Sunday, November 5, 2017

IC Weldon (18th) Yard

(Satellite, this is north of the historic yards)
Mark Llanuza posted
1972 18th yard Chicago IL
Louie Giometti Weldon Yard. I worked the second shift there stuffing pillows for the passenger train in the Material Department in the late 60’s
In this aerial photo, IC's Central Station is in the upper-left corner. So the yards here were used for long distance coach servicing. (In 1938, IC had lots of freight yards up north by the river and lake.) Central Station was closed around 1972 because Amtrak moved the remaining passenger trains that they continued to run to Union Station. So when Mark took his picture, it looks like the yard had been converted to commuter car storage. All of these yards, and the station, have been converted to real estate development. The current commuter car yard appears to be a little north of 18th Street.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Cliff Downey posted
Around 1960 a pair of IC passenger trains meet just south of Chicago's Central Station. The unknown photographer is standing in the cab of an E-unit of a southbound train, looking at a northbound passenger train that will soon arrive at Central Station.
To the left is IC's Weldon Coach Yard. Once an IC passenger train arrived at Central Station and all passengers had departed, the mail and express cars were uncoupled and moved to a small building next to Central Station for unloading. The rest of the train was pulled to Weldon yard, where an army of workers would go through each car, cleaning and do any necessary light repairs (heavy repairs and rebuilds were done at the Burnside Shops at 95th Street, on south side of Chicago).
Once cleaned and ready to go, trainsets were taken some 8-9 miles south to Fordham Yard. The trainset went around a balloon track and then was taken back to Central Station. This process ensured that cars were orientated properly when the train left Central Station.
Unfortunately the photographer's identity is unknown, along with the name/number of the trains.
John Fitts Especially like the express reefers to the right.
Edward Jarolin shared
[I believe Weldon yard is in the left background.]

Until the Burnside Shops were built in the 1890s, the Weldon Shops constructed and repaired locomotives and cars.
Bob Lalich commented on a post

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment on David's post
The information on Weldon Shops was interesting in its own right. I knew there were two roundhouses down by 27th Street. But this documents that there were a couple up around the north end of Soldier Field. And that one of them was B&O's.

1889 Chicago Quadrangle @ 1:62,500

The first formal contract for cars was made in May 1853 although a few had been delivered before on a verbal order to the American Car Company at Chicago whose works were afterward purchased by the Illinois Central Railroad Company and were used for many years as their principal car shops both for repairs and construction They were located at Twenty seventh street and the lake shore Chicago The contract was for ...The railroad company commenced building its own locomotives at Weldon shops Fourteenth street in 1862 and the first engine built was known as No 44 The original shops at Weldon were frame buildings for repair work and completed in 1853 The shops were enlarged and rebuilt in stone in 1855 These were burned in 1860 and rebuilt with the old walls They were abandoned in 1893 at the time the present Burnside shops were completed The latter are located about 12 miles from the central station on a plat of ground of 160 acres The locomotive shops at Burnside were erected in 1892 and 1893 the car shops in 1895 There are employed at these shops 2,248 men exclusive of engineers and firemen The capacity of the works is 27 engines per month for thorough and general repairs in addition to light and running repairs to engines and work for other departments The car shops have a capacity of giving general repairs and painting to CO passenger cars the construction of 130 new freight cars and the repairing of 3,000 freight cars per month It is considered one of the best equipped plants in the United States In addition to the shops at Burnside the company has 10 smaller shops at points where they are most needed When the road was completed in 1856 the company owned 100 passenger cars and 1,590 freight cars On December 31 1900 it owned 801 passenger cars and 41,136 freight cars The total number of men employed in the machinery department including engineers and firemen is 10,951 which is a greater number than was employed in all departments of the railroad in 1861 Notwithstanding this fact the company cannot longer manufacture any new locomotives all of the men and tools being employed in repairing the engines now used There are now in service on the entire system 1,008 engines A comparison of box ears shows that those first constructed had a capacity of 10 tons while the greater number now in use have a capacity of 40 tons The original coal cars had a capacity of 10 tons and the company Is now operating a great many coal cars of 50 tons capacity. [Google eBook: Railway Age, Feb 22, 1091, p138]

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