Monday, October 30, 2006

A hearty meal after work. Darcy Lynn's Snack Shop. 8605 West Ogden Avenue. Lyons Illinois USA. September 2006.

Hello everyone!
Welcome once again to Eddie's Railfan Page.
You'll have to excuse Me, but I just got out of work for the day, and I am STARVING! Ha ha!
This is one of My favorite local Chicagoland Diners to eat at in the Western Suburbs. I took this photograph of one of My favorite Entree's -
"Biscuits and Gravy". MMMMM!
This is Darcy Lynn's Snack Shop located at 8605 West Ogden Avenue in the village of Lyons Illinois. The food is really good here, the prices are reasonable, and they always take good care of this hungry railfan. Nice people to visit. Care to join Me for dinner? After this, we will visit some local railfaning activity on the CSX Transportation's former B&OCT Line in Cicero Illinois.

After work railfan surprise. CSX Transportation's 16th Street local. Cicero Illinois USA. September 2006.

This train is definately one of the most "Elusive" ones that I have ever come to know. This local operated by CSX Transportation, serves misc factories and industries in suburban Cicero Illinois along West 16th Street between Knox Street in Chicago, and Central Avenue in suburban Cicero Illinois. I am normally never around when this train is serving the on line industries, or Vise-Versa. One day after work in September of 2006, I was pleasantly surprised to find the switching local leaving a large industry at the end of the line, just east of Central Avenue, and heading back to Chicago. This line is the former Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad, or B&OCT as it was known in Pre 1972 Chessie System days.

Eastbound CSX Transportation 16th Street industrial switching local. Cicero Illinois USA. September 2006.

I took this photograph out of the drivers side window of My car. On My way home from work one day, I finally photographed one of the most "Elusive" trains that I have come to know. This particulair CSX Branchline (Formerly B&OCT)
runs alongside West 16th Street in the town of Cicero Illinois. This train has just pulled out of a large factory siding spur just east of Central Avenue, and is heading for the Belt Railway of Chicago embankment / interchange east of Cicero Avenue. This train apparently runs on no set schedual. I was in the Right Place at the Right Time that dday after work.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Riverside Illinois Metra station. Riverside Illinois USA. October 2006.

Seen here is the north platform of the Riverside Illinois Metra commuter rail station. The north platform serves the Westbound local commuter trains, the center track is for Express trains and fast freight trains, while the south platform serves all eastbound local commuter trains to the city of Chicago. The village of Riverside Illinois
is very picturesque in the Autum.

Westbound BNSF / Detroit Edison empty unit coal train. Riverside Illinois USA. October 2006.

I took this lovely Autum morning photograph in downtown Riverside Illinois in October of 2006.
A fast BNSF Railway empty unit coal train has a green block signal, and is literally racing through town enroute to the Powder River coal basin in the state of Wyoming. Large power / Utility companies such as Detroit Edison will send an entire unit train to the coal mining operations when the need for coal to power electricity happens. The 2nd diesel locomotive is painted in one of the "Last" experimental color schemes from the previous railroad, Burlington Northern.

Speeding empty westbound Detroit Edison unit coal train. Riverside Illinois USA. October 2006.

Seen here racing past the Metra Riverside Illinois commuter rail station, is an empty unit coal train with markings DEEX for the Detroit Edison utility company. This empty train is more than likely heading to the Coal Fields and Strip Mining operations in state of Wyoming, in the Powder River Basin.
Once fully loaded, the train will speed back to the state of Michigan via Chicago Illinois USA. In the background is the Riverside Water Tank, wich is cosmetically made up to look like one from Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chicago Transit Authority Route # 77 Belmont Avenue bus stop sign.

Hello everyone!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
Today is "Bus Day" here at My blog site, and i felt that it
would be nice to show You some bus photographs from
the Chicagoland area, as well as Milwaukee Wisconsin too.
This bus stop sign was photographed by Myself during
a hot July day in 2006, at the intersection of West
Belmont Avenue and North Oak Park Avenue. This is
an active location for buses on the northside of Chicago.
Welcome to the windy city everyone.

