Sunday, September 4, 2016

(ICwest) Chicago, Madison & Northern and Freeport, Dodgeville & Northern

pre-1967 plus paint
From 1854, the IC handed its Galena to Chicago traffic to the C&NW at Freeport, IL. By the 1880s they decided they were loosing too much business. Furthermore Wisconsin was growing rapidly and they wanted to directly tap that market. So in July of 1886, IC charted the Chicago, Madison & Northern.
By 1888, the line to Madison had been completed by the CM&N as had  most of the line connecting the two "branches" of the Charter Lines.  Though a direct connection, some 9 plus miles in the Chicago area, would be lacking until 1891.  The line to Dodgeville was also completed by 1888, though it had been built by the Freeport, Dodgeville & Northern Railroad
The branch to Madison left the mainline at West Junction. The branch to Dodgeville left the Madison branch just north of Red Oak. It was abandoned in 1942 and very few traces of it are left. The Madison branch was sold on Feb. 26, 1980 and had three owners until the tracks were finally taken up in the early 2000's. The last owner was Wisconsin & Calumet (WICT), a subsididary of Wisconsin & Southern (WSOR). The WSOR route has evidently been converted to a trail because the Pecatonica River Bridge still exists as a trail bridge.

The segment to Chicago joined the charter line at East Junction. It is no longer a junction because the original 1850s charter line has been abandoned. ICG management also sold the main east/west line to CC&P, but later management realized it was a mistake and bought it back. It is now owned by Canadian National.

Update: Mark Hinsdale posted three photos of a CN train leaving town with the comment:
"Across the City..."
Westbound Canadian National manifest train M337 makes its daily trek through the heart of Chicago, pictured this afternoon at 16th Street, 18th Street and Pulaski Road. 2-15-17
Jeff Lewis I guess if CN ever gets around to creating a junction where the J and ex IC cross this move through the city will become unnecessary.

The fact that he could jump a head of the train in downtown traffic indicates the train moves quite slowly.

1: 16th Street with the converted Meadow Gold Butter building in the background
2: Coming down the embankment with Ping Tom Park on the left and the Ping Tom Pool facility on the right. (Street View)
3: Pulaski Road crossing Mark was using a serious telephoto lens because the powerlines look so much closer than they do in the Street View.

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