Wednesday, February 28, 2018

C&WI "Trench" and links to the 15th and 16th Street Towers

There are a lot of photos of trains arriving and departing Dearborn Station north of Roosevelt Road and some photos of C&WI owner trains going through the 21st Street Crossing, but very few photos between the two. This is all of the photos I have seen of the C&WI mainline between 14th Street and the 21st Street Crossing. I'll add photos as I find them, but I'll keep the photos ordered from north to south.

May 1929
[Note the sequence of bridges that were needed to take the other railroads over the C&WI.]

Bill Molony posted
Two Grand Trunk Western EMD GP9's at 14th Street on the Chicago & Western Indiana tracks with The Maple Leaf - June, 1967.
Dennis DeBruler There is a tower peaking above the train near its end. I need to study some maps to see if that is the C&WI 15th Street Tower. I've seen very few photos of it.
Bob Lalich Yes, that is 15th St tower near the right edge of the photo. It was closed by this time. I'll double check but I believe 15th St was remotely controlled from the "new" Roosevelt Road tower when it was built in 1964.
Dennis DeBruler commented on Bill's posting
Stan Stanovich note how the tower is at an angle so that it is tangent with the C&WI tracks. The popular 16th Street Tower is a block west and a block south of the one in this photo. [1964 Dearborn Approach or .pdf]

Bill Molony posted
On the left is Santa Fe EMD F7A #329, at 18th Street in Chicago, heading towards Dearborn Station to tie onto Santa Fe train #23, the westbound Grand Canyon.
On the right is Erie-Lackawanna EMD E8A's #829 and #818 leading E-L train #6, the eastbound Lake Cities away from Dearborn Station on August 15, 1967 on its 21-hour trip to Hoboken, New Jersey.
I don't think this meet is south of 18th Street because 18th Street went over the C&WI tracks and because the IC and Chicago & Alton tracks were between the Santa Fe and C&WI tracks down at 18th Street.
Excerpt from C&EI1964ChicagoDearborn-300lg.pdf file from Chicagoland Railfan Group
Instead, I think it is looking south from the red dot I put on 14th Street.

Excerpt from C&EI1964ChicagoDearborn-300lg.pdf file from Chicagoland Railfan Group

Bob Lalich Flickr late 50s Photo

15th st Monon on C&WI

Monon passenger train, possibly The Tippecanoe, has just departed Dearborn Station on a sunny morning and is about to duck under Clark St and the NYC-CRIP joint line, c. late 50s. I believe the photographer was Jack Bailey, whose photos were marketed under the name of Ashland Car Works.
[I assume this photo was taken from the 15th Street Tower.]

C&WI 15th Street Tower notes have several photos in this area.

Andrew Brown posted
Outbound commuter approaching 16th St. Sept. '73.
[The bridges on the right carried the Rock Island+NYC route over the C&WI route. It appears the Rock Island had a coach yard down here next to the C&WI embankment wall. This photo also provides a nice view of the Erie Freight House]
Bill Molony posted
Erie Lackawanna Railroad EMD E8A #828, leading EL train #2, the eastbound Phoebe Snow, and passing under the New York Central - Rock Island mainline at 16th Street on the Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad's tracks - August 26, 1963.

Bill Molony posted
Monon Railroad Alco Century 420 #501 at Chicago in June 1967.
Bob Lalich Passing C&WI's 16th St Tower.
Bill Molony posted again
Monon Railroad Alco C-420 #501 with The Thoroughbred on the south side of Chicago in June of 1967.
The Monon discontinued all passenger service on September 30, 1967.
David Daruszka commented on Bill's posting
Same location?
Bob Lalich Yes David Daruszka. You can see 15th St tower past the bridges in the Barriger photo.
Dennis Debruler commented on Bill's posting
Bob Lalich, This is a fascinating "homework problem." I believe the first bridge is the NYC/St. Charles Airline connectors. The next bridge would be the St. Charles Airline itself. Then we see the piers for the Rock Island and NYC bridges. But is it the green or the blue building that is 15th Street Tower?
Bob Lalich 15th St tower is in the blue box
1964 or .pdf

Stuart Pearson posted
Monon's Hoosier not to far out of Dearborn Station. A Rail Photo Service Photo.
Bob Lalich: The train is in C&WI's 16th St interlocking plant. It has just passed under the St Charles Airline and connection to the joint NYC-Rock Island.
[Note that the train skunks the tower.]

C&WI 16th Street Tower notes have several photos in this area.

