Stock Yards branch (CTA)

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Stock Yards branch
Construction of the Stock Yards 'L'
Type Rapid transit
System Chicago 'L'
Status Closed
Locale Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Termini Indiana
Armour (last stop in terminal loop)
Stations 8
Opened April 8, 1908
Closed October 6, 1957
Operator(s) Chicago Transit Authority (1947-1957)
Chicago Rapid Transit Company (1924-1947)
South Side Elevated Railroad (1908-1924)
Character Elevated
Line length 2.9 mi (4.7 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification Third rail, 600 V DC
Route map

The Stock Yards branch was a rapid transit line which was part of the Chicago 'L' system from 1908 to 1957. The branch served the Union Stock Yards and the Canaryville neighborhood of Chicago and consisted of eight elevated stations. It opened on April 8, 1908, and closed on October 6, 1957.


The Stock Yards branch was a 2.9-mile (4.7 km) elevated line which served eight stations. The branch began at the Indiana station, which was a transfer point for the South Side Elevated and Kenwood branch. It ran westward along two tracks to the Exchange station, before making a counterclockwise loop, serving the Union Stock Yards with stops at the Morris & Company packing plant at Racine Avenue, the Swift & Company packing plant, Packers Avenue, and the Armour and Company plant.[1]


The Stock Yards branch had its origins in a freight line which the Union Stock Yards and Transit Company built in 1864, which paralleled 40th Street between the Union Stock Yards and the Illinois Central Railroad. The freight line began passenger service in 1882. Passenger service along the line from the Stock Yards to Kenwood continued until 1904, and from the Stock Yards to the LaSalle Street Station downtown until 1908. In 1903, the Chicago City Council passed a measure requiring the 40th Street line be elevated as part of a larger effort to remove grade crossings from Chicago railroads. The Stock Yards "L" branch opened on April 8, 1908. As the Union Stock Yards declined after World War II, so did ridership on the line. The Wallace station closed on May 3, 1952, and all service on the branch and the remaining stations closed on October 6, 1957.[2]

Station listing[edit]

Stock Yard branch stations
Station Location
Indiana 4003 S. Indiana Avenue
Wallace Wallace Street and 40th Street
Halsted Halsted Street and Root Street
Exchange Exchange Avenue and Morgan Street
Racine (originally Morris) Racine Avenue and Exchange Avenue (Morris & Company plant)
Swift 42nd Street and Packers Avenue (Swift & Company plant)
Packers Packers Avenue and 44th Street
Armour Racine Avenue and 43rd Street (Armour and Company plant)


  1. ^ South Side and Loop Track Map (PDF) (Map). Chicago Transit Authority. 1952. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Stock Yards branch". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved August 15, 2013.