Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Root Street Tower: Rock Island and NYC access to stockyards (Chicago Junction)

NorthAmericanInterlockings:  photo photo photo photo
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for more information)

This tower controls access to the route that goes west from here. That route used to be how the Rock and NYC accessed the stockyards. They probably also turned their passenger trains using the wye with the Chicago Junction. This tower also controlled entry to their Root Street Yards

Mark Hinsdale posted
Just a few miles out of Chicago's La Salle Street Station, Rock Island's 5:16 PM Main Line to Joliet" Express blasts out of the hole under the Chicago Junction Railway bridge (long gone), past notorious public housing projects (long gone), beneath steam era signal installations (long gone) and past Root Street Tower (inactive but still standing), in July, 1977.
Mark Hinsdale posted
"Rush Hour Rock(in')"
On a hot and hazy July, 1977 afternoon, a westbound Rock Island commuter train, made up with a string of the railroad's #2700 series Pullman-Standard double door coaches, dips under the Chicago Junction Railroad (CJ) bridge near Root Street on Chicago's South Side. The wye tracks curving to the left formed a connection between the Rock Island main line at 47th Street and the CJ, and was regularly used by freight transfers back and forth between Rock Island's Burr Oak Yard in Blue Island and CJ's Ashland Avenue facility. Does anybody remember "Sasha Vodka?" July, 1977 photo by Mark Hinsdale
Ron Wesolowski: And this tells the story of the left handed running... train on Mainline 4 signal outbound only... 3 to the right was taken OOS. probably not long after these pictures.... 5 to left was bidirectional signals so it became the inbound track.
Mark Hinsdale shared
Mark Hinsdale shared
Mark Hinsdale shared
Richard Haave: Transfers went beyond CJ's Ashland Ave yard to the Chicago Produce Terminal at Ash St. and CNW's potato yard at Wood St.

Street View
Joe Usselman posted two photos with the comment: "Root street tower showing some of its heritage in 2015."
Zachary C. Gillihan
Lawrence Smith this was the tower that routed the NYC passenger consists to and from LaSalle St station into Root St yard - the passenger yard for NYC in CHI. The yard is vacant land now. i think the Chicago Junction wye was there too. Think the NYC (and maybe the RI) turned their trains on that wye. Needs to e confirmed.

William Shapotkin posted some photos of the CJ's connection with the IC. Several comments were about this CJ connection with RI+NYC.
Ron Hull The NYC passenger car yard and commissary were located immediately south of Root St tower. The tower controlled movements in and out of the north end of the yard. There was also a north and south Y controlled by Root St, enabling movements from the joint RI/NYC line to the CJ. In Penn-Central days, we delivered most of the SV piggyback trains from the east to the CJ at Ashland Ave, then came back to Englewood with the engines and caboose - “cabin light.”
Rod Truszkowski Some of that right of way still exists over the Dan Ryan expressway at root street
William commented on his posting
Yes it does. And (from what a understand) is still used -- mainly for CRL movements from/to Ashland Ave Yard and for Metra equipment moves. Recently obtained (from a friend, Bruce Moffat) a pic of the CJ undercrossing of the PRR (PFtW&C)/C&WI at 40th St -- just a few blocks west of the Dan Ryan. The Stock Yards 'L' is DIRECTLY above the CJ at this point. View looks east in this pre-1958 photo.
Ean Kahn-Treras the only thing it should be used for is the occasional Metra MOW move. I've caught a switcher with a crane on a work train buried back in there on the CJ just east of the PRR/CWI overpass.

It sure isn't too often that they get over here.
David Daruszka I think the inactive tower is still there at Root Street, used by the MOW Department.
William commented on his posting
You are correct, David Daruszka -- Root St Tower (on the ROCK) still stands, albeit no longer an active tower. Here is a pic, taken by the late Don Davis (a long-time ROCK (and later METRA) employee) looking E-N/E. (Understand the housing project in background is now gone.)
William commented on his posting
And an interior photo -- also taken by Don Davis:
Ron Roma commented on William's posting
Here's a shot I took at Root Street in 2010 (after the tower had closed), taken with permission. The CTC panel at right controlled trackage as far south as 51st Street.

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
Looking South:
Michael Brandt posted
Clearing out land for construction of the Dan Ryan expressway, from 1960.

A satellite view to confirm the location of the above aerial photo.

A posting asking about tracks east of this tower that used to connect the Illinois Central to the Union Stock Yards has a lot of interesting comments.

Mark Vogel Flickr Album

D.W.Davidson Flickr Photo  (Some of the high-rise "projects housing" buildings are in the background.)

1 comment:

  1. In 1977 I worked 2nd trick at Root Street Tower. The high rises across the street was a good spot to shoot from.