Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Five

A grade separation project in Evanston. Brian M. Hicks: "This is Foster Station in Evanston, looking north in Fall 1929." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A grade separation project in Evanston. Brian M. Hicks: “This is Foster Station in Evanston, looking north in Fall 1929.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Our latest post features another generous selection of Chicago rapid transit photos from the collections of George Trapp. We thank him again for sharing these with our readers.

There will be additional installments in this series. Today, we have concentrated on the Evanston branch, today’s CTA Purple Line.

As always, if you have anything interesting to add to the discussion, you can either leave a comment here on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page. To find more Evanston pictures, type “Evanston” in the search window.


Wood cars under wire in Evanston in the 1950s. Howard yard is at left. George Trapp: "Note the variety of car types in the yard: 1000 series NW gate car at far left next to a St. Louis built Articulated with a Pullman unit coupled to it, Baldy 4000 in CTA Green, 6001-6130 series and two rows of Plushie 4000's one in CTA Green the other in CRT Brown. You can also make out 1st and 2nd series of flat door 6000's in station. Photo probably dates to 1952-53." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Wood cars under wire in Evanston in the 1950s. Howard yard is at left. George Trapp: “Note the variety of car types in the yard: 1000 series NW gate car at far left next to a St. Louis built Articulated with a Pullman unit coupled to it, Baldy 4000 in CTA Green, 6001-6130 series and two rows of Plushie 4000’s one in CTA Green the other in CRT Brown. You can also make out 1st and 2nd series of flat door 6000’s in station. Photo probably dates to 1952-53.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The North Shore Channel bridge in 1961. (George Trapp Photo)

The North Shore Channel bridge in 1961. (George Trapp Photo)

During World War II, CRT 4427 was done up in patriotic garb to support the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). It is signed as a Jackson Park Express via the subway, so this probably dates the picture to 1943-44. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

During World War II, CRT 4427 was done up in patriotic garb to support the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). It is signed as a Jackson Park Express via the subway, so this probably dates the picture to 1943-44. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

George Trapp: "2 car train on single track is probably circa 1938-1943 as the 4000 series is in Brown/Orange. Believe location is Emerson St. and bridge is being installed where none existed before." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

George Trapp: “2 car train on single track is probably circa 1938-1943 as the 4000 series is in Brown/Orange. Believe location is Emerson St. and bridge is being installed where none existed before.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A one-man CTA car crosses the North Shore Channel in 1961. This view is from Central Street. (George Trapp Photo)

A one-man CTA car crosses the North Shore Channel in 1961. This view is from Central Street. (George Trapp Photo)

This appears to show grade separation project in Evanston. Brian M. Hicks: "Noyes street looking south in the Fall of 1929." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This appears to show grade separation project in Evanston. Brian M. Hicks: “Noyes street looking south in the Fall of 1929.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Northwestern car 5 (later CRT 1005) at the Central Street yard, sometime between 1908 and 1912. (George Trapp Collection)

Northwestern car 5 (later CRT 1005) at the Central Street yard, sometime between 1908 and 1912. (George Trapp Collection)

The old Central Street yard in Evanston. According to www.chicago-l.org: "The Central Street terminal consisted of a simple high-level wooden island platform and small headhouse at the north end of the platform near the street. The tracks and station were at ground-level, as was the entire Evanston extension of the Northwestern, as the "L" simply electrified the existing ground-level steam railroad's tracks. A small yard was built at Central Street, south of the station, for car storage, although its capacity was modest. Central Street also served as the main transfer point between the "L" and the Chicago & Milwaukee Electric interurban (ancestor of the North Shore Line). The C&ME had already been leasing the St. Paul's tracks for a few years from Linden Avenue in Wilmette to Church Street in downtown Evanston, where their terminal was located just a block from the "L"'s Davis Street station. Transfer was also available to the Evanston Electric Railway Company's streetcar line, which ran along Central and then south on Sherman to downtown Evanston. (Later converted to motor buses, the line essentially became the Evanston Bus Company's Route #1, then the CTA's #201 Central-Sherman bus, now the #201 Central-Ridge.) By 1912, the Northwestern had outgrown its terminal at Central Street. There were also new riders to be had in the nearby suburb to the north, Wilmette. In February 1912, Northwestern President Britton I. Budd notified Wilmette officials of his extension intentions and, despite opposition that quickly developed, the line was extended on April 1, 1912. The Central Avenue yard was soon closed and the station's island platform was eventually replaced with a set of side platforms. A station house was located at the north end of the inbound platform." (George Trapp Collection)

The old Central Street yard in Evanston. According to http://www.chicago-l.org: “The Central Street terminal consisted of a simple high-level wooden island platform and small headhouse at the north end of the platform near the street. The tracks and station were at ground-level, as was the entire Evanston extension of the Northwestern, as the “L” simply electrified the existing ground-level steam railroad’s tracks. A small yard was built at Central Street, south of the station, for car storage, although its capacity was modest. Central Street also served as the main transfer point between the “L” and the Chicago & Milwaukee Electric interurban (ancestor of the North Shore Line). The C&ME had already been leasing the St. Paul’s tracks for a few years from Linden Avenue in Wilmette to Church Street in downtown Evanston, where their terminal was located just a block from the “L”‘s Davis Street station. Transfer was also available to the Evanston Electric Railway Company’s streetcar line, which ran along Central and then south on Sherman to downtown Evanston. (Later converted to motor buses, the line essentially became the Evanston Bus Company’s Route #1, then the CTA’s #201 Central-Sherman bus, now the #201 Central-Ridge.)
By 1912, the Northwestern had outgrown its terminal at Central Street. There were also new riders to be had in the nearby suburb to the north, Wilmette. In February 1912, Northwestern President Britton I. Budd notified Wilmette officials of his extension intentions and, despite opposition that quickly developed, the line was extended on April 1, 1912. The Central Avenue yard was soon closed and the station’s island platform was eventually replaced with a set of side platforms. A station house was located at the north end of the inbound platform.” (George Trapp Collection)

The Evanston embankment under construction. Brian M. Hicks says this is "the intersection of Lincoln and Ridge looking North in 1930." According to www.chicago-l.org: "The Purple Line shuttle is the suburban portion of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad, which opened an extension from Wilson Avenue in Chicago to Central Street, Evanston in 1908. In 1912, the line was extended to its current terminus at Linden Avenue, Wilmette. The extension opened as a ground-level line, but was elevated in sections over several decades. Of the portion of the extension now on the Purple Line, the section from Howard to University Place was elevated in 1908-10 and the remaining portion to Isabella Avenue on the Evanston-Wilmette city limits was raised in 1928-31. Unlike most parts of the "L", the Purple Line is elevated on a solid-fill embankment with concrete retaining walls." (George Trapp Collection)

The Evanston embankment under construction. Brian M. Hicks says this is “the intersection of Lincoln and Ridge looking North in 1930.” According to http://www.chicago-l.org: “The Purple Line shuttle is the suburban portion of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad, which opened an extension from Wilson Avenue in Chicago to Central Street, Evanston in 1908. In 1912, the line was extended to its current terminus at Linden Avenue, Wilmette. The extension opened as a ground-level line, but was elevated in sections over several decades. Of the portion of the extension now on the Purple Line, the section from Howard to University Place was elevated in 1908-10 and the remaining portion to Isabella Avenue on the Evanston-Wilmette city limits was raised in 1928-31. Unlike most parts of the “L”, the Purple Line is elevated on a solid-fill embankment with concrete retaining walls.” (George Trapp Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 "Doodlebugs" in Evanston. George Trapp says this is "car 5003, one of the St. Louis built pair. Compare with photo of car 5001 and notice different trolley shrouds, roof air intakes, end windows, end door windows and destination sign windows. St. Louis cars also had stainless steel grab irons as did 6001-6200." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trap Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 “Doodlebugs” in Evanston. George Trapp says this is “car 5003, one of the St. Louis built pair. Compare with photo of car 5001 and notice different trolley shrouds, roof air intakes, end windows, end door windows and destination sign windows. St. Louis cars also had stainless steel grab irons as did 6001-6200.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trap Collection)

Two 4000s in Evanston, one repainted in CTA colors, and the other still in CRT brown. Geeorge Trapp says the repaintings began around 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Two 4000s in Evanston, one repainted in CTA colors, and the other still in CRT brown. Geeorge Trapp says the repaintings began around 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s near Howard. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s near Howard. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 4447 plus one at Main Street in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 4447 plus one at Main Street in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s on the Evanston Express. This looks like State and Lake to me. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s on the Evanston Express. This looks like State and Lake to me. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s in work car service on the old siding near South Boulevard. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s in work car service on the old siding near South Boulevard. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s downtown. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

4000s downtown. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Dempster station in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Dempster station in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Bill Shapotkin adds, "Nice view of the Calvary C&NW passenger station in these two pix (this one and the next). Note that there was an elevator (not for ADA, but for funeral caskets)." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Bill Shapotkin adds, “Nice view of the Calvary C&NW passenger station in these two pix (this one and the next). Note that there was an elevator (not for ADA, but for funeral caskets).” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Chicago Avenue in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Chicago Avenue in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Dempster Street in Evanston in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Dempster Street in Evanston in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 4441 at the front of a train of 4000s in Evanston Express service. Can this be Howard? (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 4441 at the front of a train of 4000s in Evanston Express service. Can this be Howard? (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 4296 heads up an Evanston Express train at Randolph and Wabash. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 4296 heads up an Evanston Express train at Randolph and Wabash. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA single car unit #2 near Howard in 1964. George Trapp (this and next picture): "Cars 2 and 3 are Skokie Swift cars on Howard turn back loop going into service." (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single car unit #2 near Howard in 1964. George Trapp (this and next picture): “Cars 2 and 3 are Skokie Swift cars on Howard turn back loop going into service.” (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single car unit #2 on the turnback loop in Skokie service near Howard in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single car unit #2 on the turnback loop in Skokie service near Howard in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

CRT/CTA 5001 in Evanston shuttle service. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT/CTA 5001 in Evanston shuttle service. (George Trapp Collection)

A 1961 view of the North Shore Channel bridge from Isabella Street. (George Trapp Photo)

A 1961 view of the North Shore Channel bridge from Isabella Street. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA car 50 at South Boulevard in 1962. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA car 50 at South Boulevard in 1962. (George Trapp Photo)

An Evanston Express train at Loyola in December 1962. (George Trapp Photo)

An Evanston Express train at Loyola in December 1962. (George Trapp Photo)

The bridge over the North Shore Channel in July 1961. (George Trapp Photo)

The bridge over the North Shore Channel in July 1961. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 5004 is shown northbound on the Evanston shuttle at Howard Street, in its original aluminum and red paint scheme. It was built by St. Louis Car company in 1948. George Trapp adds, "note row of 6000's is led by 6001-6004 with unique end paint jobs from later cars in series. Photo probably dates to late 1952 - 1953." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 5004 is shown northbound on the Evanston shuttle at Howard Street, in its original aluminum and red paint scheme. It was built by St. Louis Car company in 1948. George Trapp adds, “note row of 6000’s is led by 6001-6004 with unique end paint jobs from later cars in series. Photo probably dates to late 1952 – 1953.” (George Trapp Collection)

This picture shows the old Central St. Evanston terminal. Note the large number of trailers. At the station, you can see a Chicago & Milwaukee Electric wood interurban. Thia was the predecessor of the North Shore Line. (George Trapp Collection)

This picture shows the old Central St. Evanston terminal. Note the large number of trailers. At the station, you can see a Chicago & Milwaukee Electric wood interurban. Thia was the predecessor of the North Shore Line. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 1020, originally numbered 20, was built by Pullman in 1899 for the Northwestern Electric Railway. It is seen here on the Evanston branch. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 1020, originally numbered 20, was built by Pullman in 1899 for the Northwestern Electric Railway. It is seen here on the Evanston branch. (George Trapp Collection)

Finally, here are some photos George Trapp took at the Linden terminal in Wilmette, on a 4000s fantrip. It looks like a trip I remember being on. This would have been after 1975 or so, since the two historic cars here have already been renovated:

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Extracurricular Activity

FYI, we have started a new blog devoted to the old Clark Theater, which ran two different movies every day of the year from more than 20 years. To film buffs, it was sort of like the Ebbets Field of revival movie houses, something long gone but fondly remembered, an important part of the old Chicago Loop:

https://theclarktheater.wordpress.com/

Thanks.

-David Sadowski


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Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four

CRT/CTA Met car 2865, a Douglas Park local on the Loop "L". (George Trapp Collection)

CRT/CTA Met car 2865, a Douglas Park local on the Loop “L”. (George Trapp Collection)

Today, we offer a generous selection of Chicago rapid transit photos, mainly from the collections of George Trapp. We thank him for his continued generosity in sharing these with our readers.

There will be additional installments in this series. Here, we have concentrated on the Garfield Park and Westchester branches. We have supplemented George Trapp’s photos with a few from our own collections.

As always, if you have anything interesting to add to the discussion, you can either leave a comment here on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page. We featured many additional pictures of the Westchester branch in a previous post.


Here, we have the old four-track Canal Street station on the Met "L" main line, which served Union Station. We are looking east. The tracks took a jog slightly to the north at this point. Behind the station, tracks continued straight east to the old Wells Street terminal, with a separate connection to the Loop "L". This station continued in use until June 22, 1958 and therefore was not affected by expressway construction. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here, we have the old four-track Canal Street station on the Met “L” main line, which served Union Station. We are looking east. The tracks took a jog slightly to the north at this point. Behind the station, tracks continued straight east to the old Wells Street terminal, with a separate connection to the Loop “L”. This station continued in use until June 22, 1958 and therefore was not affected by expressway construction. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

We are at the east end of the Van Buren trackage, which connected to the old "L" structure at Aberdeen (1100 W.). That is the Racine station at left. Service on a portion of the old "L" would have continued until the Spring 1954, until a new connection was built to allow Douglas Park trains to access the Loop via the Lake Street "L". We are looking west. This area is now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

We are at the east end of the Van Buren trackage, which connected to the old “L” structure at Aberdeen (1100 W.). That is the Racine station at left. Service on a portion of the old “L” would have continued until the Spring 1954, until a new connection was built to allow Douglas Park trains to access the Loop via the Lake Street “L”. We are looking west. This area is now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A mid-1950s view of the CTA's Van Buren Street temporary alignment. We are facing west, most likely at Racine (1200 W.). The signals at each intersection made trains come to a complete stop before crossing. That may be a 1956 Chevrolet at right. (George Trapp Collection)

A mid-1950s view of the CTA’s Van Buren Street temporary alignment. We are facing west, most likely at Racine (1200 W.). The signals at each intersection made trains come to a complete stop before crossing. That may be a 1956 Chevrolet at right. (George Trapp Collection)

In the mid-1950s, a two-car train of flat door 6000s heads west at Paulina (1700 W.), about to cross under tracks now used by the CTA's Pink Line. The building with the tower is located at 333 S. Ashland. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

In the mid-1950s, a two-car train of flat door 6000s heads west at Paulina (1700 W.), about to cross under tracks now used by the CTA’s Pink Line. The building with the tower is located at 333 S. Ashland. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Workers United Hall at 333 S. Ashland Avenue, was built in 1928, and designed by Walter Ahlschlager. Home of the Chicago Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which became part of a growing group of other labor organizations who established offices in the neighborhood, known as Union Row.

Workers United Hall at 333 S. Ashland Avenue, was built in 1928, and designed by Walter Ahlschlager. Home of the Chicago Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which became part of a growing group of other labor organizations who established offices in the neighborhood, known as Union Row.  The building became, and remained, the most prominent union hall structure in the area, which grew to include over 30 labor unions and locals by the 1950s.

