Thursday, August 31, 2006

Amtrak coach yard switcher. Chicago Illinois USA. May 2006.

Hello everybody!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
I spent some time looking back and reflecting on the spring and summer of 2006, and what a great year for railfanning it was for Myself. I havn't spent this much time Railfanning or
"Gricing" on location since the 1980's! In febuary, Eddie's Railfan Page was born, Many photographs were finally put on Photo CD, and the rest is History. My friend Tom at My links page "Tom's Photos" played a major part in it.
Thank You Tom. That was wonderfull. I took this photograph after work one day just outside of downtown Chicago. These are the Amtrak and Metra coach servicing yards at Roosevelt Road and Canal Street. An inbound Metra train heading into Chicago Union Station passes an old Amtrak EMD SW Series diesel locomotive switcher servicing the Amtrak yard.

Union Pacific freight train waiting for clearance. Bellwood Illinois USA. May 2006.

I took this photograph of a northbound Union Pacific Railroad freight train, waiting on a hold order at suburban Bellwood Illinois. This train is on the Indianna Harbor Belt railroads mainline, and is more than likely waiting for clearance to proceed to the Union Pacific's former Chicago and North Western Railroad "Proviso Yard". This railroad junction is located on West St.Charles Road approximately 4 blocks west of 25th Avenue. Notice the stairway so that the train crews can safely climb down the embankment, and possibly buy some refreshments while they are stuck waiting for clearance from the dispatcher. Train crews spend a lot of time waiting.

Metra inbound commuter train at Elmwood Park Illinois USA. May 2006.

I took this photograph on My way to work one morning in May of 2006. On this lovely morning, an inbound Metra commuter train from Elgin Illinois, is seen heading toward downtown Chicago Illinois, bringing many commuters to their places of employment. This photograph was taken at 73rd Avenue in the suburban Village of Elmwood Park Illinois. This is the former Milwaukee Road railroad line, now Canadian Pacific Railroad. A lovely spring morning indeed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Chicago Gravel Company # 18. Veterans Park. Bensenville Illinois USA. July 2006.

A very special and happy railfan memory happened to Me on a visit to suburban Bensenville Illinois , near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. This locomotive is located along Main Street near Church Road in Bensenville's Veterans Park. This was a right time / right place situation, as a working park district employee gave Me permission to come inside the Chain Link Fence and take pictures. These are some rare "Behind the scenes" or perhaps "Behind the fence" photographs I had the pleasure of taking in July of 2006. Seen in the right hand corner of the photograph, is a preserved "Water Spout" used for refilling steam locomotive tenders. I have prior photographs of Chicago Gravel Company # 18, but not from inside the surrounding fence. I want to extend a special thanks to the people working for the Bensenville Park District. Come on Railfans and Gricers alike! Lets give them a round of applause! Bravo!

View of Chicago Gravel Company # 18 Locomotive Cab. Bensenville Illinois USA. July 2006.

Talk about a lucky day to be outside on location with a camera.
I was passing by this steam locomotive on display in Veterans Park, wich is normally behind a chain link fence and off limits to the public -Unless by scheduled guided tour.
The gate surrounding the engines display area was open, and a park district worker was attending to the grass and plant life.
I asked the worker very nicely if I could come inside and take a closer look. To My pleasant surprise he said -"Sure. Just be carefull sir. Take as many photos as You like". Upon that Invitation, I began to take photographs of a park display engine who's view is normally obstructed by a chain link fence. I even got to sit inside the cab and take some behind the scenes pictures. I am sitting in the firemans seat looking at the engineers area. The rope seen hanging from the cab roof is hooked up to the bell. However...upon pulling it, no sound. It may have been hooked up to ring the bell years ago, but complaints from residents proboubly made them weld the swinging bell shut. Seen protruding out of the firebox door, is a special metal bar used for cleaning and spreading hot coals in the locomotives firebox. The many locomotive guages and controls can be seen on the drivers side.

Chicago Gravel Company # 18. View of April 1922 Alco Builders Plates. Bensenville Illinois USA. July 2006.

Seen here on the firemans side of the smokebox, is the April 1922 locomotive builders plates with serial number cast on.
The American Locomotive Company built Locomotives from the 1800's to the plants closing in 1969. The company was called ALCO for short abreviation.
This particulair steam locomotive, is an 0 -6 - 0 six wheel switching locomotive with a slope back tender for visibility. While on display since 1963 in Bensenville's Veterans Park, this locomotive was originally the "Studebaker" automobile factory switch locomotive in South Bend Indianna USA. After the Studebaker plant didn't need it anymore, it was sold to the Chicago Gravel Company for use at their quarry in South Elgin Illinois. The Chicago Gravel Company preserved and had did a cosmetic restoration performed on # 18 prior to it's 1963 donation to the city of Bensenville Illinois .

