The fairwell to Chicago's Grand Central

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The fairwell to Chicago's Grand Central
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 2:30 AM

Las Departure of B&O's Capitol Limited from Grand Central, Chicago

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 11:30 AM

Wonderful photo, and thanks! It's a shame that GCS did not survive.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 3:32 PM

ALL my trips to Chicago on the B&O were in and out of Grand Central.  Never went to Chicago after the routing was changed to the CNW station.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, December 28, 2017 1:31 AM
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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 28, 2017 2:54 AM

If my memory is correct, I was on a business trip to Washington, and left from Grand Central and returned to Noirthwestern.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 28, 2017 10:21 AM

Wanswheel, Thanks!!!!

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Posted by GeoffS on Saturday, December 30, 2017 10:47 AM

The old "Route 66" tv show, episode 3, season 3 called "Man Out Of Time" the first 8 minutes were shot in and around Grand Central in 1962.  Sadly no trains, but look for the Luther Adler character coming out of the station, the ad for the "Columbian" on the wall in the room where he is being treated by a doctor, and watch the "bad guy" run up the South Wells Street ramp toward Roosevelt Road!

 

 

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Posted by BLS53 on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 10:28 AM

Excuse my ignorance, but I gather Grand Central and Central were two different stations?

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 10:50 AM

Yes. Central Station was the Illinois Central's station, at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue. It served the Illinois Central, the Big Four, and the Michigan Central (the last two were part of the New York Central system).

Grand Central was at 201 West Harrison Street, and it served several railroads, Including the B&O, the Pere Marquette (C&O), Chicago Great Western, and the Soo.

Johnny

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 11:50 AM

Just to confuse things, Soo Line passenger trains moved from Grand Central to Central in 1963.  The last Soo Line passenger train to serve Chicago was discontinued in early 1965.

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Posted by BLS53 on Thursday, January 04, 2018 12:50 AM

Did the shear volume of passenger trains in Chicago necessitate that it needed so many stations?

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 04, 2018 4:28 AM

No one station as built could have handled all the traffic, but there were more stations than absolutely necessary.   Possibly Central, Northwestern, and Union, together, could have done the job.  But then there were the locations of coach yards, the whole track layout, etc.

The three interurbans and the IC suburban were, of course, special cases.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, January 04, 2018 10:08 AM

That would eliminate Dearborn Street (Erie, MON, C&EI, GTW, WAB, ATSF), La Salle Street (RI, NYC, NKP) and Grand Central (B&O, C&O/PM, CGW, SOO).  Even at that time, Grand Central traffic could have been moved to North Western Station without too much strain, but the other two would have been a problem.

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 Thursday, January 04, 2018 10:26 AM

Union operated at or near capacity well into the 1950s - a lot of the traffic was mail and express which is no longer handled there.  Burlington's gallery cars were a direct response to capacity constraints.

Grand Central was easily the least used of the stations - probably fewer than 20 train pairs a day even in peak years. 

The amount of traffic between stations was small enough that sidewalks, streetcars, taxis and Parmalee coaches were enough to handle the transfer load.

Amtrak operated through service from Milwaukee to St Louis for a period in the 1970s, and found that most passengers boarded or got off in Chicago, with very few through passengers.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 04, 2018 11:18 AM

I  think Central operated below capacity during the peak years and might have handled traffic that went to other stations.  But how to get the trains to the different railroads' coach yards from Central would have been a problem.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, January 04, 2018 3:36 PM

In addition to IC trains, Central handled Michigan Central (except the Wolverine, which used LaSalle) until 1956 and Big Four trains until 1971 for the New York Central.  That amounted to more than 10 train pairs a day which was quite a lot considering Central only had four island platforms.  IC had about 10 more pairs of their own.

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Posted by BLS53 on Thursday, January 04, 2018 8:12 PM

Just off the top of my head, in the 1960's, IC had 6 trains each way on the mainline, 2 each way on the Iowa line, and 2 each way to St. Louis. 

The St. Louis trains went on the main to Gilman Il, where they branched off to Springfield and St. Louis. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, January 04, 2018 8:25 PM

when I lived in Wesson 1962-65, there were four trains each way between Chicago and New Orleans--the Panama Limited, the City of New Orleans, the Louisiane, the Southern Express (sb) and the Creole (nb). 

I lived across the street from the track, and could count the cars even when in the back of house as they went over the frog of the crossover switch.                                                                                                           

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, January 04, 2018 8:35 PM

I did make use of Grand Central twice--in 1968, I took the Capitol Limited to Washington (I bought a ticket to Baltimore, and it cost no more than a ticket to Washington), and in 1969, I took the C&O's evening train to Grand Rapids.

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Posted by BLS53 on Friday, January 05, 2018 11:24 AM

Deggesty

when I lived in Wesson 1962-65, there were four trains each way between Chicago and New Orleans--the Panama Limited, the City of New Orleans, the Louisiane, the Southern Express (sb) and the Creole (nb). 

