Monday, March 31, 2008

The Metra Prarie View commuter rail station. Lincolnshire Illinois USA. Friday, March 21st 2008.

Hello everybody!
Welcome aboard Eddie's Railfan Page.
I took this photo on the morning of Friday, March 21st 2008. The greater Chicagoland area was hit with a severly heavy lake effect snowstorm on this day, and driving conditions were nothing less than hazardness. With low visibility, high winds, and rapidly accumulating snow hitting Lake County....It's all in a days work for crews that work on Metra's Northern Central line to Antioch Illinois. A northbound is seen departing the Prairie View station in North suburban Lincolnshire Illinois. White out conditions were experienced on this early Springtime snowstorm.

Southbound Belt Railway of Chicago switching local. Hawthorne Junction. Chicago Illinois USA. March 1987.

I took this photo on a sunny afternoon, way back in March of the year 1987. A southbound BRC switching local, is seen returning to Clearing Yard in Bedford Park Illinois. The train is passing over the Illinois Central Gulf crosstracks at Hawthorne Junction. At the time of this photo, a large dirty looking victorian era interlocking tower stood out of view to the left of the locomotive, and was manned by ICG crews. It was known as Belt Tower, and was located just east of Cicero Illinois at the Chicago city limits around West 33rd Street.

Miniature live steam double header. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indiana USA. August 2005.

Yes, these sub compact locomotives do operate. And just like their prototypes of decades ago, they are fast, powerfull, and have torque to pull heavy loads of visiting adults.

These miniature live steam locomotives operate on trackage that is only 7 and 1/2 inches wide, hence 7 and 1/2 inch guage.

The locomotives that are shown here, operate using coal and water, and just like their prototypes, they can occasionally spew some smoke going upgrade under load conditions.

The Burlington Northern Clyde Yard. Cicero Illinois USA. June 1985.

I took this photo from the top of the South Laramie Avenue overpass bridge, in west suburban Cicero Illinois way back in June of the year 1985. This is a view looking northwest toward the intermodal facility. Prior to March 2nd 1970, this was the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad operating Clyde Yard. In 1995, the C,B & Q predecessor railroad Burlington Northern, merged with the Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad, and became todays BNSF Railway. This is a nostalgic look in Clyde Yard during the Burlington Northern days.

Indiana Harbor Belt industrial switching local. Melrose Park Illinois USA. October 2007.

I took this photo at West Armitage Street and Corning Avenue, in northwest suburban Melrose Park Illinois last October. The rarely seen IHB local that travels on an industrial spur track alongside Armitage Street, was captured on My digital camera during a chance encounter. The locomotive is pushing two covered hopper cars and an IHB transfer caboose westbound toward Manheim Road / U.S Route # 12 and # 45.

A classic scene in Western Springs. Western Springs Illinois USA. September 2006.

I took this end of the day sunset photo, in
Western Springs Illinois. I spotted this classic mid 1950's era Ford Thunderbird, just east of the Metra Western Springs commuter rail station parked on Burlington Avenue. Just knowing that there are still a good number of these classic antique automobiles rolling around today, makes me appreciate that We should never take for granted. This was an example of a nice restoration. Many of these classic car owners, often appear in parades with their 4 wheeled hobby projects.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The corner news stand. Berwyn Illinois USA. January 2008.

This little noticed but very community oriented neighborhood newspaper and magazine stand, is located just north of the corner of South Oak Park Avenue, and West Cermak Road, in the western suburb of Berwyn Illinois.

News stand vendor operations were quiete common at one time in Chicago, but have become a vanishing icon of decades past in recent times.

On this cold and windy January day in 2008, this newspaper vendor has the advantage of having a Burger King fast food restaurant located out of view to the right, with immediate rest rooms, hot food and plenty of coffee ready at any given time when selling in these cold winter days.

Locomotives idling at the Union Pacific M-19A diesel shop. Chicago Illinois USA. October 2007.

