More Historic Chicago Buses

A lineup of CSL trolley buses purchased in 1937 from Brill. The location probably Central and Avondale, now the site of the Kennedy expressway.

A lineup of CSL trolley buses purchased in 1937 from Brill. The location probably Central and Avondale, now the site of the Kennedy expressway.

We generally don’t feature buses on this blog, since our main interest is in streetcars, light rail, and electric rail transit. But we do get requests to post more bus photos, and we are fortunate to have some excellent ones to show you today, thanks to the incredible generosity of George Trapp. Mr. Trapp has been collecting these type of pictures for nearly the last 50 years, and we thank him for sharing them with us.

We featured some of Mr. Trapp’s PCC pictures in our last post, and there will be several more such posts to come in the near future. Watch this space for more great Chicago PCC pictures.

From 1930 to 1947, the Chicago Surface Lines had an operating philosophy called “Balanced Transit,” whereby streetcars were for the ehaviest lines, trolley buses for the medium-sized routes, and gas or diesel buses for the lightest lines. Trolley buses were first used on new routes that went into the northwest side of Chicago, which was then developing rapidly.

There had been a competition between CSL and the Chicago Motor Coach Company to see which firm would get these routes, and CSL won out. While it may be that their intention was to eventually convert trolley bus lines to streetcar once they had developed sufficient ridership, in actual practice, this never happened.

The Chicago Transit Authority took over from CSL on October 1, 1947, and converted some additional streetcar lines to trolley bus. But the last such vehicles were purchased circa 1951 and by 1959, one year after streetcar service ended in Chicago, began a gradual phase-out of trolley buses in Chicago. The last one ran in 1973.

A 1951 CTA consultant’s report, the full text of which is included in out E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story (available in our Online Store), recommended that the agency not purchase any more electric vehicles, due to the cost of electric power purchased fro Commonwealth Edison. A 1954 study by CTA Board member Werner W. Schroeder (which is also included in our E-book) said that trolley buses were the most profitable vehicles used by the CTA, but explained this away by saying they were being used on the cream of the routes.

During the 1950s, CTA’s preferred type of surface vehicle was the propane-powered bus. Propane was very cheap for most of the decade, but by 1960 costs had risen to the point where there was no cost advantage over diesels. There were many operational problems with propane buses, which were underpowered, sluggish, and had difficulty maintaining schedules. There were also a few spectacular fires and explosions involving propane.

The propane vs. diesel debate prompted a rare public spat between Chicago Transit Board members, which was settled when the CTA began purchasing GM diesel buses in 1961. The heyday of the propane bus, once the CTA’s darling, proved to be much shorter and less successful than that of the trolley bus (aka trolley coach or trackless trolley), which was fast, quiet, efficient, and very popular with the riding public.

Trolley buses are still being used in a half dozen North American cities, more than 40 years after Chicago stopped using them. Today, the only electric buses on the CTA system are a couple of battery-powered ones recently put into use.

Most of today’s pictures feature buses purchased by the Chicago Surface Lines prior to the 1947 CTA takeover.

As always, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to share about the photos you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know, either by making a comment on this post, or by dropping us a line to:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- Today (September 30th), The Trolley Dodger blog reaches another milestone with 75,000 page views, and has been read by over 22,000 individuals. We thank you for your continued support.

CTA trolley bus 116.

CTA trolley bus 116.

CSL 1602. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 1602. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6518. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6518. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 6615 and 6622.

CTA 6615 and 6622.

CTA 6410.

CTA 6410.

CTA 6830 - March 1951. (Chicago Transit Authority Photo)

CTA 6830 – March 1951. (Chicago Transit Authority Photo)

CSL 6410, a General Motors gas bus from the 6401-6410 series, on March 5, 1944.

CSL 6410, a General Motors gas bus from the 6401-6410 series, on March 5, 1944.

CSL 448. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 448. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 6206, a GM gas bus, built in 1942, in March 1951. The photo caption says that one bus in this series, #6306, was a diesel, used on 115th Street. Andre Kristopans adds, "In March 1951 CTA sent a photographer out to shoot exteriors and interiors of every bus and trolley bus series in the city. Most of the GM/Yellows were at Beverly Garage at the time. The 6200 photo caption is a bit incorrect. The 6201-6220 series were gas TG-3205’s, while the 6301-6306 were indeed diesels, TG-3605’s, one window and four seats longer." (Chicago Transit Authority Photo)

CTA 6206, a GM gas bus, built in 1942, in March 1951. The photo caption says that one bus in this series, #6306, was a diesel, used on 115th Street. Andre Kristopans adds, “In March 1951 CTA sent a photographer out to shoot exteriors and interiors of every bus and trolley bus series in the city. Most of the GM/Yellows were at Beverly Garage at the time. The 6200 photo caption is a bit incorrect. The 6201-6220 series were gas TG-3205’s, while the 6301-6306 were indeed diesels, TG-3605’s, one window and four seats longer.” (Chicago Transit Authority Photo)

CSL 3444. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3444. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

White-built CSL bus 3426 in 1945. (CSL Photo)

White-built CSL bus 3426 in 1945. (CSL Photo)

An ACF builder's photo of CSL 507. (Railway Negative Exchange)

An ACF builder’s photo of CSL 507. (Railway Negative Exchange)

CSL 506, an ACF gas bus, in 1935.

CSL 506, an ACF gas bus, in 1935.

CTA 9763, dubbed the "Queen Mary" by fans, was an experimental articulated bus that was converted to a trolley coach. It is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 9763, dubbed the “Queen Mary” by fans, was an experimental articulated bus that was converted to a trolley coach. It is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A CTA trolley bus used on route 80 - Irving Park.

A CTA trolley bus used on route 80 – Irving Park.

CTA trolley bus 192, signed for route 72 - North Avenue.

CTA trolley bus 192, signed for route 72 – North Avenue.

CSL trolley bus 198.

CSL trolley bus 198.

CSL trolley bus 184. Interestingly, a sign on the front urges people to ride streetcars for short and long trips. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL trolley bus 184. Interestingly, a sign on the front urges people to ride streetcars for short and long trips. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA trolley bus 176, signed for route 77 - Belmont.

CTA trolley bus 176, signed for route 77 – Belmont.

CSL trolley bus 173, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1935, signed for route 86 - Narragansett. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL trolley bus 173, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1935, signed for route 86 – Narragansett. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 177, signed for route 76 - Diversey. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 177, signed for route 76 – Diversey. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL trolley bus 165 on route 76 - Diversey. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL trolley bus 165 on route 76 – Diversey. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL trolley bus 106 on route 76 - Diversey on November 14, 1930. (Railway Negative Exchange)

CSL trolley bus 106 on route 76 – Diversey on November 14, 1930. (Railway Negative Exchange)

CSL trolley bus 80.

CSL trolley bus 80.

CSL trolley bus 116, signed for route 85 - Central Avenue.

CSL trolley bus 116, signed for route 85 – Central Avenue.

A 1931 CSL trolley bus equipped with a snow plow. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A 1931 CSL trolley bus equipped with a snow plow. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

More Chicago PCC Photos – Part One

CTA 4061, a product of St. Louis Car Company, heads southbound on route 8 – Halsted near Congress. A shoofly is under construction to divert streetcars around the site where a bridge will soon be built for the Congress expressway. The old Garfield Park “L” at rear remained in service until the new Congress median rapid transit line opened in June 1958. In this area, the “L” ran just north of the highway. Other photos taken in this area show the shoofly in use during 1952. Car 4062, the next in sequence, was built by Pullman and was the first postwar PCC delivered to Chicago Surface Lines. Despite being numbered lower, 4061 was delivered 10 months later. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

I like to think of this web site as a collaborative effort with our readers. Since we started this enterprise at the beginning of this year, I believe I have learned as much from you as vice versa, and today’s post is but the latest example of how that can work to everyone’s benefit. If people are willing to share their material with us, and this seems to be happening with increasing frequency, it is probably because our previous 80 posts have shown that we are serious about the original research we are engaged in, and sharing it with you.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of George Trapp, we now have close to another 150 images of Chicago PCC streetcars that we can post. Nearly all of these are previously unknown to me. Mr. Trapp has been collecting these type of pictures for nearly the last 50 years, and has let us borrow some of them so that we might feature them here and add them to our electronic book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, which is available through our Online Store.

Mr. Trapps’ photos are an embarrassment of riches. Since there are too many to post all at once, check this space in coming days from further installments in this series.

Of course, the deluxe hardcover book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era 1936-1958, published in June by Central Electric Railfans’ Association, is the premier volume covering the rise and fall of the modern streetcar in the Windy City. That book contains hundreds of great color photos and is a must-have for anyone who is interested in the subject, or even anyone who is interested in knowing what Chicago’s disparate neighborhoods looked like in a bygone era. While I am proud to be a co-author of that work, B-146 is available directly from the publisher. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with CERA.

In my humble opinion, B-146 is a fantastic bargain and a great value for the money, and I urge you to get a copy if you have not already done so.

My more recent E-book, available on a data disc in PDF format, is intended as a very unofficial supplement and companion to that noble work. One advantage that an electronic book has over a printed one is that more information can be added to it as things become available. We have already added numerous photos, maps, etc. to it, and the material from the Trapp Collection is a tremendous addition, which we are very grateful to have.

