Sunday, August 13, 2017

BNSF/CB&Q Eola Yard and Tower

(Satellite) I was going to add my pictures. But I have so many, during various stages of construction, that I have decided I will make a later posting with them. The important thing for yards and towers is the satellite location.

Kevin Piper posted a history and several photos. (There are more train photos past the house photos.)

Mike Wyatt posted
Eola yard looking east, 1990. Brad Schultz photo.
William Bauer I liked it when the yard office was in the middle of the yard. It was a better setup for the crews

Evan Walker posted
Jim Shaw Looks like Eola yard looking west from the Eola Road bridge.

Mike Breski posted
CB&Q E8A #9952 leads the NP North Coast Limited WB at CB&Q Eola Int Tower, in Eola, IL in 1956.
Photo by James E. Humbert.
Doug Plummer The eola tower was down near eola road you can see the EJ andE bridge off to the east past the signal bridge.
Mike Spencer Anybody have better photos of Eola Tower? I'm very curious about the bracket post semaphore.
Lawrence Smith I agree. never saw a bracket post like that on CB+Q - looks like a NYC signal.
Mike Spencer The signal itself is distinctly Q - it's a lower quad with likely a Federal mechanism. The bracket post is likely a catalog-standard item, albeit from the early 1900's or 1910's.
Brandon Otterstrom Mike Spencer this semaphore signals were train order signal for eastbound trains.

Marty catches a Zephyr flying through the yard in 1964.

Marty Bernard posted
CB&Q 5632 acting as the Oregon Way Freight on fan trip passing an eastbound Dinky at Eola Tower at Eola, Illinois on June 23, 1962. A Roger Puta photo.
[Note the tower peaking through the two trains. And 1962 must have been before kill-all herbicides were invented.]

One of 44 farm scenes posted by Sam Carlson. 
Eola, IL in Fall, 1984. This area is unrecognizable today, as urban blight has completely obliterated the farmland.
Michael Matalis I moved away from Chicago in 1984, returned in 1999 and was amazed (and depressed) by the amount of sprawl. I was not surprised that the cornfield a half mile from my house was gone, but areas out near Elgin where all I could see in '84 were a few farm houses I now could not see at all because of town homes and strip malls. The price of progress I guess.

Satellite before the yard lead extension construction. Unlike most railyards in the 21st Century, this yard is being expanded because it now handles carload traffic for the Chicago area since their old freight yard, Clyde, has been converted to an intermodal yard. Clyde does still do engine servicing.

A closeup of the roundhouse scar.

John Smith posted five pictures of the turntable.

John Smith posted 30 pictures from 2006, many of the turntable.

2017 3D Satellite showing a Santa Fe Warbonet, this is strange because I have never seen it on the Racetrack, but I have seen a locomotive still in Cascade Green.

Chuck Guzik caught and describes five trains that are facing west in Eola. (The Metra is going east, but the engine is facing west because it is pushing the train.)

William Brown posted
From a group of CB&Q photos purchased on EBay, CB&Q 9271 and 9278 are on the ready track at EOLA, Illinois. I am guessing they are waiting to go on duty as the East and West Lead Switchers. One could be the Tramp Job that switch the CB&Q's Reclamation Shop across the Main Tracks. The 9271 was built in September 1955. It would be renumbered BN 229 after the Merger. It was retired by BN in February 1986 and sold the used Locomotive Dealer Wilson Railway in Des Moines, Iowa. The 9278 was built in October 1955. It was renumbered BN 236 after the BN Merger. It was then renumbered BNSF 3506 after the Santa Fe/BN Merger. 55 years of service is not a bad record. It was still in service on a Short Line in Batesville, Arkansas. No date or photographer listed.
Karl M Andrews What I like about this photo is that it shows the small roundhouse that used to be at Eola. When I worked there the building was gone and the turntable was out of service. the TT was repaired and used for a short time to turn Auto racks before they went to the trans-loading facility in Naperville. At that time the auto rack cars had to be arranged so that the headlights on any given cut of cars had to have all the headlights facing the same way. There was an "old head" switchman who knew how to operate the TT and he would turn the cars when necessary. He retired but by that time the auto facility was able to unload cars from either end. NOW that facility is long closed. None of the 'old heads" I worked with remembered the old roundhouse nor when it was razed.

