Tuesday, February 19, 2019

C&E: Diversey South to Junction and Peerless Confections plus Hostess Wonder Bread

(Hostess Wonder Bread 3D Satellite, the 11-unit townhouse development on the southwest corner of Lakewood and Diversey [curbed])
(Peerless Confections Satellite, six multi-million dollar homes on the northeast corner of Lakewood and Schubert [curbed])
C&E overview;   Service north of this segment;    Chicago Switching's Lakewood Branch Photo Gallery

Given that both of these developments were done around 2008, I wonder how they fared with the housing crash of 2008.

I now understand why I have been confused, some sources gave the wrong intersection for Peerless Confections. That candy company is of interest because "It was the last remaining customer on the north part of the Milwaukee C&E [Chicago & Evanston] line." [Erik Coleman comment on a post]

It is interesting that the track is still in Lakewood Avenue all the way down past where Lakewood dead ends at Wrightwood Avenue. The track has been abandoned for over a decade now.

Judging from a Flickr photo, the Peerless building wasn't aesthetically worth saving. But it is too bad that no one could figure out how to repurpose this building into $11 million of residential living space.
Steve Winike posted
Sharon A Walker There was one on Clybourn & Southport & Webster. Now the Webster Theaters.
Charles Chamberlin Helps build strong bodies 8 ways ...
Paul Gulbransen Their slogan- good memory

Both buildings where on Lakewood in the block south of Diversey.
I've tried to organize the railfan photos from North to South.

So it is not just tank cars of corn syrup that the local was switching. I wonder if the hopper is carrying granulated sugar for Peerless or flour for Wonder Bread which is about a half-block north.
Lou Gerard posted
SOO LINE switching Peerless Confections at Lakewood and Diversey. 1989.
Andy Michalski I was probably close behind waiting for the train to leave and the wonder bread cars to leave so we could play fast-pitch against the Wonder Bread building. I grew up on Magnolia and Schubert just around the corner from this picture.

Jack Fanklin shared safe_image for Tom Burke 2007 Flickr
Remember Peerless Confection in Lincoln Park? Closed down in May of 2007. Look how the neighborhood has changed. No more freight trains going down the street going to and from Peerless. 

Bucky Buchholtz posted
Soo 2406 switching on Lakewood June 96 13
Soo 2406 switching the Peerless Confection plant on Lakewood, June 1996. This was the former Milwaukee Road C&E North Line, and Peerless was the last customer on the branch. The plant closed in 2007 and today condos line both sides of Lakewood between Schubert and Diversey (although the tracks were still there the last time I checked).
[A 1999 Flickr also shows the "candy train" pulling a green boxcar.]
Dennis DeBruler commented on Bucky's posting
The bakery was at Lakewood and Schubert in Chicago, IL. A street view shows the streets to be freshly resurfaced north of Diversey. But the tracks remain on Lakewood south of Diversey past Wrightwood. https://www.google.com/.../data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1syqi4oj...
[A Jul 2018 Street View shows there are still turnouts in the street.]
William Shapotkin posted two photos with the comment:
Here are a couple of pix of The Milwaukee Road operations along Lakewood Ave in Chicago (on the one-time Evanston Branch). Both pix were taken In Lakewood at Wrightwood Ave.
Jack Brociek pix (1970s) from the facebook page "North Side Chicago."
Mike Mihaly Janušek Is this the branch that eventually connects to the tracks on Goose Island ?
James Wagner Mike Mihaly Janušek Correct, came out of the Division St. yard and headed north. At the time the furthest we could go was Buena Park ( CTA ) in Evanston. We delivered coal to their team track, and picked up empties.

William Shapotkin shared
David Sadowski Abandoned in 2010: https://ward32.org/planning.../infrastructure/railroad/
Rick La Fever Was there an oil dealer on this line? Trying to figure out where that tank car was going.
David Hersrud Liqiud sugar theyre was a candy company at the end of the line...
Seth Lakin Are there any active industries east of the North Branch Bridge besides the scrap yard at Kingsbury and Clifton? In the mid 90’s I chased a Milwaukee paint out Soo MP15 dropping a car off at the lumber yard on Cherry St on Goose Island then heading up to pick up a empty Airslide hopper up at the candy company. Too bad I forgot to rewind the film before opening the camera door exposing all the film to daylight. There was a lot of the rotating stop sign crossing flashers along that line still operating at the time.
David Daruszka Its difficult to imagine that this line began as a suburban commuter operation in competition with the C&NW.
William Shapotkin It is my understanding that the last of the industries are gone (land is more valuable for use as overpriced (oh, excuse me, did I really say that? Of course, I really meant "deluxe") condominiums or townhouses. Additionally, the swing bridge across the North Branch of the river got struck by something and is unusable -- thus trns could not operate back there anyway.
David Daruszka The bridge by the old Finkl Steel was still operable until some scrappers stole the copper wiring for the electrical components. I believe it was fixed so Iowa Pacific to remove the remaining cars on the east side of the river. Now they are debating whether it should remain as part of proposed trail or if it should be replaced.


