Kevin’s Komments 09/24/2022

Another of the layouts I really enjoyed at the NMRA convention tours was Paul Fries’ Chicago & North Western, East Iowa Subdivision.  Paul’s layout represented the expanses and long runs between towns with a really great potential for exciting operating sessions.  So with Paul’s layout in mind, and hopefully providing Dave with some interesting pics, here’s a collection of the prototype C&NW.

You can’t review the C&NW without looking at the bridges over the Chicago canals. This is a sketch of the Kinzie St. swing spanning the Chicago River. This is one of the early (1865 sketch) predecessors of the C&NW Bascule bridge at this location. I noticed after I downloaded this pic that there appears to be someone hanging from the railing of the bridge as it swings out! (Are the people in the foreground clapping and waving their hats? (!!))

The modern bascule bridge operated by the C&NW (currently locked in the up position) was built in 1908. At the time of it’s opening, it was the longest and heaviest bascule.

…a view of the bridge from the Carrot Room

While looking at the Chicago River and canal bridges, I found this swing bridge – not the C&NW, but the Illinois Central crossing the Sanitary and Ship Canal…Oh well…bridges catch my attention.

This is a great photo taken in 1895 of the Adams Street swing bridge over one of the canals. Great pic of a steam barge! I had a map of the Chicago bridges, but didn’t spend the time to find this one. Again, I don’t think this is a C&NNW bridge.

Drifting off the C&NW, bridges, and railroads, I found this photo of a coffee house constructed immediately following the Chicago fire, 1871. While the burned ruins of the city present a desolate backdrop, there’s a bit of dark humor and a lot of entrepreneurship coursing through this little coffee shop built to fill a need for the reconstruction crews.

Back to C&NW bridges: This is a pic of Milwaukee’s Trestle Park, part of the River Walk along the Milwaukee River. Milwaukee took abandoned C&NW right-of-way which includes a swing bridge (not operational) and turned it into a pedestrian park.

This park just recently opened.  These pics were provided by a nice website for the park:

The modern images provide an image of a fantastic public space that honors the past, but let’s look at when the railroad operated the swing bridge. I’m trying to figure out what the odd boxes along side the rail perform. There are some turnout control boxes, but the two in the foreground appear to be different. Are they possibly derailers to prevent disasters on the bridge?

This is the C&NW swing bridge over the Fox River in Oshkosh, WI.

Moving farther west, the C&NW built this swing bridge over the Missouri River at Pierre, SD. A quick study in steel trusses, this bridge includes four 352’ Pennsylvania fixed trusses, and the swing truss is a modified 445’ Pennsylvania though truss.

Here’s a couple of loco maintenance workers working on a steamer in the C&NW shops in Chicago around 1942. Note that the conduit running across the top of the smoke box has a junction box probably located for connecting the marker lights on the front of the loco. The elbow or “T” on the right of the pic probably fed back into the handrail – the handrail usually doubled as railing and conduit. You get a good look at the steam pipe coming out of the superheater heading to the cylinders on the right. The large fire tubes likely carried the superheater steam pipes

I think I’ve shown this pic before – the C&NW 40th Street shops in Chicago, 1942.  The detail is fantastic:  the valve gear on the floor, the worn floor boards, valves on the sand dome, the compressed air cooling coils with distinct elbows and pipe hanger clamps…

This photo captures the elegance of the C&NW station in Chicago. These are the lobby stairs and concourse taken in 1912.

Here’s a more modern pic of the lobby.

In 1983, demolition of near structures opened an exterior view of the spectacular passenger station.

The painful truth – the station was demolished in 1984.

I can’t read the loco number on this C&NW pacific, leaving the Chicago station in 1939.

C&NW #409, an F7A is near Western Ave. in Chicago, 1982. Photo by Marty Bernard.

C&NW #3014 was a Class H Baldwin built Great Northern (4-8-4).  While a lot of the previous photos were taken in Chicago, the line stretched as far west as Landers, Wyoming.

This pic was taken at Logan Hill, WY, in 1994 – So just before the UP bought the C&NW (1995).  New GE C44-9W’s #8712, #8698, and #8718 have an empty coal train to be loaded out of the Wyoming Powder River coal fields. Photo by Tom Ellis.

The modern locos also displayed a level of class. #6636 is an EMD SD24 likely built in the early ‘60s.

1255 looks like an Alco S unit. The loco roster I have shows a conflict: either an EMD SW1, or an Alco S-1. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m going with Alco.

I found this pic of a C&NW steam generator.  Check out the autos parked across the tracks.

1155 is a Baldwin built Class R-1 (4-6-0). No date on the loco or pic, but not nearly early enough to represent the RR when it was chartered in 1859.

4001 was the first of the Class E-4 streamlined Hudsons (4-6-4). I believe it’s pulling the 49er in Chicago. The 49er was a short-lived joint passenger train from San Francisco to Chicago via the UP, SP, & C&NW. (Not sure it was still called the 49er after the UP M-10000 was no longer the prime mover.)

Another interesting line of locos used by the C&NW were the box cabs. This is a GE/Ingersoll-Rand Model B6-5 Diesel-electric.

C&NW AGEIR-built #1002 is switching at Neenah Wisconsin May 5, 1952.

Well…I don’t think any pics of the C&NW in Iowa made it in this collection.  First searches on the C&NW pull up a lot of Chicago pics.  I’ll have to revisit the C&NW at some point and try to get more of the rural railroad activity.



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