1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

At photo resolution

Steven J. Brown posted
My neighbor just got a scanner and came over for a brief scanning demo so YOU get a random BN image!

GATX SD38-2 1241 (built 1978 as Reserve Mining 1241, became Iowa Interstate 151) looking through the long gone turntable at Burlington Northern's yard in Eola, Illinois - January 1, 1991

Doug Andreasen Cool pic. Not sure I'd say "long gone" as it was removed in 2007. It was a neat feature of that yard for a long time though.
[I added some location information.]

I'm interested in train operations. But that doesn't fit very well into the infrastructure oriented organization of this blog. So I guess I'll save the information in yard notes for now. Two railfans caught a train going from CN's Kirk Yard to BN's Galesburg Yard via CN/EJ&E.
Halsted Pazdzior posted
BNSF 1706 leads M395 from Kirk to the BNSF. Today they dropped off a large section of train at Joliet yard and continued north on the Leithton. This is a newer practice and looks to be supplimenting the usual L520/L521 (Kirk to Joliet) locals.
Jonathon Leese Didn’t 395 used to be direct from Battle Creek to the BN? [So M395 was originally a GTW train.]
Kevin Vahey Jonathon Leese yep. Would sometimes work Joliet before continuing to Eola.
Dennis DeBruler Taken from Canton Farm Road!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-jrLDtj...

Matt Buhlig posted
In a rather interesting turn of events, BNSF 1706 (SD40-2) and a CN SD60 ended up powering CN M395 north on the CN Leithton Sub this evening just before dusk. M395 originates in Kirk Yard and then hops on the BNSF at Eola and continues west as H-CNIGAL. 6/10/20.
Dennis DeBruler Thanks for explaining the source and destination of this train. Do they change from CN to BNSF crews at Eola? Halsted Pazdzior explained that M395 also serves the Joliet Yard.
Matt Buhlig Dennis DeBruler the crew change point kinda varies day by day, but it is always between Eola and Joliet.

Marty Bernard posted
Going Around Behind West Eola Tower
This shot was taken looking west from the porch of the West Eola Tower at the west end of Eola Yard. I'm pretty sure the tower was already in the City of Aurora, Illinois. The race track and the west home signals can be seen in the upper left. CB&Q SW1 9153 has probably been switching the West Chicago Branch and is returning to the yard via the track that runs behind the tower. The conductor seems to be enjoying the ride home on the units back porch on that 26th of August in 1964 while the engineer and another of the crew rode in the cab. And there probably is a waycar at the end. This SW1 was built in Feb. 1941 as EMD builder's number 1288 and she later became BN 97.
I was working for the CB&Q that summer break from College but never worked West Eola tower. I was just visiting.
Ray Speerly just commented:
No that's the local Aurora job, West Chicago branch didn't use a yard switch. I'm sure they had been switching downtown
Aurora and maybe out to Dart Container and the old Barber Greene.

Marty Bernard
Rob Conway: This was a great way to get from Hill Yard to Eola Yard without needing to use the mainline.
Jeff Bloomdahl: During this period and into the 70's, switchers such as this one were used on the trains to West Chicago. Have pictures of them over the CNW subway in West Chicago as the boys went for beans! I'm from West Chicago. Most of the time GP7's and 9's held the trains though!

Jeff Bloomdahl commented on Marty's share
Found the picture of the switcher parked over the subway of the CNW in West Chicago. Picture was put in one of those sticky photo albums of the 70's. Glossy film over the picture.

This photo provides another view of the Hill-Eola track on the north side of the RoW. That is the Austin Western Road Machinery plant on the left.
One of five photos posted by Marty Bernard
3. CB&Q 953 shot from West Eola Tower on August 26, 1964. This GP30 built 1962 became BN 2230 and had EMD #27164.