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Chicago Transit Authority 1983 Canadian Flyer transit coach at West 115th Street and South Springfield Avenue.Chicago Illinois. July 1986.

Hello everyone!
Welcome to "Bus Day" here at Eddie's Railfan Page. Todays installment entitled "Bus Day" usually features photographs of different models of transit and highway buses. Today I have decided to do something "Different", and show You some of My favorite "Landmarks and Destinations" That I knew and loved while I had travelled by transit bus during the 1980's. I visited many neighborhoods - Shopping Districts -Restaurants -Parks -Libraries -and fun places. I did not own My first car until 1991, and up till then had seen Chicago and many surrounding suburban areas via public transportation. Do You remember "Paper Transfers" or "Bus Tokens"? How about the days when drivers actually "Announced" the upcoming stop? It was a much different environment back then indeed. The field behind the bus turnaround terminal, was actually the "Last Farm" in the City of Chicago. It is now part of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in 2006.

Jed's Texaco. Corner of South Kedzie Avenue and West 27th Street. Chicago Illinois USA. Late March 1986.

Many of My southbound Chicago Transit Authority Bus rides began here at this corner in My old neighborhood I grew up in. Seen here in the Little Village Neighborhood on Chicago's near southwest side, is an old 1940's /50's vintage Texaco Gasoline Station. I had recieved word via the Chicago Sun Times Newspaper that "Texaco Gasoline Stations" were going to be leaving the State of Illinois. I Immediately got out My camera and took a few snap shots of "Jed's Texaco" across the street from My house. I am so glad I did! One Month later...It had changed hands and the old fashioned Texaco banjo shaped sign was "Painted over". The old neighborhood Texaco Station was one of My personal favorite Landmarks, and a starting point for many of My bus riding Destinations on the southside. The old gas station office building is gone today, and the Garage is now a private Auto Repair shop in 2006.

The Corner of West 111th Street and South Kedzie Avenue. January 1986. Chicago Illinois USA.

Not even a cold windy gloomy day with snow flurries could stop Me from having a pleasant afternoon in Chicago's Mount Greenwood Neighborhood. A westbound 1983 CTA Canadian Flyer transit coach has just dropped off a passenger at this populair shopping district on Chicago's southwest side. I have many happy memories of time well spent in this neighborhood. I frequently rode the Route #52 Kedzie California bus from My old neighborhood to the south Terminal at West 63rd Place and south Kedzie Avenue. From there I would board the Route #52A South Kedzie bus and either ride it to West 95th Street and South Kedzie Avenue in the village of Evergreen Park Illinois, or continue south to 111th and Kedzie in the Mount Greenwood Neighborhood, or even to the end of the line to the city limits at Alsip Illinois. This was always a favorite bus ride for Me. The Corner of 111th and Kedzie Avenue was yet another favorite Landmark and Destination for Me during the 1980's.

Welcome to Mount Greenwood sign. CTA Bus Terminal at West 111th Street and South Pulaski Road. Circa 1987. Chicago Illinois USA.

I frequently travelled to the Mount Greenwood neighborhood community on Chicago's southwest side during the 1980's. While I mostly rode the Route #52A South Kedzie Bus to 111th and Kedzie Avenue, wich was a favorite "Shopping District", I would Occasionally take the Route # 53A South Pulaski bus to the turnaround terminal a mile west at 111th Street and Pulaski Road. On the east side of this bus terminal, stood this old fashioned wooden sign erected by the local Chamber of Commerce. I loved the Mount Greenwood neighborhood community. This Chicago neighborhood was an outpost community at the Chicago City Limits near the suburban towns of Oaklawn and Alsip Illinois. Mount Greenwood and west 111th Street was one of My many favorite Landmarks and Destinations when I used to travel via Public Transportation during the 1980's.

The Whistle Stop Ice Cream Shoppe. La Grange Illinois USA. (Gone) Febuary 1986.