Marshfield Junction, looking east. The Logan Square/Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park branches converged here onto the Met main line. (George Trapp Collection)

Marshfield Junction, looking east. The Logan Square/Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park branches converged here onto the Met main line. (George Trapp Collection)

This is a Logan Square branch station along Paulina Street, looking north. It cannot be Marshfield, since the tracks went off from that point via a curve. In the background, we see the bridge over the Milwaukee Road and Chicago & North Western tracks. This bridge is still there, used for signals. The old Lake Transfer station is just south of the bridge. Therefore, by a process of elimination, I'd say this is most likely the old Madison Street station. There is no station at this location now (although some would like to see one built, to serve the nearby United Center), but the tracks are still in place for use by the CTA Pink Line. (George Trapp Collection)

This is a Logan Square branch station along Paulina Street, looking north. It cannot be Marshfield, since the tracks went off from that point via a curve. In the background, we see the bridge over the Milwaukee Road and Chicago & North Western tracks. This bridge is still there, used for signals. The old Lake Transfer station is just south of the bridge. Therefore, by a process of elimination, I’d say this is most likely the old Madison Street station. There is no station at this location now (although some would like to see one built, to serve the nearby United Center), but the tracks are still in place for use by the CTA Pink Line. (George Trapp Collection)

A blow-up of the previous picture shows Lake Transfer station in the distance. This is where the Met "L" along Paulina crossed over the Lake Street line, before continuing north over the bridge shown in the background. The tracks north of Lake were removed in 1964, but the bridge was kept in place for use by signals on the Milwaukee Road and C&NW tracks below. (George Trapp Collection)

A blow-up of the previous picture shows Lake Transfer station in the distance. This is where the Met “L” along Paulina crossed over the Lake Street line, before continuing north over the bridge shown in the background. The tracks north of Lake were removed in 1964, but the bridge was kept in place for use by signals on the Milwaukee Road and C&NW tracks below. (George Trapp Collection)

The same bridge today.

The same bridge today.

This map shows how the Douglas Park "L" was rerouted as of April 4, 1954. The old routing brought trains into the Loop via the Mat main line (Garfield branch on this map). In September 1953, the Garfield trains themselves were using a 2.5m temporary right-of-way in the south half of Van Buren Street. In order to facilitate the removal of that portion of "L" structure that remained between Paulina and Racine, a new north-south span was built crossing the expressway footprint (there should be a straight line on this map, but there isn't), allowing Douglas trains to continue north along Paulina, to a new connection with the Lake Street "L". That was a connection which had not previously existed, since previously the only service on these tracks (Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains, which stopped using these tracks in February 1951) crossed over the Lake Street "L". As it turns out, this is the same route now followed by today's CTA Pink Line (which replaced Douglas) after a hiatus of more than 50 years.

This map shows how the Douglas Park “L” was rerouted as of April 4, 1954. The old routing brought trains into the Loop via the Mat main line (Garfield branch on this map). In September 1953, the Garfield trains themselves were using a 2.5m temporary right-of-way in the south half of Van Buren Street. In order to facilitate the removal of that portion of “L” structure that remained between Paulina and Racine, a new north-south span was built crossing the expressway footprint (there should be a straight line on this map, but there isn’t), allowing Douglas trains to continue north along Paulina, to a new connection with the Lake Street “L”. That was a connection which had not previously existed, since previously the only service on these tracks (Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains, which stopped using these tracks in February 1951) crossed over the Lake Street “L”. As it turns out, this is the same route now followed by today’s CTA Pink Line (which replaced Douglas) after a hiatus of more than 50 years.

This 1954 picture, taken from Marshfield Junction, shows the Douglas Park "L" in transition. The 6000s in the foreground are on the old Met "L" alignment, while the train in the background is on a new portion of structure, allowing a direct connection to the Logan Square portion to the north. In turn, a new connection was built allowing Douglas trains to proceed downtown over the Lake Street "L", which is the alignment now used once again by today's CTA Pink Line. Andre Kristopans: "In the shot of old and new at Marshfield Jct, the 6000 is a regular Douglas train, while the woods on the connector are a work train. There was never service simultaneously on both routings."

This 1954 picture, taken from Marshfield Junction, shows the Douglas Park “L” in transition. The 6000s in the foreground are on the old Met “L” alignment, while the train in the background is on a new portion of structure, allowing a direct connection to the Logan Square portion to the north. In turn, a new connection was built allowing Douglas trains to proceed downtown over the Lake Street “L”, which is the alignment now used once again by today’s CTA Pink Line. Andre Kristopans: “In the shot of old and new at Marshfield Jct, the 6000 is a regular Douglas train, while the woods on the connector are a work train. There was never service simultaneously on both routings.”

A Douglas Park train crosses the Van Buren right-of-way near Paulina (1700 W.). We are facing east. This may be circa 1954, as the old "L" structure is still in place east of here. It could not be torn down as long as Douglas Park trains needed it to access the Loop. Notice how one of the Garfield tracks makes a dog-leg around the "L" supports.

A Douglas Park train crosses the Van Buren right-of-way near Paulina (1700 W.). We are facing east. This may be circa 1954, as the old “L” structure is still in place east of here. It could not be torn down as long as Douglas Park trains needed it to access the Loop. Notice how one of the Garfield tracks makes a dog-leg around the “L” supports.

A current view. The Paulina Connector has been rebuilt and is now part of today's Pink Line.

A current view. The Paulina Connector has been rebuilt and is now part of today’s Pink Line.

Here is an example where even the CTA got it wrong with this caption, taken from a 1950s employee publication. This is not the center median strip for the Congress Expressway. It actually shows the CTA temporary right-of-way on Van Buren under construction circa 1952. The grade level had to be lowered at this point in order to clear the C&NW/PRR tracks, and this was done in the middle of the street, leaving only a small lane for other traffic to the north. There was also a small lane to the south, presumably to provide easy access to the construction site on both sides of the tracks. The railroad bridge was retained and is still in use today, but new supports were built under the south portion, as you will see in contemporary pictures. The actual expressway median at this point is located where the Garfield Park "L" structure is at left. That is why it was necessary to build a temporary alignment for about 2.5 miles of the route. We are looking west.

Here is an example where even the CTA got it wrong with this caption, taken from a 1950s employee publication. This is not the center median strip for the Congress Expressway. It actually shows the CTA temporary right-of-way on Van Buren under construction circa 1952. The grade level had to be lowered at this point in order to clear the C&NW/PRR tracks, and this was done in the middle of the street, leaving only a small lane for other traffic to the north. There was also a small lane to the south, presumably to provide easy access to the construction site on both sides of the tracks. The railroad bridge was retained and is still in use today, but new supports were built under the south portion, as you will see in contemporary pictures. The actual expressway median at this point is located where the Garfield Park “L” structure is at left. That is why it was necessary to build a temporary alignment for about 2.5 miles of the route. We are looking west.

The Van Buren trackage at Rockwell, showing the underpass trains used to clear the C&NW/PRR trackage. Notice how here, the CTA tracks are in the middle of Van Buren, instead of simply taking up the south half. This permitted a narrow lane on each side of the "L". To the south, this allowed construction workers access to both sides of the railroad embankment. We are looking east. (George Trapp Collection)

The Van Buren trackage at Rockwell, showing the underpass trains used to clear the C&NW/PRR trackage. Notice how here, the CTA tracks are in the middle of Van Buren, instead of simply taking up the south half. This permitted a narrow lane on each side of the “L”. To the south, this allowed construction workers access to both sides of the railroad embankment. We are looking east. (George Trapp Collection)

The same location today.

The same location today.

A close-up of the railroad bridge at about 2600 W. Van Buren, showing how the supports on one side had to be replaced.

A close-up of the railroad bridge at about 2600 W. Van Buren, showing how the supports on one side had to be replaced.

This September 1953 view of the new Van Buren trackage looks east from (I think) California Avenue (2800 W.). The photo caption reads, "CTA Elevated tracks on surface (due to) construction (of the) Congress St. expressway. At time of photo trains still using El structure at right of picture."

This September 1953 view of the new Van Buren trackage looks east from (I think) California Avenue (2800 W.). The photo caption reads, “CTA Elevated tracks on surface (due to) construction (of the) Congress St. expressway. At time of photo trains still using El structure at right of picture.”

I am not sure why the motorman of this 1951 train of CA&E woods is gesturing. Perhaps he is waving at the photographers below. My guess is this picture was taken at the Sacramento curve. If this was the Halsted curve, I would expect the buildings to be larger.

I am not sure why the motorman of this 1951 train of CA&E woods is gesturing. Perhaps he is waving at the photographers below. My guess is this picture was taken at the Sacramento curve. If this was the Halsted curve, I would expect the buildings to be larger.

In this late 1950s photo, we see the Garfield Park "L" crossing the Congress Expressway at Sacramento. We are looking to the south. The "L" continued to use the old alignment in those places where it was not directly in the expressway footprint. Between Sacramento (3000 W.) and Kostner (4400 W.), the "L" actually ran to the south of the expressway. At Kostner, the "L" again crossed the highway, this time at an angle, taking it to the north. North of this picture location would have been the Sacramento curve and a ramp connection to the Van Buren trackage. Andre Kristopans adds, "The shot at Sacramento also shows how different things were then. Note there are pilings holding up the L structure BETWEEN expressway lanes. You couldn’t imagine doing that today, but in the 1950’s there was much more of a tendency to say if you weren’t watching and hit something, it was your fault, not the fault of what you hit." (George Trapp Collection)

In this late 1950s photo, we see the Garfield Park “L” crossing the Congress Expressway at Sacramento. We are looking to the south. The “L” continued to use the old alignment in those places where it was not directly in the expressway footprint. Between Sacramento (3000 W.) and Kostner (4400 W.), the “L” actually ran to the south of the expressway. At Kostner, the “L” again crossed the highway, this time at an angle, taking it to the north. North of this picture location would have been the Sacramento curve and a ramp connection to the Van Buren trackage. Andre Kristopans adds, “The shot at Sacramento also shows how different things were then. Note there are pilings holding up the L structure BETWEEN expressway lanes. You couldn’t imagine doing that today, but in the 1950’s there was much more of a tendency to say if you weren’t watching and hit something, it was your fault, not the fault of what you hit.” (George Trapp Collection)

No, these two cars are not going downhill. But if you level out the picture, you can't see the sign identifying this as the Pulaski Road station on the Garfield Park "L". Based on the sign on this car, I would say the train is heading west. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

No, these two cars are not going downhill. But if you level out the picture, you can’t see the sign identifying this as the Pulaski Road station on the Garfield Park “L”. Based on the sign on this car, I would say the train is heading west. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Now we are on the level. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Now we are on the level. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

I don't know the exact location of this westbound Garfield Park train. But my gut instinct is this was taken at the same general location as the previous photo, which would make it the east end of the Pulaski station. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

I don’t know the exact location of this westbound Garfield Park train. But my gut instinct is this was taken at the same general location as the previous photo, which would make it the east end of the Pulaski station. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4318 and 2190, running in express service along the Garfield Park "L". Not sure which station this is. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4318 and 2190, running in express service along the Garfield Park “L”. Not sure which station this is. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A view of the Laramie Yard, looking east from the walkway that allowed you to cross over between platforms. Much of this area is now occupied by Michelle Clark Magnet High School, and the area to the right of the picture is taken up by the Eisenhower (formerly Congress) Expressway. Note one of the four "Doodlebugs" in the yard. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

A view of the Laramie Yard, looking east from the walkway that allowed you to cross over between platforms. Much of this area is now occupied by Michelle Clark Magnet High School, and the area to the right of the picture is taken up by the Eisenhower (formerly Congress) Expressway. Note one of the four “Doodlebugs” in the yard. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

You hardly ever see any pictures of the ramp that brought the Garfield line from grade level to the "L" structure between Laramie and Cicero. This is an enlargement of the previous picture. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

You hardly ever see any pictures of the ramp that brought the Garfield line from grade level to the “L” structure between Laramie and Cicero. This is an enlargement of the previous picture. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

The old ground-level Laramie station on the Garfield Park "L". The woman on the platform may be using the scale (shown in another picture taken at this station) to weigh herself. These generally cost a penny. On some of these, if you could successfully guess your weight, you got your penny back. We are looking east. The "L" went up a ramp from here to reach the Cicero station. The water tank at right shows up in a lot of these pictures, and is often useful in telling which way we are facing. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The old ground-level Laramie station on the Garfield Park “L”. The woman on the platform may be using the scale (shown in another picture taken at this station) to weigh herself. These generally cost a penny. On some of these, if you could successfully guess your weight, you got your penny back. We are looking east. The “L” went up a ramp from here to reach the Cicero station. The water tank at right shows up in a lot of these pictures, and is often useful in telling which way we are facing. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

An enlargement of the previous photo. Is this the same penny scale shown on the platform in the next picture?

An enlargement of the previous photo. Is this the same penny scale shown on the platform in the next picture?

CRT 2896 is westbound at Laramie. You can plainly see the penny scale on the platform. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2896 is westbound at Laramie. You can plainly see the penny scale on the platform. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2721was a tool car, shown here at the Laramie Yards on the Garfield Park branch. According to Don's Rail Photos, "2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756. 2721 was rebuilt in 1921." (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2721was a tool car, shown here at the Laramie Yards on the Garfield Park branch. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756. 2721 was rebuilt in 1921.” (George Trapp Collection)

At first, I had difficulty determining this location, but soon figured out that the station at rear is Laramie on the old Garfield Park "L". I believe we are looking east from Lockwood, where there was a grade crossing. The bulk of the yard was to the east of Laramie, although there were storage tracks for some cars west of Laramie, such as a small area that was once used for mid-day storage of CA&E trains. On the left of the picture, we see CTA buses along Harrison, and the gas station was located at the intersection of Harrison and Laramie. The Eisenhower Expressway is now to the right of this picture. The growth along some of these tracks would seem to indicate they were not being used much for storage by the time this picture was taken in the 1950s. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

At first, I had difficulty determining this location, but soon figured out that the station at rear is Laramie on the old Garfield Park “L”. I believe we are looking east from Lockwood, where there was a grade crossing. The bulk of the yard was to the east of Laramie, although there were storage tracks for some cars west of Laramie, such as a small area that was once used for mid-day storage of CA&E trains. On the left of the picture, we see CTA buses along Harrison, and the gas station was located at the intersection of Harrison and Laramie. The Eisenhower Expressway is now to the right of this picture. The growth along some of these tracks would seem to indicate they were not being used much for storage by the time this picture was taken in the 1950s. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the intersection of Laramie and Harrison. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the intersection of Laramie and Harrison. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Laramie and Harrison today. We are looking north.

Laramie and Harrison today. We are looking north.

I believe this photo shows the view looking west from Oak Park Avenue along the old Garfield Park "L". The B&OCT tracks were to the south of the "L", and we can even see a steam locomotive on a siding in the distance, service businesses to the south. The eastbound and westbound "L" platforms here were on different sides of Oak Park Avenue. In the distance, we can see the next station west at Home Avenue. This is now the location of the Eisenhower Expressway, and all these tracks are now on the south side of the highway at this location, in an open cut. The only freight siding still in use along here is the Ferrara Pan Candy Company in Forest Park, about a mile west of here. (George Trapp Collection)

I believe this photo shows the view looking west from Oak Park Avenue along the old Garfield Park “L”. The B&OCT tracks were to the south of the “L”, and we can even see a steam locomotive on a siding in the distance, service businesses to the south. The eastbound and westbound “L” platforms here were on different sides of Oak Park Avenue. In the distance, we can see the next station west at Home Avenue. This is now the location of the Eisenhower Expressway, and all these tracks are now on the south side of the highway at this location, in an open cut. The only freight siding still in use along here is the Ferrara Pan Candy Company in Forest Park, about a mile west of here. (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing a steam locomotive coming off a siding on the B&OCT. (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing a steam locomotive coming off a siding on the B&OCT. (George Trapp Collection)

There isn't a lot of freight traffic on the B&OCT these days, but I did catch this short train near the Oak Park CTA station on June 30, 2016.

There isn’t a lot of freight traffic on the B&OCT these days, but I did catch this short train near the Oak Park CTA station on June 30, 2016.

(Photo by David Sadowski)

(Photo by David Sadowski)

The CTA's Garfield Park "L" trains crossed the B&OCT freight tracks at grade between Harlem Avenue and DesPlaines in Forest Park. We are looking west, and the large "gas holder" tank at left was a local landmark for many years. Now, these tracks are grade separated along the Eisenhower Expressway right-of-way. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The CTA’s Garfield Park “L” trains crossed the B&OCT freight tracks at grade between Harlem Avenue and DesPlaines in Forest Park. We are looking west, and the large “gas holder” tank at left was a local landmark for many years. Now, these tracks are grade separated along the Eisenhower Expressway right-of-way. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The CTA Blue Line and B&OCT cross each other today at more or less the same location they did before the expressway was built, but their tracks are grade separated. The CTA goes under the freight line, then up a ramp to cross over the highway and DesPlaines Avenue before reaching the terminal.

The CTA Blue Line and B&OCT cross each other today at more or less the same location they did before the expressway was built, but their tracks are grade separated. The CTA goes under the freight line, then up a ramp to cross over the highway and DesPlaines Avenue before reaching the terminal.

