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Carroll Ave Switching

  • Posted by tom burke
  • on 20 January 2005
  • 11 images

This is one of our earlier articles - CP Rail at Morgan Street - updated with new photos and text. Photos from 1990.


Chicago’s skyline is in the distance to the east as a CP Rail patrol switches out the remaining rail customers during a drab, early spring day in 1991. This job came from the former Milwaukee Road Galewood yard. An MP-15 still in Milwaukee Road colors is on the far right while its train is to the left. Prior to the end of CP Rail local freight service this far east on the former Milwaukee Road line in the mid 1990s crews alternated work between the C&E line on the North Side on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays with Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on this West Side line. This rail corridor just west of the Loop once featured local freight service by the C&NW, the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Panhandle Line, and the Milwaukee Road. The Pennsylvania Railroad ran as far east as Clinton St. with a curved freight house that survived up to 2004. It had a Braun Bottle sign on the roof that was visible to Metra commuters on the viaduct. A vestige of the Pennsylvania Railroad freight operation survives today under Norfolk Southern operation to serve the ADM milling plant.

The Soo Line crew backs down the spur to pick up empty cars inside the warehouse building just ahead. Note the abandoned track segment now paved over on the left, and the rest of the train, including a Milwaukee Road caboose, waiting in the background. In the distance are the remains of the once extensive Milwaukee Road freight terminal.


Soo Line conductor ("Paul") steps down to flag traffic and set the switch on Morgan St. as the MP-15 eases toward the warehouse and its two spur tracks inside.

The MP-15 gingerly backs into the building and couples onto a white boxcar. There's another empty boxcar in the spur to the right (north) which needs to be removed next.


The first car is pulled out of the building!

The crew slowly moves the train out past the switch and prepares to back down the second spur in the building to remove the remaining empty car. Paul steps onto Morgan once again to flag traffic and throw the switch. The train will back into the spur and couple the white boxcar onto the brown boxcar, pulling both back out together.