Abandoned Rails of Chicago

Point of Interest

Map submitted by Lee M., Martin Seyller.

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

(Forwarded from the Illinois Northern Railway)

The east-west line near 41st Street running west from the lakefront (comment 2226) identified as an ICG spur was actually part of the Chicago Junction Railway. It was not part of the ICG nor its predecessor, the Illinois Central RR. The Chicago Union Stock Yards were not along the lakefront; rather they were located south and west of 39th Street and Halsted Street. Also, the line is still active west of I-94, the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Randy Bosma
South Holland, IL

[Thanks Randy, I've updated the note to say Chicago Junction Railway.  —Greg Harrison]


the illinois central used to have a large freight yard in the space now occupied by buildings like Illinois Center and Millenium Park. Its the reason the ROW the Metra Electric line runs along now is so incredibly wide - it was all feeder tracks for the yard, which was bounded loosely by michigan avenue, Jackson, the river and lake shore drive.


this picture is looking north, you can see the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower behind the Pabst sign. The Union Carbide building, the black and gold building, is on the left and is on the corner of michigan and south water street.

henry r
phoenix , AZ


Henry, I remember taking the IC commuter train with my mother back in the early 1970s when there were still several storage tracks close to the terminal (Prudential Building). I remember dozens of boxcars were still parked there and had not been moved for a while. They have since been moved as well as most of the tracks save for a few used by Metra for maintenance.

Lloyd B
Chicago, IL


The rail yard in the photo is the ex-IC Congress Street Yard that stretched from Congress overpass north to Chicago River. The northernmost section was a produce and perishable transloading facility between local merchants, the IC, and even river/laker boats. Note the reefers hooked up to power. The section farther south was temporary storage and has been eaten up by the Art Institute and Mayor Daley's dedicated busway on former IC property. South of Roosevelt Road on the west side was the passenger yard for the IC with the commuter yards to the east. A southbound ramp to the St. Charles Air Line existed well into the 1980s. South of this on the east side of LSD was the 27th roundhouse where E7s, E8s, and E9s mingled and were serviced. The lakefront WAS the Illinois Central for more than 100 years.

Matt McClure
Schaumburg, IL


I'm in reclamation of antique building materials and was told that timber was being stored in an old roundhouse close to the Stevenson ex way in Chicago. Doe anyone know where this round house could be. Help would be appreciated. Tim Higgins 225 2789856

Tim higgins
New orleans, LA


Tim Higgins, You could be talking about the old MJRy Roundhouse next to the old Western Electric Hawthorne works in Cicero. it is right near the Stevenson. it is very small, only a 4-bay roundhouse.

Joe Schramek
Aurora, IL


Henry, Lloyd, here is a pic of the north end of the IC yard at the Chicago River. With the construction of LSD perhaps??




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