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Showing posts from October, 2019

The Forgotten Railways of Chicago: Cemetery Spurs and Stations

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If you go outside the city limits of Chicago in any direction, and you will find numerous large cemeteries occupying the land. In fact, in some cases you don't even have to leave the city. This stems from an early Chicago ordinance that disallowed cemeteries within the city limits, meaning many located just outside the city. This is why some villages, such as Forest Park and Hillside, have a larger population of dead individuals than the living . As Chicago annexed surrounding areas and grew, on occasion cemeteries that were once outside the city were now within it, even in spite of the ordinance. Chicago Aurora & Elgin car serving Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside. Image: Electric Railway Review via GreatThirdRail A funeral today often consists of dozens of cars en route to a cemetery, however, how did people reach cemeteries before the advent of the automobile? Railroads provided the service, and in fact were required by law to do so. On the weekends, funeral trains

A Visit to the New Buffalo Railroad Museum

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Today the Mrs. and I visited the New Buffalo Railroad Museum, a replica Pere Marquette Depot in New Buffalo, MI. The Depot is located near where the original PM station was for New Buffalo.  From the exterior, the grounds appear unkempt, and the parking lot needs work. Looks are deceiving though. This was one of the smaller railroad museums I've visited, although I highly enjoyed the little time I did spend there. There may not be any heritage operations running out of here, but they did pack a lot of history into a small space, and the potential for further renovation is quite easily visible. Adjacent to the museum is the former roundhouse used by the Pere Marquette, which was in service until 1984. The roundhouse, and its relocated turntable served none other than Pere Marquette 1225, made famous in the book and film adaptation of The Polar Express . Back of the roundhouse. Currently abandoned, it would be an amazing restoration project. A brewery perhaps? Imag

4 Railroad Lines Which Only Ran A Handful of Times (or Less)

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Without attempting to sound needlessly pessimistic, most railroad proposals were doomed from the start. That isn't always a bad thing , as it's important to assess the needs of the route, capital and ongoing costs in running any business. Usually if a proposal is going to be unsuccessful, the reasons are discovered in the planning, engineering, construction or completion phases before more cost is sunk into the project. There are many examples  of these unbuilt railroads all across the world. What is extremely uncommon, however, is for a railroad proposal to pass beyond each of the construction phases and  then  fail. Today we explore four examples of lines that only ran a handful of times before their abandonment. If anyone knows of any other lines with an extremely short lifespan, let me know in the comments. This list doesn't include lines that were meant to be temporary, such as those in mining or construction. 4. Rosstown Railway We begin Down Under in the s