Charlie I have been to the National Archives several times, though my last
visit was a number of years ago. The amount of material is mind boggling.
The ICC Valuation files include the field notes, maps, sketches both done in
field and those submitted by the railroads, and some photographs. The ICC
sent out an army of architects, draftsmen, engineers, surveyors,
accountants, etc. Some were skilled at doing sketches others were not. Some
had excellent penmanship, ie could print legible, some could not. A few were
issued cameras or had cameras. Most apparently did not.
My research related to the CBQ was primarily structures, ie stockpens, in
Iowa, Missouri and western Illinois. I never got into the roadbed reports
for the Q. (I did for others railroads), which may be a lot of what you got
on your disk.
The ICC records on file at the National Archives are not complete. Several
times I came across empty file folders or missing folders (which were
numbered so I knew). When I enquired the answer was "you got what we got".
Most likely the folder or files were not in the box when transferred from
the ICC to the Archives. IE it was still on someone's desk or had simply
disappeared before the ICC boxed them for shipping. My first trip was when
they were still housed at Suitland and the boxes were the original large
cardboard boxes from the ICC, covered in a layer of dust that was very
thick, indicating no one had accessed those records for many years. I even
got to go down into the underground vault as my request was to generic to do
a search. The general public was not usually allowed into the underground
vault. Subsequent trips were to the new facility at College Park. On my last
trip the Archives was processing the ICC records and transferring them to
acid free folders and boxes. The boxes were much smaller and easier to
Someday I want to go back, as I have many more questions and subjects to
From: CBQ@xxxxxxxxx <CBQ@xxxxxxxxx> On Behalf Of Charlie Vlk
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 4:23 PM
To: BRHSlist@xxxxxxxxx; CBQ@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [CBQ] BRHS CB&Q 1918 ICC VALUATION SUMMARIES CHICAGO-AURORA (INCL
MONTGOMERY) AUROR-WEST CHICAGO BUILDINGS/TRACK/BRIDGES/MACHINERY/TOOLS
I recently ordered and received the above disk from the BRHS Archives.
It contains a mind-numbing level of detail about the Aurora-Chicago line of
The scope of property inventoried is a real insight into the railroad
immediately after the First World War.
If anyone has the disc I have taken the pdfs, put them in a Word document to
combine the separate files and rotate them for easier reading and browsing.
>From that file I transcribed most all of the non-cost detail into an Index
which makes it much easier to find particular items or provide an overview
of the information.
Contact me off-list if you are researching this area.
While on the subject, the National Archives at College Park, MD has the
original material. Included (at least in some files) were photographs,
field notes, sketches of structures, and other data used to create the
inventory records. Has anyone ever visited there to see what is available?
Unfortunately, the staff is on paid leave due to the China Virus so I cannot
call to make inquiries to see if a research trip is warranted. My interest
is strictly for Valuation Sections 1, 2, & 3 in Illinois which covers the
mainline between Chciago and Montomery and the West Chicago Branch.
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