Pace suburban bus at Elmhurst Illinois USA Metra station. June 2002.

Seen here in June of 2002, is a Pace bus waiting for the next Metra Commuter train to arrive. This photograph was taken in northwest suburban Elmhurst Illinois.

Milwaukee County Transit System buses. Milwaukee Wisconsin USA. May 2000.

I took this photograph in May of 2000, while on a fantrip bus enthusiasts charter. I had gotten together with a group from the Midwest Transit Bus Museum from Crest Hill Illinois USA, and some members from the local Omnibus Society of America. The GMC bus on the left, was in its last year of service. On June 8th 2001, the Milwaukee County Transit System operated the "Last Run" charter for these old GMC buses.

Chicago Transit Authority Nova bus picking up passengers. Chicago Illinois USA. July 2006.

An eastbound Route # 77 Belmont Avenue bus, has just stopped at North Oak Park Avenue to pick up and drop off passengers. This is one of the CTA's buses made by a company called NOVA. These buses are fuel efficient and stylish.

Caught in the rain. An open double deck sightseeing bus on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. Late June 2006.

What could be more unpleasant, than riding on an open deck of a double decker bus when a rainshower comes along. This northbound open double deck sightseeing coach, was spotted near Monroe Harbor on Lake Shore Drive. The day had started out partly cloudy, but a good shower was not far off. I hope that the tourists upstairs were able to find some empty seats below.
Definately an example of Chicago's ever -
changing weather patterns.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Circus comes to Chicago. Wednsday October 18th 2006.

I took this photograph of one of those railroad "Extra Movements" waiting on a hold order. I was just returning to My place of employment to turn in My paperwork, after spending a day out in the field making sales. Seen here just west of the Belt Railway of Chicago fly over viaduct, is the inbound Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train. I stopped My car along West Kinzie Street approximately 4 blocks west of North Kilbourn Avenue to photograph this scene looking west at 4:30 PM Central Time during a heavy rain. At approximately 4:50 PM, the dispatcher gave this train the "Go Ahead" order to proceed to its temporary Chicago Terminal location. looking west along the Union Pacific mainline, this is the begining of elevated style embankment running. This goes from Cicero Avenue in Chicago, to First Avenue U.S Rt # 171 in suburban Maywood Illinois.

Eastbound Circus Train gets a green signal. Wednsday, October 18th 2006.

After waiting on a hold order for a considerable period of time, the dispatcher finally gave this Extra Movement known as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus train -clearance to proceed. After recieving a green block signal, the train began the remainder of it's journey into the city of Chicago Illinois. The two Union Pacific Railroad freight service diesel locomotives, have just cleared the railroad crossing on North Kilbourn Avenue, and are taking the circus train into Metropolitan Chicago for the annual Circus visit. The Circus will play two venues, United Center (Formery the Chicago Stadium) and the Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont Illinois.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus train passing in the rain. Chicago Illinois USA. Wednsday October 18th 2006.

Seen here heading east alongside West Kinzie Street, is the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train arriving in the city of Chicago Illinois, via the Union Pacific Railroad. It was a soggy day, but still a great experience to be there on location with a camera when the Circus comes to town. I had no idea that they would be travelling by the former Chicago & North Western rail line that passes My place of employment. I had just got off of work for the day too. Notice the "Outside Lights" on some of the passenger cars. I presume it is so the travelling performers can see the landscape out of the windows when traveling at night.

Eastbound Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus train. Chicago Illinois USA. Wednsday, October 18th 2006.

Seen here is the Anual visit of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus arriving in the city of Chicago Illinois. The train is seen passing the railroad crossing on North Kilbourn Avenue on Chicago's Westside. The train is traveling over the Union Pacific Railroad's former Chicago & North Western west line. The sight of the Circus train coming to town on such a rainy and overcast Autum day in Chicago, was definately a bright spot for this amature railfan photographer. It was most definately one of those rare Right Time/ Right Place situations.

