PRR Interlocking Diagrams Logansport to Chicago Main Line

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Milepost numbers are from PC Western Region Timetable #1, 1968-04-28. Distances are from Columbus.

This web page makes mention of many connecting or crossing railroads. Their abbreviations and full names are listed at the bottom. I also will try to provide links to informational web sites that pertain to these railroads, and will maintain them as best as I can. Since these are off-site links, I guarantee nothing.

Main Line -- Logansport to Chicago

ANOKA, Anoka, Ind., M.P. 192.6

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 15 before the interdivisional transfer.)

The main line and Richmond Branch join, and the main line proceeds northwestward. Also see my hand-drawn map of Logansport.

RACE, Logansport, Ind., M.P. 196.0

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 16.)

ELM, Logansport, Ind., M.P. 197.1

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 17.)

An automatic interlocking protecting the crossing of the Panhandle main with the Wabash Toledo/Detroit--St. Louis main.

VAN, Logansport, Ind., M.P. 198.3

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 18.)

Major junction of the Panhandle main with the I&F Branch south to Indianapolis; the Effner Branch west to Effner and the TP&W; the South Bend Branch northward to its namesake city; and the Logansport Branch northeast to Columbia City (Fort Wayne main) and connection with the Wabash. [MDB]

Note: though the entire route from Indianapolis to Logansport is listed on "recent" (1950s, 1960s) PRR employee timetables as the "I&F Branch", the portion from VAN to Frankfort is quite old (1875), built by the Terre Haute & Logansport RR, and folded into the Vandalia in 1905, which itself became part of the Panhandle. The I&F proper extended only from Indianapolis to Frankfort and is of much newer (1917) construction. [Bill Gustason]

Presently (2000), the main line from ANOKA and the Richmond Branch east of there as far as Kokomo are owned by the Winamac Southern. The Effner line is owned by the TP&W. PRR signals remain in Logansport to warn ofthe WAB crossing. Part of the main line NW of VAN is in, as far as a grain elevator at the south end of Winamac. This was previously operated by the Winamac Southern, now by the A&R Line. The I&F is abandoned south of Bringhurst as far as Frankfort; [BG] Frankfort sported Conrail diesels in 1998, apparently switched from the south. [MDB] The South Bend/Logansport Branches are owned by the Logansport & Eel River, which has trackage north and east to the area of the junction of these two branches, ending just short of IN 25; beyond there, the tracks are gone.


Junction of a cut-off to the south, which joins the Effner Branch at Trimmer Jct./Kenneth.

NORTH JUDSON, North Judson, Ind., M.P. 237.3

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 20.)

Parallel PRR and C&O are crossed by Erie main line and NYC Kenkakee Branch. Telegraph designation thought to be JD. Renamed JUDD at some point [when?].

Present status: Most of the Erie has been removed. It became Erie Western in 1977 (near Ohio to Griffith, Ind.), then Chicago & Indiana in 1979. Afterward (1980), all Erie track apart from a 15 mile stretch eastward to Monterey was abandoned. This latter segment now hooks into the C&O and is operated by JK Lines. [BG] The PRR trackage was removed around 1982 [Jon Roma]; and the C&O southeast of NORTH JUDSON has been abandoned as well. [BG]

LA CROSSE, La Crosse, Ind., M.P. 246.6

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 21.)
Outside (48K) [Jim Sinclair]

As the Pennsy comes into town headed due west, the C&O parallels it to the north, then veers off northwest (and has a connection to the Pere Marquette north). The PM, travelling SW, then crosses the PRR to connect to the Monon's Michigan City Branch, and the PRR itself shortly crosses the Monon. [BG] Prior to 1940, the Chicago, Attica & Southern reached here as well, connecting with the PM line to the north. [Bob Poortinga, BG]

LA CROSSE was also the site of an old connection to the north which joined the Fort Wayne main line. [Al Buchan] Bill Gustason provides the following quote from Simons and Parker's Railroads of Indiana, p. 114:

