Wednesday, April 20, 2016

C&IW: Chicago and Illinois Western

Andrew Grigg provided a summary (post, share):
One of the more obscure of the Chicago area railroads was the Chicago & Illinois Western Railroad (not to be confused with the Chicago & Western Indiana). The line was a joint venture with the Illinois Central, with whom it connected, and Commonwealth Edison, an electricity supplier, who had interests in moving coal along the right of way. It opened in 1906
It was one of many railroads which ran near the Chicago River on Chicago's Southwest side, ending around 26th St and Western Ave. On its west end, it ran to Hodgkins, IL, very much paralleling the adjacent Sanitary & Ship Canal and Des Plaines River.
The railroad was proposed to extend southwesterly from Hodgkins down south to Joliet, but never got beyond Hodgkins, most likely as the Chicago Alton & St. Louis and Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe also ran a very similar route between the two cities.
Interestingly, much later in the 20th century, a line to haul coal to one of ComED's generating stations was constructed between Joliet and Romeoville, known as the Will County Coal Handling Railroad, likely using what would have been a similar right of way to the C&IW.
Much of what was built of the line survives today as Canadian National right of way, with a short industrial operation near Cicero known as the Cicero Central Railroad.
Most of the "Bug Line" north of CN/EJ&E was first built to service a Material Services route to the now abandoned gravel pits west of IL-53..

https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/2017/11/ej-quarry-and-coal-branch.html 

Bill Molony posted
This map of the Chicago & Illinois Western Railroad is from the February 1950 edition of the Official Guide.

Shortlines has a few maps.

Ray Harstick Wasn't this the 'Wobbly"?
Michael Buckley I used to see them switching industries at Mcook Il Santa Fe . They came in from the north side of the Santa Fe tracks from Nerska to Mcook across the IHB . Then to south of Vulcan Rock to the Santa Fe GM Yard ( willow Springs ) then stoped there .

Chicago has both a C&WI and a C&IW railroad. The Chicago & Western Indiana was a terminal railroad serving the Dearborn Station. The Chicago and Illinois Western Railroad (CIW) was incorporated on February 26, 1903. (Wikipedia)  It ended up being a switching railroad owned by Illinois Central and Commonwealth Edison (DonsDepot) serving industries in the southwestern Chicago area. Cicero Central Railroad now switches the Koopers chemical plant.

David Daruszka adjusted a map posted by Bill Molony
This the listing from the March 1970 edition of The Official Guide Of the Railways for the Chicago & Illinois Western Railroad.
Dennis DeBruler This map supports the theory that the passenger service terminated at a station on the CB&Q.
Charlie Vlk This thread is confusing 1900-era what was likely railroad employee accomodation service with 1960s maps. Until I find a reference to CB&Q connecting service with C&IW "suburban" trains I will leave it up to other researchers to prove what was happening. If the line did come up to the vicinity of the CB&Q Hawthorne Depot anybody transferring would have to walk maybe a block to make the connection. I did mean Chicago & Western Indiana in my last post because that was the company that was operating the Belt Railway of Chicago. 1885 Chaining Notes from the CB&Q indicate a station structure at the overhead bridge near Crawford Avenue. No other reference to that stop has surfaced in ETT, Suburban Timetables or other material. I am surprised that, unless I missed it, no mention is made of the C&IW being projected to be electrified and connected to and be operated with the Chicago & Illinois Midland (that even bought Insull South Shore design passenger cars that could be electrified but ended up being pulled by 4-4-0s!). C&IW track was actually laid eastward from Joliet which was transferred to the EJ&E when plans changed (most likely that it was decided that barge was cheaper than building an electric railroad to supply the CE Co).

Doug Kaniuk posted
Doug's comment:
CN 9610 (IC) returning (heading East) from dropping off a car, crossing the Des Plaines River (just South of 47th St.) on the former C&IW line. 8-14-2014
Mark Bilecki Sr. Wow I am surprised this line is still active, I can remember when it crossed old Lawndale Ave (old 171) years back and ran along side of the ATSF to Fisher body. [Which is now the UPS Chicago Area Consolidation Hub.]

The rare Rall Bascule Bridge still exists even though it is not used.

Doug's 1908 map indicates they planned to build west from the Panhandle north of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and west of the Des Plaines River to Joliet. As the above comment and the the 1908 map indicate, they made it as far as the GM Fisher body plant. The SPV Map indicates that it crossed the IC at the IC/IN crossing (for which I cannot find a name for this junction on a few maps that I have looked at).