Circus support vechicles on flatcars. Chicago Illinois USA. Wednsday October 18th 2006.

I took this panned photograph of an eastbound circus train passing along West Kinzie Street. Toward the rear of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus train, are many flatcars that carry containers -front end loaders -tractors, Portable electrical equipment, and many support and utility vechicles.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus passing North Kilbourn Avenue. Chicago Illinois USA. Wednsday October 18th 2006.

I took this photograph after work at the intersection of North Kilbourn Avenue and West Kinzie Street looking east. This is an example of the many pieces of Containers -and Support equipment that rides on the rear of the circus train. There were several Ex Piggyback flatcars being used by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to haul -Support Vechicles -Electrical Generators , and various Transporting Storage Containers. This was at approximately 4:50 PM Central Time. I had just left work that day, and My company is right behind Me on the corner here. This was definately a Right Place/ Right Time situation for a man carrying a camera to work with him. Although it was a gloomy day with cold temperatures and periods of rain, The Circus train definately added a spot of sunshine to My day.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Groffs Grove picnic station stop. Strasburg Pennsylvania USA. August 1990.

This is the Groffs Grove picnic station stop on the Strasburg Railroad. The inbound train on the left picks up and drops off passengers here, while the train on the right passes around the stopped train on the passing siding. Great Western Railroad Number # 90 is pulling into the Groffs Grove station , while Number # 31 waits for it to clear the siding switch so that it can proceed down the branchline trackage to Paradise Pennsylvania. Number # 31 has just emerged from maintenance and repairs at the Strasburg Railroad's Enginehouse, and is seen making a test run on the railroad line. I had a fun week out in the rural southeast pennsylvania countryside.

Strasburg Railroad # 31 on break in run after recieving repairs. Strasburg Pennsylvania USA. August 1990.

A partly cloudy day with hazy sunshine made for some excellent "Vintage" looking black and white vacation photographs. I photogrtaphed Strasburg Railroad No # 31 running backwards toward the end of the line a couple of miles or so from here at the Cherry Hill location. Number # 31 had just recieved boiler or possibly running gear repair maintenance at the Enginehouse that week, and was performing a Break In run to make sure that everything was working properly. Engine No # 31 is an 0-6-0 type Swithing locomotive that originally worked for the Canadian National Railroad. This was vintage reanactment photography at it's best, at least for Me anyway.

What year would You say this photograph was taken in?

This is an example of the kind of "Fun" that You can have by occasionally shooting black and white pictures on location. Although I had taken these vacation pictures in August of 1990, This picture looks like something anybody's Parents or Grandparents may have taken in perhaps 1954.
This scene was photographed at the end of the day at the Strasburg Railroad enginehouse. Just as it was during the 1950's, steam and diesel locomotives worked side by side in the United States and Canada. The diesel locomotive is a General Electric 44 ton centercab wich hails from the 1940's and 50's era. Steam locomotives were being "Phased Out" during this period, and many railroads litterally "Squeezed" every operable mile out of them before retirement or scrapping. The clothes that this family is wearing adds a sort of a "Period" feeling to the photograph. The big steam locomotive , Ex Great Western Railroad No# 90 from Colorado -a 2-10 -0 Decapod type freight service locomotive, is recieving some last minute maintenance before being put to bed for the night inside the Strasburg Railroad enginehouse. This definately looks like the 1950's steam to diesel transition period on American railroads.

Cherry Hill Junction.Strasburg Pennsylvania USA. August 1990.

