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Question about historical Chicago transfer of coast-to-coast through s

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#1 rspenmoll


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Posted 29 December 2016 - 11:10 AM

I have noticed that during the time when there were through sleepers from New York to Los Angeles via Chicago that the two trains involved often used different stations in Chicago. For example, the General and Los Angeles Limited exchanged a through sleeper with each other but the General used Union Station while the Los Angeles Limited used Northwestern Station. What I am wondering then is how the transfer of the through sleepers was accomplished. Were they routed via the Belt Railway of Chicago?

#2 lstone19


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Posted 30 December 2016 - 03:25 PM

I have no details but there were connections between all the downtown terminals without needing to go way out to the Belt. Union Station to the Northwestern Station was and still is easy: go through a run-through track to the North side and out to A-2/Western Ave. There are double-slip switches there that allow moves from the Milwaukee Road to/from the Northwestern. Then back to that station.

Tracks from Union, Dearborn, and Central all interconnected out by South Branch Bridge (21st St). A connection where the La Salle approach crossed the St. Charles Air Line allowed moves from one to the other there. In fact, I'd guess anything to Northwestern Station was the longest move as they all had to via A-2, 2.5 miles from Union. All the other connections were closer to downtown.

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#3 MikefromCrete



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Posted 31 December 2016 - 12:22 AM

There were many connections between the downtown railroad stations. Switch engines moved the cars from station to station. (I assume with the through passengers on board). The Belt is located some distance from downtown and would not have been involved. 

#4 ehbowen



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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:13 PM

There were many connections between the downtown railroad stations. Switch engines moved the cars from station to station. (I assume with the through passengers on board). The Belt is located some distance from downtown and would not have been involved. 

My understanding is that while through passengers were allowed to remain in their sleepers during the transfer, the general practice was to leave the station, spend the layover in downtown Chicago, and then transfer to the departure station using Parmelee (with the coupon provided with your tickets) or else with a taxicab paid out of pocket if you had left the vicinity of your arrival station.

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#5 jphjaxfl



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Posted 25 January 2017 - 04:43 PM

Many of the famous people who traveled through Chicago on the through Pullmans westbound would have lunch while their car was stopped in Chicago.  The Dining Rooms in Blackstone Hotel on South Michigan Avenue as well as other hotels in that area was very popular because of their proximity to the various Railroad Stations.  They could leave their luggage in their Pullman room as the Sleeping Car Attendant was with the car during the layover.  

#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 05:05 PM

Just watched a John Wayne/Claudett Colbert Movie on TCM called "Without Reservations".Also has several famous Guest Stars including Cary Grant!

She plays a Famous Writer who rides the 20th Century Ltd. from GCT to Chicago on the way to Hollywood.

Upon reaching Chicago she goes for Lunch at a famous Hotel during the layover, then taxis to the Station to find out her Rez on the Super Chief has disappeared!

Since it's WWII and the Trains are full, she sneaks on a Milk Train called the "Sunshine Special" without a ticket, and plays hide and seek with the Conductors out of Chicago. .

Eventually she meets two Marines, played by John Wayne and Don Defoe, who have Section Berths and John,playing an Officer and a Gentleman, gives up his Lower to her.

It has elements of the Classics "North by Northwest, "It Happened One Night" and "Trains, Planes and Automobiles", but is a Light hearted,frothy fun way to kill a rainy evening. Who knew the Duke could do Romantic Comedy! Recommended!

Edited by Bob Dylan, 25 January 2017 - 05:18 PM.

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#7 trainman74



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Posted 25 January 2017 - 05:29 PM

There's a 1959 movie called "The Rebel Set" in which having to stop over in Chicago on a train trip from L.A. to New York is a plot point -- some beatnik types are hired in an L.A. coffeehouse to rob an armored car during their Chicago stopover on the way to New York. It's not a particularly good film (I know of it because it was used on "Mystery Science Theater 3000"), and it was obviously all filmed in and around Los Angeles -- for example, the armored car robbery takes place on a mountain road.

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