The western suburban Village of La Grange Illinois was one of My all time favorite destinations to visit by Bus or Commuter Rail. This used to be one of Mt favorite places to visit on My many personal Public Transportation Travels during the 1980's. La Grange was a place I frequently enjoyed spending an afternoon in. My parents used to joke with me about La Grange being My unofficial 2nd Home. When I wasn't Railfanning on the Burlington Northern Railroad wich ran through town, I was visiting many wonderful stores and businesses. Shown here approximately less than a year before it closed, was the Whistle Stop Ice Cream Shoppe on La Grange Road near the hobby store. This was a tasty ice cream and soda shop that also sold candy as well. This store was a real Sweet Retreat. Although the Whistle Stop is long gone, There is another Ice Cream shop today in La Grange Illinois. Located approximately 2 blocks west of here, is "Tate's Ice Cream" on Ashland Avenue. La Grange Illinois was another favorite Landmark and Destination for this bus rider.

The Frosted Mug Drive In Restaurant. West 116th Street and South Pulaski Road. Alsip Illinois. July 1986.

I frequently rode the CTA Route # 52A South Kedzie bus line during the 1980's. In the year 1985, the Chicago Sun Times newspaper did a feature article on surviving 1950's era Drive In Restaurants that were still in the Chicagoland area. (There were only a small handfull.) One of the few they mentioned was the "Frosted Mug" at 116th Street and Pulaski Road in the Village of Alsip Illinois. This drive in was practically down the street from the bus turnaround terminal at 115th and Springfield Avenue. I soon found Myself taking the route # 52A South Kedzie Bus from the North Terminal at West 63rd Place and South Kedzie Avenue, to the end of the line at 115th and Springfield. The Frosted Mug was a fun destination for this Bus traveler. I didn't own My first car until 1991. This place has since been rebuilt and expanded. They even have their own Website /The Frosted Mug drive in trips soon evolved into long walks through Alsip to railfan and photograph the Indianna Harbor Belt Railroad at 123rd Street, and visit Apollo Park on Kostner Avenue. Alsip was definately a favorite "Landmark and Destination" during My bus riding days.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Thomas the tank engine visits the Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. Saturday August 26th 2006.

I took this photograph of a Thomas the tank engine "Replica", on a visit to the Illinois Railway Museum this past Saturday. August 26th 2006 started as a cloudy day with light rain, and partly cloudy and very humid by afternoon. Nonetheless, the Illinois Railway Museum put on a fine presentation for all the little railfan tots. This side photograph shows the actual size of the visiting Thomas the tank engine "Stand In". This locomotive is not powered, and was pushed and pulled by a large museum diesel locomotive. The crew in the Thomas locomotive cab communicates via radio.

Thomas the tank engine at the Central Pavillion. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. Saturday August 26th,2006.

A special occasion at the Illinois Railway Museum, was a visit by Thomas the tank engine. Though aimed primarily at little children, This generic Brittish 0 -6 -0 side tank steam locomotive had a few adult fans in attendance too. An American heavyweight coach from the steam era "Dwarfs" this Thomas replica. Thomas the tank engine is painted in the colors of the Scottish "Caledonian Railway", and is quiete a colorful character to see in person. The Orange and Green building seen in the background, is the former 50th Avenue CTA Rapid Transit station from the suburb of Cicero Illinois.

Saturday, August 26th 2006. Thomas the tank engine visits the Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA.

I took this photograph at the Illinois Railway Museum located in Union Illinois, while on an outing this past Saturday with My Wife's family.
Thomas the tank engine, the star of PBS Televisions "Shining Time Station" TV Show, has a cult following amongst the little railfans. The popularity of this Brittish Railway Phenominon, has grown to the point of "Replica Thomas" locomotives being built. This thomas is an "Unpowered" version that is pulled or pushed by a locomotive at the other end of the train. It is equipped with Air Brakes -a headlight -Knuckle Couplers -Moving Eyes -and an Air Compressor to toot the twin high pitched whistles. The crew in the Thomas cab communicate through Radio to the other locomotives crew. This unpowered locomotive is basically a big "Push Toy", and is about as large as a small American caboose. This train was at least 10 cars long and propelled by Southern Pacific Railroad EMD SD-9 #1518.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Your host and photographer at age 22. October 1984.

Hello everyone!
Welcome aboard "Eddie's Railfan Page". Here I am -Your's trully -enjoying the Members weekend celebration at the Illinois Railway Museum located in Union Illinois in the year of 1984.
In todays featured installment, We will see some Chicago area train photographs that I had taken during the Mid 1980's when My Railfanning or "Gricing" interest began to take shape. Here I am riding the preserved Chicago,Burlington & Quincy Railroads "Nebraska Zephyr" diesel Streamliner passenger train on the museum line.

Tuskegee Railroad # 101 running backwards. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. October 1984 Members weekend.

