Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Grand Trunk Western railroad Elsdon Depot on 51st Street. October 1983.

This is a last look photograph I took in October 1983, of the GTW Elsdon Depot in Chicago Illinois on west 51st Street. This beautiful wooden victorian era 2 story train station was built in 1888. I had attended nearby Curie High School just 5 blocks west of here from 1977 to 1981, and frequently hung out at Elsdon Yard after school. It was an old fashioned railfan paradise from the steam era, with many pleasant surprises to be seen. Although no longer used for passenger service, the depot was a yard office and crew headquarters. The yards dispatcher worked in the old station building as well. It was definately a much simpler time back then. The GTW crews were friendly and the Atmosphere was relaxed. They said that I could go ahead and take My photographs, but "Please" be careful.
This lovely old train station was in its last week of operation. In November, it was "Demolished".
Elsdon Yard and station was a wonderful place, and I miss it to this day. Some of the former GTW Elsdon Yard property has since been redeveloped into other Real Estate uses.

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.

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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

View from the vestibule of an Amtrak Superliner coach. July 1982.

Hello everybody!
Welcome once again to Eddie's Railfan Page. This photograph was taken of Myself in the year of 1982 BC . (Before contacts) Here I am riding in the vestibule of an Amtrak train that was being demonstrated, at the 1982 Chicago Amtrak Family Days celebration. This unique one time only event, was an enjoyable experience. In this photograph, We are moving south at a quick pace to Kensington Junction at 115th and Cottage Grove, on Chicago's southeast side. I was a young 20 year old railfan, who had just recently started taking railroad photographs on location. I never had any idea whatsoever back then, that I would be laying out the groundwork for My future blog site that you are enjoying today. Wow!

Creative Advertising. June 1983.

While not necesarily a train photograph, I couldn't resist the temptation to post this. This is a view taken from Kedzie Avenue around 73rd Street on Chicago's southwest side. As the advertising on the fuel tank indicates...This is the "Nabisco" factory where Chips Ahoy cookies are baked. Just west of here along the Belt Railway of Chicago tracks, is a favorite past photo location known as "Hayford Junction". On My numerous photographic visits to Hayford Junction, The time I spent waiting for the different freight trains to pass, found the air smelling nicely with the distinct aroma of freshly baked cookies. Sometimes those visits to Hayford Junction would make Me very hungry. Mmmmmm!

Santa Fe tower building. October 1988.

This photograph of yet another fallen railroad landmark in Chicago Illinois, was photographed in October of 1988. This view is looking west on 41st Street toward Kedzie Avenue on Chicago's southwest side, in the Brighton Park neighborhood community. This building was originally the Crane Plumbing Supply warehouse. The Atchitson Topeka and Santa Fe railroad in their adjacent Corwith Yard took over this building sometime during the 1970's. The round Santa Fe logo, was originally a large clock with the word "Crane" below it. The Santa Fe merged with the Burlington Northern railroad in 1995, and I believe that it was around that time, that the old Santa Fe tower building was demolished. This property today, is now being used to store and move truck trailers and intermodal containers.

Grand Trunk Western Railroad transfer cabooses. October 1983.

This photograph was taken in early October of 1983, at the GTW Elsdon Yard in Chicago Illinois. This view looking northeast from 51st Street, east of Lawndale Avenue, is showing a pair of GTW "Transfer Cabooses". A transfer caboose, is a special duty "Utility caboose" used mainly on switching locals serving the many industrial districts around large citties such as Chicago. A transfer caboose is pretty much a flatcar with a shack on top of it. They were mostly homade by the many different railroads. Usually in their own shops. Each railroad that used these seemed to have their own unique design. They were great for situations requiring numerous "Back up movements", during switching operations. In England and many parts of Europe, Cabooses are known as "Brake Vans".

Friday, May 26, 2006

Steam train at the Milwaukee County Zoo. September 1987.

We are at one of the zoo train stations at the Milwaukee County Zoo in the Milwaukee Wisconsin area. This zooalogical park, wich is located in west suburban "Brookfield Wisconsin"
is a fun and pleasant place to visit with family.
The steam locomotive seen here, is a large scale replica, of a Soo Line railroad 4-6-2 Pacific type passenger steam locomotive. This locomotive features 4 lead truck wheels -6 driving wheels -
and 2 trailing truck wheels to support the weight of the large firebox. Hence 4-6-2. These types were referred to in the steam era as "Pacifics"
and were used almost exclusively in Passenger train service. these locomotives were fast and powerful. Some railroads used them in limited freight service toward the end of the steam era in the United States and Canada.

