Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chicago Ridge Junction: IHB/B&OCT vs. Metra+NS/Wabash

(CRJ, Satellite is below)
Nick Fry posted, cropped
This was one of five photos he had in another B&OCT posting

Mike Breski also posted
I saved the satellite image because it caught a replacement diamond ready for a maintenance window on a weekend. Also note that the track has been removed from the IHB side of the southern connector, but the NS side is still intact. Why not remove the turnouts from both sides if you are going to break the connection?

It appears the tower was on the north side (what CRJ calls the northeast quadrant) with the long part along the IHB. CRJ says the tower was in the northwest quadrant until at least 1994 when it was closed. But that quadrant looks empty. I extracted a big excerpt from the aerial photo to show how rural the area was.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Flickr from John W. Barriger III IHB Album
Bob Lalich 5y 
Chicago Ridge - Wabash crossing.
View looks railroad west on the Harbor. Note the CPL signal – this was owned by B&OCT and leased to the IHB.

Amazing how empty it was around here and how well-kept everything is.

And that train orer signal next to the tower – it survived long enough for me to shoot it in place ... but also to see it lie forlorn and broken in the ditch after they closed the tower around 1995.

Edward Kwiatkowski posted
Chicago Ridge Tower. (Closed 1993 and demolished in 1995) Chicago Ridge Illinois. October 1989.
Brandon McShane I believe it was torn down after a fire. Always a good train watching spot.

John LaRochelle posted
The touring Flying Scotsman northbound on the N&W Wabash heading for Dearborn Station, Chicago, IL, about to pound the B&CT/IHB diamonds at Chicago Ridge Electro-Mechanical Interlocking Tower, Chicago Ridge, IL, at track speed 60 MPH. 1970.
John LaRochelle posted
Extra Wabash 557 South a Second CD-1, rounding the curve between Oak Lawn and Chicago Ridge will pull up on the Chicago Ridge Interlocking, cut the Chicago Ridge IHB shorts off the rest of the train, shove back through the middle crossover, pull southward on the northbound main until the IHB shorts are clear of the IHB Receiving track switch, then shove the cut of cars into the IHB Receiving track, making the same reverse movement to get back on the train to head south.
Jeff Lewis FMs! Nice.
[To show up in a keyword search: Fairbanks-Morse]
John LaRochelle posted
Train Wabash DC-4 Extra 723 North about to cross the B&OCT/IHB diamonds at Chicago Ridge Electro-Mechanical Interlocking Tower Chicago Ridge, IL, on it's way to Landers Yard, Chicago.
John LaRochelle posted
Now for MILW fans. Extra C-Liner 25C West (Seymour Indiana, Terre-Haute, Faithorn MILW ( the old Chicago Terre Haute and Southeastern) Chicago Heights, North Harvey B&OCT, North Harvey to Bensenville IHB) About to pound the Wabash diamonds at 40 MPH track speed at Electro Mechanical Interlocking Tower Chicago Ridge, IL. These 'babies' were impressive. The portion of the house pictured in the lower left was in the southeast quadrant of B&CT Property and was rented for $1.00 a year by the B&OCT track foreman. 1963.
Evie N Bob Bruns Great photo, I worked on SE up to the end. Was in tower a number of times. Were you an operator your name sounds familiar? I recall a person with glasses and light wavy hair had a French last name like yours. That last unit is a 600 series switcher. It was used on the "Gary Line" job. This photo was probably taken on a Saturday as they picked up this engine at Delmar to take to Bensenville for servicing.
John LaRochelle Yes, I was the 2nd Trick Operator Nov. 1969 - Aug. 1980. A good friend and one of my mentors, Roderick (Rod) Irwin might also have been an operator you met there. Nice to see someone I met post on here.
Evie N Bob Bruns John, I remember going to the tower one night. We were always held at the Ridge as the B&OCT could not handle us so we were parked by IHB, no where to put us east of there. Tower door was always locked. I think it was you, you let me in and we talked. Told me of earlier in night a train stopped on crossing and had everything blocked. Police came to tower and tried to get in door was locked and they were yelling "let us in" which operator said no your trespassing. They went down on ground and started yelling up to window where they were going to arrest you if you didn't clear crossing. You just kept yelling out window that they needed to leave they were trespassing. Don't now why that stuck in my mind after all these years but I always thought it was humorous thinking of those cops down on ground yelling up to you and you yelling back. This was in mid 70's. Always something interesting happening back then. I have some train orders from Ridge I kept, need to locate them.
John LaRochelle Yes, the police often THREATENED me, and that's why I kept the door locked. Once they were warned they were trespassing, if they broke in, it would be an illegal arrest. I really wouldn't care one way or the other, because all the signals, especially the train order signals would be at STOP, and that would really create a 'NIGHTMARE'. Plus not even the management or special agents could run the place, just secure it until another qualified operator got there. They often THREATENED conductors with arrest, and the engineers would respond, 'Take the conductor, and I can't move the train without him." It's one of many reason why I quit and moved on.
John LaRochelle posted
Now for the IHB Fans, caboose hop 8814 shoving into the East Pass at the Electro-Mechanical Interlocking, Chicago Ridge Tower, IL., taken from a tower window. The 4 pipes on the ground are connected to levers 14/15/16/17, east pass switch, derail, and lock, west pass, switch. derail and lock. The pole and ladder visible in the left part of the photo is the Wabash train order signal. 1963.

