Monday, February 05, 2007

BNSF Railway one car transfer train. 49th Street and south Lawndale Avenue. Chicago Illinois USA. Late January 2007.

I took this photo of a one car BNSF Railway intermodal transfer train, on south Lawndale Avenue in late January of 2007. I consider this intersection "The birthplace of My railfanning".
I have loved trains since I was a kid. Prior to 1977, My only railfanning I experienced was through the pages of magazines such as "Trains" or "Model Railroader", 3 family vacation trips to Florida on the Amtrak Floridian, or a handful of trips to Michigan City Indiana on the South Shore Railroad. Although I had an industrial branchline served by Santa Fe 5 days a week in My old neighborhood, and lived in close proximity to the Illinois Central Gulf Iowa Division mainline, I didn't go to trackside locations until I started high school in the fall of 1977. This was one of the very "First" places I had experienced on location train spotting. There were 2 rail lines that had crossed south Lawndale Avenue on street leval in back in those days. The line shown here is owned by the Belt Railway of Chicago, and serves the south entrance to the former Santa Fe Corwith Yard facility. Behind the train overhead is the Chicago Transit Authority "Orange Line" to Chicago's Midway Airport, wich had opened in 1993. Prior to December of 1988, this was the ground leval Indianna Harbor Belt Railroad's own "Stockyards Industrial Branch" wich was poorly maintained and had a daily freight train or two that served various industries east of here. The IHB local was operated with first generation EMD NW 2 diesel switchers that wore a black and white New York Central style color scheme and logo. It looked like a 1950's railroad.
Just east of here, was one of My personal favorites...The GTW Elsdon Yard on west 51st Street.
I was blessed with lots of railfan activities while attending My old Alma Matter. Happy times!


anthony c said...

Driving or walking north on Lawndale, crossing first the BRC and then the IHB, do you remember the lonely searchlight signal on that dilapidated IHB track when you'd look left as you crossed the ROW? It was always lit, yet the trains were so seldom seen.

I would've loved to explore the Stockyards Branch in its heyday.

Eddie said...

I am regretful that the IHB local was never around when I had a camera handy. I miss those old black and white switchers and jade green transfer cabooses. Sonetimes those locals would have 3 NW-2's on the head end. Sometimes they would have a jade green cupola caboose with the standard IHB boarded up cupola, just like the one on display in Bridgeview IL.
(Bridgeview's has a white paint job".)

Thank You.