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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Chicago and Detroit Yards


Date: 02/09/20 05:41
Chicago and Detroit Yards
Author: steveandrews

Hi all,

I will be visiting Detroit for the first time in March and Detroit in September. I am looking to visit freight yards from all operators. What yards are there? Where are they? Are they visible from public property?
Many thanks for all information, Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews
Ames, IA



Date: 02/09/20 07:39
Re: Chicago and Detroit Yards
Author: toledopatch

The primary yards in Detroit are as follows:
CSX - Rougemere Yard. It's parallel to and northeast of the Ford Rouge complex, and partially visible from the northeast side from a public street.
NS - Oakwood Yard. It stretches west from Fort Street by the Marathon refinery (visible from I-75) to near Allen Road in Allen Park. There's a big parking lot on the south side of the tracks near a bowling alley on Allen Road that is a popular railfan hangout where you can see trains entering and leaving the west end of the yard and yard engines often swing cars at that location, but you can't actually see much of the yard from there. The yard itself is mostly inaccessible, and if you hang out at Fort Street you'll probably get visited by badge-happy security guards from Marathon, or even Detroit PD if the Marathon clowns decide to sic the real cops on you.
Conrail Shared Assets - 
  River Rouge Yard - Parallel to Jefferson Blvd south of YD Junction which in turn is just south of the Rouge bridge on the ex-NYC Detroit Line. Supports the heavy industry in the downriver area. Many NS road freights work here. I presume CSX's share of the traffic is run over to Rougemere or Livernois by transfer jobs. Its south end can be seen from Visger Road and its north end from Pleasant Street but in between is difficult and it's in a fairly sketchy area. Activity here could take a hit once US Steel shuts down the hot side of its Great Lakes Works.
  Livernois Yard - On the ex-NYC/Michigan Central main line in West Detroit. This used to be a massive hump-yard complex but is a shadow of its former self. John Kronk Street runs along most of the yard's northern edge, while Livernois Avenue is perpendicular at the east end and has the entrance to the intermodal terminal. With the MC being devoid of through freight, most of the train activity should be at the east end, which is the harder to observe.
  North Yard/Sterling Yard - These are on the former NYC line toward the north and support nearby auto assembly plants. North Yard is near Hamtramck and can be partially seen from various nearby streets. Sterling Yard is between two east-west mile roads in Sterling Heights. There is a smaller yard in between at Mound Road that also supports the auto industry. Train traffic is fairly thin up here because the Sterling Secondary is a dead end, but at the right time of day you might find a road freight or a yard/local moving.
Canadian National -
  Flat Rock Yard - not in Detroit proper, but this is CN's primary yard for the heaviest industrial areas of Detroit. I-75 crosses its east throat between the Flat Rock and West Road interchanges. A local street crosses the west throat at grade. It's mostly inaccessible.
  Pontiac Yard - on the north side of Pontiac parallel to the U.S. 24 Business Loop. What little carload business CN still handles in the Pontiac area is based here, along with storage of scores of lumber racks. Locals run south to serve industries on the north side of Detroit. CN no longer operates -any- yards within the city of Detroit.

CP has a small container facility, Oak Yard, that can be seen from I-96 near its junction with the M-39 Southfield Freeway. CN's intermodal terminal, Moterm, is in Ferndale on the Detroit-Pontiac line (Holly Sub) but I've never scouted it. Under PSR CSX has increased the amount of activity at its yard in Plymouth.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/20 07:42 by toledopatch.



Date: 02/09/20 07:42
Re: Chicago and Detroit Yards
Author: toledopatch

As for Chicago, I'd recommend doing some Google searching first, then ask location-specific questions. "I'm going to Chicago, what's there to see?" has been asked on here numerous times and many of the responses include a link to a Railfan's Guide to Chicago website whose URL I can't remember offhand but should turn up quickly if you look.



Date: 02/09/20 13:48
Re: Chicago and Detroit Yards
Author: calumet

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As for Chicago, I'd recommend doing some Google
> searching first, then ask location-specific
> questions. "I'm going to Chicago, what's there to
> see?" has been asked on here numerous times and
> many of the responses include a link to a
> Railfan's Guide to Chicago website whose URL I
> can't remember offhand but should turn up quickly
> if you look.

Here's the link:  http://dhke.com/CRJ

The largest and busiest yard in the Chicago area is the Belt Railway's Clearing Yard.  You can get an excellent view of it from the Cicero Ave overpass.

 



Date: 02/10/20 07:34
Re: Chicago and Detroit Yards
Author: steveandrews

Thanks for all of the info. much appreciated.

Steve

Steve Andrews
Ames, IA



Date: 02/11/20 21:44
Re: Chicago and Detroit Yards
Author: DL212

Toledopatch provided an excellent overview of Detroit rail yards. There is  another yard (although much, much smaller) that might warrant consideration if your time permits. It is  called Lincoln Yard,  and it is located in the northwest community of Wixom at the intersection of Wixom Road and Pontiac Trail (approximately two miles north of the I-96 / Wixom Road interchange. LSRC runs a southbound freight (Z127) between Flint and Wixom on a daily basis, including Sunday; it typicaly arrives between 11:45 am and 1:45 pm. You can park in the lot at the northwest quadrant of Pontiac Trail and Wixom Road. A searchlight signal at the entrance to the yard will indicate the train's approach well in advance. The morning train north to Flint seems to depart anytime between 6:30 and 8:30 am.



Date: 02/12/20 09:30
Re: Chicago and Detroit Yards
Author: steveandrews

Once again, thanks.
Steve

Steve Andrews
Ames, IA



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