The U.S. lost one of its last electric interurban railways on January 21, 1963, a very cold day indeed, as the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee (aka the North Shore Line) stopped running. We thought we would commemorate that fateful anniversary by featuring some rare and seldom-seen photos. (PS- you can bring up a larger version of each photo by clicking on it.)
I was just 8 years old at the time, and never got the chance to ride the North Shore Line, but I have certainly appreciated it since I was a kid and learned of its demise. Still pictures are fine, but motion pictures have a remarkable ability to bring things from the past back to life.
According to Don’s Rail Photos, loco 453 “was built by General Electric in June 1918, (order) #6903.”
Electric loco 453 heads up a short freight train.
Silverliner 737 crawls along the bridge just south of the Milwaukee terminal.
North Shore city streetcar 351 in Milwaukee prior to the abandonment of service on August 12, 1951. Sister car 354 is at the Illinois Railway Museum.
According to Don’s Rail Photos, “(Birney) 327 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625. It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.” It was lettered for Chicago & Milwaukee Electric since that was the franchise holder.
CNS&M 178 heads up a two-car train on Chicago’s Loop. The 4000s in the background are heading in the same direction as the North Shore train.
Cars at Highwood, the North Shore headquarters.
A photo stop on one of the many North Shore Line fantrips in later years.
Silverliner 762 gets flagged through the busy “throat” of the Milwaukee terminal, circa 1960.
Silverliners at the Milwaukee terminal.
Line car 606 at the Milwaukee terminal. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “606 was built by Cincinnati in January 1923, (order) #2620. In 1963 it became Chicago Transit Authority S-606 and burned in 1978. The remains were sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum.”
Another fantrip train. Perhaps one of our knowledgeable readers can identify the location.
A “railfan’s view” along the Skokie Valley Route.
Silverliner 738 in the snow.
CNS&M 747 heads up a Chicago Limited.
Along the Mundelein branch.
Car 758 heads up a train in 1941.
Electroliner 801-802 passes Tower 18 on Chicago’s Loop.
Perhaps one of our keen-eyed readers can help identify this location.
CNS&M 725 on layover at Roosevelt Road on February 13, 1960, during a heavy snowstorm. (Richard H. Young Photo)
A view showing the coupling and diaphragm between Silverliners 415 (dining car) and 768 (coach); special excursion train, Northbrook, February 1960. (Richard H. Young Photo)
CNS&M 237 heads up six multiple unit express motors at Pettibone Yard, North Chicago Junction, February 13, 1960. (Richard H. Young Photo)
CNS&M car 300 on a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip. For a few years, prior to WWII, the railroad let the fans use this as a “club car.”
Another view of CERA club car 300 on an early fantrip on the Shore Line route.
Silverliner 768 at the Milwaukee terminal. This slide was processed in January 1963, meaning this could be the last day.
You’ve probably seen “first day of issue” stamp covers before, but this is kind of the opposite. Some railfans mailed these commemorative envelopes to themselves on January 21, 1963, the day the North Shore Line finally passed into history.