Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Remnant of the Michigan Central Joliet Cutoff

While studying the connection of a Panhandle remnant at Hartsdale Junction, I discovered there is a remnant of the Joliet cutoff  of the Aban/Conrail/NYC/Michigan Central between Enbridge Pipeline on the east and a small yard south of  Ford Motor Co Chicago Stamping Plant on the west. The SPV Map shows everything was abandoned by Conrail, but a satellite image shows track still exists, although it is in poor condition.

There are industrial spurs just east of Torrence Ave. and just east of Cottage Grove Ave. But I don't think they are using the railroad. In addition to being weed covered, the crossing of the CSX/Monon (yellow circle) is disabled. So is the Ford plant insisting that this route be kept intact so that it can be resurrected if one of its current carriers tries to raise its rates too high? Its connection with the Egyptian line has a rather small lead to the east so it would not be able to handle very large cuts. They could cut down the trees and extend that lead to just west of Griffith Junction.

Or does a local train creep through the weeds from Ford Heights to serve the two industries west of the crossing and/or another local creeps through the weeds from the Egyption connection to serve the pipeline terminal?

Update: More about the abandonment.

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