Saturday, January 9, 2016

Clarke Junction: PRR vs. B&OCT plus Wabash

(CRJJohn Haynes Track Diagram, Pennsy Track Diagram)
NorthAmericanInterlockings:  photo
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for more information)

Satellite plus Paint

The Wabash still connects as an industrial spur. I added a red line to show where the Pennsy used to pass through until 1980.

Ken Durkel commented on his posting
Jim Potyraj Hmmmm.... I sort of remember it having green roller shades usually drawn. But that was way back when we had to make the saw move at Pine era.
[CJ Tower]

Scott Griffith posted
Clarke jct
The tower must have been rebuilt between Scott's and Ken's photos because Ken's view looks a lot wider.]

Ken Durkel posted
Ken's comment:
In the summer of 1986, a southbound out of Kirk Yard is seen from on the ground at Clarke Jct. The head end has crossed over the old NYC, B&O, and Wabash, and is about to cross over the old PRR. This section of the old "J" was retired when the new airport bypass was built.
In the following map I added a purple line to indicate the EJ&E line the train is on and a yellow rectangle around "CLARKE JCT." because it took me a while to find this junction. The old NYC is the green NS, the old B&O is the "higher" red CSX, the old Wabash is the dotted line, and the old PRR is the "lower" red CSX. The bend in the "higher" CSX route where it leaves the NYC corridor to head west is where the CSX/B&O changes to B&OCT. I understand that B&OCT still exists because there were paperwork errors when C&O and B&O merged to form the Chessie System.

Excerpt from B&OCT Map plus Paint

Ken Durkel posted
Westbound on the B&OCT at Clarke Jct. Gary, Indiana. Summer, 1986. Crossing the old Pennsylvania Railroad Ft. Wayne mains.
Thomas M Dupee It's just east of what we on the B&O called Industrial Avenue. Google maps currently shows it as "Airport Road". Until a few years ago, it was a grade level crossing. Now the highway is on an overpass.

Ken Durkel posted
A lone SD50 takes a westbound on the B&OCT across the old Pennsylvania Railroad crossing at Clarke Jct. in Gary, Indiana in 1986. The train is in the sun, I am standing in the shadow of CJ Tower.
Ken Durkel posted a couple of Amtrak Broadway Limited pictures east of where EJ&E used to cross the Pennsy, which was east of Clarke Junction with the comment:
A scene impossible to reproduce at this location today, as all tracks seen here are permanently removed. Eastbound Amtrak 40, The Broadway Ltd. has passed Clarke Jct. Tower in Gary, Indiana a few seconds earlier, and is ducking underneath the EJ&E line to Kirk Yard. This section of the ex Pennsylvania Railroad west of Clark Road is permanently removed. The EJ&E ROW and overhead bridge, now CN, was likewise removed when the airport bypass was put in. Ironically, the new CN bypass passes directly through the old site of CJ Tower on an elevated fill just west of here.To gain some elevation, I am standing on the old EJ&E/PRR connection the "J" used to get to the Pennsy's yard at East Clarke.On the rear of #40, Conrail Business Car 1 has the markers on this day, November 29, 1986.
Ken Durkel posted
Shot from Clarke Jct. Tower in Gary, Indiana in late summer or early fall of 1986, eastbound Amtrak 40 is just coming off the old NYC and through the connection between the ex PRR and the NYC. The connection was put in when the PRR ROW was retired between CJ and Whiting. The long train, and the dome car identify this as having been taken prior to October, 1986, when the Capital Ltd. and Broadway Ltd. were still run combined west of Pittsburgh. Beginning in October, 1986, they ran separately the entire way.
The train is hitting the B&OCT diamonds. The signal on the left was the new signal put in place for the single tracking of the old PRR and the closing of CJ Tower. The tower closed in December, 1986.
Ken Durkel posted
Another one shot from Clarke Jct. Tower in Gary, Indiana. One of the daily CP Rail run through trains, this one westbound, bangs across the old PRR Ft. Wayne diamonds on the B&OCT in the summer of 1986. These CP run through trains do not take this routing any longer. The original PRR ROW continued straight here and into the distance. The newer connection to the old NYC curving to the right is seen here.
Terry Falduto Thanks for the nice shot and narrative, Ken Durkel. If I understand you correctly: when I enlarge the photo I see a faint gravel path that leads away from the curve, generally toward the upper left. That's the old PRR ROW? That's the NYC barely visible going from L-R near the bottom of the power lines tower?
Ken Durkel The old PRR ROW continued straight across the diamonds, there seems to be a gravel path in the general area in this photo. The old NYC is not far around the bend at all, and the NYC was clearly visible from Clarke Jct. But the track you in not the old NYC. That track was a connection used by the Chessie to get from the B&OCT to the old NYC and to Buffington Harbor. I have pictures from there I can post also.
Ken Durkel posted
Eastbound on the B&OCT banging across the ex Pennsylvania Railroad Ft. Wayne Line at Clarke Jct. in Gary, Indiana. Around November, 1986. The new signals are in place but still covered on both the B&OCT and the Conrail side for the single tracking of the old Pennsy and the closing of Clarke Jct. Tower, which would close about a month after this photo in December, 1986. The interlocking would become automatic after that, I believe.
The semaphore signal was a Wabash train order signal. Eastbound Wabash trains leaving the B&OCT and entering the 4th District here would grab orders at CJ Tower.