I took this unique museum mainline photograph during the October 1984 members weekend at the Illinois Railway Museum. Tuskegee Railroad # 101 is seen returning at medium speed from it's out and back mainline trip. Tuskegee Railroad # 101 is a 2 -6 -2 Prairie type steam locomotive that was used in the State of Alabama, on the 8 mile Tuskegee Railroad. The coaches it is towing are 1920's era commuter coaches from the Chicago,Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad. These were used in "Pre Metra" days for commuter train service between Chicago Illinois and the city of Joliet until 1978.

Detroit,Toledo & Ironton diesel locomotives at GTW Elsdon Yard site.Chicago Illinois USA. June 1984.

I took this photograph in June of 1984, at the site of the recently closed, Grand Trunk Western Railroad Elsdon Yard on West 51st Street. The GTW Elsdon Yard was closed for good in October of 1983. For some unexplained reason, The railroad used this curve for a makeshift engine crew terminal and staging area until September of 1986. The Grand Trunk Western had Merged and Absorbed the Detroit ,Toledo,& Ironton Railroad during the early 1980's, and this cut of locomotives are from the D,T & I wich had operated in the State of Michigan. During this short lived era, if an Engine needed refueling, the GTW would call for a local tractor and trailer Semi Tanker truck to go to this site at 51st st.
The site of this location is on West 51st Street between South St. Louis and Lawndale Avenues, in the neighborhood community known as "Elsdon".

Westbound Burlington Northern Railroad double stack container train. Berwyn Illinois USA. July 1985.

I took this photograph looking east from Oak Park Avenue. This was a "Quick" snap shot, as I am very "Safety Conciouse" and would not stand on a mainline track normally at any time. This westbound freight train has just recieved a Green block signal indication, and is slowly building up momentum for its long journey west.

Santa Fe Maintenance equipment at Mc.Cook Illinois USA. October 1983.

I took this photograph in October of 1983, in Mc.Cook Illinois. This location is near the crosstrack junction with the Indianna Harbor Belt Railroad. The bridge in the background is U.S Route # 171 also known as "First Avenue".
Two modified postwar 40 Foot boxcars and an old Railway Post Office car are part of a M.O.W or Maintenance of way outfit for traveling around the system and doing lineside repairs or maintenance. The interiors are fitted up with bunk beds -a kitchen -and basic ammenities, sort of like a "Camper" on rails for traveling railroad maintenance crews.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chicago Transit Authority "Skokie Swift" / Yellow Line right of way at Oakton Street. Skokie Illinois USA. August 2006.

This photograph was taken by Me, looking south from Oakton Street in downtown Skokie Illinois in August of 2006. This CTA Rapid Transit line, is the formerly known as the "Skokie Swift". This short 4 Mile electric railroad line opened in April of 1964. This line was once part of the abandoned Chicago,North Shore, and Milwaukee electric Interurban "Skokie Valley" mainline. The North Shore Line went Bankrupt and out of business in January of 1963. The CTA bought out this small segment of the old Skokie Valley interurban mainline, and redeveloped it for Rapid Transit service. This line runs between Dempster Street in the village of Skokie Illinois, and Howard Street in the city of Evanston Illinois. Prior to the summer of 2004, the Village of Skokie had an Ordinace outlawing "Third Rail" for fear of pedestrian Electrocution Accidents. From 1963 to 2004, The Skokie section of this rail line used overhead catenary wires.
In 2004, the CTA was finally allowed to convert the line to 100% Third Rail operation. The old overhead North Shore catenary towers are still standing for now. as the Third Rail seen on the right of the photograph provides the Electric Power to the CTA Yellow Line.

Westbound Canadian Pacific freight train leaving Bensenville Illinois USA. August 2006.

I photographed this westbound Canadian Pacific freight train leaving the former Milwaukee Road Bensenville Yard, on a Hot August Day in 2006. This EMD Roadswitcher is painted in Canadian Pacific Railroads "New Image" color scheme. The locomotives air horns are blowing as the train is passing the Bensenville Metra station alongside Main Street. Bensenville Illinois, located close to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, is a very active place to enjoy plenty of railfan activity. Just west of here along Main Street near the Intersection of Church Road, is an old 0-6-0 Steam locomotive switcher built in 1922, on display in Veterans Park.

Westbound Canadian Pacific freight train leaving Bensenville Illinois USA. August 2006.

