Jack Delano visited the Illinois Central’s locomotive servicing facility near Chicago in November of 1942. He recorded this overview of the sprawling facility while there.
The I.C. was one of the early roads to adapt the new diesel-electric locomotives, and seen at right are one of their TR locomotive sets. These were basically a pair of EMD model NW2 switchers (one without a cab) semi-permanently coupled together, creating what was known as a cow-calf unit. The I.C. purchased three of this example in 1940. The “cow” is the unit with the cab, numbered as 9203A; it’s cabless “calf” (partially hidden behind the water penstock) is numbered as 9203B.
In the background we see a large stable of steamers sitting on the service and ready tracks. It’s interesting to note that while the Illinois Central was an early adapter of the diesel locomotive, it was also one of the last to retire all of it’s steam locomotives, with active steamers on the roster until the early sixties.