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 trains of C&WI owners going through the 21st Street Crossing, but very few photos between the two. These are the photos I have seen of the C&WI mainline between Roosevelt Road 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.]

Several views looking south from Roosevelt Road at trains approaching Dearborn Station are in a Wabash freight house post.

Arturo Gross posted, this photo used with specific permisson
Louisville & Nashville E6 753 looks sharp in great evening light at Dearborn Station Chicago, Apr 1970. Presumably came in on the Danville local. Not a commonly seen view, looking southeast at the Roosevelt Road overpass. Original Kodachrome Art Gross Collection.
Bob Lalich The "new" tower is seen behind the locomotive.
Dennis DeBruler Specifically:
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]

MWRD posted
A view to the south from 16th Street showing work on railroad tracks near the South Branch of the Chicago River on September 15, 1905.
Dennis DeBruler: Photos of C&WI's 15th Street Tower are rather rare.

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

BRHS posted
Norfolk & Western E8A #3808 and GP7 #3481, leading N&W train #111-1, the St. Louis-bound Banner Blue, out of Dearborn Station at 14th Street, on the morning of January 11th, 1967.
This train was equipped with reclining seat chair cars, a reclining seat dome chair car, a dining-lounge car, and an observation-drawing room parlor car.

Mike Breski posted
Santa Fe F7A 43 with three B units leads on train 16, the Texas Chief, into Chicago on March 23, 1969. David Leonard was on hand for the morning arrival and snapped this transparency. Delivered in 1948 as 43L, the unit was rebuilt as CF7 2634. Richard Leonard's Rail Archive.
Chris Koehler Santa Fe...always famous for putting switches in curves.
Bob Lalich The tracks here are C&WI. EB mainline trains left ATSF rails at 21st St. There was a connection to the ATSF coach yard at 15th St interlocking in the distance.

Dennis DeBruler shared
Conrad Van Buren Cool picture, Texas Chief headed to Dearborn station.
Dennis DeBruler Thanks for mentioning that the train is headed to Dearborn. In hindsight, I should have mentioned that as the share's comment.. If you click the photo, you get the comments on the photo. As they indicate, this view is looking south from 14th Street.
Conrad Van Buren Thanks Dennis, I have never been to Chicago but I have studied the track layout for the many railroad stations in the area. Each railroad had a station for it's operations, that is like each airline having it's own airport today. I wonder how much acreage was involved. At one time I considered building a model of Dearborn and the 18th street maintenance yard. That would have been fun and it would have been huge.
Dennis DeBruler Conrad Van Buren Except for the C&NW station, each station served a few railroads. Dearborn served six railroads. But most railroads had their own freight house. In fact, many railroads had an inbound and an outbound freight house. This is what I have learned about the Chicago stations:
and Dearborn in particular:

Conrad Van Buren
Dennis DeBruler Of the six railroads using the station, Santa Fe is obviously the most popular with railfans.

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.]

John Sniffen posted
On Sept. 2, 1949, photographer Robert L. Pendleton leaned out the vestibule door of his Pullman and took this photo of the Chief arriving in Chicago, powered by the railroad’s only passenger FM set. UPDATE—the location is east of where the Santa Fe crossed the Pennsylvania main. I encourage looking at the original through this link to the collection at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Library. You can see a lot of detail when you enlarge their photo.…/agsnorth/id/4343/size/full
Bob Lalich This location is 15th St interlocking on the C&WI, just east of Clark St. There is a grade crossing with 14th St near the signal bridge in the background.

Mike Breski posted
Chicago & Eastern Illinois FP7 #1608 departs Chicago with train #93, the combined southbound "Georgian"/"Hummingbird," circa 1966.
Bob Lalich This train is inbound at 15th St tower.
[Note the RI+NYC overpass in the left background.]

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]

BRHS posted
Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad Alco RS-1 #254 at 16th Street.

Dennis DeBruler commented on a BRHS post
 I put a red line on this map to indicate where the visible part of the RI train is. But now I'm left with the question of why would a RI train be coming off the St. Charles Air Line?
Tim Valiquet In that area a long time ago there was a turntable to turn commuter engines . There was a wye from the Rock to the ST.CAL in the NW quadrant of the interlocking....

Dennis DeBruler commented on Tim's comment on a BRHS post
Now that I know to look for a turntable, it is easy to find it in this 1938 aerial photo. In fact, the circle in the above diagram would be this turntable.

safe_image for d.w.davidson Flickr
[Details concerning this photo are here.]

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.

Andrew Brown posted
Outbound commuter approaching 16th St. Sept. '73.
[Note the C&WI "trench" is in the foreground.]