Building from Cincinnati, the Cincinnati & Chicago Railroad reached New Castle via Richmond in 1853, and by 1857 was extended to Logansport. It reached LaCrosse and continued to Valparaiso in 1861 to connect with the PFW&C. In 1865 the 10.4 miles between LaCrosse and Valparaiso were abandoned after the affiliated Chicago & Great Eastern Railway built its own line from LaCrosse through Crown Point to Chicago. Many corporate maneuvers, mergers, leases, and reorganizations and no fewer than 24 corporations were involved, including four successive Chicago & Great Easterns and two each Cincinnati & Richmond, Eaton & Hamilton, and Cincinnati & Chicago railroads. In 1890, the 298-mile line became part of the Panhandle.

KOUTS, Kouts, Ind., M.P. 253.1

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 22.)

The Erie is re-crossed.

Present status: the PRR is abandoned, as described above, but the passener station still stands (2000) and has been remodelled into a laundromat.

AYNES, ?, Ind., M.P. ?

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 23.)

This location was remote controlled from KOUTS.

HARTSDALE, Hartsdale, Ind., M.P. 281.7

(In Ref 9, this was sheet 24.)

The NYC Danville Branch (now NS) crosses overhead, and the EJ&E and NYC Joliet Branch are crossed at grade. [BG, JR] The tower closed in 1994. [Jon Roma] A short stretch of the Panhandle is in place, used by EJ&E to serve local industries. [BG, JR, MDB]

MAYNARD, Munster, Ind.; M.P. 284.8

Ref 9, Sheet 25, 1949; 2117x1177, 59K, 200 dpi

Crossing of the Panhandle main and the GTW Port Huron--Chicago main, as the latter road makes its circuitous approach into Chicago. By 1968, this interlocking was remotely controlled from HARTSDALE.

Map notes: The original has a distinct stippling to the background in a square patch, on the left side of the map, from the vertical boundary line to and including the 1P in the horizontal dimension, and from "JCT" to just shy of "Chicago" in the vertical direction, probably indicating an edit of the map. Further, the following text is very light; I am uncertain if this is an erasure or an addition: "0", "2", and "12" to the left of the lever counts; "Xing Levers"; "6 Spare Levers"; "Yellow On / Red Off"; and "XL17" and "XL19" (and associated arrows) just west of the diamonds.

AIR LINE, Munster, Ind.; M.P. 285.4

Ref 9, Sheet 26, 1949; 2118x1198, 44K, 200 dpi

Crossing of the Panhandle main and the CI&L (Monon). By 1968, remotely controlled from HARTSDALE. Note this location is not far away from MAYNARD (and neither is the third point in the triangle, where GTW crosses the Monon), requiring close coordination among operators. [MDB, Jon Roma] The junction is about 2500 ft. east of the Indiana-Illinois state line; signal 2866 is across the state line in downtown Lansing, Illinois. [John Casey] "Air line" refers to the relatively straight Monon trackage from Indianapolis to Chicago. [Tobi Elmore, BG]

Current status: Conrail removed through freights shortly after its inception in 1976, and only a local freight remained until ca. 1995. In 1980, the interchange track in the SW quadrant was reinstalled for Amtrak's Hoosier State and Cardinal. This lasted until ca. 1991 when Amtrak rerouted the trains. The CI&L tracks were abandoned by CSX in the late 1990s from the CSX-GTW crossing north to Hammond, though this line is being looked at [Nov. 2000] for possible commuter service. [BG]

BERNICE, Bernice [Lansing], Ill., M.P. ???

Ref 9, Sheet 27, 1949; 2088x1178, 44K, 200 dpi

Remotely controlled via CTC panel from MAYNARD according to the latter's map. By 1968, BERNICE was remotely controlled from HARTSDALE.

Junction, northward, with the SC&S or "Bernice Cutoff". See the Chicago branches page.