Ken Durkel posted again
Old and new signals intermingle at Clarke Jct. in Gary, Indiana in the Fall of 1986, as an eastbound Chessie on the B&OCT crosses Conrail's ex PRR Ft. Wayne Line.
To the left, a Wabash train order semaphore represents the old. Eastbound Wabash trains here on the B&OCT would enter the 4th District behind me directly after crossing the PRR diamonds, and would grab orders here. But those days are gone at this late date.
Behind the semaphore, and also to the right in the photo, new signals are in place but are still covered, as the ex Pennsy is being single tracked, the crossing will become automatic, and the tower will be closed.
Ken Durkel posted
An eastbound Chessie bangs across Conrail's ex Pennsylvania Railroad Ft. Wayne main at Clarke Jct. in Gary, Indiana in 1986. The semaphore was a Wabash train order signal. Eastbounds entering Wabash's 4th District at Clarke Jct. (just behind me) would grab orders at Clarke Jct.
[At first, I thought this was a duplicated photo and I was going to skip it. But the engine number and poles are different.]
Stan Stanovich ...some may not understand that the Wabash ran on the B&O(CT) between State Line and Clarke Junction, if I'm not mistaken Ken Durkel!!!Richard W. Elleby Excellent point Mr.Stanovich. The Wabash did....And NS still runs on CSX to this day from Stateline Jct to Clarke Jct to get to the Gary Sugar house in Gary , IN on Whats left of the Wabash.
Ken Durkel Yes, that's right. Their own tracks began/ended at Clarke Jct.

Ken Durkel posted
Amtrak 40, the combined Broadway/Capital Ltd. (combined west of Pittsburgh until October 26, 1986) is seen in Gary, Indiana crossing the Chessie B&OCT at Clarke Jct. Shot from CJ Tower.
The train is regaining ex Pennsylvania Railroad Ft. Wayne Line rails after running the ex NYC between Hammond and CP 501, and is using the connection between the two lines put in when the PRR was retired between Hammond, IN and Clarke Jct.
Taken in the summer of 1986, the covered inoperable signal to the far left foreshadows the coming single tracking of the ex PRR and the closing of Clarke Jct. Tower.

Ken Durkel posted
The view from Clarke Jct. Tower in Gary, Indiana was anything but scenic. Still, it sure would be nice to once again be able to see the eastbound Broadway Ltd. fade into the distance on the double track Pennsy and duck under the EJ&E bridge as seen here, taken from the tower in 1986.
Ken Durkel posted again
Shot from Clarke Jct. Tower in Gary, Indiana, Amtrak 40, the combined (at the time) Broadway/Capital Ltd. heads east on the ex Pennsylvania Railroad Ft. Wayne Line, having just crossed over the B&OCT behind me. In the distance the power is ducking under a now abandoned section of the EJ&E line in and out of Kirk Yard. Summer, 1986.

Scott Griffith posted two photos.  These photos were taken before the Pennsy mainline was torn up. The comments are mine.

1: according to a comment, this is looking West

2: according to a comment, this is looking East. The bridge in the background is EJ&E.

Ken Durkel posted
A westbound Chessie about to hit Conrail's ex PRR Ft. Wayne Line at Clarke Jct. in Gary, Indiana. Fall, 1986.
Ken Durkel posted two photos with the comment: "The view from Clarke Jct. Tower in Gary, Indiana was hardly scenic, especially by 1986 when these were taken. Still, an approaching westbound on the B&OCT had this ex L&N GP40 trailing in Seaboard paint. Shot from the tower as the train approached and then crossed Conrail's ex PRR Ft. Wayne Line."


Ken Durkel posted
The late Everett Swanson, long time operator for NYC, PC, and Conrail, lets a future railroader work the Armstrong Levers at Clarke Jct. in Gary, Indiana. The one time PRR tower CJ was in its final few months of operation in the summer of 1986 when I took this.
Everett was known to many railfans through the decades at Willow Creek, Porter, Ebony, CJ, and finally Hartsdale where I believed he last worked until retirement. Everett passed away in April, 2017 at the age of 91.
Ken durkel posted two photos with the comment: "Another from my archives, Summer, 1986. An eastbound CP Rail run-through on the B&OCT bangs across Conrail's ex PRR Ft. Wayne Line at Clarke Jct. in Gary, Indiana."


Ken Durkel posted
From my archives. Summer, 1986. Clarke Jct., Gary, Indiana, at a once very busy but now extinct interlocking. An eastbound Chessie caboose hop on the B&OCT about to bang across Conrail's ex Pennsylvania Railroad Ft. Wayne Line. CSX freights roll through here today unimpeded by any cross traffic.


  1. #1 is looking west and #2 is looking east toward EJ&E overhead bridge.

    1. Thanks for the correction. The captions have been fixed.