I took this photo looking north from West Kinzie Street. Locomotives from the Union Pacific Railroad, and Chicago's Metra commuter rail agency are serviced at this location on Chicago's west side. This is a former Chicago & NorthWestern facility acquired through merger.

Frisco railroad steam locomotive # 1630 near Seaman Road. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. September 1986.

I took this photo near the end of the day, on a September 1986 visit to the Illinois Railway Museum. St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad steam locomotive # 1630, is approaching the end of the museum mainline on the recently completed extension to Seaman Road in Union Illinois.

Northbound Norfolk Southern intermodal transfer train crossing South Archer Avenue. Chicago Illinois USA. March 2008.

I took this photo near Chicago Midway Airport near South Archer and Knox Avenues. The crossing gates on South Archer Avenue just lowered a few minutes ago, and now a slow moving northbound Norfolk Southern container train will be tying up rush hour traffic on it's Journey across Chicago. The train is traveling over the Belt Railway of Chicago.

Southbound CSX Transportation auto rack train. Mc Cook Junction. Mc Cook Illinois USA. May 2007.

I took this photo on a lovely Springtime morning in May of 2007. A southbound CSX auto rack train has just recieved clearance, and is now proceeding along over the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad line. The train is crossing the BNSF Railway ex A,T & S,F crosstracks at this busy but remote Chicagoland railroad junction.

Westbound Metra commuter local departing the La Grange Road Metra / Amtrak railroad station. La Grange Illinois USA. April 2007.

I took this photo on a rainy evening in early April of 2007. The BNSF Railway 3 track ex Burlington Northern commuter racetrack to Aurora Illinois, was busy with many rush hour local and express commuter trains. I took this photo during a pouring rain that was drenching the greater Chicagoland area on this April evening during the early Springtime season.

I got soaked doing it, but the effort was worth it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Television in the year 1978 BC ( Before Cable.)

Hi folks!
Welcome aboard Eddie's Railfan Page.
I was looking through some old things that I had packed away a long time ago, and came across a small stash of old TV Prevues that I had saved from the Chicago Sun Times newspaper.

One of the prime time television shows that was on the air back then, was Barnaby Jones, wich had starred the late great Buddy Ebsen from the old TV show The Beverly Hillbillies. Other shows that had aired or were in syndicated "Pre TV Land" reruns were, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, The Tommorow Show, The Rockford Files, Hawaii Five O
Lawrence Welk, Saturday Night live, The Newlywed Game,
The French Chef starring Julia Child, Star Trek, Space 1999.
Get Smart, Petticoat junction, The Munsters, and Good Times.
Needless to say......our viewing selections were very limited back in those days. I believe, approximately 8 channels alone here in the greater Chicagoland area. It was a much different world of television viewing in 1978.

In todays world, cable television and the endless variety of shows are taken for granted.

Stopped by a freight train on West Lake Avenue. Glenview Illinois USA. Early March 2008.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. After passing over the Union Pacific train tracks on West Lake Avenue numerous times, Myself and several other motorists found ourselves at lowered crossing gates. A Canadian Pacific run through transfer train is seen slowly passing through north suburban Glenview Illinois, on a sunny but cold afternoon in early March of 2008.

A clear eastbound track on the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Oak Lawn Illinois USA. September 2006.

I took this night time photo of a green railroad block signal, in southwest suburban Oak Lawn Illinois. Seen here just east of South Central Avenue, is a typical "Block Signal" used for controling train traffic. This former Wabash / Norfolk & Western railroad line, sees little freight traffic and Monday to Friday Metra commuter rail trains to Manhatten Illinois.

A small handfull of transfer trains going to and from the Norfolk Southern Landers Yard east of South Kedzie Avenue, enter and exit off of the nearby Indiana Harbor Belt at Chicago ridge Junction.

Southbound Metra commuter local departing the Edgebrook commuter flagstop depot. Chicago Illinois USA. October 2007.

