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: JamesT4, metraRI

  by Milwaukee_F40C
The elevated structure that goes west from there is the Bloomingdale line of Milwaukee Road. The original line was at street level. It was still in use by Soo Line to reach the swing bridge across the Chicago River and the industries to the east until Metra wanted the crossing with the Union Pacific tracks ripped out. Some of the tracks to the east are still operated by Chicago Terminal, but the elevated Bloomingdale line is not in use. I don't think it is legally abandoned yet.

Some residents want it to be a bike trail. I don't know the status.

If a branch from the CTA Blue Line that crosses it was built, it would approximate an older elevated transit line that was torn down a long time ago, the Humboldt Park line.
  by Passenger
Thanks again.

But where does the bit that goes under the highway lead?

Is it simply cut off down there now, or does it somehow connect to tracks on the other side?
  by Tadman
Cool post, we're almost in my backyard. I'm about ten blocks due north, and I used to be about five blocks due east. I love this area.

The line originally came from the far west (think junction between West and North lines), ducked under the expressway, crossed CNW, then crossed the river, and served the mini-mill and scrapyard. As the neighborhood started gentrifying in the 1970s and industry evaporated rapidly, there is only the two industries left across the river. UP delivers cars to a shortline that then crosses the river and uses mostly street trackage to switch Finkl and General Iron.

There was once a track that went north on Lakewood to a chocolate factory up by my house, but it's all quite nice city houses now. The track remains in Lakewood, though. There was also once a track that went all the way downtown on Kingsbury.

CP sold this operation about five years ago. This site is really good and will tell you all you want to know: http://chicagoswitching.com/v6/

Some other good shots:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 319&nseq=7
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 785&nseq=1
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 458&nseq=5
  by Tadman
Very timely post! As we speak, crews have started removing the street-running tracks from Lakewood and Kingsbury streets across the river from the junction. This trackage is the remaining outer extent of the street trackage in Lincoln Park, an area not known for manufacturing for 30+ years. Last night while en-route to Whole Foods it took me much longer to get there - the street is totally torn up and it's clear they're removing the MILW. Same thing this morning while walking to the L to ride downtown, they're removing track from Lakewood.

The trackage to Finkl & Sons, General Iron, and Goose Island (the island, not the brewery) remains.

Fun fact: Goose Island Brewery is neither served by rail nor on Goose Island. It's adjacent to the MILW Goose Island branch about 1/2 mile north of the island itself, on the mainland. The trackage heads south on Kingsbury to the swing bridge where it crosses to the island in the middle of the north branch of the river.