Sady Rivera commented on a share
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.
Bill Molony posted
Chicago & Eastern Illinois passenger train approaching Dearborn Station - undated.
Richard Fiedler Wabash sleeper.
Bob Lalich Crossing over from one of the freight tracks to the main tracks. Possibly there was work on one of the diamonds at 21st St. That seems to have been a constant effort back then. Note the GT engines approaching in the background. Very cool photo!

John Smatlak shared his Flickr link in Chicago Area Railroad Historians
The abandoned C&WI tower next to the 16th St. interlocking, Summer of 1986. This tower was situated on the lead to the old Dearborn Station.

Rob Conway posted
A meet on the ICG at 16th Street in Chicago in the summer of 1981. The shot was copped from the C&WI tower which is long gone. In fact, this entire scene is pretty much unrecognizable today.
[Looking south from the tower.]Jim French Surely you had permission and were wearing all required PPE?!?!?!
Rob Conway Jim French Funny that you should mention that. Shortly after this shot was copped, two C&WI cops showed up. They did a great job of sneaking up on me and I never saw them coming. They had to have parked a good distence away and walked in.The tower was completely trashed and had every piece of glass broken out. I'm sure there were people who used it as a residence / shooting gallery. It took a long time to convince them that I wasn't interested in further vandalism. The idea of someone being a railfan completely eluded them.
Jim French Rob Conway, great story. It’s funny how many cinder-D’s really didn’t understand the railfan concept back then, but they were also more forgiving once they realised you weren’t a thief or vandal. The good old days of grab and go photography in terminals. This whole ‘with permission and PPE’ thing with current day railfan postings is a complete laugh. In today’s policy driven, litigation averse environment, there are very few people who have the actual authority to give a non-employee permission to be on a companies private property - especially in transportation and heavy industry. At my company, I’m the senior officer with oversight for that across the corporation. I’d guess 90%+ of those who post that kind of statement actually don’t have permission from an an appropriate and authorised officer of the company. So the technical reality is, they’d still be trespassing.

Mike Breski posted
C&EI’s Meadowlark arrives Chicago Chicago & Eastern Illinois’ Meadowlark is a couple of minutes away from Dearborn Station, Chicago, in 1950. Bringing up the rear is C&EI office car Danville. Wallace W. Abbey photo
Dennis DeBruler The train has just gone through the 21st Street Crossing. So it really is close to Dearborn Station. The truss spans were the 18th Street Viaduct. The white building on the left still stands because it was a cold storage building. That means the walls are so thick that the developer can't afford to tear it down. The two straight mainlines are the tracks shared by IC, GM&O, and Santa Fe through the crossing. (Although GM&O's use of these tracks became obsolete when they switched from the IC Station to Union Station.) The ladder of tracks leaving the mainline goes to Santa Fe's yard and their Dearborn access that joins the C&WI at 15th Street. This is the first photo I've seen that shows the complexity of Santa Fe's trackwork here.

CN still uses the two mainline tracks, but they are now in the shadow of the Orange Line.,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3

Mike Breski posted again

The information about the grade separation at 16th Street that was here has been moved to here.

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, Batavia Branch and Prince Crossing & Clintonville

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!

Jerry Hund posted
A bit of Chicago railroad history.
Here’s the Prince Crossing Station. This facility was located at 2N.166 Prince Crossing Rd. in West Chicago. Originally called Ingalton, the all brick station was built in 1902 and opened for passengers on May 29, 1903. The station, along with the road it was built off, was named after Isaac Prince of the Wheaton convalescent center (later becoming the Wheaton Academy located just south of this station). The reason this little patronized station was built of brick was because its primarily purpose was to act as one of 19 electrical sub stations strategically located along the railroad. These substations once received 26,000 volts 3 phase AC power from the Batavia Power House. Once received, it would convert this power down to 600 volts single phase DC for delivery to the third rail. Six of these 19 substations were also used as passenger stations. Today, only two of the original 6 passenger substations survive. They are: Substation #5, Prince Crossing (DuPage County) and substation #6 Clintonville (located in South Elgin-Kane County). The station also acted as a stop for train and signal orders to be passed on to its crews.  From 1945 to 1957, students from nearby Wheaton Academy High School used this station to attend school. In the early years of the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago railroad, a triangular piece of land was purchased for future use. Its boundaries were the AE&C to the south, the Chicago Great Western to the north and Prince Crossing Rd. to the east. These plans never came to being but over the years, the Wheaton Academy did have its eye on some of this property. After abandonment the station had a variety of interesting tenants. These included Sidwell, a geo land surveyor company, an art store, a motor cycle shop, a model railroad club and others. 
Several years ago, the Wheaton Academy purchased the station along with a short part of the adjacent Illinois Prairie Path.  It has indicated its desire to tear down this beautiful historic building in the near future unless a last minute miracle by its fans can prevent this from happening.
Photo Courtesy: Thetrolleydodger   

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]