Wednesday, May 31, 2006

GTW Elsdon Yard locomotive service tracks. The last week in operation. October 1983.

This photograph is another example of a rare -
right time / right place encounter. I was off of school for 3 weeks due to a Chicago Teachers Union strike, and decided to spend a casual afternoon on location shooting railfan photographs. Unfortunately, I had found out that the Grand Trunk Western railroad was in the process of closing Chicago's Elsdon Yard, and relocating their activities to the Belt Railway of Chicago's Clearing yard at 70th Street and Central Avenue in the village of Bedford Park Illinois. I was informed by a few railroad crew members that this was the "Last week" of operation for the yard on 51st street and the 1914 steam era roundhouse at 49th Street and Kedzie Avenue on Chicago's Southwest side. The locomotives to the left are idling next to a sanding tower. The engines to the right are by a fueling service track. The red covered hopper car behind the left side locomotives is used for hauling dry sand. One week later, this location was deserted. The roundhouse and property sat abandoned until 1987. A strip mall now occupies the site seen here. I was indeed, paying My last respects to a place I loved.

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