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Tuch Santucci's Chicago Sub of the MoPac - SCREAMING EAGLES
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"Tuch" Santucci's
Chicago Sub of the Missouri Pacific

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A Chicago Subdivision Photo Album (Part 1 of 4)
Written and Photographed by JD "Tuch" Santucci, MPRR Engineer '78-'85

Full History of Chicago Sub Added

While most didn't know it, MoPac was very quietly and conservatively one of the richest railroads in North America. It was indeed a great railroad. I was fortunate and got to operate all the new power as most of it was delivered to Yard Center and placed into service there.


A Little Background
The Chicago Subdivision of the Missouri Pacific System was originally part of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois RR (C&EI). The 1967 aquistion of the C&EI gave the Missouri Pacific system direct access to Chicago from the West and Southwest. The C&EI also provided a direct line between the major Chicago and St. Louis terminals.

A major rebuilding program on the C&EI began almost as soon as Mopac took control of the road. New shops, yard and terminal expansions, upgrading to heavier weld-rail, CTC installation, bridge rebuilding, and purchases for both new motive power and freight cars. Rebuilding of the systems routes took seven years.

The C&EI was formally merged into the MoPac railroad on October 15, 1976. This merger completed MoPac's major goals of assembling all of its component railroads into one 12,000-mile rail system.

Located south of Chicago, the Chicago Heights Terminal Transfer (CHTT) was also referred to as the "Hack Line." It has been and remains today as the switching road in south suburban Chicago Heights. C&EI and the Kilgallen family were the owners. and it's believed that the family still holds an interest in the comapny, which is why the name still exists.

The "Terminal" was an interesting operation that from overhead looked just like a giant model railroad. It made a complete oval. You could actually start from point A and head west and return to point A coming back in from the east. I worked on it quite a bit. There were and still are numerous industries along the line including the still very active Ford Motor Company Chicago Heights Stamping Plant.

There was a two stall roundhouse that was active and in use until the early 80's. A fuel track was also located there and a Machinist was stationed there five afternoons per week until 1981 when the job was abolished and he transferred to Yard Center Diesel.


Bob Currie

About the Author

JD "Tuch" Santucci is a former MoPac Engineer, having worked in Dolton and Villa Grove, IL from 1978 to 1985. Today Tuch is still associated with railroading, as an engineer on the CNIC and publishing his own online newsletter Hot Times on the High Iron (highly recommended!).

It's impossible to overstate state how much Tuch's writings have filled the webpages on "Screaming Eagles." His insite can be felt just about everywhere here. He is a gifted writer and brings life to the historic facts of railroading.

Also, you may want to visit the BLE Division 10 Web site at


Click on the thumbnails for a larger image

1) Jay Tower, Chicago Heights, IL looking north. Pole line and tracks to very far right edge of the picture are MoPac. The tracks running across the photo is the double track EJ&E Gary, IN-East Joliet, IL main line. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
2) Jay Tower as viewed looking west-northwest. MoPac mains in foreground. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
3) Jay Tower as viewed looking north with clear view of both main tracks of MoPac Chicago Subdivision. The east leg of the wye is too my right (out of view) and the west leg to the left (also out of view). This tower closed in 1994 with control given to the EJ&E Control Operator at their Kirk Yard in Gary, IN. All three photos 29 April 90. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
4) MP15DC 1366, in 1985 @ Yard Center in Dolton, IL - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
5) GP15-1 1619 observes damage to L&N MP1SDC 5029 at Yard Center Diesel Shop, December 198+ - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
6) East Fuel Track as viewed facing north at Yard Center Diesel. 1990 - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
7) East Fuel Track with West Fuel track in foreground facing southeast. 1987 - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
8) West and East Fuel Tracks as viewed facing northeast. GTW power is from inbound GTW train 385. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
9) MP15DC 1539 at Yard Center 1983. This unit was part of the second order and the first group to be delivered in the Screaming Eagle scheme. To the left of the unit is an L&N caboose in Family Lines paint. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
10) An unidentified SW12 after retirement and in transit. Villa Grove, IL April 1985 - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
11) MP15DC 1381 at Yard Center Diesel 1983. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
12) MP15DC 1534 with slug 1413 at Yard Center Diesel. For whatever reason (possibly oversight), this slug had no chevrons on either end. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
13) Another view of 1366 at Yard Center 1985. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
14) Brand new GP15AC 1744 waiting its turn to be placed into service at Yard Center Diesel, 12/82. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
15) Brand new GP15AC 1724 waiting its turn to be placed in service at Yard Center Diesel, 12/82. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
16) Ex-Rock Island GP38-2 2252 at Mount Vernon, IL April 1983. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
17) GP38-2 2298 at Mount Vernon, IL April 1983. Notice the “souping up” of oil on the car bodies. A common trait of EMD Roots Blower equipped engines that occurs when the units sit and idle for extended periods of time. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
18) B23-7 4622 working as the yard switcher at Salem, IL April 1983. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo
19) Another view of the 4622 at Salem April 1983. - "Tuch" Santucci Photo

Tuch Santucci's Chicago Subdivision of the Missouri Pacific
Background: Chicago Sub
Photo Pages:
Part 1 (this page) l 2 l 3 l 4

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 l Last Update to this page: 18 April, 2008
          All images & text © 2000-2008 JD Santucci / all else © 2008 Screaming Eagles. All Rights Reserved.