Bensenville is at the west end of Canadian Pacific's ex-Milwaukee Bensenville Yard, and may be reached from downtown Chicago by taking the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) to York Road. Head north on York about three miles. Just past the Green Street stoplight is Metra/CP's double track route with the Bensenville depot on the right. The junction is about two blocks east of York.

This location is easily reached from Franklin Park Junction. Just get back on Franklin Street and head west. Franklin becomes Green Street and runs along the south side of the yard for much of the way to Bensenville. Although CP has erected fences, some decent views of the yard are possible from the road. When you reach Bensenville, turn right on York Road and head north briefly to the tracks.

Another way to get here is simply to take a Metra Milwaukee West Line commuter train to the Bensenville station and walk east a few blocks. The trains depart from Union Station in downtown Chicago.

The Railroads

The tracks alongside Railroad Street are the Metra Milwaukee West Line, carrying Metra commuter trains to Elgin where they terminate. West of Elgin, the tracks belonged to Iowa, Chicago & Eastern (controlled by Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern) until 2008. DM&E had purchased the route from I&M Rail Link in 2002, who in turn had bought it from CP in the mid 1990s. Ownership has now come full circle with CP's buyout of DM&E/IC&E.

Entering from the northwest is CP's double track extension from Union Pacific's ex-C&NW "New Line". The New Line is freight-only and begins in the north shore suburb of Northbrook, diverging to the southwest from UP's north-south Milwaukee freight line. At Techny, just north of the now closed Glenview Naval Air Station, there is a connection from the Metra/CP ex-Milwaukee Road main line to the New Line. Most CP freights coming south from Wisconsin transfer there to the New Line, which continues southwest through Deval and then wraps around the west side of O'Hare Airport. CP trains use trackage rights on UP to a point about two miles north of here (known as Bryn Mawr) where they access their own tracks to Bensenville Yard. In the above photo you are looking north. The foreground tracks are the Milwaukee West Line, and the curving tracks in the background are those leading off the New Line into the yard (UP trains on the New Line continue on south another three miles to Proviso Yard).

Traffic here is moderate through most of the day with heavy commuter traffic during rush hours. The only freight traffic on Metra is an occasional CP freight, but the New Line connection sees more frequent traffic--about 10 or so CP trains a day. Some switching moves at the west end of the yard are observable here as well. Tower B-17 is still in operation and controls the junction. It is staffed by CP operators.


Metra/CP: 161.520, 161.430
UP: 160.890, 161.040


Railroad Street runs along the south side of the Metra/CP but is now off limits. However, the areas immediately south and north of the tracks have been landscaped into a park with sidewalks. They offer a good viewing area, though somewhat distant from the tracks. The north sidewalk provides a fairly good view of the junction with the New Line.

For more on the Metra Milwaukee West Line, see Franklin ParkCragin and Western Avenue. See also North side (various) for Pacific Junction.

For more on the UP/CP New Line, see Deval. See also Techny at North and northwest suburbs (various); see Spaulding on the same page for more on IC&E.


  1. Railroad Ave. is a public street for a short distance east of York Road, and offers public parking spaces. I park there and take my dog for a walk in the surrounding park areas regularly, and have never been stopped by RR or Bensenville police.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A tribute to Bill Gustason and the Chicago Rail Junctions website

A hint for mobile users