Thursday, February 28, 2019

C&E: South of North Avenue

C&E overview;  Chicago Switching's Kingsbury Branch Photo Gallery

After this overview map to provide context, I start with a collection of photos taken while the lower dotted line was still in service. Then I do a detailed analysis of how the C&E ran from North Avenue to the Milwaukee tracks on the west side of the Chicago River.

These photos are ordered from north to south.

Lou Gerard posted
The Conductor throws the switch so the Division St. job on Kingsbury St. in Chicago can go in a get a car out of the Midwest Zinc siding with caboose #5. October 1989.
Lou Gerard posted two photos with the comment: "SOO LINE GP9 2550 on Kingsbury south of North Ave. in 1996. A large Whole Foods Market now occupies the area to the left."

Dennis DeBruler commented on Lou's post
The rail is still exposed north of North Ave. Since the last customer on Goose Island quit using the rail and since General Iron uses barges, I don't think there are any customers left on any of the remnants of the Chicago & Evanston. I went out on about the last warmish weekend in December (2015) to see what rails were left.
The tracks did stop on the north side of North Ave.
20151212 7498
Several more photos of switching Midwest Zinc,    Flickr1,    Flickr2

John David Larson posted
A Soo Line switcher "street running" in Chicago south of North Avenue in 1999. Even though Chicago is still the nation's railroad capitol actual freight service in the city like this had all but vanished by this date - and might be completely gone by now.
[The last remnant of the C&E, on Goose Island, was abandoned in Feb 2018.]

Mark Llanuza posted   (source)
Its 1987 Milwaukee Rd Goose Island branch Milwaukee Rd MP-15 is at Halstead and Division street.
Brandon McShane The old Ogden Avenue viaduct passing overhead.
Michael Plumeri Looking East. It's all gone now. Odgen ave bridge was a great short cut from North ave to the Chicago Stadium.
Tom Schultz derailments in the city really sucked also had a few doors fall off in the Chicago put traffic to a stop Truck driver knew how to drive through front yards and side walks to get to them then winch them up and get to nearest dumpster that's where they ended up. Derailments meant we were going to have some ones electric shut off for safety reasons.

Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1987 Former Milwaukee Rd MP-15 switches at Wards near Erie street in Chicago IL .This was the Milwaukee Rd Goose Island branch.

Mark Llanuza posted
Its 1987 former Milwaukee Rd MP-15 is at Erie st in Chicago IL switching the goose Island branch.
The first part of the route to the south is easy to trace because it did street running down Kingsbury Street.
.pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report
It then turned south at Larrabee Street.
.pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report

We can not only see diagonal sides on old buildings, we can see that new buildings are built on a diagonal because they were built in the abandoned right-of-way where C&E angled over from Larrabee south of Superior back to Kingsbury south of Erie Street. It again followed Kingsbury until it got south of Grand Avenue where it curved west. The track went over a bridge just north of Kinzie to join Milwaukee's mainline that went south to Union Station.
.pdf copy from 1915 Smoke Abatement Report
The smoke abatement report omits some of the yard tracks that were south of Grand. This photo shows that Milwaukee occupied most of the land from Grand to Kinzie between Kingsbury and the river.
Copyleft (CC BY-NC-ND): Copelin Commercial Photographers,
"Bridges, viaducts, and underpasses: Ashland Ave. and Belmont Ave., Image 2",
James S. Parker and Chicago Photography (University of Illinois at Chicago)

William Russ posted a different exposure
[The road bridges are Kinzie in the foreground, Grand in the middle and Erie in the left background.]

Paul Petraitis shared
Jeff Bransky commented on William's post
David H. Nelson commented on Paul's share
The East Bank Club was one of the first gentrification conversions of railroad land along the North Branch. When it was built, it had just a blank wall on the river side. It became a textbook example of how not to develop land along the river. I see they have since worked on their river side.
Street View
Where Kingsbury joined Larrabee, the C&E went past the Montgomery Ward Warehouse.
Street View
On the north side of the warehouse, there were industrial spurs that served the warehouse.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP at photo resolution
And this is what the East Bank Club land used to look like.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP at photo resolution

