Sunday, June 6, 2021

B&O, B&OCT, CGW and Pere Marquette freight houses along the south branch

(no Satellite because these railroad facilities are long gone. These facilities were on the east side of the South Branch between Harrison and Roosevelt.)

The straightening of the river in the 1930s had a big impact on the B&O facilities in downtown Chicago.

I start with after the straightening because I have just one photo of that. And because this material was moved from the Roosevelt Road Bridge post.

I used the bridge in the background of this photo to determine where this B&OCT locomotive was running. Once I identified the bascule bridge as the Roosevelt Road Bridge, I remembered that the B&OCT was the terminal railroad for the Grand Central Station, and B&OCT had tracks on the east side of the South Branch from their bridge to the station. This freight house was built after the river was straightened and did not yet exist in the 1938 aerial photo. B&OCT had several small freight houses that fed LCL freight to B&OCT's main classification freight house. It has the classical design for a freight house --- a multi-story building with lots of windows at one end for the office workers that is attached to a one-story freight handling building. In the days of LCL freight, there were no computers, so it took a lot of office workers to help process the paper work. Each boxcar had a folder that contained the waybills of the containers that were in that boxcar. After the LCL freight was sorted in Chicago to a destination train, the conductor on that road train would get these folders along with the waybills for the carload traffic. They would have to determine from the waybills in the folders which containers were to be dropped at which depot along the route. These containers could range from a refrigerator sent by a mail-order house such as Sears to a plow. Remember, in the 1800s everything came to town on the railroad. That is why depots had a passenger weighting room on one side and a freight handling room on the other side. The depot was the life blood of the town.
Scott Griffith posted
Les Wuollett Waiting at dwarf signal for line up to GCS. Probably to pull passenger train to Lincoln St coach yard.

Now back to the early 1900s.
MWRD posted
The South Branch of the Chicago River looking north from an area near Taylor Street in Chicago, Illinois, on November 8, 1908.

Dennis DeBruler commented on MWRD's post
The building along the right was one of the B&O freight houses.
https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4104cm.g01790190601S/?sp=80

Since I'm learning how to use the LoC's collection of Sanborn Maps, I checked out the map to the north, 71. The GTW freight house is along the river and Pere Marquette has one sandwiched between the GTW freight house and the train shed of Grand Central Station.
https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4104cm.g01790190601S/?sp=72

I shared the MWRD post with another group, but Facebook won't give me to the link to it. :-(



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