This photo shows an eastbound two-car Met "L" train at the old DesPlaines Avenue station, which was actually owned by the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin. The station was on the east side of the street, in an area now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (George Trapp Collection)

This photo shows an eastbound two-car Met “L” train at the old DesPlaines Avenue station, which was actually owned by the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin. The station was on the east side of the street, in an area now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (George Trapp Collection)

More or less the same location today. The old DesPlaines station would be somewhere in today's highway, off to the right. Today's Blue Line crosses the highway and goes off a bit to the north to its present-day terminal. West of here, the expressway crosses over the DesPlaines River using an expanded version of the old Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban right-of-way. As part of construction, the CA&E trackage was moved slightly to the north, and work was completed by 1959 but the new tracks were never used.

More or less the same location today. The old DesPlaines station would be somewhere in today’s highway, off to the right. Today’s Blue Line crosses the highway and goes off a bit to the north to its present-day terminal. West of here, the expressway crosses over the DesPlaines River using an expanded version of the old Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban right-of-way. As part of construction, the CA&E trackage was moved slightly to the north, and work was completed by 1959 but the new tracks were never used.

This picture may show where the Westchester branch diverged from the CA&E main line (here running parallel to the CGW) in Bellwood. If so, we are looking east. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This picture may show where the Westchester branch diverged from the CA&E main line (here running parallel to the CGW) in Bellwood. If so, we are looking east. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

mdfranklinnascar writes: "The white house in the background is still there at 3510 St Paul Ave, Bellwood."

mdfranklinnascar writes: “The white house in the background is still there at 3510 St Paul Ave, Bellwood.”

The CRT Westchester branch at Roosevelt Road, circa 1929-1930. Service along this line opened in 1926, and when the line was extended, local officials insisted that tracks not cross Roosevelt at grade, thereby necessitating this grade separation project. The platform at left was later moved into the open cut, although the original station house was retained. Service to Mannheim began in 1930. The line was abandoned in 1951. We are looking north. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The CRT Westchester branch at Roosevelt Road, circa 1929-1930. Service along this line opened in 1926, and when the line was extended, local officials insisted that tracks not cross Roosevelt at grade, thereby necessitating this grade separation project. The platform at left was later moved into the open cut, although the original station house was retained. Service to Mannheim began in 1930. The line was abandoned in 1951. We are looking north. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

In this April 28, 1929 view, a steam shovel is digging out an underpass for Westchester trains at the Roosevelt Road station. We are looking north. (George Trapp Collection)

In this April 28, 1929 view, a steam shovel is digging out an underpass for Westchester trains at the Roosevelt Road station. We are looking north. (George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains in storage at the Roosevelt end of the line, circa 1929. (George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains in storage at the Roosevelt end of the line, circa 1929. (George Trapp Collection)

The CRT Westchester branch, just south of the Roosevelt Road underpass. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The CRT Westchester branch, just south of the Roosevelt Road underpass. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This appears to show the CRT Westchester right of way, looking south from Roosevelt Road, where the line extension to Mannheim and 22nd was single track. (George Trapp Collection)

This appears to show the CRT Westchester right of way, looking south from Roosevelt Road, where the line extension to Mannheim and 22nd was single track. (George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains changing ends south of the Roosevelt Road station. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains changing ends south of the Roosevelt Road station. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Since this two-car train of 4000s is using overhead wire and not third rail, this appears to be a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip along the CA&E's Mt. Carmel Branch on February 12, 1939. If so, one of the two cars used was 4317. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Since this two-car train of 4000s is using overhead wire and not third rail, this appears to be a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip along the CA&E’s Mt. Carmel Branch on February 12, 1939. If so, one of the two cars used was 4317. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA experimental high-speed cars 6129-6130 in the "Morgan middle" tracks on the Congress line circa 1960. Fans referred to the cars in this paint scheme as "circus wagons." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA experimental high-speed cars 6129-6130 in the “Morgan middle” tracks on the Congress line circa 1960. Fans referred to the cars in this paint scheme as “circus wagons.” (George Trapp Collection)

CTA high-speed cars 1-3 and 6129-6130 on a test run along the Congress line, in the early 1960s. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA high-speed cars 1-3 and 6129-6130 on a test run along the Congress line, in the early 1960s. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. The track at right, where an old wooden "L" car is being used as an office, was originally intended for use by CA&E trains, if service could have resumed in 1959. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. The track at right, where an old wooden “L” car is being used as an office, was originally intended for use by CA&E trains, if service could have resumed in 1959. (George Trapp Photo)

DesPlaines Avenue in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

DesPlaines Avenue in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single-car unit 8 at Logan Square terminal in the Fall of 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single-car unit 8 at Logan Square terminal in the Fall of 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

In this 1963 view at Logan Square, we see cars in the 6551-6600 series at left, in fresh paint, next to others from the 6601-6670 series at right in their original paint. (George Trapp Photo)

In this 1963 view at Logan Square, we see cars in the 6551-6600 series at left, in fresh paint, next to others from the 6601-6670 series at right in their original paint. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6705-6706 at Logan Square in 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6705-6706 at Logan Square in 1963. (George Trapp Photo)


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Red Arrow in West Chester

Double-ended Red Arrow 13 at the end of the line in West Chester (Gay and High Streets) circa 1954.

Double-ended Red Arrow 13 at the end of the line in West Chester (Gay and High Streets) circa 1954.

The same location today.

The same location today.

The Red Arrow Lines in Philadelphia’s western suburbs are a real example of perseverance. Privately owned and operated until 1970, and now by SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), Red Arrow (or, as it was known for some time, the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company) can trace its origins back to 1848.

Only two lines (Media and Sharon Hill) remain of its vaunted interurban network. The smaller Ardmore trolley was replaced by bus at the end of 1966, with its private right-of-way portion converted into a dedicated busway.

Today, we celebrate the Red Arrow with some classic pictures, mainly featuring its longest line, between 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby and West Chester. This is a distance of some 19 miles end to end along West Chester Pike.

The West Chester line was to some degree a victim of its own success. It helped stimulate growth in the region to such an extent that West Chester Pike was widened in 1954, displacing the trolley. It was replaced by buses.

The Red Arrow story is made all the more remarkable when you consider that much of this line was single-track, and still does not provide a one-seat ride into downtown Philadelphia. Riders must change trains at 69th Street Terminal and ride the Market-Frankford subway into town.

Lack of a one-seat ride into Chicago’s Loop is widely credited with killing off the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban, which ended passenger service in 1957. But Red Arrow has never had a one-seat ride and its service continues to this day.

Much credit for its survival must go to Merritt H. Taylor, Jr. (1922-2010), who guided it into the modern era, and finally had little choice but to sell out to SEPTA. Red Arrow was one of the very last holdouts against public ownership and set a very high standard for the industry.

From what I have heard, Merritt Taylor was something of a “closet railfan,” who learned to operate the cars as a youth and sometimes took them out for late-night “joy rides” to West Chester.

In 1954, Philadelphia Suburban Transportation purchased the Philadelphia and Western, which operated the Norristown High-Speed Line. This 13 1/2 mile long, grade-separated third-rail route also continues today under SEPTA.

Until 1956, the Norristown line included a branch to Strafford, which gave name to the famous Strafford cars that ran alongside the more well-known Bullets. Today, SEPTA is working on plans to extend the High-speed Line to King of Prussia.

For the longest time, Red Arrow favored J. G. Brill railcars, which were built in nearby Philadelphia, including Master Units and Brilliners in the 1930s and 40s. But with that firm’s exit from the market in the early 1940s, there was one order of double-ended cars circa 1949, made by St. Louis Car Company.

Although those cars had styling very much like PCC streetcars, they had conventional interurban running gear and are thus not technically considered “true” PCCs. Service on the Media and Sharon Hill lines is handled by 29 modern Kawasaki cars, built in 1981.

We hope that you will enjoy this trip down memory lane in the Keystone State. Meanwhile, back here in Chicago, one can only wonder what fate might have awaited the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin if it had been run by Merritt taylor, Jr. in the 1950s. For all we know, it might still be with us in some form.

As for West Chester, SEPTA ran commuter rail service there until 1986, when it was cut back due to deteriorating track conditions. There are hopes for restoring service by the year 2040. Meanwhile, the bus service that replaced the West Chester trolley remains popular and convenient.

You can read my 2013 report on the Media trolley centennial fantrip here. (Videos are here.)

-David Sadowski

Red Arrow 78 and 80 in 1959. These were Brill-built "Master Units." Garrett Patterson adds, "It might be pointed out with the second image, that both 78 & 80 operate to this day, #78 at PTM in Washington, PA, and #80 at Steamtown."

Red Arrow 78 and 80 in 1959. These were Brill-built “Master Units.” Garrett Patterson adds, “It might be pointed out with the second image, that both 78 & 80 operate to this day, #78 at PTM in Washington, PA, and #80 at Steamtown.”

Red Arrow 17. Michael T. Greene writes, "The first picture of Red Arrow 17 was taken in Media, probably at the end of the line, sometime starting in 1956, based on the 1956 Plymouth parked (or passing) by the trolley." Kenneth Achtert: "The shot of #17 is at the end of the line in Media (Orange St.) as evidenced by the two poles raised as the operator is in the process of changing ends."

Red Arrow 17. Michael T. Greene writes, “The first picture of Red Arrow 17 was taken in Media, probably at the end of the line, sometime starting in 1956, based on the 1956 Plymouth parked (or passing) by the trolley.” Kenneth Achtert: “The shot of #17 is at the end of the line in Media (Orange St.) as evidenced by the two poles raised as the operator is in the process of changing ends.”

350 W. State Street in Media, the end of the Media light rail line.

350 W. State Street in Media, the end of the Media light rail line.

Near 69th Street Terminal. This is where the Ardore and West Chester lines (left) converged with Media and Sharon Hill (right). Over the years, the tracks to the left have been cut back to just a few short blocks where cars can be stored.

Near 69th Street Terminal. This is where the Ardore and West Chester lines (left) converged with Media and Sharon Hill (right). Over the years, the tracks to the left have been cut back to just a few short blocks where cars can be stored.

Brilliner 6 in Ardmore service near 69th Street Terminal circa 1954.

Brilliner 6 in Ardmore service near 69th Street Terminal circa 1954.

Near 69th Street Terminal.

Near 69th Street Terminal.

A Brilliner near 69th Street Terminal.

A Brilliner near 69th Street Terminal.

A West Chester car at 63rd and Market in 1905. (Robert Foley, Jr. Collection)

A West Chester car at 63rd and Market in 1905. (Robert Foley, Jr. Collection)

Car 12 at a passing siding along West Chester Pike circa 1954.

Car 12 at a passing siding along West Chester Pike circa 1954.

Near 69th Street Terminal circa 1954.

Near 69th Street Terminal circa 1954.

Car 12 at a passing siding along West Chester Pike circa 1954.

Car 12 at a passing siding along West Chester Pike circa 1954.

Brilliner 3 at the end of the line in West Chester, circa 1954. This car is an Express. There were many photos taken here over the years, by the W. T. Grant dime store. The line was single track going into town.

Brilliner 3 at the end of the line in West Chester, circa 1954. This car is an Express. There were many photos taken here over the years, by the W. T. Grant dime store. The line was single track going into town.

An outbound car in "side of the road" operation along West Chester Pike, circa 1954. Matt Nawn: "The scene of #22 outbound along West Chester Pike appears to be near Broomall. The homes along this part of West Chester Pike look much the same today. Zooming in on the photo, a former Acme store near the intersection of West Chester Pike and PA Route 320 can be seen in the background. "

An outbound car in “side of the road” operation along West Chester Pike, circa 1954. Matt Nawn: “The scene of #22 outbound along West Chester Pike appears to be near Broomall. The homes along this part of West Chester Pike look much the same today. Zooming in on the photo, a former Acme store near the intersection of West Chester Pike and PA Route 320 can be seen in the background. “

The same location today. That certainly appears to be the same house at right. We are looking west on West Chester Pike in Broomall, just east of PA Route 320.

The same location today. That certainly appears to be the same house at right. We are looking west on West Chester Pike in Broomall, just east of PA Route 320.

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Near 69th Street Terminal.

Near 69th Street Terminal.

A Sharon Hill train at 69th Street Terminal, circa 1954. Garrett Patterson: "Sharon Hill Train of Center Doors was most likely a School Tripper servicing Archbishop Pendergast (girls) and Msgr. Bonner (boys) at Lansdowne Ave." On the other hand, Matt Nawn says, "The two-car train of center door cars is probably a few years too early to be a school tripper to Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High Schools (combined into one school in recent years). These schools did not open until the late 1950s."

A Sharon Hill train at 69th Street Terminal, circa 1954. Garrett Patterson: “Sharon Hill Train of Center Doors was most likely a School Tripper servicing Archbishop Pendergast (girls) and Msgr. Bonner (boys) at Lansdowne Ave.” On the other hand, Matt Nawn says, “The two-car train of center door cars is probably a few years too early to be a school tripper to Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High Schools (combined into one school in recent years). These schools did not open until the late 1950s.”

Double-end car 14, a product of St. Louis Car Company, signed for Sharon Hill in the 69th Street Terminal circa 1954. Garrett Patterson: "Where #14 is shown loading at 69th St., the track was paved to street rail condition days before the cessation of West Chester car service for the startup of the W Bus which took its place."

Double-end car 14, a product of St. Louis Car Company, signed for Sharon Hill in the 69th Street Terminal circa 1954. Garrett Patterson: “Where #14 is shown loading at 69th St., the track was paved to street rail condition days before the cessation of West Chester car service for the startup of the W Bus which took its place.”

Caption: 2 car "MU" Train, which operated along with an extra single car behind it on the last rail trip (by MPRA Club) to West Chester, PA., Sunday, June 6, 1954.

Caption: 2 car “MU” Train, which operated along with an extra single car behind it on the last rail trip (by MPRA Club) to West Chester, PA., Sunday, June 6, 1954.

Car 12 in August 1952. Garrett Patterson: "Llanerch Car house." Kenneth Achtert: "That shot of #12 in August 1952 would be at the Llanerch car barn. The street at the top of the hill behind the cars is West Chester Pike, and the car barn structure is to the right out of the frame." (Arthur B. Johnson Photo)

Car 12 in August 1952. Garrett Patterson: “Llanerch Car house.” Kenneth Achtert: “That shot of #12 in August 1952 would be at the Llanerch car barn. The street at the top of the hill behind the cars is West Chester Pike, and the car barn structure is to the right out of the frame.” (Arthur B. Johnson Photo)

This postcard, showing the end of the line in West Chester, was mailed in 1907. The view is the opposite of the one shown at the top of this page. Caption: "You might take the early trolley to Atlantic. Think the photo is something worth having, thanks."

This postcard, showing the end of the line in West Chester, was mailed in 1907. The view is the opposite of the one shown at the top of this page. Caption: “You might take the early trolley to Atlantic. Think the photo is something worth having, thanks.”

The same view today. That's the Greentree building at left, built around 1930.

The same view today. That’s the Greentree building at left, built around 1930.

Red Arrow 41 on the West Chester line in 1945.

Red Arrow 41 on the West Chester line in 1945.

Cars 14, 20 and 68 at a photo stop along the West Chester line on the June 6, 1954 NRHS fantrip.

Cars 14, 20 and 68 at a photo stop along the West Chester line on the June 6, 1954 NRHS fantrip.

Brill "Master Unit" 78, built in 1932, at the West Chester end of the line on August 24, 1941. This car is now preserved at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA.

Brill “Master Unit” 78, built in 1932, at the West Chester end of the line on August 24, 1941. This car is now preserved at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA.

Car 19 along West Chester Pike. What was once a "side of the road" operation is now part of the road. This long view gives you some idea of the distances involved on this 19-mile line.

Car 19 along West Chester Pike. What was once a “side of the road” operation is now part of the road. This long view gives you some idea of the distances involved on this 19-mile line.

Car 17 at a passing siding along West Chester Pike on April 25, 1954.

Car 17 at a passing siding along West Chester Pike on April 25, 1954.

Car 66 (plus one) at Edgemont Siding on the West Chester line.

Car 66 (plus one) at Edgemont Siding on the West Chester line.

Cars 14 and 15 running in multiple unit operation at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Cars 14 and 15 running in multiple unit operation at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Cars 69 and 71 at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Cars 69 and 71 at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Cars 69 and 71 at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Cars 69 and 71 at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Cars 14 and 15 at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Cars 14 and 15 at the West Chester end of the line on June 6, 1954.

Young railfan with a box camera, 62 years ago.

Young railfan with a box camera, 62 years ago.


A Red Arrow PCC!

Kenneth Gear writes:

I really enjoyed the latest Trolley Dodger installment about the Red Arrow Lines.

