Monday, May 2, 2016

CN/EJ&E's Kirk Yard and Roundhouse

Bill Molony posted
Kirk Yard Tower View - 1956.
Shaun Siuba One of only 2 towers left in Kirkyard
William O'Neal Stringer commented "
I can see J center cabs on the pit" and
"Also in this pic are the J business cars in the foreground."

(Update: Bill Molony posted several more photos of this yard.)

Since EJ&E was originally owned by U. S. Steel, EJ&E had a few yards near the USS Gary Works. (See map below.) Kirk Yard was the biggest. Since CN has bought EJ&E as well as IC, it has decided to move its classification work at EJ&E Joliet Yard and IC Markham Yard to EJ&E Kirk Yard. CN was also going to consolidate engine servicing in Gary, but I read an article that they cut back their construction budget in Gary with the decision keep the Woodcrest diesel shop operational.

B&OCT Map Excerpt, the blue box highlights Kirk Yard

There is still a roundhouse on the east side of the yard.
Thanks to Kory's comment, this would be the west tower.
Is this the trailer that Uknown speaks of?
3D Satellite

Joe OBrien posted
New CN tower at Kirk Yard, Gary, IN.
Kory's comment provided a satellite location.
Michael Bachmann posted
Kirk Yard before my time.
Kenneth DeCamp Automobiles indicate 1930’s!
Skip Burch Buchanan St. EJ&E main office to the left. Merchant Mill would be on the right. You can see the Roundhouse behind the office building. Awesome Photo! Thanks for sharing.
Jeff Everts its like Buchanan St hasn't got repaved since then either.
Christopher Skrenka Looks like the Buchanan overpass for cars and trucks exiting merchant mill gate to southbound Buchanan was added after this pic was taken. 80 years later the rail overpasses are still 12' 2".

3D Satellite
I presume Michael's photo was taken from the bridge in the foreground of this view.

Zachary C. Gillihan posted nine photos with the comment:
This CTC machine I’m restoring was a EJ&E machine at West Gate Tower / Kirk Jct. Anyone know of any photos of it in service? Hit a milestone today:
Officially 50% completely rewired!!!! From left to right panels 1-3 need to be removed stripped of hardware and cleaned then rewired. Panels 4-6 have been cleaned and rewired!! The PLC in Panel 5 only connects to panel 5 and 6 as the PLC in panel 4 handles the rest of the machine. This machine is made to break down in a few minutes so between panels 4 and 5 there is a simple ribbon cable to disconnect and a 5 conductor 12/120v power wire. Quite excited and feeling well established on this machine. The CTC machine was a EJ&E machine from West Gate Tower or Kirk Yard Jct.








Zachary commented on his own posting
Kinda felt like fate to have the LCP that replaced this CTC machine then get the CTC machine!

Zachary commented on his own posting
Now the lights dim when I turn the other two CTC machines on and they start coding on start up!

Bill Molony posted
Kirk Yard retarder - 1956.
Bill Molony posted
EJ&E Alco RS2's #806 and #809.
Gregory Bailey Kirk Yard refueling station.
Bob Tarlini That sand tower on the right used to sit by the roundhouse office in Joliet.
Kevin Piper also posted
In this view from 1962, we see the EJ&E Kirk Yard engine facility looking east. To the right of RS-2 809, is the Gary crew caller's office, and road engineman's bunk room upstairs. The building also housed a Road Foreman's office. EJ&E RY. PHOTO
Wayne Hudak posted two photos with the comment: "EJ&E RIP track, Kirk Yard Gary Indiana CRA Photos: July 2, 1918."

Mark Llanuza posted
Roundhouse 2009
Mark Llanuza posted
were at the very west end of the EJ&E Kirk Yard tower with South Shore extra leaving the yard on the EJ&E the year 2010
John DeWit Woodlock II posted
EJE 811 @ Kirk Yard-Gary,IN 09 APR 05.
Dennis DeBruler The West Tower is still standing:,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3

Mark Llanuza posted two photos with the comment: "Its 2009 and i got a tour of EJ&E hump yard right after the take over of the EJ&E." He doesn't say it is Kirk, but I believe that is the only hump yard that EJ&E had. This is reinforced by seeing steel mills in the left background.

