Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by Otto Vondrak
I'm going to take a some time to photograph the SouthShore in and around Michigan City on Sunday and Monday. Good hotels, neighborhoods around there to stay?
  by frank754
I'm not too familiar with the area, but my wife & I stayed at the Blue Chip Casino, which is only about a mile or so away, and I believe we got a deal online for it for around $80, that was Jan. 2010. They have a free shuttle van that goes to the South Shore station in Michigan City.

Here are a few I took in Feb., 1977:

  by justalurker66
frank754 wrote:http://viewoftheblue.com/photography/csssb10_2.html

"After Gary, the line is mostly single tracked, except for some non-electrified double-track to accomodate freight service."
There are long sidings near Bailey on both sides of the single track main. Where you took your picture of 2002 appears to be one of those sidings (west of Dune Park). Although the west end of the north siding is automated (remote switch and CTC signals to allow coal trains to enter and exit the mainline) the other siding entrances (south siding and east facing switches on the north siding) are all manual throw and the sidings are unsignalled (except for their connection to the main line).

The true double track segments east of Gary ARE electrified. This includes the miles just east of Miller (Wilson to Wagner), the passing siding at Dune Park (Tremont), the passing siding east of Beverly Shores (Tamarack) and the passing siding just west of Michigan City (Power to Sheridan). All electrified. (The passing tracks east of Michigan City at Birchim, Olive and the "airport runaround" along Bendix Drive are also electrified.)

Otherwise, a nice collection of photos ... it is a shame the weather wasn't better for you.

It is probably too late for me to help Otto with his trip. The Blue Chip is probably the best hotel near the South Shore ... walking distance if you're healthy. The neighborhood between Michigan Ave and Shops is fine to drive through (with Holliday St along the tracks) and I've seen some locals walking along there. Roeske Ave bridge is a photo hot spot for the yard. I refreshed my yard photos from there last weekend and have seen others on that bridge. The 11th St station is the downtown photo hotspot. If you have a car make the trip west to Beverly Shores (and visit the museum there, if you wish).
  by Otto Vondrak
justalurker66 wrote:It is probably too late for me to help Otto with his trip.
Leaving this week (whoops, that wasn't very clear, was it?), and I'll have a car, so I'm not worried about walking distances. But thank you for the hotel suggestion just the same, I will check it out!

  by Otto Vondrak
I feel like such a noob asking this question, but is the SouthShore Freight on a regular schedule? I'd love to catch freight going down the street on Monday...
  by justalurker66
Otto Vondrak wrote:I feel like such a noob asking this question, but is the SouthShore Freight on a regular schedule? I'd love to catch freight going down the street on Monday...
They have a freight crew that is usually wrapping up work at Bailey (west of Dune Park) in the morning. There is a 7am crew that often goes to South Bend. The 8:30am or 10:30am crew might be easier to catch. These times are based on what I've heard the crews called ... as far as I know there is no specific schedule - although freight traffic is pretty regular and there are limited times to get a train through without interrupting passenger service. If you're out during the peak passenger times (not a bad idea) you are less likely to see freight.

(The last peak weekday train leaves Michigan City before 7am. The 8:30am crew would be able to follow Train 14 westbound. The 10:30am crew would leave after Train 7 eastbound and be ahead of Train 116 westbound. Return times would depend on how much work needs to be done and how efficient the particular crew is.)

I have not heard a weekend schedule ... I've seen unit coal empties make the trip from Bailey to Miller (CSX and South Shore powered) but I've only seen light engines or very short trains in Michigan City. Then again, I don't get over there as often as I'd like.
  by Tadman
You can almost always count on a drag freight leaving Burnham yard (at state line) headed west for IC/CN around lunch.
  by Otto Vondrak
Ihad a veqry productive Sunday in Michigan City on Sunday... Got in town in time for the first eastbound of the morning. Caught a crew getting on freight engines at the shops and beat them back to 11th Street. Shot a number of westbunds and then shot another freight crew that I chased to Burns Harbor where the sun disappeared under clouds... Looking forward to exploring more of the CSSSB next time I am in town... Here's a few outtakes from the digital, the rest is on film and will have to wait.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic7 ... hotostream
  by fauxcelt
Thank you for posting the link to your pictures Frank754. They brought back a lot of memories for this man who grew up on the south side of Chicago.