On top of that, we are adding another section of photographs to the book covering Chicago’s rapid transit system as it appeared early in the CTA era. That will give the reader a very clear idea of how badly the system was in need of improvement and modernization, a factor in the process by which CTA ultimately decided to eliminate streetcars.

With the E-book, we are not attempting to duplicate anything covered in B-146, which mainly showcases color photography. But there are still lots of great black-and-white photos that deserve to be seen, and lots of other information which could not be included even in a 448-page book. Chicago once had the largest streetcar system in the world, and chances are it will be a long time, if ever, before anyone has the “last word” about it.

If you have already purchased our E-book, and wish to get an updated copy with the additional information, this can be done at little or no cost to you. We always intended that it would be improved over time and offer an upgrade service to our purchasers on an ongoing basis.

As always, clicking on each photo with your mouse should bring up a larger version of the picture in your browser. You may be able to magnify this if you then see a “+” on your screen.

This being our 81st post, perhaps it is fitting that several of the pictures here were taken at 81st and Halsted.

Finally, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to share about the photos you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know, either by making a comment on this post, or by dropping us a line to:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- I did some checking on the Railway Negative Exchange, the source for many of the photos in today’s post. It was started by Warren Miller (1923-1989) who operated out of California. Upon Mr. Miller’s passing, his collection went to his nephew, Bob Hall, who I understand was still continuing these efforts as of 1996. I do not know whether they are still in business today.

All the photos from today's post, and many more courtesy of Mr. George Trapp, are being added to our E-book this week, along with a section covering Chicago's rapid transit system early in the CTA era.

All the photos from today’s post, and many more courtesy of Mr. George Trapp, are being added to our E-book this week, along with a section covering Chicago’s rapid transit system early in the CTA era.

7213 and 7274 are side-by-side in this scene from 81st and Halsted. As the south end of the busy Clark-Wentworth route, it was a favorite place for railfan photographers (and also close to the south terminus of route 8 – Halsted’s PCC at 79th). Due to the advertising signs on the PCCs, this photo is from 1950 or later. 7213 was the last streetcar to run in Chicago in 1958. Jon Habermaas adds, "The cars at 81st and Halsted were turned by wye-ing using a portion of abandoned track of the former Halsted line to 111th." (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

7213 and 7274 are side-by-side in this scene from 81st and Halsted. As the south end of the busy Clark-Wentworth route, it was a favorite place for railfan photographers (and also close to the south terminus of route 8 – Halsted’s PCC at 79th). Due to the advertising signs on the PCCs, this photo is from 1950 or later. 7213 was the last streetcar to run in Chicago in 1958. Jon Habermaas adds, “The cars at 81st and Halsted were turned by wye-ing using a portion of abandoned track of the former Halsted line to 111th.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

The interior of prewar PCC 4051, as it appeared in July 1939, at the Madison and Austin loop. Circa 1940-41, CSL modified the doors on this car as part of their work on the development of the postwar cars. With the revised configuration, 4051 was tested extensively on route 56 - Milwaukee, which did not otherwise use PCCs. (S. Walker Photo)

The interior of prewar PCC 4051, as it appeared in July 1939, at the Madison and Austin loop. Circa 1940-41, CSL modified the doors on this car as part of their work on the development of the postwar cars. With the revised configuration, 4051 was tested extensively on route 56 – Milwaukee, which did not otherwise use PCCs. (S. Walker Photo)

CTA 4400 at Ashland and 71st. This picture was probably taken in the Fall of 1952. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA 4400 at Ashland and 71st. This picture was probably taken in the Fall of 1952. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA 7122, signed for route 49 - Western, at Ashland and 71st. The election ad on the side of the car and the lack of leaves on the trees would date this picture to the Fall of 1952. Sherwood Dixon (1896-1973) was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor that year, losing to State Treasurer William G. Stratton, who served two terms. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA 7122, signed for route 49 – Western, at Ashland and 71st. The election ad on the side of the car and the lack of leaves on the trees would date this picture to the Fall of 1952. Sherwood Dixon (1896-1973) was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor that year, losing to State Treasurer William G. Stratton, who served two terms. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 7132 going south on route 36 - Broadway-State, having just passed the Santa Fe Freight Office. Just to the left of the streetcar, you can see an entrance to the State Street subway, which opened in 1943. That looks like a Continental Air Transport bus behind the PCC. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 7132 going south on route 36 – Broadway-State, having just passed the Santa Fe Freight Office. Just to the left of the streetcar, you can see an entrance to the State Street subway, which opened in 1943. That looks like a Continental Air Transport bus behind the PCC. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA PCC 7262 at the Western and 79th loop when it was brand new. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA PCC 7262 at the Western and 79th loop when it was brand new. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 7116 is laying over at 119th and Morgan before heading north on route 36 - Broadway-State. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 7116 is laying over at 119th and Morgan before heading north on route 36 – Broadway-State. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 7228, signed for route 36 Broadway-State, crosses the Chicago River towards the Loop. This car was delivered March 29, 1948, and scrapped March 1, 1957, a service life of about 9 years. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 7228, signed for route 36 Broadway-State, crosses the Chicago River towards the Loop. This car was delivered March 29, 1948, and scrapped March 1, 1957, a service life of about 9 years. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA 7116, built by St. Louis, at the Museum Loop. The Field Museum of Natural History would be off to the left, as is Lake Shore Drive. At rear, we can see the old Chicago Park District headquarters and Soldier Field. This loop was built to bring large numbers of visitors to A Century of Progress in 1933, Chicago's second World's Fair. The Illinois Central suburban electric tracks are at right. The streamlined moderne Park District building was built as the headquarters of the World's Fair administration. Unfortunately it was demolished as part of the project to renovate Soldier Field. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA 7116, built by St. Louis, at the Museum Loop. The Field Museum of Natural History would be off to the left, as is Lake Shore Drive. At rear, we can see the old Chicago Park District headquarters and Soldier Field. This loop was built to bring large numbers of visitors to A Century of Progress in 1933, Chicago’s second World’s Fair. The Illinois Central suburban electric tracks are at right. The streamlined moderne Park District building was built as the headquarters of the World’s Fair administration. Unfortunately it was demolished as part of the project to renovate Soldier Field. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 4057 is laying over at Cottage Grove and 115th before heading north on route 4. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 4057 is laying over at Cottage Grove and 115th before heading north on route 4. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

St. Louis-built PCC 4056. At irst I thought this was 81st and Halsted, but as Mike Engelberg points out, "Notice there is only a single track on this street. Therefore it is not at 81st and Halsted. Methinks this is on Emerald south of 79th, particularly because the roll sign is for Halsted route 8, not Clark-Wentworth route 22. Also compare the two-story building here versus the two-story building in photos of 81st and Halsted. They are not the same." That appears to be a 1949 Ford at right, but this picture was taken later, due to the presence of advertising frames on the side of the streetcar. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

St. Louis-built PCC 4056. At irst I thought this was 81st and Halsted, but as Mike Engelberg points out, “Notice there is only a single track on this street. Therefore it is not at 81st and Halsted. Methinks this is on Emerald south of 79th, particularly because the roll sign is for Halsted route 8, not Clark-Wentworth route 22. Also compare the two-story building here versus the two-story building in photos of 81st and Halsted. They are not the same.”
That appears to be a 1949 Ford at right, but this picture was taken later, due to the presence of advertising frames on the side of the streetcar. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

St. Louis-built PCC 4056, signed for route 4 - Cottage Grove, has just crossed the Chicago River. While the iconic Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower are at rear, the Sun-Times building (1958) had not yet been built when this picture was taken. Note a Chicago Motor Coach bus at rear. CTA purchased Motor Coach's assets as of October 1, 1952, probably not too long after this picture was taken. In the 1950s, some Cottage Grove cars (usually signed as Route 38) went north of the river and terminated at Grand and Navy Pier. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

St. Louis-built PCC 4056, signed for route 4 – Cottage Grove, has just crossed the Chicago River. While the iconic Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower are at rear, the Sun-Times building (1958) had not yet been built when this picture was taken. Note a Chicago Motor Coach bus at rear. CTA purchased Motor Coach’s assets as of October 1, 1952, probably not too long after this picture was taken. In the 1950s, some Cottage Grove cars (usually signed as Route 38) went north of the river and terminated at Grand and Navy Pier. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC service on Cottage Grove was mainly provided by prewar PCCs in the early 1950s, but here is postwar car 7044, which has been converted to one-man. (And we do mean “man,” since CTA did not hire any female operators until 1974.) Here, we are at Cottage Grove and 115th, the south end of the Cottage Grove line on route 4. The car is using route 38 as a sign although PCCs never ran there. The reason is the northern terminus of route 4 was changed, and this roll sign had the correct end point. 7044 was delivered on April 29, 1947 and was scrapped on January 16, 1957, a service life just short of 10 years. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

St. Louis PCC 4054 at 81st and Halsted. It was delivered on July 17, 1947 and scrapped on January 10, 1957, a service life of less than 10 years. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

St. Louis PCC 4054 at 81st and Halsted. It was delivered on July 17, 1947 and scrapped on January 10, 1957, a service life of less than 10 years. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 4227, at Clark and Howard, prepares to head south on route 22 - Clark-Wentworth. The building on the left is still there. You would hardly recognize this location, which has been converted to an outdoor cafe. When this turnback loop was constructed, the surface and rapid transit systems competed against each other and there was little effort to coordinate them. After CTA was created, buses were diverted to bring passengers directly to the Howard "L" terminal, some distance behind the scene of this photo. Car 4227, a Pullman product, was delivered on March 7, 1948, and scrapped on August 15, 1953, a service live of less than 5 1/2 years. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 4227, at Clark and Howard, prepares to head south on route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. The building on the left is still there. You would hardly recognize this location, which has been converted to an outdoor cafe. When this turnback loop was constructed, the surface and rapid transit systems competed against each other and there was little effort to coordinate them. After CTA was created, buses were diverted to bring passengers directly to the Howard “L” terminal, some distance behind the scene of this photo. Car 4227, a Pullman product, was delivered on March 7, 1948, and scrapped on August 15, 1953, a service live of less than 5 1/2 years. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

A current view of the location of the previous picture. Streetcars once ran right between these two buildings. Interestingly, the address on the building at right has been changed from 7547 to 7545. Jeff Wien writes, "The building identified now as 7545 is not the same structure that was there in streetcar days. The original building was torn down and replaced with a new brick building which looks similar as a part of the redevelopment of the Clark/Howard Mall about 15 to 20 years ago. How the address of the two commercial spaces located at almost the same spot could change by two digits is something that only the County Assessor would be able to explain."

