Tuesday, January 2, 2018

CB&Q and REA Buildings South of Union Station

(Satellite)

These notes were totally rewritten Jan 2020. If you are here because you followed a link, you may need the Jan 2018 version.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
A: old post office; still standing

B: Chicago & Alton Freight Housestill standing

C: CB&Q Central Warehouses with the outbound tracks south of Polk Street; replaced by new post officeNorthern Trust office building and the BNSF Metra Car. CB&Q had additional freight houses south of Western Avenue Yard.Washing Facility

D: Pennsy freight house; replaced by ComEd Taylor Substation

E: REA (Rural Express Agency); replaced by a shopping center

F: CB&Q accounting office; replaced by a BNSF storage lot

The complicated trackwork that contains a lot of double slip turnouts still exists.

Further outbound, CB&Q had:



David H. Nelson commented on a post
Here's an example of the elevated roadways near Union Station. This the the CBQ Freight House (I think) with Harrison in the foreground.

A bunch of tracks are underneath at the lower level.

The photo is from 1926 or thereabouts; note the horse drawn vehicles outnumber the autos.

safe_image from a now broken link (source)
Dennis DeBruler The caption on the link identifies Harrison Street Tower. The building on the left was the CB&Q freight house and the building in the upper-right corner was a GM&O freight house. http://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/.../altons-freight...
Richard Mead: https://youtu.be/ZQrENjPJ59s?t=122
[At 3:52, the UP locomotives were a surprise. Evidently UP was running trains with Milwaukee Road  When I saw this, I concluded the locomotives were serviced by Pennsy instead of Milwaukee. But later we hear that the locomotives were down here just to turn on the wye between Pennsy and CB&Q. Some views of the double-slip switch complex start at 4:39. (Part 1)]

Mark Hinsdale shared
"Long Journey Complete"
From the very end of Chicago Union Station's longest platform (in 1977), here is a view of arriving Amtrak Train #6, the "San Francisco Zephyr," in May, 1974. The train was scheduled into Chicago at 11:55 am, and judging by the shadows and high sunshine angle, it is at least on time, or better. Today, Chicago's new Post Office building completely covers this area of Union Station. May, 1974 photo by Mark Hinsdale
Dennis DeBruler The CB&Q freight house on the right was torn down. But the new post office was built around the Harrison Street Tower that we get a glimpse of on the left.

Brian Watt posted
-- Brian Watt, photographer May 1977
Dennis DeBrulerGroup Admin The old post office is in the background. The Harrison Street Tower is on the right, which the new post office built over. The building on the left looks like a freight house, but I don't know whose it was.
David DaruszkaGroup Admin CB&Q Central Warehouses
[Further confirmation: search for "Approach Being" in Union Station]

Andrew Keeney shared
Robert Petit This is coming out of CUS, thats the old REA building on the left. This would be an early AMTRAK train.
Dennis DeBruler The first photo I have seen that captures the curve of the REA building.
CORRECTION: the building on the left is CB&Q Central Warehouses instead of the REA building.

Paul Bourjaily posting
James C Smith Jr Post-Amtrak, Santa Fe trains in Chicago Union Station. Santa Fe did not "contribute" its newest passenger locomotives, the FP45s and U30CHs, to the new agency.

Sam Carlson added
Mike Tisdale Good lord, Sam, that is quite the consist. E, SDP40, P30CH and another E. Then the train has an ex-B&O sleeper-dome right behind the baggage cars. The light looks about noon, early afternoon, so maybe the Lone Star or Eagle? Floridian or Cardinal are another possibilities, as their schedules bounced all over the place. All that power might indicate Floridian in the combined with Auto Train days, but that is speculation.
Dennis DeBruler And one of the best views I have seen of the CB&Q Freight Warehouse.
Sam Carlson Well, Mike, it was over 40 years ago, and I just don't remember. However, this batch of slides started before sun up at 21st St. Tower, and then bounced back and forth in the area south of CUS, so I'd say it was about noon, and axis lit so it was hard to decide which side of the train to stand on.

