Westchester Branch

The "Road to Utopia"

As constructed, the Westchester branch was a 2.2-mile rail line that diverged from the main line at Bellwood Avenue in Bellwood and terminated at 22nd Street and Mannheim Road in the city of Westchester. The line was intended to be a bypass for the main line by traversing open land several miles to the south and would connect with the Aurora branch near Weisbrook Road. Several local stations were to be constructed on the far eastern end of the line and local service was to be provided by the rapid transit lines. Due to the onset of the Great Depression, only the eastern section of the line was ever constructed and the branch only ever hosted its own rapid transit service.


The Westchester branch diverged from the main line immediately east of Bellwood Avenue in Bellwood. The tracks ran along the south side of the existing Bellwood station and formed a semicircular curve which is still reflected in the layout of Marshall Avenue and Merik Drive. The tracks themselves were situated between Merik Drive and its eastern alley. Upon reaching the approximate location of Adams Street, the line headed south until the vicinity of Kent Street in Westchester, where it began a sweeping curve to the west (paralleled today by the curve of Balmoral Avenue) and terminated at Mannheim Road between Balmoral and Crestwood Lane.


Full branch profile and history coming soon.