New York Central [Penn Central]
South Chicago, Illinois (South Chicago Crossing)
June 2, 1973

For almost a century the New York Central and Pennsylvania mainlines east out of Chicago ran literally side by side from Englewood, Illinois to Gary, Indiana. The inevitable results were the legendary "races" between trains of the two roads, particularly the Broadway Limited and the Twentieth Century Limited (or so it at least seemed to passengers of those trains). With the rationalization of duplicate trackage that followed the Penn Central merger one of the two parallel lines became an obvious target, with the New York Central ultimately slated for abandonment.

Here at South Chicago, Illinois, the double-track former Pennsylvania's bridge on the right still sees heavy traffic (such as this Penn Central westbound freight), but the remains of the New York Central are rusting away in the weeds (note that the left two of the four tracks had already been removed earlier). The bridge at far left carried the Baltimore & Ohio's roundabout passenger line to Grand Central Station and is little used by this time. Just visible at the far right is the Chicago Skyway (Interstate 90).

This page posted 6/1/2018. Text and photo ©2018 Lamont Downs.