South Side Of Chicago

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South Side Of Chicago
Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 31, 2017 8:04 PM

Bad LeRoy Brown

South Side of Chicago...baddest part of town....

So todays Photo of the Day shows the C&EI Dixie Flyer underway and passing through the South Side of Chicago. 

Englewood, where the famous race took place between the great NYC Hudson's  on the 20th Century Ltd. vs. whatever the Pennsy could throw at it, everything from double headed K4's, streamlined K4's , T1's, even Centipedes on the Broadway, always mentioned the fact that Englewood is the South Side of Chicago.

Seen pictures of other great trains on trackage noted as being on the South Side of Chicago! 

Every time I see these pictures and references two things happen.

1) I start singing Bad Leroy Brown instantly

2) I wonder why it's the baddest part of town. When did it go downhill or was it always a tough place? Did the railroads have something to do with this? You would think if it was the home of such classy and important trains it would not be the baddest part of town. 

Anyone know anything regarding these things? 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:25 AM

I'm thinking this is maybe a touchy subject given what's going on in Chicago these days. I don't mean anything by it. The area must have some history. 

Is Englewood still in use by Amtrak or commuting agencies? 

Are the NYC and PRR tracks still in place side by side like they were, ...only now CSX and NS? 

Had the honour of being a judge in a science fair today for Grade 3, 4, 5 and 6, held in a large gym.  Two judges for each grade, I was one for grade 6. 

Had to do 32 displays..started at #32 to #1, the other judge #1 to 32. We then compared our scores and notes. Fascinating. 

Take away learning from the displays- the screen on your phone has more nasty stuff accumulated on it at any time than a toilet seat and inside the bowl, a kitchen sink, or your thumb. Yeesh. Who knew?

Also my brains are fried from all the urchins running around. They were so nice in the morning, after lunch they turned into Tasmanian Devils. 

Just for the record I was persuasive with the other judge and awarded the trophy to the kid who braved swabbing the toilet seat and the bowl. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 01, 2017 6:46 AM

I used to commute to downtown Chicago daily on the Metra Rock Island, formerly the Rock Island tracks when the Rock Island railroad still operated. So, every day, I would pass by the former site of Englewood Station at 63rd Street just west of State Street.

The station itself and the platforms were demolished years ago, but the vacant site remains and the old PRR tracks are still there. The PRR tracks crossed the Rock Island tracks at grade until recently when CREATE constructed a flyover for the Metra Rock Island tracks which now pass over the former crossing.

As a lifelong Chicagoan, I can tell you that housing segregation has always led to black areas of the city versus white areas. Within many black areas, there is poverty, unemployment, and the apparently inevitable development of gangs. With gangs comes intensified crime and violence. The area around the former site of Englewood Station suffers from all of these factors.

Rich

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 01, 2017 2:00 PM

Richhotrain- Thanks for the input. Never knew what happened to the Englewood Station and platforms but now I do. 

Funny how we idolize the past but little to nothing on follow up as to it's present status. 

Is it Norfolk Southern that owns the former PRR tracks? What of the tracks the NYC ran on? Are there still freight trains rolling through? 

Such an iconic place, forever in lore and paintings. Lost it would seem. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 01, 2017 3:47 PM

Yep, NS now owns the old PRR tracks.

The NYC tracks are gone, but more knowledgable folks than me can give you more detail on the NYC. The NYC tracks running from Englewood to LaSalle Street Station are gone as well.

The reason that CREATE built the flyover was to relieve congestion where the Metra Rock Island tracks and NS tracks interlock.  It had been a major logjam with lots of NS freight trains per day.

Rich

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, April 01, 2017 5:32 PM

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, April 01, 2017 7:55 PM

The former NYC tracks are gone except in the area to the east and north of the former Englewood station, where a small intermodal yard dating back to NYC days still exists.  There used to be a connection to Metra there in the direction of LaSalle Street.  It was severed during flyover construction and I'm not sure if it was restored after construction was completed.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, April 01, 2017 8:07 PM

richhotrain
As a lifelong Chicagoan, I can tell you that housing segregation has always led to black areas of the city versus white areas. Within many black areas, there is poverty, unemployment, and the apparently inevitable development of gangs. With gangs comes intensified crime and violence. The area around the former site of Englewood Station suffers from all of these factors.

Rich

Late 50's a small group of us 'railroad kids' rode the Capitol Limited to Chicago for a day of sightseeing - on our own.  We wanted to go to the Museum of Science and Industry and had instructions to take the "?" CTA line.  What we didn't know was that the "?" CTA line had two desinations - Englewood and the area around the museum.  Being 'country bumpkins' we took the Englewood car - upon arrival at it's destination it was immediatey obvious that we were 200% in the wrong place - and beat a hasty retreat on the next train out of the area so we could find the correct train.

