This is from a exploration on the 13th of May, 2013. These pictures are mostly the east buildings from the interior. Second set will be south end and my favorites, the roof.
Brach’s Candy was a Chicago (and world) candy factory legend. This facility, one of the largest candy factories in the world, was mostly built in 1921-23 and then partially rebuilt in 1948 after a tragic fire and explosion killed 11 employees. At its peak, the facility was over 2,200,000 sq feet (670,560 meters) and had 2,400 workers. Typical vulture capitalism in the 1980’s into the 2000’s destroyed the company and this facility closed the doors to workers in 2003. One of the office buildings was blown up for the movie Dark Knight in 2007. Due to much of the west complex being gang occupied and the neighborhood sporadically violent, I chose the last cold day of that spring to visit, on Mother’s Day, a very big holiday in the USA, figuring even gangbangers might take an afternoon off to visit their mums 🙂
So I got there mid-afternoon and only left as it was getting too dark to see much, let alone photograph. I tried to go back one more time, but it was not possible to access, and within weeks it was in the process of being wrecked. For the USA, it had more interior metal than many buildings I've been in, which usually have been picked clean by scrappers, which gave it a nice ambiance. Overall, it was a very dark location, due to most windows being bricked up and it was late in the day when I visited, but what light I had was beautiful. The last pic in this set shows downtown Chicago in the distance.
I'll post set two in a week or two, then start digging through files for other past and recent explorations.
Many thanks to everyone who welcomed me on the introduction board. Thanks to all who share, some really amazing reports here, and looking forward to looking around more, but figured I should share something for starters 🙂
The train in question is the Eurostar 373018, one of many Eurostar Class 373 trains that started operating in 1994. Capable of speeds up to 186 mph, the Class 373s were specifically designed to transport passengers between London, Paris, and Brussels via the Channel Tunnel.
Since 2016, however, many 373s have been withdrawn or scrapped, despite just 22 or 23 years in service. Eurostar 373018 is officially in storage, but the word “abandoned” seems more appropriate.
Branches from nearby trees now reach out and touch its windows. Weeds rise up from the rusting tracks on which it sits. Graffiti covers what were once the clean lines of the train’s streamlined form. It looks like the kind of place where Rick Grimes would butcher a bunch of zombies, or where Mad Max would go shopping if he wanted to buy a train.
What the future holds for this high-speed train is anyone’s guess. So far, 18 of the 373 Class trains have been sent to be scrapped by European Metal Recycling (EMR) at Kingsbury in the West Midlands region of England. Others have been scrapped in France, three have ended up in museums or colleges, and some lucky 373s have been refurbished and remain in service.
Eurostar 373018, however, remains in “storage” in the north of France, a fine nesting place for birds, an interesting canvas for graffiti artists, and an intriguing landmark for train enthusiasts, eagle-eyed users of Google Earth, and urban explorers like AdcaZz whose video exploration of the train you can check out on YouTube.
And if you’re wondering why these 373s were abandoned and not reused elsewhere, well, it seems like a few factors were in play. Technology had simply moved on, leaving these 22-year-old trains out of date. It was also more cost efficient to bring in a modern fleet rather than overhaul these existing trains, especially as the replacements had a greater seating capacity, meaning more money over less time. In the end, therefore, many of the 373s were deemed “life-expired.”