Wednesday, February 18, 2015

C&ISL: or CR&I: Chicago & Indiana State Line then Chicago River & Indiana then IHB

Update: the part about Santa Fe below has been rewritten because Santa Fe did use this GTW/C&ISL corridor until November 18, 1891 when a joint line with CN/IC/Chicago, Madison & Northern shaved 4.12 miles off its route to Dearborn Station. (America's Rail Capital, pp. 40-41) See the Union Stock Yard & Transit Company Railway Lines for the original corporation that built this route.

If I use a railroad name for a track that is older than the 1928 name, I'm trying real hard to find the name of the railroad that actually built the track. This posting is motivated by trying to figure out the history of the track that was on the south side of the Union Stock Yards that joined the Western Avenue Corridor at the 49th street junction. It took me several days to figure this out because of inconsistencies in the reference materials. (And because I keep coming across other interesting railroad stuff that I end up reading.) So this is my best reconciliation of the facts/maps I found.

The Chicago and Indiana State Line Railway (C&ISL) was incorporated July 13, 1880. It soon constructed an east/west line between the Grand Trunk Western/Santa Fe route to the west and the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad to the east. And it constructed a connection from the stock yards to this east/west line. It also constructed industrial spurs from the north border of the yards along both sides of the South Fork South Branch Chicago River to near Archer Avenue to serve the Central Manufacturing District (CMD). But I think Chicago Junction soon took control of the tracks in the CMD. The southern route became the Chicago River & Indiana Railroad and they were extended to the west along the west side of Sante Fe's Corwith yard to another industrial park

1897 Chicago Railroads Map
In the 1897 map, I think the northern portion is accurate. But I think the southern portion has the following issues:
  • The top east/west line near the bottom of the 1897 map excerpt is not Santa Fe property. Santa Fe shared the Grand Trunk Western tracks to access Dearborn Station until November 18, 1891.
  • The connector from the stock yards should go to the top line instead of the bottom one.
  • It probably was not an error because it was not built yet, but the spur going north along the B&OCT and C&GE tracks is missing.
The 49th Street Junction now has its own posting.

I was confused by this 49th Street interlocking diagram because the above 49th Street Interlocking does not include the two east/west routes. This issue was resolved when I looked at a satellite image -- the east/west routes are elevated. The southern east/west route was the Grand Trunk Junction Railway. Since the GTJ was built the same year as the C&ISL, 1880, they must have cooperated to build the elevated right-of-way. Note that the Back of the Yards neighborhood was well established by 1880 and that they had to build across a residential neighborhood. I counted at least 19 bridges between the Western Avenue Corridor on the west and the railroad yards on the east. (Or did each build at grade level and then they jointly elevated their lines?)

On the interlocking diagram, note the initials CR&I.  This would be a corporate successor of the  C&ISL -- Chicago River and Indiana Railroad. Another source of confusion I had is that I had assumed the angle in the track diagram for the CR&I was the end of a northeast quadrant connection. Instead, it is the flyover connection that ends with an angle into the Western Avenue Corridor.

1960 Map
I found a 1960 map that confirmed that the stock yards connected with the north east/west line and that this line was not Santa Fe property. It also has the flyover and route up the Western Avenue Corridor that the interlocking diagram indicates had been built by 1940.

On May 16, 1922, New York Central obtained control of the Chicago Junction/Union Stock Yard and Transit(USY&T) and the CR&I/C&ISL, thus obtaining a monopoly for access to the Union Stock Yards and the many businesses surrounding it. Before the NYC monopoly, 23 railroads accessed the stock yards impartially and without discrimination. Six carriers filed suit to try to avoid the creation of this monopoly. I still do not understand why the federal regulators and courts allowed this monopoly. [BarryBest] When Conrail was split up, Norfolk Southern got these NYC assets.

Much of the CR&I/C&ISL is now abandoned, but a contemporary Chicago railroads map indicates the flyover is now used by Norfolk Southern as part of a route from its Ashland Yard to industrial spurs west of the Santa Fe Yards. But even modern maps have errors. We have already seen that the GTW east of the Western Avenue Corridor has to be abandoned because a span of the overhead bridge is missing. And now the GTW would be owned by the Canadian National. Furthermore, I believe the flyover now connects to the GTW tracks and they are shared by NS/CR&I and CN/GTW because, according to a satellite image, the CR&I right-of-way is now used by the RTA Orange Line.


