Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Rock Island and NYC Root Street Yards

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
While researching the 45th Street Tower, I discovered Root Street Yard. Most yards in the Chicago area have either been converted to intermodal or have at least a few tracks gone. Root streat yard is completely gone.

The SPV Map indicates the east side is the abandoned NYC Root Street Yard. I presume the west side was the Rock Island Root Street Yard. The west side has been totally obliterated by the Dan Ryan Expressway. Only some of the NYC yard has been redeveloped. You can still see bridges across 43rd Street and ballast trails.

30th photo in the Grève des trains - USA - 1946. album
Bob Lalich NYC coach yard to the left and Rock Island 43rd St Yard on the right. The view is looking south. the cross street near the bottom of the photo is Root St.
Harvey Kahler Looking south fits the NYC and CRI&P along State Street with streetcars along the left; but the NYC yard seems impossibly small and inadequate.
Bob Lalich In steam days, this NYC coach yard only serviced trains on the former LS&MS line. Trains on the MC and Big Four routes were serviced in the IC's coach yard. Commuter service on the NYC was relatively modest compared to CNW, CRIP and CB&Q.
David Daruszka I see a turntable but no engine facilities. Where did they service the locomotives?
Bob Lalich Locomotives were serviced at Englewood. It was a large engine terminal.
Dennis DeBruler The roundhouse at the top was at the north end of the Rock Island's 47 Street Yard or Rocket House. It's now a Metra Yard.
Dennis DeBruler Look at the width of the overpass for 43rd Street. When I went under Clyde (Cicero) Yard on Austin Blvd, I began to think of these wide overpasses as "urban tunnels."

Bob Lalich commented on another post: "NYC's coach yard was located south of Root St Tower at 43rd St on the east side of the RoW. The Rock Island had a small freight yard on the other side of the main tracks. Here is an aerial, c1940s - source unknown."

This shows how the Rock Island yard was removed to make room for the Dan Ryan and the wye for Root Street Junction. It also shows the CHA projects of Stateway Gardens and Robert Taylor Homes.
Lynette Wilson Sharp posted
Arnold Berk Mark Hamilton the original intent was to have a highway system that took traffic from Mi,In,Iland Wi connecting these states or destinations within. The urban planners hadn't considered that these highways would be used as commuter routes within the city as much as they are.
Mark Hamilton Arnold Berk This is true. Back then, most people took trains and busses to work. Most of the suburbs were practically rural, with single family houses, farms and much lower populations than today.
John Paul Makowski Thousands of homes and neighborhood... demolished... destroyed... obliterated.
Bob Madej They couldn’t tear down Churches. That’s why you see so many next to it.
John Paul Makowski ..but they can destroy they did at O'Hare.
The Church building was physically moved to another place.
Marty Bernard's Flickr photo shows that this was NYC's coach yard.

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