Diesel replica train at the Milwaukee County Zoo. September 1987.

This photograph was taken in early September of 1987 at the Milwaukee county zoo in Wisconsin.
The zoo railroad operates on 15 inch guage track. The gasoline powered locomotive appears to be a reasonable facsimile of an EMD GP-7 Diesel locomotive.
Interesting facts and simularities:
Chicago Illinois has 2 zooalogical parks.
#1. The lincoln park zoo in metropolitan Chicago.
#2. The Brookfield zoo wich is located in west
suburban "Brookfield Illinois.

Milwaukee Wisconsin has only one main zoo wich is the Milwaukee county zoo. The Milwaukee County zoo is also located in one of the citties western suburbs, wich just happens to be "Brookfield Wisconsin". Chicago's Brookfield zoo had a Zoo Train from 1967 to 1985. Milwaukee still has a zoo train, and it is very alive and well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Welcome aboard the Tiger Bus. September 2000.

Hello everybody!
Welcome aboard Eddie's Railfan Page. Today is "Bus Day" here at My blog site. This photograph was taken in September of 2000 at the Midwest Transit Bus Museum.
Here I am posing with RTA #890 aka "The Tiger Bus" at the Cresthill Illinois location near the city of Joliet. Some of the buses at the museum were operable, and some weren't. Some of these transit treasures had diesel engines, and some didn't. The tiger bus did and runs wonderfully after all these years. I got to drive the tiger bus and a few others on museum property under supervision. The Tiger Bus is originally a 1967 GMC transit coach from the West Towns Bus Company, wich was a pre RTA -pre Pace suburban bus company from the greater Chicagoland area many years ago. This bus was hand painted to promote Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. "No Decals!"

Eastbound Milwaukee Avenue CTA bus near Niles Illinois. March 2002.

An inbound Chicago Transit Authority 1991 Flxible Metro transit coach has just left the West Terminal at Milwaukee Avenue and Imlay Street on Chicago's far Northwest side, and is heading for downtown Chicago during a late winter afternoon rush hour. This photograph was taken at the corners of Milwaukee -Devon -and Nagle Avenues on a sunny but cold weekday afternoon in March of 2002. This location is approximately a mile or so southwest of the village of "Niles Illinois", near the Chicago City Limits.

Early location for the Midwest Transit Bus Museum. Berkeley Illinois. June 1990.

This private Industrial storage lot in Northwest Suburban "Berkeley Illinois", was one of the original locations for a group of bus collectors, known as "The Midwest Transit Bus Museum".
After a few moves, the group moved it's collection to the town of "Crest Hill" Illinois in the Joliet area on another rental storage lot. The retired RTA bus seen here, is a 1967 GMC transit coach originally from the "West Towns Bus Company". During the 1970's, the succesor company RTA painted it into this unique Tiger Stripe scheme with markings promoting Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. This bus is nicknamed the "Tiger Bus" by the group members. Sitting behind the cyclone chain link fence, the bus itself looks very much like a Brookfield Zoo exhibit.

Eastbound 111th Street bus. August 1990.

An eastbound Chicago Tansit Authority bus has just left the west terminal approximately 2 blocks away from here, and is proceeding east. The bus in the photograph is a 1985 M.A.N Transit bus from the country formerly known as "West Germany". This bus is passing the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences just behind Me. We are in the Chicago Neighborhood Community known as "Mount Greenwood" on Chicago's Southwest side, near the border of Suburban "Oaklawn Illinois". I have had many enjoyable visits to this "Outpost" community near the Chicago City Limits.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

View of tracks from the La Grange Road station. June 1986.

Hello everybody!
Once again, welcome aboard Eddie's Railfan Page. Today we will explore some different mainline and branchline railroad lines both "In" and "Around" the City of Chicago Illinois as it was during the Mid 1980's. Railfanning Chicago back then really had a "Lot" going for it in some places. Other places however, were not so lucky. Some of the things photographed on todays edition, have unfortunately since "Vanished". So please fellow railfans...'Don't make My mistakes"..Never take any favorite train viewing location for granted. Progress and real estate values have a way of "Sneeking Up" on You when you may least expect it. Todays industrial branchline, could easily become tommorows Bicycle path -Ciy Park -or Housing development.

