Monday, January 23, 2017

B&OCT East Chicago Yard and Roundhouse

Scott Griffith posted
East Chicago yard
Rick Sterna Hey Bill, remember the infamous day we came to work on the night relief crew, and were told via a note on the yardmasters window telling us to take all the radios, engines, and all the cabooses to Barr Yard, East Chicago was officially closed?. We thought it was B.S.
Dennis DeBruler What was the date of that day?
Paul T. Govern East Chicago closed June 25 1982
Since this was posted to the B&OCT group, we can assume it is a B&OCT yard. Unlike many yards in the Chicagoland area, this one still has many of its classification tracks. That is because there are still heavy industries operating in Northwest Indiana.

The South Shore Railroad (SSR) electric freight motor indicates the picture is rather old because freight operations switched to diesels a while ago. The first two boxcars have roofwalks. But there is also a yellow Railbox car. Since Railbox was founded in 1974, I''d put this picture in the late 1970s.

According to Historic Aerials, the Indiana Tollroad (I-90) was built between 1952 and 1959. Before it was built, the SSR used the tracks we see in the picture heading straight east at the end of the curve. The freight train is on a connector that goes over to the East Chicago Yard. The SSR continued northwest until it crossed the B&OCT mainline and then it curved to head straight west.

After the tollroad was built, we see the present configuration of the SSR using a flyover to avoid crossing the B&OCT mainline and following on the southside of the tollroad. Now you see an abandoned bridge over Ash Ave. and a landscar for the old SSR route. That old route is in a 2005 map, but is gone in a 2007 map. The diagonal track in the photo that has the rear end of the train still exists today, but it ties into the B&OCT rather than go under the tollroad bridge. That is, it is just another yard track today. The tracks going straight east were removed between 1973 and 1998. Given the hill of grass in the foreground, I would say this picture was taken from the tollroad. The East Chicago Yard is in the left background.

The foundation of the roundhouse is still visible.
Rick Kessler posted
I found a pretty good map of the East Chicago roundhouse area from 1915. Its on document page #85.…/hammand_in_1915.pdf

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