Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Illinois Central 51st (47th) Street or Hyde Park Tower

3D Satellite, eastish (track) side
I saved some Google Map images because I understand the tower is gone now. Between Mark's 2007 images below and these 2015 images, the top story was removed.

This tower is also known as the IC's 47th Tower.

NorthAmericanInterlockings: no entry

Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for more information)

D.W. Davidson Flickr

51st Street Tower Icon from 11th Place-67th Street link on Railroad Operating Information.

Oct 2015 Street View, northish side
Oct 2015 Street View, southish side
Mark Llanuza posted
The year 2007 IC 51st tower
Dennis DeBruler Sometime since 2007 they removed the top story.,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3 It seems that it would have been a lot cheaper to fix the roof, board up the windows, and take down the extra flight of stairs.

Steve Lewandowski posted
Mike Adduci 51st st tower. Noticed the handrailing on the bottom right corner of the photo that was on the second floor of the tower. And structure number is 624.
Chauncey Lawrence Just a little north of 51st and lakepark there is a electrical substation there now.

Mark Llanuza posted six photos with the comment: "Its the year 2007 at the old IC Hyde Park tower at 51st st."
I shared Mark's posting and David Daruszka provided me the details I needed to locate this tower:
Actually it was known as 47th Street Tower, although it was further south of the 47th Street Station and north of 51st Street. Approximately 50th Street and Lake Park Ave. Type that into search and look at the maps selection. You can see it in the aerial view if you zoom in.

1, Dave Foley Signal testman extraordinaire Mark Newman




Mark Llanuza posted two photos with the comment: "Metra's Hyde Park tower the year 2007 former IC tower."


David Daruszka commented on my share concerning a question about the difference between the 2015 Google images and Mark's 2007 images.
They removed the top story of the building. This is how it looked originally.
When the IC was electrified, a flyover connection to the NYC/Chicago Junction/Union Stock Yard and Transit Company was constructed. This simplified the junction enough that it eliminated the 43rd Street Tower and control was remoted to this tower.

Bob Lalich commented on a share
I believe that there was a power switch and signals for the CJ ramp track near 51st St tower. It is seen near the left side of this drawing.
[I'm glad Bob sees it because because this track diagram is too complicated for me to understand it.]
Mark Llanuza posted
The year 2007 IC 51st tower
Dennis DeBruler Sometime since 2007 they removed the top story.,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3 It seems that it would have been a lot cheaper to fix the roof, board up the windows, and take down the extra flight of stairs.
Mark commented on his posting
This is in the basement of this tower 51st street.
This is further south, but the discussion of track use applies to a long stretch of the route.
Steve Lewandowski posted
November 1971 "West Side of IC embankment north of 53rd Street" Southbound Amtrak James Whitcomb Riley.
Bill Edrington Rick La Fever - The Riley was still running on its original route at this time: IC from Central Station to Kankakee; then PC’s ex-NYC “Big Four” line from there all the way to Cincinnati. It wasn’t until later that track conditions on the Big Four via Lafayette got so bad that the train had to be rerouted. As I recall it was initially moved over to the ex-PRR to Indianapolis via Logansport; then back onto the Big Four to Cincinnati. Eventually it ended up on the old C&O of Indiana, running via Peru, Muncie and Richmond, because the north-south PC lines in Indiana were in such bad shape.
Matt McClure Rick La Fever Rode the JWR Indy to Chicago in June 1972. Big Four routing via Lafayette to Kankakee. Nearly nine hours; on the IC we flew. Only later did horrid track force it to Logansport, before being moved to the C&O of Indiana. Great article on the various routes in Trains Magazine c1974 "Whither the Riley."
Matt McClure Bill Edrington Between the routing on the EX-PRR and its move to the C&O of Indiana, Amtrak ran the Riley on the ex-PRR via Kokomo, Anderson, and New Castle on the route of the former PRR Union. After the move to the C&O the PRR was pulled up.

Dennis DeBruler This answers a question that has been on my mind:
Did intercity trains use IC's freight or commuter tracks?
It looks like they used the freight tracks.
Matt McClure Dennis DeBruler Yes, 2-3 most eastern tracks without catenary overhead. Same tracks Amtrak uses today.
Bob Lalich Dennis DeBruler - IC had 2 passenger tracks and 2 freight tracks through the entire Chicago terminal region - at least as far as Richton. Sometime after Amtrak, portions of the freight mains were removed. The old freight main tracks are still in place between Fordham and Kensington but I believe are now classified as secondary tracks. Hopefully someone can fill in more detail.
Dennis DeBruler Bob Lalich 2+2 makes sense. I know Rock Island, Pennsy and NYC also ran 2 passenger plus 2 freight through Chicago.
Lawrence Smith Bob Lalich I remember in Flossmoor in the 60s there were 2 commuter, 2 through pssgr and maybe 2, maybe 3, freight - but..those freight tracks were the beginning of the large yard N of Homewwood. No idea of what was S of Flossmoor.

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