Itt was hard to find a map that was old enough that the C&IW was built, new enough that parts had not been abandoned, and detailed enough to show it crossing near the IC/IN crossing. I finally found this 1916 map. It was prepared by Pennsy, that is why the Panhandle on the eastern end of the C&IW is a red line. I don't know why the C&IW itself is shown as a dashed line. The left side of this excerpt is at the left side of the original map.
1916
It is easy to follow the C&IW route east of the IC/IN crossing because the track still exists. But note that it is out-of-service because the turnout connecting it to the IC mainline has been removed. The overpasses for KedzieCalifornia, and 31st still exist. Note the 31st Street overpass is curved because the C&IW is turning north to join the Panhandle, which is abandoned so it is now just dirt on the west side of the Western Avenue Corridor. The bridge over a canal slip also still exists.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Because C&IW was south of the IC along the Crawford Generating Plant, it used to have the spurs that served the coal storage yard. It looks like there is a spur on the east side that goes all the way to the canal to handle the coal unloaded from barges. It is interesting that back then the Crawford Generating Plant had four units of the same size. I'm glad to see that there is very little soot in the smoke. That is, the smoke is white instead of black.

Looking at a satellite image of Pulaski Road, I assume the top two crossings are the original IC tracks and the bottom crossing was the C&IW. It is interesting that CN evidently upgraded all three crossing with modern rubber crossings and maintains crossing gates for the old C&IW track even though just a little bit east CN has removed the turnout connecting it to the mainline. This severed connection makes the maintenance of the crossing gates rather silly.
1916
I zoom in on Hawthorn Junction in the map so that you can see where the C&WI went through the junction because there are no land scars left for this route. The map also shows that a spur runs north from the C&IW tracks to connect to Manufacturers' Junction. That connection is now the C&IW's connection to the outside world. The C&IW has track past Koopers chemical plant, past a connection with the tracks that serve the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, over the Des Plaines River, past another industrial spur, past an industrial spur that is actually still being used, until it ends.

Update: It had the nickname "Wobbly." (HotTimes)

Nick Hart posted
After dumping in the fields of Summit, the Sanitary District of Chicago leads 13 cars under the former C&IW (now a CN branch line) in Forest View, bound for the plant in Stickney.
May 12th, 2017
  • C&WI or Cicero Central or Koopers: photo of C&WI track on the left in eighteenth photo of posting?(album)  Two smokestack in background belong to Crawford?  Lots of info in comments on a Marty posting. (second photo has Crawford smokestacks in the background) A comment has a 1980 photo of ICG era crossing Des Plaines River. Mark Bilecki Sr. Their yard was near 33rd and Pulaski
Ken Rehor posted five photos with the comment:
An ICG train gingerly tiptoes west through the terrible trackage of the former Chicago & Illinois Western in Lyons, IL. It's heading to deliver two tank cars of some sort of toxic nightmare to a processing plant on 47th Street just past the Des Plaines River crossing. The caboose sure has seen better days. A hi-rail vehicle passed by on the Santa Fe mainline as part of a crew aligning the track. The last frame looking east at Wenonah Ave in Forest View shows the need for severe speed restrictions on the ICG/CIW. June 1980. Canon AE-1, Kodak Panatomic-X
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Ramon Rhodes commented on Ken's post
Here is the layout of the area in the ICG/Santa Fe days.

David Schnell posted
So, do you still think that the Chicago & Illinois Western never had suburban passenger service? That service existed from 1904 until 1917. Here is a timetable from the 1910 Official Guide:
Richard A. I. Carlson Gary is what Hodgkins used to be called. Hawthorne was the junction on the Belt and IC Line to Dubuque.
William Hudson Hawthorne on ICRR, was at Sportsman's Park Racetrack. Of course, this pre-dates that track. The location is the same vicinity.
Andre Kristopans The way this is written it was a connection off the Q. Where at though? Western Ave maybe? Map would appear to show that the north to west curve ( that BNSF reactivated a few years back) was the connection. So did any prospective passengers have to hike down the tracks a couple of blocks? Maybe. This is 1909 after all. Walking to make a connection would have been quite acceptable thdn.

Andre Kristopans How far west did the CIW ever go? Appears to be at least to the IHB crossing at McCook, though there appear to be remnants all the way to GM Yard at LaGrange Rd. Or was the track in that area always Santa Fe?
Dwayne Weber West and north of ATSF or IC
Andre Kristopans Dwayne Weber digging around in ICC valuations came up with some historical info. Owned and built by Dolese & Shepard, who owned the big quarries at McCook. Original line Hodgkins to 33rd at BRC. Hodgkins to McCook leased from EJ&E. Branch to Western and 31st and rights on PRR to Marshall Blvd on CBQ added a couple years later.