During that era the B&O also had a station at 63rd Street that was a standard stop if the inbound trains had passengers for it or if there were passengers for the outbound trains to pick up.  As I recall it was not within sight of the NYC-PRR station at Englewood - of course later down the line the NYC crossed the B&O at Pine Jct near Gary, IN.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, April 02, 2017 4:06 AM

What about the area around the U. of Chicago, also on the South Side?  I did not feel endangered there when doing work there around 1967-1970?

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, April 02, 2017 1:22 PM

The B&O's station was on 63rd  between Damen and Western, about 2.75 miles west of PRR/NYC/RI's Englewood.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 02, 2017 1:59 PM

rcdrye

The B&O's station was on 63rd  between Damen and Western, about 2.75 miles west of PRR/NYC/RI's Englewood.

 

Just to orient non-Chicagoans, Englewood Station was located at 59 West 63rd Street with State Street, just to the east, being the east-west dividing line. The B&O (and C&O and PM) station was located at 2200 West 63rd Street, so 21 blocks from Englewood Station, or 2.625 miles as rcdrye indicated. 

Rich

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 02, 2017 2:43 PM

Riichhotrain- Nice description. Puts things in perspective.

Sad to hear the NYC tracks are gone into La Salle and at Englewood. 

How on earth do these things happen. Yes, yes, I know, but it seems like a tragic loss and banished as a footnote in history. Something wrong about that, that's all I'm saying. 

One last question. The B&O station at 2200 West 63rd St? Gone or used for commuters? I'm guessing gone. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, April 02, 2017 3:05 PM

Miningman

Riichhotrain- Nice description. Puts things in perspective.

Sad to hear the NYC tracks are gone into La Salle and at Englewood. 

How on earth do these things happen. Yes, yes, I know, but it seems like a tragic loss and banished as a footnote in history. Something wrong about that, that's all I'm saying. 

One last question. The B&O station at 2200 West 63rd St? Gone or used for commuters? I'm guessing gone.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 02, 2017 4:10 PM

Yep, that map says it all.

Grand Central Station, in downtown Chicago at Harrison and Wells, was closed in 1969 and then demolished in 1971. With no more station and no more passenger trains, the station at 63rd Street was shuttered and later demolished.

Rich

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, April 02, 2017 4:10 PM

Wow. Thanks BaltACD. That is some happening Railroad place. 

Was worried it was now a Pizza Hut or something. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 02, 2017 4:29 PM

Miningman

Wow. Thanks BaltACD. That is some happening Railroad place. 

Was worried it was now a Pizza Hut or something. 

 

Not in that location. It is surrounded by boarded up shops, storefront churches, and junk dealers.

Rich

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, April 03, 2017 10:10 AM

BTW the Jim Croce song's name was "Bad Bad Leroy Brown". One odd trivia fact is the introduction to the song. When they were working on this song, Jim was in the studio at the piano and started playing "Queen of the Hop", a 1959 hit for Bobby Darin. Someone suggested they use that song's intro as the intro to "Bad Bad Leroy Brown", so they did. If you listen to the two songs, they're basically identical for the first 12 bars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIZ8X2uS5CU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwPRm5UMe1A

...and yes, I did stay up past midnight in 1973 to see Jim Croce play this!

Stix
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Posted by LAWRENCE SMITH on Thursday, April 13, 2017 11:07 AM

my son goes to school at u of C in Hyde Park - he says there is a security guard on each corner and never hears of any trouble.

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Posted by LAWRENCE SMITH on Thursday, April 13, 2017 11:15 AM

there was also a B+O station in South Chicago. it was on the RI tracks east of Pullman Jct. along what appears to be 94th/95 th streets.  B+O had trackage rights on this line to move their passenger trains into Indiana via RI Junction and the Calumet River bridge.