Scott Malec The quadrant with the switch track from the southbound Wabash to the westbound IHB?
John LaRochelle Yes. That track was called the Wabash Receiving Track until the IHB closed the interchange. It may still be used for the N&W to connect with the Milwaukee Road as the old route through Union Staion's through track, Chicago, cannot handle certain freight equipment.
Chad Malinovsky Nice shot, I'll be throwing up signals there this afternoon.
John LaRochelle Fantastic!!! Do you work for METRA or N&W?
Chad Malinovsky IHB. We control the interlocking. We are in Cal City. We signal Metra based on their timetable, anything out of the ordinary then we coordinate with Landers.
Scott Malec Chad Malinovsky About how many trains a day are coming off the NS to the IHB and vice versa at Chicago Ridge these days?
Chad Malinovsky Barely 1 a day

Dave Arganbright posted
Chicago Ridge in 1989. My photo.
Scott Malec I grew up in the area and never saw any Southern power on the Forrest District. Great catch.
Michael Riha Southern 2861 is an EMD GP38AC built in 1971. As per Southern Railway practice, running long-hood first.

Chuck Roth posted
Chicago Ridge Tower circa 1983
We are looking north making the semaphore indication for Chicago bound N&W trains.

Bob Finan commented on Chuck's post
IHB (B&OCT) and N&W (Wabash) Tower, at Chicago Ridge, IL April 19, 1988 by the late Roger Puta.....
Jon Roma For those not familiar with the tower, these views look roughly northeast along the Wabash (toward Chicago).

Ray Weart commented on Chuck's post
And an N&W TO and clearance card for the deadhead move of the Orland Park suburban equipment to Decatur back when that used to happen on Friday nights.

Chuck Roth posted three photos with the comment: "Ridge Tower as it looked in 

Ean Kahn-Treras did nw do much interchange to the Harbor for Riverdale? Didnt know they had a double track connection back in here.
Michael Polk There used to be a small three +/- track yard that those double connections fed into on the south side of the IHB there too.



Mike Breski commented on Chuck's post

Screenshot @ -1:06
Eastbound 0n the IHB at Chicago Ridge.. 1986.
Terry L. Hunt Came off the GTW at Blue Island one day headed to Proviso around 1500. Harbor west dispatcher calls and says: "Hey Trunk! Can you get by the Ridge by 1545? Otherwise you're gonna have to wait for the scoots. " I say: "Line me up." I look over at my student and say as soon as we can take her up to 40. He looks at me and says nobody does 40 on the Harbor. I say today we will. We clear the Ridge with time to spare. Shortly there after Harbor West comes on and tells us ; "Take the runner and tie her down at Broadview. Oh by the way thanks."
Cody Andrews Fastest train I've ever seen on the Harbor.
[When I railfanned the IHB up by UP/C&NW, I was impressed by how slow the trains moved.]
Ken Schmidt When was the last time you saw truck frames in a train's consist? Both GTW and MILW had them as the went through Blue Island. Neat film.
Mike Spencer Those pipes from the tower...
Mike Heiligstedt Mike Spencer they look as bad as the pipeline at state line. Winter makes it even more fun !!

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