Although the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company never owned a “true” PCC, one SEPTA PCC car, number 2799, was painted in their red & cream paint scheme! This car is single ended, unlike Red Arrow cars, but it was built by the St. Louis Car Company only a year earlier than the red arrow cars.

On May 7, 1995 I rode a Wilmington (DE) Chapter NRHS fan trip using Red Arrow painted car# 2799. Here are a few pictures.

For the last ten years or so, 2799 has been in the collection of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum.

All photos by Kenneth Gear:

PCC 2799 at Woodland Avenue & 60th Street, Kingsessing, PA

PCC 2799 at Woodland Avenue & 60th Street, Kingsessing, PA.

2799 on Girard Avenue at St. Bernard, West Philadelphia, note cobble stones in road.

2799 on Girard Avenue at St. Bernard, West Philadelphia, note cobble stones in road.

2799 on Lancaster Avenue & 41st Street, Barins, PA.

2799 on Lancaster Avenue & 41st Street, Barins, PA.

2799 on Girard Avenue at Corinthian, North Philadelphia.

2799 on Girard Avenue at Corinthian, North Philadelphia.

2799 at the Market Frankford Line Girard station, Philadelphia.

2799 at the Market Frankford Line Girard station, Philadelphia.

The Red Arrow logo as applied to SEPTA PCC car # 2799.

The Red Arrow logo as applied to SEPTA PCC car # 2799.


PS- Here is a video tour of the Ardmore busway:

Also, video of West Chester trolleys:


The Chicago, Aurora & Elgin

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin 309 heads up a four-car train of woods circa 1940. This "coffee and cream" paint job is not often seen in color pictures. This one, however, has the appearance of being hand-colored, most likely not digital, either. The original was faded, which would not happen with digital. This is more like an old colorized postcard.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin 309 heads up a four-car train of woods circa 1940. This “coffee and cream” paint job is not often seen in color pictures. This one, however, has the appearance of being hand-colored, most likely not digital, either. The original was faded, which would not happen with digital. This is more like an old colorized postcard.

The CA&E Spring Road station in Elmhurst in the mid-1950s.

The CA&E Spring Road station in Elmhurst in the mid-1950s.

My guess is this 1950 CA&E scene shows the end of the line in Elgin, If so, the commuter rail coaches on the other side of the river belong to the Milwaukee Road.

My guess is this 1950 CA&E scene shows the end of the line in Elgin, If so, the commuter rail coaches on the other side of the river belong to the Milwaukee Road.

A CA&E for-car train of steels, headed up by 460. Some think this may be 25th Avenue in Bellwood.

A CA&E for-car train of steels, headed up by 460. Some think this may be 25th Avenue in Bellwood.

CA&E wood car 26. (Paul H, Stringham Photo) Don's Rail Photos: "26 was built by Niles Car in 1902. It was modernized in June 1943 and retired in 1959."

CA&E wood car 26. (Paul H, Stringham Photo) Don’s Rail Photos: “26 was built by Niles Car in 1902. It was modernized in June 1943 and retired in 1959.”

CA&E wood car 314 at an unknown location. Don's Rail Photos says, "314 was built by Kuhlman Car Co in 1909, #404. It was modernized at an unknown date." (Paul H. Stringham Photo)

CA&E wood car 314 at an unknown location. Don’s Rail Photos says, “314 was built by Kuhlman Car Co in 1909, #404. It was modernized at an unknown date.” (Paul H. Stringham Photo)


Mystery Photo

This Chicago "mystery photo" showing two young women is dated 1943. But where was it taken? The "L" structure in the background has some ornamentation, and we see a gate car as well as a 4000. Since the 4000s were all put onto the State Street subway when it opened in October 1943, this picture probably dates to a late snowfall in spring.

This Chicago “mystery photo” showing two young women is dated 1943. But where was it taken? The “L” structure in the background has some ornamentation, and we see a gate car as well as a 4000. Since the 4000s were all put onto the State Street subway when it opened in October 1943, this picture probably dates to a late snowfall in spring.


Recent Correspondence

From Andre Kristopans, following up on some earlier correspondence we had regarding CTA transfer regulations:

A few items –

Half-fare for high school students started 5/10/1943. Before that half fare was strictly for 7 to 11 years old, and I guess grammar school kids, though this I have never seen actually spelled out anywhere. Until 7/23/1961 there were two kinds of student permits, those that allowed reduced rate travel 24/7 and cost $1 per year, and those that allowed travel only to and from school on school days that were issued by the schools free. I remember those – they would be accepted anywhere from about 6 to 8 am, and only within one block of the school after letout.

Transfer regulations remained remarkably constant for all the years that map transfers were in use. Basically good at points of intersection, divergence, convergence, and extension with travel only in the same general direction. Walking transfers were basically within two city blocks, such as between the 92-Foster/NW Highway bus and 151-Sheridan bus at Berwyn.

Transfers were free until 7/23/61, then charged 5 cents. This also caused two minor changes in procedures. ID checks showing that you paid the express fare were now needed on Evanston Express trains south of Loyola, and ID checks of a different sort were issued by ticket agents when they were opening and closing stations. Before, you just got a regular transfer.

The problem with CMC was that CMC fares were HIGHER than CTA’s. CSL went from 7 to 8 cents 4/20/42, while CMC and CRT were already 10. CRT went to 12 cents 5/24/46. CTA went to 10 cents 10/1/47 on surface, CMC was 20 by 10/1/52, while CTA had only hit 20 on 6/1/52. Unfortunately I do not have any better info on changes in this time period. I have a CTA listing somewhere that detailed some of this, maybe I will find it one day… When I was doing much of this research in the 1980’s, I basically just went thru the service bulletins that sometimes had fare stuff, but often not, and I never did dig thru the fares bulletins.

This much I can tell you, though: As of 10/1/47 transfers surface to surface were free, transferring to the L paid 2 cents to agent at station, as L fare was 12 cents. I do not know for sure what CMC was at the time, but coming from CMC to surface was free, to L was 2 cents to the ticket agent, so CMC fare must have been 10c as of 10/1/47. Only thing I can surmise is that CMC must have raised fares more or less as CTA did, to 13 in 1948, 15 in 1949, 17 in 1951 and 20 in 1952.

If you want to see how the transfers worked, look under irm-cta.org – documentation – service pamphlets – 02/60 transfer regulations. In some ways a very complex system, but in other ways very straight-forward and very hard to cheat.

As a note of interest – on 10/1/43 when the subway opened, the schedule for the North-South, which included Ravenswood-Loop, Wilson-Loop, Wilson-Kenwood, and Stock Yards wood car routes, called for 416 steel and 284 wood cars, 840 trainmen, 230 ticket agents, 20 switchmen, 54 towermen, 38 porters, and carried 64% (325,000) of the L system’s passengers.


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 157th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 197,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a contribution there as well.

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CSL by the Numbers

CTA 78 is shown at the east end of the Madison-Fifth shuttle in February, 1954. But wait-- wouldn't car 78 be on the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago? According to Alan R. Lind's CSL book, the CTA renumbered car 1780 to 78 in the waning days of red car service, in order to free up numbers in the 1780s for some buses. This was the only time a CSL streetcar was given a two-digit number, except for work cars. That's one school of thought. On the other hand, the number on the side of this car looks like 1781, and according to Andre Kristopans, it was still 1781 when scrapped. It may in fact not be a renumbering at all, just a case where either the car's paint got touched up and obscured part of the number, or part of the number fell off and did not get replaced, since red car service was ending in a few months anyway. At left in the background you can see Fohrman Motors, a Chicago car dealer from 1912 to 1979. Three people were killed at the dealership by a disgruntled customer on January 7, 1966. The neighborhood, not far from the construction site for the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway, is already showing signs of urban decay. We discuss this in our post Some Thoughts on “Displaced” (August 30, 2016).

CTA 78 is shown at the east end of the Madison-Fifth shuttle in February, 1954. But wait– wouldn’t car 78 be on the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago? According to Alan R. Lind’s CSL book, the CTA renumbered car 1780 to 78 in the waning days of red car service, in order to free up numbers in the 1780s for some buses. This was the only time a CSL streetcar was given a two-digit number, except for work cars.
That’s one school of thought. On the other hand, the number on the side of this car looks like 1781, and according to Andre Kristopans, it was still 1781 when scrapped. It may in fact not be a renumbering at all, just a case where either the car’s paint got touched up and obscured part of the number, or part of the number fell off and did not get replaced, since red car service was ending in a few months anyway.
At left in the background you can see Fohrman Motors, a Chicago car dealer from 1912 to 1979. Three people were killed at the dealership by a disgruntled customer on January 7, 1966. The neighborhood, not far from the construction site for the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway, is already showing signs of urban decay. We discuss this in our post Some Thoughts on “Displaced” (August 30, 2016).

Here is Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 78, very similar to CSL equipment. It was built by American in 1919.

Here is Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 78, very similar to CSL equipment. It was built by American in 1919.

Chicago once had the largest street railway system in the world, and, as such, you would expect it to have a complicated roster. This is certainly true, but there is an additional complicating factor, in that the Chicago Surface Lines was an operating entity or association, a “brand” that functioned as the public face of several smaller constituent companies.

According to the Wikipedia:

Four companies formed the CSL: the Chicago Railways Company, Chicago City Railway, Calumet and South Chicago Railway, and Southern Street Railway. (The Chicago City Railway had a subsidiary, the Chicago & Western Railway, and 95% of the stock of the City Railway and all of the stock of the Southern, Calumet, and Western were in a collateral trust, to secure certain bonds.)

Of these, Chicago Railways and Chicago City Railway were by far the most important. Rolling stock was about 60% CRYs and 40% CCRY. As far as the public was concerned, however, everything was CSL.

In anticipation of the creation of CSL in 1914, the various rosters of its underlying companies were rationalized, and in many cases, cars were renumbered so as to avoid duplication. It also seems as though blocks of car numbers were reserved for the four firms.

New cars ordered after 1914 were, generally speaking, split 60-40 between CRYs and CCRY. This often meant that there were at least two sets of numbers assigned to one type of car, as was the case with the 1929 Sedans and 1936 prewar PCCs.

The same car order might be split between different builders. The 100 Sedans were divided up three ways, between J. G. Brill, the Cummings Car Company, and CSL itself.  The groups of car “types” used by CSL did not always imply one particular builder, although they often did.

Things got even more complicated with the 600 postwar PCCs. The 310 Pullmans were technically owned by CRYs, while the 290 St. Louis Car Company cars were split into three different number groups. In part, this was due to CRYs having 60% of the order (360) and CCRY 40% (240), meaning that the St. Louies had to be split between the two companies.

I used to think that perhaps the fans had sorted out the all-time CSL roster into various car types, with nicknames for each. Interestingly, the CSL roster in Central Electric Railfans’ Association bulletin 27, issued in 1941 at the peak of the streetcar system, did not use any of these group names.

Turns out the nicknames originated within CSL, and appear on lists of car assignments used over the years.  This includes the “Odd 17,” which lumped together a few small batches of cars that did not fit easily into other categories.

Even then, there were “oddball” series that weren’t even put into the Odd 17 (which actually turns out to have been 19 cars for some reason).  1424-1428, five cars built by Brill but with St. Louis Car Company trucks, are not in the Odd 17, and neither were 5701-5702.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it in his essay on Self-Reliance:

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

With that in mind, we have put together a short guide, that can be used to identify CSL car types by number. Since the numbers were, to some extent, related to the underlying ownership, we have also included the company names.

A few things are worth noting. There were no regular cars numbered 1-99. This was probably due to the joint operation of the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago service between Chicago and Indiana.

As Don Ross writes:

HW&EC was formed in 1892 in Hammond where 2 miles of track were built. It was then extended through East Chicago and Whiting to the state line and a connection to the South Chicago City Railway. It came under SCCRy control and service was extended to 63rd and Stony Island. In 1901 a fire destroyed the Hammond Packing Co which caused such a financial impact that all but 12 cars were sold. In 1908 the SCCRy merged with the Calumet Electric Street Ry as the Calumet & South Chicago Ry which retained control of the HW&EC. Joint service was maintained using cars of both companies. After World War I the line was plagued by private auto and jitney competition and finally filed for abandonment in 1929. A new company, Calumet Railways was formed, but it failed and was replaced by C&CDT. The Indiana Harbor line was abandoned in 1934 and the remainder of the system on June 9, 1940.

The Calumet & South Chicago, which controlled the HW&EC, was one of the constituent companies of CSL and therefore, it seems an effort was made to avoid car number duplication between the HW&EC, which had cars numbered between 46 and 80, and CSL.

Here’s how the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago cars break out by manufacturer:

hwec

These cars were very much like Chicago Surface Lines equipment, which caused some consternation among our readers a while back, when trying to figure out a couple of “mystery photos” showing HW&EC cars in action.

Still, there are various anomalies. Even in a small batch of cars, such as the 10 single-truck Birneys CSL had, there were variations. CERA B-27 says that 2000-2005 were Birney safety cars, 2006 was “modified” (but does not say how), and 2900-2903 were “similar” to Birneys, but does not call them such, even though they were part of the same order. The 2006 was built by Chicago Surface Lines, while the other nine cars in the series were built by Brill.

Here is what Dr. Harold E. Cox wrote about them in his classic work The Birney Car (copyright 1966):

screen-shot-09-10-16-at-02-14-pm-png

What about something like CSL mail car 6? This operated as a streetcar RPO (railway post office) for about a year into the CSL era. The car itself has been preserved and is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, Illinois. Where does that fit into the CSL numbering system?

Well, the work cars had their own number sequences, preceded by a letter. So, for example, you could have car S-201, a supply car, and also have Big Pullman 201. There were many instances where work cars had the same number, but they were preceded by different letter designations, as they were in different classes.

As we have recently discussed in the Comments section of our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven (September 2, 2016), CSL had a habit of storing unused cars around, often for decades. (When new equipment arrived, such as the 83 prewar PCCs, the City of Chicago mandated that an “equal value” of older equipment be scrapped.)

In some cases, this means there were cars in storage well into the CSL era that still had their old, pre-CSL numbers.  We have included a picture of just one such example here, taken nearly 20 years after the creation of CSL.

In at least one other case, parts of the numbers actually fell off a car, giving the impression that it had a different number than was actually the case.

Car 2859 is another oddity. This was a replacement car, built by CSL in 1924. It was owned by the Calumet and South Chicago Railway, yet it was a “169” or Broadway-State car. Curious indeed!

Don’s Rail Photos has an excellent page for CSL car information. This has a lot more information than can be presented here, and often includes details about individual cars. Although naturally there are going to be typographical errors on such a huge and complex web site, I hope you will join me in saluting Don Ross for creating such an invaluable resource.

Here is my own modest contribution to the subject. If there are any errors, or if you can think of some way to improve this chart, please let us know. Consider this a “finding aid” for CSL car types. If you can see the car number in a photo, you can easily look up which type it is using this chart.

To create this, we have consulted not only Don’s Rail Photos, but CERA bulletins 27 (1941) and 146 (2015), The Birney Car by Dr. Harold E. Cox (1966), and Electric Railway Historical Society bulletin 8, The Hammond Whiting and East Chicago Ry. by James J. Buckley (1953).

You can even extrapolate a few things from this exercise. If more postwar PCCs had been ordered, as was originally planned, the first new Chicago Railways car would have been 4412, and 7275 for the Chicago City Railway.

Likewise, there is a large unused block of numbers after the Chicago Railways Birneys. Does this mean there were hopes to order more Birneys, which were not realized, since they proved too small for such a big city?

I guess, when there are so many factors involved, it’s too much to expect that you can make all the numbers add up, all the time. This way lies madness.

To paraphrase Emerson, since the Surface Lines was perhaps the greatest streetcar system of all time, it can also be the most misunderstood.  I hope that we have made that a little easier.

-David Sadowski

cslroster

Chicago City Railway car 2169 on the 75th Street route. According to Central Electric Railfans' Association bulletin 27 (July 1941), this car was part of an order of 69 closed cable trailer cars (with double door in bulkheads) built by Wells-French in 1896. These cars were electrified in 1908, and most were renumbered. My guess is we are at 75th and South Chicago. This picture would have been taken between 1908 and 1914, when CCR became part of the Chicago Surface Lines. If I am reading B-27 correctly, this car would originally have been numbered 2129. It was scrapped after CSL was formed. Bob Lalich adds, "I agree, Chicago City Railway car 2169 is at 75th and South Chicago Ave. It appears that the Grand Crossing grade separation project was underway, judging by the construction shacks." Note that 2169 is an unassigned CSL roster number.

