Thursday, May 5, 2016

Barrington Tower: CN/EJ&E vs. UP+Metra NW/C&NW

NorthAmericanInterlockings:   1996   photo   armstrong levers    1970 with cab locomotive
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for the correct information)

2009 Flickr

Bill Molony posted
Barrington Tower; EJ&E and C&NW interlocking.
Richard Mead The days of bury it in gravel instead of replacing the stabilize the tracks.
Harold J. Krewer One of the great inventions of the 70s: Self-tamping ballast!
[I believe the view is looking northwest along the UP/C&NW, with the CN/EJ&E tracks across the middle.]
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Mark Llanuza posted
Trent Blasco when did they single track the EJ&E through town?. i recall the 2 tracks on county line road still there about 10 years ago.
Kevan Davis that switch was pulled in the early 80's.
Michael Q Quagliano Is this the EJE line or the CNW?
Kevan Davis that is the J. cnw harvard line crosses (right to left) at the tower. The third track is the southwest connector next to the "ICE House" to the CNW. Usually used by MofW equipment. int the 80's on.
Mike Schattl This was before the weeds and trees grew.
There is a second interchange track now abandoned at Barrington. This one was in the Southwest quadrant. The RoW including wood trestle over a small creek is now largely obscured by a forest by the high school.

Mark Llanuza posted
Its the year 2001 with eastbound grain train from Harvard [Chemung] coming up the grade at Barrington tower
Mark Llanuza posted
CNW Waukegan Coal train is on the EJ&E northbound crossing over the Harvard sub at Barrington tower
Mark Llanuza posted
its 1980 with train 598 passing past the Barrington tower
[Another posting of 598 has quite a few comments. It appears to be an earlier shot of this train and shows even more smoke coming out of one of the units.]
Bill Kalkman posted
If memory serves me correct, you are looking NE at the crossing of the EJ&E and C&NW, standing next to the EJ&E main at Barrington Tower. The tower was closed on 5/3/03 and was demolished in 8/06. Today, it's the crossing of CN & UP/Metra NW. Mid-afternoon on 7/9/81 in Barrington, IL.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1993 at Barrington tower
Tony Umek Was a pain carrying supplies over to that one, no road to it.
Mark posted what looks like the same photo but labelled it 1996.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its the year 2001 at EJ&E Barrington tower with the tower man giving roll by of Waukegan coal empties.

Mark Llanuza posted
Its 2005 were at Barrington tower.
Notice how much nature has taken over since Bill's image.]
Mark Llanuza posted three pictures of details with the comment: "EJ&E Barrington tower 1997."


Anthony Caciopo posted
Here's an old clipping of mine taken inside Barrington Tower on the J, October of 1992 when I was a staff photographer for Pioneer Press newspapers in suburban Chicago. As part of a feature called "Day in the Life of Barrington" (yes, those 24-hour Day in The Life things got pretty overused back then) I decided to approach the tower just before midnight to ask to come up for a visit. A decrepit old RR tower in toney Barrington? My kind of picture! It took a couple shouts to attract the attention of the operator, who came to the window. I stated my case, waited, and he yelled back "What?" I said it again, he disappeared from the window without a word and I thought, well, here I am, another idiot railfan in the eyes of a real railroader. But a few seconds later, the door swung open and I hustled up the stairs. Thanks, Ray Israelson! (and please remember, the photographer rarely gets to write the full caption).
Mark posted five photos, but this is the only one that is not already in these notes
[He notes the date as 1993.]
Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1993 the great floods of that year had many railroads detouring on other railroads .Northbound BN train running on the EJ&E goes past Barrington tower.
Joel Kirchner Based on the shadows, this was early morning.
Mark Llanuza Yes Joel Kirchner this was one of three they ran this day this was the first one.
Mark Llanuza posted
This is CN train 341 with DP&W leading the way going past EJ&E Barrington tower Jan 2003
Adam Robillard I knew about 249/ 348 about this time, but don't remember a 341. Where did this come on the J?
Mark Llanuza Adam Robillard this train came off the IC Iowa division at Munger onto the J
Gregg Wolfersheim Still no wye there. Probably had to back the train up the connection to the 'J'
Richard Schwanke To do that it would have had to be headed to Chicago. Then it wouldn't work anyway as the power would have been on the wrong end and they would have had to run around the train. Depending on the train length there isn't anywhere to do that at Munger They would have had to shove the train to Spaulding, looks like they have lengthened the double track there, so they could run around the train.