DOLTON, Dolton, Ill.; M.P. 293.4

Ref 9, Sheet 28, 1949; 2126x1189, 64K, 200 dpi
Inside (62K) [Bill Gustason]

Complicated crossing of the Panhandle main with the IHB and the C&EI; B&OCT is also involved in the interlocking. [MDB] C&EI approaches DOLTON from the south, and C&WI ownership began just north of the junction. [BG]

(Szwajkart 1976, pp. 162-163) See also .

Near Interlake Steel Company connection, 1.5 miles northwest of DOLTON, where the famous "bottle train" delivers its load of molten iron. [thanks to Bob Poortinga]

RIVERDALE, Riverdale, Ill.; M.P. 294.2

Ref 9, Sheet 29, 1949; 2125x1177, 50K, 200 dpi

Not far from DOLTON, the B&OCT passes to the west of the Panhandle and enters Barr Yard. Another location where close coordination was required (with DOLTON) lest a deadlock occur. The Panhandle turns slightly, to north-northwest.

Note that The IC is on an overhead bridge, yet IC is responsible for maintenance of the interlocking. Moreover, note the orientation of the tower with respect to the interlocking and the lack of low-numbered levers. The IC was raised and electrified ca. 1926 and, for some reason, IC retained ownership. The tower closed ca. 1986. [MDB, Jon Roma]

On the original map, the lower arm of 127/128 is indistinct near the mast. I cannot make out if a lower marker can light separately or not.

WEST PULLMAN, West Pullman [Chicago], Ill., M.P. 296.1

Ref 9, Sheet 30, 1948; 2101x1182, 46K, 200 dpi

Here the Panhandle crosses the (electrified) Blue Island Branch of the IC. [MDB, Jon Roma] Street location: Union (just E of Halsted) and 121st.

On the original map, there are 2 very faint streets. One, with no name I can make out, starts just to the left of the point of the "north" arrow, proceeds through the switch above the "P" between the two main tracks, and proceeds to and through the "H" and "A" of "MECHANICAL". The second street is labeled "Halsted St." and runs from just above the westward main at the left end of the drawing, through the switch on that main, through the switches on the siding track, and ends half an inch above the "I" in "MACHINE". The blade of a distant signal, at diagonal, is in the middle of the street, just before the intersection. Moreover, there appears to be a very faint tail blade of a "north" arrow intersecting the "M" in "MACHINE". Notably, it is at a different angle than the north arrow presently on the map. Finally, the erasure of the word "Terminal" in "Chicago Terminal Division" is clearly seen.

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Washington Heights [Chicago], Ill., M.P. 298.5

Ref 9, Sheet 31, 1950; 2122x1199, 61K, 200 dpi

The Panhandle crosses the main line of the CRI&P, which is paralleling Vincennes Ave.(St.?) This is the same RI main line that will soon be crossing the Fort Wayne main at ENGLEWOOD. A RI station, not shown on the map, is on the (RR-)south side of the Pennsy, before the crossing.

Street location: Vincennes at Beverly and 103rd (1200W, 10300S) From here, the Beverly St. closely parallels the Panhandle main line, which now (1998) sports new houses.

On the original map, the RI signal at the lower right, closer to the 2690', is indistinct at its top. Presumably it would be depicted with a pointed blade. I have elected to keep the image as is.

Readers may also find Tom Wargin's site of interest. Tom was a Rock Island extra towerman and has placed some material related to this and the next tower here.

Beverly Jct. -- Western Ave. Secondary Track

BEVERLY HILLS, BEVERLY JCT., Beverly Jct. [Chicago], Ill., M.P. 300.1/300.2

Ref 9, Sheet 32, 1947; 2121x1182, 61K, 200 dpi

Beverly Hills (also called ROCK ISLAND CROSSING) is the crossing of the CRI&P Suburban Line. Tower "A" at this location controls the crossing.

