did for its owners?
Andre Kristopans Dennis DeBruler now I am not 100% certain, but it APPEARS SOO and WC simply backed their trains in and out of Grand Central. Likely had a couple of local crews to do it, but there is no indication B&OCT was involved. Will look into this some more though.
Andre Kristopans Dennis DeBruler here is some more info. It appears SOO owned from Madison St to Central Ave, B&OCT east of there. B&OCT had rights to Madison St however, and SOO had rights to Grand Central. CGW appears to be strictly a tenant. Also interestingly the Madison to Central stretch actually was owned by "Central Terminal", leased from day 1 to Minneapolis St Paul & Sault Ste Marie, subleased to Wisconsin Central (which itself was of course leased to MStP&SSM.)

You ever want to really get into the weeds as to who begat who and who owns who in the railroad world, take a look at the ICC Valuation Reports in the WW1 era. Much of it is very dry financial stuff, but they go into great detail as far as predecessors, subsidiaries, trackage leased or leased out. For instance, they detail the Pennsylvania Railroad (Lines East) and Pennylvania Company (Lines West) and their nearly 400 predecessors and subsidiaries in great detail.
Andre Kristopans Dennis DeBruler one additional info - CGW coach yard in 1920s was at "Empire Slip". Any ideas? Sounds like right at Grand Central maybe?
Dennis DeBruler Andre Kristopans I would assume that "Empire Slip" were some dedicated tracks in the Lincoln Street Coach Yard.
https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../b-lincoln-yard...
I know that B&OCT used to have a commuter service. But I assume most of those tracks were built by Northern Pacific backed assets to support Grand Central Station.

Actually, I try hard to avoid the "who begat who" spider webs. (For example, that is why I used the term "Northern Pacific backed assets" above rather than a railroad name.) By default, I use the 1928 names in my notes. If I do dig deeper, I try to find the name that chartered the route and, if different, the name that built the route. My introduction to the complexity of the corporate history of railroad routes was Pennsy's Panhandle. In particular, the Chicago & Great Eastern that gave them access to Chicago. Not only did it have over 20 corporate names throughout its history, it used the C&GE name four times!
https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../prrs-chicago...

So I generally ignore corporate ownership details. But I am interested in details as to how trains operated in 1928, which was probably the peak of "normal" railroading. (As opposed to WWII railroading.) Bill Molony has explained that C&WI owners would pull their passenger trains into Dearborn Station and then take their road engines back to their own yards. C&WI switchers would handle the movement of coaches between the station and their 47th Street Coach Yard. C&WI would then bill the owners for these movements. (Parts of 47th Street were also leased to Erie for their freight operations.) Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't know if the owner or C&WI switched the headend cars to the REA, etc.

Brian Watt Wasn't what became UPRR Wood St Yard formerly a CGW installation?
Dennis DeBruler commented on Brian's comment on Dennis' post
Wood St Yard was C&NW's Potato Yard. But B&OCT did have two yards east of it: Robey Street and Lincoln Street. But I don't know how WC(SOO), CGW, B&O and PM shared those facilities. The following map was posted by Henry Freeman in 2016. C&NW bought the B&OCT land to create its Global I intermodal yard. (Steam loco servicing and a coach yard was obsolete anyhow.)
Wood Street Yard: https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../c-wood-street...

Dennis DeBruler CGW also had a local freight yard in the western suburbs called Ingalton.
https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../chicago-great...
Ken Swiderski Dennis DeBruler Wasn't most of the switching handled by Chicago Transfer Yard? What was Ingalton used for, interchanging via the J and for industry work?
Dennis DeBruler Ken Swiderski Sorry about the delay, but I had to take some time to fix some errors I had in my General Mills notes. UP switched General Mills on the former CGW tracks until it closed in 2002.
https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../general-mills...

This comment by nordique72 at April 6, 2011 11:16am in http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/190060.aspx?page=2 makes it sound like both CGW yards were industrial yards.

"The yard the CGW leased from the B&OCT was called the 'Chicago Transfer Yard' and it lays just south of the Eisenhower Expressway between Cicero and Laramie Avenues in Chicago. The yard is lightly used today by the CSXT to serve a couple local industries. CGW freights normally operated directly into the B&OCT yard and the power layed over there, while the small amount of local traffic CGW handled was set out and switched at 'the Transfer'."

I assume that Ingalton was a "helper" yard much like CB&Q's Eola Yard was back when Clyde (Cicero) handled freight or Santa Fe's GM Yard was back when Corwith handled freight. (Now Eola and GM Yards are the freight yards because the main yards have been converted to intermodal. In fact, Eola has been expanded.)

Andre Kristopans The line east of the Madison St grade crossing was B&OCT. Back in 1800s was owned by the Northern Pacific Ry (the one out west, who owned the Wisconsin Central at one time). B&O got a hold of it in the 1890s as part of a bankruptcy. CGW was a tenant. Freight yard was leased from B&OCT, roundhouse east of Cicero, also leased part of B&O roundhouse at Roosevelt Rd downtown. As an aside B&OCT was not absorbed by CSX, it still exists as an operating entity with employees, and in fact some of CSX's newer GE's are on paper owned by B&OCT!
Dennis DeBruler commented on Andre's comment
This excerpt from the boct-history-4-11-1947 provides a 1910 date for B&O organizing B&OCT to acquire the bankrupt assets that Northern Pacific help build or acquire. Back in 1890, Mr. Villard was still building his empire in the Chicago area.