Bill Molony posted
Another beautiful color Wabash photograph from our collection - enjoy!
Stan Stanovich ...on the approach Richard Fiedler!...I believe from the 18th street overpass!!!
Bob Lalich Correct Stan Stanovich. 16th St Tower is just out of view behind the train on the right.
Jim Holmes Yes. between 16th st and 18th st
lbert J Reinschmidt Given the sun it's the departing Banner Blue.
Randy Rippy Wearing the simplified paint scheme with an E7 on the point. Guessing 1962?
[Note the B&OCT bridge is down. The two tracks in the right foreground are ICwest. You can see the embankment wall go up from here.]

Bill Molony posted
Erie Lackawanna EMD E8A's #820 and #810, departing from Chicago with EL train #6, the Lake Cities, in March of 1966.
Dennis DeBruler This photographer caught the GM&O+IC embankment on the right side.

Mark Hinsdale was standing a little more to the east on 18th Street when he took his photo. Note how the C&WI tracks have become Ping Tom Memorial Park. The tracks were filled in so th
at the park's grade slopes up to the CN/IC grade.

David Daruszka adjusted the exposure of Bill's photo

1964, Dennis DeBruler commented on Bill's post

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bill's post

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bill's post

Arturo Gross Flickr 1998 Photo of a comparable view off of 18th Street. The tracks are gone, but the fill along side the IC embankment has not been done. And it is a demonstration of how some trees can grow almost like weeds.

A recent view of the scene after the track area has been filled in to match the embankment height of the CN/ICwest to create Ping Tom Memorial Park.
Mark Hinsdale posted
Cold, but Clear...
Chicago is getting ready for tomorrow's St. Patricks Day parade and all the celebrations that go with it. The temperature is staying in the mid to high 20's but there is not a cloud in the sky. A midday appearance of CN Train #337 passing under 18th Street made for a worthy photographic subject as I continued to show my weekend guests around town a
little bit.

Dave Durham posted eight photos with the comment: "Track work to elevate the lines of the A.T.&S.F. and C.&W.I in the 14th/15th/16th St.and Clark area; Please adjust your travel routes and leave10-15 minutes earlier to avoid delays."
Bob Lalich Dave Durham - which site allows a free download? I have searched a few times and can only find sites that require membership.
Dave Durham Bob Lalich I have been utilizing Hathitrust
Bob Lalich Have you downloaded the entire document, or just a few pages at a time?
Dave Durham Photos, and pages...are you not able to? Are you viewing on a home computer or mobile device?
Jim Holmes Guys, I had to search for over an hour to get those documents because Haithtrust requires membership in some university to get full copies. I searched for a couple of the headings and found a link. the map above originally came from and Engineering News publ and re-referenced in the 1898 issue of Dave's publication, not the 1905. I can provide the two pdf's via email if so desired.








Photos of the C&WI before the Rock Island, NYC, and IC were elevated and the South Branch was straightened are even more rare.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Passenger Locomotive is American Made, but German Designed

Siemens has built a plant in Sacramento, CA to manufacture "Made in America" locomotives.
Siemens Mobility
They started by building ACS-64 electric locomotives for Amtrak's electrified route between Boston and Washington DC based on the Vectron locomotive for the European market. In 2013, Illinois State worked with Siemens on behalf of several other states to develop a diesel electric locomotive that could be used on state subsidized Amtrak routes. [RailColorNews, Amtrak]

The Chargers are now in revenue service.
Mike Matalis
Mike Matalis
Mike Matalis commented on a posting

The good news is that the diesel engine is designed and built in Indiana.
From RailColorNews
I studied Cummins' description of the QSK95 for Rail to determine how they meet the Tier 4 requirements. Their engines do run at a higher RPM than the traditional locomotives engines. Their answer is "Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology." I believe that SCR implies Diesel Emissions Fluid (DEF) is needed. [Confimred: Cummins] The Class I railroads refuse to use DEF. But when you see all of the bells and whistles on a Tier IV GE locomotive and the reduced fuel effeciency, you have wonder why they can't add a tank for DEF.

(For My Reference: "It also depends very much on how the solution is defined. In the instant case of locomotive Tier 4 final standards, it might be observed that EMD missed being able to meet the NOx standard without SCR/urea on the 710 family by about 0.3%. Considering the absolute emission contribution of NOx from locomotive hours operating in the 'excess' part of operation, only a small percentage of an already small number of grams, and the substantial cost in many respects for EMD to design something to achieve it, I have to wonder if adjusting the standard to match engineering reality is something the government should have 'listened to'." [Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 12:33 PM])

Milwaukee's Morning Hiawatha leaving CUS under Lake Street Elevated

I normally don't bother with photos of passenger trains, but this 1957 photo has so much Chicago railroad history, I couldn't resist.
ChuckMan's Photos, License: non-commercial (source)
Note the Kinzie Street RR Bridge is in the down position, and Milwaukee's Chicago & Evanston Bridge is peaking out above and beyond the Kinzie bridge.

