Saturday, December 9, 2017

Bernice Junction: Aban/PRR(Panhandle) vs. Aban/PRR(Bernice Cutoff)

(Satellite, Track Diagram)
Both routes are now abandoned. The reason for the Bernice Cutoff was so that Panhandle passenger trains could avoid the original circuitous Chicago & Great Eastern route to the north side of Union Station by using the PRR's Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago route to the south side of Union Station. The PFW&C route was not only much more direct, it had far fewer junctions with other railroads. Since Conrail tore up the Panhandle route, there is no need for this stretch of the cutoff.
PRR Track Diagram
Mike Breski commented on a posting
Part of the panhandle by the Bernice Cut off of the SC&S is on this map. Map is from about mid 1920's.
John Smatlak posted two photos with the comment: "A short Conrail freight, complete with caboose, on the Bernice Cutoff, crossing 110th St. soutbound on 8/22/79. My grandmother lived at 112th and Ave. D, so many an hour as a kid was spent watching trains roll through here. The second shot was taken a few years later and shows the tracks at 112th Street."
Paul Jaenicke These tracks also saw passenger trains including the South Wind and Floridian.
Alan Buck Paul Jaenicke and Cardinal and Hoosier State.

1
A short Conrail freight, complete with caboose, on the Bernice Cutoff, crossing 110th St. soutbound on 8/22/79. My grandmother lived at 112th and Ave. D, so many an hour as a kid was spent watching trains roll through here.

2
The Bernice Cutoff at 112th Street. My grandmother lived at 112th and Ave. D, so many an hour as a kid was spent watching trains roll through here.

John Morris posted
This is not a spectacular photo, but it brings back fond memories of the "Bernice Cutoff". For those unfamiliar, this ex-Pennsylvania RR line was formally known as the South Chicago and Southern. Besides serving a few local industries, it was a short cut for Pennsy's Panhandle trains to access the Fort Wayne mainline and Colehour Yard. Heading south it was an amusing single track line, rocking and rolling down alleys and backyards on Chicago's East Side, then through swamp land and suburbs before reaching Bernice Junction. Although not identifiable in this view, this train is the "South Wind", starting its trek down to Florida in July, 1968 during the PC era. It has just crossed the South Shore Line, Chicago and Western Indiana RR, and the Nickel Plate at Burnham Tower. This somewhat grimy area was a train watcher's paradise.
Larry Grzywinski So it was known at the Bernice Cutoff and was formerly known as the SC&S what was it known as after the line was abandoned from Cole Hour Junction to Hegewisch and from CP Calumet Park to Bernice?
Denis Johnston The line had many grade crossings. Accidents with pedestrians and cars was almost a weekly occurrence.



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