Mark posted again
William O'Neal StringerWilliam and 2 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Friends of The EJ&E RR. Wow, I didn't know they removed that huge retarder console.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its 2009 and i got a tour of EJ&E hump yard right after the take over of the EJ&E.William O'Neal Stringer West end tower looking east.
Mark posted the above three photos plus this one
A great view from inside the EJ&E tower at Gary Ind Kirk Yard the year 2010
Al Wszolek wwest end towerAl Wszolek Looking from west to east.Steven Suhs Good god they really decimated the hump yard tracksRichard Schwanke HOLY CRAP! I knew there were some changes but WOW.Scott Pugh This is an old picture. The new hump had more tracks, main at West gate has been moved over, D&R Yard now part of the North Yard. Very long tracks now. CN did a good job in Kirk Yard, made it like the J should have.William O'Neal StringerGroup Admin They think they made the yard better but it holds a lot less cars I think.Scott Pugh William O'Neal Stringer not quite. 3,000 was around the max in its hay day. Now all the area is filled with tracks. Dump and rip gone, now long tracks.Tony Kovac Word is... to extend
12 hump up to 22 hump into connecting with West basically fill in where the south skate shanty used to be.
Scott Pugh Tony Kovac 8 tracks in the North Yard is now in the hump. High side of the hump also extended. 35 thru 45. That was done before I retired.Tony Kovac Yes, this summer,
track contractors raised the high side West end of the hump. All of the original east end of the North yard (14 tracks) is now the hump. The new 1 north is now about 100 cars long, and on the east end, is the North side of the of wh
at used to be 9 rip & the mat yard. The West end of 1,2 & 3 north,(these 3 are the shortest north yard tracks) curve south now, at the ditch & tie into the new 6th lead to Westgate. 4 north now goes directly to the old 1 d&r, next to the north side of the ditch. 4 north pocket is now gone.
Zachary C. Gillihan posted four photos with the comment: "Would anyone have photos of EJ&E Westgate Tower in Chicago? Working on restoring it."



Eric Berg commented on Zachary's posting
Westgate, Kirk Yard Junction (KD)Manage

Mark Llanuza posted two photos with the comment: "Its 2009 were at the hump yard at Kurt yard."


Mark posted again
Bill Molony shared
Gregory Bailey This is at the Kirk Yard refueling station. That's the powerhouse on the left and the M of W truck garage on the right. Neal, the Signal Shop was in the building on the left foreground.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its 2010 where inside the round house at Kirk yard
William O'Neal Stringer I posted a lot of round house photos here:
Bill Molony posted
[Bill didn't indicate Kirk Yard. But he posted in an EJ&E group and those are steel mills in the background.]
Bill Molony posted
Skip Burch A cut being humped at Kirk Yard. J 4000 series gondolas.
[It is interesting they didn't use coil cars with covers. Did Gary make stainless steel?]
Tom Legner posted, cropped
E.J.&E. Gary, IN hump yard 1964
Nathan Mackey posted
Some CN train leaving Kirk Yard today.
Robby Gragg CN L516, nice!
Andrew Stephenson Where does L516 run between? I'm trying to familiarize myself with CN's Chicagoland locals.
Robby Gragg Runs between Kirk and Griffith and back, the coil cars will be interchanged with the NS at Van Loon.