I took this photo one morning, at the Edgebrook commuter rail flagstop depot on Chicago's far northwest side. This commuter facility, is located on West Devon Avenue near the intersections of North Central and Caldwell Avenues. Trains from the former Milwaukee Road commuter line to Fox Lake Illinois make stops here. The train in the background was in the process of departing Edgebrook, and heading to Chicago Union Station.

A former Illinois Central locomotive on a northbound Canadian National transfer train. Hawthorne Junction. Chicago Illinois USA. October 2007.

I found this ex Illinois Central EMD SD 40-2 roadswitcher locomotive, on a northbound Canadian National transfer train traveling over the Belt Railway of Chicago tracks at Hawthorne Junction. Hawthorne Junction is a busy crosstrack railroad junction located at the Chicago city limits on the border at Cicero Illinois. The north and south Belt Railway of Chicago tracks cross over and interchange with the Canadian National ex Illinois Central Iowa Division Mainline through here.

Eastbound Metra express commuter train at sunset. Elmwood Park Illinois USA. October 2007.

I took this photo one evening after work, at the railroad crossing on 75th Avenue in Elmwood Park Illinois. Another work day is coming to an end, as an inbound Metra express commuter train enroute to Chicago Union Station heads toward downtown Chicago Illinois. This is on the Canadian Pacific ex Milwaukee Road commuter line to Elgin Illinois. This line also sees commuter trains from Metra's Northern Central commuter line to Antioch Illinois. The Northern Central trains interchange from this line iat Franklin Park Illinois, and head northbound over the Canadian National ex Soo Line / Wisconsin Central tracks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Northbound Norfolk Southern intermodal transfer train approaching South Archer Avenue. Chicago Illinois USA. March 2008.

I took this photo after work one day last week. A northbound Norfolk Southern Railroad intermodal transfer train, has just left Clearing Yard and is traveling northbound over the Belt Railway of Chicago line. This late afternoon scene was photographed looking south from Archer Avenue near South Knox Avenue, near Chicago's Midway Airport.

Rising Chicagoland fuel costs at West 47th Street and South Archer Avenue. Chicago Illinois USA. March 2008.

I spotted these two BNSF Railway EMD roadswitchers idling at the top of the hump at the former Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Corwith Yard, and somehow couldn't resist incorporating the ugly contemporary reality of Chicago's rising motor fuel costs in March of 2008 into the photo.

This Marathon gasoline station, is located just west of the intersection of South Archer Avenue and West 47th Street, in Chicago's Archer Heights neighborhood. During the 1970's, this was a large Amoco station that serviced and washed large over the road semi tractor and trailer trucks.

Milwaukee Road boxcar trio in transit. Bridgeview Illinois USA. September 1989.

I took this photo facing east on 71st Street, in southwest suburban Bridgeview Illinois. I spotted this trio of ex Milwaukee Road Hi Cube boxcars, traveling northbound on an Indiana Harbor Belt transfer freight train. The area east of the crossing gates, was primarilly industrial back in September of 1989, and the Toyota Park Stadium project would still be several years away. Todays Toyota Park Stadium is built on property formerly owned by the defunct Consolidated Freightways trucking company at the corner of South Harlem Avenue / Illinois U.S Route # 43, and West 71st Street in Bridgeview Illinois.

Preserved Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad steam locomotive # 4978 at original display locatioon. Ottawa Illinois USA. August 1986.

I took this photo on an August 1986 visit to the city of Ottawa Illinois. Seen here on display in a city park after a nice cosmetic restoration, is Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad 2-8-2 Mikado type steam locomotive # 4978. This locomotive was built in the 1920's, and used in freight train service.

At some point during the 1990's, this locomotive and wooden caboose team, were moved to Mendota Illinois. Today they are the centerpiece attraction at the Mendota Railroad Museum, wich is adjacent to the BNSF Railway mainline.

Chicago Transit Authority PCC electric streetcar # 4391. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.

I took this photo on an August 2006 visit to the Illinois Railway Museum, located in the town of Union Illinois.

Seen here boarding and alighting visiting passengers, is 1948 built electric streetcar # 4391 from the Chicago Transit Authority. This car is the only survivor from the last order of modern electric streetcars delivered to the CTA.