A current view of the location of the previous picture. Streetcars once ran right between these two buildings. Interestingly, the address on the building at right has been changed from 7547 to 7545. Jeff Wien writes, “The building identified now as 7545 is not the same structure that was there in streetcar days. The original building was torn down and replaced with a new brick building which looks similar as a part of the redevelopment of the Clark/Howard Mall about 15 to 20 years ago. How the address of the two commercial spaces located at almost the same spot could change by two digits is something that only the County Assessor would be able to explain.”

CTA 7207 at Schreiber and Clark. Half the car barn lacked a roof due to a fire in the early 1920s. This photo probably dates to circa 1955-56 due to the presence of a prewar car at rear, which would have been used on route 49 - Western. 7207 had a scrap date of July 30, 1958, meaning it lasted until the end of Chicago streetcar service on June 21st of that year. The "Enter at Rear" sign means this car was still being used as two-man, with a conductor. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA 7207 at Schreiber and Clark. Half the car barn lacked a roof due to a fire in the early 1920s. This photo probably dates to circa 1955-56 due to the presence of a prewar car at rear, which would have been used on route 49 – Western. 7207 had a scrap date of July 30, 1958, meaning it lasted until the end of Chicago streetcar service on June 21st of that year. The “Enter at Rear” sign means this car was still being used as two-man, with a conductor. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL 7047, delivered on May 3, 1947, at 81st and Halsted, site of many railfan photos back in the day. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL 7047, delivered on May 3, 1947, at 81st and Halsted, site of many railfan photos back in the day. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL 4010, in 1945-46 experimental paint, heads east at 5322 West Madison. The Surface Lines tried out various color schemes before deciding on the iconic combination of Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swamp Holly Orange for the postwar cars. Interestingly, none of the six cars that were repainted had the exact color scheme that was ultimately selected. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL 4010, in 1945-46 experimental paint, heads east at 5322 West Madison. The Surface Lines tried out various color schemes before deciding on the iconic combination of Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swamp Holly Orange for the postwar cars. Interestingly, none of the six cars that were repainted had the exact color scheme that was ultimately selected. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

Prewar PCC 7027, in “tiger stripes,” heads east at 5054 West Madison. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

The experimental pre-PCC car 7001, built by Brill in 1934, spent its final years as a shed at 77th and Vincennes before being scrapped in 1959. It was briefly considered for purchase by the fledgling Illinois Electric Railway Museum, but was passed up because its windows were considered to be at the wrong height for its intended use as a hot dog stand. Ideas about historic preservation were different back then. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

The experimental pre-PCC car 7001, built by Brill in 1934, spent its final years as a shed at 77th and Vincennes before being scrapped in 1959. It was briefly considered for purchase by the fledgling Illinois Electric Railway Museum, but was passed up because its windows were considered to be at the wrong height for its intended use as a hot dog stand. Ideas about historic preservation were different back then. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

Prewar PCC 4050, in experimental colors, heads east about a block from the turnaround loop at Madison and Austin on route 20. This photo was taken circa 1945-46 and you can just barely make out a Chicago & West Towns streetcar further back. Austin Boulevard is the boundary between Chicago and Oak Park. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

Prewar PCC 4050, in experimental colors, heads east about a block from the turnaround loop at Madison and Austin on route 20. This photo was taken circa 1945-46 and you can just barely make out a Chicago & West Towns streetcar further back. Austin Boulevard is the boundary between Chicago and Oak Park. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL 4080 heads southbound on the route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. According to Jeff Wien, this is “Vincennes Avenue near 76th.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Pullman-built PCC 4205, without a logo on the side, does have a sign at front heralding “Another New CTA Streetcar.” It was delivered on on February 18, 1948 and is shown here at 81st and Halsted, the south end of route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Brand new PCC 4315, which already appears to have been sideswiped by something, does not have a CTA logo on the side in this view taken at the loop at State and 84th. But it does have a banner across the front advertising “Another New CTA Streetcar.” This car was delivered in December 5, 1947, just two months after the CTA takeover. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Experimental 1934 pre-PCC car 4001, built by Pullman. This is similar to a photo on page 5 of CERA Bulletin 146, although it is a different photo. They may have been taken at the same time, however, and if so, the date would be July 1936. The location is 78th and Vincennes. It's definitely early, since the trolley is still painted like a barber pole.

Experimental 1934 pre-PCC car 4001, built by Pullman. This is similar to a photo on page 5 of CERA Bulletin 146, although it is a different photo. They may have been taken at the same time, however, and if so, the date would be July 1936. The location is 78th and Vincennes. It’s definitely early, since the trolley is still painted like a barber pole.

Some PCCs are visible at rear in this view of the barn at 77th and Vincennes. But the foreground shows both Twin Coach buses and trolley coaches. George Trapp says, “The trolley buses in the photo with the new Twin Coach gas buses are St. Louis Car products, also new in early spring of 1948 and mainly used on 78 Montrose line.” Jeff Wien adds that they were also used on route 80 – Irving Park.

PCC 4396 southbound at Clark and Devon. The election poster would indicate a date of 1955 for this picture, since, as Jeff Wien notes, this car has already been repainted in Everglade Green, which the CTA started doing around July 1952. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

PCC 4396 southbound at Clark and Devon. The election poster would indicate a date of 1955 for this picture, since, as Jeff Wien notes, this car has already been repainted in Everglade Green, which the CTA started doing around July 1952. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

More Chicago Rapid Transit Photos

A two-car Garfield Park train, including car 2848, on the Loop “L”. (George Snyder Photo)

Our last major post on Chicago’s rapid transit lines was on April 28, so we figure it’s time for another look. In newspaper parlance, -30- means “the end,” (there was even a 1959 film by that title directed by Jack Webb) but here, we present 30 classic Chicago “L” photos that we think are the living end.

While we have some information for these pictures, if you can share something interesting about them that we might have missed, do not hesitate to contact us. You can leave a comment to this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

-David Sadowski

A Ravenswood Local made up of “Baldy” 4000s (including car 4200) on the Loop “L”. (George Snyder Photo)

A Douglas Park Cicero-Berwyn Express on the Loop “L”. This picture must date to before December 9, 1951, when A/B service began on Douglas. (George Snyder Photo)

Articulated “Doodlebug” 5001 at Laramie Yard on the Garfield Park “L”, when this car was new (late 1940s). (George Snyder Photo)

The location of this photo would be hard to identify, if not for the presence of overhead wire instead of third rail. That makes it Isabella on the Evanston line. This station closed on July 16, 1973.

The location of this photo would be hard to identify, if not for the presence of overhead wire instead of third rail. That makes it Isabella on the Evanston line. This station closed on July 16, 1973.

Niles Center train 1045 in the pocket at the Dempster station, with North Shore Line track in the foreground. The Skokie Swift never used this terminal arrangement.

Niles Center train 1045 in the pocket at the Dempster station, with North Shore Line track in the foreground. The Skokie Swift never used this terminal arrangement.

A rare shot of the lower Wilson Avenue station on the north side “L”. This was once the terminal before the “L” was extended north. This station opened on March 5, 1907. The intent was to alleviate crowding at the upper Wilson station, already in use. Lower Wilson closed on August 1, 1949, early in the CTA era.

Skokie Shops, date unknown. Probably early in the CTA era.

Skokie Shops, date unknown. Probably early in the CTA era.

A single car Niles Center train in the open cut in Evanston.

A single car Niles Center train in the open cut in Evanston.

A six-car CRT “L” train on the Niles Center branch. Service on this line quit on March 26, 1948. This was part of the North Shore Line’s Skokie Valley Route. After the interurban quit in 1963, the CTA bought the line to Dempster and the Skokie Swift (today’s Yellow Line) was born. Service did not generally warrant the use of a six-car train in the 1940s when this picture was taken, but sometimes CRT trains were used on the North Shore Line to haul the military.

