This view looks southwest towards Blommer Chocolate\'s factory from
the window of a Metra coach. It's a sweltering Saturday afternoon
so the air-conditioned cars are appreciated. The Blommer upper
level spur has an interesting consist of a Trackmobile and two
freight cars loaded with what appears to be gravel. Perhaps UP was
parking them here temporarily in MOW service. Normally pressurized
hoppers are parked here for Blommer. At this point the former
C&NW West Line and North/Northwest Lines diverge. Blommer
Chocolate is served off the West Line. Below the West Line viaduct
is the "Say Goodbye Gallery" which has depicted vanishing wildlife
since the 1970s in mural fashion.
Another view of the Blommer upper level spur which is reached from
the UP (former C&NW) viaduct. A lower level spur is also in
place at street\r\nlevel but trucks normally crowd the area.
Here's a look at the spur which once served several industries
along Elston and Magnolia Avenues in Chicago, including the massive
Proctor & Gamble plant along North Avenue, a scrapyard, and
Morton Salt. Today just Morton Salt is served by rail as the other
two industries are now gone. The track on Magnolia was rebuilt in
2004 as part of a street reconstruction project. Just enough was
put in place to serve as a tail track for backup moves in the
Morton Salt complex. Note the curved brick building to accommodate
the track which was more typical of another era.
The CP Rail MP15 which services the former Milwaukee Road lines is
parked at the North Avenue yard of UP. CP taxis crews in to work
this job since the connecting track was removed where the
Bloomingdale line crossed the UP's North Northwest Lines.
Farther north, another UP locomotive and caboose are parked in the
North Ave. yard awaiting their next assignment. UP successor
C&NW referrred to cabooses as "waycars."
UP MOW equipment is parked at the North Ave. yard. It wasn't that
many years ago that the North Ave. yard was stuffed with freight
cars which could be seen from the Kennedy Expressway. The biggest
customer today is the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center printing
This view looks northeast towards the spur into the Sipi Metals
complex. The two gondolas on the spur were spotted there earlier by
a CP Rail crew. At one time this track continued east along
Wabansia and crossed Elston, serving a US Steel plant and later
P&G along with C&NW. Parts of the track are still visible
in Wabansia west of Elston.