Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Rock Island and NYC Freight Houses at La Salle Station

Rock Island's 12 Street Piggyback Yard has its own set of notes. And NYC already had some notes. Those notes have more photos that catch the south end of the Rock Island Freight House. In addition to NYC's freight house, these notes discuss NYC's team tracks that later became their Flexi-Van service yard.

Bill Molony posted
Nickel Plate Road class L-1a 4-6-4 Hudson-type #172, departing from La Salle Street Station with train #8, the daily run from Chicago to New York City via the Lackawanna Railroad from Buffalo, on the morning of October 14, 1955.
Tom VanZuiden Whose stainless baggage car? Can’t read the name.
Bob Lalich Rock Island. The car is spotted next to one of the Rock's freight houses.

Bill Molony posted again
Nickel Plate Road class L-1b 4-6-4 Hudson-type #172, departing from LaSalle Street Station with NKP train #8, the daily run from Chicago to New York, via the Lackawanna Railroad from Buffalo, on the morning of October 14, 1955.
This train was equipped with reclining seat coaches, a diner-lounge car, and 10 roomette-6 double bedroom sleeping cars.

Bill Molony posted again
Mark Fuller What’s the white-ish car towards the back?
Bill Molony A Lackawanna Railroad sleeping car.
Brandon McShane Or is it one of Nickel Plate's ex-C&O coaches?

Bill Kalkman posted
Rodney Peterson photo. A pair of New York Central E8As, 4062 & 4064, are seen from Roosevelt Road. 10-11-63 in Chicago, IL.
Dennis DeBruler: That is one of the better views I have seen of the Rock Island freight house. Note the "Route of the Rockets" boxcar.

Dennis DeBruler shared
The Rock Island freight house caught my eye. And then I noticed that the locomotives are running light.
Bob Lalich
explained that they are deadheading back to the Englewood Yard for servicing. Did the road crew make that move? Or did they get off at LaSalle?
Later the passenger coaches will be taken to Root Street Yard for servicing.
Andre Kristopans: Those moves should have been handled by "outside hostlers", who were qualified to operate light engines (no cars) on line, as opposed to "inside hostlers" who stayed within yard limits. Ricky Gates of the infamous Gunpow wreck was an outside hostler moving engines from Washington to maybe Baltimore.

Steve Lewandowski posted
Bob Lalich If you are unfamiliar, this train has just left La Salle St station and is approaching Roosevelt Road.
Rick La Fever Sears Tower under construction in the background.
Patrick McNamara That dates this photo to around 1968.
Matt McClure Patrick McNamara 1973 probably. The Hancock was finished in 1968. Sears was 3 years from breaking ground.
Lawrence Smith think the empty space to the right is the old NYC M+E yard. Quite a place in the day I am sure.
Dennis DeBruler Lawrence Smith What does M&E stand for? I'm getting ready to write some notes about this NYC yard, but I don't know the name of it.
Lawrence Smith sorry mail and express

MWRD posted
Freight sheds for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway located along the South Branch of the Chicago River on April 27, 1904.
David Daruszka LaSalle Street Station can be seen in the distance, completed in 1903.

Dennis DeBruler shared
There is not a single locomotive in this photo. Nonetheless, LCL (Less than Carload) freight was an important aspect of railroad history. This photo helps us understand what the world looked like before Interstate highways and 18-wheelers became commonplace.
Note David Daruszka's comment that LaSalle Street Station, which was about a year old when this photo was taken, can be seen in the background.
John Packard LTC should be offered again today. A quality, hungry road, could make it work and make money.
Chris Schultz John Packard most long distance LTC still moves by rail. Look at the YRC, R&L, FedEx, Estes UPS Freight, and ABF trailers and containers on the rails. Plus many of the Hub, EXMU and other containers are used by LTL freight companies.
Patrick McNamara You guys must mean to say "LCL," which is what the rails have called less-than-carload freight since forever.
David H. Nelson After WWII labor costs on railroads soared and they wanted out of the LCL "retail" business and they managed to outsource it to freight forwarders who often leased railroad owned facilities to do exactly the same work as before, most likely not at union wages.

Tom Bedwell enhanced a photo posted by Bill Molony
La Salle Street Station on the afternoon of June 21, 1958.
On the left is Rock Island EMD E8A #644, departing for Denver and Colorado Springs with RI train #7, the Rocky Mountain Rocket.
On the right is New York Central EMD E8A #4088, ready to depart for Boston with NYC train #28, the New England States.
Bob Lalich Looks like someone pushed a car a little too far on the freight house track to the left.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Bill's posting
I'm trying to identify which railroad owns that freight house. But I discovered that page 331 of the 1915 Smoke Abatement Report has unreadable labels on the buildings. And I've never had any luck with the Sanborn Maps for Chicago.
Bob Lalich The freight houses on the west side of the La Salle St approach tracks were Rock Island. There were several. NYC's freight houses were east of the station leads.

 Dennis DeBruler commented on Bill's posting
So in Tom Bedwell's enhanced photo we are getting a glimpse of the east side of some RI freight houses.
[1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP from Harrison down to Roosevelt.]

