Thursday, November 9, 2017

Roosevelt Road (12th Street) Bridge and B&OCT Freight House

(Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges3D Satellite)

I used the bridge in the background of this photo to determine where this B&OCT locomotive was running. Once I identified the bascule bridge as the Roosevelt Road Bridge, I remembered that the B&OCT was the terminal railroad for the Grand Central Station, and B&OCT had tracks on the east side of the South Branch from their bridge to the station. This freight house was built after the river was straightened and did not yet exist in the 1938 aerial photo. B&OCT had several small freight houses that fed LCL freight to B&OCT's main classification freight house. It has the classical design for a freight house --- a multi-story building with lots of windows at one end for the office workers that is attached to a one-story freight handling building. In the days of LCL freight, there were no computers, so it took a lot of office workers to help process the paper work. Each boxcar had a folder that contained the waybills of the containers that were in that boxcar. After the LCL freight was sorted in Chicago to a destination train, the conductor on that road train would get these folders along with the waybills for the carload traffic. They would have to determine from the waybills in the folders which containers were to be dropped at which depot along the route. These containers could range from a refrigerator sent by a mail-order house such as Sears to a plow. Remember, in the 1800s everything came to town on the railroad. That is why depots had a passenger weighting room on one side and a freight handling room on the other side. The depot was the life blood of the town.

Scott Griffith posted
Les Wuollett Waiting at dwarf signal for line up to GCS. Probably to pull passenger train to Lincoln St coach yard.
James Clary posted
Roosevelt Street Bridge - Chicago
Dennis DeBruler The upright bridge behind it is the B&OCT, now abandoned. The span that is still down is the St. Charles Air Line, which many condo owners wish was abandoned.
In the foreground is the B&OCT swing bridge, but if you look at the left background in front of the grain elevator, you can see the swing span of the 12th Street Bridge. In the right background would be the truss for the viaduct over Pennsylvania and CB&Q railroad yards south of Union Station.
Public Domain, eBook, p 609

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