A two car CRT "L" train in December 1935. The location is given as Austin, but the photo does not indicate whether this is the Douglas Park branch or Garfield. Bill Shapotkin writes: "I can't tell you where this pic was actually taken, but I can tell you where is was NOT taken. This photo is NOT on Garfield Pk/Westchester. If it were anywhere on that line, the third rail chairs would be the CA&E's wooden third rail chairs -- the chairs shown in this photo are rapid transit third rail chairs. Additionally, if it were "Austin" (on Garfield Pk), we should see the B&OCT next door (and it is not). Now, as for where I think this photo was taken -- there appears to be an interlocking nearby (notice the piping next to outside rail). Thus, I believe the train is WB on DOUGLAS approaching Oak Park Ave (where, if I recall correctly) there was an interlocking. Therefore we would be looking east. At least that is my best guess."

A two car CRT “L” train in December 1935. The location is given as Austin, but the photo does not indicate whether this is the Douglas Park branch or Garfield.
Bill Shapotkin writes: “I can’t tell you where this pic was actually taken, but I can tell you where is was NOT taken. This photo is NOT on Garfield Pk/Westchester. If it were anywhere on that line, the third rail chairs would be the CA&E’s wooden third rail chairs — the chairs shown in this photo are rapid transit third rail chairs. Additionally, if it were “Austin” (on Garfield Pk), we should see the B&OCT next door (and it is not).
Now, as for where I think this photo was taken — there appears to be an interlocking nearby (notice the piping next to outside rail). Thus, I believe the train is WB on DOUGLAS approaching Oak Park Ave (where, if I recall correctly) there was an interlocking. Therefore we would be looking east. At least that is my best guess.”

The east end of the CTA’s Jackson Park “L” in July 1959. The “L” has been truncated west of here since and no longer crosses the Illinois Central (now Metra) Electric.

The DesPlaines Avenue terminal at the west end of the CTA Congress line in November 1959. Wooden “L” cars were no longer being used for passenger service by time, and the three cars were probably being used here for offices as the station was being somewhat reconfigured. Note the lack of a canopy.

A Kenwood shuttle car at 42nd Place terminal on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

A Kenwood shuttle car at 42nd Place terminal on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

A downtown-bound train at the old Logan Square “L” station on May 10, 1958, about 6 weeks before service on the Milwaukee-Dearborn subway was connected up with the Congress and Douglas branches. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

Six old wooden “L” cars, including 1784, in the Linden Avenue yard in Wilmette on June 12, 1957. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

The view looking south from the platform at the Linden Avenue station in Wilmette on June 12, 1957, showing two old wooden “L” cars in the yard, including 1793 and 3156(?). In the distance, we can see one of the four articulated 5001-5004 series cars. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

The arcade at the old Logan Square “L” terminal on May 10, 1958. About a dozen years later, this station was replaced by a subway as part of the extension of this line to Jefferson Park. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

Kedzie and Linden, the site of the old Logan Square "L" terminal, as it looks today. Andre Kristopans says,"The old Logan square station is still under there under the new façade. There is a substantial gap between the inside ceiling and roof of this building because of the supports for the shop above the north half of the building were part of the structure and were not removed, and for aesthetic reasons the high walls were extended all the way around."

Kedzie and Linden, the site of the old Logan Square “L” terminal, as it looks today. Andre Kristopans says,”The old Logan square station is still under there under the new façade. There is a substantial gap between the inside ceiling and roof of this building because of the supports for the shop above the north half of the building were part of the structure and were not removed, and for aesthetic reasons the high walls were extended all the way around.”

The view looking north at the Linden Avenue terminal in Wilmette, showing wooden “L” cars (including 1770 and 1736). A poster at right advertises Waterman fountain pens. The date is June 12, 1957. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

A view looking east towards the Marion Street station on the Lake Street “L” on June 7, 1957. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

A Kenwood shuttle car at the Indiana Avenue station on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

A Kenwood shuttle car at the Indiana Avenue station on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

This picture was taken at the Oak Park Avenue terminal along the outer end of the Douglas Park “L”, looking west. The apartment building at right is still standing. The line was cut back to 54th Avenue 1952. The train is a Cicero-Berwyn Express, ready to head downtown. It must be before December 9, 1951, when A/B skip-stop service was instituted. Note the Burma Shave sign at right.

CRT/CTA snow plow S220 at Laramie on the Garfield Park "L" in 1948.

CRT/CTA snow plow S220 at Laramie on the Garfield Park “L” in 1948.

A CTA Met “L” train crosses the Chicago River in 1950, on the double Scherzer rolling lift bridge that was there at the time. Now, just south of here, the CTA Blue Line passes underneath the river.

CTA 2703-2753 at the east side of Skokie Shops on May 1, 1955. This was a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip that included a shops tour.

CTA 2703-2753 at the east side of Skokie Shops on May 1, 1955. This was a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip that included a shops tour.

An open platform/vestibule two-car Douglas Park train at Van Buren and Wells in September 1949. One of the cars is 2775. Contrast this with the later photo taken at this same location, after the removal of the “L” structure west of here for the construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

The same location as the last photo, but no earlier than 1955. The “L” structure and tower west of here have been removed. The Garfield Park “L’ connection to the Loop was moved slightly north of here via a new connection through the old Wells Street Terminal. The sign on the train says that the last stop is Clinton. The Insurance Exchange building is at right.

The Pulaski station on the Douglas Park “L” on May 10, 1958. There was a yard there at the time. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

Laramie Yard on the Garfield Park “L”, looking east. A few blocks back, the “L” went up a ramp onto steel structure. Today, the Eisenhower expressway would be somewhere off to the right.

CTA Met car 2819, signed for Garfield Park, at Laramie Yard in August, 1954.

CTA Met car 2819, signed for Garfield Park, at Laramie Yard in August, 1954.

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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

We thank you for your support.

Chicago Horsecar Replica For Sale

Although the auction description does not mention it, replica car 10 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.)

Although the auction description does not mention it, replica car 10 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.)

Bonham’s auction house recently announced that they will be selling some historic railroad items from the collections of Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. While we, of course, have no connection with either institution, we thought our readers would enjoy reading about the replica cable car that is being offered. There are links just in case anyone is interested in pursuing this further.

There is an authentic horse car at the Illinois Railway Museum, built in 1859. We have published a couple pictures of this car being used by the Chicago Surface Lines in 1925 and 1936, celebrating streetcar line extensions.

We can also share a bit of the backstory behind how and why this railcar was made. According to a 1938 article in Surface Service magazine, the “house organ” of the Chicago Surface Lines, the heads of CSL and MSI (Julius Rosenwald?) got together around 1929, and CSL agreed to donate a couple of historic items to the museum, which was then just getting started. (The other is cable car 532, still on display at MSI. There is another similar cable car replica at the Illinois Railway Museum.)

Let’s hope that this car, although a replica, stays in the Chicago area. It was actually used at both the Century of Progress 1933-34 World’s Fair and the 1948-49 Chicago Railroad Fair.

-David Sadowski

What follows is from Bonham’s:

Never to be repeated, early railway locomotives and cars from the Museum of Science and Industry – highly significant to America’s history and heritage – are to be sold in Philadelphia

Bonhams is honored to present five significant pieces of transportation history from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. These wonderful artifacts have been housed at the museum on full-time display for over 80 years and will now be sold at Bonhams’ “Preserving the Automobile” auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia on October 5th.

…Other artifacts from the museum include the exact replica 1859 horse car “Archer Avenue No. 10” that was donated to the museum by the Chicago City Railway Company in 1930. These beautiful, craftsman-built, horse-drawn rail cars were operated in congested urban areas, such as Chicago, Philadelphia and New York, where steam locomotive transportation was impractical. They were the antecedent of the electric streetcar that later dominated urban public transport.

Lot 201
From the collection of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago

Built for the 1933-34 Century of Progress Fair in Chicago
c.1929 Chicago City Railway Built ‘1870 Archer Avenue No. 10’ Horsecar
US$ 25,000 – 35,000
£16,000 – 22,000
To be sold without reserve

Auction 22793:
Preserving the Automobile
An Auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

5 Oct 2015 14:00 EDT

Philadelphia, Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Built for the 1933-34 Century of Progress Fair in Chicago
c.1929 Chicago City Railway Built ‘1870 Archer Avenue No. 10’ Horsecar
THE HORSECAR

The horse drawn streetcar, typically contracted as ‘horsecar,’ was a significant early step in the evolution of urban transport. In this context, the term ‘car’ refers specifically to a railway vehicle and does not imply an internal combustion engine automobile (now commonly known as a ‘car’).

As cities in America grew during the first half of the 19th century, the working population began to live ever further from their places of employment, shopping and entertainment. Greater distances and larger numbers of people on the move increased the need for pay as you go urban transport, and so private companies emerged to supply transport using omnibuses on fixed routes and schedules. An omnibus was a compact horse-drawn coach. Chicago’s first commercial omnibus service was operated by Frank Parmelee beginning in 1853. (Parmelee’s business evolved and in later years his name was associated with Parmelee Transfer service that provided over-the-road connections between all of the City’s six primary railroad passenger terminals. By World War I, Parmelee had begun to use motor vehicles).

The horsecar was an important advancement to the omnibus. This innovation allowed a single horse to draw a heavier vehicle while providing a smoother and more comfortable ride. Among the drawbacks of the horsecar operation were that the mode was severely limited where cars encountered ascending grades, while busy lines required many more horses than cars because it was only possible to work horses for a few hours a day. In some instances mules were preferred over horses because of their greater stamina. By one estimate, Chicago street railways employed 8,400 horses in 1893.