A mere 1300 feet (400 m) farther, the Panhandle crosses the B&OCT, controlled by Tower "B". This line was the original main line, and the route used by B&O passenger trains entering Chicago, as well as those B&O freights not destined for Barr Yard (those going to inner city yards or to the produce terminal). The B&OCT ultimately joins the B&OCT line from the west side of Barr Yard and heading north (see below). Portions were abandoned, and RI trackage rights relinquished after the advent of Amtrak. [Jon Roma]

Though one might otherwise think the Panhandle line to be a continous Main Line from Pennsylvania Station Pittsburgh to Union Station Chicago, technically, the main line ends here, and the line continues RR-west as the Beverly Jct. --- Western Ave. Secondary Track. I would love to hear why this was done, but I presume it was to avoid interlocking the multitudinous, complicated junctions north (RR-west) of 59th St. Yard. However, it is truly incomprehensible to me why the junction point was here, and why main line status and upgraded signalling were never extended through just one more junction and to the southern end of 59th St. Yard.

(Szwajkart 1976, pp. 114-115)

Street location: Beverly/Hermitage (W of Ashland) at 91st. (1700W, 9300S) [MDB, Jon Roma]

The Panhandle forms the eastern border of the Dan Ryan Woods, then turns due north between along Leavitt (between Damien 2000W and Western 2400W). Near 80th Pl., the B&OCT -- one of the lines emanating from the west side of Barr Yard -- comes alongside the Panhandle. These two will travel together for quite a way.

BELT CROSSING, Chicago, Ill., M.P. ?

Ref 9, Sheet 33, 1945; 2117x1172, 61K, 200 dpi

The Panhandle and parallel B&OCT cross the WAB and C&O-BRC. The location is just south of 75th St. Also known as FOREST HILL, 75TH STREET, and PANHANDLE CROSSING. The tower was a fascinating mechanical interlocking, closed in Nov. 1997, razed Oct. 1998. [MDB, Jon Roma] Street location: between Damien and Western at 75th.

(Szwajkart 1976, pp. 110-111)

59th St. Yard, M.P. 304.4

The major Chicago yard on the Panhandle. A connector track runs in this area from south of 55th St. Yard on the Fort Wayne side, due west, to south of 59th St. Yard on the Panhandle side (still intact in 1998). The milepost is for the yard office.

49TH STREET, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 305.6

Ref 9, Sheet 34, 1942; 1845x1066, 36K, 200 dpi

The Panhandle and B&OCT trade places: from here north (RR-west), the Panhandle is on the west side, the B&OCT on the east. Also, GTW/IHB cross west to east on a wood piling trestle. [MDB, Richard Sklenar] The CJ, a NYC affiliate, serving the area of the [former, and famously smelly] Chicago Stock Yards, joins in on the east side, and a largish yard is here from 47th to 39th Sts.

Proceeding from here, the parallel lines of PRR, B&OCT, and CJ turn northwest, cross to the west side of Western Ave./Western Blvd., and then turn north again.

BRIGHTON PARK, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 307.1

Ref 9, Sheet SK.8, 1946; 2094x1662, 82K, 200 dpi

The Panhandle, B&OCT, and CJ cross the Alton (GM&O). This antiquated plant and operating style, wherein all trains are required to stop and are given a simple semaphore signal to proceed or not to proceed, remains operational to this day (1998), even despite Amtrak trains on the Alton. The Western Region timetable does not list this as an interlocking, as it is a noninterlocked crossing at grade.

Street location: Campbell (W of Western) at 37th; easiest access from 36th.

(Szwajkart 1976, p. 102-103)

ASH STREET, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 307.7
Drainage Canal Drawbridge, M.P. 307.8

Ref 9, Sheet SK.7, 1946; 2089x1673, 84K, 200 dpi

The same three railroads (Panhandle, B&OCT, CJ) cross parallel ATSF and IC main lines. The Western Region timetable lists this as an interlocking, with an interlocking station. The Drainage Canal Drawbridge is given a separate listing in the employee timetable but is not an interlocking. Note the dry former canal bed. Note also how the drawbridges are normally unattended.

Street location: W of Western, at level of 32nd; access presently very difficult; operators access tower via nearby industry.

