Monday, July 31, 2017

C&E: Milwaukee's Chicago and Evanston

The beginnings of the Chicago & Evanston as a route built by the Milwaukee Road to compete with the C&NW in the north suburban commuter market is described by David Daruszka's ChicagoRails blog. John Evans, one of the founders of Northwestern University, help charter the C&E in 1861 and service began May 1, 1885. The line reached Wilmette in 1889. [TrainWeb] At the beginning of the 20th Century, C&E allowed, even helped, the "L" take over the passenger service and, later, freight service north of Wilson. Richard Mead's posting describes the passenger service, and David provided photos of several of the depots as comments. Probably the main claim to fame of Milwaukee's C&E route is that it was the railroad that went past Wrigley Field.

I begin with an overview of how it fit into the Milwaukee Road. Note the Chicago & Pacific came from Tower A-5. crossed the C&NW northern branches at CY Tower (Clyborn Junction) and joined the C&E to go south to Union Station. This was the freight access to the C&E because Milwaukee's Galewood and Bensenville yards are west of Tower A-5. Passenger access to the C&E was from Union Station using a bridge that no longer exists to cross the Chicago River just north of Kinzie Street.
I'm dividing the discussion of the C&E into segments. From north to south:
This is what was left of the C&E when the Chicago Terminal Railroad assumed operations on 2/2/2007. The crossing at CY Tower had already been removed in 2000. Canadian Pacific must have been interchanging freight cars in C&NW's North Avenue Yard.
Chicago Area Shortline Railroad
The northern segment had Peerless' business for less than a year. I have yet to determine what business was on the southern branch and when they abandoned it.
When I started rail (track) fanning in 2014, the lumber yard on Cherry Avenue on Goose Island was still receiving cars. In fact, they were left parked on Cherry Ave. So this was the status of CTR in 2014.
Chicago Area Shortline Railroad
David Daruszka commented on a share
There was still a lot of industry along the line in 1973.

2019, a rewrite is in progress

Resources for the C&E: maps1,  Chicago Reader (the article is interesting, but read it and close it because the advertisements can hang your browser) ("Inconvenience to the sweat set occurs, at most, one or two days a week, whenever the Peerless Candy Company receives a shipment of sugar syrup. Peerless, on Lakewood between Schubert and Diversey"), Chicago Switching overview.

(Update: the lumbar yard closed and the scrap yard is being kicked out as part of the gentrification of the industrial area north of Goose Island. Since the Chicago Terminal Railroad has no customers, the City of Chicago is taking control of the right-of-way in anticipation of a new public transit route. One problem is that the Cherry Avenue Bridge is not big enough for both pedestrians and busses or rail cars. The train ran so infrequently that sharing the bridge with pedestrians was not an issue. Hopefully, rapid transit would cross the bridge frequently.)

Bucky Buchholtz posted
Milwaukee Road C&E North Line switcher at C&E Junction on Kingsbury- the crew is trying to get the switch points to throw all the way back, a frequent problem at this location with the scrap yard right there. July, 1986.

Will G Benson posted 11 photos with the comment: "A late Throwback Thursday as I set the Wayback to... June 24th, 2014.
A detailed look at one of Chicago Terminals runs on the final miles of the Chicago and Evanston Railway in one of the final years of the C&E lines operation."
Me and my friend had gotten word that CTM would be doing a big transformer move out of the Finkl steel mill, as the plant was preparing for shutdown and movement to the south side. In this first image, CTM 900 crosses over the swing bridge in the neighborhood of Ranch Triangle.

To our surprise, the transformer move didn't take place. Instead we were treated with the usual operations that were happening at the time. The local goes across the same bridge but with three gondolas loaded with scrap metal from a local junkyard.

With the scrap gons back at North Avenue Yard, the crew could now complete the task of swapping an empty centerbeam with a loaded one at Big Bay Lumber. Here, the short train is crossing North Avenue as it approaches the bridge to Goose Island.

The flagman is hard at work protecting the Division Street intersection. The load was left back north in a siding.

Intersection crossing success!

They have made it to their destination and have coupled to the empty. Now they shall return to the siding to grab that load.

This is my favorite image out of this set. With big skyscrapers looming in the distance over a small SW8, you really get to see what terminal rail operations in a big city are like.

The small journey north begins.

The load is being spotted on the main for easy unloading.

Apparently, a bus route goes right down Cherry Avenue.

We got a friendly wave from one of the crew members as they get a move on from Big Bay.

And with the train rolling over the swing bridge we started with, their duties are almost at an end. Little did we know that this operation altogether was also nearing an end. in 2015, Big bay Lumber, the final customer on the line, would go out of Business. For the first time since the Chicago and Evanston was opened in 1885, the tracks of northern Chicago's urban sprawl lay dormant..

David H. Nelson posted
If anyone is interested in Rail simulators, I;m still working on my Milwaukee Road in Chicago project (Goose Island, ca. 1947).
I was in my editor earlier and I thought this image might be worth posting. Everything shown except the track is created by myself.
The "camera" is positioned at 450 W Chicago Ave, looking south. The faint yellow lines are a visual aid above the track.
The scope of the project is centered at C&E Junction, W Cortland at Kingsbury, and runs NW to W. Belmont and SE past Union Station to the big PRR warehouse near Roosevelt Rd. IIRC this is about 4.25 miles.
Rail simulator projects do not need to compress distance and that's the case here... everything is indeed 12 inches to the foot.
David commented on his post
Dennis DeBruler commented on David's comment
I knew that Milwaukee had a yard on Goose Island, but this image makes it more real than just a 1938 aerial photo. And it reminds me that there was a gasometer near the south side of Goose Island in addition to some that were north of the island.

I checked, the Ogden Viaduct over Goose Island and Milwaukee's mainline was not removed until 1993. So it should be in this model as well.

David H. Nelson posted
One more screenshot from the simulator project I'm working on (The Milwaukee Road's Division Street Yard on Goose Island). This is an aerial panorama.
FB has done a huge reduction in size. If you want to see it a bit larger you need to click on the image and then right mouse view image, and then click on the image once more to enlarge.
David H. Nelson Here is a link to half size image:
Eric Quick OpenRails?
David H. Nelson Of course.
OR is the only sim that does reasonably realistic physics. Easier to do both freeware and open source projects too.
I'll be uploaded Goose Island as a very incomplete freeware "alpha" soon (elvastower).
I own; I'll be posting a link for a freeware download of this route within the month. It's very incomplete but it can still be fun if you are into industrial switching.

1 comment:

  1. I went biking recently and came across a remarkable scene at the intersection of Diversey and Lakewood: railroad tracks running South down the middle of Lakewood with expensive houses on both sides of the street. How cool is that! I believe these tracks were part of the Milwaukee Road line that ran Southwesterly past Wrigley Field and serviced the many factories in the area at that time. And I'd like to think that the home owners wanted no part of any attempt to cover up the tracks, as welel as a signature feature of the street.