Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Old And The New

UP 1995-West Chicago, IL, originally uploaded by William 74.
Union Pacific is the big dog in the American railroad pack, having taken over several other railroads down through the years. In a tribute to these fallen flags, UP has a fleet of engines they call the Heritage Units, which are painted in special liveries reminiscent of these historic roads. One of them is UP 1995, which pays tribute to the Chicago and North Western. The North Western was popular with Midwestern railfans, and remains so to this day, particularly in the Chicago area. A few CNW relics still remain in the system, including some signs, some signals, some old bridges, a few rail cars, and two original locomotives.

This shot of 1995 was taken in West Chicago, which is about thirty miles west of Chicago. Originally a depot on the CNW's main line, there is still a Union Pacific yard, as well as a passenger depot that is served by Chicago's Metra commuter rail service. The signal bridge in the background is a rare CNW-era Type E signal. Sadly, while the bridge still stands, the lights have been changed to more modern ones.

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