Prior to and just after the creation of the Chicago Transit Authority in November of 1947, Chicago was in the early stages of phasing out electric streetcars and replacing them with motor buses. Electric streetcar routes and equipment were gradually being phased out, a task that was completed by June of 1958. The CTA subway and elevated rapid transit system was in desperate need of new equipment and upgrading, and these modern steamlined streetcars had little service milage on them.

The PCC or President's Conference Commitee streamlined electric streetcars, wich had made their debut in several North American citties begining in 1936, were the last new streetcars ordered and in service on Chicago city streets. Their short service life due to impending bus conversion of existing electric streetcar routes in Chicago, made them ideal candidates for a major transit vechicle recycling program. Upon their respective retirements from service, these cars were scrapped, and their electrical components, power trucks, and body panels, were recycled into the "New" 1950's era 6000 series rapid transit cars used on the subways and elevated lines.

Car # 4391, was restored to it's original as delivered 1947 era CTA color scheme and markings.
Today, this car is demonstrated on the museum's trolley loop for visiting patrons. The car is seen wearing the sign for the Route # 49 Western Avenue line, wich ran streetcars untill 1956.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Friends of Eddie's Railfan Page pizza outing. Vince's Pizza on West 63rd Street. Chicago Illinois USA. Tue, March 18th, 2008.

Lat week, several of My friends wanted to get together and have a fun pizza outing on Chicago's southwest side.

It was a special occasion, as I had the privelidge of meeting one of our fellow readers, the famous "Leomemorial" aka Renee.

From left to right is Jim, Renee, Big Ed, Myself ( In vest) Paul, and Anthony C.

Our pizzas at Vince's, located on West 63rd Street near South Melvina Avenue were awesome.
It was great fun getting together that night.

Northbound BNSF Railway light engine movement. Hawthorne Junction. Chicago Illinois USA. October 2007.

I took this photo one day after work, in October of 2007. A northbound BNSF Railway light engine movement, is seen passing the crosstracks at Hawthorne Junction returning to the BNSF Railway's Clyde Yard in Cicero Illinois. The bridge in the background, is West 31st Street.

Chicago Transit Authority Yellow line train. Dempster Street station. Skokie Illinois USA. August 2007.

I took this photo on a very hot afternoon in August of 2007. A CTA Yellow line (Formerly known as the Skokie Swift.) has just unloaded disembarking passengers at the Dempster Street station in the village of Skokie Illinois, and is now heading to the runaround track switch inside the station. Soon the train will take om some more passengers, and begin it's next outbound journey to Howard Street in Evanston Illinois.

The Metra Prairie View commuter rail station. Lincolnshire Illinois USA. March 2008.

I took this photo one afternoon, in March of 2008. This is the architecturally stylish Metra Prarie View commuter rail station in north suburban Lincolnshire Illinois. This depot is located on the Metra "Northern Central" rail line, wich features commuter service between Chicago and Antioch Illinois over former Soo Line / Wisconsin Central trackage now owned and operated by the Canadian National Railroad.

Westbound Chicago Transit Authority Route # 62 Archer / Harlem Avenue bus crossing the Belt Railway of Chicago. Chicago Illinois USA. March 2008.

I took this photo after work one day last week. Seen here stopping at the Archer Avenue railroad crossing near Midway Airport, is a CTA Nova transit coach enroute to the west terminal at Archer and Neva Avenues. This railroad line is the Belt Railway of Chicago, and the frequent lenghty transfer trains cause numerous traffic delays here on Archer Avenue, as well as on West 55th Street, 59th, 63rd, and 67th Streets. In the background, a crew from the city of Chicago department of public works, are busy repairing damaged street sections due to severe winter weather conditions in 2008.

Belt Railway of Chicago # 538 at work spotting cars. Bedford Park Illinois USA. March 2008.