Chicago City Railway car 2169 on the 75th Street route. According to Central Electric Railfans’ Association bulletin 27 (July 1941), this car was part of an order of 69 closed cable trailer cars (with double door in bulkheads) built by Wells-French in 1896. These cars were electrified in 1908, and most were renumbered. My guess is we are at 75th and South Chicago. This picture would have been taken between 1908 and 1914, when CCR became part of the Chicago Surface Lines. If I am reading B-27 correctly, this car would originally have been numbered 2129. It was scrapped after CSL was formed. Bob Lalich adds, “I agree, Chicago City Railway car 2169 is at 75th and South Chicago Ave. It appears that the Grand Crossing grade separation project was underway, judging by the construction shacks.” Note that 2169 is an unassigned CSL roster number.

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, "Base Ball." (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection) Note that 2144 is not an assigned CSL number.

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, “Base Ball.” (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection) Note that 2144 is not an assigned CSL number.

Is Chicago City Railway 2503 the same car as CSL 2503? Andre Kristopans says yes. (See the Comments section of this post.)

Is Chicago City Railway 2503 the same car as CSL 2503? Andre Kristopans says yes. (See the Comments section of this post.)

Chicago Union Traction streetcar 5801, definitely not the same as CSL "Nearside" 5801.

Chicago Union Traction streetcar 5801, definitely not the same as CSL “Nearside” 5801.

Trailer 8000 being used as a shed. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Trailer 8000 being used as a shed. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

West Chicago Street Railway #4 was pulled out for pictures on May 25, 1958, the occasion of the final fantrip on Chicago's streetcar system. That is not a CSL assigned number.

West Chicago Street Railway #4 was pulled out for pictures on May 25, 1958, the occasion of the final fantrip on Chicago’s streetcar system. That is not a CSL assigned number.

Former Chicago Surface Lines mail car 6, built in 1891, as it looked on May 25, 1958. This car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. You can see a black-and-white photo of this car, taken at the same time as this one, in our previous post Throwback Thursday (January 7, 2016). To see a picture of West Chicago Street Railway car 4, also taken the same day, there's one in our post Chicago Streetcars In Color (February 22, 2015).

Former Chicago Surface Lines mail car 6, built in 1891, as it looked on May 25, 1958. This car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. You can see a black-and-white photo of this car, taken at the same time as this one, in our previous post Throwback Thursday (January 7, 2016). To see a picture of West Chicago Street Railway car 4, also taken the same day, there’s one in our post Chicago Streetcars In Color (February 22, 2015).

Don's Rail Photos says the "Sunbeam" was built by Pullman in 1891. It was used as a party car, later for storage. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) This car doesn't even have a number!

Don’s Rail Photos says the “Sunbeam” was built by Pullman in 1891. It was used as a party car, later for storage. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) This car doesn’t even have a number!

This old Chicago Daily News photo is identified as being at the end of a cable car route, where horses were used to move the cars around. However, the Chicago Auto Show is being advertised, which would help date this photo. This car is #1325.

This old Chicago Daily News photo is identified as being at the end of a cable car route, where horses were used to move the cars around. However, the Chicago Auto Show is being advertised, which would help date this photo. This car is #1325.

Chicago City Railway cable trailer 209 in October 1938. Supposedly built around 1892, it appears to be a replica built by CSL in 1934 using some original parts. It is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Alfred Seibel Photo)

Chicago City Railway cable trailer 209 in October 1938. Supposedly built around 1892, it appears to be a replica built by CSL in 1934 using some original parts. It is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Alfred Seibel Photo)

North Chicago Street Railroad horse car 8 on January 2, 1925. The occasion was the opening of the new Cicero Avenue extension. This car, built in 1859 by the John Stephenson Car Company, is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

North Chicago Street Railroad horse car 8 on January 2, 1925. The occasion was the opening of the new Cicero Avenue extension. This car, built in 1859 by the John Stephenson Car Company, is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

It's August 28, 1936 on north Ashland Avenue, and time for a parade. One week earlier, streetcar service had been extended north of Cortland in one of the final extensions under CSL. Prior to this time, this portion of the route had run on Southport, two blocks to the east. North Chicago Street Railroad "Bombay roof" horsecar 8 is ahead of the experimental 1934 Brill pre-PCC car 7001. Ironically, the older car survives at the Illinois Railway Museum, while 7001 was scrapped in 1959.

It’s August 28, 1936 on north Ashland Avenue, and time for a parade. One week earlier, streetcar service had been extended north of Cortland in one of the final extensions under CSL. Prior to this time, this portion of the route had run on Southport, two blocks to the east. North Chicago Street Railroad “Bombay roof” horsecar 8 is ahead of the experimental 1934 Brill pre-PCC car 7001. Ironically, the older car survives at the Illinois Railway Museum, while 7001 was scrapped in 1959.

This supposed Chicago City Railway horse car #10 was actually a 1930s replica. It was also used at the Chicago Railroad Fair. This picture was taken by Charles Cushman (1896-1972) in 1949. (Charles W. Cushman Collection, University Archives, at Indiana University, Bloomington.)

This supposed Chicago City Railway horse car #10 was actually a 1930s replica. It was also used at the Chicago Railroad Fair. This picture was taken by Charles Cushman (1896-1972) in 1949. (Charles W. Cushman Collection, University Archives, at Indiana University, Bloomington.)


Recent Correspondence

scranton409

Tony Zadjura writes:

In need of a little advice. I am the Chairman of the Jefferson Township Historical Society, Lackawanna County PA.  Our area includes Moosic Lake, which at one time had trolley service to the lake and amusement park (Gateway to the Clouds).  We have recently been given a photograph of # 409 which shows Moosic Lake as its destination. A question has been raised as to whether the Moosic Lake destination sign has been added.

The trolley service to Moosic Lake terminated in 1926.

Is it possible to give a date of this car being built or first being available for use by STC in service. I am enclosing the photo in question, cropped to show the front of the car a little better. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Thanks for writing. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “409 was built by Osgood-Bradley Co. in 1925” for the Scranton Transit Company.

So, it is possible that this car could have operated to Moosic Lake, but not for very long.

Hope this helps.

Tony Zadjura replies:

Thanks for the quick reply. According to accounts, the trolley ride over the Moosic mountain must have been a thrill!

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. You can reach us at: thetrolleydodger@gmail.com or leave a Comment on this post.

-David Sadowski


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 156th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 196,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a contribution there as well.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Twelve

CSL 6149, an Odd 17 car built by CSL in 1919, is on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway), which ran from 1912 until October 7, 1946. The bicycle at right is very likely the photographer's. Ed Frank rode his bike all over the city instead of taking the streetcar, so he could save money to buy film. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6149, an Odd 17 car built by CSL in 1919, is on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway), which ran from 1912 until October 7, 1946. The bicycle at right is very likely the photographer’s. Ed Frank rode his bike all over the city instead of taking the streetcar, so he could save money to buy film. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Today’s post features the final batch of Chicago Surface Lines photos from the George Trapp collection. To find earlier posts in this series, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page.

As always, if you can help us with locations and other tidbits of information about what you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can update the captions and share the information with our readers. You can comment on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

We are very grateful for the generosity of George Trapp in sharing these great classic images with us. We also wish to thank the original photographers who took these pictures.

The good news is that George Trapp is going to share his extensive collection of Chicago rapid transit photos with us. Watch this space.

-David Sadowski


CSL 1457. Don's Rail Photos: "1457 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4505. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA68 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on December 17, 1958." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1457. Don’s Rail Photos: “1457 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4505. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA68 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on December 17, 1958.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL/CTA Calt Car AA17. Don's Rail Photos: "AA17, salt car, was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4523. It was rebuilt as 1475 in 1911 and became CSL 1475 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA17 on October 1, 1941. It was retired on October 30, 1951." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL/CTA Calt Car AA17. Don’s Rail Photos: “AA17, salt car, was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4523. It was rebuilt as 1475 in 1911 and became CSL 1475 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA17 on October 1, 1941. It was retired on October 30, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2605, a Robertson Rebuild car. Don's Rail Photos: "2605 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was stored at Devon Barn in 1948 and scrapped there in 1954." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2605, a Robertson Rebuild car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2605 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was stored at Devon Barn in 1948 and scrapped there in 1954.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

An early photo of CSL 1494 in charter service. This was called a "Bowling Alley" car due to the sideways seating. Don's Rail Photos: "1494 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4543. It was rebuilt as 1494 n 1911 and became CSL 1494 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA83 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on October 7, 1954."

An early photo of CSL 1494 in charter service. This was called a “Bowling Alley” car due to the sideways seating. Don’s Rail Photos: “1494 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4543. It was rebuilt as 1494 n 1911 and became CSL 1494 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA83 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on October 7, 1954.”

CSL Pullman 362 on the trestle over the Illinois Central at Roosevelt Road, heading to the Museum Loop.

CSL Pullman 362 on the trestle over the Illinois Central at Roosevelt Road, heading to the Museum Loop.

A 1910 builder's photo of Chicago Railways Pullman 751. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A 1910 builder’s photo of Chicago Railways Pullman 751. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A close-up of the Chicago Railways logo.

A close-up of the Chicago Railways logo.

CSL Pullman 870 is at Devon and Western. One of our keen-eyed readers notes, "I believe that this photo was actually taken in the Summer of 1948, rather than 1946 as stated in your caption. The reason that I say that is because the ACF-Brill bus seen at the curb on the left hand side of the photo was most likely operating on route 36A which was a shuttle on Devon from Kedzie to Broadway and Ardmore Loop. It was started on 12/15/1947 when route 36 - Broadway-State was cutback to Devon-Ravenswood when PCCs were instituted. PCCs were introduced on Western Avenue on August 1, 1948 which explains why Small Pullmans are shown running on Western Avenue in the photo. The car is heading west on Devon. In the distance, you can see the slight rise to Ridge Avenue near Misericordia." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Pullman 870 is at Devon and Western. One of our keen-eyed readers notes, “I believe that this photo was actually taken in the Summer of 1948, rather than 1946 as stated in your caption. The reason that I say that is because the ACF-Brill bus seen at the curb on the left hand side of the photo was most likely operating on route 36A which was a shuttle on Devon from Kedzie to Broadway and Ardmore Loop. It was started on 12/15/1947 when route 36 – Broadway-State was cutback to Devon-Ravenswood when PCCs were instituted. PCCs were introduced on Western Avenue on August 1, 1948 which explains why Small Pullmans are shown running on Western Avenue in the photo. The car is heading west on Devon. In the distance, you can see the slight rise to Ridge Avenue near Misericordia.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 903 at the same location as the last photo, probably taken at the same time. Another factor, weighing in favor of a 1948 date, is the CTA recruitment poster on the front of the car. In its early days, the agency had quite a labor shortage. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 903 at the same location as the last photo, probably taken at the same time. Another factor, weighing in favor of a 1948 date, is the CTA recruitment poster on the front of the car. In its early days, the agency had quite a labor shortage. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Although not identical, here is a similar sign on another Western Avenue streetcar, in a photo taken on May 22, 1948. That is probably not much different than when the previous two pictures were taken. The CTA had a lot of different signs like this, and many were variations on the same theme. To see the original picture, go to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015).

Although not identical, here is a similar sign on another Western Avenue streetcar, in a photo taken on May 22, 1948. That is probably not much different than when the previous two pictures were taken. The CTA had a lot of different signs like this, and many were variations on the same theme. To see the original picture, go to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015).

CSL Small St. Louis 1412. Andre Kristopans says it is at Noble Station (car house). Don's Rail Photos: "These cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1903 and 1906 for Chicago Union Traction Co. They are similar to the Robertson design without the small windows. Cars of this series were converted to one man operation in later years and have a wide horizontal stripe on the front to denote this. Two were used for an experimental articulated train. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers." The 1374, which has been restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is part of this same series. Here is what www.chicagorailfan.com says about Noble Station: NOBLE 1901 N. Hermitage Ave. (at Cortland Ave.) Opened before 1908 Capacity in 1911: 18 cars inside/60 cars outside Capacity in 1943: 17 cars inside/103 cars outside Closed August 31, 1947 Building demolished (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Small St. Louis 1412. Andre Kristopans says it is at Noble Station (car house). Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1903 and 1906 for Chicago Union Traction Co. They are similar to the Robertson design without the small windows. Cars of this series were converted to one man operation in later years and have a wide horizontal stripe on the front to denote this. Two were used for an experimental articulated train. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers.” The 1374, which has been restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is part of this same series. Here is what http://www.chicagorailfan.com says about Noble Station:
NOBLE
1901 N. Hermitage Ave. (at Cortland Ave.)
Opened before 1908
Capacity in 1911: 18 cars inside/60 cars outside
Capacity in 1943: 17 cars inside/103 cars outside
Closed August 31, 1947
Building demolished
(Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1353, shown on the 14th-16th Street route, was part of this same series. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1353, shown on the 14th-16th Street route, was part of this same series. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1422, also a Small St. Louis car, signed for 14-Canal-Fulton.

CSL 1422, also a Small St. Louis car, signed for 14-Canal-Fulton.

CSL 1348, again part of the same series as the "Matchbox" at IRM.

CSL 1348, again part of the same series as the “Matchbox” at IRM.

CSL 1427. Frank Hicks: "Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL." It was retired on April 30, 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1427. Frank Hicks: “Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL.” It was retired on April 30, 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1428 was retired on May 10, 1937. See the caption for the previous picture for a description of this series. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1428 was retired on May 10, 1937. See the caption for the previous picture for a description of this series. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 2816 was a Calumet Electric Railway car. Don's Rail Photos: "2816 was built by Brill Car Co in 1902, #12109, as Calumet Electric Ry 110. It became Calumet & Street Chicago Ry 801 in 1908 and rebuilt from single end to double end in 1910. It was renumbered 2816 in 1913. It became CSL 2816 in 1914 and scrapped in 1946."

CSL 2816 was a Calumet Electric Railway car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2816 was built by Brill Car Co in 1902, #12109, as Calumet Electric Ry 110. It became Calumet & Street Chicago Ry 801 in 1908 and rebuilt from single end to double end in 1910. It was renumbered 2816 in 1913. It became CSL 2816 in 1914 and scrapped in 1946.”

CSL 1584 was a Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Don's Rail Photos: "These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier." It's odd that the car body would appear so light. It would have been dark green originally, then red starting in the early 1920s. Even if orthochromatic film had been used, this would have rendered the red darker than usual, not lighter. Perhaps it is just a "trick of the light."

CSL 1584 was a Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier.” It’s odd that the car body would appear so light. It would have been dark green originally, then red starting in the early 1920s. Even if orthochromatic film had been used, this would have rendered the red darker than usual, not lighter. Perhaps it is just a “trick of the light.”

CSL 1592 was another Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Andre Kristopans says 1592 is "on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1592 was another Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Andre Kristopans says 1592 is “on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 5704 was a Nearside or Muzzleloader car. Don's Rail Photos:" 5704 was built by Brill Car Co. in 1912, #18322. It was rebuilt as one man/two man service in 1933."

CSL 5704 was a Nearside or Muzzleloader car. Don’s Rail Photos: “5704 was built by Brill Car Co. in 1912, #18322. It was rebuilt as one man/two man service in 1933.”

CSL 5983 at Broadway and Wilson. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 5983 at Broadway and Wilson. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 3091, signed for Elston, was called an "Odd 17" car, although there were actually 19. It was built by CSL in 1919.

CSL 3091, signed for Elston, was called an “Odd 17” car, although there were actually 19. It was built by CSL in 1919.

CSL 6152, an Odd 17 car, on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. This picture was taken at the same location as another we previously posted, which George Trapp identified as Devon and Glenwood (1400 W). The car is heading westbound. You can find that photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten (May 6, 2016). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6152, an Odd 17 car, on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. This picture was taken at the same location as another we previously posted, which George Trapp identified as Devon and Glenwood (1400 W). The car is heading westbound. You can find that photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten (May 6, 2016). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The two buildings in the previous picture are still there today.

The two buildings in the previous picture are still there today.