During the month of August in the year 1990, I went to Strasburg Pennsylvania for a one week vacation from Chicago Illinois. I had spent a lot of time photographing the Strasburg Railroad, wich is a populair tourist attraction.
The Strasburg Railroad is a 4 and 1/2 mile shortline railroad that mainly hauls tourists. The line runs from Strasburg to Leaman Place Junction in the town of Paradise Pennsylvania.
The location shown here is "Cherry Hill". This is just across from the Groffs Grove picnic stop where the inbound and outbound trains meet and pass each other. The inbound trains to Strasburg stop at Groffs Grove, while the outbound trains to Paradise move past on the passing siding. This is located at Cherry Hill Road in Strasburg P.A

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Servicing after the last trip of the season. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indianna USA. Late October 1991.

I took this "End of the day" photograph just outside the museum's Enginehouse. Just below the rear drive wheels can be seen the remnants or "Clinkers" from a coal fire that was just dumped from the locomotive firebox. The engineer is walking around the engine with his oil can to perform some last minute maintenance to the locomotives running gear and other parts. Soon the locomotive and coaches will slowly roll into the enginehouse on a gasp of steam preasure, and be "put to bed" for the upcoming winter. This is a genuine "Behind the scenes" photograph of museum steam train operations. The cold damp weather and Autum foliage caught the look and feel of steam railroading in 1991.

The cab of the Czech steam locomotive. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indianna USA.

This is a view that normally only the crew members get to see and experience firsthand. This is the locomotive cab, of a Czechloslovakian meter guage steam locomotive. Imediately on the boiler backhead is the water "Sight Guage", wich indicates how much water is "IN", or needs to be added during operation. On the left side of the boiler is a small shovel. This is for the small "Coal Bunker" located just in front of the locomotive cab. I personally can "Not" name all the valves and guages and just exactly what they do, but I am sure that there is proboubly some Individual with steam operating or working industrial boiler experience out there viewing My blog site. This is a photograph for people who are either Mechanically Inclined, or for people who enjoy the "Nuts and Bolts" part of keeping machinery running.

Meter guage Czechloslovakian steam locomotive rounding a curve. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indianna USA. Late October 1991.

I took this photograph along the Museum's dual guage 2 Foot and 3 foot railroad mainline, wich is why you see 2 rails close together on the right side of the picture. I stood outside in an isolated area in a cold drizzle, to capture this late season runby of the Czechloslovakian 0-4-0 side tank steam locomotive and open summer coaches. The locomotive is Meter Guage, and operates on the 2 foot guage rails. 40 degree rainy windy weather didn't feel very pleasant in the open summer coaches, as My fingers were stinging. Nonetheless it was a fun outing on the last day of the museum's operating season. The cold weather made for some excellent Steam Effects.

The 14 Inch guage steam train at the Hesston Junction Depot. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indianna USA. Late October 1991.

I photographed this quiet late Autum scene in October of 1991 at Indianna's Hesston Steam Museum. It was a rainy and cold day when I made this visit in late October of 1991, with outside temperatures in the low to mid 40's.
The train shown here awaiting for passengers, operates on tracks that are 14 inches between the rails. Hence 14 Inch Guage.
Cold and damp as it was, the locomotive and train is seen catching a few sun rays via a temporary clearing in the all day overcast sky. This picture was photographed on the last operating day of the year at the museum. Soon the equipment would be put away for the winter.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Strasburg Railroad engine house. Strasburg Pennsylvania USA . August 1990.

I had taken this "Very Vintage" looking photograph using a roll of 35mm Black and White film just for the fun of it all.
I was enjoying a one week vacation in Strasburg Pennsylvania during August of 1990. It was the first time I ever travelled alone, and I had a nice time doing it.
Seen here in the railroad's equipment servicing area or "Shops" as they are called, is 2-6-0 type
steam locomotive # 89. This locomotive was originally from the Canadian National Railroad. This locomotive has since been cosmetically restored to it's Canadian National appearance.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

