Old Chicago Union Station Concourse

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Posted by mrrdad on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 11:45 PM

3rd rail

Ed, I am excited that you are going to do Grand Central! You mentioned that you had some photos, diagrams, etc.. You might already have these, but if not, there are a couple of magazines with good articles on G.C.  The best one is the September 1969 issue of Trains Magazine.. Excellent article by George W. Hilton. Really dives into the architectual aspects of G.C.  Second one is the Issue # 28 (Jan/Feb/Mar 1996) of "The Railroad Press". ( I can't locate the publishers name on the frontispiece, but, there is an address.. 1150 Carlisle St. Suite 444 Hanover, PA 17331). 

  I think I speak for all here, We'd love to see photos of how this project goes.. If you have the space, you really should include the drawbridge over the Chicago River as part of the whole scene.  So, good luck, If I had the space, I'd do the same, but I don't......... 

P.S.  Last time I was up in Sears Tower in Chicago, I could still see the outlines of G.C. But that was about 20 years ago. I think they have built Condos there since then.... 

 

Todd 

 

 

Hi Todd,

Thank you for the information. I most definitely plan on including the drawbridge. I should be starting the build of the train shed within the next week or two. I'll definitely post pictures as I go.

 

As far as the site of G.C. goes, there are some developing going on there finally. A lot of that land is still vacant though.

 

Ed

Seeking advice for modeling Chicago railroads of the mid-late 1960's

  • Member since
    November, 2018
  • 4 posts
Posted by Davechi on Monday, November 05, 2018 7:43 PM

rcdrye

The bypass tracks at Union were mostly used by short transfer cuts - seldom more than 10 cars or so, so they wouldn't seem very busy, even though a lot of different carriers used them.  Just about all "bypass mail" handled by the Milwaukee and North Western moved on the bypass tracks, including Flexi-Vans off the New York Central.  By the late 1960s a lot of the traffic that had formerly used the bypass tracks was gone, or in the case of Milwaukee mail, moved in the late evening and early morning.

IC's Central Station was laid out as if it were a through station with a ladder on each end of the platform tracks, even if the north ladder led to a stub.

 

rcdrye

The bypass tracks at Union were mostly used by short transfer cuts - seldom more than 10 cars or so, so they wouldn't seem very busy, even though a lot of different carriers used them.  Just about all "bypass mail" handled by the Milwaukee and North Western moved on the bypass tracks, including Flexi-Vans off the New York Central.  By the late 1960s a lot of the traffic that had formerly used the bypass tracks was gone, or in the case of Milwaukee mail, moved in the late evening and early morning.

IC's Central Station was laid out as if it were a through station with a ladder on each end of the platform tracks, even if the north ladder led to a stub.

 

rcdrye

The bypass tracks at Union were mostly used by short transfer cuts - seldom more than 10 cars or so, so they wouldn't seem very busy, even though a lot of different carriers used them.  Just about all "bypass mail" handled by the Milwaukee and North Western moved on the bypass tracks, including Flexi-Vans off the New York Central.  By the late 1960s a lot of the traffic that had formerly used the bypass tracks was gone, or in the case of Milwaukee mail, moved in the late evening and early morning.

IC's Central Station was laid out as if it were a through station with a ladder on each end of the platform tracks, even if the north ladder led to a stub.

 

Does anyone know the last time a freight or frieght transfer ran thru the Chicago Union station's thru tracks? Was it in the "modern era" (I.E. after the "extension" beyond the old post office up to Polk St. (maybe around the mid 90's)). I am going to model the way this looks now because it is easier and I am going to have a (probably projected) photo back drop up to the Polk St. bridge and the city, including the Sears tower. It will be scale HO all the way to Roosevelt Rd (19 feet), including the byzantine maze of switches and double slip switches. Everything else will be greatly compressed. I want to do the North (Milw Rd.) approach also, when the tracks were still exposed up to Lake St. I will probably use another photographic back drop. I am planning to "cheat" and have all the tracks thru so I can do contiguous running if I so desire. Neither part of the actual station (either the Grand Hall or the concourse bldg.) will be visible.  Thanks Much, David Schmieding

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Posted by rcdrye on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 11:40 AM

I think I read somewhere that freight use of the bypass tracks stopped sometime in the 1990s.  Probably due to changes in interchange patterns and mergers, along with Amtrak charging for their use.

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Posted by Davechi on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 7:18 PM
Do you know it was after the current configuration of the south approach tracks (I.E. after the extension of the building up to Polk St.)? I think this happened around the mid to late 90s.
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Posted by Davechi on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 8:40 PM
Oh, thanks again: I have just found out that the "New post office" was built around 1996 and used starting 1997. The big question is, was there ever a freight train or transfer after that time period? I am modeling the "modern look " of this area and was hoping it wouldn't be totally wrong (for the purpose completing my loop) of having an occasional freight train passing through the East most tracks of the train shed. All 10 tracks will appear to come right out of a darkened area (in my projected photo of Chicago from the same exact angle of viewing it from Roosevelt Rd) under the Polk St. bridge (and eventually going into the darkened area under the Randolph St. bridge to the north). The vast majority of my trains will be Metra and Amtrak.
  • Member since
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  • 4 posts
Posted by Davechi on Thursday, November 08, 2018 5:33 PM
There is a way to cheat when modelling the Northern or Southern approaches of Chi Union station. One can just make all of the tracks through, because nothing of them can be seen from the outside other than just maybe 50 feet in at each end and even less along the Chi River. When one wants to run prototypical operations, then just consider the West-most 8 tracks blocked and the 2 East-most tracks through. When one wants to just relax and watch Metra and Amtrak (or the TCZ and CZ and E-unit led Budd bi-level commuters, plus the Pennsy Broadway limited, plus the occasional through freight or freight transfer, back in the day) run contiguously, exactly as viewed from Roosevelt road, then just use all or most of the tracks as through tracks. I am planning on having a photographic backdrop either projected or a super enlarged photo of the city, from the Polk St. bridge looking North and the Randolph St, bridge looking South (on the North end). The area where the trains pass through will be darkened and cutout (it doesn't have to be very long). It will look like the real thing when viewed from each end of the room facing oppositely. The HO scale length from Roosevelt RD to the Polk St. bridge is 19'. I will be doing this scale, everything else will be compressed. This will literally look like the greatest train watching point in North America with everything running contiguously (I.E Roosevelt Rd.). Thanks much, Dave S.

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