Brighton Park crossing


Brighton Park crossing

Brighton Park crossing is a major railroad crossing in Chicago, Illinois, hosting three of the major Chicago freight railroads. The crossing is northwest of the intersection of Western Avenue and Archer Avenue, in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The railroads involved in the crossing are CSX, Canadian National and Norfolk Southern. The crossing consisted of the CN's two-track line in a roughly east/west orientation, crossing the five north/south tracks operated by NS and CSX. Collectively, these railroads operate approximately 80 trains per day through the crossing. [cite web| url=http://www.dhke.com/CRJ/brighton.html| title=Brighton Park Crossing| work=Chicago Area Rail Junctions| year=2006| author=Gustason, Bill| accessdate=2006-07-20| ] The CN line was formerly the main line of the Gulf Mobile & Ohio and its predecessor Alton Railroad and currently carries Metra Heritage Corridor commuter trains and Amtrak passenger trains to St. Louis. The GM&O's Brighton Park passenger stop was at this location. The junction may be easily viewed from the CTA Orange Line trains that pass on an elevated structure immediately southeast of the crossing.

Until July 6, 2007, the crossing was controlled by a human switchtender in a cabin near the crossingThe rail activity attracts railfans using semaphore signals. Because the crossing was not interlocked, all trains were required to make a statutory stop before proceeding over the crossing. As a major crossing — and one of the few remaining sites in Chicago with this archaic method of operation — the unique semaphore signals made Brighton Park attractive to railfans. However, this type of operation has long been an impediment to efficient movement of traffic in the increasingly congested Chicago railroad network.As part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE) project, the Brighton Park crossing, the semaphore signals, and switchtender's cabin were taken out of service on the evening of Friday, July 6, 2007 and conversion to an interlocked crossing was to ensue over the following weekend. As part of the conversion project, some of the tracks at the crossing were realigned and new crossing diamonds were put in place.

In a future stage of CREATE, it is anticipated that the at-grade crossing will be replaced with a flyover to eliminate the crossing entirely.

References

External links

* [http://www.dhke.com/CRJ/brighton.html Chicago Rail Junctions: Brighton Park]
* [http://www.createprogram.org/ CREATE Project]
* [http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?location=Brighton%20Park Photos of trains passing Brighton Park Junction at Railpictures.Net]


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