David Daruszka posted
Architectural historian Carl Condit called the building, "an overlooked masterpiece of Chicago architecture". The clock tower seems to presage the Art Deco stylings of the Board of Trade building in the distance. 1942 photograph by Charles Cushman.
Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. That would be the south end of the CB&Q freight house in the foreground.
Michael Matalis Looks like Sauron's summer home

Dennis DeBruler shared
This is the first time I have seen the side of the REA building. I did not realize that they could service cars inside the building. But why do the cars look like passenger cars (i.e. windows) instead of head-end cars?

Update: This is NOT the REA building. This is two blocks further north. It was part of the CB&Q Central Warehouses. But by 1975, it would also be just car storage. You can see a sliver of the Harrison Street Tower on the right.
David Daruszka REA may have been shut down by this time and the tracks have been converted to storage.
Chuck Edmonson REA ceased all operations in ‘75.

Mark Llanuza post
Former Illinois Central E-9 backs Amtrak into Union Station April 1975.


David Daruszka posted
The Broadway Limited departs Chicago's Union Station in 1961. Richard H. Solomon, photographer.
Dennis DeBrulerGroup Admin Pennsy (right) and CB&Q (left) Freight Warehouses, the old post office in the left background, and Harrison Tower at the lower-right corner of the post office. But I don't know what the skinny skyscraper is in the middle of the background. That is probably the Chicago & Alton Freight House to the east of the old post office. It still stands. But I read a developer of the old post office wants to tear it down. I lost track of whether or not it is the current developer.
[The skyscraper is part of the Civic Opera House.]

I use seven Bill Howes photos posted by Marty Bernard as a transition between the CB&Q Central Warehouses and the REA building.
Marty Bernard shared a photo
2. Here is Gulf Mobile & Ohio F3A 883A (she became MBTA 1153) with "The Limited" a few minutes out of Union Station, Chicago. IL on October 4, 1964. Bill Howes photo
Jeff Lewis The lack of ballast is amazing. Midwestern mud is some sticky stuff.
Patrick McNamara The ballast in that whole area has been soaked with railroad oil, tar, and assorted effluviants that have rendered the area unsuitable for human habitation FOREVER. The rails are, quite literally, spiked to toxic, rock-hard crud. Likewise the area East of the River at this point where the city is now touting some real estate speculator's dream of building condos on what used to be the staging areas for Chicago's former rail terminals.
Lawrence Smith u can bet they are doing EPA type due diligence big time on all that old rail land
Patrick McNamara You can't bet on any such thing in this town. Look at the former Finkl Steel site - do you seriously think that land is perfectly fine for people to live upon, children to play upon, and people to grow tomato bushes on ?!
[It is easy to recognize the REA tracks on the left because of the angle. Note the wreak crane parked above the locomotives. The big white building is the Old Post Office. The dark building on the right is the Pennsy freight house.]

Marty Bernard shared six photos with the comment: "6 CB&Q from Roosevelt Road, South of Union Station -- 1960s    Bill Howes took these from the Roosevelt Road Viaduct south of Chicago Union Station. Captions are with the photos."
1
CB&Q E8A 9971 with a Dinkey heading from the Station to the coach yard on August 18, 1969. Bill Howes photo
Joe Applebaum Were passengers allowed in the power car? Or were they for the generator only?
Marty Bernard They were combines. About 3/4 of the length had seats.
Darryl Van Nort Some were built from HW combines, others from HW coaches. The HEP portion on the coaches was, I believe, shorter, thus more seating on those.
Dave Flood Only 2 combines. Rest were coaches. Combines had also been converted from coaches since kept vestibule on both ends.... All got thermo-pane slightly rounded-corner windows for AC....
Ken Morrison I believe it was also used as the smoking car...?

