The Gregarious Railfan
BT
Chicago, IL Overview
  Chicago has so much railroad history that even in places where you can't watch trains, there is much to investigate
and explore. Chicago Yards, Chicago Stations, and Metra Commuter trains are all a part of the mix. RR history and
Chicago history are intertwined like few places in the country. So there is an importance to railfanning Chicago.  All of
the Class I railroads that operate in the U.S. with the exception of The Kansas City Southern serve Chicago. Both
Todd Sestero with his
RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S. and I with The Gregarious Railfan have found it difficult to
present a coherent or complete presentation  of information about Chicago but both of us believe we should at least
start the attempt so bear with us. We hope the information we present is helpful to you, the railfan.  
TGR

Chicago is a railroad city, perhaps the railroad city.  Being at the crossroads, the history of railroads in Chicago is the
history of the growth of commerce in the U.S.  Chicago is a great place to railfan, but it is virtually impossible to list
or describe all the places one could railfan there. To have knowledge of the history of railroading in Chicago is to have
the broad knowledge to know how all the various places to railfan are interconnected.  Even though rail yards are not
ideal places to railfan due to accessibility, to know where the major rail yards are, and which railroads use them
enhances the enjoyment of railfanning at all the wonderful places in Chicago.
This page is my attempt to bring this history and knowledge to the railfan, – a feeble attempt to be sure, and
incomplete besides.  It would be impossible for someone with limited knowledge and resources to create a complete
overview of railroads in Chicago.  That would require several large, scholarly volumes. Hopefully my attempt will give
the railfan enough overview to enjoy railfanning in Chicago to the max.  
The Early Railroads, Pre 1900

The first railroad in Chicago was the Galena & Chicago Union, which was chartered in 1836 to build tracks to the lead
mines at Galena in northwestern Illinois. The first tracks were laid in 1848, and then not to Galena but to a point
known as Oak Ridge (now Oak Park).   
Encyclopedia of Chicago - Railroads   

Other early railroads listed below are described here:   
ILLINOIS RAILROADS IN 1901 (including Chicago-based) Source:
"HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS" © 1901   

CHICAGO BURLINGTON & QUINCY RAILROAD  
CHICAGO GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY  
CHICAGO, MADISON & NORTHERN RAILROAD  
CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE & ST. PAUL RAILWAY  
CHICAGO PADUCAH & MEMPHIS RAILROAD  
CHICAGO, PEKIN & SOUTHWESTERN RAILROAD  
CHICAGO, PEORIA & ST. LOUIS RAILROAD COMPANY  
CHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND & PACIFIC RAILWAY  
CHICAGO, ST. LOUIS & PADUCAH RAILWAY  
CHICAGO TERMINAL TRANSFER RAILROAD  
CHICAGO & ALTON RAILROAD  
CHICAGO & EASTERN ILLINOIS RAILROAD  
CHICAGO & GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY  
CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN RAILWAY  
CHICAGO & TEXAS RAILROAD  
CHICAGO & WESTERN INDIANA RAILROAD  
ELGIN, JOLIET & EASTERN RAILWAY  
FULTON COUNTY NARROW-GAUGE RAILROAD  
ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD  
PITTSBURG, CINCINNATI, CHICAGO & ST. LOUIS RAILROAD  
PITTSBURG, FORT WAYNE & CHICAGO RAILWAY  
ST. LOUIS, CHICAGO & ST. PAUL RAILROAD  
The Early 20th Century Railroads This page will not deal with that era.
Chicago rails in the Post War. 1946 -1971

PASSENGER STATIONS
1) Central Station  41.86798, -87.62194 Demolished 1974
2) CNW Western Terminal  41.88299, -87.64054 Now Ogilvie Transportation Center
3) Dearborn Station  41.87216, -87.62833  
4) LaSalle Street Station  
5) Grand Central Station  41.87333, -87.63414
6) Randolf Street Station (Renamed Millennium Station)  41.88436, -87.62474
Chesapeake & Ohio  
Frt terminus: Barr Yard  41.64944 -87.64444
Passenger terminus: Grand Central Station   
Present day class 1 RR: CSX
Illinois Central  
Frt terminus: Markham Yard  41.56950, -87.66326
Passenger terminus: Central Station
Present day class 1 RR: CN
New York Central  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus: Central Station
Present day class 1 RR: Norfolk Southern
Michigan Central  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus: Central Station
Present day class 1 RR: Norfolk Southern
Chicago South Shore & South Bend  
Frt terminus: Burnham Yard  41.65260 -87.55250
Passenger terminus: Randolf Street Station
Present day class 1 RR: N/A
Chicago & North Western
Frt terminus: Proviso Yard
Passenger terminus: CNW Western Terminal
Present day class 1 RR: Union Pacific
Chicago & Western Indiana  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Chicago & Easter Illinois  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Monon  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Grand Trunk Western  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:  
Present day class 1 RR: CN
Wabash  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus: Dearborn Station
Present day class 1 RR: Norfolk Southern
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe  
Frt terminus: Corwith 41.8173, -87.7157
Passenger terminus: Dearborn Station
Present day class 1 RR: BNSF
Lakesore and Michigan Southern  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Baltimore & Ohio  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus: Grand Central Station
Present day class 1 RR: CSX
New York, Chicago & Saint Louis (Nickel plate)  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Chicago Great Western  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus: Grand Central Station
Present day class 1 RR:
Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie (SOO)  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Pere Marquette  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:  Grand Central Station
Present day class 1 RR:
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul & Pacific (Milwaukee Road)  
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:
Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis (Pennsylvania)
Frt terminus:
Passenger terminus:
Present day class 1 RR:  
Page 2   
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Denver Todd is The Gregarious Railfan
Todd Sestero is the RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.      
7/16/2016
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Page 3   
“Congress is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a
while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” – P. J. O’Rourke