23 Years ago this Month. October 1983. GTW Elsdon Yard closed.

Hello everybody!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
In past installments on My blog site, I had recieved many E-mails and annonymous comments from southside Chicago railfans who grew up in the Grand Trunk Western Elsdon Yard area along West 51st Street, or had fond memories of the old place. 23 Years ago, in early October of 1983...I visited Elsdon Yard with My camera in hand, only to sadly find out that this was actually the last week the yard would still be in operation. GTW was actually moving their operations and servicing to the Belt Railway of Chicago's "Clearing Yard" facility near Midway airport. Here I was , beautiful Indian Summer weather -Camera -Film -Good walking shoes -and many nice things I had taken for granted that were about to disappear from Chicago. I wound up paying My last respects that day. This is the old Elsdon Depot on West 51st Street just east of South Lawndale Avenue. This beautifull 2 story wooden train station from 1888 would be demolished in November of 1983. I was told that a bulldozer crew had it levalled in 2 hours. Todays posting is for people who remember the former GTW Elsdon Yard and Roundhouse facilities. We will now pay tribute to this place.

Manual crossing gate operators tower. Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Elsdon Yard. Chicago Illinois USA. October 1983.

I photographed this early afternoon view looking west toward South Lawndale Avenue along West 51st Street, in early October of the year 1983. This tower was used to manually operate the crossing gates on West 51st Street between Lawndale Avenue on the west, and St.Louis Avenue on the east. The Grand Trunk Western Railroad had an old Steam Era 14 track Railroad yard and adjoining roundhouse on Chicago's southwest side. This tower was used to the very end, that being the week I visited Elsdon Yard in early October of 1983. The following week, This crossing gate control tower was demolished. Just below the staircase is the oil tank for heating in the winter. With many years of frequent back and forth switching moves across 51st Street, it was nescesary to manually operate the crossing gates and signals so that the vechicle traffic wouldn't get too backed up.

Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Elsdon Car Shop. October 1983.

This old brick structure was the GTW Elsdon Yard Car Repair Shop. This was located behind a tall fence alonside South St.Louis Avenue near West 53rd Street. This area featured a RIP Track, wich stood for "Repair In Place". Railroad boxcars and other rolling stock recieved repairs and maintenance at this facility.

The Railroad Police Headquarters. GTW Elsdon Yard. Chicago Illinois USA. October 1983.

This old brick two story building from the turn of the century once housed a Railroad Refridgerator car agency. In later years, it was used by the GTW Security or "Railroad Police Department", as well as a small railroad office or two. This view is looking south alongside west 51st Street just west of South St.Louis Avenue in the Elsdon Neighborhood community. Elsdon Yard back then seemed quaint and "Laid Back". I don't recall ever seeing any police activity at this location. Directly across the street was a CTA Bus Turnaround Terminal for the Route #51 -51st Street bus line. It was used by electric trolley buses from 1949 to 1959. The bus turnaround was "Phased out" in 1993 when the CTA opened the Orange Line Rapid Transit to Midway Airport. The Westbound CTA 51st Street buses now terminate at the Orange Line terminal at Kedzie Avenue and West 48th Place.

Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Elsdon engine terminal. Chicago Illinois USA. October 1983.

This timeless view of the GTW Elsdon Yard engine servicing tracks would soon be gone. A chance visit to Elsdon Yard on the southside of Chicago, during early October of 1983, would be the last time I would actually see these locomotives being Fueled -Oiled -and Sanded on the GTW Elsdon Roundhouse lead tracks. The following week, this area west of Kedzie Avenue would be abandoned and empty. This was definately My last chance to see this in action. Behind the EMD Roadswitchers is the Sanding Tower. Locomotives need dry sand for traction.

Rear view. Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Elsdon Roundhouse. Chicago Illinois USA. October 1983.

I photographed this "Rare" backside view, of the GTW Railroad "Elsdon Roundhouse" located at West 49th Street and South Kedzie Avenue on Chicago's southwest side. This scene was actually photographed during the last week of operation for the GTW Elsdon yard and roundhouse. I had heard through the various "Rumors" circulating amongst My fellow railfans at the time, that the GTW was actually contemplating closing the old Elsdon facilities soon. I no sooner went on location with My trusty 35mm Camera, just to find out that this was the Elsdon farewell week.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lets go train spotting. Your host and photographer in July of 2006.

