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Eastern Railroad Discussion > MC's Joliet Branch started where?


Date: 05/06/07 08:59
MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: filmteknik

I'm trying to figure out exactly where the Michigan Central Joliet Branch (now mostly gone) began in Indiana. Besides some yard trackage now used by Metra in Joliet the remaining segment is Chicago Heights in the vicinity of the Ford stamping plant over to the Griffith, IN area, stopping short of the big crossing, ending at a point just south of a tank farm. I've been there on foot but beyond that I'm just trying to follow the old right of way on Google Earth and naturally after 20+ years it's no longer easy to pick out the right of way. Can some one familiar with how the line ran point out where it branched off the MC main (or did it come off a NYC main?) and help me follow it along. A few coordinates for for Google Earth would be helpful. Thanks.



Date: 05/06/07 09:54
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: TAW

filmteknik Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm trying to figure out exactly where the
> Michigan Central Joliet Branch (now mostly gone)
> began in Indiana. Besides some yard trackage now
> used by Metra in Joliet the remaining segment is
> Chicago Heights in the vicinity of the Ford
> stamping plant over to the Griffith, IN area,
> stopping short of the big crossing, ending at a
> point just south of a tank farm. I've been there
> on foot but beyond that I'm just trying to follow
> the old right of way on Google Earth and naturally
> after 20+ years it's no longer easy to pick out
> the right of way. Can some one familiar with how
> the line ran point out where it branched off the
> MC main (or did it come off a NYC main?) and help
> me follow it along. A few coordinates for for
> Google Earth would be helpful. Thanks.

Try TerraServer
http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=16&Z=16&X=37&Y=359&W=3&qs=%7cchicago+heights%7cil%7c



Date: 05/06/07 10:52
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: CSX_CO

It came off at a point called Lake Station. The former ROW can still be seen from the CSX Porter Branch. Look for where the Porter Branch makes a slight 'turn' as it deviates away from the former Joilet Branch.

Practice Safe CSX



Date: 05/06/07 14:47
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: calumet

CSX_CO Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It came off at a point called Lake Station. The
> former ROW can still be seen from the CSX Porter
> Branch. Look for where the Porter Branch makes a
> slight 'turn' as it deviates away from the former
> Joilet Branch.

The junction was at the town now known as "Lake Station" but in the old days it was called "East Gary" (the name was changed, I think, some time in the 1960s). I'm not certain but I think the junction was also named "East Gary".



Date: 05/06/07 16:03
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: filmteknik

Thanks. I can confirm East Gary as the concrete mileposts always referenced the distance from "E.G." Does anyone know if the whole branch--except the small remaining bits--was pulled up at the same time (1977 or 78 I think)



Date: 05/06/07 17:19
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: CShaveRR

The early maps I've seen show the junction as "Lake" (no "Station"). It wasn't that long ago (relatively speaking) that East Gary changed its name to Lake Station to avoid the stigma of even being associated with Gary.



Date: 05/06/07 17:35
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: filmteknik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

:

East Gary is the former name of the city of Lake Station, Indiana. The city was known as Lake Station from as far back as 1852 when it served as a depot on Michigan Central Railroad's Detroit to Chicago line. The name was officially changed to East Gary in 1908 in an attempt to lure executives from the nearby US Steel plant in Gary, Indiana into creating a suburban community.

With another name change in 1977, to primarily disassociate itself from the urban decay and crime of Gary, the city reverted to its more historical designation of Lake Station.



Date: 05/07/07 04:25
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: aj9c

I am from Lake Station/East Gary. I don't recall the discussion of the name changing being about removing any stigma of Gary. The name was changed in 1977. The City government folks got caught up in the bicent. history thing which got them to come up a name change to honor the past. I didn't think the line was pulled up as early as the late 70's I think it was intact till the early 80's at least. I think trains to Chicago hts. were rerouted earlier and the line didnt see any traffic for several years before it was pulled up. The yard remained in use for a number of years as a place for grain cars to be offloaded to trucks. Just an interesting note, back when I went to HS there (approx. 1972) there was still a long metal pan in the middle of the MC mainline that ran through town just west of IN RT. 51. I always thought the "on the run" water pans were more out in the country since it seems there would be a big splash. At least I assume thats what the metal pan was for in the middle of the tracks.