The horsecar led to development of the steam-dummy (a small streetcar powered by an on-board steam engine) and later to the cable car, which was drawn by an underground cable. British-born Andrew Smith Hallidie was the San Francisco cable manufacturer credited with melding key cable innovations and establishing the city’s Clay Street Hill Railroad in 1873, the world’s first urban cable hauled street railway. This set important precedents that resulted in an urban transit revolution emulated across San Francisco and in approximately 30 cities across the United States and around the world.

More significant was the development of the electrically powered streetcar, commonly known in America as trolley car or trolley, which describes the wheel at the end of the pole, used to run along the overhead wire to draw electricity for propulsion. While ‘trolley’ is occasionally used as a synonym for a streetcar in the United States, the term should only be correctly applied to electric cars with trolley poles.

Various inventors had dabbled with electric streetcars in the mid-1880s, but it was in 1887-1888 that electrical genius Frank Julian Sprague successfully demonstrated a practical electric street railway in Richmond, Virginia. Electric operation was cheaper and simpler than cable hauled lines, and allowed streetcar lines to practically cover much greater distances than possible with horses. Within a year of Sprague’s demonstration, hundreds of new electric streetcar schemes were being considered and by 1900 most American cities and many small towns were connected by electric railways. Since horsecar street railways they already had an established route structure and track infrastructure, often they upgraded existing lines with electrification.
Often, companies that began as horsecar lines upgraded their operations.

The overwhelming cost and operating advantages of electric operation rapidly displayed horsecars on city streets. By 1900, the horsecar had vanished from most cities. In Chicago, some horsecar and cable car routes survived until 1906 owing to a regulation or law that prohibited the erection of overhead wires in downtown areas. Once this obstacle was overcome the electric streetcar prevailed. Nationally, horsecars disappeared very quickly from the scene and despite their early prevalence very few were preserved for posterity.

THE HORSECAR OFFERED

Chicago Horse Car No. 10 is a replica constructed by the Chicago City Railway at its South Shops for the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry during 1929 and 1930 and is believed to be the second object donated to the museum. Although a replica, the car is an accurate rendition of a period street railway vehicle. At the time of construction, it had been less than 25 years since similar horse cars had worked Chicago streets and thus the cars were still in the living memory of men working for the company.

The replica was intended to represent one of Chicago’s first horse cars built in 1859. This is a comparatively small car, measuring about 9 feet 9 inches tall, 7 feet ½ inches wide,16 feet and 1 ½ inches long. It weighs 4,560 lbs. The car was designed for one-man operation with a single horse drawing it. Average speed would have been between 3-5 mph. It had space for 18 seated passengers.

Passengers are believed to have entered via a door at the back of the car and paid their fare by dropping a coin into a slot that delivered it by gravity to the driver. This clever system was intended to avoid unnecessarily distracting the driver while the car was in motion. The car uses a ‘Bob-tail’ design, so-called because it only has a platform at the drivers’ end. The driver rode on the small exterior platform at the front of the car that was covered by a roof extension. Other than horse reins, his only other control was a hand brake consisting of a metal arm used to slow and stop the car and prevent it from colliding with the horse, or rolling backward when on an upgrade. Other equipment includes a stovepipe exhaust stack from the passenger compartment, although there doesn’t appear to have been a stove installed in this replica.

In its early years the replica was displayed as Archer Avenue No. 10 of the Chicago City Railway Company. It was one of three replica streetcars used as part of a larger exhibit to demonstrate the evolution of urban transport in Chicago. The other two cars were replicas of the cable-hauled grip car and its trailer. (Between 1892 and 1906 Chicago had a cable car system, similar to that still in use in San Francisco, that was the most extensive of its kind in the world). Horsecar No. 10 was among the exhibits at the ‘Wings of a Century’ pageant for the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition held during 1933 and 1934.

As an authentic replica, Chicago Horsecar No. 10 can provide a key element to any urban transport exhibit since it bridges the gap between the horse-drawn omnibus and the electric streetcar. This piece is significant to both Chicago history and to the greater story of urban transportation in North America. It also demonstrates the comparatively primitive expectations of the traveling public at the time of the American Civil War. Comfort levels and travel speeds were much lower than today. Imagine riding to work every morning and home every evening squashed into a vehicle like this one?

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Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry in the 1950s. (Charles W. Cushman Collection, University Archives, at Indiana University, Bloomington.)

Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry in the 1950s. (Charles W. Cushman Collection, University Archives, at Indiana University, Bloomington.)

Cable trailer 209, now in the collection of the Illinois Railway Museum, was most likely built by Chicago Surface Lines in 1934, although it may contain some original parts. The caption on the back of this photos says the car is “old” and probably built around 1892, but this appears to be incorrect. This photo was taken on October 23, 1938, date of a Surface Lines fantrip that included a shops tour. (Alfred Seibel Photo)

Footnotes

As indicated in the special notice above, this lot will require special arrangements for viewing and collection. Please contact Samantha Hamill in the NY Motorcars department (+1 212 461 6514, samantha.hamill@bonhams.com) to arrange a viewing and for further information. Please note that this lot may not come with its original base.

Postscript

FYI, the horsecar replica sold for $38k:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/museums/ct-msi-chicago-trains-sell-for-nearly-500000-at-auction-20151005-column.html

Traction in Milwaukee

Milwaukee Electric 1121 crosses the Chicago and North Western on a 1949 fantrip over the North Shore Line. It even has a Skokie Valley Route sign on it.

Milwaukee Electric 1121 crosses the Chicago and North Western on a 1949 fantrip over the North Shore Line. It even has a Skokie Valley Route sign on it.

Our last post featured the Kenosha streetcar, which has been running now for 15 years. Milwaukee is planning a streetcar line of its own, and may begin construction next spring.

Today, we pay tribute to this rich traction history with a selection of classic photos showing Milwaukee streetcars and interurbans. Much of the information we are sharing about these railcars comes from Don’s Rail Photos, an excellent online archive. Don Ross has been collecting photos since 1946 and if you have not yet checked out his web site, I hope you will do so.

Milwaukee once had an interurban system, part of which was called a “rapid transit” line. The last vestige of this once-great system was called Speedrail.

Speedrail was a valiant effort to keep service going on a shoestring, in an era before government funding for transit. Unfortunately, there was a horrific accident on September 2, 1950 that led directly to the end of the interurban on June 30, 1951. That this crash was involved a train full of railfans, many of whom had come to Milwaukee from out of town to attend a convention, made things even more tragic. Jay Maeder, head of Speedrail, was at the controls of one of the two trains, which hit head-on on a blind curve. The exact cause of the accident was never determined. You can read more about it here.

Milwaukee’s last streetcar ran in 1958. If you would like to hear the sounds of Milwaukee streetcars in action, you may be interested in our compact disc of Railroad Record Club LPs #35 and 36, which you can find in our Online Store.

This Hi-Fi recording, made in the 1950s, has been digitally remastered and sounds great. It is paired with additional vintage recordings of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee, Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, plus the Chicago Transit Authority’s Garfield Park “L”.

When the Illinois Electric Railway Museum, then located in North Chicago, purchased a Chicago, Aurora & Elgin railcar after the “Roarin’ Elgin” was abandoned, the suggestion was made to use a CA&E car on a North Shore Line fantrip. And although an inspection showed that the CA&E car was, most likely, in better shape than some of the CNS&M’s existing rolling stock, IERM was unable to get permission to use the car, and this historic opportunity was lost.

However, about a dozen years before this, a similar sort of trip was run, when Milwaukee Electric interurban car 1121 ran on a fantrip over North Shore Line trackage. We are pleased to offer three photos from that trip in this post.

According to the book Kenosha on the Go, by the Kenosha Streetcar Society, page 79, this fantrip took place on Sunday, December 4, 1949, with North Shore motorman Howard A. Odinius at the controls. It had been 27 months since the abandonment of the MRK (Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha) interurban line of KMCL (Kenosha Motor Coach Lines), which ran to downtown Kenosha. (Speedrail ran service to Waukesha.)

You can read Don Ross’ account of the fantrip here.

After Milwaukee lost its streetcars, the era of traction continued there until the North Shore Line quit in 1963, and the last Milwaukee trolley bus ran in 1965. Now, the Illinois Railway Museum has a variety of Milwaukee equipment in its extensive collections.

Let’s hope events in Milwaukee are gaining traction, and not losing it.

-Ye Olde Editor

PS- Here’s a video showing Milwaukee’s route 10 streetcar in 1957:

Milwaukee Electric car 1121 and an Electroliner near Racine on the 1949 North Shore Line fantrip. Don's Rail Photos adds, "1121 was built by Kuhlman Car in February 1909, #405. It was rebuilt in 1927. It was equipped with GE-207B motors to allow it to pull trailers. In 1949 it was found to have the best wheels, and thus it was selected for the fantrip on the North Shore Line to Green Bay Junction near Rondout. It was also used as a freight motor after the last regular freight motor was wrecked in 1950."

Milwaukee Electric car 1121 and an Electroliner near Racine on the 1949 North Shore Line fantrip. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “1121 was built by Kuhlman Car in February 1909, #405. It was rebuilt in 1927. It was equipped with GE-207B motors to allow it to pull trailers. In 1949 it was found to have the best wheels, and thus it was selected for the fantrip on the North Shore Line to Green Bay Junction near Rondout. It was also used as a freight motor after the last regular freight motor was wrecked in 1950.”