Hello Everybody!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
This is Your host and photographer Eddie, inviting You to
come along with Me on location, for some good summertime
Chicago area train spotting, or "Railfanning as some call it.
Here I am in July of 2006 driving to one of many Chicagoland
train watching locations, to obtain photographs for my
blog site. Sometimes after work...I would go and visit any
number of these locations depending how much energy I had.
I work as an Outside Sales Representative wich means that My car is My "Office". Many times I take My camera to work with Me. Sometimes I take photos on My way to work. I
I hope You enjoy these happy memories from the summer
of 2006.
All Aboooaaard!

Thank You.

Brighton Interlocking Junction. Chicago Illinois USA. July 2006.

During July of 2006, I visited one of My old 1980's "Railfan Haunts" that I hadn't been to in many years. This is the old fashioned "Steam Era" manual Junction, located at Archer and Western Avenues on Chicago's southside. This crosstrack junction is where the Norfolk Southern and CSX Railroads, cross over the Canadian National's former Illinois Central Railroad Mainline. This junction was still using old Steam Era Semaphore Signals in the year of 2006, and all trains were required to stop and wait for clearance at this location. In the background behind the traffic control shack, can be seen the newer "Block Signals on the Canadian National mainline tracks. Time and Technology have caught up to this old railroad junction, and there is already talk in progress by the railroads for Modernizing and Replacing this relic from a forgotten era of Chicago Railroading. The North /South trackage is owned by Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation and is freight only. The East/West Canadian National line features freight trains as well as Metra commuter trains and Amtrak service.

Union Pacific Railroad locomotives on Western Avenue viaduct. Chicago Illinois USA. July 2006.

I took this photograph out My front windshield, wich unfortunately hadn't been cleaned in a while, while I was driving north on Western Avenue just south of Ogden Avenue U.S Route # 34 in the city of Chicago Illinois. These units are wearing Union Pacific Railroad's "Waving Flag" logo, wich appeared on some Union Pacific diesel locomotives after the Tragic Terrorist Attacks on America on September 11th 2001. These locomotives are seen at a former Chicago & North Western Railroad Intermodal Facility. The Union Pacific Railroad absorbed the C&NW railroad through a merger in the year of 1998. It was a matter of time anyway, since later C&NW freight trains had Union Pacific locomotives as well as their own on the head end.

Canadian Pacific Railroad EMD MP 15 DC yard switcher. CP Rail Bensenville Yard. Bensenville Illinois USA. July 2006.

This photograph was taken by Me near Wolf Road alongside Green Street in Bensenville Illinois during July of 2006. The locomotive is an Ex Milwaukee Road mid 1970's vintage EMD MP 15 DC Yard Switcher spotting cars in the hot late morning sun in the former Milwaukee Road yard.

Northbound Canadian Pacific Railroad freight train on Belt Railway of Chicago trackage. Chicago Illinois USA. July 2006

I photographed this sunny afternoon summer scene after work one day, in July of 2006. A northbound Canadian Pacific Railroad double stack container train is passing under the Chicago Transit Authority's "Green Line" Rapid Transit line to Oak Park Illinois. This scene is just north of Lake Street about a block west of North Kilbourn Avenue, on Chicago's West side. This train has left the Belt Railway of Chicago's "Clearing Yard" located in Southwest suburban Bedford Park, near Chicago's Midway Airport, and is heading to Cragin Junction, where it will head west on the former Milwaukee Road trackage to the yard in Bensenville Illinois. The lead diesel unit is still in Soo Line markings. The Canadian Pacific Railroad absorbed the Soo Line Railroad through a merger in the year of 1990.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Indianna Harbor Belt Railroad train heading southeast. Alsip Illinois USA. Late October 1990.

