Sunday, February 14, 2016

Argo Junction and CP Canal and CA Tower: IHB vs. GM&O/Alton

(CRJSatellite)   According to the satellite image, there are connectors in all four quadrants. That is rather rare for a railroad junction.
NorthAmericanInterlockings:  photo photo
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for more information)

Flickr from John W. Barriger III IHB Album
Bob Lalich 5y 
Argo, looking NW, Alton crossing and junction of Stockyards line.
This is a total rewrite including a new title because I have discovered different names for this tower. Not only do the different railroads using the junction sometimes use different names, sometimes a railroad changes their name for a junction. IHB evidently changed from CA Tower to CP Canal. CRJ calls it Argo Crossing. There is a Flick Photo that shows the tower has the sign "G. M. & O. JCT."

This junction is just northeast of IHB Argo Yard.

Because the title was getting long, I simplified the railroad names.
  • IHB route: Somewhere close to here is the boundary between what was built to the north by IHB and what was built to the south by the B&OCT. They both have trackage rights on the entire western beltway, but it is all dispatched by IHB.
  • Alton route: This stretch between Joliet and Chicago has had a complicated corporate structure and thus many names. To simplify, the history was Joliet & Chicago, Chicago & Alton, Alton (B&O ownership and the name on the 1928 RR Atlas), C&A again?, Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, ICG, IC, CN. Furthermore Metra and Amtrak have rights over this route for commuter and intercity passenger trains. (The portion of the Alton route south of Joliet is owned by UP instead of CN.) 
These many names is why the title used to be "Argo Crossing: IHB+CSX/B&OCT vs. Metra+CN(UP trackage)/.../GM&O/Alton/Chicago&Alton", which explains the URL.

Note that in 1938 the swing bridge across the CS&SC had a complete span and there was a bridge across the I&M Canal. From some of the photos below, it becomes obvious that the long side of the tower was along the CN/IC/ICG/GM&O/Alton route.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Jerry Jackson posted two photos with the comment:
Same train, same tower, same RR. Different days, different angles. The train is on the IC line, crossing the IHB. First shot is looking N/E, second shot is looking S/E towards Argo yard which can be seen in the background. CA tower at Summit, IL 1989-1991. I never recorded what train it was and really don't care, it was too long ago to worry about. Anyone who wants to correct the directions of the rail can go suck an egg. :)

Aaron Grace That would likely be the Ann Rutledge.

Jerry Jackson posted
Northbound on the IHB...crossing the IC at CA tower coming out of Argo, 1988-89.
Jon Moore Now called CP Canal

Jerry Jackson posted
Amtrak F40PHR 266 (12/77) heads past CA tower in Summit, IL with a southbound or westbound train. The train is crossing the IHB and Argo's tower can be seen in the distance. July 1989. F40PHR 266 was built with parts from Amtrak SDP40F 612. The locomotive went on to become Canadian American CDAC 461(F40PHR) and then Iowa Northern IANR 461(F40PHR)

Richard Koenig enhanced a post by Dave Arganbright
GM&O GP30 506 leads a slingshot past Argo on July 16, 1983. My photo - taken standing next to Mark Llanuza this day.Scott Malec Hard to believe GM&O power was still kicking around this late in the game. I grew up in the area and don't ever remember seeing them. Good catch.
Jon Roma GM&O colors and original IC green diamond black survived well into the "new" IC era. ICG was not particularly image conscious, or in a hurry to paint over the legacy of its predecessor railroads.
Mark Llanuza This was the day the IC cop almost ran us off but Dave Arganbright sweet talked us out of it.
Brandon McShane That was a great location for photos, as was McCook, but both are off limits now.

Donny Albertson posted
A Soo transfer for Clearing yard passes Argo tower and crosses the IC on 25MAR1990 with a pair of SD60's.
[Note all of the signalling pipelines in a curve. That must make it even harder to move the levers in the tower. The bridge in the background is the IHB bridge of the Sanitary and Ship Canal.]
Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting
I must not have seen you back there! Different day, same place, different train.
Dennis DeBruler commented on Jerry Jacksons's comment
The truss on the left bothered me. Because of the portal bracing and the oval cutouts in the truss members, I think this is the eastern bridge at Blue Island. The wooden walkway is now gone.

Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting
CA tower controlled the IC and IHB/B&OCT diamond in Summit. Here's an IHB train headed north by direction out of Argo. Corn Products is to the right.

Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting
Amtrak at CA, looking N/E.

Jerry Jackson commented on the above posting
From Inside CA tower, May 1990.
Donny Albertson posted
And the caboose from the IC e/b clatters across the IHB on 28MAR1989...
Mark Bilecki Sr. Argo crossing[I contributed to Bill Molony's share of this posting]
Donny Albertson posted
An IC e/b crosses the IHB at Argo crossing on 28MAR1989 with two typical IC homemade units.
Eric Royburn posted
Passing closed Argo Tower, this Planes coal load crosses the IHB mainline. Three geeps of three different colors lead, 1593,968,8032. The leader is rebuilt from QNSL 107, GP7. I remember this shot well, as just after this cleared the diamond an IHB special agent drives back in here. After a quick probing of my intentions, he drives away and leaves me here. How times have changed!!!!!! Summit, Illinois. September 19, 1993.…/photolist-ouwnEu
Bill Johnson's comment on the Flickr link: "That's quite a catch you have there. And you're right; it was Argo tower to the B&OCT, C&A to the IHB, depending on who you were talking to. One of my favorite towers to work." [That is the first time that I have seen the same route use different names for a junction. This is near the (if not the) boundary between IHB and B&OCT ownership of a shared route between Franklin Park and Blue Island. IHB now dispatches the whole route.]
Dave Arganbright commented on his own posting
Dave Arganbright further to my comment above. Not the best image quality, as its a magazine printed B&W copy of my color slide; Mark Llanuza and I saw this train leaving IMX one day and high-balled straight to 1983.
Joseph Tuch Santucci posted
Its March 2012. We're westbound at CP Canal on the IHB. My conductor has lined the switch and we are about to head around the southeast leg of the wye and over to the CN's Joliet Sub (former GM&O). We are presently on IHB main one. Main two, the yard lead to the west end of the new yard at Argo and the southwest wye to the Joliet Sub are on the left.
Donny Albertson posted
Hey, it’s waycar Wednesday right? Here’s an ICG caboose crossing the IHB at Argo on 28MAR1989.
John Govednik Anyone know how the term waycare came to be?
Dennis DeBruler I assume it was because that is where the conductor handled the waybills.
Dennis DeBruler Look at all of the signalling pipelines still in existance in 1989.

Jacob Diorio posted
R924 pounds the diamonds at CP Canal before switching Corn Products.

Mike Breski posted a Steve Berry photo. The silos in the background are still standing, so we are looking northeast, which I assume is timecard North on the GM&O. The IHB train is running timecard West.

Edward has a 1990 Flickr photo of a westbound Amtrak train passing the tower. I assume the train is on the CN/IC/ICG/GM&O/C&A tracks heading to St. Louis or Texas.

Edward has a 1990 Flickr photo of a northbound C&NW on the IHB+B&OCT.

A video of an IHB train heading southeastan IC train heading southwest on this former GM&O routea GT heading northwest on the IHB,  a couple of IHB switchers running light from Ingredion's yard, and SOO with a couple of engines running southwest.

The rewrite was motivated by a posting that asked the name of the tower.
Chad Malinovsky CP Canal is the CN crossing.
Michael Riha Correct...
MP 28.2 - CP McCook (BNSF crossing)
MP 27.4 CP Canal (CN crossing)

MP 26.8 CP Argo

Dennis DeBruler I have seen the following names in writing: Argo Crossing, Argo Junction, CA Tower, GM&O Tower and CP Canal. Part of the confusion with junction names is that each railroad in a junction may have its own name for that junction. A 2008 uploaded photo shows the tower had the sign "G. M. & O. JCT.". Since that railroad no longer exists, it makes sense that IHB changed the name to CP Canal. Evidently, CP stands for "Control Point."

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