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, April 14, 2017 8:27 AM

The B&O passenger line west of Pullman Junction still exists as far west as the former Beverly crossing.  Chicago Rail Link operates it as far as Gresham (89th and Vincennes), where the Metra RI District main line and suburban lines diverge.  In B&O/RI days there was no wye as exists now, but a crossing with connecting tracks in the SE and NW quadrants.  B&O trains went west on the RI Suburban line to 89th and Ashland, turning north there, crossing and paralleling the PRR Panhandle line on what's now the Major Taylor Trail, joining the B&OCT line from Barr Yard at 81st between Damen and Western.  Both the Panhandle and B&O passenger lines were abandoned.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, April 14, 2017 10:28 AM

The B&O South Chicago station was located at Commercial Avenue just north of 95th Street.  Not too far away, either NYC or PRR (I can't remember which) had a platform in East Side at Ewing Avenue just north of 100th Street.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, April 14, 2017 12:56 PM

NYC listed station locations at South Chicago and East Side.  Based on timetable mileages South Chicago must have been somewhere around 92nd and South Chicago, not far from the end of IC's South Chicago branch.  PRR listed a station at State Line, about 106th and Indianapolis.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, April 17, 2017 10:09 AM

GTW had its own 63rd Street station called Chicago Lawn.  It was located at 3600 W 63rd St., about halfway between Kedzie and Pulaski.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 17, 2017 2:37 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

GTW had its own 63rd Street station called Chicago Lawn.  It was located at 3600 W 63rd St., about halfway between Kedzie and Pulaski.

 

ahh, yes, my old neighborhood as a kid. We lived on 70th Street, just  west of Central Park (3600 West), so only about 7 blocks from the GTW station. The GTW tracks ran along the western boundary of Marquette Park from 67th Street to 71st Street and were "protected on both sides by an 8 foot high chain link fence wirh barbed wire on top. That is where me and my buddies first learned to use a wire cutter. We had a hole in the fence that you could walk through to reach the park to play ball and fish in the lagoon. We could hear the steam engines coming from the direction of 63rd Street before we could see them. We would put an ear on the rail and feel the vibrations.

Rich

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 12:27 PM

A couple of Chicago observations (from an outsider)....

Chicago almost developed like two cities, with industries and it's workers living south of downtown, and more affluent middle class folks living to the north. The northside also was settled by more British / German / Northern European and Protestant, the south more immigrant / Irish / Italian and Catholic. It may be why White Sox fans on the southside are more blue collar, hardcore baseball fans, while Cubs fans on the northside are more into the "ambiance" of Wrigleyville??

Also, Chicago historically was divided not just by race but ethnicity into neighborhoods. Kind of a running gag here in the Twin Cities is talking about the first time you meet someone from Chicago. They always ask "what kinda neighborhood are you from?" to which the Minnesotan says "um...a nice neighborhood?" "Ya, but what KIND of neighborhood?" They want you to say Irish or Jewish or Italian or whatever.

Apparently hard for them to picture people living mixed up all higgledy-piggeldy. Wink

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 1:51 PM

And the south side was predominantly Catholic. People would always ask, "What parish are you from"?

Rich

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Posted by AgentKid on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 2:12 PM

wjstix
Also, Chicago historically was divided not just by race but ethnicity into neighborhoods. Kind of a running gag here in the Twin Cities is talking about the first time you meet someone from Chicago. They always ask "what kinda neighborhood are you from?" to which the Minnesotan says "um...a nice neighborhood?" "Ya, but what KIND of neighborhood?" They want you to say Irish or Jewish or Italian or whatever. Apparently hard for them to picture people living mixed up all higgledy-piggeldy.

Calgary may have seemed to be divided the same way, but it was more due to certain ethnic groups having certain skills, which corresponded to when particular employers arrived here. Certain neighbourhoods came about as the result of an influx of employees needed in the Oil & Gas business.

To stay on topic, Sunnyside was anecdotaly reported to be a neighbourhood built by CPR employees. This came to be considered more of a fact after an incident there in the 1990's.

To set the stage, in the early 1900's RR's used wood liners or "Grain Doors" to cover the openings of the sliding side doors on boxcars. Homeowners in Sunnyside were doing an interior renovation of their home and pulled off the interior walls. Between the studs on the exterior walls they could see that the builder had made the walls out of Grain Doors that were clearly labeled as "Property of the Canadian Pacific Railway". At that point there wasn't much reason to give them back.

Bruce

 

So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll.

"A Train is a Place Going Somewhere"  CP Rail Public Timetable

"O. S. Irricana"

. . . __ . ______

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 10:11 AM

Neighborhood divisions in Chicago in Chicago were surprisingly sharp since the railroad embankments doubled as dividing walls in many instances.  Track elevation ordinances were an early method of eliminating grade crossings and were enacted in the period prior to WW1.  In the older parts of the city, the tracks and often entire yards and other facilities were elevated about twenty feet with underpasses provided for through streets.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by bill613a on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 4:20 PM

Speaking of the southside of Chicago is there a direct bus or rail line from the Union Station area to the White Sox's ballpark?

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 5:17 PM

bill613a

Speaking of the southside of Chicago is there a direct bus or rail line from the Union Station area to the White Sox's ballpark?

 

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/ballpark/public_trans.jsp

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