Friday, July 7, 2017

Erie & C&WI 51st Street Yard and Grain Elevator

(Satellite, the west part. Pennsy was on the east side)

Mark Llanuza posted two photos with the comment: "Its Jan 1976 only three months are left for the Erie . went to 51st street yard."


Mark Llanuza posted
Its Dec 1976 9 months after Conrail took over .Eastbound former Erie SDP-45 goes past the the old Erie 51st yard in Chicago.
Dave Waldron But did it travel the el row back to Jersey?
Josh Lemier posted
Here in this photo it's December 1975 and we see Erie Lackawanna 3671 parked in the 51st Street Yard in Chicago, Illinois waiting its next assignment.
Photo Credit To railsr4me.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its Jan 1976 only three months left of operations with the Erie .I'm at 51st Chicago the big piggy back yard with two colorful SDP-45's for the birthday of America painted red white & Blue.
Daniel Gless I hated that style switch. Snap into place along with snapping your elbow/shoulder OUT of place.
Michael Riha shared the Grève des trains - USA - 1946. album. The caption shows the photo number in that album.
24, corrected
Bob Lalich This is C&WI 51st St Yard and PRR 55th St Yard, but the image is flipped. Here is the correct orientation.
[This also shows the 49th Street Corridor joining with the C&WI tracks.]
Mark Llanuza posted
Its April 1974 at Erie's 51st piggy back yard with two RS-Alco units sitting in deep sand

Chicago & Western Indiana used this yard to service the passenger train coaches for its five owners: Erie, Monon, GTW, Wabash, and C&EI. Wabash had their own yard at 47th Street for their engine servicing. A news article in the May, 2017 issue of Trains Magazine about Norfolk Southern's new engine service facility in their 47th Street Yard referred to this yard as the "Erie and Chicago & Western Indiana's 51st Street Yard." Mark's photo shows Erie used the yard for at least engine servicing. I'm left with the question of where did Monon, GTW and C&EI service their locomotives?

Update: The yard on the left is 51st Street; the yard on the right is Pennsy. This photo is at file resolution.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Bill Molony shared
Erie-Lackawanna No. 8454 on April 21, 1965 at Normal & 51st, Chicago, Illinois. No. 8454, an EMD F3A, was built in 1947 as Delaware, Lackawanna & Western No. 805C. A Roger Puta Photograph.
Mike Croy On occasion, I would work a transfer run from Santa Fe’s Corwith yard to the Erie 51st yard. The C& WI roundhouse was still there. The Erie yard was in deplorable condition. The yard tracks were too close to each other. Seemed we were always being held out of the yard on account of a derailment.

Bill Molony posted
Wabash Railroad class C-3 0-8-0 switch engine #1534 at Chicago on August 13, 1938.
Bob Lalich Dennis DeBruler - Bill's photo was taken at C&WI's 51st St Yard. The Erie elevator is seen in the background.

BRHS posted
Wabash Railroad class C-3 0-8-0 switch engine #1534 at Chicago on August 13th, 1938.
Photograph by Howard W. Ameling.
From the Blackhawk collection.
Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment on Bill's post
Judging from the length of the shadows, these two tall buildings by the engine servicing facilities would be the elevators.
[1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP]
Bob Lalich Correct Dennis. The elevator shows up in a lot of locomotive photos due to its location near the ready tracks.
Dennis DeBruler Bob Lalich Indeed. I've seen this elevator before, and it has frustrated me that I did not know where it was located. I now know of two more elevators that were in Chicago: Wabash and Erie.
1901 Sanborn
Sanborn fire insurance map provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

1901 Sanborn
Sanborn fire insurance map provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Marty Bernard shared a Flickr link
EL 7314 (FA-1) June 1965
A Roger Puta Photograph
Alan Follett Still in Erie paint, though with the EL logo. EL was wise to adopt the much more attractive Lackawanna livery as its system standard.
Dennis DeBruler A nice view of the east Erie grain silos at the 51st Street Yard.

Bill Molony shared
Dwain Jerantowski: I worked out of 51+normal, trying to figure out where the structure in the background might have been located. Was mostly vanyards from 47-55.
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Dwain Jerantowski
 It was the Erie grain elevator that was west of the engine servicing facilities.