I've read that B&OCT is independent of CSXT because of a clerical error that was made when the merger was executed. They forgot to include B&OCT in the merger.

Andre Kristopans Chicago Transfer Yard was owned by B&OCT. CGW rented certain tracks but not whole yard.
Dennis DeBruler Did CGW rent stalls in this roundhouse as well?

How did WC and CGW passenger trains use the B&OCT Lincoln Coach Yard. And the roundhouse in Robey Street Yard? Or did B&OCT handle the coaches like C&WI did for its owners?
Andre Kristopans Dennis DeBruler now I am not 100% certain, but it APPEARS SOO and WC simply backed their trains in and out of Grand Central. Likely had a couple of local crews to do it, but there is no indication B&OCT was involved. Will look into this some more though.
Andre Kristopans Dennis DeBruler here is some more info. It appears SOO owned from Madison St to Central Ave, B&OCT east of there. B&OCT had rights to Madison St however, and SOO had rights to Grand Central. CGW appears to be strictly a tenant. Also interestingly the Madison to Central stretch actually was owned by "Central Terminal", leased from day 1 to Minneapolis St Paul & Sault Ste Marie, subleased to Wisconsin Central (which itself was of course leased to MStP&SSM.)

You ever want to really get into the weeds as to who begat who and who owns who in the railroad world, take a look at the ICC Valuation Reports in the WW1 era. Much of it is very dry financial stuff, but they go into great detail as far as predecessors, subsidiaries, trackage leased or leased out. For instance, they detail the Pennsylvania Railroad (Lines East) and Pennylvania Company (Lines West) and their nearly 400 predecessors and subsidiaries in great detail.
Andre Kristopans Dennis DeBruler one additional info - CGW coach yard in 1920s was at "Empire Slip". Any ideas? Sounds like right at Grand Central maybe?
Dennis DeBruler Andre Kristopans I would assume that "Empire Slip" were some dedicated tracks in the Lincoln Street Coach Yard.
https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../b-lincoln-yard...
I know that B&OCT used to have a commuter service. But I assume most of those tracks were built
 by Northern Pacific backed assets to support Grand Central Station.

Actually, I try hard to avoid the "who begat who" spider webs. (For example, that is why I used the term "Northern Pacific backed assets" above rather than a railroad name.) By default, I use the 1928 names in my notes. If I do dig deeper, I try to find the name that chartered the route and, if different, the name that built the route. My introduction to the complexity of the corporate history of railroad routes was Pennsy's Panhandle. In particular, the Chicago & Great Eastern that gave them access to Chicago. Not only did it have over 20 corporate names throughout its history, it used the C&GE name four times!
https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../prrs-chicago...

So I generally ignore corporate ownership details. But I am interested in details as to how trains operated in 1928, which was probably the peak of "normal" railroading. (As opposed to WWII railroading.) Bill Molony has explained that C&WI owners would pull their passenger trains into Dearborn Station and then take their road engines back to their own yards. C&WI switchers would handle the movement of coaches between the station and their 47th Street Coach Yard. C&WI would then bill the owners for these movements. (Parts of 47th Street were also leased to Erie for their freight operations.) Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't know if the owner or C&WI switched the headend cars to the REA, etc.
Andre Kristopans Dennis DeBruler I have my doubts that Empire Slip was at Lincoln Yard. "Slip" would infer a waterway, which would infer near the river. Anything with that name on pre-straightening maps?
Bob Lalich commented
Empire Slip was located on the South Branch of the Chicago River at 12th St. Lincoln Ave Coach Yard replaced what must have been a very cramped Empire Slip yard. This map is from Railway Age 1909 and lists Empire Slip as the coach yard for B&O, CGW, and PM.
Andre Kristopans Bob Lalich very interesting that CNW already had two coach yards, California and Erie. I wonder if there was a roundhouse at California? Probably...
Jon Roma posted
Photographer K. C. Henkels snapped this image of a Chicago Great Western F unit on September 13, 1964. The slide mount states that this was taken in Chicago. However, I am not intimately familiar with their Chicago operations to suggest where this might have been.
Ray Weart This was indeed Chicago, Chicago Transfer Yard to be exact. The post 1959 CGW engine ramp was right by the Laramie Ave bridge toward the east end of the yard. The steam era round house burned to the ground prior to 1959. That was located right by the BRC embankment just east of Cicero Ave.

Evie N Bob Bruns posted
Chicago Great Western at Central Ave. yard in Chicago 1967
Ken Schmidt Forgive my ignorance, but where was the Great Weedy's yard (other than Central Ave)?
Richard Fiedler Ken Schmidt in Chicago that was it and was called Chicago Transfer.
Jeff Lewis Ken, the yard paralleled (actually, it still does parallel) the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) between Harlem Ave. on the west and S.Central Ave on the east. It's part of the B&OCT, now CSX, and was also used by the Soo Line, now CN, linking from the north at the east end of the yard. The lines all merged at what is now the CTA blue line Harlem station.


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