An Indianna Harbor Belt Railroad transfer freight train, is seen rounding a curve around 123rd Street just east of the Cicero Avenue U.S Rt # 50 overpass bridge in Southwest Suburban Alsip Illinois. The Autum colors are giving way to November Straw Brown colors on this delightfully warm day in 1990. I took this photograph from the Cicero Avenue bridge embankment looking east. It was a nice day with unseasonably mild temperatures near 70 Degrees with clear skies.

Westbound Santa Fe empty intermodal train. Chicago Illinois. November 1989.

I took this photograph looking down from the South Pulaski Road Bridge in November of 1989.
A pair of Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe EMD Roadswitcher diesels are towing an empty cut of Piggyback flatcars west.

Chicago Gravel Company # 18. Veterans Park. Bensenville Illinois USA. March 1986.

Seen here behind a chain link fence alongside Mainstreet near Church Road in Bensenville Illinois, we see Chicago Gravel Company 0-6-0 # 18 on display on a cold March night in 1986. This locomotive was built by ALCO in 1922. It has been on display in Bensenville Illinois since 1961.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

1965 Chicago Transit Authority Flxible transit coach. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.

Helo Everyone!
Welcome to Eddie's Railfan Page.
Today is "Bus Day" here at My blog site.
Seen here are some preserved vintage examples on location at the Illinois Railway Museum, located in the town of Union Illinois in Mc.Henry County. Most people think of railroad museums for things like 'Steam Trains or Electric Streetcars", well vintage buses are becoming populair exhibits as well these days. A walk through the Museum's bus garage in August 2006, took Me back physically somewhat to My Chicago childhood. I rode many of these buses during the 1960's and 70's in daily service, and it was good to see -touch-and ride some of these once again. This is a 1965 Flxible new look transit coach. I frequently rode these on the Route #52 Kedzie/California bus line as well as the Route #60 Blue Island bus line. They were retired in 1986. "Next Stop -Kedzie Avenue!"

Flxible Coach Company builders plate. 1965 CTA Flxible transit coach. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.

I took this photograph inside the museum bus garage in August of 2006. This is a potograph of one of the everyday details nobody ever seemed to notice when these buses were in daily service. This is a builders plate on a 1965 Flxible Transit Coach. This company was located in Loudonville Ohio. The Chicago Transit Authority used these Flxible new look "Fishbowl" windshield models, until they were retired in 1986. I rode these as a boy growing up in the windy city. These were the "Last" CTA Buses with "Soft Vinyl Seats", as Vandals and a somewhat less than kind society caused the CTA to standardize on hard plastic seats with rubber pads.

Milwaukee Wisconsin General Motors bus. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.

Seen here parked near the museum bus garage, is an old General Motors new look bus from the city of Milwaukee Wisconsin. These buses, and the buses from the Flxible Coach Company of Loudonville Ohio from the 1960's and 70's era were nicknamed "Fishbowls", due to their unique windshield designs. General Motors introduced this design in 1959 and produced them until 1983. These were a common sight on America's city streets during the 1960's through the 1980's
and 90's. Milwaukee Wisconsin retired theirs on June 8th 2000. I was on the "Last Run Fantrip".

Rear view of 1951 CTA Trolley bus. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.

Seen here inside the museum bus garage, is an everyday view from My childhood that I never thought I would see again. This is a 1951 Marmon Herrington Corporation electric trolley bus from the Chicago Transit Authority. As a kid growing up on Chicago's near southwest side, My family and I frequently rode these on the Route # 52 Kedzie / California bus line. This route was converted to propane and diesel bus operation in March of 1969, as a new bridge was being built on the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal. Two of the last lines to use these were the route #54B Cicero Avenue line, and the Route # 53 Pulaski line. These two lines ended electric bus service on March 24th 1973. Some of the other CTA lines that had used them were the Route # 77 Belmont Avenue -Route # 80 Irving Park -Route# 85 Central Avenue -Route# 47 47th Street and the route # 74 Fullerton Avenue lines. The CTA had 20 routes using trolley buses, but not all at the same time.