[CN has been repainting EJ&E locomotives as CN engines so finding two engines still in the EJ&E orange with the "J-Ball" logo is cause for excitement. And I appreciate Robby's explanation of what is happening.]
Ray Weart posted
EJ&E 656 rides the Kirk Yard turntable prior to going into the roundhouse for an FRA 92 day inspection on 10-29-2012
Kevin Piper Is the roundhouse still there?Gregg Wolfersheim Yes it is. They do minor repairs and inspections. There is a new 2 track open inspection area to the northwest of the roundhouse. The old inbound/outbound is somewhat there, used for storage or as a ready track.
Kevin Piper posted
This undated photo shows the large Kirk Yard roundhouse with SW1001 445 parked outside. In the background is a part of the huge USS Gary Works, once the largest steel mill in the world. It employed over 30,000 people during the early 1970's. PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN
Lynwood Meeks The 'J ' switched and serviced my former plant.... USS TUBING SPECIALTIES.
Kevin Piper posted
Two EJ&E 900-Series Centercabs are departing Gary, IN, on 10-30-65 with a long mixed freight. Trains like this were usually blocked in station order, and head end set-outs were made at each interchange along the route with traffic for connecting railroads. LOUIS CERNY PHOTO
Dennis DeBruler Thanks for the explanation for what Kirk Yard would do.
Kevin Piper posted
The ex-DM&IR SD9's operated by EJ&E were strong pullers. All were equipped with slow-speed hump controls for Kirk Yard in Gary. My very first paid trip as an engineer was with EJ&E 608 pulling 108 empty coal hoppers from Gary to Joliet. 609 & 605 are at Kirk Yard on 1-24-77.
Al Kunold Pulled 78 loaded boxcars from Savanna to Cicero with 1 GP 20
Photo from Mike Kasrich's posting

Gary Sturm posted
EJ&E #611 on the turntable at Kirk Yard in 1979.

Mark Llanuza posted two photos with the comment: "the year 2009 at Kirk yard round housei Gary Ind."

Mark posted again
Richard Schwanke That's one of the very few in the Chicago area still in service. By Chicago area I'm referring to "Da Region".

Gary Sturm posted
The EJ&E roundhouse at Kirk Yard in 1979.

Mark Llanuza posted three photos with the comment: "ts the year 2009 at Kirk hump yard Gary Ind."



Mark Llanuza posted
Its the year 2009 at Kirk hump yard Gary Ind
Al Wszolek Many days on that end of the yard as yardmaster
Joe Usselman posted
Just before the merger 804 was sitting at the J's Kirk yard near the hump yard on a cold January morning in 2009 at Gary.
Craig Cloud Merger? Nope Acquisition? Yes
Dennis DeBruler I tried finding those big diesel fuel tanks in a satellite image. When I could not find them, I fired up Google Earth to look at a 2009 image. Flipping through the timeline, I learned that CN built the current engine fueling facility in 2015 and removed the big tank in 2016. The two little ones were gone by 2010.
Edward Schlag posted
Over Gary, IN, this morning. [Sept 29, 2018]
James C Bradley posted three photos with the comment:
What year is this again? 2 separate pull downs out of CN’s Kirk yard with IC 6250 (SD40-3) and BLE 878 (SD38-2) and then GTW 5936 the last remaining SD40-2 meet the IC Death Star trio on L537 just minutes apart yesterday in Gary, IN. Definitely a sight to be seen! Taken: 10-2-18

Maxwell Crosby Damn CN in Gary is putting on one hell of a show!
James C Bradley Someone is having fun in there haha 
Josh Rich You are lucky to catch some 90s action there. Great catches.
Brandon Loy Kirk is truly a godly yard.But where the hell is the J.



Mark Llanuza posted
The year 2009 Kirk yard hump yard
Bob Tarlini Those old SD9s were great for napping. They had this low rumbling when they were at idle.Cory John GibsonCory John and 12 others joined Friends of The EJ&E RR within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! gotta love that low idle 567, sound even better in notch 8
Mark Llanuza posted
Its the year 2010 South Shore car movement leaving Kirk Yard on the EJ&E crews getting on broad.
Ray Weart Not a J crew on there but a WC crew with me running the engine.
Dean Kellum What is that monstrosity it’s hauling?
Ray Weart We ran a special move of CSS&SB cars from Kirk Yard to Mukwonago, WI on the WC for the museum in East Troy, WI where the cars were going. Their interchange off our main line is at Mukwonago.