Thank You.

Belt Railway of Chicago track inspectors truck. August 1986.

We are facing east at 49th Street and Lawndale Avenue on Chicago's Southwest side. This seen would be greatly altered in a few years, as the area to the left of the Track Inspectors pick up truck...would soon become the embankment for the Chicago Transit Authority's "Orange Line" rapid transit to Midway airport. Behind the bushes in front of the factory to the left, were the tracks to the Indianna Harbor Belt Railroads Chicago Stockyards Industrial branchline, wich unfortunately was in badly deteriorating shape. IHB abandoned this line in late 1988, and began using the adjacent BRC track shown in this photograph. The IHB right of way would be redeveloped into parking lots and embankment. The belt railway track in the forground is still here and in use, but this view is changed. Notice the "Hi-Rai Wheels" wich when lowered, allow ordinary vehicles to run on railroad tracks.

Southbound Belt Railway of Chicago switching local. March 1987.

A 1950's vintage EMD SW -Series diesel switcher is seen heading southbound on a switching local to the Belt Railway of Chicago's Clearing Yard. This old black -yellow and gray color scheme was definately a classic for railfans to enjoy. The color scheme was very nice, but I enjoyed the corporate logo as well.

Westbound Burlington Northern Railroad freight train at La Grange Illinois. June 1986.

A set of EMD GP-50 diesel locomotives, wearing an experimental "Tiger Stripe" color scheme, is seen pulling an Intermodal train through La Grange Illinois in June of 1986. We are looking east from the south plattform, at the La Grange Illinois commuter train station. This depot is located in western suburban La Grange Illinois on Route #12 / #45 La Grange Road. The tiger stripe scheme was only applied on the Burlington Northern's GP-50's, making them easy to spot.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad #4978. Ottawa Illinois. August 1986.

The 1920's era steam freight service locomotive, seen here at it's "Original Display Location" in a city park in Ottawa Illinois. This locomotive from the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad, was used in freight service until the late 1950's. After retirement, it was donated to the town of Ottawa Illinois. This locomotive is a 2-8-2 Mikado type locomotive. In recent years, this locomotive and wooden caboose were removed from this display site and towed to Mendota Illinois. The engine and caboose are now the "Centerpiece" of the Mendota Railroad Museum in Western Illinois.
The Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad was one of the last lines in North America to use steam locomotives in everyday service, retiring their last in freight service after the fall grain harvest of 1958. from 1955 to 1966, the Burlington used a number of these in chartered excursion service and special events. several CB&Q steam locomotives are preserved today in the United States.

Northbound CSX Transportation freight train passing through Alsip Illinois. August 1990.

A hot and hazy day in August of 1990 is spent here in Southwest Suburban Alsip Illinois. We are on Kostner Avenue just south of 119th Street. A fast northbound CSX Transportation freight train, is seen speeding along the Indianna Harbor Belt railroad mainline. Alsip Illinois in Chicago's southwest suburbs was a frequent photography location for Me in the late 1980's and early 90's. It was and stil is a great location to shoot railfan photographs. I will be returning there soon to do some updated railfanning.

Indianna Harbor Belt freight train passing through Chicago Ridge Illinois. May 1990.

An Indianna Harbor Belt railroad freight train is seen passing through Southwest Suburban Chicago Ridge Illinois. (Oaklawn Area) The train shown here is seen moving Southeast past the railroad crossing on Ridgeland Avenue, about to pass the old Interlocking tower (Gone) that gaurded and controlled the Norfolk Southern railroad crosstracks. (Formerly "Wabash" )
This interlocking train traffic control tower was closed in 1993 and Demolished in stages a few years later. Only the block signals and the crosstracks are at this busy junction today.

Westbound Burlington Northern Railroad freight train in Hindsdale Illinois. October 1989.