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

My first computer, a Heathkit H-89

Jim Wynne commented on a post
A Zenith Z-89
Dennis DeBruler My first computer was the Heathkit version of this design. I believe it was an H-89. There was definitely some assembly required. I paid more for that computer than any other computer that I have bought. I also had the external floppy drive and the printer. Now if I can just find a photo of an AT&T 3B1 Unix computer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Ingersoll Companies in Rockford, IL

Ingersoll Machine Tools: (Satellite)
Ingersoll Cutting Tool: (Satellite)

Winthrop Ingersoll assumed control of a milling machine company in Cleveland, OH in 1890. In 1891, he "relocated to Rockford, Illinois, one of the country’s burgeoning new industrial centers. Ingersoll’s first Rockford plant, which employed 19 people, cost $12,000." In 1903, "Ingersoll creates the worlds largest Milling Machine for General Electric. It weighs 400,000 lbs and represented a major accomplishment for such a young upstart company. The Great Depression didn't slow Ingersoll down. In 1935 Ingersoll builds one of the first machines to automatically transfer engine blocks from one machining station to another." [history]

Per a comment below, in the early 21st Century, "the company split into two separate companies, Ingersoll Machine Tools and Ingersoll Cutting Tools Company."

Some of the videos indicate that they can also replace the milling head with heads that can do 3D-printing, inspection, and adding layers to build carbon fiber (composite structure) parts.

I learned about Ingersoll Machine Tools from a Facebook posting of 1947 photos that I include at the end of these notes where there should be space in the sidebar for the original sized images. The company has a Facebook page. That page has this video that demonstrates the "Largest Gantry AFPM."
Screenshot @ -1:22

I never did figure out what an "AFPM" is. I doubt it is the Google search results of "American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufactures." I think the "music" in that video is painful. I sat through the audio once to confirm that no information is lost by hitting the mute button.

This video shows they machined the pressure vessel for the Orion Spacecraft. There is no need to mute this video because it doesn't have any audio.
Screenshot @-0:14, cropped

(new window)  A video about a solar telescope they evidently built. It has a pleasant sound track.

Lost Illinois Manufacturing posted
1956 and what was proclaimed the largest mill in the world, Ingersoll and its bridge mill in Rockford.
Jim Ritchie .. what Ingersoll did and HOW they did it will never be replicated under one roof again ....Joseph Kole Overnite Transport Co...Now a UPS Co.Jim Ritchie piston turning machines - tank turrent / body milling machines - air craft wing spar mills - composite tape laying machines - oil well pipe turning machines - aluminum scalpers - milling machines for machining steam turbine shells - high speed routers for machining airplane composite floors - milling machines for automotive body dies - milling machine's for rough machining in steel mills - locomotive engine block machining systems - drilling systems for air craft wing structures - linear motor ( they built there own ) high speed aluminum routers with 30 - 40000 rpm hydrodynamic bearing spindles ( also built their own spindles ) - custom cutter bodys for the machining systems they built.Jim Ritchie Adverage part lot size in the machine shop was 3 -------- % 70 which will never be repeated againJim Ritchie Style of mill in the picture .. table was a hydrostatic lift .... part weight limits available the other side of 200000 lbs .... overhead crane capaticy usually was the determining factor. ( your responsible for the foundation )
The following three videos were suggested by Jim Ritchie.

(new window)  A lot of scenes are rather confusing. But some are very informative.

(new window) At 1:55, the robot arm I had noticed started working. Look at its rack of cutting tools that it can choose from. These videos make me appreciate that I do a pretty good job of holding a camera steady during a video.

(new window)

(new window)


Lost Illinois Manufacturing shared three images from the 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia.



Lost Illinois Manufacturing shared
Josh Franks They did just make a 3D printer that produced the largest 3D scale product in the world. It was a boat made by a university in Maine.
Kevin J Ross Michael Hilstad massive engine block on right side of picture. Possibly for a locomotive?

Lost Illinois Manufacturing commented on Kevin's comment
Good eye. I missed that. Probably a Diesel for a locomotive. 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia ad.

Steve OConnor posted five photos with the comment: "Jeff Ahrstrom, COO of Ingersoll proved to be a super nice guy. After viewing some posts I did on Ingersoll in the Rockford Made It Facebook page, Jeff invited me over for a tour of Ingersoll's plant. All I can say is WOW."
Jeff Ahrmstrom shaking hands with me. I was quite honored to be invited.