I took this photo at the north entrance to Clearing Yard on South Central Avenue. Belt Railway of Chicago EMD switcher # 538, is busy spotting cars on an industrial branchline that bypasses the hump yard on the north side of the busy BRC Clearing Yard. The tall brick building in the background, is the Belt Railway of Chicago locomotive shop building inside Clearing Yard.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Westbound Canadian National freight train with former Illinois Central locomotives. Hawthorne Junction. Chicago / Cicero Illinois USA. June 2007.

A westbound Canadian National freight train with two former Illinois Central EMD roadswitchers on the head end, is seen passing through Hawthorne Junction and entering west suburban Cicero Illinois at the Chicago city limits.

The train is passing over the north and south Belt Railway of Chicago crosstracks, out of view to the right of the photo.

The hill in the background, is the site of the abandoned and currently redeveloping Bel Air Drive In Movie Theatre near West 31st Street and South Cicero Avenue. It was a hot day.

Preserved Chicago & NorthWestern Railroad steam locomotive # 1385 on display at the old NorthWestern Station. Chicago Illinois USA. Circa 1983.

Restored 1907 vintage Alco 4-6-0 # 1385 from the Chicago & NorthWestern Railroad, was seen simmering away inside the trainshed at the old NorthWestern Station in downtown Chicago Illinois in 1983.

This locomotive is owned by the Mid Continent Railway Museum, located in North Freedom Wisconsin near the Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo Wisconsin, and was being utilized for a series of mainline excursion specials along the Chicago & NorthWestern Railroad.

An operating volunteer crewmember from the Mid Continent Railway Museum is answering questions from visiting curiosity seekers. The locomotive was on it's way back to Wisconsin, and was spending a few days on display inside Northwestern Station in downtown Chicago Illinois.

The Grand Trunk Western Elsdon Yard track department office and shed on West 51st Street. Chicago Illinois USA. June 1984.

This metal prefab industrial building was photographed along the northside of West 51st Street, in what was previously Elsdon Yard.

The GTW Elsdon Yard had officially closed in October of 1983, but suprisingly maintained a small degree of railroad locomotive, crew, and support operations here untill September of 1986.

This building shown here is still standing today, although shabby looking with Canadian National markings. A portion of the old Elsdon Yard is being retained as a building and construction supply depot for Canadian National support operations. Other parts of the former GTW Elsdon Yard are being redeveloped residentially.

The yard tracks and facilities are long gone, and new housing development is replacing them.
A new gated community along West 51st Street east of South Lawndale Avenue is under construction, and is planned to have an outdoor swimming pool and other ammenities. $ $ $

Preserved early 1900's era Browning steam powered rail crane. The Hesston Steam Museum. Hesston Indiana USA.

I didn't take this particular photo, as it is actually a picture postcard that I had purchased in the museum gift shop.

One of the many operating vintage pieces of steam equipment demonstrated occasionally at the Hesston Steam Museum, is this fully restored Browning rail crane. This verticle boilered coal fired steam crane, is located adjacent to the museum's operating steam powered sawmill that is used on special occasions. The crane is used to lift and move large logs at the museum sawmill site.

BNSF Railway light engine movement. Cicero Illinois USA. September 2007.

Two EMD diesel roadswitchers from the BNSF Railway, are seen heading eastbound leaving the busy Clyde Yard facility in immediate west suburban Cicero Illinois. The two locomotives are passing the platforms of the Metra Cicero commuter rail station located on South Cicero Avenue between Ogden Avenue, and West 26th Street, and will soon be inside Chicago city limits.

The unit to the right, still wearing a pre 1995 coat of Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe blue and yellow colors, is an early 1960's vintage EMD GP 30.

Eastbound CSX Transportation intermodal train. Western Springs Illinois USA. September 2006.

I took this photo at sunset one evening, on location is Western Springs Illinois on the BNSF Railway 3 track mainline.
An eastbound CSX Transportation run through intermodal train, is seen speeding past the Metra commuter rail station enroute to Chicago Illinois.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Your host and photographer at work. Early March 2008.