A pleasant Sunday afternoon in October of the year 1989, was spent photographing the Burlington Northern Railroad, in West Suburban Hindsdale Illinois. Two elderly early 1960s vintage EMD GP-30 diesel locomotives, are seen wearing an "Experimental New Image" color scheme. This then new variation, was nicknamed the "Whiteface" color scheme. This was one of the "Last" burlington Northern Railroad's color schemes in use. In the year 1995. The Santa Fe and the Burlington Northern railroad companies "Merged" and became BNSF.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A message from Eddie.

Hello everybody!
Welcome once again to Eddie's Railfan Page. I have to admit, this has got to be one of the nicest group of people one could ever get to know. I have recieved numerous E-Mails from the United States of America and abroad.

Just recently, My web page was viewed by many people from England. The people from Great Britain that have E-Mailed Me from the United Kingdom have welcomed My Chicago Illinois based Railfan page with "Open Arms" and many kind regards. This "Yank" Railfan here from the Windy City was quiete flattered. Though I have never physically been to England, I have met many nice people of English , Irish, and Scottish origin over the years here in Chicago.
England is known as "The mother of railways" and their railfan following is truelly phenominal.
English trains , primarily "steam locomotives" have held a place in My heart for at least 34 Years. I have many notable Brittish steam locomotive favorites such as -The Gresley A-4 Pacifics -The Stanier "Black 5" class 4 -6 -0 -The Great Northern "Single Wheeler and Many others. I have watched Many PBS Television shows about Brittish Steam Trains.
To My new found Brittish Railfan friends across "The Pond"...Welcome Aboard My Site.

During the upcoming week, I will be posting many more Chicago Area railroad photographs from the "1980's and Beyond", as well as more Bus photographs in upcoming weeks. Stay tuned.

For those who have just recently discovered "Eddie's Railfan Page", please take some time and be sure to highlight the postings in the "Archives" section. If You are as Impressed as You seem to be, Via these numerous "Anonymous" comments...You have Barely scratched the surface.
his site has been up and running since Febuary 8th 2006, and there are Many photo treasures.

Please be sure to explore the "Links" section of My web page. Toms photos is a fun page site, as is Railway Roundabout from My English railfan buddy Iain.
Another link that I will Be adding soon, is for a wonderful friend of mine who is a lively Dance Dj and Karaoke host in Hammond Indianna. Please be sure to visit
My friend Billee has a fun site if you enjoy good amature entertainment.

Thank You.
Edward Kwiatkowski (Eddie)
Eddie's Railfan Page.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Westbound Union Pacific freight train at Elmhurst Illinois. April 2001.

A westbound morning freight train is seen heading through Northwest Suburban Elmhurst Illinois, on a mild spring morning in april 2001.

Chance encounter on Diversey Avenue. April 2004.

This is an example of one of those -Right time / Right place -photograph situations for railfans.
I was employed at this time as a Life Insurance Agent, and was on my way to visit a client on a business call. The train photographed here was one of the most "Elusive" I have encountered. We are on Diversey avenue by the Brickyard Shopping Center, about 5 blocks west of Narraganset Avenue. Approximately 4o feet to the right of the Soo Line railroad locomotive is the end of the track. This is a Dead End railroad spur serving the factories behind the Brickyard Mall. once the engine reaches the end of track..
It will back the graffitti tagged boxcar onto a south facing spur siding and drop it off. After this is done, The engine will back up approximately 5 blocks to the Former Milwaukee road railroad mainline and go to where the dispatcher sends the crew on their next assignment. I have an unofficial nickname for this switching run. I call it "The Brickyard Local".

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Southbound CSX intermodal train passing through Bridgeview Illinois. October 1998.

This photograph was taken from the 87th Street overpass bridge in southwest suburban Bridgeview Illinois in early October of 1998.
This intermodal train is a CSX transportation transfer train heading south on the Indianna Harbor Belt Railroad. This train is more than likely heading to the CSX Blue Island yard at Riverdale Illinois. This view is looking east toward the mobile home park at 87th Street and Harlem Avenue.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Welcome to "Bus Day" at Eddie's Railfan Page.

