Chicago: Dearborn, LaSalle, Union, and Grand Central Stations

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June 23, 2013 4:27 PM

For all of you Chicago railroad fans, I came across the latest(?) issue of "Trains" magazine and noticed the cover showed a Sante Fe Fe passenger train departing Chicago's Dearborn Station.

Well, since I own 2 post war Lionel Sante Fe F3's, 2 Erie's (Alco's), 3 Pennsylvania's (2 Williams GG's and a E7), and am looking at adding a CB&Q as well as Rock Island, B&O, and NYC....I was shocked to find a complete "high level" track plan showing which of these stations as well as the routes for all of these trains, and color coded to show what was where and along which route!

 

I was so excited, I took off my contact len's so I could read the magazine, jumped into bed, turned the lamp on, allowed my two Siberian Huskys to jump on to the bed too, and began reading this article.

 

As soon as I finished reading, I jumped out of bed, put my contacts back in, and began tearing up the unfinished upper level of my layout, and re-arranged the track so that I can now accomodate all of these road names in an area of Chicago semi-prototypically!

Whew, 2 hours and 4 gallons of sweat later all is set, except for some odd track pieces...then its on to testing and if all tests well, I can begin on the scenery.

 

That article in the latest issue of Trains magazine was a godsend for me!

Now....I just need Williams to release new versions of CB&Q, NYC, and Rock Island diesels for the 1940s and 50s and I have it made!

Whewhoo! (screams like a girl at a Beatles concert).

 

No wait, I have a CB&Q and NYC book on stations somewhere in my house.....gonna start clearing out closets, fling drawer contents, and opening boxes to find them asap!

 
 
 
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June 23, 2013 4:55 PM

Just for fun, here's the map of Chicago Stations from the 1951 Pennsylvania RR System Time Table. Nowhere near as detailed as the TRAINS article, but it did serve to inform the PRR passengers as to the location of their connecting trains.

 

Now remember, no wires in Chicago Union Station, so those GG1's will only be able to go as far as Harrisburg, PA!  LOL

 

prrchicago

 

B&O Bill

 
 
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prrchicago
 
 
 
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June 23, 2013 5:33 PM

Thanks Bill!
I have a solution for those GG1's...I have a nice barren area for just enough sidings to make Pennsylvania station for those GG1s!
Since, I already have the old GCT from the 1880-1890s on the lower level, and now Chicago on the upper level...well, real easy now to add NYC Penn Station!
 
Originally Posted by BANDOB:

Just for fun, here's the map of Chicago Stations from the 1951 Pennsylvania RR System Time Table. Nowhere near as detailed as the TRAINS article, but it did serve to inform the PRR passengers as to the location of their connecting trains.

 

Now remember, no wires in Chicago Union Station, so those GG1's will only be able to go as far as Harrisburg, PA!  LOL

 

prrchicago

 
 
 
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June 23, 2013 8:14 PM

I read the article too. I was amazed to see that Pennsy had so much yard trackage around CUS, while other roads like NYC and Santa Fe had what look like slivers. Did PRR haul more mail or express or something as a reason they had more yard sidings right there? Even little SOO had a roughly similar sized yard as NYC or Santa Fe did.

 

I also found it impressive that CB&Q serviced commuter dinkies AND long distance trains for itself, and parents GN and NP all in the small-ish yard they had.

 

Sam

 
 
 
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June 23, 2013 10:32 PM

I, too, thought that was a very informative article.  I plan to scan the maps and take them with me on my next Amtrak trip east.  We have a five hour layover between trains going westbound.  And if the weather is decent, I've been wandering downtown to the old La Salle and C&NW stations.  Now I'll be able to go down to Roosevelt Road and also check out the sites of the demolished stations.

 
 
 
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June 29, 2013 2:18 PM

I need to figure out how to compress those several stations and trackage now.

Cool thing is I have justification for all my old lionel's now to be on the layout in prototypical fashion.

 
 
 
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June 29, 2013 3:17 PM

Chip:  Be sure that you add "Parmalee Cabs" to your layout.  They were ubiquitous in downtown Chicago 60 years ago and were the primary way that people transferred from one RR or station to another.  You can look them up on Wicked Pedia.

 

Paul Fischer

 
 
 
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June 29, 2013 7:04 PM

Looking them up right now, thanks fisch!

 
 
 
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June 30, 2013 9:02 AM

Here's some information about Parmelee from primary sources.

 

First, the description from the General Information section of the 7/6/47 B&O System timetable:

 

 

 

rogscan004

 

Next, a small ad from the 9/27/53 New York Central System time Table.

 

rogscan005

 

I rode the cabs many times as a kid transferring between Grand Central and C&NW Stations. I always liked it because I got to ride on a folding jump seat.

 

 

B&O Bill

 
 
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June 30, 2013 9:17 AM

I also learned that the Parmalee Cab Co, which had been started way back in the 19th Century, had been bought by the Checker Cab Co, the company that built the famous Checker automobile.  So the vehicles that they used were Checkers but I have no idea of what color they were.  Very distant memory tells me that they were black but I'd sure like to know their exact color.

 

No one, that I know, makes the 1940's version of the Checker automobile, but there are models of the newer, square box, slab sided version that started in around 1960.

 

Paul Fischer

 
 
 
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June 30, 2013 10:12 AM

Paul, I remember them as black.

 

B&O Bill

 
 
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June 30, 2013 10:33 AM

I'll have to pick that issue up. Spent some time in Chicago between Amtrak Cardinal and Southwest Chief rides. Great place to visit.

 

 

____________________________

6000 miles on Amtrak in words and pics www.currtail.com

 
 
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