2
CB&Q Baldwin VO1000 backing the Denver Zephyr (local coach on rear) out of Chicago Union Station into coach yards on October 4, 1964. My guess is that they will go via the wye and possibly the washer on the other side of Union Avenue Tower. Bill Howes photo
Rodney D Zona Old CB&Q RR Galesburg, IL passenger engine crews worked to and from Chicago. Chicago and Burlington, IA based passenger train crews worked between Chicago and Burlington. Corrections are welcome!
Ellis Simon Odd to see an old coach tacked on a classy train behind a parlor-dome obs.
Dave Flood Just guessing, but mighta been added at Galesburg for college traffic.....

3
Looking south, the CB&Q Coach Yard is to the right, PRR's is to left, and the main tracks are between. In the distance the upper portion of the bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River is visible. Bill Howes took this on October 4, 1964.
Ken Morrison so if the Burlington is to the right, and the Pennsy is to the left, where is the GM&O?
Ken Morrison Marty Bernard do you mean Brighton Park?
Marty Bernard Ken Morrison Can't recall the name.
Dennis DeBruler Per a comment by Brandon McShane: "The Alton coach yard was at Brighton Park (where Amtrak built the Turbo maintenance facility)."
https://www.google.com/.../@41.8260793,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3

4
CB&Q Train 32, :"The Empire Builder", arriving on August 18, 1969. Bill Howes photo
Mark Malaby Pre merger experimental green paint scheme on the Great Dome. Still marked Great Northern, but very close to the BN hockey stick scheme.
Matt Wiles I would date this photo as after March 1st 1970. Only a handful of CB&Q locomotives were painted in an experimental BN green paint scheme prior to the merger. I’m fairly certain that passenger equipment didn’t get repaired BN hockey stick until after the merger.
Lyle Dowell GN did in fact paint this car in the green hockey stick scheme. It's possible to judge that the text is "Great Northern" rather than "Burlington Northern". Look at the spacing and lengths on the closer big blue car and compare it to the green car. And that is "Rocky" there as well which BN didn't use at all. They did at least one standard dome car in green as well.
James C Smith Jr The GN also painted at least one, of their former CNW "400' coaches in green and white, but that coach had the white confined to the window panel, which became the actual BN practice, for the final passenger car color scheme. Another GN, ex-CNW coach, got an experimental Big Sky Blue scheme, with the roof gray also covering the letter-board, while the window panel was in white. Some of those CNW "400" coaches were also bought by the Burlington (they got all silver paint) and NP (done in the "NCL" Lowey scheme) and GN also had some of theirs done in Empire Builder colors. (If you're listening "Walthers," please make a CNW 400 coach in HO, and in addition to these colors, there are also two CNW schemes to offer, "as built" and the modernized version on the rebuilt cars!)
Andy Graham There were hockey stick cars before the merger. See Chicago Odyssey videos.
Bill Hockensmith Looks like the merchandise mart in background.
Bryan Howell That is the old post office and the Penny's freight house on the right. The Merchandise Mart is not visible in this view.

5
CB&Q E-units making up the mail and express portion of a train on October 4, 1964. The unit closest is E7A 9949. Bill Howes photo
Mark Malaby Wow, already running elephant style that early, 1964!
Marty Bernard Yep!
Dave Flood Elephant style got started when Dinkies went cab-cars (save scarce platform length at CUS by keeping power on the south end, also save having to turn on the "Y". Was mostly for E-8/9's that did Dinkies but obviously lots of E-7's followed suit....
Marty Bernard No, elephant style was with intercity trains with multiple E-units. Elephant style means at least the first two units facing forward. Most often all units facing forward.
Dave Flood Marty Bernard E-units were all one single pool which served BOTH Dinkies & intercity. Exception was, higher-geared E-5's & E-7's shunned the Dinky work, so as often as not, they weren't as common doing elephant style as the E-8/9's. Seemed like only 2 rules were rigidly followed. 1st unit would face forward & rather than look up in engineer's booklet on who could couple nose to nose & who couldn't, never saw units coupled that way. Nose to nose would be virtually impossible for conductor to make it from consist to front cab in an emergency, anyway. Elephant style was bad enough for doing that.....
Dave Flood As a sidenote, really love the trackwork with those beautiful double-slip switches. Also brings up an interesting proceedure. Inbound crew never knew which side of consist would be on the passenger-platform or the mail-platform. So, that info was given to the last tower on The Q, where either an "L" or an "R" large sign would be held up. Thus in winter, crew could open up the appropriate side to scoop-out the traps before the consist was on the double-slips. Station master took umbrage when snow was scooped on his trackwork....
Dave Flood As a sidenote, really love the trackwork with those beautiful double-slip switches. Also brings up an interesting proceedure. Inbound crew never knew which side of consist would be on the passenger-platform or the mail-platform. So, that info was given to the last tower on The Q, where either an "L" or an "R" large sign would be held up. Thus in winter, crew could open up the appropriate side to scoop-out the traps before the consist was on the double-slips. Station master took umbrage when snow was scooped on his trackwork....

