Monday, October 16, 2017

Rock Island 12th Street Piggyback Yard

(12th Street was renamed Roosevelt Road.)
Most of the views of Rock Island's freight house, which was on the east side of this piggyback yard are in Rock Island and NYC Freight Housses at La Salle Station. Those notes also contain photos of NYC's Flex-Van service because that yard was west of the NYC freight houses where NYC used to have their team tracks.

Rock Island built a piggyback yard between their LaSalle Station tracks and B&OCT's tracks. This is the first view I have seen of the yard from the B&OCT (West) side. The office part of the Erie freight house is in the right background.
American-Rails.com posted
Taken from Chicago's Roosevelt Road Bridge, Baltimore & Ohio RS1 #9186 totes a single baggage car along Grand Central Station's lead tracks on December 26, 1967. Roger Puta photo.
Bob Lalich There is so much to take in here! The Rock Island single TOFC car train looks to be a transfer. Wonder which of the eastern roads it went to? I remember seeing those outside braced cabooses around the area.James Corbett Started out as a C&O Unit, switching Huntington WV.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
The photo is facing southeast. Rock Island's tracks to the LaSalle Street Station would be on the other side of their piggyback yard. This photo turns out to be one of the best views I have seen of the piggyback yard. The tracks we see are the B&OCT tracks to the Grand Central Station. I always wondered what got torn down to make room for a piggyback yard because that is a rather late development in railroading. I now think RI got the old riverbed after the river was straightened and it became the piggyback yard. This 1938 aerial photo shows the new Chicago River channel along the left side and the old riverbed was still undeveloped.




Paul Enenback Flickr photos from 1968: looking northwestlooking southwest.
Bill Molony posted
New York Central Railroad EMD E7A #4028, assisted by an E7B, leading an eastbound passenger train out of La Salle Street Station. Undated, but most likely circa 1965.
[The building in the middle is some remnants of a Rock Island Freight House. By 1965, LCL freight was killed by trucks. That is why Rock Island developed piggyback service to try to compete with trucks. Since the Interstate Highway system  was not yet ubiquitous, they stood a chance to compete with trucks.]

Bill Molony shared
Grand Central Terminal, Wells and Harrison, 1969

Brian Watt also posted
I found this picture on Pinterest ...Grand Central Station, 1969. This photo is part of a collection of historic Chicago photos from the archives of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). I find the background of this picture to be equally interesting.

Dennis DeBruler posted
I was updating my notes concerning freight houses that were in the South Loop and I came across this photo. It is worth sharing.

Of course we have the intended subject of the Grand Central Station and its huge clear-span train shed. But note the Rock Island tracks in their 12th Street Yard for piggyback service. Even more interesting is the land south of Roosevelt that has no tracks and is being used for trailer storage. This is the original route of the South Branch of the Chicago River. It was filled in after the South Branch was straightened. It doesn't have tracks because it is "new land" that was created decades after the tracks were laid for Grand Central Station, La Salle Street Station, and Dearborn Station. (The original reason for straightening the river, creating more north/south roads through the area, never happened. I had assumed the river was straightened to help navigation. But I learned that was not the case. Thinking some more about it, if a ship can get around Wolf Point, it can get around the curves that used to be in the South Branch.)

This is one of the photos where, the more you look, the more history you find. Note all of the fire protection water towers that were still on top of the buildings and the Chicago Housing Project buildings in the background. We have already discussed in thi group the conversion of the Meadow Gold Butter cold storage building into condos. I can't figure out what the smokestacks were for that are to the right of the "butter house."

Bill Molony posted
Rock Island EMD E9A #662, pushing two Pullman-Standard bi-level cars towards La Salle Street Station in July of 1972.
John Foster Its great to see a locomotive/ bi-level consist that matches liveries.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its the year 1975 overlooking the Rock Island Roosevelt yard in Chicago .By 2009 it was full of trees and deep weeds .So much more has changed since 2009 with more Town houses along Clark st and Roosevelt Rd at this same location i should go back again.

Mark posted again
Clifford Nickerson How did that one pole survive?
Steven J. Brown shared
Rock Island E8 650 arrives with one of the Rockets at Roosevelt Rd in Chicago - April 3, 1977.
Dennis DeBruler It also provides a new view of the Erie freight house and RI piggyback yard.
Matt McClure Looks so different today one would think the other side of the world. I like the signal bridge on the ex-CWI tracks leading toward moribund Dearborn Station.
Den Adler They weren't exactly putting out a train that enticed people into riding it.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1974 I'm on top of Roosevelt Rd bridge with eastbound over view of the Rock Island Roosevelt Rd piggy back yard in Chicago .I went back last week 2018 to line up my photo and only three tracks remain of the once very busy yard and what it used to be.
[The empty lot is where the B&OCT tracks that served Grand Central Station used to be. The B&O tearing down one of the better looking buildings in Chicago helped spur the development of Historic building lists. It is ironic that the land remained worthless for about a half-century. This view should be changing again because plans to develop it are finally being announced. At least they are mowing it so that it no longer a haven for undesirables. I would hate to think about how many rats use to live in the "wilderness" that used to be there.]
Steven J. Brown posted
Rock Island SW1 4804 (built 1946 as IC 9025, became Metra 2) with RTA F40PH 107 at Roosevelt Road in Chicago - Circa 1978.
Arturo Gross has a shot from the east side.

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