I lived across the street from the track, and could count the cars even when in the back of house as they went over the frog of the crossover switch.                                                                                                           

 

 

I was including the 2 Florida trains, The City of Miami and The Seminole. Although the former didn't run on a daily basis. From a Chicago perspective, I consider these mainline trains. They didn't leave the main until the KY-TN border. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, January 05, 2018 11:43 AM

BLS53

 

 
Deggesty

when I lived in Wesson 1962-65, there were four trains each way between Chicago and New Orleans--the Panama Limited, the City of New Orleans, the Louisiane, the Southern Express (sb) and the Creole (nb). 

I lived across the street from the track, and could count the cars even when in the back of house as they went over the frog of the crossover switch.                                                                                                           

 

 

 

 

I was including the 2 Florida trains, The City of Miami and The Seminole. Although the former didn't run on a daily basis. From a Chicago perspective, I consider these mainline trains. They didn't leave the main until the KY-TN border. 

 

Quite true; the Florida-bound trains continued down the original main as far as Jackson, Tennessee. They reached Birmingham on a combination of trackage rights (over three different roads) and new IC track. For some reason, I did not think of them. 

I do not know if the M&O (later, GM&O) or the Frisco segments had ATS, but the Northern Alabama (later Southern) section between Haleyville and Jasper had ATS. 

When I lived in Alabama, I rode both of these trains, just as I rode all four of the New Orleans trains when I lived in Mississippi.

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Posted by BLS53 on Friday, January 05, 2018 3:49 PM

The Florida trains left the main at Fulton KY. That line went through Jackson TN and Corinth MS and ended at Birmingham.  IC owned that trackage. The C of G took over at Birmingham, and of course the ACL and FEC further along the route into FL.

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, January 05, 2018 8:12 PM

BLS53

The Florida trains left the main at Fulton KY. That line went through Jackson TN and Corinth MS and ended at Birmingham.  IC owned that trackage. The C of G took over at Birmingham, and of course the ACL and FEC further along the route into FL.

 

The only track that the IC owned between Jackson, Tennessee and Birmingham was between Ruslor Jct., Mississippi (just above Corinth), and Haleyville, Alabama. As was posted earlier, it had trackage rights over the M&O (GM&O) between Jackson and Ruslor Jct., over the Northern Alabama (Southern) between Haleyville and Jasper, and over the Frisco between Jasper and Birmingham. 

You can check this if you have the SPV atlases for Appalachia and Southern States-also, if you have IC, GM&O, SLSF, and Southern ETT's for these lines.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, January 06, 2018 12:50 PM

The four platforms at IC's Central could have accomodate many more trains in my opinion.  Look at photos of the train shed when it existed and the platform area afterward and see if you can find even one photograph with all tracks occupied.  The layout of the station, unlike the other Chicago temrinals, if my memory is correct, is that a train unloaded and then continiued north, wihout the need of backing out of the station, having a swtcher couple on the rear end and the locomotive being a second light move.  That is if my memory is correct on this.   Similarly, a loading train would pull into the station to load, again without the need of the locomotive being a seond move.

Even in 1952 it was rare to see more than two trains in the station at one time, and one was more frequent.

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Posted by BLS53 on Saturday, January 06, 2018 7:25 PM

I'm just going by the Official Guides of the day. None of those other roads were ever listed, and the map shows the Fulton-Birmingham line as owned by the IC.

Could be we're looking at different time periods. I notice you say M&O, and not GM&O. That's well before my time. 

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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, January 06, 2018 8:11 PM

I understand now your reasoning. The passenger timetables in the Guide do not show trackage rights. I could name many more instances in which a railroad used another road, via trackage rights, to reach this place or that place--and neither maps in the Guide nor the timetables show any evidence.of such trackage rights.

For instance, the C&O operated freight and passenger trains into Washington, D.C.--and used the track of the Southern from Orange, Virginia, to AF Tower, just below Alexandria, then used the RF&P to the bridge across the Potomac, and then used the track of the the PRR to a junction just south of the tunnel into the station, and then the station track. (The freights ran to Potomac Yard, just north of Alexandria). Even though the Southern (originally Orange and Alexandria and, later, Richmond and Danville) actually began just below the station in Alexandria, the mileposts read from Washington.

Balt, correct me if I am in error on the roads/junction points between AF and the Washington station.

The Southern used ACL track from Hardeeville, S.C. to Jacksonville (and the KC-Florida Special used the ACL from Jesup, Georgia, into Jacksonville)

.The L&N used the Southern bridge at Decatur, Alabama, to cross the Tennessee River there.

I could go on and on, but I will stop with these examples.

As to the M&O/GM&O, after the M&O and the Gulf Mobile and Northern were merged, the new road became known as the GM&O. I named the M&O and the Northern Alabama because these were roads that the IC used to gain entrance to Alabama, even though in my time they had different names.

Johnny

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