1909 Map
[Click the link so that you can zoom in to a readable image.]

1941 Sketch Map

Bill Molony posted
The New York Central's 20th Century Limited departing from La Salle Street Station for a fast overnight run to New York City on the afternoon of June 6, 1963.
Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Another big gantry crane over some team tracks. I remember the first one I saw was over IC tracks. I think someone mentioned there was one in Proviso. I need to start making a list. Are those Rock Island or NYC team tracks?
Bob Lalich Those are NYC team tracks east of the throat, and their freight stations beyond.
Chuck Kulesa The overhead crane was for containers and trailers on flat cars COFC and TOFC respectively 
Bob Lalich The crane was there in the 1930s, long before COFC and TOFC....
Chuck Kulesa yes it was ... for heavy loading on flat cars but with advent of containers and trailers was used for such.

Dennis DeBruler posted
Jerry Jackson posted this photo with the comment:
"Rodney Peterson photo. New York Central E7A-4031, with E7B-possibly 4102, and an unknown E8A unit are on the point of E/B train # 26, The "Twentieth Century Limited". 10-11-63 in Chicago, IL."
Some members will enjoy it because of the E units. Others because it includes the skyline. When I saw the Lee poster, I noticed that it has a good view of the Dearborn Station train shed. It originally caught my eye because it is the best view I have seen so far of the gantry crane over NYC's team tracks.

Bill Kalkman posted
Rodney Peterson photo. New York Central E8A-4056 on a passenger train as seen from the Roosevelt Road overpass. 10-11-63 in Chicago, IL.
[There are comments about the cars in this photo.]

David Daruszka enhanced a photo posted by Bill Molony
Rock Island EMD BL2 #426, easing back into La Salle Street Station on October 17, 1963.
Mark Nieting Such an ugly duckling, the BL-2.
Bill MolonyBill and 1 other are consistently creating meaningful discussions with their posts. The Rock Island never met a locomotive salesman that they didn't like!
[Another view of the gantry crane over the NYC team tracks.]

Mike Breski posted


New York Central J-3a Hudson 5414, modified with twin sealed-beam headlight and high-capacity centipede tender, departs La Salle Street Station, Chicago, with a local for Toledo on June 1, 1953.
R. R. Malinoski photo
Dennis DeBruler On the right side of the photo we see one end of the gantry crane and the rail it rides on.

Bill Molony posted
New York Central class S-1b 4-8-4 Niagara-type #6010, departing from LaSalle Street Station with a four-car passenger train on the afternoon of June 12, 1954.
Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. The NYC team tracks with their gantry crane on the right has plenty of cars in this photo The buildings on the left were Rock Island freight houses. Below we will see weeds growing in those tracks.
Bob Lalich commented on Bill's posting
The crane was removed sometime in the 1960s. NYC's Flexi-Van service did not require a crane.
Dennis DeBruler commented on Bob's comment
It looks like a tower with a bunch of microwave horns in the background.
Bob Lalich That is Illinois Bell at the corner of Congress and Clark.

Pete Klapper shared
Rock Island RS3 #494 appears to be working the afternoon rush as it departs Chicago's LaSalle Street Station on February 18, 1968. Roger Puta photo.
Bill Edrington Great shot. Look at those NYC Flexi-Vans. Penn Central was just over two weeks old when this was taken.
Bob Lalich The Milwaukee Road transfer is an interesting detail. There were a few possible routes for such a move, all of which involved using busy interlockings such as 16th St.
Note that the two story building that would have been on the left side of this photo has been torn down.
Bill Molony posted
Rock Island EMD FP7 #404, departing from La Salle Street Station with a suburban train - 1967.
Dennis DeBruler The grass is a good indicator that the LCL (freight house) business has died. And the team tracks have been converted to Flexi-Van service. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1270038776414622/permalink/1995945483823944/
Milt Leppert Great before and after, Dennis
Dennis DeBruler Milt Leppert I was amazed that only 13 years separated the two photos. It emphasizes the impact diesel locomotives, obsolete ICC regulations, and taxpayer assisted Interstates and airports had on railroading. And photos after 1967 are even more depressing because that is the year that the US Mail cancelled its contracts with the railroads.
Milt Leppert Look at the NYC Flexi-Van site. This would later be moved over to Lumber Street adjacent to the PRR Coach Yard after the PC merger.
Bill Molony posted
New York Central passenger trains, both arriving and departing on September 2, 1967.
[Note the row of trailer wheels between the parked trailers and the train.]

Steven J. Brown posted
Rock Island SW1 4804 (built 1946 as IC 9025, became Metra 2) with RTA F40PH 107 at Roosevelt Road in Chicago - Circa 1978.
[I assume the building is a remnants of a Rock Island freight house. Freight houses are torn down to grow the piggyback yard in an attempt to compete with Interstate highways.]
William Brown shared
I believe this is the the Rock Island's Frieght House in Chicago.
Bob Lalich: Several Rock Island freight houses can be seen here, with team tracks in the middle. This view is from Roosevelt Road west of Clark St.

William Brown shared again
The back side of the Rock Island Freight House at La Salle Street Station. Four Team Tracks and a dedicated Post Office/Express Track? 30' Trailers Transferring from Cars to Freight House?

Dennis DeBruler responded to Cody Andrews' comment "I wonder what that scene looks like today? Still a railroad yard?" on William's share
All of the railyards south of the loop are now long gone.


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