While studying a satellite map, I discovered a train on the tracks. It appears to have a caboose, which would be a "shoving platform" to support backup moves. But an orange engine is neither NS or CN, it would be Indiana Harbor Belt. The map implies that NS has a track west of Sante Fe's Corwith yards. But the satellite image indicates NS would have to go through the southwest part of Corwith's yard to get back to their tracks that cross Harlem Avenue. Looking at the industrial trackage, it is obvious that Lemdyne Yard no longer has any track. And some of the "green lines" are now just land scars. On the other hand, I spotted tracks that did not have corresponding "green lines." I did not find any cars spotted on any of the tracks by buildings. But I did find tracks that entered buildings, e.g. Reed Rigging and Greater Chicago Food Depository. Given that Corwith Yard is now an intermodal yard, I have to wonder if any of these industrial tracks are still used.

The B&OCT map also surprised me because it indicates the two spurs along the South Fork South Branch Chicago River to near Archer Avenue still exist. Looking at a satellite map, at least the south part of one of these tracks exists because I caught a 12-car cut setting on the track. When the weather gets (a lot) better, I need to visit South Iron Street when I do my Canal Origins Park field trip.

I found a source that indicates the C&ISL became part of the Chicago Junction Railway on April 26, 1898. To quote the source:
The Chicago Junction Railway was incorporated under the general laws of the State of Illinois, through filing with that State, on April 26, 1898, an agreement of consolidation dated January 1, 1898, for the purpose of consolidating the property, rights, and franchises of the Chicago and Indiana State Line Railway Company and the Chicago, Hammond and Western Railroad Company. Pursuant to the above purpose, the Chicago Junction Railway acquired at its organization the property, rights, and franchises of the two companies. The Chicago Junction Railway, itself, and those corporations, together with the predecessors of one of them, total five different corporations and comprise the line of corporate succession culminating in the Chicago Junction Railway as at present constituted. [...]
  • 1 Chicago Junction Railway Company. Under general laws of Illinois, through articles of consolidation dated Jan. 1, 1898; filed Apr. 26, 1898; effective Apr. 1, 1898.
  • 2 Chicago and Indiana State Line Railway Company. Under general laws of Illinois, July 13, 1880. Consolidated Apr. 26, 1898, with 3 to form 1.
  • 3 Chicago, Hammond and Western Railroad Company. Under general laws of Illinois, Apr. 20, 1896. Consolidated Apr. 26, 1898, with 2 to form 1.
  • 4 Hammond and Blue Island Railroad Company. Under general laws of Illinois, Dec. 8, 1893. Sold to 3 Sept. 30, 1896.
  • 5 Hammond and Blue Island Railroad Company of Indiana. Under general laws of Indiana, June 10, 1895. Sold to 4 Sept. 30, 1896.

Bill Molony posted
But the historic details of  UYS&T, CJ, C&ISL, and CR&I really don't matter because both UYS&T and C&ISL trackage was grabbed by New York Central in 1922 and the remnants are now owned by Norfolk Southern.

Franklin Campbell posted two photos with the comment:
I saw a sign at Corwith this morning stating that the Pulaski entrance would be closed on Wednesday. It is closing because NS plans to work on the 41st street crossing of that dormant industrial lead that skirts along the west side of Corwith and goes under Pulaski. I haven't looked at this lead much. NS had one online customer on their Chicago Switch List from 2012, but that company is no more. The crossing is somewhat rough and the tracks flood severely when it rains. I kinda suspect the crossing will be paved over, but I guess we will see.


Bob Lalich commented on Franklin's posting
CR&I and successors served that entire industrial area between the BRC and Corwith. Here is a 1952 map of the area.

Two comments by William Moyer on a post.
These are from the year 1917.

These are from the year 1908.