I took this photograph in August of 2006, looking west from the Bensenville Metra station along Main Street. This railroad line is the former Milwaukee Road Railroad. The Milwaukee Road was having numerous financial difficulties during its final years including Bankruptcy. In 1985, the Soo Line Railroad merged and absorbed the former Milwaukee Road. During the year of 1990, The Canadian Pacific Railroad Merged and absorbed the former Soo Line into it's own corporate system. 21 years after the Merger with the Milwaukee Road, and 16 years after the Merger with the Canadian Pacific Railroad, Soo line cabooses are still in daily use on some CP Rail trains in the Bensenville Area, mostly used on switching locals these days. Rusty but still rolling.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Eastbound Union Pacific Railroad freight train passing North Kilbourn Avenue. Chicago Illinois USA. April 2006.

An eastbound Union Pacific freight train is seen here quickly approaching North Kilbourn Avenue alongside West Kinzie Street. These diesels are still wearing the color scheme of their former owner -the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad -although the cab sides are patched with "Red" union pacific style numbers. These diesel locomotives are General Electric AC44CW Roadswitchers. These were the "Last" diesels ordered "New" for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad during the mid 1990's. Union Pacific "Merged" and Absorbed the former Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in 1998.

Westbound Canadian National Railroad freight train. North Riverside Illinois USA. May 2006.

I took this photograph on a beautiful sunny morning in May of 2006. A slow moving westbound Canadian National train is moving past the railroad grade crossing on Des Plaines Avenue just north of 26th Street. This railroad line prior to the year 2000, was the former Illinois Central Railroad. This was their Iowa Division Mainline, wich ran between Chicago Illinois and Waterloo Iowa.

Westbound Metra passing under the Belt Railway of Chicago. Chicago Illinois USA. April 2006.

I took this photograph looking west on Kinzie Street at the corner of North Kilbourn Avenue. A fast westbound Metra Commuter Express train, is passing under the Belt Railway of Chicago's North/ South right of way. The large brown building in the background is the abandoned "Brach's Candy Factory". This Mainline prior to the 1998 Merger and Absorbtion through the Union Pacific Railroad, is the former Chicago and Northwestern Railroad "West Line". This train is equipped with "Newer" stainless steel handicapped accessible coaches with "Large" windows. This train is bound for Elburn Illinois.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Grand Trunk Western Railroad locomotives leaving Elsdon Yard. Chicago Illinois USA. October 1983.

I took this photograph in early October of 1983, on Chicago's southwest side. We are just south of West 51st Street near South Lawndale Avenue. Elsdon Yard was in it's final week of operation, and was in the process of being closed for good. A cut of engines and cabooses is heading south out of the former once active railroad yard. Upon Elsdon Yard's closing, all GTW Operations formerly handled at Elsdon, were officially moved to the Belt Railway of Chicago's Clearing Yard, located at West 70th Street and South Central Avenue in the Village of Bedford Park Illinois .

Santa Fe Mc.Cook Illinois depot. (Gone) October 1983.

This is a photograph I had taken in early October of 1983 in near southwest suburban Mc.Cook Illinois USA . I was out railfanning on location with an old High School friend. This depot was located near the crosstrack junction at Mc.Cook Illinois, where the Santa Fe crossed the Indianna Harbor Belt Railroad. This depot was located on a private dirt and gravel service road, now officially "Off Limits" to railfans or unauthorized persons of any kind. This is strictly "Private Property" today, and the police make frequent patrols. I used to visit this once populair railfan location during the 1980's. This depot was torn down shortly after I had taken this photograph.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Eastbound CTA bus on West Devon Avenue. May 2006.

Hello everyone!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
Today is "Bus Day" here at My blog site. I had taken this photograph on a rainy morning in May of 2006. We are on the northside of the city of Chicago, as an eastbound Chicago Transit Authority RTS Transit Coach speeds past the corner of Devon and Glenwood in the West Rogers Park neighborhood near Loyola University. Keep your umbrella handy today.

Gray Line Sightseeing replica trolley at a contract repair shop. Chicago Illinois USA. May 2006.

This is a scene that I had photographed on the outskirts of My old Chicago neighborhood that I had grown up in. This sightseeing trolley is seen on South Pulaski Road around West 33rd Street, at a repair facility called Bus and Truck of Chicago.. The downtown and lakefront Chicago sightseeing tourist season was just begining, and the fleet of transit and sightseeing buses were recieving Tune Ups and other repairs. Behind the trolley is a suburban Pace bus, and 2 light blue City Of Chicago garbage trucks awaiting maintenance.

Eastbound CTA Route # 60 Blue Island bus passing the Cook County Jail. Chicago Illinois USA. June 2006.

