i was driving around in hegewisch the other day, and spotted a railroad line around 133rd street. The line runs north in between green bay st and mackinaw then curves then runs straight north to the "east side" neighborhood near the skyway. Does anybody know if this line is still used? I was fishing last summer at wolf lake and a small train came right through the area. I looked it up on google and saw the lines are not the same.
I deliver trains to a yard at 95th & Commercial, and this yard has work trains that spot and pull some of the remaining local enterprises. It might have been an IHB switcher that you saw, the lines still connect.
What you are looking at is a remaining part of the South Chicago & Southern RR, also once known as the Bernice Cutoff. It started as a Pennsy line they used to connect their Panhandle route with their Fort Wayne mainline; then it went to Conrail and now is owned by Norfolk Southern (NS). It is the middle of the line that still remains, both the South and North ends were abandoned by Conrail. It is used on occasion by both NS and Indiana Harbor Belt trains to access some industries along the Calumet River. It is today known as the NS River Branch. You can follow it quite easily on Goggle Maps and see both the active and out of service tracks.
I have to agree that Open Street Map is a great source for information on railroad lines, both active and out of service. My one surprise is the naming of the line in this posting; they do not reference it as the NS River Branch even this the current naming given in the NS reference materials. I wonder if it might be a bit out of date. I will check this out and see what I can find.
If you know the current name, the beauty of OSM is that you can correct the name yourself.
I'm fairly new to OSM and I'm trying to find out the preferred practice for naming abandoned lines. Should it be the last name before abandonment or the original name or the name with the longest tenure?
I see what you mean about making corrections, and I have signed on to do it. But before I apply any changes I want to be absolutely sure I get it right. I will continue to check it out and see what the names were as this line went from Pennsy to Penn Central to Conrail and then on to the current owner NS.