Milwaukee Electric car 1121 alongside an Electroliner (probably 803-804) at the Kenosha station. This was a 1949 fantrip where a TMER&T car was operated on part of the North Shore Line.

Milwaukee Electric car 1121 alongside an Electroliner (probably 803-804) at the Kenosha station. This was a 1949 fantrip where a TMER&T car was operated on part of the North Shore Line.

Don's Rail Photos says, "1182-1183 was rebuilt from an I&C (Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction Co.) car in 1929 and scrapped in 1952." The car is shown at the North Side station in Milwaukee, signed for the Port Washington interurban line.

Don’s Rail Photos says, “1182-1183 was rebuilt from an I&C (Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction Co.) car in 1929 and scrapped in 1952.” The car is shown at the North Side station in Milwaukee, signed for the Port Washington interurban line.

Don's Rail Photos says, "1196-1197 was built at Cold Spring in 1929. The second car was equipped with small dining facilities but it was shortly rebuilt with a baggage compartment at the rear end. It was stored at West Allis Station after a few years. In 1942 it was rebuilt with all coach and scrapped in 1952." This car is shown in downtown Milwaukee, signed for the Port Washington interurban line.

Don’s Rail Photos says, “1196-1197 was built at Cold Spring in 1929. The second car was equipped with small dining facilities but it was shortly rebuilt with a baggage compartment at the rear end. It was stored at West Allis Station after a few years. In 1942 it was rebuilt with all coach and scrapped in 1952.” This car is shown in downtown Milwaukee, signed for the Port Washington interurban line.

Milwaukee Electric Railway (The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Co.) car 1137, westbound on the Rapid Transit Line, 68th Street Bridge, July 22, 1949.

Milwaukee Electric Railway (The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Co.) car 1137, westbound on the Rapid Transit Line, 68th Street Bridge, July 22, 1949.

Speedrail cars 300 and 65, both signed for Hales Corners. According to Don's Rail Photos, "300 was built by St Louis Car in 1924. #1308. In 1936 it was sold to Cleveland Interurban RR as 300. CI became Shaker Heights Rapid Transit in 1944. It was sold to Milwaukee Rapid Transit & Speedrail in May 1950 as 300. It was scrapped in 1952." Car 65 at right is a "curved side" car built by the Cincinnati Car Company. It also came by way of Shaker Heights.

Speedrail cars 300 and 65, both signed for Hales Corners. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “300 was built by St Louis Car in 1924. #1308. In 1936 it was sold to Cleveland Interurban RR as 300. CI became Shaker Heights Rapid Transit in 1944. It was sold to Milwaukee Rapid Transit & Speedrail in May 1950 as 300. It was scrapped in 1952.” Car 65 at right is a “curved side” car built by the Cincinnati Car Company. It also came by way of Shaker Heights.

Speedrail car 66, shown here on the Waukesha loop, was a Cincinnati "curved-side" car. It had formerly been used by both Lehigh Valley Transit and the Dayton and Troy. This car, after having been refurbished for Speedrail, was only in service for a short period of time before the line quit in 1951.

Speedrail car 66, shown here on the Waukesha loop, was a Cincinnati “curved-side” car. It had formerly been used by both Lehigh Valley Transit and the Dayton and Troy. This car, after having been refurbished for Speedrail, was only in service for a short period of time before the line quit in 1951.

The tragic result of a head-on collision between two Speedrail cars on a blind curve on September 2, 1950. Heavyweight cars 1192-1193, at left, ran into lightweight articulated cars 39-40. Ten people were killed and dozens were injured.

The tragic result of a head-on collision between two Speedrail cars on a blind curve on September 2, 1950. Heavyweight cars 1192-1193, at left, ran into lightweight articulated cars 39-40. Ten people were killed and dozens were injured.

Here is a video about the Speedrail wreck:

Milwaukee city streetcar 570 on route 15. Don's Rail Photos adds, "570 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1911. It was one manned in 1931."

Milwaukee city streetcar 570 on route 15. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “570 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1911. It was one manned in 1931.”

The caption to this photo reads, "City car - Milwaukee. Last 2-man car pulling into station on last run in West Allis." Charles Kronenwetter adds, "Car 638 appears to be coming Northbound on 84th St approaching the National Ave intersection." Don's Rail Photos: "638 was built at Cold Springs in 1913. It was reconditioned as a two man car in 1928."

The caption to this photo reads, “City car – Milwaukee. Last 2-man car pulling into station on last run in West Allis.” Charles Kronenwetter adds, “Car 638 appears to be coming Northbound on 84th St approaching the National Ave intersection.” Don’s Rail Photos: “638 was built at Cold Springs in 1913. It was reconditioned as a two man car in 1928.”

Don's Rail Photos says, "589 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1911. It was rebuilt in 1927." This car is shown at the end of one of the Milwaukee city streetcar lines in West Allis. Charles Kronoenwetter says, "589 is coming off the short section of private right-of-way which ran between Mitchell St. and Becher St. onto Becher St."

Don’s Rail Photos says, “589 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1911. It was rebuilt in 1927.” This car is shown at the end of one of the Milwaukee city streetcar lines in West Allis. Charles Kronoenwetter says, “589 is coming off the short section of private right-of-way which ran between Mitchell St. and Becher St. onto Becher St.”

Milwaukee city car 556 on Becher St. in West Allis. Don's Rail Photos adds, "556 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1911. It was one manned in 1928."

Milwaukee city car 556 on Becher St. in West Allis. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “556 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1911. It was one manned in 1928.”

Railroad Record Club LP #35 features Hi-fi audio recordings of Milwaukee streetcars in the 1950s. We have digitized this and many other recordings, which you can find in our Online Store.

Railroad Record Club LP #35 features Hi-fi audio recordings of Milwaukee streetcars in the 1950s. We have digitized this and many other recordings, which you can find in our Online Store.

Updates

FYI, we’ve added another picture to a previous post, More Hoosier Traction:

Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 74.

Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 74.

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

This is our 78th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere.

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

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

We thank you for your support.

Kenosha Streetcar Day

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Streetcars have become a tourist attraction in Kenosha, and bring many visitors there who also visit the museums, restaurants, the lake shore, and many other attractions. Yesterday was their annual Streetcar Day, and Kenosha Area Transit introduced newly refurbished PCC 4617 into service, in 1950s-era San Francisco colors, replete with “wings.”

The car, which looks beautiful both inside and out, took a long road to get there, starting in Toronto in 1951, with a stint at the East Troy Electric Railroad. Being a single-ended car, it was not a good fit for the museum, which lacks turning loops at its ends. To operate 4617 on that line would involve backing up the car 50% of the time. We can be thankful that it has found a good home elsewhere in Wisconsin.

We got there just in time for the ceremonial breaking of a banner as the car backed out of the barn. They put the car on display for a while and then began running it on the two mile long trolley loop that goes between the local Metra station and the lakefront.

The San Francisco car joins a fleet that already pays tribute to such cities as Chicago, Pittsburgh, Johnstown PA, Philadelphia, Toronto and Cincinnati. All of these (except for the Philadelphia car) were built in Canada and originally ran in Toronto.

After stopping for lunch at the historic Franks Diner, where they serve up a kind of organized chaos along with their signature “garbage plate” of eggs, cheese, meats, onions, green peppers and hash browns, we rode the 4617 and took many pictures and videos of it and the other cars that were being shuffled in and out of service.

With the wind and all the clouds out over Lake Michigan, we could have had some foggy San Francisco weather, but the day was mostly sunny instead. Besides the streetcars, we also spotted a couple of classic autos– a rare 1929-32 Cord L-29, the first production car in the US with front-wheel drive, and a 1927-31 Ford Model A.

If you have not yet visited Kenosha’s streetcar loop, it is well worth a trip. And while plans to expand the system have been shelved for the moment, they run a first-class operation, in large part due to the hard work of streetcar technician Brad Preston.

-Ye Olde Editor

PS- Today’s photos and videos are by David Sadowski and Diana Koester.

You can read another article about the SF tribute car on the Market Street Railway blog.

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Historic Chicago Buses

CTA Marmon-Harrington trolley bus 9620 at the Cicero/24th terminal on July 3, 1967. (Stephen M. Scalzo Photo)

CTA Marmon-Harrington trolley bus 9620 at the Cicero/24th terminal on July 3, 1967. (Stephen M. Scalzo Photo)

While our main interest is in electric transit (streetcars, light rail, rapid transit and interurbans), from time to time we get requests to show bus pictures. We don’t have many, but we figure it’s time to make good on our promise to show what we do have.

Buses have been an important part of Chicago’s transit scene since the 1920s, when the Chicago Motor Coach Company began using them.

Whether you call them trolley buses, trolley coaches, or trackless trolleys, rubber-tired buses with overhead wires were used in Chicago from 1930 to 1973 and were very popular. I have fond memories of riding them as a kid, since I lived near Grand, Fullerton, North Avenue and several other such northwest side routes.

Despite an internal CTA study that showed trolley buses were very profitable in the early 1950s, the agency gradually phased them out between 1959 and 1973. (You can read more about trolley buses here.)

They remain in use in half a dozen North American cities to this day.

It is not widely known, but the Illinois Railway Museum has an operating trolley bus line and actually has six Chicago trolley buses in its collection, in addition to some from other cities.