Hello everyone!
Welcome aboard Eddie's Railfan Page!

Just recently, I made a career change and began training for a position as a Paratransit Driver. Here I am in training one day back in early March of 2008, in northwest suburban Niles Illinois.

Today is a proud day at the bus garage for Myself and two fellow trainees. After a month of classroom, Behind the wheel, and observing...I took My road test at the Elk Grove Village office of the Illinois Secretary of State Facility, and got My official CDL "C" Class license with the passenger endorsement, and will soon be assigned a route. After a few days of Cadet activities, I will be a full fledged Paratransit Driver. Nice!

Today is "Bus Day" here at My blog site in honor of My big achievement!
Here are some behind the scenes photographs of some of the training sessions at My bus company in Chicago's north suburbs.

Dashboard controll panel.

Here is a behind the scenes view of some of the dashboard interior controls of a Ford Econoline series Paratransit bus. This is a view normally seen by bus operators only...however an occasional passenger or two comes along with a good intelegent question in regards to their operation in daily transit service.

One of My personal long term goals, is to become a BTW Trainer at My bus company.
( Behind the wheel.)

Don't worry. This is not a kidnapping in progress. Only a training exercise.

Matt our instructor gave us an outdoor hands on session in the back of our garage facility, one cold afternoon in Febuary of 2008.

Yvonne volunteered with this demonstration on how to use the wheelchair lift. Yvonne was blindfolded deliberately, so that she could experience just how it felt like to be a blind person in a wheel chair.

Paratransit Drivers are trained on how to handle the elderly, handicapped, and special needs people, and do it well on a daily basis.

What to do if the wheelchair lift suffers a mechanical failure.

Wess our instructor, is seen demonstrating how to manually lower the wheelchair lift, in case of a mechanical failure.

The lift works much like a hydraulic jack, and is gradually lowered by turning a screw valve with a metal rod in hand.
The lift has to be manually pumped up one stroke at a time in order to be lifted into the raised or even folded position.

For obvious reasons, we can only "Lower" a wheelchair or disabled rider on the lift in this situation.

Thats it! You got it! Ok. Now cut the wheels sharply and back up some more! Excellent!

One of My fellow student drivers, is seen performing a manuever called the foreward and backward serpentine, as Wess our instructor calls out his commands. Although it seemed to be a somewhat complicated manuever at first for some of the students, I actually "Nailed it" on the first try! Our manager was proud of all of us.

A behind the scenes view of a Saturday "Close Course" training session. Niles Illinois USA. Febuary 2008.

A bitterly cold but brightly sunlit afternoon in Febuary of 2008, finds us in the parking lot of a local Dominicks grocery store that had went out of business recently on Greenwood Road in Niles Illinois. Wess our instructor, is seen supervising the placement of several pylon safety cones in the wide open and readilly available parking lot.

Soon Myself and My fellow students, will be performing a series of parking, back up, and operating manuevers.

Fellow trainees learning the various dashboard controls.

In the early stages of My employment as a Paratransit Bus Operator, sometimes the company would take a group of us from the classroom out to the backlot behind the garage, and let us have a little "Hands On" time on one of the vechicles.

My fellow student and buddy "Kevin", is seen learning the location of the front door open / close switch, as well as the interior lights, heating, air conditioning, and on board CB Radio.

Matt the instructor supervisies in the doorway, while fellow student Yvonne waits her turn.

Refueling at the end of the workday. Northbrook Illinois USA. March 2008.

One of the strictest and most important rules that are practiced daily at My bus company, is that the Paratransit Bus has to be refueled at the end of the workday before returning to the company garage.

Here is Ford Econoline paratransit coach # 5126 being refueled at the BP Amoco station on Route # 68 Dundee Road in the village of Northbrook Illlinois. Another day of training is over, and soon the bus will be put away for the night at the nearby garage facility.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

St Louis & San Francisco Railroad # 1630 leaving the engine terminal. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. May 1985.

