•    Blue Island Yard    •

Most of these photos were taken by Lightnin', this site's original owner. The fourth and fifth photos are by J.D. (Tuch)
Santucci who has accompanied them with some helpful comments.

View from the hump

NW and SW switchers at the service area

A Fairbanks Morse loco works the east end of the yard. Photo courtesy of Charlie Stricker

Tuch says: "The two towers on stilts are the east yardmaster's office on the top level and the trainmaster's office right below it [the latter office has been removed since this photo was taken]. The flat-roofed building just behind the light standard in known as "Longfield." This is the car inspector's headquarters and locker room. At one time the Blue Island crew caller was located in this building. The east yardmaster controls all movements at the east end of the yard, including the pull-down or trimmer jobs that work the garden (hump bowl) and all inbound and outbound trains. He also instructs the hump yardmaster on where to yard trains entering from the west, and tells eastbound trains at the hump end where to make their doubles if such is required."

Ready tracks; note EL locomotive in the background. Tuch says: "Blue Island did not have a major engine servicing facility since the Gibson roundhouse was less than ten miles to the east. Locomotives could be fueled and sanded, have lube oil or cooling water added, have brakeshoes replaced, piston travel adjusted, and make other minor repairs. In this shot you are looking roughly east. The clear track is the north ready track and the one to the right of the tank is the south ready track. You'll notice the concrete pad to the right of the clear north ready track. This was the fuel station. You can see the fuel racks."
NOTE: this facility was eliminated in 2004. All engine servicing is now done at Gibson Yard.

At left, an NW2 switches a cut of cars. At center is a GP38-2 with slug, and at right an SW1500.

Yard office

Old yard office

East end of the yard; CN and Metra Electric tracks overhead

Hump action with SW1500 and slug

Hump tower

NW2 and booster unit pulling a cut of cars. Photo by Dennis Schmidt

SW1500 and slug at the east end of the yard. Photo by Dennis Schmidt

Three of the rebuilt SW1500s and a GP40-2 await a call to duty. Photo by Dennis Schmidt

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