Hello Everyone!
Welcome aboard another special "Bus Day" edition of Eddie's Railfan Page. On todays charter trip you are riding on through Cyberspace, we will visit and experience buses photographed in the citties of Chicago Illinois, as well as Milwaukee and Kenosha in the nearby state of Wisconsin. I was attempting to "Upload" just one more photo for all of you, but the blog server was having "Technical Difficulties". (ooops!) I apologize for the Inconvenience, so I guess that this "Text" opening will have to do for now. So please...take your seats -sit back and relax -and come aboard the "Bus Fans Charter" here at Eddie's Railfan Page. Enjoy your ride.

Thank You.
Edward Kwiatkowski.

Eddie from Chicago.

Kenosha Transit buses at old boarding terminal location. April 2000

This photograph was taken in downtown Kenosha Wisconsin on April 29th 2000
I was on a charter fantrip with a group from the Omnibus Society of America, that had chartered a 1975 GM Fishbowl bus that took us around the city of Kenosha wisconsin, and the surrounding areas. These buses are newer GMC RTS Model transit coaches. The one closest to My camera has partial wrap around "Shrink Wrap" advertising, for a local FM radio station.

Chicago Transit Authority 1960's era Flxible bus. June 1999.

This photograph was taken in June of 1999, at the Illinois Railway Museum located in Union Illinois. This is a retired 1960's era Flxible "New Look" bus, also referred to as "Fishbowls" due to their unique windshield design. General Motors and Flxible both had New look, fishbowl windshield buses. The new look Flxibles operated in service on the CTA until retirement in 1986.

Kenosha Wisconsin electric streetcar. January 2001.

A bitterly cold weekday afternoon, with temperatures holding at 5 above zero, finds us in downtown Kenosha Wisconsin. I was working back then as a Delivery Truck Driver, and had to stop on company business in nearby Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin. The skies were absolutely Crystal Clear, but there was a biting bitter windchill off of Lake Michigan that day. There was also evidence of a recent Heavy Snowstorm in town, as snow was dumped and piled up on many local Vacant lots. After I ate lunch...I went downtown briefly and photographed the red kenosha streetcar heading west into the late day sun. Was it worth it chasing the streetcar in all that bitter biting Wisconsin winter weather that day? You Bet!

Westbound Route #62 Archer Avenue CTA bus. April 1989.

This photograph was taken at the corner of Archer Avenue and 43rd Street in April of 1989.
This Neighborhood Community is called Brighton Park, and is located on Chicago's Southwest Side.
The buses seen here in the photograph, are 1970's era GMC "New Look" buses, also known as "Fishbowls" for their unique windshield design. The paint scheme on the westbound bus in the foreground, was introduced in 1989, replacing the two tone green and off white color scheme on the background bus. These buses were in their last years of service at the time of the photograph. The last ones were retired in 1996. Some had become Maintenance-Work Service buses. Chicago recieved it's first buses of this type from General Motors in 1962, followed by a batch around 1973 and 74, and their last batch in the year of 1977. These buses ruled Chicago's streets during a long rein.

Bus Charter on the Milwaukee County Transit System. April 2002.

A partly cloudy and cool Sunday afternoon in April of 2002 was spent riding this bus charter trip in Milwaukee Wisconsin, with a group from The Midwest Transit Bus Museum . The bus fans from this group and Myself had a nice time that day, sightseeing Milwaukee Wisconsin and the surrounding areas in the South Suburbs there. Many of the gentlemen on board were also members of the Omnibus Society of America.

View from Madison Street CTA Rapid Transit station. April 2004.

We have just gotten off of a CTA Orange Line train at the Madison Street station. This rapid transit station is located at Madison and Wells streets in Downtown Chicago Illinois. Looking down, we see a Westbound Madison Street bus,
coming to a stop, as the traffic signal has just turned red.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

News Update! My old Neighborhood Railroad. The end of the line?

Hello everyone.
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page. Today we will begin our journey with a follow up to a photo story I wrote 3 days ago on Monday, May 8 2006. I had wrote a photo article entitled "My old neighborhood railroad today. April 2003".
Today on My way to My scheduled soft drink sales route, I had to pass through the Little Village Neighborhood I grew up in, on Chicago's near Southwest side. I had mentioned that there were only one or two customers left and are switched as needed. As of todays visit, The line has unfortunately been "Cut Back" to Spaulding Avenue just north of 31st street. The line now ends approximately 70 feet east of Spaulding Avenue. The end of the line now has Temporary -Construction / Demolition fencing in place, and the rails on the other side of the fence are slowly being ripped out. In 1995, The Santa Fe railroad who had operated the old Illinois Northern industrial branch line merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad and became BNSF. In 2000, BNSF sold this line to DRS Rail Services. The line was then Cut Back to California Avenue alongside the Cook County Jail. The businesses on line eventually left one by one as our local economy was suffering. Whatever is left of the old Illinois Northern railroad line today may be on borrowed time. I actually consider the old Illinois Northern branch line -An old neighborhood friend I grew up with.
This photograph was taken in October 1988 looking west on 30th street from Kedzie Avenue.

