Peoria’s south side railroad yards are next. As with the last post, the Commission’s information is in bold; my comments are below.
1. B.N. CAP. 410
This was Burlington Northern’s Peoria Yard, also known as the “Uptown Yard.” Engine facilities, including a turntable and three-stall roundhouse were located near the northeast end of the yard, on the west side. On the yard’s southwest end, a small structure had been built in 1952 to serve as a depot for predecessor Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad’s Galesburg-Peoria motor trains. The building allowed the CB&Q to vacate P&PU’s Union Depot, thus eliminating usage charges. After the motor train’s final run on June 30, 1960, this building functioned as a yard office. Inbound freight No. 104 and local 15802 ended their runs in the yard and were classified by local switch engines. Freight train No 105 and local 15803 were built here for the run to Galesburg.
The original yard’s northeast end had mostly stub tracks. In 1929-1930, a new roundhouse/turntable was built and the stub tracks were extended to a new ladder track. Dieselization enabled longer trains so these tracks were extended in 1957, giving the facility its peak capacity. A small piggyback ramp was built by the adjacent freight house off Persimmon Street. Rapid growth forced CB&Q to construct another ramp in 1960. An even larger piggyback ramp, with two depressed tracks facing each other, was built northeast of Persimmon Street in 1964-1965. This newer ramp was still being used in 1977.
2. B.N. CAP. 85
Per the above map, this was not really a yard, and probably refers to the “New Long Main,” which had been built in 1972 to store empty coal trains (and probably had a 100-car capacity). The Commission’s report gets confused on Page 5:
When the line reaches the extreme south side of Peoria, it turns and follows the Illinois River north, passing through the BN Washington Street yard with a car capacity of 85 (Refer to Map 2). Exiting this yard, the BN crosses the Peoria and Pekin Union Railroad, with an at-grade connection, near the foot of Griswold Street, then passes through the yard and switching track along the east side of Peoria.
It’s doubtful BN ever referred to this “yard” as “Washington Street Yard,” which would have been more fitting for the 410-car facility described above. Also, the only at-grade crossings with the “Peoria and Pekin Union Railroad” (Peoria & Pekin Union Railway”) were north of Persimmon Street, nowhere near Griswold. BN did install a connection with P&PU nearby near S. Darst Street in 1972 (another connection was located near South Street by the stockyards).
3. C.N.W. CAP. 250
This was Chicago & North Western Railway’s Adams Street Yard. Since December 1911, C&NW’s Peoria customers and interchanges were handled exclusively by the Peoria & Pekin Union Railway. Interchange took place there until moved to East Peoria in April 1968. So it is likely that most of Adams Street’s tracks were unused and in deteriorating condition by 1977, as only some of it was needed by P&PU to switch a few nearby customers.
4. P.P.U. CAP. 335 & 5. P.P.U. CAP. 336
These were the Peoria & Pekin Union facilities known as “90 Yard” (4) and “91 Yard” (5). Until the East Peoria Yard came online (opened in 1907, rebuilt in 1911), 90 & 91 Yards were P&PU’s primary classification facilities. The twin yards were largely vacated after August 27, 1958 when the adjacent roundhouse closed in favor of the new Creve Coeur diesel shop, however, a surge in traffic during the early 1970s briefly revived classification operations. Otherwise, it was mostly used for CB&Q/BN-P&PU interchange after 1958. Though little used, the yards and the roundhouse were still intact in 1977.
6. P.P.U. CAP. 159
This was P&PU’s Kickapoo Yard (named for the nearby creek). The seven-track facility was used to support switching operations at nearby Keystone Steel & Wire and other customers.
NOTES: Omitted from the map was the Peoria & Pekin Union’s “West Yard,” located next to BN’s main Peoria Yard. This facility had about four tracks, and was used to support switching at nearby industries, especially Hiram Walker & Sons. Out of the map area was Rock Island subsidiary Peoria Terminal Company’s Collier Yard, which had five tracks and a 90-car capacity. This yard was located between Argentina Street in Bartonville and Kickapoo Creek to the north.
East Peoria railroad yards will be profiled next.
- David P. Jordan