Friday, February 26, 2016

CTM: Chicago Terminal Railroad

(Shortlines, Switching, Reporting Mark: CTM, Facebooked)
David Daruszka has a blog posting on the Chicago & Evanston.

(Update: Soon after loosing their business on the Goose Island part, they lost their business in the Elk Grove Village industrial park: Doug Kaniuk posted "Chicago Junction Railway, owned by Progressive Rail, is taking over switching at Elk Grove Village (Illinois) from the Chicago Terminal RR." as of June 1, 2018)

The Chicago Terminal Railroad (CTM) began operations on January 2, 2007 as a subsidary of Iowa Pacific Holdings to operate the former CP/Milwaukee/Chicago & Evanston (C&E) trackage. According to Wikipedia, there were 3 industries on Goose Island in 2007. A PDF map indicates the C&E trackage it initially operated., search for "current"
But has an updated map indicating that only the Goose Island service is active. I include a copy here because I noticed that some other links are now broken. (The "CP out of service" route is now part of the 606 Trail. This route is how the C&E used to connect to the Milwaukee system. Now its track connects with the UP/C&NW system at North Avenue Yard.)

When I visited Goose Island during the Spring of 2015, there was one industry left --- a lumber yard on the south side. I have since read that it has quit using rail service!

I had my daughter drive me around Chicago one Sunday while I grabbed shots out of the window. Below are views looking South and North along Cherry Street as we drove by on Division Street.

20150802 0610rc, Cherry Street looking South from
Division Street
Cherry Street looking North
First of all, note that the railroad does street running down Cherry Street. Secondly, in the southern view, you can see a turnout to the left into an industry that was served by the railroad. The "block dot" at the end of the street is a lumbar car parked in the street.

According to a satellite image, the industry with the turnout was the lumber yard. To avoid maintaining a turnout in the street, they now just leave the cars in the middle of the street. Note that there were 3 cars parked in the street when the satellite image was taken even though the spur into the building had yet to be fenced off.

A video of ILSX 900, an SW8, serving Goose Island. The video starts with the train going southbound towards Division Street sounding the horn to cross the street. The train is framed by the Z-2 Cherry Street Bridge. At 0:50, the camera is further south so that we can watch it cross the bridge. Evidently in 2012 the lumber yard was not the only industry being served because I don't think they would receive a gondola car. At 1:26, it lets off two switchmen to do a run around. I assume it is at the siding over N. Hickory Ave. Note that the trains are always rather short because the siding is short. I have no idea what is causing that distracting clicking sound. At 2:28 two crew men are using the lumber car as a "shoving platform." At 3:46 has already dropped the lumber car because it is heading back north. In fact, at 4:05 you can see the lumber car on the street in the background. At 4:22 it is back north to the bridge. At 4:55, it has a hard time convincing the trucks to get out of its way. The train goes through the General Iron scrap yard and has to yield to a lot of other activity in that yard including people who had parked the cars on the track. At 6:38 we see it is pulling at least five gondola cars across the Z-6 bridge in its closed position. They should be loaded with scrap steel from General Iron. I assume the gondola car it had with the lumber car was an empty car that was left at the scrap yard. At 6:53 the train is entering UP/C&NW North Yard on the west side of the North Branch. (For furture reference: Tribune+Morton Salt, Morton Salt, Goose Island, Kingsbury Part 239 videos.)

A video of the remnants of the C&E that used to go north to Peerless Confection. At 1:51 is the corner of the A. Finkel & Sons Co. that has moved to a facility on the south side of Chicago. You can see in the video that there are now a lot of residents living along the track that are glad the trains no longer run. It was still running tank cars  of corn syrup in 2002 to Peerless Confection.

The C&NW went along the west side of the North Branch of the Chicago River whereas the Milwaukee Road went along the east side of the North Branch Canal and across Milwaukee's Z-2 Bridge to a yard and an extensive network of industrial spurs on the island.

pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 315
pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report, p. 316
Nathan Mackey posted
Back in '98 the SOO was coming off of Goose Island for North Avenue Yard.