This is a scene I had photographed from the Little Village Neighborhood, on Chicago's near southwest side. This scene was photographed on West 26th Street looking southwest toward South Sacramento Avenue. The large institutional complex behind the bus is the Infamous Cook County Jail located at West 26th Street and South California Avenue. The grassy area along the curb, is the Runaround Track for the now somewhat abandoned former Illinois Northern Railroad. I grew up in this blue collar industrial neighborhood. I lived west of here, first at Spaulding Avenue, and from 1975 to 1990, I had lived on South Kedzie Avenue. I had seen many changes here both Ethnic and Economic.
Although I have absolutely no intentions of ever moving back, it was good to see the area again.

Northbound suburban Pace bus on North Harlem Avenue. Elmwood Park Illinois USA. June 2006.

A northbound suburban Pace bus is seen crossing the former Milwaukee Road railroad tracks, at Harlem and Grand Avenues in near northwest suburban Elmwood Park Illinois. I took this photograph on a lovely day in June of 2006. This bus will terminate its northbound run nearby, at the Elmwood Park Public Library.

Westbound suburban Pace bus at 79th Street and Harlem Avenue. Bridgeview Illinois USA. May 2006.

I took this evening photograph in May of 2006 in southwest suburban Bridgeview Illinois USA. A westbound Pace bus heading to Moraine Valley Community College in nearby Palos Hills Illinois, is traveling west into the sunset on west 79th Street, and has just passed South Harlem Avenue. The bus seen here is a 2002 Orion low floor transit coach.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A summer evening at Kiddieland Amusement Park. Melrose Park Illinois USA. July 2006.

Hello everyone!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
The series of photographs You are about to view, were taken by Myself after work. I was heading south to Bridgeview Illinois to visit My parents that evening. Along the way, I was about to pass up a really "Unique" opportunity to go railfanning or "Gricing" as My friend Iain at My links page Railway Roundabout .Com would say. I did go railfanning, although on a "Smaller Scale". Ha ha! Get it? Aw never mind.
Here is the Amusement Park's neon sign, located on the northwest corner of First Avenue -U.S Route # 171 and North Avenue -U.S Route # 64 in northwest suburban Melrose Park Illinois USA. I had fun taking these photographs at days end. It was a "Hot" day that day with temperatures around 96 Degrees Farenheight and lots of Humidity.

Kiddeland Limited passing through the east parking lot. Kiddieland Amusement Park. Melrose Park Illinois. July 2006.

Seen here after departing the parks boarding station, the Kiddieland Limited is making yet another lap around the Amusement Park's property. The locomotive appears to be a "Gas Powered Replica" of an old EMD F -7 cab unit. These early passenger and freight service prototypes from the 1940's and 50's were referred to in later years by railfans as
"Covered Wagons". Many ended their service lives in commuter train service. The trains gasoline engine sort of sounds a little like that of a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. When it is idling it sounds like - putter putter putter putter, but when it is taking off under load conditions, it sounds like Bruuuum -Bruuuuuuuuuum!

Miniature Railroad Crossing Signal. Kiddieland Amusement Park. Melrose Park Illinois USA. July 2006.

Seen here looking northeast toward First Avenue -U.S Route # 171, is one of a few railroad crossing signals, operating in the east parking lot at the Kiddieland Amusement Park. These signals have a unique 4 beat ringing sound and are operated by electric solonoids. They sound like -Ping - Ping - Ping -Ping. In the near future...I may attempt to try and ad a sound file to My blog page, as I have a recording of these Miniature signals. These signals help protect the Kiddieland Limited and it's passengers as it cautiously passes through the parking lot.

Kiddieland Limited leaving the boarding terminal. Kiddieland Amusement Park. Melrose Park Illinois USA. July 2006.

Just for thr "Heck of it all", I stopped by after work at the Kiddieland Amusement Park in northwest suburban Melrose Park Illinois. I didn't have the money to actually go inside the park as I was between checks and paying Bills.
However....Parking lots are nice places to go Railfanning or "Gricing" as My friend "Iain" would say at My links site Railway Roundabout.Com.
Right Iain? Absolutely buddy.
Seen here passing through the east parking lot, is the Kiddieland Limited streamliner diesel train. This train is painted in the "Daylight" passenger color scheme once utilized by the Southern Pacific railroad in the 1940's and 50's. In the background along North Avenue -U.S Route # 64 is the Maywood Park horse racing track. This was a fun way to end a hot summer workday back in July of 2006.

Heading into the sunset. Kiddieland Amusement Park, Melrose Park Illinois USA. July 2006.

