Sunday, May 22, 2016

South Shore Freight, Revisited and a former-Conrail Switcher

While studying this picture that I grabbed of a Conrail switcher, I noticed the reporting mark for the gondolas was CSS. That is the reporting mark for the South Shore Freight, which is the nickname for the Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad. We first saw this railroad when I was studying the CREATE GS15a status. (Update: the passenger service is evidently doing well because there is a proposal to spend $210m to add a second track between Gary and Michigan City and improve the platforms at five of the stations.)

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Birds-Eye View
The owner of this facility is Maryland Pig Iron of Illinois.

Seth Lakin: Built as Lehigh Valley 273 in September 1951.

Zooming in on the reporting marks of the switcher (MM2), note that it was just hand painted. It is not a standard reporting mark, so the, obviously used, switcher must be owned by the industry and used on just their property.

Road Map

Looking at the bigger picture, you can see this is part of an industrial spur that leaves the CSS mainline below 130th Street, curves north under 130th, and then serves the industries along Butler Drive. (Update: see below for more details.) If you look at the satellite image, you will see there are spurs off of this spur going to the buildings.

Update: A comment from my posting of the locomotive: Tim Hager Ex-Lehigh Valley with dynamic braking removed

I also added comments to another posting of this engine. Andrew Urbanski mentioned the Southeast Chicago Historical Society. While researching that, I found Chicago's Southeast Side Industrial History, a gold mine of information concerning the industries, including steel, that used to be here.

When I saw how much dirt was on the rails on the east end, I did some more research. Poking around some more on the CSS site, I found an interactive map that allowed me to zoom in on this area. CSS (green lines) provides access to the Class I railroads. But the industries are served by the orange lines. I could not find a key indicating who owned and/or operated the "orange lines." If you scroll down to the bottom of the Illinois International Port District Maps, you will see that this area is part of their Lake Calumet District.

CSS Interactive Map
In the left sidebar of IIPD site
My current understanding of the "orange lines" is that they are owned by the Port of Chicago and that any railroad, including the Class I railroads in Chicago, has trackage rights on them and can switch directly to a customer.
The Port of Chicago has unsurpassed terminal and rail switching services. Twelve main line railroads in the Chicago rail hub feed into selected terminals. All the major railroads serving the Chicago area have reciprocal switching arrangements. Line haul movements to and from the area by one carrier and service to the specific Port terminal by another is accommodated without extra switching charges for shippers or consignees. No Great Lakes port can match the Port of Chicago's rail service.
Click here to view the Intermodal Association of Chicago's Area Intermodal Rail Terminals. [ThePortOfChicago]

Chicago Rail Link maps show that they serve this area.

cropped from map from Chicago Area Shortline Railroads
Gary Pyke posted
Switcher still in Conrail colors off 130th street in South Chicago.
Jeff Delhaye Single stack, nonstandard hood contours in front of the cab, most probably an ex-LV SW8Franklin Campbell Yep was built with dynamic brakesJoe Usselman You cant really see it in this photo, but the lv is bleeding through pretty good on it.Tad Dunville It is indeed ex-LV and for some reason the LV fans go crazy for these little dudes. LV used them pretty hard from what I understand, in road service no less.Kevin Vahey Yep, what were at one time the black LV pinstripes on the front end are showing thru quite nicely!James L Kirslis History from MPS No# < MM 2 < SCA 780 < CR 8687 < LV 273 (SW8)Joe Ikon Wow still there! First seen that one in 1999.John Gardner See it all the time when im on the sag run
Deliver steel and pig iron barge loads to the sheds right past there
Matt Lastovich Maryland Pig has been active lately pulled 14 cars from them this week so far.
Nick Hart posted
An extremely rare Conrail SW8 (#8687) works at Maryland Pig Services of Illinois, located in Chicago's south side. Spray painted on the side is MM2 780. MM stands for Midwest Metallics, the former owner of Maryland Pig.
Built as the Lehigh Valley 273 in September 1951, this old veteran still earns her keep hauling scrap gons through the plants. Thankfully, there were scrap gons waiting to be picked up this morning, giving a nice opportunity to see the SW8 in action.
Photo taken on private property, with prior permission from the staff at MPS.
February 12th, 2016

James L Kirslis Per Conrail Blue:

MPS No#; EMD SW8; MPS/Chicago, IL

[Maryland Pig Services] << MM 2 [Midwest Metallics] < SCA 780 [Scrap Corp of America] < CR 8687 < LV 273 [09/1951]
Ryan Kertis Look carefully and you can see the LV striping on the hood

1 comment:

  1. Omnitrax used to have the switching contract here, and CARL would serve the port via the former Pullman Railroad(NS owned, formerly Rock Island owned) I believe the port is now only served by South Shore from the east. Tht run there from Hedgwisch on Wednesday evenings