6
CB&Q E-units making up the mail and express portion of a train on October 4, 1964. The unit closest is E7A 9949. Bill Howes photo
Alexander Uhl Note the flexivan in the consist.
Karl Swartz Making up? CB&Q used them to switch their own trains?

Tom Casady posted
The Empire Builder heading away from Union Station. Gotta love the four silver Burlington E9's leading the way!
Peter Hayes What were the tracks above the engines in the picture used for?
Matt McClure That REA building and tracks survived decades after REA's demise. For sure I have photos from summer 1984,

Jim Arvites posted
View of the "South Wind" with purple Atlantic Coast Line E7 (A) on the lead backing the train into Chicago's Union Station to board passengers for warm and sunny Florida circa 1960.
(Ted Bedwell Photo)
Robert Leffingwell Without a direct route to florida, now you have to do a connection of 3 early morning hours in pittsburg, then a six hour layover in Washington D.C. A two day trip instead of one overnite.

James Prater No mirrors, the crew has to hang out the window. That would be great fun in winter.
David Daruszka It was not. Even with mirrors you were better off with your head out the window,
William L. Brushaber David Daruszka The pilot had a tail hose for stopping and a whistle signal on all passenger cars the signal movement.
David Daruszka William L. Brushaber I should have been more specific that my comment was regarding light engine movements.

Mike Summa How did the ACL make it to Chicago? Over what other railroad did it travel here.
Ken Morrison The Southwind is backing into Union Station because it used the Pennsylvania RR between Chicago and Louisville. C&EI was the Dixie Flyer, out of Dearborn Station, as far as Evansville. City of Miami went IC Chicago to Birmingham. All 3 then used other tracks to get to Florida...
Val Ginter When we took the Louisville and Nashville from Nashbille to CUS, the locomotive on the front (when we got off at CUS) was labeled Seaboard Coast Line. But we went through a lot of couplings and uncouplings in our trip to Chicago. It seemed to have taken forever. This was 1967.
Robert Leffingwell Val Ginter I remember seeing ACL coming through Englewood Station on the Pennsy in the 60s. It probably entered Chicago on the panhandle. I never knew there were many trains to Florida from Chicago.

Tom Bedwell posted
Something you didn’t see everyday in the day. ACL power pulling the Southwind out of CUS headed for Louisville and points south.
Jim Arvites Great shot! ACL had a beautiful purple paint scheme but it was very expensive to do and after 1960 ACL went to a black with gold trim scheme.
Brandon McShane This is probably the every other day South Wind via PRR-L&N-ACL-FEC to Florida. And it's probably backing into the station from the coach yard. That ASA 10 Kodachrome was slow.

Alan Buck 3.5 hours Chicago to Indy! If only we could do that today.
Eric Powell Right? If only one of the direct rail routes had been preserved. PRR, NYC or Monon’s Indy line.
Eric Powell Tom Hoback told me a story about meeting with INDOT personnel in the mid-1970s, and they were of the belief that railroads were going to die, completely. They saw NO point in preserving rail corridors. Clearly they had their head in the sand, given what was happening at the federal level. And it's a shame, because if the state had preserved just the ex-Big Four from Lebanon to Altamont -- only 25 miles or so -- there would still be a corridor in existence linking Indy-Lebanon-Lafayette-Kankakee-Chicago. But, no foresight when it was needed.