Heading into a colorful shower of bright late day sunshine, The Kiddieland Limited - or should we say "The Sunset Limited", heads west for another lap around the amusement park property. Kiddieland Amusement Park is rumored to be in the "Sunset of it's life". Kiddieland is the only survivor of a series of small amusement parks that once existed around Chicago Illinois USA. I took this photograph from the east parking lot on First Avenue. There is a chance that 2006 may be it's last season. I certainly hope not. The park has 2 different train rides. One with a steam locomotive and canopied cars, and this 1950's diesel streamliner in Southern Pacific Daylight colors. The steam train is rarely used these days. There used to be 2 steam locomotives here at Kiddieland. The 4 -8 -4 that they use occasionally, and a smaller 4 -6 -4 streamline steamer now at the Hesston Steam Museum located in Hesston Indianna USA. A last look at a forgotten simpler era.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Belt Railway of Chicago ALCO C-425 Roadswitchers. March 1985.

This photograph was taken on a ready track of some sort, at the Belt Railway of Chicago's Clearing Yard near Chicago's Midway Airport. I was actually chasing "Help Wanted" ads in the Chicago Sun Times newspaper on this day. I had taken this photo of two 1966 Vintage ALCO
(American Locomotive Company) C-425 Century Series roadswitchers with a caboose. Alco diesel locomotives were built at their Schenectedy New York factory until 1969 when the Company went out of business. Most U.S railroads had retired their remaining Alco diesels by the Mid to Late 1970's. The Berlt Railway of Chicago ran theirs until 1999. Alcos in Chicago during the 1980's were a real pleasure to behold. Thank You BRC. I attempted to find work on the Belt Railway, but they too were having a hiring freeze in 1985.

Bedford Park switching local. March 1985.

When I was rediscovering several old 35 MM photographs that I had taken during the 1980's, It occured to Me, that not all of them were taken under pleasant personal circumstances. I was experiencing one of the worst years I had come to know when I had taken these in Bedford Park Illinois in March of 1985.
I was unemployed since January of 1985, and was experiencing numerous difficulties trying to find a "Job" of any kind. I was unemployed most of that rotten year. On this cloudy and damp late winter day, I had taken My camera along on an employment searching expedition. I did not find any work on this gloomy day, but I had got some nice working photos of the Belt Railway of Chicago in action. Seen here around west 73rd Street just west of South Cicero Avenue, an old EMD SW Series diesel switcher is working the local factory spur sidings in the Bedford Industrial Park. Trains that deliver and pick up cars from Industries are called "Switching Locals", or sometimes are even referred to as a "Pedler Freight".

Belt Railway of Chicago EMD SW Series Diesel Switcher in Bedford Park Illinois USA. March 1985.

1985 was a tough year for Me, as most of it was spent desperately trying to find employment. I took this photograph on a cloudy and cold day in March of 1985, while I was out pursuing job offers from the Chicago Sun Times classified section. This was one of the rare occasions where I had taken My 35mm Camera with Me on a job search. This photograph was taken around 70th Street and South Cicero Avenue, adjacent to the Belt Railway of Chicago's Clearing Yard. This yard is located alongside the Bedford Industrial Park. Unfortunately...I did not find any work on this gloomy day, However My unemployment compensation check had came in the previous friday. I bought a role of film, and took a few very nice behind the scenes photos of the Belt Railway of Chicago in late winter. The Febuary snows were melting and the ground was very soggy. This was a work day type of picture.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Eastbound Metra train at Berwyn Station. Berwyn Illinois USA. May 2006.

A lovely Saturday Spring afternoon in May of 2006, is seen here at the Berwyn Illinois suburban Metra station, located on Oak Park Avenue. I had to wait for this train to proceed eastbound after picking up and dropping off passengers. While the crossing gates on Oak Park Avenue were still down, I took the opportunity to shoot this photograph out of My driver side window of this temporarily stopped commuter train heading to downtown Chicago Illinois USA. Berwyn is a pleasant town to visit in Chicago's western suburbs.

Southbound CTA Orange Line train at the Roosevelt Road Station. May 2006.

I took this photograph in May of 2006, in the southern section of downtown Chicago. Seen here stopping for rush hour commuters, is a Chicago Transit Authority "Orange Line" rapid transit train heading to Chicago's Midway Airport. Notice the Blue circulair logo wich was introduced in 2005 just below the motormans cab.

Westbound Metra commuter train approaching North Kilbourn Avenue. Chicago Illinois USA. April 2006.

