From Kingsbury to Peerless

(By Tom Burke; photographed on August 5, 1986)

With an MP-15 locomotive still in Milwaukee Road colors, the CP Rail/Soo Line crew crosses the Chicago River and passes east through the scrapyard on Kingsbury to link up with the street trackage. A pressurized hopper with sugar for Peerless is in tow.

The crew uncouples the hopper for Peerless which they will leave in the street while they deliver an inbound load in the gondola for Finkl Steel.

Returning from Finkl Steel with an empty gondola, the crew now recouples onto the hopper for the delivery north to Peerless. The gondola will stay in the street while this errand is done.

The conductor flags vehicle traffic on busy North Avenue as the train pauses. Flagging is necessary since the automatic signals no longer operate. Today the scene on the right is filled in with townhomes and strip shopping centers.

The run to Peerless passes by the Lakeshore Athletic Club. Signs on the columns warn members not to park on the tracks on weekdays due to train traffic! People who don't believe the signs cause delays for the crew while tow trucks are dispatched to remove the automobiles.

Moving north toward Lakewood Avenue, the train passes through the runaround track which will not be needed today since there is no load of empties to bring back from Peerless. This area is now paved over and used as an alley and parking lot around the rails.

Switch is thrown for the backward move into the Peerless spur.

Kids on bikes watch as the locomotive backs the hopper into the Peerless spur. People always act surprised to see a train on Lakewood Avenue. The crew uncouples the car while a Peerless employee watches.

The hopper now successfully spotted, the crew backs out of the spur up to Diversey Parkway and prepares to return to Kingsbury Street where they left the hopper. The light of the locomotive can be seen in the background at approximately Diversey Parkway along Lakewood Avenue.

For more articles written by Tom on this rail operation, please refer to the following:

All photos & text, Copyright © 1999 Tom Burke. All Rights Reserved.

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