Michael Dye posted six photos with the comment:
Pics 1 & 2: The roundhouse and grain elevator at the Erie's 51st Street Yard, in Chicago. From a Sanborn Fire Insurance map, date unknown.
Pic 3: S elevation of Grain elevator at 51st St Yard, operated by Cleveland Grain Co, 1940. Collection of the late CL Coates, Foreman, Erie Signal Gang #33 & EL Signal Gang #51.
Pic 4: S elevation of Grain elevator at 51st St Yard, operated by Cleveland Grain Co, 1940. Collection of the late CL Coates, Foreman, Erie Signal Gang #33 & EL Signal Gang #51.
Pic 5: Grain elevator and yards, 51st St. Chicago OCT61. Photo by the late CL Coates, Foreman, Erie Signal Gang #33 & EL Signal Gang #51.
Pic 6: Looking North at the EL 51st St. yards Chicago OCT61. Taken from atop the southern floodlight tower, by the late CL Coates, Foreman, Erie Signal Gang #33 & EL Signal Gang #51.
The Sandborn Map was 1901. It was nothing but grain elevators in the Chicagoland area.

Dennis DeBruler shared
Used to bring piggyback trailers up that driveway, make 180° turn and check them in about where the grain elevator was located.
The clerk in 1988-89 on afternoons was known as Frenchy because he wore a beret most of the time and had his paint easel set-up in the check-in office.
I remember dreying in this yard for years., the erie side we called 51st yd which also was used as the exit.
The Sanborn map is from 1901, before the C&WI and yards at 51st St were elevated. According to articles in The Railway Age, the yards at 51st St were elevated in 1904. The Erie roundhouse seen in the map was eliminated as part of the elevation project. It is unclear to me whether the Erie elevator, built in 1897 according to the Sanborn map, was raised or was built to accommodate the elevation somehow.






The building on the left, with the water tower, still exists, according to Google Earth, for reference. (Window placements and count match; water tank is gone, but support tower is still there, as is the park across 52nd St. from it)

Jacob Diorio posted
This might be a stretch here, but I’ll shoot my shot anyway.
Does anyone know much about the history of 55th St yard and what this would’ve been used for? It’s a US&S R2 signal mounted on an old light tower in the former CWI side of the yard, and it makes me think it’s an old shove light. I don’t believe this was ever a hump yard though, and every time I see it I’m still baffled. Thoughts?
Stan Stanovich: …forgive me for nitpicking Jacob, 51st St yard!
David Hersrud: Its been at least 20 yrs since I been theyre and they basically just reopened the north side of 47st for overflow of intermodal., which was west side was the WABASH and the CWI had a station on the east side...But prior to CR would push in WB trains from the north... correct if I am wrong... great pic though.
Stan Stanovich: David Hersrud …when I began working for Conrail in Chicago, January ’95, on paper, 51st St was a “closed” yard.
However, it functioned primarily as a intermodal car repair facility and there was a job on all three shifts to handle switching the RIP’s. There was a paved area and two strip tracks to the right of the body of the yard looking compass north. It did function as an overflow for 55th St. Yes, entry/exit was from CR timetable west or north end. One of the trains departed from there on second trick. The yard job would make a hind end double if necessary and would pull the train out and clear of CP518 (Root Street) for it’s departure eastbound…
Bob Lalich: Jacob Diorio - can you please pinpoint the location of this signal? I walked through that yard many times but I don't remember the signal. I have some old Erie and C&WI drawings that I will check.
Jacob Diorio: Bob Lalich very south end of the 51 side of the yard, right by the scale and 17-37. These are the coordinates on a map: (41.7967189, -87.6395776)
Bob Lalich commented on Jacob's comment with the GPS coordinates
I believe the light tower is shown in this cropped drawing of the yard from 1959. I would agree with those who have already speculated that it is a shove signal for the scale track. An Erie/EL ETT or special instructions for the yard would likely have the definitive answer.

Dennis DeBruler posted
Zak G Stradamus posted in a Chicagoland area group this photo with the comment: "EL!"
[Since the trees in the background indicate that the railyard is elevated, I'm assuming it was taken in this Erie yard.]
Comment on Dennis' post

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