Jim Arvites posted
The South Wind with purple Atlantic Coast Line engines is backing into Chicago Union Station to board passengers for sunny and warmer Florida. This train ran on the Pennsylvania Railroad between Chicago and Louisville, the L&N on to Mongomery, Alabama, the ACL to Jacksonville, and the FEC to Miami. Photo probably from late 1950's.
(Ted Bedwell Photo)

Tom Bedwell posted
Smokey!
Brandon McShane The Q let its units idle under the trainshed for extended periods, and when they accelerated out of the station they exhausted all the built up carbon.
[The building on the left is the northern part of the REA buildng.]


Tom Bedwell posted a couple more views from Roosevelt Road with a Great Northern train going to CUS (Chicago Union Station).

Greg Smith posted
The Empire Builder departing Chicago on the Q. Al Wallin photograph

David Daruszka enhanced a photo posted by Bill Molony
On December 1, 1976, the Norfolk & Western's five-day-a-week Orland Park commuter train moved to Chicago Union Station from its little platform on Polk Street, in the shadow of Dearborn Station.
The Wabash remnant is shown here backing into CUS with its string of N&W long distance coaches.
[The baggage car had a steam generator because N&W used freight locomotives for their commuter service. There was a discussion about no vents for the steam generator being visible in the roof until Mark Fuller provided this photo.]
Bob Friedlander To the left of the train was that all the Railroad Express Agency cars? Did those tracks belong to the REA and the building?

CB&Q and PRR diesels in Chicago
A Burlington Route switcher prepares to move several baggage-express cars at the Railway Express terminal near Chicago’s Union Station in 1961. In the foreground, a Pennsy switcher moves motive power — two E8As and an E7B — for a train into position at the station.
J. David Ingles photo

Three of the photos of CB&Q Baldwin VO-1000s posted by Marty Bernard have the REA building in the background.
Matt McClure That REA building survived deep into the 1980s and made for great backdrops.

Comments on a post by Brian Watt has additional information on the REA.

Bill Molony posted
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio EMD E7A #100, leading GM&O train #1, the Limited, out of Chicago on the morning of March 21, 1971.
[This angle allows us to see all of the tracks that were next to the REA building.]

Dave Arganbright posted
BN commuter train leaving CUS with double headed E9MK's running elephant style in October, 1978. My photo. This angle illustrates how extensive the REA facilities once were, and that were abandoned in place by this time...I apologize for the quality of this photo, but it was taken with a 1950's vintage Kodak Retina 3C camera that my Dad had given me....

I did not realize that the REA building was built after 1953 until I looked at this topo map. The building is on the 1963 topo map.
1953 Englewood Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

Steven J. Brown posted
Burlington Northerns E9m's, Pennsy signals and a big hole where the Railway Express Agency building was at Taylor Street in Chicago, Illinois - June 4, 1991.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Steven's post
Another interesting test of the accuracy of the topo maps. This 1997 map shows the REA building is still standing. And that is the latest map that is available
1997 Englewood Quadrangle @ 1:24,000
The reason why I accessed the map was to confirm that the building in the left background must be the SOO/Wisconsin Central freight house.

Views that include the tall, skinny building jsut south of Roosevelt Road.
William A. Shaffer posted
Penn Central FM H16-44 
(Photographer Unknown - Collection of William A. Shaffer)
Loren Hatch Actually, it was the H16-66 that was considered the "Baby Trainmaster." PRR concentrated its FMs in Chicago, as that was the closest on line point to FM's Beloit headquarters.
Richard Fiedler PRR concentrated it's FM's at 59th St roundhouse. I remembered seeing them belching black smoke pulling transfers to the BRC at Hayford. Thought it would go on forever.
Kevan Davis FM had a building over by Dearborn Station - Fairbanks, Morse and Company Building
900 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, Illinois

David Daruszka The building dates from when FM was a scale manufacturing company.