Ken Rehor Was the line past Hodgkins ever built?
Andre Kristopans According to valuations, yes, but out of service before 1918. A bit over one mile in lenght, so roughly to LaGrange Rd. Probably intended to serve another quarry that for whatever reason never started digging.

Andre Kristopans Careful reading of ICC valuations plus looking at map in this thread would appear to indicate as of 1910 the line east of 33rd and BRC to Western Ave did not exist yet, opened in 1914. So "Hawthorne" most likely refers to the Burlington at 26th and Cicero. This would make sense, connecting with the Burlington at what is now the Cicero station. FIinally, looking at Google Earth it appears this track is separate from and to the east of the former Manufacturers Junction track in the same area, and is used by BNSF as its connection to the Belt.
Andre Kristopans Additional comment: crossing 26th Street at Kenton are two tracks. East track connects to BRC and is used by BNSF multiple times each day. West track is old CIW. Does connect to BRC, but much further south. This track sees very little use it appears. There are two sidings between about 28th and 31st that were probably interchange tracks. Old MJ connects with this track about 31st Street, where there is a south to west curve to the IC. There is no longer a connection directly to what is left of the CIW east of here.

Charlie Vlk The CB&Q has about six miles of mainline within the City of Chicago limits and a line down to the Lumber District. It would be interesting to know WHERE on the CB&Q the C&IW started their commuter service. It likely wasn't Union Station or the 16th & Canal "Chicago" depot of the Q. There was a station on the Q at the BRC just east of Hawthorne / Cicero that migfht have been the point of origin for the service(???)
Dwayne Weber Charlie Vlk Some switch or area near Cicero where the C&IW picked up from the CB&Q. Looks like Chicago originated on CB&Q. Then you caught a C&IW in Cicero.
Charlie Vlk It could have been some sort of joint ticket arrangement. In 1910 the only stops on the Q would have been Canal Street and Western Avenue. Running time was 18 minutes. As I said, there was a station at the Belt Tracks so the transfer probably was there. I will have to look for any evidence of the joint ticketing or service the next time I get to the Newberry unless somebody can dig up evidence before me!
Andre Kristopans It does appear what is now the Cicero Metra station was the likely transfer location. Apparent reason for the service was for workers at the quarries and maybe other industries to get to work as that area would have been incredibly inaccessible at the time by any other means.

Charlie Vlk While the TT is a little confusing, it looks like the running time between “Chicago” CB&Q is 15 minutes. Given the proximity of Hawthorne to the CB&Q on the C&IW it probably isn’t the Q at 26th Street. A puzzle!
Dwayne Weber An old map I found showed that it stopped at Hodgkins (Gary). Must have added on to Willow Springs later on. The map also shows the point of origin to be @ Western Ave. Not depots or stops are shown.
Charlie Vlk Prior to track elevation the CC&IC (PRR Panhandle) was crossed at grade and there was a depot at the Southwest corner of the diamonds which might have been the point of origin for the C&IW service. The subsequent Western Avenue depot on the Q was first on the south side of the main, then the north side, and eventually moved to make way for the track elevation and later further modified for the realigned mainline north around Western Avenue Yard.
Andre Kristopans In 1909 CIW did not go to 26th and Western yet. That part dates to 1914. The connection with CBQ was 26th and Cicero

Andre Kristopans Digging around in ICC valuations came up with some historical info. Owned and built by Dolese & Shepard, who owned the big quarries at McCook. Original line Hodgkins to 33rd at BRC. Hodgkins to McCook leased from EJ&E. Branch to Western and 31st and rights on PRR to Marshall Blvd on CBQ added a couple years later.

Charlie Vlk The line to Ogden and 1st was the Lyons Belt, a separately chartered and owned line. No rolling stock, only track. Ive I’ve found evidence it was going to connect with the CB&Q just east of the Hollywood depot but it was never extended north of Ogden.

Richard A. I. Carlson commented on David's post
Andre Kristopans Richard A. I. Carlson where is this map from? Seems to show the C&IW extending past 33rd paralleling the Belt to 26th Street and the Burlington. This would explain the 1910 timetable, but raises more questions.
Richard A. I. Carlson This comes from the IC's Chicago Terminal Condensed Profile dated 1942.

Dwayne Weber commented on David's post
1928 map.

Dwayne Weber commented on David's post



While researching Chicago & Illinois Western I found the following links that I save for future research:

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