chicago underground freight system
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Uploaded on Nov 26, 2007
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chicago underground freight system In 1928 the Chicago Tunnel Company produced a booklet entitled What The Freight Tunnels Mean To Chicago. The following description of the tunnel operations was given in the booklet:
"The noise made by moving trains is all that breaks the silence in the tunnels. They are a railroad in their organization and everything in their operations suggests order and system. The designation of lines as "one way streets" gives some liberty in the operating of trains, but the motorman of one train will probably tell you what another train, passing an intersection, is loaded with, where it is from and where it is going. The loading of coal and refuse material is mechanical and one man can load a train. Of the source of the material nothing is observable except the end of the chute. Cars delivered to their destinations pass on to higher levels and trains are made up of cars that descend on elevators from shipping rooms above. There are no interferences, no crossing gates, no other kind of traffic, no congestion, no delays.
The tunnels are lighted at all connections and elsewhere when other than the train lights are needed. Signal lights protect the trainmen when delivering or switching cars. Glass reflectors at all intersections give warning of an approaching train from lateral lines. Electric lighted signs announce "curve ahead," and warn to "go slow" or "come to full stop." Each "river drift" is protected by an automatic block signal. The motormen are thoroughly familiar with right-of-way rules and the tunnels are all "one way streets". Signs at the corners show what streets one is under but it is of little consequence. The trainmen know the corners and it doesn't seem to matter that each one is exactly like all the others.
It appears that a tunnel car carries about as much of a load as a motor truck. In the tunnels, there is an average of about 300 train movements a day and a train is from ten to fifteen cars. The movement of freight in the tunnel is about equal to 5,000 motor truck movements on the streets. If the tunnel freight were carried on the surface these 5,000 truck movements would occur in the streets of the loop and the district immediately adjacent every day.
Coupled together, the trains that pass through the tunnels daily would extend over ten miles. Motor trucks, carrying the same amount of freight, if allowance is made for spacing between them, would stretch along highways in a continuous line for something more than three times that distance".
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