Virtual tour of Brighton Park crossing. Panorama of Brighton Park crossing. Maps, travel, photos, videos.

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Brighton Park crossing

POI: 41.826700, -87.687100
Brighton Park crossing is a major railroad crossing in Chicago, Illinois, hosting three of the major Chicago freight railroads. The crossing is northwest of the intersection of Western Avenue and Archer Avenue, in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The railroads involved in the crossing are CSX, Canadian National and Norfolk Southern. The crossing consisted of the CN's two-track line in a roughly east/west orientation, crossing the five north/south tracks operated by NS and CSX. Collectively, these railroads operate approximately 80 trains per day through the crossing. The CN line was formerly the main line of the Gulf Mobile & Ohio and its predecessor Alton Railroad and currently carries Metra Heritage Corridor commuter trains and Amtrak passenger trains to St. Louis. The GM&O's Brighton Park passenger stop was at this location. The junction may be easily viewed from the CTA Orange Line trains that pass on an elevated structure immediately southeast of the crossing. Until July 6, 2007, the crossing was controlled by a human switchtender in a cabin near the crossing using semaphore signals to govern train movements through the diamonds. Because the crossing was not interlocked, all trains were required to make a stop before proceeding over the crossing as signaled by the specific semaphore signal governing the track the train was on. As a major crossing, and one of the few remaining locations with this classic method of operation, Brighton Park was a major attraction for rail enthusiasts, but had become increasingly inefficient for Chicago area rail operations. As part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE) project, the Brighton Park crossing, the semaphore signals, and switchtender's cabin were taken out of service on the evening of Friday, July 6, 2007 and conversion to an interlocked crossing ensued over the following weekend. As part of the conversion project, some of the tracks at the crossing were realigned and new crossing diamonds were put in place.
History
By the early 20th century Brighton Park crossing involved tracks belonging to the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal, the Chicago Junction Railroad (eventually controlled by the New York Central as the Chicago River and Indiana) and the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad commonly known as the "Panhandle Route", which was controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) running north to south and crossing the Chicago and Alton main line running east to west. The PCC&StL was the first railroad to cross the C&A at Brighton Park in the 1860s and therefore was responsible for arranging the safe crossing of trains. As other railroads built along the Panhandle right of way, this arrangement remained in effect with the responsibility passing to the PRR. For the PRR the Panhandle Route connecting Pittsburgh and Cincinnati via Indianapolis was of secondary importance to its Main Line via Fort Wayne, IN, with the...   ... (English)
by Panoramio
Shytown = Chicago IL
Shytown = Chicago IL
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