Re: Perishables in Chicago

Jerry <jrs060@...>

--- In STMFC@..., Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@o...>
"For example, eastbound SFRD reefers arriving at the Santa Fe's
Corwith Yard in South Chicago were switched immediately to the
Indiana Harbor Belt, which would ice the cars if necessary at Blue
Island and then forward them to the Erie at Hammond, IN for 10
p.m. departure to the New York City area and New England, to the
Grand Trunk Western for southern Canadian destinations, or to the
B&O for mid-Atlantic destinations."

No, it did not quite work this way. Santa Fe would set
the IHB cars out at Mc Cook on the way into "Southwest"
Chicago's Corwith Yard. The cars for the Grand Trunk
Western at Chicago were taken right to the Elsdon Yard via
the IN tracks from Corwith Yard and iced by the GTW for
a very fast departure on #492 (day), or #490 (night) for
Canada and New England. If Santa Fe (a Belt Railroad of
Chicago owner) ever had to use the BRC for perishables in
Chicago thay were in trouble, as BRC was always slower than
the IHB.
The IHB was so good at making the connections in Chicago
with "Hot Stuff" that nobody used the BRC unless thay had to.
The IHB had clerks in other railroad yards offices in the
Chicago area to expedite the handling of perishables. Thay
would receive, stamp the waybills, and wire ahead icing
instructions to Blue Island yard, as an IHB H-5 2-8-2 was
standing ready on the yard leads with it's caboose to
tie on and go as the other railroads road engine was cut
off. I used to here old timers talk about how they did it,
and it was impressive at the Milwaukee Raod. Other roads
also had special crews called as extra "roustabout" jods
at yards to take perishable to other railroads as needed
by the roads yardmaster. C&NW would call 5 extra crews
a night at Proviso Yard alone! This was the good old days
of railroading when things got done as a matter of good
Business. I might add that Santa Fe was not known as
a particularly fast railroad in Chicago, or for having
very fast freight schedules to the West coast from Chicago
in the 1930's and 40's. This can be seen in a recent issue
of the Santa Fe modelers "Warbonnet" featuring the fast
freight schedules and services, if you would like to call
it that. Santa Fe was running most of the railroad with
old 2-8-2's and it shows in the timings over the road.


Jerry Stewart
Chicago, Ill.

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