In our recent E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available in our Online Store, we discuss how Chicago transitioned to an all-bus surface fleet.

From 1930 to 1947, the Chicago Surface Lines believed in “Balanced Transit,” where streetcars were best for the heaviest routes, trolley buses for the medium sized ones, and gas buses for the lightest routes. The 1937 “Green Book” study commissioned by the City of Chicago, following national trends, envisioned replacing about half of the streetcar system with buses. However, the report, mainly written by Philip Harrington, who became the first head of the Chicago Transit Board, governing body of the CTA, also said that in the future, it might be advantageous to replace all the streetcars with buses.

If not for World War II, Chicago might have undergone a more orderly transition to buses over a longer period of time. But the delays caused by wartime shortages and the Great Depression meant that much of CSL’s rolling stock was quite old by the end of the war.

There was a pent-up need for change, and it should therefore be no surprise that as soon as CTA was created in 1945, they pressed CSL and the bankruptcy courts that controlled it to order large numbers of buses in addition to the 600 PCCs that were purchased for the busiest lines. (You can view the original CSL/CTA delivery records for those 600 streetcars further on in this post.)

Although CTA did not take direct control until October 1, 1947, they felt they had been given a mandate to make transit improvements immediately. Therefore, they “stage managed” equipment orders and actually dictated on what routes the new equipment was used on.

During this period, many CSL routes received extensions to areas of the city that had been developed since the last streetcar lines were built. Express bus routes were also started.

Transit unification in Chicago finally became complete when the CTA purchased the assets of the Chicago Motor Coach Company, effective October 1, 1952. CMC was a privately owned bus operator whose routes mainly ran on Chicago’s boulevards and parks. By 1952, they had a fleet of about 600 buses.

The Motor Coach was profitable, while CTA during this period was losing money. CTA felt that CMC was skimming the profitable “cream” off the city’s surface routes, and they wanted desperately to buy them out.

As it happens, the CTA had to pay at least $1m more for Motor Coach than they had wanted to, since they were, after all, a profitable enterprise that was owned by a national company that did not really want to sell.

The CTA applied some “hardball” tactics in the run-up to the sale. They tried to stop accepting transfers from CMC buses, and since there was a fare differential, began collecting the difference between the lower CMC fare and the higher CTA fares when riders did transfer.

In addition, they began competing directly against CMC on the Austin Boulevard route. There was more of this to come, and CMC saw the handwriting on the wall and sold out. After all, they had never actually been operating under a franchise from the City of Chicago, while the CTA, the courts determined, had few constraints on what they could do.

Mayor Martin H. Kennelly made public statements that opposed the sale, although there is some evidence that he was in favor of it privately.

Immediately upon taking over Motor Coach, the CTA raised the fares on those routes so that they matched the CTA’s higher rate.

Perhaps not coincidentally, it was right at the time that the CTA announced their so-called “PCC Conversion Program,” whereby 570 of the 600 Postwar cars were eventually scrapped, and some of the parts recycled for use in new rapid transit cars.

At this point, the CTA had achieved a virtual monopoly on surface transit in Chicago, and no longer had to try and compete with the Motor Coach Company. Interestingly, CTA did not purchase the Motor Coach name, which is why it is now in use by a private operator.

-David Sadowski

PS- For more Chicago trolley bus pictures, check out Tom’s Trolleybus Pix.

CSL trolley buses at a storage yard at Central and Lexington. The Garfield Park “L” is at left.

CSL 6511 and other TDH 4506's in Garfield Park.

CSL 6511 and other TDH 4506’s in Garfield Park.

CSL 623 at the North and Cicero garage.

CSL 623 at the North and Cicero garage.

CSL 3405 at Archer and Rockwell.

CSL 3405 at Archer and Rockwell.

From the St. Petersburg Tram Collection web site:

The largest group of coaches ordered by CSL from a single builder was 3400-series White 798 buses, 297 units at total. First 40 were delivered in 1944-45 (allocated to CSL by Office of Defence Transportation). In 1946-1948 257 coaches of 3441-3697 series arrived, last 100 were ordered by Chicago Transit Authority and had some improvements, such as marker lights on the roof, brigher interiors with improved lighting. Coaches 3496-3697 were automatic transmission-equipped. The post-war Whites arrived in then new Mercury green and Croydon cream livery and the fleet was centralized at Archer for turns on the new 62X Archer Express service, CSL first limited-stop bus line, which made its debut on October 21, 1946 between the Loop and Midway Airport.

Trolley bus 395 on route 78 - Montrose.

Trolley bus 395 on route 78 – Montrose.

CSL 516, signed for route 57 - Laramie.

CSL 516, signed for route 57 – Laramie.

Chicago Motor Coach Company 63 on Michigan Avenue, in front of the Fine Arts building.

Chicago Motor Coach Company 63 on Michigan Avenue, in front of the Fine Arts building.

Chicago Motor Coach Company double decker bus 162.

Chicago Motor Coach Company double decker bus 162.

The cover illustration from a Surface Lines brochure printed in August 1947.

The cover illustration from a Surface Lines brochure printed in August 1947.

Postwar Chicago PCC Delivery Dates

Thanks to the generosity of Andre Kristopans, we now have copies of the original CSL/CTA records that give exact delivery dates for all 600 Postwar Chicago PCC streetcars. This information has been added to Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story:

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CCI09082015_0007

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

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

We thank you for your support.

Chicago Motor Coach's routes as of 1943.

Chicago Motor Coach’s routes as of 1943.

Chicago Surface Lines Work Cars – Part 2

Work car AA59 at Devon Station (car house) on November 15, 1953. Andre Kristopans gives a scrap date of 1956 for this car. Don’s Rail Photos says, “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. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers.” The “Matchbox” 1374 at IRM is part of this same series (1101-1425). Looks like a Postwar PCC behind it.

Celebrating Labor Day, here is the second in a two-part series featuring Chicago Surface Lines work cars. You can find part one here.

Much of what we know about these cars comes from Don’s Rail Photos, a very comprehensive source of information.

As always, if you know more than we do, please share it with us, so we can improve our efforts. You can leave a comment on this post, or e-mail us directly at: thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

We asked Andre Kristopans if it might be possible that CSL streetcar RPO (railway post office) car H2, shown in our previous post, may be the same car also pictured later as money car M201.

Here is his reply:

CSL did a lot of scrapping in the late 30’s, partially in order to “balance the books” after the pre-war PCC’s came. They had to retire an “equivalent value”, which is why a lot of Matchboxes (1100-1400’s) were scrapped around then, along with old work cars, and interestingly some old single-truckers that had been in storage since about 1918 as what would now be called a “contingency fleet”. More than likely H2 went in that purge, though I can’t say for sure.

Sometimes the Surface Lines kept cars in storage for decades, just in case they might be usable for some purpose in the future.

Sweeper E223 is one of the very few pieces of CSL work equipment that have survived. It was purchased by Dick Lukin in 1956 and eventually made its way to the Illinois Railway Museum.

You can read the story of how that came to be here on the excellent Hicks Car Works blog.

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

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

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

We thank you for your support.

This former mail car ended its days as a CSL supply car. Not sure if this is the same car as H201 in our previous post. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

This former mail car ended its days as a CSL supply car. Not sure if this is the same car as H201 in our previous post. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

SS1 appears to be a portable substation. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

SS1 appears to be a portable substation. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “S3 was built by Chicago Rys in 1911 as 3. It was renumbered S3 in 1913 and became CSL S3 in 1914.” Note the trolley coach at rear.

Don’s Rail Photos says, “L202 was built by Chicago City Ry in 1909 as CCRy C50. It was renumbered L202 in 1913 and became CSL L202 in 1914. It was rebuilt as S343 in 1959 and acquired by Railway Equipment Leasing & Investment Co in 1979. It was acquired by Fox River Trolley Museum in 1983 and restored as L202.”

Sweeper E18 in action. From the Park Theatre in the background, we can tell that this is Lake Street at Austin Boulevard, the west city limits and end of the #16 Lake Street route. There are a couple more photos of the same movie theater in our earlier post West Towns Streetcars in Black-and-White.

Sweeper E18 in action. From the Park Theatre in the background, we can tell that this is Lake Street at Austin Boulevard, the west city limits and end of the #16 Lake Street route. There are a couple more photos of the same movie theater in our earlier post West Towns Streetcars in Black-and-White.

E304 at work.

E304 at work.

E209 at 69th yards in January 1941. (Vic Wagner Photo)

E209 at 69th yards in January 1941. (Vic Wagner Photo)

Sweeper E215.

Sweeper E215.

Sweepers E8 and E7. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

Sweepers E8 and E7. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

Plow E6 on January 9, 1954. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)

Plow E6 on January 9, 1954. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)

CSL 701, built by the Pressed Steel Company in 1909. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “These cars were built to the same design as the Pullmans.” (Earl Clark Photo)

Snow plow F305.

Snow plow F305.

Sand car/snow plow D212 at 70th and Ashland.

Sand car/snow plow D212 at 70th and Ashland.

Home-made snow plows F301 and F304. Chances are these were scrapped prior to the 1947 CTA takeover of CSL.

Home-made snow plows F301 and F304. Chances are these were scrapped prior to the 1947 CTA takeover of CSL.

