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.