A Chicago Subdivision Photo Album (Part
1 of 4)
Written and Photographed
"Tuch" Santucci, MPRR Engineer '78-'85
Full History of Chicago Sub Added
While most didn't know it, MoPac was very
quietly and conservatively one of the richest railroads in North America.
It was indeed a great railroad. I was fortunate and got to operate
all the new power as most of it was delivered to Yard Center and placed
into service there.
The Chicago Subdivision
of the Missouri Pacific System was originally part of the Chicago
& Eastern Illinois RR (C&EI). The 1967 aquistion
of the C&EI gave the Missouri Pacific system direct access to
Chicago from the West and Southwest. The C&EI also provided a
direct line between the major Chicago and St. Louis terminals.
A major rebuilding
program on the C&EI began almost as soon as Mopac took control
of the road. New shops, yard and terminal expansions, upgrading to
heavier weld-rail, CTC installation, bridge rebuilding, and purchases
for both new motive power and freight cars. Rebuilding of the systems
routes took seven years.
The C&EI was
formally merged into the MoPac railroad on October 15, 1976. This
merger completed MoPac's major goals of assembling all of its component
railroads into one 12,000-mile rail system.
of Chicago, the Chicago Heights Terminal Transfer (CHTT) was also
referred to as the "Hack Line." It has been and remains today as the
switching road in south suburban Chicago Heights. C&EI and the Kilgallen
family were the owners. and it's believed that the family still holds
an interest in the comapny, which is why the name still exists.
was an interesting operation that from overhead looked just like a
giant model railroad. It made a complete oval. You could actually
start from point A and head west and return to point A coming back
in from the east. I worked on it quite a bit. There were and still
are numerous industries along the line including the still very active
Ford Motor Company Chicago Heights Stamping Plant.
There was a two
stall roundhouse that was active and in use until the early 80's. A
fuel track was also located there and a Machinist was stationed there
five afternoons per week until 1981 when the job was abolished and he
transferred to Yard Center Diesel.
JD "Tuch" Santucci is a former MoPac Engineer, having worked in Dolton
and Villa Grove, IL from 1978 to 1985. Today Tuch is still associated
with railroading, as an engineer on the CNIC and publishing his own
Hot Times on the High Iron (highly recommended!).
to overstate state how much Tuch's writings have filled the webpages
on "Screaming Eagles." His insite can be felt just about
everywhere here. He is a gifted writer and brings life to the historic
facts of railroading.
Also, you may want
to visit the BLE Division 10 Web site at http://div10.tripod.com/homepage.html
- THE AUTHOR INTERVIEWED: NW
Click on the thumbnails for a larger image