CSL 6153, another Odd 17 car, circa 1933-34. Our regular reader M. E. has identified the location as being Devon, just west of Western. He adds, "route 1 ran to Devon and Kedzie starting in 1932." So, this car is heading east on Devon, which explains why it is signed for Lake Park and 55th. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6153, another Odd 17 car, circa 1933-34. Our regular reader M. E. has identified the location as being Devon, just west of Western. He adds, “route 1 ran to Devon and Kedzie starting in 1932.” So, this car is heading east on Devon, which explains why it is signed for Lake Park and 55th. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CSL 6148, another Odd 17 car, is sporting an NRA (National Recovery Administration) sticker, which dates it to 1933-1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6148, another Odd 17 car, is sporting an NRA (National Recovery Administration) sticker, which dates it to 1933-1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3092 was known as a "Sewing Machine" or Safety car. Don's Rail Photos: "3092 was built by CSL in 1921. It was scrapped in 1946." The lower part of this car, which is probably red, may appear darker due to the use of orthochromatic film. This may show the car as new. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3092 was known as a “Sewing Machine” or Safety car. Don’s Rail Photos: “3092 was built by CSL in 1921. It was scrapped in 1946.” The lower part of this car, which is probably red, may appear darker due to the use of orthochromatic film. This may show the car as new. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

We featured previously featured Birney cars in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016). Birneys were not very successful in large cities such as Chicago, but had a long life in some smaller cities like Ft. Collins, Colorado. Don's Rail Photos does not list information on CSL 2000, but like the other Birneys he mentions, it was "built by Brill Car Co in October 1920, #21211. It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in March 1937." Since it looks in pretty good shape in this photo, this photo probably dates to 1932 or earlier. Andre Kristopans: "2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!"

We featured previously featured Birney cars in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016). Birneys were not very successful in large cities such as Chicago, but had a long life in some smaller cities like Ft. Collins, Colorado. Don’s Rail Photos does not list information on CSL 2000, but like the other Birneys he mentions, it was “built by Brill Car Co in October 1920, #21211. It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in March 1937.” Since it looks in pretty good shape in this photo, this photo probably dates to 1932 or earlier. Andre Kristopans: “2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!”

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Clark and Devon. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). Not sure what those sheets are doing hanging in the windows. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). Not sure what those sheets are doing hanging in the windows. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

An Evanston Railways car on Dempster Street, with the "L" in the background. We are looking west from the corner of Dempster and Chicago. Evanston Railways pictures are as scarce as hen's teeth. The "L" was elevated between 1908 and 1910. This picture was taken sometime between 1913, when ER got these cars, and 1935, when streetcars were replaced by buses.

An Evanston Railways car on Dempster Street, with the “L” in the background. We are looking west from the corner of Dempster and Chicago. Evanston Railways pictures are as scarce as hen’s teeth. The “L” was elevated between 1908 and 1910. This picture was taken sometime between 1913, when ER got these cars, and 1935, when streetcars were replaced by buses.

The same location today.

The same location today.


Recent Additions

An improved scan of this photo has been added to our post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 2-28-2016:

In 1957, CTA PCC 7271 and 7215 pass on Clark Street, just north of North Avenue. The old Plaza Hotel, located at 59 W. North Avenue, is in the background. A Hasty Tasty restaurant was located in the building, with a Pixley and Ehler's across the street. These were "greasy spoon" chains that were known for offering cheap eats. Local mobsters were known to hang out at the Plaza. The Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, would be just to the left, out of view in this picture. The Moody Bible Institute would be out of view on the right. (Russel Kriete Photo)

In 1957, CTA PCC 7271 and 7215 pass on Clark Street, just north of North Avenue. The old Plaza Hotel, located at 59 W. North Avenue, is in the background. A Hasty Tasty restaurant was located in the building, with a Pixley and Ehler’s across the street. These were “greasy spoon” chains that were known for offering cheap eats. Local mobsters were known to hang out at the Plaza. The Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, would be just to the left, out of view in this picture. The Moody Bible Institute would be out of view on the right. (Russel Kriete Photo)

In this close-up, that looks like 7215 at right. Photographer Russel A. Kreite (1923-2015), of Downers Grove, Illinois, was a member of the Photographic Society of America and had many of his photos published in books and magazines.

In this close-up, that looks like 7215 at right. Photographer Russel A. Kreite (1923-2015), of Downers Grove, Illinois, was a member of the Photographic Society of America and had many of his photos published in books and magazines.


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Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven

In this scene at Kedzie station (car house), we have CSL prewar PCC 7019, along with cars 3376, 3381, 3355, 6076, 3007, and 6072, with another PCC behind it. PCC service on busy route 20 - Madison was supplemented with some of the 1929 Sedans since the 83 cars purchased in 1936 were not enough for the line, which needed about 100 cars total in the late 1930s. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

In this scene at Kedzie station (car house), we have CSL prewar PCC 7019, along with cars 3376, 3381, 3355, 6076, 3007, and 6072, with another PCC behind it. PCC service on busy route 20 – Madison was supplemented with some of the 1929 Sedans since the 83 cars purchased in 1936 were not enough for the line, which needed about 100 cars total in the late 1930s. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

For today’s post, we offer another ample selection of Chicago Surface Lines photos from the George Trapp collection. To find earlier posts in this series, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page.

As always, if you can help us with locations and other tidbits of information about what you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can update the captions and share the information with our readers. You can comment on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

We are very grateful for the generosity of George Trapp in sharing these great classic images with us. We also wish to thank the original photographers who took these pictures, most notably the late Edward Frank, Jr. and Joe Diaz, who tirelessly roamed the streets of Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s to document what was then the largest streetcar system in the world. In addition, we should also thank Fred J. Borchert, who took similar photos going back to the 1910s and 1920s, Robert V. Mehlenbeck, and George Krambles, who got a very early start as a railfan, as you can see in some of these pictures.

Unfortunately, all five of these individuals are gone from the scene, but fortunately, we can still benefit from all their hard work in taking these wonderful old photographs. Let us never forget that we are, as Sir Issac Newton said, “standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Since Monday is Labor Day, we have been sure to include some photos of CSL work cars too.

-David Sadowski


CSL 1767 on Broadway-State. One of our regular readers writes, "On Broadway SB near Surf Street (my best guess) post 1937." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 1767 on Broadway-State. One of our regular readers writes, “On Broadway SB near Surf Street (my best guess) post 1937.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

This sure looks like the same building as in the previous picture. It's around 2883 N. Broadway, which is just north of Surf.

This sure looks like the same building as in the previous picture. It’s around 2883 N. Broadway, which is just north of Surf.

CSL 6211 on the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago (Indiana) route, which was jointly operated as a through-route with, logically enough, the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago Railway. As the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society notes, "Common ownership with the South Chicago City Railway Company brought through operation into Chicago as early as 1896. Similarly, Chicago cars ran to Hammond and East Chicago. However, each company advertised the service on its side of the state line as a local route, retaining the fares from that portion." Service ended in 1940. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 6211 on the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago (Indiana) route, which was jointly operated as a through-route with, logically enough, the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago Railway. As the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society notes, “Common ownership with the South Chicago City Railway Company brought through operation into Chicago as early as 1896. Similarly, Chicago cars ran to Hammond and East Chicago. However, each company advertised the service on its side of the state line as a local route, retaining the fares from that portion.” Service ended in 1940. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The presence of Chicago's famous Como Inn restaurant (which closed in 2001, after being in business for 77 years) helps identify this location as the "six corners" intersection of Halsted, Milwaukee and Grand. Andre Kristopans: "The street you are looking down is Milwaukee, cars could be Milwaukee, Elston, or Division routes. The 1900 on the left in the first photo is on Grand, and Halsted crosses both left to right." Scott writes, "The photographer is looking northwest up Milwaukee Avenue; the “turtleback” car at the left in the first picture is on Grand. The block in the background (with the corner bar and Schlitz billboard) was recently torn down for new construction; the buildings had all been painted a bluish-gray and left to deteriorate for years." We posted a later photo showing a PCC car at this location in our post Chicago PCC Updates (August 30, 2015). (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The presence of Chicago’s famous Como Inn restaurant (which closed in 2001, after being in business for 77 years) helps identify this location as the “six corners” intersection of Halsted, Milwaukee and Grand. Andre Kristopans: “The street you are looking down is Milwaukee, cars could be Milwaukee, Elston, or Division routes. The 1900 on the left in the first photo is on Grand, and Halsted crosses both left to right.” Scott writes, “The photographer is looking northwest up Milwaukee Avenue; the “turtleback” car at the left in the first picture is on Grand. The block in the background (with the corner bar and Schlitz billboard) was recently torn down for new construction; the buildings had all been painted a bluish-gray and left to deteriorate for years.” We posted a later photo showing a PCC car at this location in our post Chicago PCC Updates (August 30, 2015). (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 3058 passes car 687 on Milwaukee at the intersection with Grand and Halsted. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 3058 passes car 687 on Milwaukee at the intersection with Grand and Halsted. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The same location today. Grand is on the left, Milwaukee on the right.

The same location today. Grand is on the left, Milwaukee on the right.

CSL 6259 at the Imlay loop, the north end of the Milwaukee Avenue route. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 6259 at the Imlay loop, the north end of the Milwaukee Avenue route. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route. Andre Kristopans: "Sedan 3367 is turning west to north at 95th and Cottage Grove." M. E. writes, "The photo titled “CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route” must have been taken at 95th and Cottage Grove, because the streetcar is turning from one road to another. At 95th St. there were actually two Cottage Grove Aves.– one heading north along the west side of the Illinois Central main line, the other heading south along the east side of the IC main line. To connect from one Cottage Grove to the other (whether north- or southbound), the streetcars turned left onto 95th St., went under the IC, then turned right on the other Cottage Grove. As for which side of the IC this picture depicts, I believe it is the west side, because I recall a wall along the south side of 95th St. Ergo, this view is west on 95th and the streetcar is heading north." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route. Andre Kristopans: “Sedan 3367 is turning west to north at 95th and Cottage Grove.” M. E. writes, “The photo titled “CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route” must have been taken at 95th and Cottage Grove, because the streetcar is turning from one road to another. At 95th St. there were actually two Cottage Grove Aves.– one heading north along the west side of the Illinois Central main line, the other heading south along the east side of the IC main line. To connect from one Cottage Grove to the other (whether north- or southbound), the streetcars turned left onto 95th St., went under the IC, then turned right on the other Cottage Grove. As for which side of the IC this picture depicts, I believe it is the west side, because I recall a wall along the south side of 95th St. Ergo, this view is west on 95th and the streetcar is heading north.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The same location today. We are looking west along 95th, and Cottage Grove is to the right.

The same location today. We are looking west along 95th, and Cottage Grove is to the right.

CSL 3113 on the Ashland route. Andre Kristopans: "3113 is at Ashland and Irving Park, on the NORTH ASHLAND shuttle route between Irving Park and Fullerton. It was made part of the main route in the 1930’s when the Ashland bridge over the North Branch was built." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 3113 on the Ashland route. Andre Kristopans: “3113 is at Ashland and Irving Park, on the NORTH ASHLAND shuttle route between Irving Park and Fullerton. It was made part of the main route in the 1930’s when the Ashland bridge over the North Branch was built.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

Ashland and Irving Park today. We are looking east.

Ashland and Irving Park today. We are looking east.

CSL 1260 on Montrose. Andre Kristopans: "1260 on Montrose might be at Knox. Does not appear to be at Milwaukee, but that was a 1930 extension, and this is likely before then." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 1260 on Montrose. Andre Kristopans: “1260 on Montrose might be at Knox. Does not appear to be at Milwaukee, but that was a 1930 extension, and this is likely before then.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

One of our regular readers says that CSL Pullman 184 is in the Clark-Arthur Loop, across the street from Devon Station. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

One of our regular readers says that CSL Pullman 184 is in the Clark-Arthur Loop, across the street from Devon Station. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

Motion blur makes it hard to read the car number, but this is a Pullman in the (natch) "Pullman green" color scheme prior to the adoption of red in the 1920s. One of our regular readers writes, "Chicago Railways Pullman No. 191. Note the Chicago Railways logo on the side of the car. The CRys logo was very similar to the CSL logo. This photo was probably taken between 1908 and 1914 when CSL started operations. The cars were not painted red and cream until the early 1920s when CSL adopted that color scheme." (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Motion blur makes it hard to read the car number, but this is a Pullman in the (natch) “Pullman green” color scheme prior to the adoption of red in the 1920s. One of our regular readers writes, “Chicago Railways Pullman No. 191. Note the Chicago Railways logo on the side of the car. The CRys logo was very similar to the CSL logo. This photo was probably taken between 1908 and 1914 when CSL started operations. The cars were not painted red and cream until the early 1920s when CSL adopted that color scheme.” (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

This is a circa 1940 view taken by Edward Frank, Jr. showing the old Edgewater car house. We previously posted a Fred J. Borchert photo showing a street railway post office car at this location, in Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part One (November 3, 2015). Such services ended in 1915. According to www.chicagorailfan.com: CHICAGO NORTH SHORE STREET RAILWAY EDGEWATER 5847 N. Broadway (near Ardmore Ave.) Opened in 1893 Replaced by Devon car house in 1901 Used as Ardmore bus garage 1937-1950 Building remains standing, abandoned except for CTA substation within northwest corner. Chicago North Shore Street Railway Co. was sold in 1894 to North Chicago Electric Railway Co., and merged in 1899 into Chicago Consolidated Traction Co.

This is a circa 1940 view taken by Edward Frank, Jr. showing the old Edgewater car house. We previously posted a Fred J. Borchert photo showing a street railway post office car at this location, in Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part One (November 3, 2015). Such services ended in 1915. According to www.chicagorailfan.com:

CHICAGO NORTH SHORE STREET RAILWAY
EDGEWATER
5847 N. Broadway (near Ardmore Ave.)
Opened in 1893
Replaced by Devon car house in 1901
Used as Ardmore bus garage 1937-1950
Building remains standing, abandoned except for CTA substation within northwest corner.
Chicago North Shore Street Railway Co. was sold in 1894 to North Chicago Electric Railway Co., and merged in 1899 into Chicago Consolidated Traction Co.

 

5847 N. Broadway today.

5847 N. Broadway today.

I'm not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago's lakefront. Is this Navy Pier? Oak Street beach? Or somewhere else entirely? Andre Kristopans: "The lakefront shot is indeed Oak St, the Chicago Ave loop which was on the NORTH side of Grand about where the entrance to the water filtration plant now is." George Foelschow: "The lakefront picture features the Furniture Mart at Lake Shore Drive at Erie Street, built in 1926 and the largest building in Chicago for a time. The tiny beach would be at Ohio Street. The Chicago Avenue line approached Navy Pier until the drive was “improved”, though I believe its tracks were separate from the Grand Avenue line." M. E. writes, "The photo titled “I’m not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago’s lakefront” is probably, as you surmise, at Navy Pier. There was a huge building on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, which I think was the Furniture Mart. That would have been only a block north of Grand Ave., where Navy Pier is. There were no streetcars anywhere near the Oak St. beach."

I’m not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago’s lakefront. Is this Navy Pier? Oak Street beach? Or somewhere else entirely? Andre Kristopans: “The lakefront shot is indeed Oak St, the Chicago Ave loop which was on the NORTH side of Grand about where the entrance to the water filtration plant now is.” George Foelschow: “The lakefront picture features the Furniture Mart at Lake Shore Drive at Erie Street, built in 1926 and the largest building in Chicago for a time. The tiny beach would be at Ohio Street. The Chicago Avenue line approached Navy Pier until the drive was “improved”, though I believe its tracks were separate from the Grand Avenue line.” M. E. writes, “The photo titled “I’m not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago’s lakefront” is probably, as you surmise, at Navy Pier. There was a huge building on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, which I think was the Furniture Mart. That would have been only a block north of Grand Ave., where Navy Pier is. There were no streetcars anywhere near the Oak St. beach.”

