Monday, February 29, 2016

Tell the engineer! The bridge is out!

Recently I was in DePue for a photo shoot of the old Interurban tunnel. However I lucked out that day as there were Two abandoned structures to photograph.  Last week I wrote up a brief history of the C,O & P interurban and the tunnel that it used to run thru. Today I'll talk briefly about The railroad that ran over top of the tunnel. The Chicago,Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific.

The railroad, which by the 1920's was simply known as the Milwaukee Road, was formed in 1928 after an earlier incarnation went bankrupt.  I've been unable to find much information other than the bridge started operation in the late 1920's and ended.......?  If any of my followers out there knows more I invite them to let us know in the comments section.

Again Many thanks to my lil' Sidekick Nick for doing the grunt work on this shoot.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Tunnel through Time

Spring seems to be coming early this year and so it's time to grab the camera and head back out in search of new adventures. Many thanks to my fans and followers who stuck with me and asked over and over when my next post would be.

The Chicago, Ottawa and Peoria railway was constructed starting in early 1904 and ran from Ladd through Peru to LaSalle and Ottawa.  By the end of that same year the line had been extended through to Marseilles. Two years later the line was extended west from Marquette to Princeton and east from Marseilles to Seneca. A branch to Streator was constructed in 1908. In 1924 the CO & P was absorbed by the Illinois Traction System and things ran smoothly with hourly service.

In 1924 the line from Spring Valley to Ladd was abandoned. In 1929 the line was stopped west of Depue and the Streator line was abandoned also. By the time the Great Depression hit the country the line was finished.

Fast forward Eighty Six years. On the edge of Depue in a quiet patch of woods is a surviving relic of this old transportation line. The facade is crumbling and the entrance is overgrown with weeds and scrub brush but the bones are still there. The proud date of 1907 is chiseled on either end of the tunnel and despite the obvious wear the years have inflicted on the old girl you can still clearly see where the lines would have run and the fixtures up on the roof where electric lights once pierced the night.

So walk through the tunnel and you can almost see the ghostly images of the trolley car rattling towards you. I hope you have the fare to get a ride.

 *It should be noted that this was hard to get to and sits off the road. I would not advise anyone attempting to visit this site without being prepared. Kudos to my Lil' Sidekick Nick for doing all the hard work on this one and snapping the photo's.