Date: 05/07/07 15:53
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: pepperidge

If anyone has a copy of the map that accompanied John Swajkart's _Trainwatcher's Guide to Chicago_ (1987), it shows both the active and abandoned segments of the line.

Pepperidge



Date: 05/07/07 21:48
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: filmteknik

It's possible I am misremembering (will have to check photo dates) OR that the line west of Chicago Heights got yanked before the other part.

I'm pleased to say I "rode" on this line. In a manner of speaking, that as, as I was invited aboard a IHB switcher (two in MU that day) while they did some switching in Frankfort. That's as far as they went in the latter years...a few cars for the propane dealer and the lumber yard. Some parts (I guess west of CH) didn't make it into Conrail and were operated for a time under subsidy. IIRC 20 years later when the "Old Plank Trail Road" was being planned they had to buy the land from Penn Central's successor, not Conrail.

Too bad they didn't make this line the major connection advocated by John G. Kneiling in a long ago Professional Iconoclast column.



Date: 05/08/07 11:28
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: pepperidge

I am fairly certain that the line was shifted to Conrail and then abandoned west of Chicago Heights shortly thereafter.

Pepperidge

filmteknik Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's possible I am misremembering (will have to
> check photo dates) OR that the line west of
> Chicago Heights got yanked before the other part.
>
>
> I'm pleased to say I "rode" on this line. In a
> manner of speaking, that as, as I was invited
> aboard a IHB switcher (two in MU that day) while
> they did some switching in Frankfort. That's as
> far as they went in the latter years...a few cars
> for the propane dealer and the lumber yard. Some
> parts (I guess west of CH) didn't make it into
> Conrail and were operated for a time under
> subsidy. IIRC 20 years later when the "Old Plank
> Trail Road" was being planned they had to buy the
> land from Penn Central's successor, not Conrail.
>
> Too bad they didn't make this line the major
> connection advocated by John G. Kneiling in a long
> ago Professional Iconoclast column.



Date: 05/08/07 20:24
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: video7105




Date: 05/08/07 21:02
Re: MC's Joliet Branch started where?
Author: video7105

JOLIET AND NORTHERN INDIANA RAILROAD COMPANY

In 1855 the Joliet and Northern Indiana Railroad, built a line through an area linking Joliet with Lake Station, Indiana. The J&NI Railroad was leased to the Michigan Central Railroad and service was implemented in July of 1855. Nelson D. Elwood, an officer of the rail line, and Sherman Bowen, a Joliet attorney and real estate man jointly platted a village of around 23 acres in March of 1855 and named the it Frankfort after the townships name. It was commonly referred to as Frankfort Station because of the railroad depot located there.

Incorporated January 9, 1854, under the laws of Indiana. Consolidated with the Oswego and Indiana Plank Road Company of Illinois July 1, 1854. Operated under perpetual agreement, dated September 7, 1851, by which, as amended The Michigan Central Railroad Company maintains the road and pays a rental of $15,000 per annum, being five per cent. on the capital stock of $300,000 and interest on funded debt and all taxes and expenses, and receives all revenues. Bonds of The Michigan Central Railroad Company issued for $1,500,000 secured by a mortgage on the property of the Joliet and Northern Indiana Railroad Company (under which mortgage the issue of bonds of The Michigan Central Railroad Company to an amount not exceeding $3,000,000 is authorized), have been substituted for such funded debt. The Michigan Central Railroad Company owns the entire capital stock.

The EJ&E Porter Branch was built parallel to the Michigan Central because there was enough business to justify both.

What became the Joliet Cut-Off of the Michigan Central was originally chartered as the Joliet & Northern Indiana Railroad in 1854 by a group of Joliet businessmen that wanted a direct connection with the East, bypassing the time and expense of routing via Chicago over either the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad or the Illinois & Michigan Canal. The J&NI was completed between Joliet and the Michigan Central at Lake Station (aka East Gary), Indiana (45 miles) in May of 1855. The MC had acquired control of the J&NI even before it was completed.

http://oprt.org/history/four.html

http://oprt.org/history/five.html


The Joliet and Northern Indiana Railroad became the Michigan Central Railroad (where the Plank Trail is today) and twice daily the milk and mail train would roll in to Frankfort. The conductor usually knew when they’d have a passenger and would hold the train for as long as 15 minutes waiting.



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