Thursday, September 7, 2017

Chicago Heights Terminal Transfer Railroad

Some consider the Central Manufacturing District (CMD) to be the first planned manufacturing district in the United States. But it appears the Chicago Heights Land Association may have proceeded it by 7 years. ( I consider the 75-acre industrial park built by the CB&Q and South Branch Dock Company to be the first planned manufacturing district.)
LabelleModels
Unlike the CMD, this area still has some heavy industry. CHTT was purchased by the C&EI in 1927, and it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Union Pacific.

On a current road map, it is easy to identify some of the early century segments.
  • 0.82 red
  • 2.40 green
  • By 1938 the town must have expanded to the east because I can't find the 0.85 and 1.44 segments nor C&EI branches in a 1938 aerial photo.
  • 0.81 blue
  • 0.37 orange
Satellite
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Their engine servicing facilities used to be north of their original yard and west of State Street.

HotTimes provides some insight as to how the non-Ford part of CHTT worked.

It is easy to see how the CHTT connected with UP/MoPac/C&EI and CN/EJ&E because those routes still exist. Aban/CR/NYC/Michigan Central is now the dirt path just north of the EJ&E on east of town. In fact, MC is still on the Google Road Map to State Street. If you draw a line straight west to the Old Plank Road Trail on the west side, that would have been the MC RoW. Not to be left out of the action in Chicago Heights, B&OCT built a branch south from New Holland, IL. This branch still extends to the Chicago Heights Glenwood Road because it still has tracks to the Hanson Material Services. It used to have a branch to the west to the Woodcrest engine servicing part of Illinois Central's Markham Yard, but a satellite image shows that track has been torn up.

Satellite
The 1938 aerial photo shows that B&OCT used to go south along the west side of Glenwood Woods and connected with the east side of its "green (see above map) belt." Except for the final segment south of US-30, you can still see the route through town on a satellite image.

The Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern Railway used to join the B&OCT in Chicago Heights to gain access to Chicago. Looking at the 1938 aerial photo, the CHTT was used between 17th and 22nd Streets. CTH&SE had its own route between the CHTT and Stewart Avenue.
Satellite
You can see from the tree lines where the CTH&SE left Chicago Heights to the south.

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