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Chicago Industrial Switching Spots?

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  • Member since
    October 2012
  • 1 posts
Chicago Industrial Switching Spots?
Posted by RMRocket on Monday, October 15, 2012 4:29 PM

Greetings,

I'll be going to Chicago soon and am curious if there are any really good spots to watch some good old fashioned switching action - locals serving customers at industries?  I see a lot of interesting industries and warehouses with a maze of tracks west of O'Hare, but the area looks a little tricky to get to.  Ideally, I'd like to access the site by Metra or CTA and walking.

I've spent a lot of time watching trains in Chicago, mostly along the racetrack and Roosevelt Road, and would like to get into watching more of the local freight action if possible.

Thanks for any tips and help you can provide!

Regards,
Eric

  • Member since
    March 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 12,950 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 1:57 PM

Industrial switching is tricky since a lot of the industries in the O'Hare area are switched only once or twice a day, which means that some advance knowledge of when the jobs are called is needed.  A better bet might be in my old neighborhood at the Ford plant at 130th and Torrence.  The autorack terminal is also nearby.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Southern Iowa, near BNSF double track mainline
  • 111 posts
Posted by william6 on Saturday, October 20, 2012 9:43 AM

I have an old VCR tape titled "Today's Chicago Railrods" by Pentrex that contains scenes of industrial switching in an area known as Goose Island which is northwest of downtown Chicago by maybe 2 miles. The copyright on the tape is 1991 so the video is at least 20 years old. There are several minutes of video in this area which includes some "street running" and the difficulties the switch crew encounters in their work. I don't know if this video is available on DVD or not. As for watching some industrial switching in person, I can't make any reccomendations about accessibility by car or the safety of someone in the area. But the video was very good.

1st train ride was at 18 months old...and still riding the rails!
  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Southern Iowa, near BNSF double track mainline
  • 111 posts
Posted by william6 on Saturday, October 20, 2012 9:57 AM

On my previous post I should have said "can't make any reccomendations about accessibility by Metra or CTA or walking".

1st train ride was at 18 months old...and still riding the rails!
  • Member since
    March 2013
  • 252 posts
Posted by Bonas on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:37 PM

Riverdale and IHB Yard S Halstead and 138th,,Good Soul Food at Broasted  Chicken 13520 South Halsted Street... They have not changed the oil since 1962..mmm good

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