Sunday, July 26, 2015

Allied Metal Company

While researching some abandoned track near Canal Street Bridge, I discovered a building with an
Allied Metal Co. sign. That building has been torn down. The question is why. Was it relocated and the jobs were moved or did it go out of business and the jobs were lost? It appears that it has moved to a more industry friendly neighborhood along the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago.

To the right is an image of their old building at the same scale. Even if they don't own all of the above buildings, their new location is definitely bigger.

Their web site indicates they have been in business since 1953. But the core of their original building was built long before that. While researching the track servicing that building, I found it in a 1938 aerial photo and in a 1915 map. Unfortunately the resolution of the 1915 eBook is not good enough to read the label on the building.
pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 344
Since the new location is close to the BRC, I had assumed it had rail service. But when I inspected a satellite image for tracks, I could not find any. But one of the bullet items for their Chicago facility is "Indoor rail siding."
Bird's Eye View
But even if I go back to the Bird's Eye View time frame, I can't find tracks connecting the building to the BRC. I can find where the rail siding was. But it looks like it now uses trucks.

The curve along the north side of the building in the middle indicates that there used to be a rail siding all along the north side of the eastern buildings.

Bird's Eye View

Bing Streetview
Zaky Joseph posted
With all the renewed interest of the Illinois Central and the IC sd70s making a comeback to our area, I thought it would be nice to go back in time when the IC used to switch by Allied Metal with gp38s and street running across Canal street. Chicago, Illinois. October 1997.
Dennis DeBruler The marina that now owns that land left some of the rail exposed near the sidewalk. I assume it was a deliberate recognition of the history of the area rather than a paving mistake. It caused me to do some research as to whose track that was and where did it run from? Seeing a photo of that branch being used is really informative.

Aruto Gross Flickr 2000 Photo of LLPS 2217 and 2216 pulling boxcars from Allied Metal. (source)
Two more Flickr photos of that movement: 1 2

1995 Flickr of two BN boxcars spotted at Allied Metal. Both have high-mounted brakewheels.

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