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Nostalgia & History > Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975


Date: 01/11/17 18:11
Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: WrongMain

1975 was the last full year for an independent Erie Lackawanna, as the railroad would be swallowed up in the formation of Conrail in 1976.  The railroad certainly didn't go out with a whimper, though, at least in Chicago and Northwest Indiana.  We were very fortunate to see the EL bring its elegant E8's to power transfer runs between Griffith, IN and most of the major yards throughout the city.  Also, those big EMD's were still rolling through the area, allowing us to see SD45's, SDP45's, and SD45-2's.  It was great to see them coming and going, though we knew they were going for good.  Here's a quick look at some of the action back then as the Erie Lackawanna came and went.

1.  It's June 22, 1975 and 812 is leading a transfer on the Indiana Harbor Belt.  The train is about to pass under the Rock Island viaduct at Blue Island as it heads into the city, bound for either the Belt Railway of Chicago or the Milwaukee Road at Bensenville.






Date: 01/11/17 18:15
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: WrongMain

2.  SDP45 3663 flies across 165th St in Hammond, IN with an eastbound freight behind the two big EMD's.  The train is on the joint EL and C&O tracks that would seperate in Griffith.  October 22, 1975






Date: 01/11/17 18:18
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: WrongMain

Third and lastly, we see another set of E's crossing 165th St approaching downtown Hammond on Nov 19, 1975.  You'd never know a railroad went through here if you saw this scene today.  I believe there's now a grade school on the old right of way.  Goodbye, EL






Date: 01/11/17 18:55
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: tgcostello

Thanks for sharing these photos Mr. Main.

I've never seen a photo of EL power at Blue Island crossing!

Tim Costello



Date: 01/11/17 19:31
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: perklocal

Looks like a few of the E-8s got a fresh coat of paint near the end. EL Pride !



Date: 01/11/17 19:38
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: RuleG

Thanks for posting.

Some of the E-units look like they are in good shape.  Despite its financial woes, the Erie Lackawanna had some pride in the appearance of its locomotives during the railroad's last full year.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/17 19:28 by RuleG.



Date: 01/12/17 06:13
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: EL-SD45-3632

RuleG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for posting.
>
> Some of the E-units look like they are in good
> shape.  Despite its financial woes, the Erie
> Lackawanna had some pride in the appearance of its
> locomotives during the railroad's last full yeat.

You can thank the Marion diesel shop for that, they had pride in their jobs all the way to the bitter end. 



Date: 01/12/17 06:58
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: RayH

Awesome photos. I want a time machine.

I guess I had never noticed that 812 and 817 had EL spelled out in maroon on gray, instead of yellow on maroon (older paint scheme).
817 was the only E unit that retained its portholes, up until the bitter end.

I don't recall ever seeing more than 1 E unit on a freight on the East End of the system. Never had the opportunity pre-Conrail to get shoot EL west of Youngstown.

 



Date: 01/12/17 10:24
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: NCA1022

The last two photos illustrate one of the E-L route's advantages:  The ability to handle high/wide loads.

Did the E-L re-gear their Es for this freight service?  The IC tried using their surplus Es on high-priority piggyback trains soon after Amtrak, but a spate of traction motor burnouts ended that practice.  The IC Es were geared pretty high (for 112mph I think), maybe the E-L Es always had lower gearing so freight service wasn't so much of a mis-match?

- Norm
 



Date: 01/12/17 12:00
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: WrongMain

rantoul Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Exemplary photos!
>
> In 1975 had EL stopped using the route that
> followed Greenwood Road in Dolton and S Beverly
> Avenue in Evergreen Park/Chicago?

That's a good question.  They could have used the old Pennsy Panhandle up to Dolton and then take the IHB west to Blue Island; I can't remember for sure when the Panhandle was taken out of service.  Coming out of Griffith, where would they have gotten to the Panhandle?



Date: 01/12/17 12:19
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: NYSWSD70M

EL-SD45-3632 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RuleG Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Thanks for posting.
> >
> > Some of the E-units look like they are in good
> > shape.  Despite its financial woes, the Erie
> > Lackawanna had some pride in the appearance of
> its
> > locomotives during the railroad's last full
> yeat.
>
> You can thank the Marion diesel shop for that,
> they had pride in their jobs all the way to the
> bitter end. 

The entire company seemed to be that way until the end.



Date: 01/12/17 12:27
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: NYSWSD70M

NCA1022 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The last two photos illustrate one of the E-L
> route's advantages:  The ability to handle
> high/wide loads.
>
> Did the E-L re-gear their Es for this freight
> service?  The IC tried using their surplus Es on
> high-priority piggyback trains soon after Amtrak,
> but a spate of traction motor burnouts ended that
> practice.  The IC Es were geared pretty high (for
> 112mph I think), maybe the E-L Es always had lower
> gearing so freight service wasn't so much of a
> mis-match?
>
> - Norm
>  

They were re geared with 62:15 gears ( still 38 inch wheels), had steam generators removed and backwards transition added.  This did not apply to 825 and 833 as the remained commuter/passenger units.