James Wagner commented on William's post

Lou Gerard posted
SOO LINE train on Lakewood and Schubert passing the Schubert Inn. 1989.
Bradford Smith It had been a double track line.
Fred Van Dorpe Just a few blocks from my house! They ran every Tuesday and Thursdays, I remember seeing them many times on the way to and from grade school. Ive heard stories about the conductor having to push grocery carts out of the train's way when it went by Treasure Island just North of Clybourn Ave. And many many times they had to stop and wait because sometimes parked cars were in the trains way, (especially at Lake Shore Athletic club) and a tow truck and the police had to come. A train waiting for cars and dodging shopping carts, truely one of the most unique operations in the country and one I would die to see again!
Jonathan Billig So, this was the famous "Sugar Train" that Geoffrey Baer talked about in one of his WTTW shows?
Jeff Gressick there was so much industry in that neighborhood ...now its all gone!

Kevin Murphy shared
[There are lots of informative comments on this posting. Fortunately, the group switched from Closed to Public.]
Lance Grey commented on Lou's post

Rob Olewinski Cmraseye posted
Miss this....Lakewood & Wrightwood 2008
Chuck Janda Hard to believe that “incident” was 12 years ago!
Charlie Benoit What was the purpose of moving a private car this far north, route inspection?
Rob Olewinski Cmraseye I believe the intention was to 'remind' the politicians and the neighborhood that this was still a 'live' railroad, even though Peerless was gone. Both the City and the neighbors were starting to treat it as 'abandoned', and the owner did not want it forfeited.
Steve Kraus https://flic.kr/p/7HCBVr
Charlie Benoit Rob Olewinski Cmraseye I have some pictures from when they parked those tankers on goose island back in 2017, I think that was the final incident like that. I was downtown for work and did a double take when I drove by those lines of tankers. Pulled a quick u turn and got my pictures while I could. Tore up some of the asphalt something fierce in spots.
Rob Olewinski Cmraseye more of the CTRR...many here have seen this album before. https://www.flickr.com/.../cmraseye/albums/72157606971190689

Charlie Benoit Trying to gauge interest, I have been considering writing a book on the subject of street running, shared ROW and industrial railroading in Chicago. Would this be of interest to Chicago railfans? Is there a current volume that specifically covers this topic?
Dennis DeBruler I'm more interested in trains that switch the last mile than trains that grind out 100s of miles across the country.
Dennis DeBruler Are you aware of the Chicago Switching site?

Lou Gerard posted
SOO LINE train crossing Fullerton at the Lake Shore Athletic Club, 1989.
Michael O'Connor We used to drink at the Schubert Inn. We would double park on Lakewood in front of the bar. When the Hostess factory on Diversey was getting a delivery of flour or sugar or corn syrup, the engineer would put up just so far, give a blast of the horn and we would all go out and move our cars so he could cross Schubert and make his delivery. In fact there was almost alway a lone tank car at a siding on the NE corner of Lakewood and Schubert.
Lou Gerard Those tank cars were for the Peerless Candy factory.
Marc Gelfond The Lakewood spur, gone but not forgotten.
James Connelly the train come on tuesday up until a few years ago. there was a breakman on the front opening the locked chain on thepath starting at clyborne going past treasure island ,the workout club on fullerton, past the bar till it hit the factory. the brake man then would run back to re lock the path. fun chicahgo stuff
Philip Berger I wrote this piece about the freight line for the Reader almost 25 years ago - interesting story http://www.chicagoreader.com/.../industrial.../Content...
John Holden I used to be a member of that club then and remember well when we could not park on that side of the lot on the days when the trains came through. Oh do have some of our great industrial past back!

Bucky Buchholtz posted
Milwaukee Road C&E North Line switcher at C&E Junction on Kingsbury- the crew is trying to get the switch points to throw all the way back, a frequent problem at this location with the scrap yard right there. July, 1986.

My notes also had this comment, but I can't determine to which post it belongs:
Ray Carl i remember this as a kid. served Peerless Candy among many others on Lakewood. Wonder Bread's original Chicago Bakery was on the West side across from Peerless. when Hodgkins was built along the BNSF line this became just a route garage and bakery store. Chicago Terminal took over the line before most of it was torn up due to the city changing the area to residential.

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