Tuesday, February 2, 2016

CRL Burr Oak Yards

(Update:  If you are here because of "Irondale Yard," that information has been moved to its own set of notes.
I've already described the Burr Oak roundhouse. I'm still confused about the difference between Burr Oak and Blue Island Yards and thus currently have some redundancy.)

Metra took over Rock Island's commuter service in the Chicagoland area and Chicago Rail Link took over the freight service.

2011 Yards
The former Rock Island Burr Oak Yard is just north of the former Rock Island Blue Island YardA Nov, 2009 TrainOrders answer describes Burr Oak:
Burr Oak Yard had two sides, the "Infreight" on west side of yard, tracks 1-22.  "Outfreight" tracks 24-47.  I recall some old times saying it had a 48 or 49 track at one time.  Track 23 was accessed from both leads and had track scale under 127th St bridge.  Tracks 1-5 were the long receiving tracks for road trains and departure for long transfers going north (such as Clearing or South Chicago) and/or west to GTW, B&OCT, IHB with crossovers just north of 127th St all the way across,  Tracks 43-47 were the long Outfreight receiving (Transfers) or road train departures and had crossovers all the way across.  The infreight yardmaster's office was ground level in the Prairie St building, trainmasters, superintendent, clerks were on 2nd floor. Outfreight YM was elevated on 127th St bridge, switchman's shanty and clerk were located right under him connected by the pneumatic tube or yell real loud system.
The infreight lead job switched from the south (west) end and outfreight lead from the north (east) end.  The whole yard was slightly descending to the west, so the outfreight field man had to be vigilant keeping his tracks tied down to prevent roll out.  Outfreight also had another engine switching at west end of 24-47 called the "York St".
Burr Oak also had a Rip Track north of Prairie St to about big storage tank at roundhouse that ran parallel to eastward suburban line main track.  The wrecker pocket was next to rip track under bridge and coach yard was between Prairie St and York St next to suburban line.
The infreight yard classified inbound cars destined to connections (GTW, IHB/NYC,B&OCT) and those served by other transfer jobs such as:
 Westside job handled traffic to 47/51st St, CR&I/CJ at Ashland Ave Yd, Chicago Produce Terminal, Wood St Produce Terminal (spuds, onions). The day job retraced it's steps and picked up at same places, the night job went straight to CPT and Wood St to make the morning auctions, then often made it's way from Wood St to 12th St and brought a piggyback pull to Blue Island to be added to the westbound morning fleet.
South Chicago transfer: took train to S Chgo and returned with train. Other transfers were Englewood job 1159PM which went first to Gresham Yard located just north of 95th St extending to the south leg of So Chgo wye at Gresham.  There were several industries there plus it did both sides of main line and Team track at Englewood, there was an occasional car interchanged to PRR.  This job also interchanged freight with the (very seldom) CWI at 81st St.
The Outfreight classified cars received from GTW, IHB/NYC, B&OCT, Clearing, So Chgo, West Side, 12th St, etc for outbound road trains, plus made up fills to be added to both ends of road trains originating at South Chicago. Trains originated here were "Redball Pickup" (thru local to Silvis), No 45 to Peoria, No 97 hotshot for Texas, No 93 deadfreight to Texas, and "Kansas City Star" (started in '66 was auto parts to KC) which became "The Big Train aka #57" to Omaha in later years.
The piggyback road trains from 12th St did not normally stop at Blue Island to get a fill.  When #55 was running they often stopped for the Special Agents and Rin Tin Tin to capture the looters picked around 22nd St.
Forgot to mention when I started in '66 some of the freight house tracks (just east of roundhouse) had been converted to piggyback loading. this didn't last but a few years.
Burr Oak Yard was always busy! (TrainOrders)
Steven J. Brown posted
Rock Island Alcos and ex-Alcos at Burr Oak Yard in Blue Island, IL - June 12, 1978. Present: C415 454 (smoking!), RS2m 454, C415 421 and RS3m 456.
Fred Van Dorpe posted
IAIS 513 shoves out of Burr Oak yard with its 120-ish car train across the Calumet Sag Channel and towards Metra Robbins station, where it will eventually pull forward on the IHB mainline, and shove again back into IHB Blue Island yard on 3/18/17.
Steven J. Brown posted
Rock Island GP10's at Burr Oak Yard in Blue Island, Illinois - February 12, 1977.
Stuart B. Slaymaker Roof of the freight house. Remained there for many years, after shutdown.
John Biskup The building is the terminal superintendent and train master offices upper floor, lower floor was in freight yardmaster and locker room for switchmen and brakemen/conductors.
Scott Malec posted
One of the few times I caught the Rail Link in action on 10/27/2006 at Burr Oak Yard in Blue Island.
One of several ALCO photos posted by Michael Riha
Rock Island 421 and 420 are C415s working Burr Oak Yard in 1975.
[Judging from the second unit, I guess ALCOs don't always smoke.]

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