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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CUBA: HOLIDAY ISLE OF THE TROPICS

Crossroads of America: 1963

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Crossroads of America: 1963

Chicago's status as the crossroads of commerce in America is well known.
This busy railroad crossing on the city's South side served to personify that fact.
I took this photo at the Ash Street crossing adjacent to the now defunct Campbell's Soup factory, kind of in the spirit of Jack Delano many years before. Over the years I have come to realize that crossings such as these are a maintenance nightmare for their owners because the constant pounding of heavy rail cars tends to wear out the rail heads.

Today the various railroads are engaged in a gradual replacement of crossings like this with "flying junctions" similar to expressway interchanges. It is known as "Operation Create." The first of these was completed at Englewood just last year. 35 mm Kodachrome transparency taken September 2, 1963 by William D. Volkmer.

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