Your host and photographer feeding the ducks. Chicago's Marquette Park. June 1984.

Hi once again everyone.
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page. Sometimes when I was out taking photographs, I would occasionally get involved in other fun extracuriculair activities. Here I am in 1984, feeding the ducks at Marquette Park on Chicago's Southwest Side during better times. Marquette Park was located along the east side of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad embankment, between 67th st and 71st Street. Just less than a mile south of here was Hayford Junction wich has been seen in past postings here. Notice the Elvis Presley style sideburns that I was experimenting with as a 22 year old.

Old Rock Island Railroad Logo.

This photograph was taken in 1984 at the Illinois Railway Museum located in Union Illinois. This old Chicago , Rock Island and Pacific railroad logo is seen on an old 1920's era Commuter Coach. These coaches carried people to and from work between Chicago and Joliet Illinois until 1978.
Many are now in various Railroad Museums.

Station sign on Canal Street. Chicago's soon to be demolished Northwestern Station. March 1984.

This was one of those last look photos of a fallen Chicago railroad landmark. This view was taken on the "East" or "Canal Street" side of Chicago's Northwestern Station, located on the west end of downtown Chicago. I had recently recieved word through the Chicago Sun Times Newspaper, That this old downtown train station terminal, that was built in 1911 was going to be demolished. During the spring and summer of 1984, this old concourse building was demolished, and replaced with a glass skyscraper building called the "Northwestern Atrium Center" wich was very modern. After the 1998 Merger between the Chicago and Northwestern and Union Pacific Railroads, the building was once again renamed to the Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center, to honor the late Illinois Govoner who passed away in 1988. Long live Northwestern Station.

Pint sized trains.

This photograph was taken in August of 1984, at the Hesston Steam Museum located in Hesston Indianna near the Michigan State Line. This is the 7 inch guage live steam miniature railroad that operates at the museum. This is a working model of a Southern Railway (USA) P S -4 Pacific type passenger locomotive that the southern had used in the south during the steam era. This locomotive runs on coal and water just as a regulair full sized steam locomotive does. The engineer had just stepped off to grab a cold drink after his previous run. I watched the children just in case, but it wasn't necessary as they were exceptionally well behaved . Quiete an interesting size comparison in this photo.

Family fun at Amtrak family days celebration in Chicago Illinois. July 1982.

A hazy and humid Chicago summer day is seen at the site of the former Illinois Central Station near Chicago's lakefront. (gone. Demolished in 1974)
This location at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue, was used by Amtrak and the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad to promote a Public Relations event that Amtrak had put on called"Amtrak Family Days". This one time only event featured -Entertainment -Displays and activities for all the attending Children present. Seen in the background, is a train made up of then brand new Amtrak Superliner Coaches. This train made many demonstration runs from the Fairgrounds to 115th street and back. The southbound end of the train was towed by an Illinois Central Gulf EMD Rebuilt GP 10 freight
diesel in "New Image" colors, while the north end had an Amtrak EMD F-40 PH Passenger unit.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A message from Eddie.

Hello everybody!
Welcome aboard Eddie's Railfan Page. I have recieved many nice
E-Mail responses from Railfans, and Non Transportation fans-
alike. your input to this new site, wich had just started up on
Febuary 8 2006 is always greatly appreciated. Thank You.

My photo collection, seen here at this site, is mainly from the city
of Chicago Illinois , and the many surrounding suburban towns
that make up the "Greater Chicagoland Area" as our locals say.
Many of the photographs were taken during the 1980's, some
later. I occasionally enjoy doing a posting or two for all of the
"Bus Fans" out in cyberspace as well. Buses and trains make for
a fine transportation page. (Especially from the windy city.)