(Szwajkart 1976, pp. 100-101)

26TH STREET, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 308.3

Ref 9, Sheet SK.6, 1946; 2091x1669, 65K, 200 dpi

Crossing with the Illinois Northern (part of ?ATSF).

Street location: just W of Western at 26th.

?NAME, Chicago, Ill., M.P. ?

The BN (CB&Q) main line to Union Station crosses overhead. There is a connection in the SW corner today (1999), but as there was much recently moved earth, I cannot be certain if this existed previously. Street location: just W of Western at 18th.

12TH STREET, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 309.9

Ref 9, Sheet SK.5, 1946; 2092x1651, 59K, 200 dpi

Crossing with the C&NW and B&OCT.

B&OCT here splits into a lines north and east. The line to the east becomes the St. Charles Air Line. This was the access to Grand Central Station for B&O, Soo, and CGW. It is also the connection to the IC - the only piece of prototype railroad that, in my humble estimation, approaches the appearance (in terms of curvature and close clearances) of model railroad track; and which, despite this, manages to host Superliner cars. The Forest Park Branch went north to Forest Park and junctions with Soo and CGW. [Jon Roma] This line's switchtender location ROCKWELL ST. is shown on the diagram.

Also shown on this map are the C&NW RR switchtender location TAYLOR ST. The C&NW line ran from the old produce terminal on the near west side (16th St., near Canal), along the Panhandle, to WESTERN AVE./A-2.

Here all of the railroads turn about 2 blocks to the west, then continue north. Nearing WESTERN AVENUE, the Panhandle turns due east.

WESTERN AVENUE, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 311.6

Ref 9, Sheet 35, 1942; 1856x1077, 56K, 200 dpi

The Panhandle has turned, paralleling the Chicago & North Western. The Milwaukee Road crosses the latter road to join the Panhandle for the final run into the north side of Union Station. On the MILW, the tower is known as A-2. The timetable direction changes from west to east at the western limits of WESTERN AVE.

(Szwajkart 1976, pp. 90-91. In the same reference, also see pp. 92-93, though no interlocking exists on the PRR at that point, only on the parallel C&NW)

East of here, the PRR/MILW trackage remains elevated for a while, then proceeds downgrade to street level. The parallel C&NW remains elevated and crosses overhead to its terminal. [MDB] The trackage was initially owned by PRR, but then a half-interest was sold to the Milwaukee on 18 May 1908. [C&C, via Dan Cupper] MORGAN interlocking is in this area presently, operated from a small panel on the LAKE ST train director's desk. The year of construction is not known to me. [MDB]

[Main Line --] Chicago Union Station

LAKE STREET, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 313.??

This tower controls the northern appraoch to Chicago Union Station. CUS trackage begins at the western edge of Canal St., which is crossed at grade. The tracks turn sharply south and continue downgrade to enter the station.

Chicago Union Station, Chicago, Ill., M.P. 314.1


ATSF Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe
B&OCT Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal
BRC Belt Railway of Chicago
C&A Chicago & Alton; later Alton, later merged into GM&O
C&E Chicago & Erie
C&O Chesapeake & Ohio
C&WI Chicago & Western Indiana
CGW Chicago Great Western
CI&L Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville, "the Monon"
CJ Chicago Junction, = CR&I
CNW Chicago & North Western
CR&I Chicago River & Indiana
CRI&P Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific
EJ&E Elgin, Joliet & Eastern
GM&O Gulf, Mobile & Ohio
GTW Grand Trunk Western
IC Illinois Central
IHB Indiana Harbor Belt
IN Illinois Northern (part of ?ATSF)
MILW Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific, "the Milwaukee Road"
RI "Rock Island", CRI&P
WAB Wabash

Mark's Railroad-Related Stuff
The Broad Way: A Pennsylvania Railroad Home Page
Maps of the PRR
PRR Interlocking Diagrams
Logansport to Chicago: Main Line

Mark D. Bej
+1 216-444-0119