Old 06-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
jnohallman
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Default 6 hours in Chicago

Hi all. So, assuming my trains run on time (insert laughter here), I'll have about 6 hours of layover in Chicago tomorrow between arrival on the Capitol Limited and departure on the Empire Builder. Anyone have any suggestions on some quick railfanning I could do without straying too far from Union Station? Thanks!

Jon
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:39 PM   #2
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Your train is going to be late, so figure maybe 3 hours max.

Roosevelt Rd overpass is close, but wont offer much in the way of challenging shots. The Amtrak service facility is near there too.

I wouldnt be on foot too far from downtown, get shitty real quick. Be aware of your surroundings.

Keep heading down Canal Street to the South and you eventually come to what I think is called "Air Line Jct" and there is a big warehouse where you can shoot. The only time I really did any photography there I had a vehicle nearby and it was winter time, so there was less "foot traffic". There are places in Chicago I wouldnt drive, let alone walk around on foot with photo gear.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:00 PM   #3
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Add my laughter to the insertion.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:10 AM   #4
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You can always walk around downtown and get some CTA action. The river walk is nice too. You can also walk towards the lake and there is the ex IC behind the Art Institute on Michigan avenue. You should be able to get some Metra or South Shore electrics. If you walk further south, past Soldier Field, you may be able to get some freight traffic off the St. Charles Airline going onto or off the ex IC. Those are some pretty safe areas where you can tote your camera.

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Old 06-19-2014, 02:13 AM   #5
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This parking garage is not far from Union Station, maybe 5-6 city blocks?

W. Lake St. and N. West St.

My take:

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My friend Eric Williams take the same night:

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Nick Suydam's daytime view.

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As safe as a urban environment can be.

Heck, i live in New York and being in the middle of the woods at night alone would give me the willies…
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:34 AM   #6
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Lake and Canal to the north, and blocks nearby:

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Image © Janusz Mrozek
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IIRC, there was a shot recently that showed some major changes at Lake/Canal, so look into that before you go there.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:58 AM   #7
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The last of Janusz's views is gone as they are putting up a building over that.

walk over to Ogilvie Station see the train shed there. exit station go around Cassidy Tire on Canal. walk around a bit. then go to Clinton L station. take green line down to Roosevelt Road. check out the overpass there. walk north on Michigan Ave along the park and check out the old IC electric line. take Jackson Blvd back to union station
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
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Looks like you'll have plenty of time, good ol 29 is only 37 minutes late thus far.

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Old 06-20-2014, 03:39 AM   #9
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Roosevelt is a fun place to watch trains, nothing original sure, been overdone since the the steam era but plenty of action.
Racine Avenue is a great spot too but a bit further of a walk, the Pennsy signals and skyline make it worth it though.
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