IntroductionIt was college spring break week. The weather tomorrow,
the Wednesday after Easter, was going to be good for train
pictures. Where to go? I had a car. Englewood Union
Station. I’d never been there. Englewood wasn’t the best of
neighborhoods. (It’s now one of the worst.) I’ll do it in the
morning. I was 20, male, and relatively fearless. So before
dawn April 21, 1965, I left my parents’ warm western suburban
home to head for the mid-south side of Chicago – 63rd
and State. [EDIT, I recently remembered that my good railfan friend Roger Puta was wioth me that morning 5 decades ago.]
Englewood Union Station had much to offer; three major
railroad mainlines – New York Central (NYC), Pennsylvania
Railroad (PRR), and Chicago Rock Island and Pacific
(CRI&P) with the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad
(Nickel Plate or NKP) a tenant on the NYC. Name trains on
all lines. Suburban trains on two. And all passenger trains
stopped except for a few Rock Island suburban train expresses.
Today no passenger trains stop, neither the Amtrak trains on
the ex-PRR tracks nor the Rock Island District Metra trains.
The CRI&P tracks ran basically north/south east of and parallel
to LaSalle St. They are now part of Metra’s Rock Island
District. The PRR’s tracks (now Norfolk Southern) coming up
from Indiana ran northwest past the station, across many diamonds
with the Rock Island, and continued over the Dan
Ryan Expressway about 1000 feet later before heading north to
Chicago Union Station. The NYC tracks came in from
Indiana on the northeast side of and parallel to the PRR
tracks, made a sweeping curve north at the station resulting in
curved station platforms where neither the fireman nor engineer
could see the conductor, and paralleled the Rock Island
north to LaSalle Street Station. The two ex-NYC tracks nearest
the station remain but some of the adjacent yard tracks
have been removed (the remainder serve as a Norfolk
Southern intermodal yard) as has the track that connected the
Pennsylvania and Rock Island in the southeast quadrant.
I do not know how many slides I took that sunny morning.
Forty remain. But in those days I was good at getting rid of the
bad ones when they came back from processing. Maybe I took
The Rock Island presented the most trains that morning because of all
the commuters and the piggyback transfers to their downtown
piggyback yard which was essentially under the Roosevelt
Road Bridge. The Central was next in the number of trains
mainly because its E-units had to run back through Englewood
to its engine terminal from LaSalle Street Station. The Pennsy
was a close third and the Nickle Plate presented only the westbound, The
City of Chicago.
How many of those 40 kept slides will fit into this Blog Post?
We’ll see. And where should I start? That’s easy: The 20th
Century Limited. I was a diehard CB&Q fan so The 20th
Century and The Broadway Limited were not special to me at
20 years old but as a 4-year old my first train, a Lionel, had an
NYC Streamlined Hudson pulling a couple of freight cars and
a caboose. That train made me a lifetime railfan and modeler.
And my Hudson was a model of what pulled The 20th Century
up the Hudson River on “The Water Level Route – You Can
Sleep.” This slogan clearly was aimed at the PRR which went
through the Alleghenies and around Horseshoe Curve.
Englewood Union Station that 1965 April 21st Wednesday. At the front was
E7A 4022 followed by an E7B and an E8A. Hard to believe, but the NYC had
no E9s or E8Bs either. The dozen cars ended in a plain stainless steel roundend
observation car. Alas, no streamlined Hudson but an ABA set of Es a few
minutes from ending their overnight run in LaSalle Street Station was just fine
that long-ago morning.
morning in a much more elegant fashion. She’s a 2 Master Bed Room, 1
Double Bed Room, and a Bar Lounge. The train is just pulling out as a couple
walks toward the station. Maybe that’s their porter looking out of
“Mountain View’s” dutch door. The E-units on Train 49 will be at their Union
Station bumper posts in a few minutes. Of course, no coaches, but also no
checked baggage. Compared to the Century, the Broadway never made much
money. PRR's General (coaches and no extra fare) was their money-maker
overnight train between New York City and Chicago.
click here. Of course, over the years there were variations on this theme. A second diesel was added in the baggage compartment making each a full E-unit which operated as a B-unit on intercity trains and finally living out their days pulling and pushing suburban trains to Blue Island or Joliet. Here the fireman is looking in the mirror for the highball the conductor is giving.
nimble engine) pulling a commuter train, especially one of decades old coaches. That one other place was on the Boston and Maine. 426 was one of five BL2s the Rock had and is seen here with an inbound express.
Not only did the Rock Island have to scrounge for diesels to keep its service going, any coach that could turn a wheel was fair game. This train was
made up of three intercity cars with few doors and several double double-door Pullman-Standard commuter coaches.
The combined Manhattan Limited and Golden Triangle stirred up the pigeons on arrival about 7:00 a.m. at Englewood Union Station. E8A 5766 was assisted by two E7s. The roof radio antenna is obvious. Pittsburgh passengers could board the Golden Triangle's sleepers at 9:30 p.m., two hours before the cars were added to the Manhattan Limited and departed for Chicago. The Pennsy put three big trains through Englewood in an hour and forty five minutes every morning back then.This was the first, then the General, and culminating with the Broadway Limited for a 9:00 a.m. arrival at Chicago Union Station. Quite a show. Three westbound and two eastbound name trains consisted of NYC’s morning act. While more in number they just didn’t have the class of the tucson-red, E-unit hauled, Pennsy offering. At least that’s how it feels today over four decades later.
duty with a transfer caboose and a rare reengined Lima-Hamilton LS-
1200 #6210 built in September 1950. Founded in 1879, Goes Lithographing Co. occupied the same 75,000-sq.-ft. building the founder built inEnglewood in 1904 until they moved in 2010 to Delavan Wisconsin.
The OuttakesWell, I've told the story but there are more pictures to show you of the trains I saw that morning.
There were more BL2s with inbound trains. Here are two more.
And another Rock Island FP7.
And 750 with an inbound and then an outbound train.
And a Rock Island Galley Cab Car. That's an outbuilding to the depot at the right.
Here are two more photos of the 20th Century Limited.
I have to show you E-units. This is NYC E7 4002.
NYC E7 4007.
NYC E8s 4079 and 4061.
NYC E8s 4081 and 4960.
And the Pennsy sent some through that long-ago morning too. Here's PRR E8A 5766 taking the combined Manhatten Limited and Golden Triangle to the Loop.
PRR 5853 E7 with the Broadway Limited.
And PRR E7 5880 with the General.
And finally a couple pictures of the Valparaiso trains. Here is another shot of the first with PRR GP7 8551 up front.
And sister 8552 with the second Valpo train. Both GP7s had dual control so the engine did not need to be turned for the engineer to face forward and steam generators in the short hood.