Saturday, November 4, 2017

Chicago Junction Kenwood Yard

(Satellite, north of the IHB route, which has been removed)
Chicago Junction was the nickname for the Chicago River & Indiana. Its predecessor was the 1880 Chicago & Indiana State Line Railway. Its successor was NYC, to the objection of the other railroads. Norfolk Southern got it when Conrail was split up.

I learned about this yard from a Facebook posting.
Mark Bilecki Sr. There was a small yard near 49th and California they maintained
Chuck Guzik was about 4-5 tracks wide and the IHB worked the south side of the tracks and used a few Xovers at about California which was the east part of that lil yard. At this time, there were more tracks north in the weeds...
Bob Lalich commentd
It was called Kenwood Yard.
Mark Bilecki Sr. I think the IHB used to switch out Central Steel& Wire and CR&I did everything on the north side of the ROW . All this changed with the Orange Line construction and everything east of Leavitt was abandoned.
Chuck Guzik IHB had Central Steel ...still does, Inmont, Uaarco paper and one or two more.
Chuck Guzik It was an NYC Flexi van COFC/TOFC terminal as well. I lived adjacent to the panhandle trackage at 50th st. Dead Even with the semaphore signal. In the 1972-1976 period, there were long lines of NYC-PRR out of service railcars parked in there and on the North yard lead into 59th st yard.

In 1938, it already looks like the yard was significantly reduced. To this day, you can see diagonal buildings and parking lots (west and east) established by the former boundaries of this yard. Or is the curved track from Kedzie to Western an industrial spur where many industries from, probably the turn of the century, have been torn down?
Chuck Guzik Most of that least in the 1970s when I roamed up there... was industrial lead. Just off of Western Av, there was a helluva grade that dropped down from the elevated track to service Budweiser, Cooks Chocolate (worlds Finest), Burton Spring, Illinois Brick and a few others. Many times, the switcher looked like a jet taking off with angle it came up the ramp. Most times in the heyday, it was in the middle with cars on each end because of reverse switches.
Chuck Guzik The crews up there usually were 4 man....2 switchmen/brakemen, A conductor and engineer. Ive seen on more than one occasion, where they had to go after a rolling car. There was a slight westward grade towards California and once in a while, a car wouldn't slow down or the Brakemen missed the hop on. Even though I should not have done it.....I rode an empty MEC Boxcar from Western to about California Ave when it was shoved.....on the opposite side of the engine obviously
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP, Kedzie on the left and Western on the right, California in the middle.

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