Mark Llanuza posted
The year 2003 northbound EJ&E train with DW&P leading the way going past Barrington tower a CN run through train crossing the CNW Harvard line.
Zach Petersen Duluth, Winnipeg, & Pacific
Gary Clark Rare!
Mike W Schattl I think the rarest of rare would be the EJ&E hematite ore trains in the mid-90's. The Schnable movement doesn't count because it was after the CN merger.
Eric Berg posted eight photos with the comment: "Some various pictures I took and had taken at EJ&E's Barrington tower during my employment."








Mark Llanuza posted
Its 2005 at Barrington tower with small work train and caboose.
Craig Cloud What speed did J work 🚆 here allowed with crane serving as power?
Jim Barnes M of W equipment was restricted to a 25 mph maximum, however I would routinely travel at whatever speed the grade and tonnage being pulled would allow. There was no speedometer in the crane.
Michael Bachmann For a little history on Jim ' s crane, it came from the USS taconi mine in Minnesota. It had a sister crane that was sold to USS Steel in Gary. The taconi mine was getting rid of most of its rolling stock and moving to rubber tire trucks. I was told it was because of the grade coming out of the mine was getting to much for rail movement. Jim was sent up to look at it and the J bought it for about $250,000. It was worth about a million. It was a beast, 80 tonner, 4 traction motors, and weighed short of 300,000 lbs. Compared to what the M/W used before, 30 ton cranes, it was again was a beast. I watched Jim operate that crane numerous times with a skill unmatched by anyone I ever saw and I operated cranes for the J nearly 25 years. I witnessed that crane tie onto about a dozen dead locomotives in the south yard of Joliet and move them with ease. Jim could talk much more on that crane.
William O'Neal StringerWilliam and 2 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Friends of The EJ&E RR. If a crew chose to "expedite" their move there was a lot of management that just "looked the other way." With that thought in place, if things should go wrong, derailing for instance, then you were still fully responsible. Before black boxes on engines, I was in the terminal building (the white house) in Joliet that also housed the dispatcher's office and I overheard the chief train dispatcher say, "I love it when they are helping me but I hate it when they are screwing me." He was referring to speeding trains and trains putt-putting along on overtime.
Richard Weber This crane and its operator Jim barnes was a life saver for the m of w. A lot of planning went into our jobs so all equipment and personnel handled each job safely and professionally. Miss all my fellow employees.


Bill Char Lang posted four photos with the comment: "Barrington Tower."
William O'Neal Stringer Were the levers hard to throw?
Al Pawloski William O'Neal Stringer I worked all the towers,and Barrington was not that bad, But you did have to sometimes put one foot on another lever to get leverage!
Memory may have failed me, but I seem to think Ivanhoe was the hardest.
Again, I’m getting old, Bill, or Larry, or our youngster George may want to weigh in.
A lot of it had to do with the weather as snow n ice was a bitch. We even had to go out and clean the rods and switches ourselves....but don’t tell the maintainers or we would get “timeslipped”.
Trent Blasco Question, did all those levers move switch points? I did not think there were that many switches in the area?
Chris Lajcin   Trent Blasco Some controlled signals, some switches, some sw. Locks and some were route levers.





  1. Glad I found this as I'm researching the J for my model rr. Great pics, thanks all!

  2. As a kid I was constantly wondering around that tower watching trains, my great grand parents lived a few blocks away and as a matter of fact their house is visible in the 1938 aerial photo! Thank you so much for all the pictures and bringing back some fond memories.