Charles Heraver commented on Mark's posting
9-25-10, on the ETER in Mukwonago, WI.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its the year 2010 South Shore car movement leaving Kirk Yard on the EJ&E crews getting on broad.
Ray Weart It's not leaving Kirk yard in this photo. They are getting the train ready for me to take it to Mukwonago, WI the next day. I was the engineer on that train.Mark Llanuza I was with you this day this is Kirk yard thats the tower lol
Al Wszolek They were in a warehouse on US Steel property about 25 years ago. They were originally used by Chicago South Bend Transit company for many years in commuter service.

Steven Cope I worked at mittal steel for a short time. Was kinda creepy driving past those where they were stored.
Mark Llanuza posted
Kirt yard hump yard 2009
Thomas Fabianski Excellent shot. I remember those SDMs and SD9s very vaguely, as they never really showed up around my area.Kenneth P. Ensign they were used for the hump only thenThomas Fabianski Wasn't that like it was during EJ&E days? The SD38s seemed to be on the road often, so it would make sense if it was.
Mark Llanuza posted
Kirk yard hump yard 2009
Rudy Sliepka This photo brings back some memories. I was a retarder operator during emergency duty many times. I designed and supervised the foundation for the 100 foot COR-TEN Steel light towers in this photo. Glad they didn’t fall over. I climbed to the top of these towers a few times. Now you can hurt my feelings and say who cares.
Mark commented on his own posting
Mark Llanuza posted
Its 2009 a view inside the tower at Kirk yard.
William O'Neal Stringer Wow, I didn't know they removed that huge retarder console.Gregory Bailey I think this is West End Tower.
Eric Berg commented on Mark's posting
[According to the comments, West Gate was also known as Kirk Yard Jct. There is a lot of discussion about the model board that is being restored.]

Gary Miller posted
Roundhouse in Gary, IN. Hard to believe that this one and the one in Hammond, IN are both operational and only about 10 miles apart.
Dave Elm commented on Gary's post
From the roof of the tower

Dave Elm commented on Gary's post

Dave Elm commented on Gary's post

Dave Elm commented on Gary's post


Flickr of "ex Missabe SD9Ms."

Marty's Flickr photos: SW1200 303 and SD18 610 in front of some backshop buildingsGP38-2 700 with US Steel in the backgroundlots of tracks with US Steel in the backgroundGP38-2 703 in front of the roundhouse (the doors have been replaced with block-glass windows).

Arturo Gross Flickr 2003 photo of a train leaving Kirk Yard. (I could not find 5th Avenue on the map.)

Arturo Gross Flickr 2018 photo of three engines drilling the hump. (source) I found his location.

Arturo Gross Flickr 2018 photo of two "puller jobs." (source) I believe a puller job makes up a new train by going back-and-forth into various tracks of the hump yard to add cuts of cars to the train. So CN is making two trains at the same time. Photo taken from Buffington.

2019 Flickr photo of the roundhouse

In Sept 2020, I got hit with a Double Doomsday. Both Facebook and Google changed their software. I said "changed" instead of "updated" because the new software is not better. In fact, Google's Blogger software is far worse except for a search function that works. Specifically, it has three bugs concerning photos and their captions. So I'm no longer copying photos and interesting comments from Facebook. I'm just saving the link. I hope you can see posts in Private Groups.


  1. The new CN Tower is located at 1 N. Buchanan Street at 41.612148, -87.353803, just south of the roundhouse. On Google Maps it's still labeled as Gary Railway Co.

  2. I believe the westernmost tower is located on Google Maps at 41.623633, -87.385849

  3. If the location for the westernmost tower is correct, it wouldn't be too far east of Pine Junction.

  4. West tower is now a trailer. Be about midway towards the end of the bowl on the north side of the tracks. There will be two trailers now I believe sitting where it once was