Gary Statkus posted
A Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger steam locomotive, named the Aeolus, heads into Union Station. The Aeolus, was built in 1937, and was the first streamlined stainless steel steam locomotive. In CB&Q's tradition of using ancient Greek god names, the Aeolus was named after the Greek god who was "the keeper of the winds", in line with the CB&Q Zephyrs, named after the Greek god Zyphrous, the god of the "gentle western winds." The building behind the locomotive is one of the REA - Railroad Express Agency buildings, the FedEx of the times.
Bob Pusateri This particular locomotive, CB&Q 3002 (later renumbered 4000) still exists, though its streamlined cover is long gone. It is on display at a park in LaCrosse, WI.
Jerome Albin Big Alice the Goon...
Bryan Howell Burlington Bulletin #14 covers both AEolus' and will shortly be back in stock as a reprint. Just got the shipment notification last night! http://www.burlingtonroute.org/store/index.php...

Steve Andolino shared
Doug Plummer It was a Hudson renumber engine 4000 she was used when shovel noses were out of service she was called Alice the goon she survives in Wisconsin
Karl M Andrews Yep, in Lacrosse WI. I have seen her several times when I worked the I.D. pool trains Chicago-Lacrosse.
Emanuel Collier Them tracks look about like the spaghetti I had tonight
[I posted a trackwork photo as a comment.]

TrainCyclopedia posted
The "Black Hawk" being pulled by the mighty Aeolus streamlined locomotive in 1939.
The Black Hawk was a named passenger train operated by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) between Chicago, Illinois, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. (The CB&Q was also commonly known as the "Burlington Route".) The train operated on an overnight schedule, being the nighttime counterpart to the Twin Zephyrs. It was a competitor in the Chicago-Twin Cities overnight train market to the Pioneer Limited of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (commonly known as the "Milwaukee Road") and the North Western Limited of the Chicago and North Western.
In common with its competitors listed above, the Black Hawk carried both sleeping cars and coaches. With departure well past dinnertime, breakfast was the only meal provided by the train's diner or diner-lounge car, in addition to "evening refreshments" upon departure. In later years breakfast became Continental in nature.
(Photo: Public Domain)
Richard Stephen Wow! What a sight to behold! Beautiful streamlined shrouding on that big Hudson.
Norm Anderson Deliberately designed to mimic the "shovel noses" on the new Diesels. Aeolus was initially assigned as "backup" for the Zephyrs, whenever the Diesels had to be rotated out for maintenance or repair.
Norm Anderson The Black Hawk also carried the through Chicago-Seattle Sleepers for Great Northern's secondary Western Star, and Northern Pacific's secondary Mainstreeter, both of which terminated at St.Paul, Minnesota.
Doug Plummer My father was fireman on engine 4000 and 4002 big Alice survives in Lacrosse Wis

Sean McReynold shared
Harold J. Krewer These S-4a Hudsons were BEASTS.
"Big Alice" (4000) could wheel a passenger train as long as the 261 pulls today at the same (or even higher) speed, plus with one less driver (i.e., a shorter wheelbase) she could go hundreds of places where 261 could not.
No wonder Steve Sandberg and his group were looking at her when it seemed the 261 was going to have to be returned to Green Bay.
My God, one of these would be awesome to see in fantrip service, but please don't hold your breath, I'm not.
Charles Berthold Alice the Goon was the nickname

Robert Daly posted
SE corner of Roosevelt and Canal Sts, October 1973. Soo Line freighthouse across Canal St.
Ray Weart This was the CB&Q accounting department building and was the 1st of the ex Q structures demolished by the BN after it closed. From what I heard from those who got into it prior to demolition it was a damned treasure trove as the BN took the little they thought they needed and left the rest.
The accounting office was torn down by the time William took this photo.
William A. Shaffer posted
Dennis DeBruler That is a lot of grass on the tracks. This is the first photo I have seen of the north side of the REA building.
[The photo has enough resolution that you can see a sign painted along the top of the wall: "Railway Express Agency Burlington Terminal".]

Marty Bernard posted a 1975 view from the Willis/Sears Tower.












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