I had taken this photograph on Chicago's Westside in April of 2006. A fast moving Metra commuter train headed for Elburn Illinois, is racing past North Kilbourn Avenue. Just north and east of this location, is a Chicago Transit Authority bus and maintenance facility. Notice the CTA markings and "Mail Car" markings on the side of the cargo van at the leval crossing. This is an example of one of the "In House" support vechicles working for the transit agency.

Old railroad crossing signal. Chicago Illinois USA. June 2005.

I took this photograph on My way home from work in June of 2005. I had to take a "Detour" that day, and actually pass through My old neighborhood where I had grown up, on Chicago's near southwest side.
This photo location on this Hot June 2005 day, is looking east on West 31st Street, approximately 4 blocks west of South Kedzie Avenue, in the Little Village Neighborhood. I was born in 1962, and lived in Little Village until 1990. This railroad crossing signal is located along the former Illinois Northern railroad line, wich was owned partially by the Santa Fe Railroad, International Harvester Corporation, and some other local industries. It was a six mile industrial railroad. In 1972, the Santa Fe bought out the I.N Railroad branch and operated it until the 1995 merger with the Burlington Northern Railroad. The latter company BNSF operated this line until 2000, and eventually sold the line to DRS Rail Services. By the time I had photographed this scene here, there was only one or two online industries left, and an old rebuilt EMD SW Series diesel locomotive swithcher behind a chain link fence. The large building in the background to the right, is the now abandoned Washburne Trade School.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Westbound Canadian National freight train at North Riverside Illinois USA. May 2006.

I photographed this scene on a lovely morning in May of 2006. Once again, as with most railfan photographs, this was definately a Right place / Right time situation when I actually had a camera with Me.
I was on My way to a business / Sales call in Chicago's western suburbs. I had seen that the crossing gates on Desplaines Avenue just south of 22nd Street / Cermak Road were in the process of lowering to stop vechiculair traffic. I hastily pulled into a nearby parking lot, and ran to the tracks to photograph this slow moving Canadian National Railroad freight train. This particulair set of railroad tracks, is actually the former Illinois Central Railroads "Iowa Division Mainline" wich runs from Chicago Illinois to Waterloo Iowa. Canadian National absorbed the Illinois Central Railroad in a merger that took place around the year of 2000.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Arival in Michigan City Indianna USA. August 1984.

Seen here in August of 1984, a group of northwest Indianna railroad commuters, are seen departing from the Chicago, Southshore, and Southbend electric train in downtown Michigan City Indianna USA. This train of then "Brand New" Nippon Shairo electric lightweight commuter coaches, has arrived here departing from Chicago Illinois approximately one hour ago. The Southshore Line runs through the Middle of 11th Street in downtown Michigan City Indianna. There are two stations in Michigan City Indianna. The downtown "Storefront" one on 11th Street, and one just east of town at the railroads repair facilities. The 2nd Michigan City station is listed in the timetable as the "Shops" station.

Reflections of the Southshore Line. Michigan City Indianna USA. August 1984.

This photographic opportunity was just too good to pass up. This is proboubly My first creative artistic style photograph I had taken ever. At the time of this photograph, the old storefront station in Michigan City Indianna, with a waiting room was still in use. It was only open at certain times though. I had a feeling to photograph the window reflections of the south shore train outside on 11th Street, and I am so glad that I did. Abgout a year after I had taken this photograph, The depots ticket counter and waiting room were "Closed" for economic reasons. Passengers still board outside in front of the storefront station, however the windows and doorway have been officially "Boarded Up" and look abandoned. This photograph is definately a "last Look". A reflection of a proud past.

Chicago, Southshore, and Southbend electric Interurban / Commuter train in Michigan City Indianna USA. August 1984.

I took this photograph in August of 1984. Seen here in the middle of 11th Street in downtown Michigan City Indianna USA, is an eastbound Chicago Southshore, and Southbend Railroad electric train heading to Southbend Indianna.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Eastbound CTA Nova Transit Coach on Foster Avenue. March 2006.

Hello everyone!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
Today is "Bus Day" here again at My blog site.
I am pursuing a career as an outside sales rep for a local Chicago soft drink bottling company. I have brought a camera along with Me to work many times over the past few years, and have been fortunate to be able to bring You many Chicago area Rail and Bus photographs. Seen here on a cold morning in March of 2006, is a Chicago Transit Authority "Nova" low floor transit coach. The bus is heading east on Foster Avenue and has just passed the intersection at North Kedzie Avenue. This photograph was taken on Chicago's Northside of the city.