Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Crossing gate operators tower on 51st Street. October 1983.
This is yet another example of late surviving steam era technology. This is a crossing gate operators tower from many decades ago. Grand Trunk Western railroad's Elsdon Yard in Chicago Illinois was a busy 14 track freight train yard on 51st Street between South Lawndale Avenue to the west, and South St. Louis Avenue on the east end. During busy times, there were many back and forth switching moves to be made in this old steam era railroad yard, requiring an alert crossing gate operator. These crossing gates were controlled manually. When I visited Elsdon Yard on this beautiful early october day in 1983, I was informed by different railroad crew members, that this was the last week of operation for the crossing gate towers, the yard, and enginehouse facilities. They said to Me, "Get those photos now while You can". I'm glad I did. I only wish that I had more film and time to come back again. One week after I photographed this scene, the crossing gate operators tower seen here, was "Demolished". This view is looking north from 51st Street, just east of Lawndale Avenue. Say goodbye GTW.