Just recently, I recieved "Wonderful News" via E-Mail that My site
Eddie's Railfan Page was seen and enjoyed by a Gentlemen from
England with a "Railfan Page" of his own here at
I have had the pleasure of meeting and exchanging E-Mails with
a gentlemen named "Lain", who's site can be reached by clicking on
this link shown here.

This site from a "Fellow Railfan" features Railroad Subjects from
England and Japan. This is a fascinating Railfan Site for people
who enjoy International Railway subjects, or may have actually
travelled to or actually lived near his subject locations. It is -
especially nice just knowing that Railfans from all over this world
can meet and form friendships here at this blog network.

Thank You Lain. ou are actually My "First" International Contact
here at Eddie's Railfan Page. We must eventually do "Tea Together".

Thanks Everybody. Enjoy your ride.

Edward Kwiatkowski (Eddie)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Refueling a Steam Locomotive. June 1991.

On one of My many visits to the Hesston Steam Museum in Hesston Indianna, I had the pleasure of capturing this Right Place / Right Time -photograph of the Steam Train being Refueled online during one of the days runs. The engine crew member is standing on top of one of the Side Tanks used for water with a shovel in hand. He is Transloading Coal from the bucket of the John Deer Tractor, to a little compartment bin located directly in front of the locomotive cab. This four wheel industrial steam locomotive was built in 1940 in Czechloslovakia. Behind the steam dome can be seen a Large American steam whistle. Directly attatched to the front of the cab is the very tiny and quiete Shrill European steam whistle, wich is used on occasion.

Mineapolis electric streetcar. East Troy Trolley Museum. East Troy Wisconsin.

An old electric streetcar from Mineapolis Minesota is seen here operating at the East Troy Electric Railroad and Museum in East Troy Wisconsin. This car and several other examples can be ridden and enjoyed during the operating season. One of the -On Line -station stops even has a Farmers Market too. This Museum operates between the towns of East Troy and Muckwanago in Wisconsin.

Eastbound BNSF freight train at Brookfield Illinois. June 2000

An eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train is seen passing the Brookfield Metra commuter station. This photograph was taken along the Northside of the tracks along Brookfield Avenue. This is just east of Prairie Avenue. The mismatched color schemes are "Proof" that this is a merged railroad. The lead diesel locomotive was just recently painted in the "New" color scheme, while the second locomotive is still in Santa Fe colors and markings.

Westbound Metra commuter train at Brookfield Illinois. June 2000

A westbound Metra commuter train is seen here boarding and alighting passengers at the Brookfield station stop in Chicago's Western Suburbs. Notice the BNSF Logo on the side of the Double Deck commuter coach, as this is the "Host" Railroad that Metra is traveling over.

Preserved Illinois Central Railroad caboose.

This unique Steam Era steel Side Door caboose from the Illinois Central railroad, is seen on display at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union Illinois. This caboose was retired from regulair service during the 1980's wearing the late 1960's era Orange color scheme. This caboose has been restored by Museum Volunteers to it's original color scheme and appearance.

My old neighborhood railroad today. April 2003.

This is the "Current Incarnation" of the old "Illinois Northern Railroad". One morning in April 2003, I had to actually drive through My "Old Neighborhood" where I had actually grown up during the 1960's and 70's era. This railroad line, now privately owned by DRS Rail Services, was originally the Illinois Northern Railroad. It was a Santa Fe subsidiary that used ALCO switchers in Santa Fe Black with Zebra Stripes until 1972. From 1972 to 1995, this line was owned in whole by Santa Fe and was Reequipped with EMD SW Switchers until 1983, and Rebuilt EMD GP-7 Roadswitcher diesel locomotives afterwards. In 1995, the Santa Fe and Burlington Northern railroads had merged and became a new company called BNSF. The line was sold in 2000. There is now only maybe One or Two customers on this line, and it is "Switched as Needed".
This railroad is only a shadow of it's former self. Santa Fe operated this line 5 days a week. This photograph was taken approximately 5 blocks west of Kedzie Avenue, Just south of 31st Street in the Little Village neighborhood, on Chicago's near Southwest side.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Westbound Union Pacific Railroad transfer train at Hayford Junction. April 1987.