Aircraft wing panel machined from a solid slab of aluminum.

The new 40,000 square foot high bay where the 1,800 ton mount for the Magellan telescope will be built.
Penny Abbott: That's what they are known for unique machining and complex applications. My dad worked there for over 30 years when it was family owned.

A section of a new machine that Ingersoll is developing.

An intricate part machined from a solid aluminum billet.

Monday, February 25, 2019

1899 CSX/C&O New River Bridge near Prince, WV

(Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges; B&T, BlogSatellite)

ORDERS Construction

Walter Langston shared his post with the comment: "the train trestle and hiway bridge prince west Virginia new river is flooding." I include his photos of the bridge built in 2015 because its piers look so spindly compared to the lateral force they have to endure. I wonder how deep bedrock is here.





I used street view to see the height of a normal river flow. The street view is older than 2015 because traffic is still routed over the old bridge. But I was able to find a location on the bridge so that I could see all three piers between the truss members.
Street View
Another data point as to the normal river level.
David Storey, this site has four more photos of the bridge

ORDERS Construction

ORDERS Construction
A reason the C&O built in this difficult terrain.
Island Creek coal facility near Prince, WV, 1969 -Donald Haskel
[Doing a Google search finds results for Holden, WV; but not Prince, WV.]

Saturday, February 23, 2019

IC: Overview: Maps, First Segments and Employee Pamphlets

I started this IC history years ago. I came across this timetable map that I want to record somewhere in my notes. So I decided to add the map to this draft and publish what I had written.

Bill Molony posted
From the March 30, 1969 timetable.

Bill Molony posted
The original charter of the Illinois Central, granted by the Illinois Legislature on February 10, 1851, authorized a railroad from Cairo, in the southern tip of the state, to East Dubuque in the northwest corner. A branch line was to extend from Centralia,, north to Chicago for a total distance, including both lines of seven hundred and five miles, more than twice the distance of any other railroad then existing.
The charter lines were completed in 1856, with the final rail spiked down on September 27th, of that year a few miles south of Effingham. The first scheduled Illinois Central passenger train pulled into Cairo on January 1st, 1857.

Judy Goby Oxtoby commented on a post, at Facebook resolution

I have researched some of the branches that were discarded by ICG in the 1980s.
As early as 1833 plans for a north-south railroad through Illinois were considered as a part of an internal improvement. But the Panic of 1837 put those plans on hold until 1850 when Illinois was awarded the first land grant authorized by Congress. Illinois Central received 2,005,095 [La Salle History, p35] acres of land. [ChicagoHistory indicates 2,600,000 acres.] The IC was charted in 1851 to build a line up the center of the state (thus the name of the railroad) from Cairo to the north at  Freeport, IL, and then turn West to Galena. The I&M Canal had just opened in 1848 and Galena, a river town, was still more important than Chicago. But with the advent of the canal and the Galena & Chicago Union RR, Chicago was quickly growing to be more important. So the IC also built a "branch" from Centralia to Chicago. The originally chartered trunk line was also known as the "Old Main" and the "Gruber line".

The trunk was completed in September 1856 at 705 miles, and the branch had been opened in 1855. When completed, the IC was the longest railroad in the world [tdf23]. Given the completion dates, I speculate that by the mid 1850s, it was already recognized that the originally chartered route was a mistake but it was finished to avoid loosing the land grants. The railroad operated a steamboat line between Cairo and New Orleans. [IChistorical]

Pre-1967 plus Paint
The map on the right is a summary. The yellow line is the chartered route, the green line is the branch, and the orange line is the first two segments constructed by the IC described below by La Salle History, p35.

