On a rainy summer day in 1996, a Soo Line patrol is working the team tracks at Division and Hickory Streets. Lots of activity today, with a pair of covered hoppers receiving a load from a truck with a worker on top of one of them directing the flow. A train led by a Soo Line GP-9 appears to be dropping off another hopper and a boxcar on the track to the right, or west, in this view. A pet food company supposedly was one of the shippers using these team tracks.
GP9s were used when train lengths were especially long, as well as cabooses. Even in the mid-1990s trains would stretch some 20 cars or more, traveling down city streets on Kingsbury or Cherry. When AKZO/International Salt, a major rail customer for inbound loads of salt, shut down their North Branch facility on the southern end of Goose Island, there were no more long trains.
Prior to the time of this photo the westernmost track crossed Division St. to the south and traveled to almost Halsted St. Even at this late date, you could still see the abandoned section of track re-emerge south of Division St. and travel south along Hooker St. though it was paved over where it crossed Division. As of 2004, nothing remains of this scene as Goose Island converted from heavy manufacturing to commercial and light industry. There was talk about building a new team track but the plans never came about.