A beautiful sunny and warm Saturday afternoon in the Spring of 1987, is seen at Hayford Junction on Chicago's Southwest side. A westbound Union Pacific Railroad transfer train of Large Hi Cube boxcars used in "Auto Parts" service , is about to cross over the Grand Trunk Western Railroads crosstracks at this interchange junction, and proceed to the Belt Railway of Chicago's famous Clearing Yard near Chicago's Midway Airport. The two Diesel locomotives are late 1970's EMD GP 15 T diesel roadswitchers. Today , The union Pacific uses them almost exclusively for Yard Switching and local switching freight trains.

Eastbound Belt Railway of Chicago train at Hayford Junction. April 1987.

A bright sunny Saturday afternoon in late April of 1987, is seen here at Hayford Junction on Chicago's Southwest side. Two Belt Railway of Chicago EMD SW 1500 Diesel Switchers, one in Bicentenial markings, are seen moving an eastbound Belt Railway of Chicago freight train past the Grand Trunk Western Railroad crosstracks. This location is at 76th Street and South St. Louis Avenue. The bridge in the background is the Kedzie Avenue overpass.

Chicago Transit Authority PCC Electric Streetcar #4391.

This photograph was taken at the Illinois Railway Museum, located in Union Illinois. This electric streetcar was built in 1948 by the St. Louis Car Company for the newly formed (1947) Chicago Transit Authority. (Formerly Chicago Surface Lines) This car ran for only 10 years on Chicago's City Streets before total bus replacement by 1958. Chicago Transit Authority #4391 is the Sole Survivor of the newer PCC streetcars. The others were sold for scrap to the St. Louis Car Company, But the components like the Trucks -
Brakes -Control Gear -Wall Panels and other things were recycled and used in creating the new Chicago Transit Authority 6000 series Rapid Transit EL Cars, wich were used until the early to mid 1990's. A number of the 6000 series cars wound up at IRM and several Museums.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Westbound Amtrak train at Brighton Interlocking Junction. April 1984.

A beautiful Saturday afternoon in April of 1984, was spent photographing trains at Chicago's Brighton Interlocking. This photograph was taken on the railroad embankment at Archer and Western Avenues on Chicago's Southwest side.
The CTA Orange line rapid transit, wich now passes over this property was years away.

Detraining passengers in Michigan City Indianna. August 1984.

A Chicago South Shore and South Bend interurban / commuter train is seen here on 11th Street in Michigan City Indianna. This train picks up and drops off passengers in the middle of the street in front of the storefront station depot.

Chicago and Northwestern Railway steam locomotive #1385. Mid Continent Railway Museum. North Freedom Wisconsin. August 1982.

Seen here running around the passenger train at the North Freedom station, is Chicago and Northwestern Railway locomotive No#1385. This locomotive was built in 1907, and is one of only a "Few" surviving Chicago and Northwestern steam locomotives in existance today. It is also the only operating one. It is currently undergoing a lenghty overhaul at the railway museum today.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Antique "Wig Wag" railroad crossing signal. Illinois Railway Museum.

Hello everyone!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page. Today we are going to see some working mainline freight trains in action. These photographs were taken by me during the Mid 1980's, around the Chicagoland area, as well as a Vacation Surprise spotted traveling through the State of Nebraska in 1984.
The unique "Steam Era" railroad crossing pictured here is what is known as a "Wig Wag" signal, wich swings back and forth like a clock Pendulum.

Union Pacific Railroad freight train speeds through Nebraska. June 1984.

This is yet another -Right Place / Right Time photograph. This photograph was taken out of a motorcoach window returning from a vacation to Yellowstone National Park in Northwestern Wyoming. While heading east through the State of Nebraska, I spotted this Westbound Union Pacific Railroad intermodal freight train. The last diesel unit, is a "Unique" EMD twin engined 6900 series "Centenial" diesel (EMD DD-40)
These engines were built between 1969 and 1971. These locomotives were unique, as the Union Pacific railroad owned the only ones. The engine seen here #6912, is rolling out it's final miles in revenue freight train service, just like the Steam locomotives did in the 1950's. Several of these unique , one of a kind diesel locomotives were donated to many Railroad Museums. The Union Pacific railroad currently uses locomotive #6936 in fantrip excursion service.