Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The GTW Elsdon depot on w 51st Street at night. April 1983.

This is a "Rare" photograph I had taken in April of 1983. This is the long gone Grand Trunk Western Railroad's Elsdon depot on west 51st Street on Chicago's southwest side. A crew member has stepped outside by the bench for some fresh night air, while the yard dispatcher goes about his business inside the depot.

The GTW Elsdon yard was a busy place when I had taken this photograph. In October of 1983, the GTW Railroad closed the Elsdon Yard and steam era roundhouse on Kedzie Ave for good.


anthony c said...

Fantastic moment captured. I wonder if you will ever exhaust your supply of local scenes like this.

For those of us who knew Elsdon Station and spent time there, Eddie's shot is almost palpable. Elsdon was busy, but it also had its lulls. The constant up-and-down cycle of the manually triggered crossing gates just out of view to the right of the photo may have been still for a while. There probably was the soft chug of an idling switcher or two nearby. The smells of oil and gravel and creosote coming up from the rails would have been prevalent, even during April when the shot was taken.

The whole idea of parking your car, or dropping your bike, right near the station platform and sitting on the bench to simply watch trains is almost inconceivable today. Who would let you do that? Where could you do that anymore? To just hang out in an old Chicago neighborhood at an old railroad station and not be bothered by anyone; to just while away some time and have no one think twice about you doing it; to even have something like a freight yard and a station in the neighborhood that was actually part of the day-to-day scenery, that you could actually walk up to...well, I guess they call it "progress."

Eddie said...

Hi Anthony!
Thank You for that nice comment.
Elsdon was a very special place for Me as well, and I only wish I had taken more photos of it than I did. Yes, unfortunately My supply is limited, but finding this rare photo I had forgotten about was a real delight last week. I am glad that You enjoyed it as well.

Happy memorys.