Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ford Tower: C&WI vs Englewood Connecting Line

(Satellite, the Englewood Connector has been abandoned but the former-C&WI tracks have been connected to the former-Pennsy tracks as part of NS's effort to expand their 47th Street Yard)

John W. Barriger III Flickr
Bob Lalich comment: "Looking north at Ford St interlocking, crossing of Englewood Connecting RR (PRR)."

Barriger III
Bob Lalich comment: "looking north at Ford St Tower, crossing of PRR Englewood Connecting RR."
[Since the track diagram below shows that the EC track was south of the tower, I think this view is looking south.]
This excerpt from a 1916 Pennsy map shows the EC used to connect its Panhandle route on the left with its Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago route on the right. The black line between the right red line and Halstead is the UP/C&WI. Where the EC crosses the C&WI is Ford Junction. When the Panhandle was abandoned, the EC became useless. So the track around the C&WI was torn up to remove a diamond and the need for the tower. Once again, I use the Bing map to show how it used to look for decades.

The more recent Google image shows they have implemented the north alignment of the CREATE P4 project.


1938 Aerial Photo from IHLAP
[The tower was in the northeast quadrant of the crossing.]

There has been talk about turning the remaining EC into a trail similar to the 606 Trail. But I'm worried that the trail's usage would be different in a neighborhood that has a different dynamic.

Bill Molony posted
Bill's comment:
Wabash Railroad class C3 0-8-0 switch engine #1537, hard at work with a transfer run on the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad's tracks near Englewood Station, 63rd & Wallace on the south side of Chicago.The 1537 was one of 20 such locomotives built for the Wabash by the American Locomotive Company in September of 1923.It was scrapped in April of 1951.
I commented that I thought the bridge in the background was the EC. I was wrong, but I did learn a lot from the comments. The EC crossed at grade (but both are above the roads) and Bob Lalich added a drawing of the Ford Street Interlocking.

Bob Lalich comment on above posting
Bob Lalich There was a wye at 40th St on the C&WI that was used for turning locomotives and passenger trains.

Bob Lalich This train is SB on the C&WI, just south of Englewood Station. It is most likely a transfer between 47th St Yard and Landers. Wabash leased 47th St Yard from the C&WI. 47th St Yard was used for western connections and stockyards traffic.

Dennis DeBruler This picture also teaches me that at least some boxcars/refers still had the handbrake wheel above the car in 1923.

William Shapotkin The bridge in the background is the Englewood 'L'. The Pennsy's Englewood Connecting x/o the C&WI at at grade (OK, both railroads were on an embankment) at Ford (58th). This view looks N/B on the C&WI.

Bill Molony posted
Erie Railroad EMD E8A #821, leading Erie train #5, the westbound Lake Cities Limited, over the Pennsylvania Railroad's Englewood Connecting Line diamonds and past Ford Interlocking Tower on the tracks of the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad in August of 1956.

Bill Molony posted
Erie Railroad EMD E8A #821, leading train #5, the Lake Cities Limited, inbound on the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad tracks past Ford Interlocking tower on the south side of Chicago in August of 1956.
Bill Molony Note that in this photograph, the Erie locomotive is sharp and the tower and the other background is somewhat blurred. When I took this photograph, I panned the camera from right to left as the train passed by in order to get this effect.
Bill Molony This photograph appears on page 99 of my recent book in the history of the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad.
Anthony Caci Almost all the viaducts between Ford Tower going west toward the ex-59th Street yard at Winchester are still standing, most sprouting trees as tall as three-flats. Talk is of converting that route someday to a recreation trail.

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