Thursday, April 5, 2018

Crystal Lake Junction: C&NW vs. C&NW


The northwest/southeast route is one of C&NW's spokes out of Chicago. This one goes to Harvard, Janesville, Madison, and eventually Minneapolis+St. Paul. The north/south route is a branch that went north from Aurora along the Fox River and then on up into Wisconsin. This branch has been abandoned south of Crystal Lake and north of Richmond.

Sam Carlson posted
A begrimed C&NW 408 gets orders handed up at Crystal Lake (IL) Junction on August 1, 1980 - the final day of service up to Richmond, IL. This is the second to last train to Richmond; the last train will be along in about an hour.
Sam Carlson Modellers, take note of the "tower."
The tower operator is holding a second hoop in his left hand. So a conductor must open a car door to grab his copy of the train orders.]
Sam Carlson posted
August 1, 1980. Crystal Lake Jct. The last all C&NW train to Richmond, leaving Crystal Lake Jct., crossing what I *think* is Crystal Lake Avenue, heading north.

The yellow line is the current UP-NW Metra service. I checked the satellite image. The tracks still go to Richmond to serve a chemical plant.

The UP-NW service goes to Harvard, IL. In 1997, Motorola built a $100 million dollar campus in Harvard to design and build smartphones there. At its peak, the employment was 5,000 people. But the good times did not last. Google bought the Motorola phone business to get the cellphone patents and closed the campus in 2003. At the time of closing, there were 1,200 employees, 600 of which found work at other Motorola facilities. [nwherald] I can't find an economic driver as to why Metra has a secondary service to McHenry.

On Sundays, none of the trains originate from McHenry. And one of the trains starts at Crystal Lake instead of Harvard. On weekdays, three trains start from McHenry, all during the morning rush hour. Nine trains originate from Harvard. Of course most of the originations are during the morning rush hour, but the last origination is at 8:35pm. (The last train leaving Chicago is 12:30am and arrives at 2:20am.) 13 trains leave from Crystal Lake instead of Harvard or McHenry, the last one being 12:10am. I can include the Saturday originations verbatim. All of these trains stop at all of the other stops between Crystal Lake and Ogilvie Transportation Center (Chicago) except for Gladstone Park.


Mark Llanuza posted
Were at Crystal Lake Jct in June 1981 with crews getting train order's to head up to McHenry line on the old Lake Geneva line .By 1981 commuter trains only went far north as McHenry IL .Frt train still went to Lake Geneva two times a week to Ringwood and Lake Geneva at the time of this photo i took.
Teresa Hawkins I'm glad we don't have to hoop orders up any more. This is a great picture!
Mark commented on his posting
Teresa Hawkins i think this is you last year throwing switch.
Teresa Hawkins Damn yes it is!!!
Mark Llanuza posted
Its Sept 1979 were at Crystal Lake Jct with northbound coming off the main line going onto the Lake Geneva branch line heading to Richmond IL with a afternoon rush hour train.
Scott Janz If there are so many cars, why did they stop going to lake Geneva?
Mark Llanuza Scott Janz this 11 car train most of the commuter's got off at Barrington and Arlington only about 35 people got off a McHenry and only about five or six got off a Ringwood and Richmond .On the last day of operations only three passenger's got off a Ringwood.
Thomas G. Morin Trains to Lake Geneva (now to McHenry) use the cutoff at Crystal Lake Jct to access and head north on the former Fox River Railroad. These trains exit the double track Harvard main line well before Walkup. As a side note, Once upon a time the Lake Geneva trains would use the Fox River Line all the way from Lake Como through Algonquin to Elgin and would then proceed to Chicago on the C&NW West Line.
Dennis DeBruler Thomas G. Morin, some of us have joined this group to learn about the C&NW. I did not know any of that, and I'm glad you provided the information.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its a beautiful Spring day 1980 after waiting for three commuter trains at Barrington Madison bound train 599 goes past Crystal Lake Jct with Six covered wagons.
Ray Weart This is where the line that went to Lake Geneva split off the mainline. Today that branch only goes to Mc Henry. And behind Mark is Crystal Lake Ave which was one of the very few whistle crossings at the time as it had no gates like most of the rest of the crossings did.
[If they had six locomotives pouring out that much smoke, they must have been still running some serious freight traffic.]
Mark Llanuza posted
[My understanding of the comments is that he is running "wrong main" because he is going to take the connector to McHentry branch so...]

Mark commented on his posting
He's going to take the wye for his train
[...that it can backup past the connector in the southeast quadrant and then head back in the reverse direction on the route he is on in the above photo.]
Andrew Gray Mark, what did the track that curved to the far left go to?? Can you tell where that is now or no.
Mark Kaspar Andrew, that leads { no longer } to the Bell Lumber yard.........

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