The Illinois Central was chartered in 1851. The La Salle-Bloommgton line of the railroad was surveyed in the summer of 1851 under the general direction of Colonel Roswell B. Mason, chief engineer, and under the immediate direction of Timothy B. Blackstone, division engineer, who later figured prominently in railway developments in Illinois. Mr. Blackstone, a native of Connecticut, was one of the organizers and the first president of the Union Stock Yards and Transit Company of Chicago, the company which was largely instrumental in making Chicago the world's largest livestock and meat packing center. The Blackstone Hotel, Blackstone Avenue, and the Blackstone Memorial Library, all of Chicago, perpetuate his memory. In 1854, Mr. Blackstone was elected the second mayor of La Salle; he served one term.
Among the young men who came from New England with Mr. Blackstone was Grenville M. Dodge, who later became an outstanding general in the Civil War. Mr. Dodge also d'rected the building of many of the Western railroads including the Union Pacific, the first railroad to span the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Dodge, when he was in La Salle with the Illinois Central, was a young man of about twenty years of age, and the Illinois Central was his first railway employment. He married Miss Anne Brown of Peru.
The Illinois Central through La Salle is a part of the original main line which was opened between the Illinois River and Bloomington on May 16, 1853, and between the Illinois River and Mendota on November 14th of the same year. The opening of the line between La Salle and Bloomington marked the beginning of Illinois Central train service. The conductor in charge of that first train was A. D. Abbott who also served as United States mail agent handling the mail in bags between La Salle and Bloomington. Mail was heavy over this route because it formed a part of the first rail route for mail between Chicago and St. Louis, and it carried the mail also between Chicago and down-river points including Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, and New Orleans. The sixty-mile run between La Salle and Bloomington required four hours.

Today the "branch" still exists, but the Old Main was abandoned by 1990. A small segment near La Salle, including the impressive bridge across the Illinois River Valley, is still operational because a cement company bought it.

Satellite plus paint
(Unfortunately, I did not record my reference for this information.)
  • Red: In September 1981, Junction City to Assumption part was abandoned.
  • Purple: In 1984, the Maroa to Clinton section was torn up along with the Heyworth to El Paso section part.
  • Black: In 1986, the Freeport to El Paso segment was pulled up.
  • Blue: In 1990, the part between Decatur and Maroa was pulled up.
Below are some references I came across while researching the IC. Since it is obvious that I won't write more history myself, I simply record the references.

Detailed history:

What's left system map:

Track Profiles:

1980 tonnage:

Repeating the key to reduce the amount of scrolling needed to interpret the southern abandonments:
  • Red: In September 1981, Junction City to Assumption part was abandoned.
  • Purple: In 1984, the Maroa to Clinton section was torn up along with the Heyworth to El Paso section part.
  • Black: In 1986, the Freeport to El Paso segment was pulled up.
  • Blue: In 1990, the part between Decatur and Maroa was pulled up.
Bill Molony posted
This map of the Illinois Central Railroad is from 1921.
Raymond Barr No Edgewood Cutoff yet!
Raymond Barr Carbondale was the heart of Southern Illinois lines.

Kirk Reynolds posted
This map of Illinois Central's predecessor lines was issued by the Engineering Dept. on July 31, 1971. I scanned it in high resolution to make it easier to read the data.
Randy James This was produced after the merger. (Post august 9th 1972) Note the solid i ball rail logo, which was illinois central gulf's.
Richard A. I. Carlson Actually it is pre-merger. The merger occurred in 1972, the map is dated 1971. In addition the former GM&O lines are not shown. It might have been developed (and had the logo added) as part of the merger studies however.
Kirk Reynolds I uploaded it in the files section of this page so you can download it from there.
Download .jpg File
I include this excerpt to show the higher resolution of the file and because I was not aware the Peoria, Decature & Evansville had a spur to New Harmony.
An excerpt from the downloadable file
I also included the first part of the directory with a higher resolution. Click the image and save it so you can pan and scan it with your favorite photo viewer.
An excerpt from the downloadable file

Bill Molony posted
This map of the Illinois Central is from the April 30, 1967 timetable.
Randy James The ic had trackage rights over the gm&o out of Jackson tn to corinth ms, where they had their trackage from corinth to haleyville al and from there they had trackage rights over the southern to jasper al. where they then had trackage rights over the Frisco into Birmingham, from there it was over the central of Georgia to albany Georgia, then over the seaboard to albany ga, then over the Atlantic coast line to Jacksonville & on the way to miami.
Andre Kristopans Randy James the Florida trains out of Chicago were all multi-railroad thru train operations. Not the same as trackage rights. Trackage rights would mean crews from one railroad operating over the tracks of another, as was the case of IC into Birmingham. A train running thru is a totally different matter. For instance, BNSF runs coal unit trains to Detroit area from Montana that are turned over to GTW in Chicago power and all, and empties come back the same way. But that is a thru train, not trackage rights.

