Goose Island Switching Operations

Crew exchanges empty hoppers of salt for new loads at International Salt on North Branch near Halsted St. It was difficult to know where these active tracks were at times when they were covered in dirt from passing traffic. International Salt was acquired by AKZO which operated this plant for until the late 1990s.
Train returns north up North Branch with empty hoppers in tow. In the background is the former Montgomery Ward headquarters tower, and closer to the camera, the former Ogden Avenue overpass, since removed. This section of track and street was rebuilt in 1991 by city crews.
Empties are left in the street while the crew moves ahead to deliver a boxcar to Midwest Industrial Metals. A complex move was needed to reach its spur using the crossover track to the left, then switching onto the actual spur for the plant which ran alongside the brick building to the far left. Trucks sit on top of both tracks in this view-but not for long.
Train crew locates the driver of this truck and others to make was for the backup move onto the Midwest Industrial Metals spur. This blockage of the ROW was a common annoyance for train crews working Goose Island. Most people assumed the tracks were no longer in service from their condition.
The boxcar placed safely inside the Midwest Industrial Metals plant, our train now proceeds back north with the switching done on Goose Island for today. This plant had very jumpy security guards and on at least one occasion I was told that I couldn't stand on a public street and take a picture. I didn't stay around to argue the point. This business is long gone, and the building is empty.