Since Class I railroads do not like to switch industries, CTM now operates the UP/C&NW Centrex Industrial Park in Elk Grove, IL and the CP/Milwaukee Bensenville Industrial Park in Bensenville, IL. Both of these lines were originally built to serve the Elk Grove Village Industrial Park, "the largest postwar industrial development site in Illinois. The site was located adjacent to O'Hare Airport to provide good air cargo access, but over 100 companies were rail customers at the peak of rail usage." (Iowa Pacific) UP had already transfered switching duties of Centrex to Central Illinois Railroad in 2001. CTM took control in April, 2007. Later that year it leased the Bensenville tracks from CP and has trackage rights to CP's Bensenville Yard. (Wikipedia)

Iowa Pacific
[See Elk Grove below. They lost this to
Progressive Rail's Chicago Junction]
For a locomotive roster of CTM, look in IlliniRail. This site also has links to several other photo sites.

Barry Kleiber posted some pictures from a Thanksgiving, 2015 visit.


3, burned by vandals
Unlike many industrial parks that had rail service, some buildings in these parks are still served by CTM. Edward Jarolin has been studying Centrex to get ideas for a switching model railroad layout.
  • Some general buildings.
  • Daumak Marshmallows, "some corn syrup tank cars and a covered hopper." Satellite
  • Batory Foods. It was founded in 1979 as Chicago Sweeteners. It mixes various ingredients such as " sugar, flour, salt, starch, milk, oats, honey and corn syrup" to ship to other food plants. To help its customers produce healthier foods, it expanded its ingredient list to "gums, phosphates, acidulants, maltodextrins, preservatives, excipients, soluble fiber, emulsifiers, dough conditioners, proteins and polyols." Today Batory Foods serves over 6000 customers with 2000 brand name ingredients. (Batory FoodsSatellite A video of the plant being switched by an ex-IC GP9/GP10. Note near the end that by the time the train was getting back to its yard, it had picked up white covered hopper from a different plant.

Boise Cascade
Edward Jarolin has found activity in the Bensenville Industrial Park as well. Note that there is a canopy at each door that covers both tracks. So they can spot boxcars side-by-side like we have seen done for freight houses.
Cargo Pacific Logistics
It nice to see a freight forwarder that still uses boxcars as well as trucks. At first, I thought the doors were spaced for longer boxcars. But then it occurred to me that maybe they are using modern box cars that are longer, and they have to skip every other door. Edward found an end view of the siding which shows the "excess height" white stripe at the top of the boxcar like the hi-cube paper boxes we have already seen.

Edward Jarolin posted
John Tobin posted some more pictures.

Keith Pokorny posted
ILSX 921 built as the SP 2675 works the Chicago Terminal Bensenville industrial park. 8/9/2015
Since all of CTM's track in the Goose Island area is now worthless in terms of serving business, Iowa Pacific created an uproar by storing tank cars on it. I think they were trying to blackmail/ransom the developers to buy the right-of-way from them. I noticed that Street View captured the scene with tank cars.
Street View
I read that the owner of the tank cars objected. So they must have replaced them with refers because I saw a "last run" photo over the Z-6 bridge pulling refers.

Matthew Ginkel posted
What's left of the Chicago Terminal: goose island operation i guess. ILSX SW8 900 sitting by the up main with some storage reefers. Taken earlier today. [March 20, 2018]

Jacob Diorio posted
ILSX 900 sits on the Goose Island spur at Clybourn, waiting for the crew to get the bridge closed. Valentines Day 2018
John DeWit Woodlock II posted two photos with the comment: "CIRY 1206 @ Leavitt Street-Chicago,IL 02 AUG 10."

Dennis DeBruler commented on John's posting
The first is looking west and the second is looking east after it crossed the street. The building on the west used to have an industrial spur that went inside the building. You can tell the city doesn't care about Leavitt because of the pot holes and because the spur's crossing still exists.!3m6!1e1!3m4...

Some of the Goose Island track may be repurposed as a light rail connection to downtown for some of the 760 acres along the North Branch that has been rezoned from industrial to residential/office/hotels/retail. I read this in my print version of the Chicago Tribune. Fortunately, Doug Kaniuk posted an online link to the article.

Matt McClure shared an article, including a map, about Chicago buying the "North Side rail line."

Matthew Ginkel Flickr Album of street running

Shortlines of Chicago Historical Society posted: "Chicago Terminal (Iowa Pacific) RR as of 7/21 will be no more. The leased for the switching services is being picked up by Progressive Rail."
Joe Fehr The lines on the west side of O'Hare have been transferred for some time now. The goose island trackage would be an addition to PGR's Chicago Junction if that line is added.

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