The number on this car at Navy Pier looks like 3010, which would make it a Brill. Andre Kristopans: "3010 at Navy Pier is probably working Stony Island-Wabash. This was the “short loop” roughly in the middle of Navy Pier Park, surrounded by Streeter Drive. Grand cars turned back next to the ramp on the left, which had once had streetcar track going to the upper level of the pier, but by this point was for truck access. The short loop was paved for trolley bus use in 1951, and by 1955 or so replaced by a new TT loop which was accessed from Streeter & Illinois, which lasted until the complete rebuilding of the area in the 1990’s." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The number on this car at Navy Pier looks like 3010, which would make it a Brill. Andre Kristopans: “3010 at Navy Pier is probably working Stony Island-Wabash. This was the “short loop” roughly in the middle of Navy Pier Park, surrounded by Streeter Drive. Grand cars turned back next to the ramp on the left, which had once had streetcar track going to the upper level of the pier, but by this point was for truck access. The short loop was paved for trolley bus use in 1951, and by 1955 or so replaced by a new TT loop which was accessed from Streeter & Illinois, which lasted until the complete rebuilding of the area in the 1990’s.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

This is the old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, seen here north of Randolph. The tunnel was in use from 1871 until 1939, when it became an access point for construction of the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

This is the old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, seen here north of Randolph. The tunnel was in use from 1871 until 1939, when it became an access point for construction of the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

The old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, north of Randolph. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

The old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, north of Randolph. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Perhaps one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: "The first bridge photo is Kedzie across the Sanitary & Ship Canal. The IC bridge in the background is still there, the Kedzie bridge was replaced mid-1960’s, which caused the conversion of the Kedzie-California trolley bus route to motor buses, because CTA did not want to put wires on the shoo-fly." Bill Shapotkin adds, "This is the Kedzie Ave bridge over the river south of 31st St. View looks E-N/E. Note the still-in-service IC bridge in background (which I did ride over under Amtrak)." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Perhaps one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: “The first bridge photo is Kedzie across the Sanitary & Ship Canal. The IC bridge in the background is still there, the Kedzie bridge was replaced mid-1960’s, which caused the conversion of the Kedzie-California trolley bus route to motor buses, because CTA did not want to put wires on the shoo-fly.” Bill Shapotkin adds, “This is the Kedzie Ave bridge over the river south of 31st St. View looks E-N/E. Note the still-in-service IC bridge in background (which I did ride over under Amtrak).” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Again, maybe one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: "The second bridge photo is much harder to ID. However, notice that while the bridge is for lanes, the streetcar is on the “wrong side”, as both tracks are on the near half of the bridge!" Perhaps the bridge was expanded at some point, and the car tracks were left on the one side only. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Again, maybe one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: “The second bridge photo is much harder to ID. However, notice that while the bridge is for lanes, the streetcar is on the “wrong side”, as both tracks are on the near half of the bridge!” Perhaps the bridge was expanded at some point, and the car tracks were left on the one side only. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Eric Bronsky writes:

This photo shows a car operating northbound on South Western Ave. Bridge over the Chicago Drainage Canal (known today as the Sanitary & Ship Canal), probably in the 1930s. This center pier swing bridge was built in 1906 and removed in 1939. Actually this bridge carried two separate thoroughfares – S. Western Ave. and S. Western Blvd., the latter being a component of Chicago’s historic boulevard system with limited access to local streets between 31st Blvd. and 54th St. Then as now, both thoroughfares were bi-directional. The car tracks were on the avenue (westernmost) side of the bridge.

The main problems with the old swing bridge were its low clearance and the center pier obstructing river traffic. The current bridge, originally completed in 1940 as a fixed span, was soon converted to a vertical lift bridge to accommodate WWII traffic from a shipyard along the canal. It was later converted back to a fixed span.

I have attached a photo which you may use in the blog. Dated Sept. 8, 1938, it looks north. Evidently S. Western Ave. was widened at some point after the bridge was built, but the car tracks were not relocated to the center of the rebuilt roadway, which would explain the offset on the curved approach to the bridge. Please credit Eric Bronsky Collection.

Thanks very much, Eric. There were other places along Western Avenue where the streetcar tracks ended up being offset after the street was widened. You can see such pictures, and a variety of pictures showing the 1940 replacement bridge, in Central Electric Railfans’ Association Bulletin 146, Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958.

S Western Ave Br Over S&S Canal lkg N 9-8-039

According to the caption on this Chicago Historical Society photo, we are looking east at Devon station on September 23, 1923. This is a new repair bay at teh west end of the new pit, after much of the building here was destroyed by fire in early 1922.

According to the caption on this Chicago Historical Society photo, we are looking east at Devon station on September 23, 1923. This is a new repair bay at teh west end of the new pit, after much of the building here was destroyed by fire in early 1922.

Looking east at Clark and north of Schreiber, this February 10, 1922 Chicago Historical Society photo shows the aftermath of the fire that burned down half of Devon station (car house).

Looking east at Clark and north of Schreiber, this February 10, 1922 Chicago Historical Society photo shows the aftermath of the fire that burned down half of Devon station (car house).

One of our regular readers thinks this photo shows Evanston Avenue (now Broadway) between Devon and Lawrence. "I believe that the streetcar is a Chicago Union Traction car, but it is too far away in the photo to identify. I believe that the view is looking north somewhere in Edgewater."

One of our regular readers thinks this photo shows Evanston Avenue (now Broadway) between Devon and Lawrence. “I believe that the streetcar is a Chicago Union Traction car, but it is too far away in the photo to identify. I believe that the view is looking north somewhere in Edgewater.”

CSL Snow Plow F28. Don's Rail Photos says, "F28, plow, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924. It was retired on December 14, 1956." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Snow Plow F28. Don’s Rail Photos says, “F28, plow, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924. It was retired on December 14, 1956.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don's Rail Photos says, "E57, sweeper, was built by Russell in 1930. It was retired on March 11, 1959." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “E57, sweeper, was built by Russell in 1930. It was retired on March 11, 1959.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

This, and the series of photos that follow, were taken between 1930 and 1932 by George Krambles at the Devon car house, where a lot of very old equipment (including single-truck streetcars) was stored. Since GK was born in 1915, he would have been in high school at this time. CSL often kept obsolete equipment for decades. Some of these cars were used for work service. Another reason for keeping them was their potential sale as assets, in case transit unification came to pass. The young man at left is unidentified. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

This, and the series of photos that follow, were taken between 1930 and 1932 by George Krambles at the Devon car house, where a lot of very old equipment (including single-truck streetcars) was stored. Since GK was born in 1915, he would have been in high school at this time. CSL often kept obsolete equipment for decades. Some of these cars were used for work service. Another reason for keeping them was their potential sale as assets, in case transit unification came to pass. The young man at left is unidentified. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL Sand Car R4 at Clark and Devon, circa 1930-32. Don's Rail Photos says, "R4, sand car, was rebuilt by Chicago Rys in 1913 as M4. It came from 5569, passenger car. It was renumbered R4 in 1913 and became CSL R4 in 1914. It was retired in 1942." (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL Sand Car R4 at Clark and Devon, circa 1930-32. Don’s Rail Photos says, “R4, sand car, was rebuilt by Chicago Rys in 1913 as M4. It came from 5569, passenger car. It was renumbered R4 in 1913 and became CSL R4 in 1914. It was retired in 1942.” (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, "Base Ball." (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, “Base Ball.” (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 1142 at Devon car house. Many cars in this series were sold in 1946 for use as temporary housing. I am not sure if this picture was taken around 1930-32 like the few that precede it. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 1142 at Devon car house. Many cars in this series were sold in 1946 for use as temporary housing. I am not sure if this picture was taken around 1930-32 like the few that precede it. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL Supply Car S201. Don's Rail Photos: "S201, supply car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1908 as CCRy C45. It was renumbered S201 in 1913 and became CSL S201 in 1914. It was retired on September 27, 1956." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Supply Car S201. Don’s Rail Photos: “S201, supply car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1908 as CCRy C45. It was renumbered S201 in 1913 and became CSL S201 in 1914. It was retired on September 27, 1956.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1465 was called a "Bowling Alley" car due to its sideways seating. Don's Rail Photos says, "1465 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4514. It was rebuilt as 1465 in 1911 and became CSL 1465 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA71 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 2, 1951." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1465 was called a “Bowling Alley” car due to its sideways seating. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1465 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4514. It was rebuilt as 1465 in 1911 and became CSL 1465 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA71 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 2, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

As we near the end of summer here in Chicago, we will leave you with this wintry scene of CSL 1455. Don's Rail Photos says, "1455 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4504. It was rebuilt as 1455 in 1911 and became CSL 1455 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA67 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 17, 1951." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

As we near the end of summer here in Chicago, we will leave you with this wintry scene of CSL 1455. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1455 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4504. It was rebuilt as 1455 in 1911 and became CSL 1455 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA67 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 17, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)


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Some Thoughts on “Displaced”

Some railfans would not have taken this picture, due to the position of the signal, which obstructs the view of the train. But it does give you an idea of how "L" train movements were hampered during the nearly five years of operation on temporary trackage along Van Buren Street from 1953 to 1958. As the expressway, to the left, appears unfinished, I would guess this picture dates to around 1954. All trains had to come to a complete stop at each intersection, which is likely how that signal operates. I believe the cross street here is Western Avenue, and we are facing west. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

Some railfans would not have taken this picture, due to the position of the signal, which obstructs the view of the train. But it does give you an idea of how “L” train movements were hampered during the nearly five years of operation on temporary trackage along Van Buren Street from 1953 to 1958. As the expressway, to the left, appears unfinished, I would guess this picture dates to around 1954. All trains had to come to a complete stop at each intersection, which is likely how that signal operates. I believe the cross street here is Western Avenue, and we are facing west. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

Chicago author Robert Loerzel has written an article for Chicago public radio about the people who were displaced by the construction of the Eisenhower (formerly Congress) expressway.  (It’s also a podcast, which you can listen to here.)

Several of the images used in “Displaced” were sourced from a series of blog posts I wrote for the CERA Members Blog a few years ago. My focus was on how the expressway project transformed the old Garfield Park “L” into today’s median rapid transit line.  Robert’s piece takes a different tack, but is fascinating nonetheless.

Here are links to some of those posts:

Somewhere West of Laramie (March 22, 2013)

The Great Subway Flood of 1957 (April 24, 2013)

CA&E Mystery Photos Contest Answers (May 19, 2013)

Scenes Along the Garfield Park “L” (July 31, 2013)

From Garfield “L” to Congress Median Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 (August 22 to December 1, 2013) – Some of the articles listed above make up the first three posts in this series.

You can also find additional pictures of expressway construction in previous Trolley Dodger posts. Just type “Congress” or “Garfield” into the search window at the top of this page, and links to these things will come up.

A Few Thoughts on “Displaced”

Although the article doesn’t mention it, some buildings that were in the way of the expressway were moved rather than torn down. House moving, and building moving, seems to be a long Chicago tradition. (In 1929, Our Lady of Lourdes church at 1601 W. Leland was moved, lock stock and barrel, across the street to permit the widening of Ashland.)

In the old CERA blog, I posted pictures of a five-story building being moved near downtown, and a brick apartment building further west.

I know that there were houses moved as far west as Maywood during the expressway construction. Of course, since that was an area with lower density, it would have been easy to find empty lots.

I am pretty sure some buildings in Oak Park were also moved. Contemporary newspaper accounts say so.

As for where the people went who were displaced by the highway, my guess is they were dispersed all over the place, and some moved to other parts of the city and not just to the suburbs as the article implies. Most likely, a majority of displaced residents remained in the city.

Keep in mind that in the period after WWII, when construction began, there were still areas of the city that had not yet been developed.

During WWII, in the area of Galewood where I used to live, fully half the lots were still vacant. In the early 1960s, the last of these vacant lots got developed. (We did not get paved alleys until 1964. I was surprised recently when in Edgebrook to see that there are still unpaved alleys in that otherwise built-up neighborhood.)

And while I am sure that some of the Italians from the old neighborhood ended up in Elmwood Park, when my family moved there in 1964, it was still largely German. It became a lot more Italian after 1964, more than 10 years after people in the expressway’s path would have been displaced.

Although “Displaced” implies that expressway construction was responsible for the Jewish migration from the west side to the north side, I believe this trend was already occurring, going back to the 1930s.

As for the “Burnham connection” between his 1909 Plan of Chicago and the Congress expressway, there is a connection, but it’s more of a zig-zag line than a straight line.

Yes, Daniel Burnham envisioned an improved roadway along Congress, but this would have been more of a landscaped boulevard than a modern expressway. There weren’t a lot of automobiles in 1909, and the idea of such a highway didn’t exist yet. However, with publication of the plan, speculators bought up land along its path, and as time went on, wanted to cash in.

While the old Main Post Office building, as expanded in 1932, left a space for Burnham’s Congress parkway, as late as 1937, the roadway’s future was in considerable doubt.

It did not appear in highway plans proposed in 1937 by Mayor Edward J. Kelly, which favored turning several of Chicago’s “L”s (the Douglas, Humboldt Park, and Lake Street lines) into a disconnected series of elevated highways, which would have resembled New York’s ill-fated West Side Elevated Highway.

Chances are, this plan would have been a disaster. It would have decimated large parts of our rapid transit system, without really solving the highway problem as a whole. Since the City sought federal money for the project, as a works project, it needed the approval of FDR’s Harold L. Ickes. He did not like the plan.

Ickes put his clout behind a Congress parkway expressway, plans for which were finally approved in 1939.

We are gratified that posts we have made in this, and in our previous blog, are being used by researchers looking for source material. That has always been our goal.

For Further Reading

Of particular interest is a 1952 letter, sent by the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban to their shareholders, detailing the railroad’s position at the beginnings of the expressway construction project.

If any of you have read Cooperation Moves the Public (Dispatch 1 of the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society) by Bruce Moffat, you know how CA&E operations on the CTA’s Garfield Park “L” depended on a high degree of professionalism and split-second timing. Once service on the “L” was shifted to the slow and ponderous temporary trackage on Van Buren Street, this level of service became impossible.

Whatever difficulties the CTA experienced from 1953 to 1958 with this operation would have been exacerbated by the additional of CA&E trains. The interurban was truly put into an impossible situation, which left them with little choice but to either sell out to another entity such as the CTA, or liquidate entirely.

Once the expressway portion crossing the DesPlaines River opened in October 1960, there would have been additional ridership losses on the CA&E, which was also facing stiff competition from the Chicago & North Western, which had by then put new air-conditioned bi-levels into service.

In the long run, if CA&E had survived, ridership would eventually have bounced back. But the railroad was unable to survive the many lean times that would have been ahead. The CA&E’s main interest in the 1950s became a gradual liquidation of assets, with the proceeds being distributed among their shareholders.

My conclusion is that the CA&E could only have been saved through a pro-active plan adopted at the beginnings of highway construction, and not the last-ditch efforts at the end.  (See also our earlier post The CTA, the CA&E, and “Political Influence”, February 18, 2015).

Here is the original agreement between Oak Park and the State of Illinois for the construction of the expressway.

Plans were changed as they went along. Oak Park had the highway reduced by one lane in each direction, because of the number of buildings that would need to be demolished. Entrance and exit ramps at East Avenue were cancelled, after the village objected. They thought that this would detract from the quiet residential nature of the neighborhood, and would also lead to the widening of East Avenue.

Through Oak Park, both the rapid transit line and the B&O CT freight line were originally intended to run in the middle of the highway, but this would have cut off several local businesses from rail service, probably putting them out of business.  Therefore, plans were changed so that the rail lines were put to the south of expressway traffic.  There were a couple ramps along the freight line that connected to sidings.  One was just east of Austin Boulevard, the other east of Harlem Avenue.  Those are no longer in use.

Today, the only customer that still uses the freight line in this area is the Ferrara Candy Company in Forest Park.

Here are some Oak Park newspaper articles, covering the period from 1945 to 1960 concerning expressway construction:

Pages 1-10

Pages 11-19

In 2010, the Village of Oak Park proposed making the unusual left-hand exit and entrance ramps at Harlem and Austin landmarks. You can read some of that correspondence here.

-David Sadowski

It's 1953, and just prior to the opening of the temporary Van Buren trackage, we see a test train crossing Paulina. The streetcar tracks are for CTA route 9 - Ashland, which was still in service until early 1954. The photographer was standing on the platform at Marshfield Junction. The tracks veering off to the right, where Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains once ran, had been out of service since 1951. Garfield and Douglas trains were still running on the "L" when this picture was taken.

It’s 1953, and just prior to the opening of the temporary Van Buren trackage, we see a test train crossing Paulina. The streetcar tracks are for CTA route 9 – Ashland, which was still in service until early 1954. The photographer was standing on the platform at Marshfield Junction. The tracks veering off to the right, where Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains once ran, had been out of service since 1951. Garfield and Douglas trains were still running on the “L” when this picture was taken.

The Van Buren Street temporary trackage as it appeared on July 17, 1954. The two-car train of flat-door 6000s may be 6071-6072. As for the cross street, my guess is California Avenue (2800 W.) meaning we are near the west end of the 2 1/2 miles of temporary right-of-way. There is a CTA bus just barely visible behind the train. Since the "L" made no stops along this section, bus service continued on Van Buren, even though it was only half a street for five years. Just to the left of the train, you can see streetcar trackage that would have been used until 1951. (Ed Malloy Photo)

The Van Buren Street temporary trackage as it appeared on July 17, 1954. The two-car train of flat-door 6000s may be 6071-6072. As for the cross street, my guess is California Avenue (2800 W.) meaning we are near the west end of the 2 1/2 miles of temporary right-of-way. There is a CTA bus just barely visible behind the train. Since the “L” made no stops along this section, bus service continued on Van Buren, even though it was only half a street for five years. Just to the left of the train, you can see streetcar trackage that would have been used until 1951. (Ed Malloy Photo)

Van Buren at California today. We are looking to the east.

