Zoomable Google Maps of the Chicago area, marked with present and past railroad roundhouses and turntables.

Chicago City

Cook County Suburbs

Collar Counties

By using the Google satellite view, one can see the present status of that roundhouse or turntable.

Roundhouses were usually located near the downtown Chicago passenger terminals, and at railroad freight yards. These are where locomotives were turned and serviced. In addition, turntables were formerly located in various suburbs, where commuter trains turned. With the adoption of push pull trains on what is now Metra, these turntables are no longer necessary.

Not all locations had turntables. Either locomotives were generally bidirectional switchers not requiring turning, or wye tracks existed for turning trains or locomotives.

Much information on old roundhouse locations in the built up areas in Illinois, is from the "Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps", which is a fascinating and valuable resource in determining exactly what buildings were where, historically. People with a Chicago Public Library card can access these maps online at the Chicago Public Library Web site. Because the map collection is incomplete, not all turntable locations are known, and any further information would be appreciated. Bill Vandervoort

Additional information is from the Historic Aerials Web site, and from the Train Watcher's Guide To Chicago, by John Szwajkart.