Saturday, October 8, 2016

B&OCT 16th Street Industrial Spur in Cicero, IL

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A 2008 Flickr photo by Ed of a couple of CSX engines motivated me to research the railroad route along 16th Street in Cicero, IL. When I took this picture at Cicero Avenue, I was on 16th Street facing west. Note the tracks are on the north side and have active crossing lights. But I don't see any crossing gates. In the background you can see a crossing signal for 16th Street. That is because the tracks cross from the north side to the south side a little west of Cicero. West of Laramie, there were spurs to industries north and south of 16th Street.

The crossing that used to serve National Castings is gone because that company has been torn down.

Another view of the two CSX locomotives assigned to this branchline.

6443 is a former B&O GP40-2 that was built in June, 1981. 2252 is a road slug. [TheDieselShop]

It appears there is a bulk transloading facility that is still getting covered hoppers. (Streetview) I don't know what railroad is switching this line today.

This would have been the branchline that served Kropp Forge and several other industries further north.
Martin Simane posted
Maybe the summer of 1993 or 94.
The track to the left would be the MJ.
I must have on the the BRC when I took this. I spent a lot on time just sitting waiting my turn to get into Cleaning Yard.
The train is coming off the 16th Street branch and heading back north to the former Wisconsin Central mainline to Grand Central Station. Rather soon after WC built it, B&OCT bought the WC Chicago property out to Forest Park, IL where CN/WC/SOO/WC turned north and CGW continued west. B&O bought Grans Central Station to move its passenger trains from the IC's Central Station to its own station. (Michigan Central was a co-tenant of  Central Station and they considered B&O a direct competitor since they went to the East.) Note that Chicago had two Central Stations, with and without the "Grand."

Rimas Novickis commented on a posting:
b&o engines went up and down 16th street in cicero 24 / 7, from cicero ave west to laramie ave, tho their right of way (2 working sets of tracks) did have curbs on both sides.there were spurs going off to factories up and down that stretch ... then a huge split up southward spur to 2 industrial areas west of laramie.
it was our playground - i flew kites in the middle of the street there.
Christian Goepel posted

Dennis DeBruler commented on Ghristian's post
Ean Kahn-Treras The orientation of the CWI (BRC) at the very bottom of the map threw me off for a while, but now I understand the map.
I moved to Berwyn in 2017, and unfortunately that is right about the time that CSX stopped running on this trackage into Cicero! Bummer.
Christian Goepel No CSX operations since 2017? Track still in place, but just out of service? I haven’t been to Cicero in a few years.
Ean Kahn-Treras the entire customer base between Laramie and Central has transformed into modern, quickly built concrete, boxy warehoues. No need for any rail service anymore. I think there was one last move of a hopper or two at the far west end last year, about springtime. And then a concrete barricade went up just north of the tracks where they swing across 16th Street. Been that way ever since as far as I know...
CSX does the Ferrara Pan Candy Co on Tues and Thurs out along I-290 and Harlem Ave. They also futz with the brickyard or whatever it is at Roosevelt and Cicero Ave. There is also a plastics place or some industry that takes covered hoppers east of the Laramie Ave overpass on the Chi/Cicero border. Other than that, there is unfortunately not much out there - enough to sustain a weekly trip to and from Clearing though!
Thomas White Old days. I was 2d trick Chief. Ray Rutkowski was the Roundhouse Foreman at Lincoln Street. He called me to tell me that the bell on the Cicero job's engine wasn't working. The main line hostler wasn't around, so they'd just have to keep working without it and be careful to not hit anything. He told me that he suggested the fireman ride the footboard and yell "ding ding ding." The Mad Line.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Christian's post
When I spotted some tracks along 16th Street a while back, I did some research. There used to be a lot of heavy industry between Roosevelt & Cermak and Central & Laramie. The topo excerpt has West at the top.

1928 Berwyn Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

Dennis DeBruler commented on Christian's post
It had even more industry in 1953.
Kropp Forge still exists, but, judging from a satellite image, it is no longer rail served.!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4...

Dennis DeBruler commented on Christian's post
I also rotated this 1938 aerial 90-degrees clockwise.

Henry Freeman commented on Christian's post
Cicero Branch 1964.

Ean Kahn-Treras commented on a post:
The 16th Street trackage west of Cicero sees no service. 2017 would have been the year they stopped running.
Ferrara Pan on tues/thurs
There is a plastics place just east of Laramie that gets service as well.
[The comments also indicate that Ferrara Pan is served by CSX crew and power out of the BRC Clearing Yard.]

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