Van Buren at California today. We are looking to the east.

Another view of the Van Buren trackage, circa 1953 since the old "L" is still extant at right.

Another view of the Van Buren trackage, circa 1953 since the old “L” is still extant at right.

In this March 17, 1958 photo by Kelly Powell, I think we are looking at construction just west of the Loop related to the Northwest expressway, and not Congress. By 1958, any such work for Congress had been taken care of years earlier. On the other hand, as of this date, CTA service was still running on the old Met "L" east of Aberdeen Street (1100 West), and would have crossed the NW highway footprint just east of Halsted. Once service in this area was shifted to the new expressway median line in June 1958, this section of "L" was removed.

In this March 17, 1958 photo by Kelly Powell, I think we are looking at construction just west of the Loop related to the Northwest expressway, and not Congress. By 1958, any such work for Congress had been taken care of years earlier. On the other hand, as of this date, CTA service was still running on the old Met “L” east of Aberdeen Street (1100 West), and would have crossed the NW highway footprint just east of Halsted. Once service in this area was shifted to the new expressway median line in June 1958, this section of “L” was removed.

CA&E 430 heads up a two car train at DesPlaines Avenue in the 1950s, while some CTA 6000s are at right.

CA&E 430 heads up a two car train at DesPlaines Avenue in the 1950s, while some CTA 6000s are at right.

To show you just how bad Chicago's postwar housing shortage was, some people purchased surplus streetcar bodies for use as temporary homes. The caption on this press photo reads, "OVER-AGE STREET CAR BECOMES FAMILY'S HOME. CHICAGO- Mrs. Edith Sands prepares dinner on the small stove in the over-age streetcar where she and her husband, Arthur, and their five-month-old son, Jimmy, have just moved. The trolley car, which has seen nearly 50 years of service on Chicago streets, was purchased by the Sands at a recent public sale and propped up on a 5-acre site near Chicago's southern edge. The car is lighted by gasoline lamps." (April 16, 1946) In our post Lost and Found: Chicago Streetcar #1137 (June 5, 2015), we wrote about how one of these old streetcars, once used for housing, was recently discovered in Wisconsin. It has since been moved to a museum where it will hopefully be preserved.

To show you just how bad Chicago’s postwar housing shortage was, some people purchased surplus streetcar bodies for use as temporary homes. The caption on this press photo reads, “OVER-AGE STREET CAR BECOMES FAMILY’S HOME. CHICAGO- Mrs. Edith Sands prepares dinner on the small stove in the over-age streetcar where she and her husband, Arthur, and their five-month-old son, Jimmy, have just moved. The trolley car, which has seen nearly 50 years of service on Chicago streets, was purchased by the Sands at a recent public sale and propped up on a 5-acre site near Chicago’s southern edge. The car is lighted by gasoline lamps.” (April 16, 1946)
In our post Lost and Found: Chicago Streetcar #1137 (June 5, 2015), we wrote about how one of these old streetcars, once used for housing, was recently discovered in Wisconsin. It has since been moved to a museum where it will hopefully be preserved.

If you've ever wondered where the old and new CTA tracks converged between 1958 and 1960, this blow-up of an old Roy Benedict map (dated May 15, 1959) shows how it was done. Service east of here began running in the new expressway median as of June 22, 1958, but construction between here and Forest Park was still ongoing, and there were various temporary rights-of-way involved. A track connection was retained to the old Laramie Yard for nearly a year, to permit shop work. This map shows a barrier where the old track connection would have been, probably indicating it had just been cut off. The median line made a turn to the north, immediately after leaving the Lotus Tunnel, to connect up with the old ground-level alignment west of here. All this would have been in the way of extending the Congress expressway west of Central. Once the old tracks connecting with Laramie Yard were removed in mid-1959, the expressway was opened to Central in early 1960. After CTA tracks were put into their current alignment south of the highway, roadwork proceeded quickly and the highway opened as far as First Avenue on October 12, 1960, essentially connecting all the separate links that had been built. On this map, there are diversions where both Central and Austin cross the CTA tracks. At Austin, a bridge was under construction, and at Central, it was an underpass. Regular traffic was routed around this.

If you’ve ever wondered where the old and new CTA tracks converged between 1958 and 1960, this blow-up of an old Roy Benedict map (dated May 15, 1959) shows how it was done. Service east of here began running in the new expressway median as of June 22, 1958, but construction between here and Forest Park was still ongoing, and there were various temporary rights-of-way involved. A track connection was retained to the old Laramie Yard for nearly a year, to permit shop work. This map shows a barrier where the old track connection would have been, probably indicating it had just been cut off. The median line made a turn to the north, immediately after leaving the Lotus Tunnel, to connect up with the old ground-level alignment west of here. All this would have been in the way of extending the Congress expressway west of Central. Once the old tracks connecting with Laramie Yard were removed in mid-1959, the expressway was opened to Central in early 1960. After CTA tracks were put into their current alignment south of the highway, roadwork proceeded quickly and the highway opened as far as First Avenue on October 12, 1960, essentially connecting all the separate links that had been built. On this map, there are diversions where both Central and Austin cross the CTA tracks. At Austin, a bridge was under construction, and at Central, it was an underpass. Regular traffic was routed around this.

Originall, I thought this was early 1960s night shot showed a CTA single-car unit in the 1-50 series, and those cars were used on the Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee line. But as Andre Kristopans has pointed out, the doors on those cars were closer to the ends than this one, which he identifies as being part of the 6511-6720 series. It just looks like there's one car, since the other "married pair" behind it is not illuminated. This picture was most likely taken at the end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue. Anyway, this prompted some interesting correspondence with Andre Kristopans on the Philly Traction Yahoo Group.

Originally, I thought this was early 1960s night shot showed a CTA single-car unit in the 1-50 series, and those cars were used on the Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee line. But as Andre Kristopans has pointed out, the doors on those cars were closer to the ends than this one, which he identifies as being part of the 6511-6720 series. It just looks like there’s one car, since the other “married pair” behind it is not illuminated. This picture was most likely taken at the end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue. Anyway, this prompted some interesting correspondence with Andre Kristopans on the Philly Traction Yahoo Group.

I wrote:

Were the CTA’s single car units (first delivered in 1959), which were designed for one-man operation, ever used as one-car trains on any line besides Evanston or Skokie? I have seen a picture* of a single car on West-Northwest, but that was at the end of the line.

It was my impression that one-car trains were limited to certain lines due to labor union agreements. So, in general, on lines other than Skokie or Evanston, they were run in trains of two cars or longer.

Andre replied:

It COULD have been done, but wasn’t. The 1-50 series of 50 cars were bought with the intent they would be one-man operated. Obviously 50 was way too many for Evanston, in fact only 12 came with trolley poles (39-50) intended for Evanston. Skokie wasn’t even thought of in 1959. The rest were intended apparently for overnight and weekend West-Northwest service, where riding at the time (1959) was quite light. In fact the west side lines had been running single cars since the late 1940’s on some services, such as the Westchester non-rush service where a car was cut off WB from a Forest Park train at Laramie, ran to Westchester and back, then was added back to a Forest Park train. Normal Park on the south side was also a single car cut off an Englewood train at Harvard. Skokie before 1949 was a single woodie, too. But CTA quickly realized that if you had to have a 2-man crew, why not run a 2 car train, so the 1-50 cars always were in pairs on WNW, and used almost exclusively in rush hours.

Me again:

So, in the PCC era, it would have been possible to operate a one-car train on other lines than Evanston or Skokie, but only with a two-man crew?

Andre:

Correct. In the PCC era, single cars were only on Evanston and Skokie. In wood car days, they were used on practically all lines except North-South at one time or another, but with 2-man crews.

*I thought I had seen a picture… see the photo caption above.


The Van Buren Signal System

At intersections, the CTA used an innovative electric eye beam to make sure that stoplights did not change while trains were in the crossing. There were about 15 such cross streets along the 2.5 miles of this surface operation.

At intersections, the CTA used an innovative electric eye beam to make sure that stoplights did not change while trains were in the crossing. There were about 15 such cross streets along the 2.5 miles of this surface operation.

In the Comments section for this post, Jeff Weiner and I discussed whether the train signal system on the Van Buren temporary trackage interfaced with the stoplights at the various intersections. I did some research and here’s what I found:

Chicago Tribune
, December 14, 1952:

ELECTRIC EYE PLAN PROPOSED FOR C. A. & E.

Aid for Traffic in Van Buren St.

An electronics expert last week put his stamp of approval on the electric eye traffic control system proposed by the city during the temporary operation of Chicago transit authority and Chicago, Aurora and Elgin railway trains at grade level in Van Buren st., pending completion of the Congress st. expressway.

Dean Charles C. Caveny of the Chicago branch of the University of Illinois, an engineer and physical scientist, told the Illinois commerce commission the photo-electric cell system will be satisfactory if properly installed. He said it will probably be as reliable as the more conventional track circuit system.

Testifies at Hearing

The educator testified at a hearing on the Aurora and Elgin petition to suspend rail operations and substitute buses. He said the photoelectric cell system of control is unconventional as far as the proposed type of operation is concerned, but it has been used successfully at the approaches to railroad tunnels.

The city proposes electric eyes at both sides of Van Buren st. intersections. The devices would control north-south traffic signals and would prevent north-south traffic from entering the intersections while trains are in the intersections. The track circuit system does the same thing, but is a much more expensive device.

The city also amended its Van Buren st, operation plan by eliminating five of the 15 intersections crossed by the grade level operations between Sacramento blvd. and Racine av.

Richard A. Walons, a city traffic engineer, testified that CTA officials had said their trains would be unable to maintain a consistent schedule unless the number of intersections was cut down.

Average 11.5 M. P. H.

Walons said that when the grade level operation begins, probably in the spring. Campbell, Washtenaw, and Hoyne avs., and Throop and Laflin sts. will be barricaded to north-south traffic. The move is designed to allow trains to average 11.5 miles per hour in the street.

Under questioning by Joseph T. Zoline, attorney for the Aurora and Elgin, Walons said this was about the sixth plan the city has proposed for the operation. The Aurora and Elgin contended any Van Buren st. operation would not be safe.

Then, on August 14, 1953, the Tribune reported:

Electronic Signal Protection on Ground Level L

A modern electronic signal system has been installed for the operation of Garfield Park elevated trains in temporary tracks at ground level between Racine and Sacramento avs., Walter J. McCarter, general manager of the Chicago transit authority, announced yesterday.

The signal system will govern the operation of trains at 10 street intersections along the temporary route in Van Buren st. All trains will stop at all crossings, with the electronic system providing special signals to instruct the motormen. Electric “eyes” at the intersections will hold traffic lights at red until the trains have cleared the crossings.

The temporary tracks at grade level were necessitated by the construction of the Congress st. super-highway, which requires razing of the elevated tracks. Regular use of the new route is scheduled to begin Sept. 15. The CTA will begin experimenting with the temporary route next week.

So, trains of the Van Buren trackage probably followed this procedure:

1. Trains pull up to a signal at each intersection, come to a complete stop, and look both ways for oncoming traffic
2. If the light is green, proceed with caution. The train breaks an electric eye beam, and as long as it is still in the intersection, the traffic light is prevented from turning green for north-south traffic.
3. If the light is red, wait for it to cycle and see step 2.

When I was a kid, the old High-Low grocery store in my neighborhood had an electric eye beam that opened the door automatically. This is not all that different from the technology used on the Van Buren operation.

I imagine CTA was naturally concerned that you could have a situation where the train started to cross the street, the light changed to green for cross traffic, and a vehicle, having the right-of-way, would try to cut in front of the train, potentially causing an accident. Without some way to change the regular sequence of red and green lights, this was a possibility, which the addition of the electric eye system helped prevent.

A wooden "Met" car was one of the first test trains on the CTA's Van Buren temporary trackage. The date is August 18, 1953. Testing continued for a month to familiarize pedestrians and motorists with the operation.

A wooden “Met” car was one of the first test trains on the CTA’s Van Buren temporary trackage. The date is August 18, 1953. Testing continued for a month to familiarize pedestrians and motorists with the operation.


Recent Additions

An improved scan of the following picture has been added to our previous post Around Town (August 19, 2016):

Here is a very interesting photograph that could only have been taken in a limited time period. It shows the 4-track Met "L" right-of-way looking east from Marshfield, with a train of newish flat-door 6000s assigned to Douglas. The street at left is Van Buren, and while the area has been cleared out for construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway (I290), work has not yet begun on the temporary right-of-way that would replace the "L" structure in this area starting in September 1953. I believe this work began in late 1951, shortly after streetcar service on Van Buren was replaced by buses. The first 6000s assigned to Douglas were sent there between September and December 1951. Since this is a wintry scene, chances are the date of this photo is circa December 1951. The building protruding at the center is the old Throop Street Shops.

Here is a very interesting photograph that could only have been taken in a limited time period. It shows the 4-track Met “L” right-of-way looking east from Marshfield, with a train of newish flat-door 6000s assigned to Douglas. The street at left is Van Buren, and while the area has been cleared out for construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway (I290), work has not yet begun on the temporary right-of-way that would replace the “L” structure in this area starting in September 1953. I believe this work began in late 1951, shortly after streetcar service on Van Buren was replaced by buses. The first 6000s assigned to Douglas were sent there between September and December 1951. Since this is a wintry scene, chances are the date of this photo is circa December 1951. The building protruding at the center is the old Throop Street Shops.

These three images have been added to our post Night Beat (June 21, 2016):

Toronto Peter Witt 2766 at Vincent Loop in November 1964. (R. McMann Photo)

Toronto Peter Witt 2766 at Vincent Loop in November 1964. (R. McMann Photo)

TTC crane C-2 at work at Queen Street and Eastern Avenue in October 1966. (R. McMann Photo)

TTC crane C-2 at work at Queen Street and Eastern Avenue in October 1966. (R. McMann Photo)

A postcard view of C-2 at work in 1967.

A postcard view of C-2 at work in 1967.

And for our friends at the Illinois Railway Museum, here are four classic views of Chicago red Pullman 144, one of the earliest additions to the museum’s collection:

CTA red Pullman 144, as it looked at 77th and Vincennes in 1958, just prior to the abandonment of streetcar service in Chicago. The occasion was most likely the final red car fantrip, which took place on May 25th.

CTA red Pullman 144, as it looked at 77th and Vincennes in 1958, just prior to the abandonment of streetcar service in Chicago. The occasion was most likely the final red car fantrip, which took place on May 25th.

144, looking somewhat worse for the wear, at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union on May 15, 1967. (K. C. Henkels Photo)

144, looking somewhat worse for the wear, at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union on May 15, 1967. (K. C. Henkels Photo)

Another view of 144 on May 15, 1967. Some makeshift repairs are in evidence on this car, nine years after it last operated in Chicago. It has since been one of IRM's mainstays. (K. C. Henkels Photo)

Another view of 144 on May 15, 1967. Some makeshift repairs are in evidence on this car, nine years after it last operated in Chicago. It has since been one of IRM’s mainstays. (K. C. Henkels Photo)

144 at the Illinois Railway Museum, probably in the 1980s.

144 at the Illinois Railway Museum, probably in the 1980s.


E-Book Additions

dave063

FYI, a seven page article from the January 1939 of Mass Transportation, taking an in-depth look at the entire Chicago public transit system, has been added to our E-books The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973 and Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story. Both are available via our Online Store.

If you have already purchased one of these discs, an updated version is available for just $5, with free shipping withing the United States. Contact us at thetrolleydodger@gmail.com for further details.

Concerning CSL's Madison route, the article notes that "this operation is conducted entirely with P.C.C. cars of a type representing nearly as great an advance over the standard P.C.C. car as that car was an advance over the types previously operated."

Concerning CSL’s Madison route, the article notes that “this operation is conducted entirely with P.C.C. cars of a type representing nearly as great an advance over the standard P.C.C. car as that car was an advance over the types previously operated.”

Andre Kristopans: "#4 is at McCormick Blvd on the Skokie branch, the bridge over the North Shore Channel, etc. #5 is an EB? train at Sacramento on the Garfield line."

Andre Kristopans: “#4 is at McCormick Blvd on the Skokie branch, the bridge over the North Shore Channel, etc. #5 is an EB? train at Sacramento on the Garfield line.”


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