A 1948 employee pamphlet (source)

Jon Roma posted, cropped
Here is a document issued by the IC, dated September 1, 1967, showing the method of signal system in use on each portion of railroad.
Scott Rogers Yes, interesting map. With all traffic that used to go via Grenada between Memphis and Jackson now running via Yazoo City (including Amtrak), was signalling installed via Yazoo City?
Joe Marascalco Scott Rogers CTC was installed on the Yazoo District in 1994-1995.
Jon Roma Scott Rogers, yes. Signaling was added to the Yazoo District route in the Nineties. Prior to this period, it was dark railroad but was the primary freight route due to more favorable grades. After Amtrak was switched to the Yazoo route, some of the signaling on the Grenada District was retired.
Joe Marascalco Jon Roma The old ABS on the Grenada District remained active until after CN sold it. They deactivated it between Grenada and Canton in 2010. It was deactivated between Memphis and Grenada in either 2014 or 2015. It’s still active between Canton and Jackson.
Scott Rogers I grew up near Freeport and used to live in Cedar Falls on the Iowa Division. Cab signals and ATS between Waterloo and Ft Dodge always seemed like an unusual place for it.
Jon Roma Scott Rogers, in 1922 the Interstate Commerce Commision (the predecessor of the Federal Railroad Administration) ordered most of the major railroads of the country to install an automatic train stop, automatic train control, or cab signal system on one crew district. The order was later amended in some cases to add a second crew district.
The IC chose which divisions were to be equipped, and they chose the Champaign District – Champaign, IL to Branch Jct. (Centralia), IL and Waterloo and Ft. Dodge, IA. In so doing, the IC selected two districts with different characteristics. The Illinois installation was directional double-track, and the Iowa installation was bi-directional single track.
Harold J. Krewer Neat little slice in time: There are just two small pieces of CTC in service east of Waterloo and west of Freeport (CTC would extend over the entire district soon thereafter) and the small section of ABS on the Gruber in the Yard Limits between LaSalle and Oglesby is still shown in service. It would be gone by the time I was old enough to go take photos of IC trains in LaSalle.
Jon Roma There was also a small island of CTC in Clinton, IL where tracks went in six directions. There was also Springfield to Divernon CTC. All told, IC was very late to the CTC game with the exception of the big installations between Otto and Gilman, Stuenkel and KX, and between Ballard and Fulton in Kentucky.
Chris Balducci Were passenger trains allowed to travel 80 or faster between Waterloo and Fort Dodge?
Chris Goepel IC Iowa Division employee timetable of April 29, 1951, showed passenger train maximum authorized speed over the Waterloo District (with ATS) as 70 mph.
Mike Bartels Jim Boyd wrote about the Land O'Corn, which dropped the coaches in Waterloo and went on to Fort Dodge with the mail, doing over 100 one night approaching Iowa Falls, where they really had to pinch her down for a curve.
Jon Roma Chris Balducci, I do not believe so, but I can't say I am familiar with that part of the IC. To be honest, I don't know if the civil infrastructure of the IC's lines in Iowa would or would not have supported such speeds.
Also, bear in mind that the ICC's 1922 mandate was NOT tied to any speed restrictions in territory lacking train stop or similar systems. That piece of regulation did not take effect until the late Forties, by which time the ATS had been in place for 25 years.
The Iowa ATS survived long enough to serve the Chicago Central & Pacific during their short history; when the IC bought the Iowa properties back, among the capital improvements they made was to update the signaling – and in so doing, to eliminate the ATS. I regret not ever going out to see it, but I had ATS territory right in my own back yard in Champaign, IL.
Randy James Funny it shows the section of gm&o trackage(Jackson TN to Corinth Ms) that the IC used to run it's passenger trains over, namely the city of miami ,Seminole and Chicago to Birmingham through freights, shows it was dark territory but in reality it was equipped with abs, to at least russlor junction (Corinth Ms), I grew up on this section of trackage in the early 80's & remember seeing the abs signals right behind my backyard in South Jackson TN

Dave Durham posted an employee pamphlet dated June 20, 1921.