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Classic Chicago freight trains

By | January 25, 2017

Freight trains from the 1970s and 1980s

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John Bjorklund, collection of Center for Railroad Photography and Art
The Chicago & North Western switches newsprint cars in downtown Chicago in September 1981.

Trains is working with the Center for Railroad Photography & Art to present this gallery of Chicago area commuter train photographs. They come from the Center’s John F. Bjorklund Collection, which consists of 55,000 color slides of railroading throughout the U.S. and Canada from the 1960s into the 2000s. Bjorklund was most active during the 1970s and 1980s, and his images provide a glimpse into another era of Chicago area freight service.

All photographs are by John F. Bjorklund, © 2016, Center for Railroad Photography and Art. Browse some 1,500 highlights from the Bjorklund Collection on the Center’s website at: www.railphoto-art.org/collections/bjorklund.

Be sure to check out Trainsupcoming special issue, Chicago America’s Railroad Capital, and the companion DVD. Both are available in January.

10 thoughts on “Classic Chicago freight trains

  1. Nice to see the end-cab switchers going about their business with transfer runs and industrial switching in a multi-tracked and often-cramped environment.

  2. Definitely recommend visiting this website! My favorite is the Lehigh Valley Century coming under Strucca; good stuff!!!

  3. Beautiful stuff. Thank you for sharing with Trains readers! The design that GM&O used on their second generation diesel fleet was, in my opinion, the most “railroady” scheme of the period. Other roads used it too, albeit in other color combinations, e.i. C&EI, RF&P, given as two additional examples. A pity Miss Katy didn’t adopt the design when Mr. Barriger took delivery of his new GP40s. Large M-K-T reporting marks would have looked pretty good on the red and white scheme with those fancy nose stripes proclaiming to everyone living in the Great Southwest that Katy was alive and well!

  4. I worked in old Central Station Annex as writer/associate editor in the PR office…Cliff Massoth, Harriet Kelvalagen, Carol Vatlattagoria (sp), George McCan, Luther Paul, Hoot Gibson, Alan Southall, Al Lind, and others.

  5. The train in the Milwaukee Road photo must be making a backing move into the EJ&E interchange yard. Notice the green aspect on the signal.

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