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 Post subject: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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Some of you may recall a thread titled "Tower under the gun" which ran here on RyPN from 2008 through 2016 which detailed the efforts of the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum to save, move and restore Grasselli Tower. The tower was moved of course, and currently sits on HVRM property in North Judson, Indiana (see photo one). One of the things we do is explain (as best we can) the tower to visitors when it was in operation at its original location in East Chicago, Indiana. The tower was built by the New York Central in 1904 when the predecessor Chicago, Indiana & Southern built a line of railroad from Indiana Harbor, Indiana on down to Danville, Illinois. Although some passenger trains were initiated on the line, it was always the idea that these soon disappeared, especially since the NYC deeded the northernmost section of the line from Indiana Harbor to Gibson to the Indiana Harbor Belt, who operated it for much of its in-service life. Then recently, museum member Matt Lasayko found 3 very nice blueprints from Baltimore and Ohio files (the B&O Chicago Terminal was one the lines that went through the Grasselli interlocking) all from the 1920's. The eye opener to me was a track diagram of the interlocking with a depot and train platform shown on the diagram! What??? Could the line have had passenger service beyond an initial offering, and if so, did trains actually stop at a Grasselli station? I asked some contacts if they might have 1920's Official Guides and Francis Parker said he had a February 1922 O.G. Dr. Parker sent it to me and guess what, a New York Central entry shows trains running past the tower with at least one train each day, stopping a the Grasselli depot (see below)! Eventually, the street that ran past the depot was realigned and I think (but not sure) that the depot was taken out of service at that time. There actually was an overnight Central train called "The Egyptian" that ran over the line before being discontinued about 1956. Well, a long explanation for sure and I'm sorry about that. But what I am now looking for are photos of any trains that ran on this line. We can put them up on display and have something else to talk with visitors about.

Thanks for any help that can be offered.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:44 am 

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I found this photo of "The Egyptian" (NYC 462 and 463 I have discovered) on the NYC closed facebook group, the caption says Harrisburg IL, and one of the comments says this: "The "Egyptian" stopped running to Cairo (pronounced like Karo the syrup) in 1940 or '41. The Pullman was withdrawn in early 1951. And the train was discoed sometime between October 1956 and April 1957. The engine specialists can determine when a GP7 might have been assigned. My eyes are not that good, but the consist in the photo appears not to have a Pullman. We certainly can see why the schedule lasted a little while."


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:06 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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PMC -

Thanks for the info, and the great photo.

I found a New York Central timetable in a later Official Guide and Harrisburg, Illinois is about 190 miles beyond Danville.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:38 am 

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http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_ ... s_id=21801

Les, according to the preview this book has a photo of The Egyptian (though it could very well be the one I posted, it wouldn't let me see it or them) and this text:
"Chicago-Cairo, Ill.

The Chicago, Indiana & Southern opened January 21, 1906, between Indiana Harbor and Danville, Ill. Passenger service began with one Chicago-Danville round trip, but expanded to two round trips within a year and three round trips on June 28, 1908. One pair of trains had a through sleeper between Chicago and Cairo. Ill.
One pairing had begun operating by 1913 between Chicago and Kentland in Newton County, but these trains were gone within two years. Service then was two Chicago-Danville round trips, increasing to three on September 26, 1926, one of which was the Egyptian with Chicago-Cairo through coaches and sleepers.
The Egyptian became a (sic: through) Chicago-Cairo train in 1934, operating on an overnight schedule. It began terminating in Harrisburg, Ill. On June 22, 1941, offering a sleeper, usually a 10-section, three double bedroom heavyweight, through the late 1950s. The Egyptian ended April 28, 1957."

Source: Limiteds, Locals, and Expresses in Indiana, 1838-1971
By Craig Sanders


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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PMC -

Thanks for the additional info. It would be interesting to see a timetable for "the Egyptian" in it later years. Some of these towns are extremely small and passengers, especially those for Pullman's, had to be pretty rare. But perhaps the trains skipped some of those locations in those days.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:21 pm 

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Location: Suffolk, UK
I've got a February 1948 NYC timetable "Form 1001" in my collection and it shows the Egyptian stopping at Indiana Harbor, Gibson and Highlands in the immediate vicinity of Grasselli, with the other 4 intermediate points (Michigan Ave, Calumet, Grasselli and Osborn) not being shown in the schedule at that time.

EDIT - My rather frail December 1935 Official Guide doesn't show it stopping at Grasselli either

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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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70000 -

Info much appreciated. Losing the Grasselli, Indiana depot to road realignment probably was not much of a problem considering that the Gibson stop was just a mile down the road.

Looking over the 1921 timetable made me realize that at least one of the old depots on the line still exists, or at least the "shell" of it. The local Co-op in North Hayden has the structure on its property. I wonder when that station was no longer a stop for the passenger trains on the line?

And thanks for the addendum that by 1935, Grasselli was no longer a stop on the line. This gives me a pretty good idea as to when the Kennedy Avenue realignment took place and the depot removed.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:26 pm 

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Yes, and by the way, the tower and Mulberry St crossing guard shack look splendid !!!

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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:11 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
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Location: Suffolk, UK
I've got a March 1943 OG which is in a lot better condition than the 1935 one and this is the service timetable in question....

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As for the '35 one, it still shows Grasselli as a station on the route, but not as a stop, just a "Telegraph Station" according to the footnotes.

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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:15 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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70000 -

Thanks for that copy of the T.T. from the `43 Guide. Interesting that a telegraph station is still shown for Grasselli, which might seem to indicate that the depot was still around at that time. BUT, it is also possible that the telegraph station was transferred to the tower itself. We had a thread a while back on RyPN about whether Western Union had "stations" in towers where there was no depot, and the verdict was yes! Also note that Calumet, just 7/10ths of a mile north of Grasselli, also was no longer a stop, but also had a still open telegraph station. I am 99% sure that the stop at Calumet was at the location of Calumet Tower. Whether there once also was a depot there, I can't say with certainty, but if there was and it was eventually closed, the towerman at Calumet, as may well have been done at Grasselli, provided the Western Union telegraph service.

Thanks again. All this quite interesting and informative.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:39 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:30 pm
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Location: Illinois
Hi,

Yes, there was a depot located near Grasselli Tower. According to historic maps, it was removed sometime prior to World War II. I can't remember where, but I have seen a photograph of it online. I will keep my eyes open for it.

Thomas

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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:30 pm 

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Thomas -

Would be great if you find that photo again.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Grasselli Interlocking Tower passenger train service
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:19 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:18 pm
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Location: Illinois
That photo from Harrisburg, IL is amazing. Everything in this photo is gone now - the train, the station, and the tracks. I had no idea Harrisburg, or that line in general, had such robust passenger service into the diesel era.


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