Date: 01/12/17 19:10
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: ghemr

My guess is the train is headed for the Milwaukee Rd at Bensenville. I personally have never seen the EL come into the west end of Clearing------rather they usually came to Clearing via the east end (Hayford)-----using the E units, SD45's, GP35's, etc.....



Date: 01/12/17 19:56
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: aussiehinz

Fanatastic pix, one of my all time favorite roads.  Thanks for sharing.  I, too, had never seen a photo of EL E's at Blue Island Jct. 



Date: 01/12/17 20:31
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: EL3600

NCA1022 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The last two photos illustrate one of the E-L
> route's advantages:  The ability to handle
> high/wide loads.
>
> Did the E-L re-gear their Es for this freight
> service?  The IC tried using their surplus Es on
> high-priority piggyback trains soon after Amtrak,
> but a spate of traction motor burnouts ended that
> practice.  The IC Es were geared pretty high (for
> 112mph I think), maybe the E-L Es always had lower
> gearing so freight service wasn't so much of a
> mis-match?
>
> - Norm

​Erie Lackawanna removed the steam generators from the E-8's and installed concrete ballast to compensate for the lost weight, then re-geared the units for freight.
>  



Date: 01/12/17 20:56
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: Englewood

rantoul Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Exemplary photos!
>
> In 1975 had EL stopped using the route that
> followed Greenwood Road in Dolton and S Beverly
> Avenue in Evergreen Park/Chicago?

That route is the ex PRR Panhandle line, I don't remember the EL ever using that and I
would have been working at Washington Hgts and 91st St. towers in that era.

The EL went through Hammond to State Line and then onto the C&WI.

It is interesting to see the EL on the IHB since they were not an owner.
I thought they would have used the BRC (Pullman Jct. to Cragin) to deliver to the MILW.
I don't think there was a wye in the southwest quadrant at Hammond for the Erie to get on the IHB.
Interesting photo !!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/17 21:02 by Englewood.



Date: 01/14/17 13:52
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: train1275

Could this be a train bound for Santa Fe at Corwith ? - Not sure how EL managed that.

I rather agree regarding the BRC route to deliver to MILW.

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> rantoul Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Exemplary photos!
> >
> > In 1975 had EL stopped using the route that
> > followed Greenwood Road in Dolton and S
> Beverly
> > Avenue in Evergreen Park/Chicago?
>
> That route is the ex PRR Panhandle line, I don't
> remember the EL ever using that and I
> would have been working at Washington Hgts and
> 91st St. towers in that era.
>
> The EL went through Hammond to State Line and then
> onto the C&WI.
>
> It is interesting to see the EL on the IHB since
> they were not an owner.
> I thought they would have used the BRC (Pullman
> Jct. to Cragin) to deliver to the MILW.
> I don't think there was a wye in the southwest
> quadrant at Hammond for the Erie to get on the
> IHB.
> Interesting photo !!



Date: 01/14/17 17:25
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: sierrawestern

Nice photos.  Love that time machine!  I grew up in Hammond, IN and don't ever recall seeing EL power on anything but the EL or C&WI.  Spent a lifetime in my youth at State Line Tower and made hundreds of line ups.  Northward movements, Erie onto the Western Indiana, was lever 75 on the frame.  Coming south we pulled 161 to clear the signal.  
Photo 6 has the tip of the roof of HY tower just north of 165th Street above the lead unit.  Spent a few hours there on a Sunday afternoon in January 1970 waiting for the last westbound run of the Lake Cities to come through.  Ran late, had to leave and never did see it.  Had ridden that morning the last eastbound run Dearborn Station to Hammond.  There is a school there now an absolutely nothing to give any idea here the tower once stood.
And finally, correct there is no/never was a connection EL to the IHB at Hohman Avenue (Hammond) interlocking just north of the downtown area.  Erie, Monon and Nickel Plate all crossed the Indiana Harbor Belt and Michigan Central but nobody connected with anybody else at Hohman Avenue. 



Date: 01/15/17 13:13
Re: Erie Lackawanna coming and going in ChicagoLand in 1975
Author: Englewood

train1275 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Could this be a train bound for Santa Fe at
> Corwith ? - Not sure how EL managed that.
>
There was a photo on TO a couple of years ago of an EL
entering Corwith from the west.  Apparently the EL used
the BRC to Lemonye (Nerska) then around the connection
into the west end of the Jct. Yard, then a runner throught the yard
to Corwith.
http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,3358460,3358969#msg-3358969

The only other time I am aware of the EL going through Blue Island was
in 1970 after a freighter struck the C&WI Main Line Bridge.  At least some
EL trains used the GTW from Griffith to I assume the connection with the C&WI at
47th St. (or perhaps straight into Corwith).

My guess is the train in the photo is also detouring for some reason.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/17 13:58 by Englewood.



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