Catcher/ Retriever safety mechanism. 1951 CTA Marmon Herrington trolley coach. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.

I took this photograph in the Museum's Bus Garage in August of 2006. This was an overlooked everyday sight for the local Chicago Transit Authority bus commuters that rode on the electric trolley buses on Chicago city streets. Chicago had Electric Trolley Buses on certain routes (Mainly Northside) From April 17th 1930, until March 24th 1973. This bus is a 1951 trolley coach from the Marmon Herrington Corporation. These were the last trolleybuses ordered new for the CTA, and were the last in service. Trolleybuses used spring loaded poles and overhead wires just like the electric streetcars of years past. Electric streetcars used one pole to draw power from the overhead wires, and completed the circuit through the rails in the street. Electric trolleybuses used two poles, as they required both a hot and ground wire connection. This spring loaded safety mechanism would activate by pulling a trolley pole down if it came off the overhead wire, wich actually happened quiete often due to the bumps in the streets. I grew up in Chicago during the 1960's and 70's, and had witnessed the final years of service for these fine examples of electric propulsion on Chicago city streets. Just as people who came before me mourn the loss of electric streetcars in Chicago, 33 years later I miss the CTA electric buses. Thanks to the Illinois Railway Museum, I can ride them once again.

1944 Ford transit coach.The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.

The Illinois Railway Museum's collection of Vintage buses has been growing in recent years. The blue bus in the foreground is a 1944 transit coach built by the Ford Motor Company. This bus is painted blue with markings for the West Towns Bus Company. The West Towns Bus Company operated suburban bus service mainly in Chicago's western suburbs untill the RTA was formed in 1974. The West Towns Bus Company was headquartered in Oak Park Illinois, and operated buses in such towns as Cicero -Berwyn Oak park -La Grange -Melrose Park -Maywood Forest Park -and Brookfield Illinois. This bus was not an original West Towns 1944 Ford, as this one came from California. It is painted to represent a West Towns bus and makes a good looking and very believable "Stand In" for a model that escaped local preservation.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Serene Autum scene. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indianna USA. October 1998.

I photographed this lovely seasonal Autum scene, on a lovely Sunday afternoon at Indianna's Hesston Steam Museum. This Museum is located near the Michigan State line not far from the city of New Buffalo Michigan. This scene is on the museum property by a very scenic and wooded pond.

Miniature live steam locomotive. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indianna USA. October 1998.

This locomotive I had photographed, is a 7 and 1/2 inch guage working live steam model of a Pennsylvania Railroad K4 Pacific Type Passenger steam locomotive. Just like the Prototype Pennsylvania K4 Class Express passenger engines (Of wich two are preserved) this locomotive is very fast and quiete powerfull. When this little locomotive is working under load conditions, you could just hear and feel the power. Two actual K4 engines from the former Pennsylvania Railroad are preserved in the State of Pennsylvania. One at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum in Strasburg Pennsylvania, and the other undergoing Mechanical overhaul in Scranton Pennsylvania at the Steamtown Museum. However that engine PRR # 1361 is owned by a Museum Group in Altoona Pennsylvania. This is a fine working miniature model.

German language markings on locomotive cab.

Seen here at the Hesston Steam Museum in Northwest Indianna, is the cab of a working Meter Guage 0-8-0 from the former East German Republic. This engine has markings in German Language on the cab indicating that it had worked for the Duestch Reichbahn Railroad. It even has Specifications in German Language as well. This is a fine working example of European Meter Guage Industrial steam locomotive design. Very practical.

East German stean locomotive. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indianna USA. October 1998.

I photographed this scene of a small Meter Guage o-8-o steam locomotive at Indianna's Hesston Steam Museum. The locomotive is operated on the Museum's 2 foot guage trackage. This is an 0-8-0 Industrial locomotive with tender from East Germany. No longer used for pulling logging or industrial trains, it has proved itself in retirement pulling leisurely passemger
trains at the museum.