Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pere Marquette's Tracy Yard


David Daruszka posted
David's comment:
Tracy Yard? Anyone have any more information about this? I remember this area when I did transfer work to Barr Yard and wondered why the area adjacent east of the tracks was so wide.
I commented that it was gone by 1938. Tracy Street is now 103rd Street.

Bob Lalich Tracy Yard was the original Chicago freight terminal for the PM. In 1924, PM became an owner of the BRC. Prior to BRC acquiring the Chicago Union Transfer Ry and Clearing Yard, Rockwell St Yard had been the BRC's main freight yard. Rockwell St became surplus once Clearing was acquired and expanded and was leased to the PM. Beginning with their entry into the Chicago area in 1903, PM freight trains originally used the Chicago & Calumet Terminal RR (which was reorganized into B&OCT in 1910) from Pine Jct to reach Tracy Yard. Prior to 1903, the C&CT ended at Clarke Jct. C&CT was extended to Pine to make the connection to the LS&MS for PM trains. I presume that the original connection allowed direct westward movement off the LS&MS to the C&CT, and would have had to cross the B&O line to Chicago. A new interlocking was established at Pine in 1912 which did not allow for a direct westward move off the LS&MS to the B&OCT. It is unclear if PM trains had to make a saw move, or if they used a different routing to reach Tracy Yard in the time period from 1912 to 1924. I would be very interested if anyone knows more about the routing of PM trains in this time frame. This diagram illustrates the arrangement at Pine after 1912.

Part of Bob's comment
Crew Heimer See page 147 (also 81-82) of this doctoral thesis of 1918/1919. Says the freights were presently using B&OCT to Tracy. Thanks for all the other new info that I had never seen! Also - when they extended to Porter, PM was dealing with USS in several areas (joint steamship line with the B&LE) and may have been seeking a connection with the EJE. And early 1900's the pirates that took over the PM had it buy the CC&L (later to become part of the C&O) providing another entrance into Chicago. And the CTT was so congested that for awhile PM passenger trains used the Fort Wayne (PRR) from Pine (perhaps they meant Clarke Jct.) to 16th Street. Crazy stuff.

Bill Molony posted
Chesapeake & Ohio GE U25B #2508 leading an eastbound Pere Marquette District freight at State Line Tower in 1965.
[There is a lot of information about operations in the comments.]

BRHS posted
Pere Marquette class N 2-8-4 Berkshire #1208 at Chicago on April 14th, 1946.
Bob Lalich This photo raises a question. Where were PM steam locomotives serviced and turned? At the time of this photo, PM's main freight yard was Rockwell St Yard, leased from the BRC. AFAIK, there was no roundhouse there. Since PM was a BRC owner after 1924, it is possible that the BRC's locomotive terminal at Clearing was used. Another possibility is B&OCT's Robey St Yard. Does anyone know? Neither of the roundhouses mentioned seems to match this photograph.
Bob Lalich PM's original entry was over the Chicago Terminal Transfer RR, and Tracy Yard was its freight terminal. In 1915 a new arrangement was made using the B&O passenger route - B&O from Pine Jct to Rock Island Jct, Rock Island to Beverly Jct, and B&OCT to Chicago. I believe Tracy Yard was largely abandoned afterward. PM became a BRC owner in 1924, and began using Rockwell St Yard as its main freight terminal.
Bob Lalich After looking through a few aerial photos of Clearing, I think this photo may have been taken at the Clearing roundhouse.
David Daruszka There are still remnants of Tracy Yard next too the CSX tracks, mostly cement foundations for structures. The rest was redeveloped into housing sometime in the 1950's or '60's.

Richard Fiedler When was Tracy yard abandoned in PM operations moved to Rockwell?
Dennis DeBruler I quote a comment by Bob Lalich from a posting:
"Tracy Yard was primarily used by Pere Marquette Railway, which was one of the last trunk lines to enter the Chicago area shortly after the turn of the last century. Better arrangements for PM were made around 1915 and Tracy Yard was abandoned shortly after."
A 1915 abandonment would explain why there were no tracks on a 1929 topo and why it looks like a vacant yard in a 1938 aerial.


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