2011 Street View
Digitally Zoomed
Zooming in on the cold storage building because the photo is old enough that it is a cold storage building. The building still exists, but it has been heavily remodeled.

3D Satellite
I saved a 3D Satellite view because, given the way the area is being gentrified, someone is going to tear down Cassidy Tire and Service and build a high rise. I wonder what the architects will do to stop the noise of trains accelerating out of the train stations and the noise of the wheels squealing around the sharp curves. It is on my todo list to go to Blommer Chocolate during business hours because they have a retail shop. Maybe I'll then walk over to these curves to listen to how noisy they are. It is possible that UP and Metra lube the rails well enough that there is no squeal.

3D Satellite

Saturday, February 24, 2018

CA&E Power House and Batavia Branch

Batavia Depot Museum added two photos with the comment: "The Chicago, Aurora & Elgin RR Power House was located approximately where Funway is today. It provided electrical power for 75 miles of track for the railroad. The building was razed in 1965."

[In the background, past the road, is the track of the first segment of the CB&Q that went between Aurora and West Chicago/Turner Junction.]

[That is the widest belt I remember seeing.]
The tracks on the west side of the power plant is the Batavia Branch that continued north to just south of Wilson Street.
1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Remnants of whatever crossed the river still exist.
I studied some 1939 Aerial Photos to find the routing of the Batavia Branch before I discovered that it has been preserved as Illinois Pairie Path - Batavia Spur until it got close to I-88.
I decided I better save a copy of the treeline that shows were the branch curved to meet the Aurora fork because that land is close to a relatively new exit off of I-88 for Eola Road, and development will probably wipe out that treeline. A data center as already built over where it joined the Aurora fork.
CB&Q Railfans shared
Paul D. French That was a different era. Look at that third rail, there is not even a fence to keep people from coming in contact.
Matthew Linhart Paul D. French. This was the early 1900's and inaccessible to the public. This was the power station next to the Fox River in Batavia. There was a wire closer to the downtown of Batavia.

In addition to a powerhouse, they would have several substations along the route to stepdown the voltage and create Direct Current. Since transformers cannot be used with DC, and rectifiers (vacuum tube and then solid state) were a long ways from being invented, they used rotary converters. Specifically, the powerhouse current would run a motor that is hooked to a generator that produced the Direct Current.

David Moorman commented on a posting
David Moorman I have this picture labeled as the CA&E West Chicago Depot, and it looks like an entirely different building. Anyone recognize it?
Richard A. I. Carlson That is the Prince Crossing Road substation. The West Chicago depot was on Washington Street, I think where the library is now. The old freight house still stands across the street.
Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. A street view shows it still exists:!3m6!1e1!3m4...
The Prince Crossing Road substation was also a depot on the branch to Elgin.
Mark Llanuza commented on a posting
Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1953 [unknown photographer ] captured the CA&E coming into Prince Crossing road station in [West Chicago IL ] I went back again in the year 2012 to line everything back up again.This was a station and sub station for the CA&E and still stands today .The last i had heard there was a Salt Creek Model Railroad club inside .This was the main line to Elgin.
Jason Simon If memory is correct the CGW parallels at this point.
John P Simanton Yes, it did.
Tom Negele Nice example of old semaphore signal too!
Clintonville was also a combination substation and depot.
Mark Llanuza posted
Its the year 1958 a charted CA&E fan train from a church group ran one of three fan trips on the CA&E after normal operations shut down in 1957 .The B&W photo [taken by unknown photographer ] captured everybody at the Clintonville sub station and train station .I went back in Spring of 2018 to line everything all back again .Today the station is the South Elgin modal railroad club.
[It is now called the Valley Model Railroad]

Meta land scars (tattoos) from strip mining large seams of coal

(Update: I learned from a comment by William Oldani in a post that the accepted term for what I have been calling land scars is "tattoos." I can't fix all existing occurrences of "land scar" in this blog, but I will switch to using the accepted term in new notes.)

I've already discussed the tattoos for a strip coal mine. Now that I'm doing more research in Southern Illinois, I've discovered the tattoos for multiple strip coal mines --- a bunch of "straight lakes."

I first noticed this pattern while studying the Kathleen Coal Mine. Below is the Satellite image from that posting, but converted to "Road Map" view to make the "straight lakes" more visible.


Another example of extensive strip mining is the land owned by the Chicago area sewage treatment district.