I took this photo on a May 1985 visit to the Illinois Railway Museum. St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad aka the "Frisco" Railroad steam locomotive # 1630, was built in 1918 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA, for export to Russia.

With the breakout of the Communist "Bolshevik" revolution, the shipment was defered to several United States railroads instead. This locomotive , a 2 -10-0 type locomotive used in freight train service, worked on the Frisco untill the early 1950's. It was then sold 2nd hand to the Eagle Pitcher Mining Company in the state of Oklahoma, where its last usefull days were spent on an industrial railroad. The locomotive eventually wound up at the Illinois Railway Museum, and returned to mechanical operation in 1975. The locomotives builders plates are in both English, and Russian "Cerelic" language.

The locomotive is seen leaving the museum's engine servicing terminal, and passing the long gone Central Avenue streetcar station and concession stand . The locomotive is begining it's demonstration workday for the visiting museum public on the museum mainline.

The Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Corwith Yard engine terminal. Chicago Illinois USA. March 1985.

I took this photo on a sunny day, in late March of 1985. Seen here on Chicago's near southwest side near West 41st Street approximately 4 blocks east of South Pulaski Road, is the former Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe Corwith Yard engine terminal during pre BNSF Railway days.

Running gear of a German 0-4-0 meter guage steam locomotive. Thresherman's Park. Edgarton Wisconsin USA. September 2007.

My Brother in law Ralph took this photo for Me last Labor Day weekend, in Edgarton Wisconsin.

Thresherman's Park has an annual once a year Steam Thresheree Celebration on Labor Day weekend. One of the attractions is this Henschell and Sohn industrial steam locomotive from Germany, wich has been cosmetically Americanized to look like a western movie locomotive from the late 1800's era.

This is a detailed photograph of the side rods, drive wheels, and working appliances.

The Brainard Avenue railroad crossing. La Grange Illinois USA. January 2008.

I took this photo on a bitterly cold but quiete sunny afternoon, in January of 2008. This view is looking north on Brainard Avenue from the intersection at Burlington Avenue in west suburban La Grange Illinois.
This crossing signal is one of several along the BNSF Railway 3 track Chicago to Aurora Illinois commuter racetrack. This crossing is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and activates at any given time when trains pass through here.

Across the tracks is the intersection of Hillgrove and Brainard Avenues. Prior to April 10th 1947, electric streetcars from the Chicago and West Towns Railway enroute to and from Cicero Ilinois terminated here.

This is a special railfan photo location here for Me, as I had taken many photos around here during the 1980's when this was the former Burlington Northern Railroad mainline.

Westbound Canadian Pacific auto rack train passing the Metra Hanson Park commuter rail flagstop depot. Chicago Illinois USA. December 2006.

A solid train of Tri Leval Auto Rack freight cars, are seen heading westbound under the North Central Avenue overpass bridge at the Metra Hanson Park flagstop depot. Numerous transfer freight trains from the Canadian Pacific , Norfolk Southern, and the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad pass through this area daily on their crosstown journey to and from the Belt Railway of Chicago Clearing Yard near Midway airport.
This is the former Milwaukee Road mainline on the northside of the city of Chicago Illinois.

The Metra Edgebrook commuter flagstop depot. Chicago Illinois USA. January 2007.

I took this photo back in January of 2007. Seen here on Chicago's far northwest side, near the borders of Skokie and Niles Illinois, is the Metra commuter flagstop depot that serves Chicago's Edgebrook neighborhood. Metra commuter local trains make daily stops here between Chicago and Fox Lake Illinois on the former Milwaukee Road mainline.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting". George Harrison, from The Beatles song "Here comes the sun". Abbey Road album, 1969.

The lyrics written by the late great George Harrison from the Beatles song "Here comes the sun", capture the mood of this early March photo I had taken in north suburban Glenview Illinois.

Chicago's winter of 2008 was a rough one for most people in the greater Chicagoland area.
With frequent heavy lake effect snowstorms, high winds, cloudy skies, and icy conditions...the upcoming warmth of an approaching Springtime was more than welcome by all.