Paul Musselman posted four images with the comment: "Old CB&Q turntable at west end of Eola yard.."
Paulene Spika: Is it still there? Was this the one across from City Auto Wreckers?




Dennis DeBruler commented on Paulene's comment
The turntable is gone, but you can tell where it was because the foundation of the roundhouse is still there. (In the upper-right corner of this map extract.) The green rectangles in the foundation would be where they filled the pits with dirt. So this was across from City Auto Wreckers.

Two of the photos posted by Marty Bernard.
Marty Bernard shared
Marty Bernard shared
1. CB&Q 9947A at Eola, IL on September 10, 1964 with the eastbound North Coast Limited. The E8A was built in September 1950 and became BN 9947 (not rebuilt to an E9A), and then became AMTK 341.

2. Eastbounf at Eola, IL on August 27, 1969. (Can't read the Road Number.)
Mike Landers: Cat end loaders !
Dennis DeBruler
Mike Landers I wonder if they were from the now closed Mongomery plant.

Marty Bernard posted
CB&Q E8A 9973 with a Dinky, Eola, IL on September 13, 1965
Karl M Andrews: East Yard?
Dave Rodgers: West yard. Running track is visible in the foreground, that would be by the East Yard.
[I'm surprised that they call then East and West Yards instead of South and North Yards. I guess it is because the East (south) Yard handled eastbound traffic and vice versa. I think we can see the roundhouse in the left background so we are looking at the yard on the north side of the mainline.]
Marty Bernard posted
CB&Q Covered Wagons 165ABC at Eola, IL on September 13, 1965
165ABC was a F7A, a F3B, and a F3A. Why? Because the CB&Q bought their FTs and F3s in four unit sets, i.e., ABBA. Soon they realized that as a flat-lander railroad an ABA set had sufficient power. So the broke the ABBA sets in half and added a new F7A to each half.
Besides the wonderful 165ABC (F7A-F3B-F3A) the photo shows the three-track race track (the fourth track is a siding -- notice it avoids the signal bridge) and both sides of Eola Yard (eastbound and westbound). The siding with the kink was called the "Runner" track. The kink is still there even though the signal bridge isn't.
The F7 was built in May 1950 and the F3s in October of 1948. 160ABC through 169ABC were traded in to GE and EMD from 1966 to 1970.
Marty Bernard shared
Jerry Nolan: Great shot. I like the "kink" in the siding around the base of the signal bridge, that would make a good scenic feature on a model train layout.

Marty Bernard posted two photos with the comment: "EJ&E 925 and 650 Working at Eola, IL, 1970   Note, the EJ&E crosses above the CB&Q just past the east end of the Q's Eola Yard."
John Perkowski: How long did they last?
Marty Bernard: John Perkowski about 1974.
Marty Bernard shared
EJ&E 925 (built Sept. 1948 by Baldwin as a DT66-2000, i.e. a Diesel Transfer with two 6-wheeel trucks at 2000 hp and repowered Oct. 1958 with 2 EMD 12-567C engines) and SD38 650 working at Eola, IL on August 31, 1970.

Yes 925 was big.

Marty Bernard posted
The first F-unit I remember seeing was a CB&Q Greyback. Thus they are special. And the location in this photo is also special.
The Tower is Eola Tower at the east end of the Burlington's Eola Yard east of Aurora, Illinois. I never worked that tower, but spent enough time there that it feels like I did. I feel the same about West Eola Tower at the west end of the yard. I did work Montgomery Tower, which is two towers to the west.
For perspective we are looking west. The three track racetrack is just out of the photo to the right in front of the tower. The Greyback 162 ABC is on a track that runs behind the tower and I'm pretty sure connected with the EJ&E. If you look close, you can see the Vaughn Rd bridge in the distance. My good friend Rick Burn took this in July 1962.
CB&Q 162ABC was a F3ABA built June 1948 and traded for some of the next generation of EMD or GE diesels.

Tim O'Connor commented on Marty's post
I know that location precisely - same spot in 1995. And the Conrail transfer left via the EJ&E.

And a similar spot today.
Street View

I had never before noticed that railcar parked north of the yard.
Street View

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