Mike Breski posted
Chicago River & Indiana Lima switcher
No. 9806 is one of Chicago River & Indiana’s 21 800 h.p. Lima-Hamilton switchers, built in 1951. The little road’s name is in an oval on the cabside, while CR&I parent New York Central System is identified on the hood.
Robert A. Janz photo
Mike Breski posted
Chuck Zeiler
CR&I Lima-Hamilton A-3170 8410
Chicago River & Indiana Railroad ( CR&I ) Lima-Hamilton ( L-H ) Specification A-3170 ( c/n 9496 built May 1951 ) 8410 at about 43rd Street near the Stockyards in Chicago, Illinois on June 13, 1965, Kodachrome by Chuck Zeiler. As far as I can tell, L-H did not have model numbers for their diesel-electric locomotives, but used a specification number. Some references make use of a LS-1200 model, but I believe this is might be diesel spotters handiwork.

The CR&I was a subsidiary of the New York Central ( NYC ), it is seen in the Chicago Junction ( CJ ) Yard, a railroad company leased by the NYC for 99 years starting in 1922, the same year the NYC purchased the CR&I. Both the CR&I and the CJ were switching railroads and effectively controlled access to the Chicago Stockyards.

The CR&I had the distinction of being the world's only all Lima-Hamilton powered railroad when the NYC replaced the steam power with diesel. Starting in 1949, the NYC placed an order for six 1000 hp switchers ( #'s 8400-8405 ) of similar design ( A-3170, the specification number did not change when the horsepower was increased to 1200 ). Following the merger of Baldwin and L-H in November 1950, the NYC placed another order for ten 800 hp switchers ( spec. # A-3171, CR&I road #'s 9800-9809 ), and in May 1951 ordered ( L-H order # 1219-DE ) six 1200 hp A-3170 switchers, CR&I #'s 8406-8411. The 1200 hp A-3170 weighed between 120-125 tons, was powered by a 8 cylinder inline turbocharged Hamilton T89SA diesel driving a Westinghouse 499A main generator, with four 362D traction motors. It was classed as DES-15b by the NYC.

The 8839 to the right was an Indiana Harbor Belt ( another NYC subsidiary ) SW-7 built in January 1950 ( c/n 8130 ) and eventually PC 8839..
Jerry Cramer I took many trains to the CJ Ashland Avenue Yard.
John Uhlich You and me both, Jerry! The most memorable was probably the shortest. It was about one or two 5-packs. They had us yard the train and a swarm of gumshoes (and apparently G-men) climbed all over the train checking seals or what have you. And for good reason: It was a shipment of something from the US Treasury or US Mint...can't remember which. Never did find out what was in those containers but you can bet it was valuable as all get out!
Mike Brski posted
Chicago River & Indiana Railroad - Ashland Avenue Yard

By 1947, steam locomotive builder Lima Locomotive Works saw its sales of new steam locomotives free fall and the company recognized that it needed to transition its manufacturing capabilities from steam to diesel. To accomplish this goal, it acquired the Hamilton Engine Company, a manufacturer of diesel engines. By 1949 Lima-Hamilton had launched a line of switch engines in 750, 800, 1000 and 1250 hp variations. In 1951, New York Central subsidiary Chicago River & Indiana purchased two variations of switchers from Lima-Hamilton that are illustrated here. CR&I No. 8407 is a 1250 hp model. while No. 9813 is a member of the 800 hp class. Before the year was over, L-H would cease to exist, merging with the Baldwin Locomotive Works. This photograph was taken on June 6, 1963, at the Ashland Avenue Yard engine terminal, which at this date was located immediately east of the Damen Avenue overpass. Photo by James J. Buckley, original slide from my collection.
John Uhlich I seem to remember they closed the portion of Damen that bridged Ashland Ave. Yard and tore down the bridge. I guess it was too expensive to fix it or maintain it so they demolished it instead....

The stock yards was turned into an industrial park, and some of those industries are still switched by Norfolk Southern. The green stripe in the paint scheme means this is one of NS's "eco units." They are designed to have low emmisions to reduce the pollution caused by their yards and switching activities in urban areas.
(new window)   (source)
Dennis DeBruler This would be the windmill that is in the background:!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5GKm-8...

NYC argument for control of Chicago Junction and Chicago River & Indiana.

Maps and lots of other information

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