Don’s Rail Photos says , “E57 was built by Russell in 1930.” (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

Sweepers E27, E221, “Matchbox” 1362, and sprinkler/plow D4. Don’s Rail Photos says, “E27 was built by McGuire-Cummings as CRys E27. It became CSL E27 in 1914.”

Sweeper E227 in action.

Sweeper E227 in action.

Sweeper E234.

Sweeper E234.

Sweeper E205.

Sweeper E205.

Apparently this photo, which was mis-marked as Chicago, must be from somewhere else. As Andre Kristopans points out, Chicago's sweepers were all in an E or F series, and the paint scheme of the streetcar at right is not CSL. Perhaps one of our readers can help us figure out where this is from. (Roy Bruce Photo)

Apparently this photo, which was mis-marked as Chicago, must be from somewhere else. As Andre Kristopans points out, Chicago’s sweepers were all in an E or F series, and the paint scheme of the streetcar at right is not CSL. Perhaps one of our readers can help us figure out where this is from. (Roy Bruce Photo)

Heavy duty sweeper E18 in action. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

Heavy duty sweeper E18 in action. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

Sweeper E25 in action on February 5, 1942. (Robert S. Crockett Photo)

Sweeper E25 in action on February 5, 1942. (Robert S. Crockett Photo)

L201.

L201.

Sand car R202 at South Shops in March 1948. (C. Edward Hedstrom, Sr. Photo)

Sand car R202 at South Shops in March 1948. (C. Edward Hedstrom, Sr. Photo)

Sweeper E40 awaiting scrapping at South Shops, with L201 at rear, on February 22, 1955. (C. Edward Hedstrom, Sr. Photo)

Sweeper E40 awaiting scrapping at South Shops, with L201 at rear, on February 22, 1955. (C. Edward Hedstrom, Sr. Photo)

Sweeper 0103 on Sloane Avenue in 1941.

Sweeper 0103 on Sloane Avenue in 1941.

While not Surface Lines equipment, electric loco S-104, which CTA inherited from the Chicago Rapid Transit Company, does fit in with the overall theme of this post (labor). Don’s Rail Photos says, “S-104 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in August 1920, #53555, as Northwestern Elevated RR S-104. In 1923 it became CRT S-104 and CTA S-104 in 1948. In 1978 it was sold to Toledo Edison Co as 4. It was sold to Rail Foundation in 1996.” This photo was taken in April 1955.

Chicago Surface Lines Work Cars – Part 1

Don’s Rail Photos says, “X4 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1910 as CRys 2. It was renumbered N2 in 1913 and became CSL N2 in 1914. It was rebuilt as X4 in 1946 and rebuilt as S344 in 1958. It was sold to Electric Railway Historical Society in 1963 and donated to Illinois Railway Museum in 1973.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

This is Labor Day weekend, and we could think of no better way to celebrate this than to feature some classic photos of Chicago Surface Lines work cars. We salute both the cars and the hard working employees of the Chicago Surface Lines, who helped make Chicago the world-class city it is today.

This is part one of two parts. We will post another batch of work car photos later this weekend, so watch this space.

CSL was, at its peak, the largest street railway system in the world, and this is reflected in the wide variety of equipment seen here.

While the passenger cars usually get the bulk of attention, any functioning railroad depends on its work cars. Some of these were hand-me-downs, leftovers from a much earlier era that were kept on the property a long time after they were no longer needed for revenue service. In many cases, they were modified over time. One car could have many different careers in its lifetime.

In some cases, cars were saved from the scrap heap simply because they were converted to work service as salt spreaders and the like. Occasionally, such cars have been restored to their former glory by railway museums. An example is the “Matchbox” 1374, which became salt spreader AA63 in 1947. It lasted long enough to be bought by the Electric Railway Historical Society in 1958 and came to the Illinois Railway Museum in 1973, where you can ride it today.

Most of the pictures in today’s post were taken by the late Joe L. Diaz (1924-2002), who worked for the Chicago Surface Lines and did his best to document its operations for posterity.

Joe Diaz was a fixture at Central Electric Railfans’ Association meetings and the like and I remember him well. He was quite a character with his pipe and beret. According to his obituary, he was a veteran who served his country and participated in the D-Day invasion in 1944.

We can be thankful for individuals like Mr. Diaz and others like George Krambles and Bill Hoffman who, through their cameras, did so much to preserve bits of transit history for future generations.

We have tracked down information on some of these cars. Much of what we do know comes from Don’s Rail Photos, a tremendous resource of information that keeps getting better and better.

As always, if you know more than we do, please share it with us, so we can improve our efforts. You can leave a comment on this post, or e-mail us directly at: thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Some of these cars have already appeared in our earlier blog posts. For example, crane car X3 shows up in Track Work @Clark & Van Buren, 1954 (Feburary 12).

Have a safe and relaxing weekend with your family and friends.

-David Sadowski

PS- Since we began this venture on January 21, we have published 74 posts. Occasionally, we add material to earlier articles. We’ve just added a photo showing construction of the turnback loop at Howard Yard, circa 1949, to our recent post Railfan Ephemera (August 26). There is some interesting correspondence that goes with it.

Over time, we are creating a body of work that people can refer to in the future. This site is run for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. Your help and your participation is an important part of what we do here.

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

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

We thank you for your support.

Andre Krostopans writes:

I am sending you a file copied from CTA accounting records which is a complete listing of streetcar work cars that CTA took over from CSL (on October 1, 1947), along with known retirements. For reasons unknown, the salt cars only had years disposed of listed. (There were also a few transfers.)

    Car# – Builder – Year – Built – Date Retired (or scrapped) – Work Order#

ST= Single Truck

Concrete Mixer ST

A1 – CRys – 08 – 01/12/55 – 16389R

Concrete Mixer Trailer

A202 – Drake – 08 – 05/xx/48 – 10345R

Newspaper ST

B201 – CCRy – 96 – 06/08/50 – 12286R

Coal Trailer ST

C52 – CUT – 01 – 10/12/49 – 11312R
C54 – CUT – 01 – 10/12/49 – 11312R
C61 – CRys – 09 – 11/10/49 – 11526R
C62 – CRys – 09 – 11/10/49 – 11526R
C63 – CRys – 09 – 10/11/49 – 11312R

Sprinkler/Plow

D1 – McGC – 09 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
D2 – McGC – 09 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
D3 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D4 – McGC – 09 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
D5 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D6 – McGC – 09 – 03/19/56 – 17266R
D7 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D8 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D9 – McGC – 09 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
D10 – McGC – 09 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
D201 – McGC – 09 – 03/19/56 – 17266R
D202 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D203 – McGC – 09 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
D204 – McGC – 09 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
D205 – McGC – 09 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
D206 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D207 – McGC – 09 – 03/20/56 – 17266R
D208 – McGC – 09 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
D209 – McGC – 09 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
D210 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D211 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D212 – McGC – 09 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
D213 – McGC – 09 – 11/24/50 – 12556R
D302 – CE – 09 – 07/02/48 – 10483R
D304 – McGC – 09 – 03/19/56 – 17266R

Sweeper ST

E1 – L&F – 95 – 11/24/50 – 12556R
E2 – L&F – 95 – 12/06/51 – 13266R
E3 – L&F – 95 – 11/29/51 – 13266R
E4 – Brill – 95 – 11/16/51 – 13266R
E5 – Brill – 95 – 08/10/51 – 13266R
E6 – Brill – 95 – xx/xx/56 – 18181R
E7 – Brill – 95 – 11/21/51 – 13266R
E8 – Brill – 95 – 11/16/51 – 13266R
E9 – Brill – 95 – 11/21/51 – 13266R
E10 – Brill – 95 – 11/21/51 – 13266R
E11 – Brill – 95 – 07/20/51 – 13266R
E12 – Brill – 95 – 07/20/51 – 13266R
E13 – Brill – 95 – 11/21/51 – 13266R
E14 – Brill – 95 – 07/20/51 – 13266R
E15 – Brill – 95 – 11/21/51 – 13266R
E16 – Brill – 95 – 11/21/51 – 13266R
E17 – McG – 95 – 08/12/51 – 13266R
E18 – McG – 95 – 01/25/52 – 13266R
E19 – McG – 95 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E20 – McG – 96 – 07/26/51 – 13266R
E21 – McG – 96 – 02/29/52 – 13266R
E22 – McG – 96 – 11/16/51 – 13266R
E23 – McG – 96 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
E24 – McGC – 06 – 12/23/52 – 14430R
E25 – McGC – 06 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E26 – McGC – 06 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E27 – McGC – 06 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
E28 – McGC – 06 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
E29 – McGC – 08 – 12/17/55 – 17266R
E30 – McGC – 08 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E31 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E32 – McGC – 08 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
E33 – McGC – 08 – 08/02/51 – 13266R
E34 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E35 – McGC – 08 – 03/30/59 – 10218R
E36 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E37 – McGC – 22 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E38 – McGC – 08 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E39 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E40 – McGC – 08 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E41 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E42 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E43 – McGC – 08 – 05/17/58 – 19209R
E44 – McGC – 10 – 02/28/51 – 13011R
E45 – McGC – 20 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E46 – McGC – 20 – 09/27/56 – 17266R
E47 – McGC – 14 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E48 – McGC – 14 – 09/27/56 – 17266R
E49 – McGC – 14 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E50 – McGC – 14 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E51 – McGC – 14 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E52 – McGC – 14 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
E53 – McGC – 20 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E54 – McGC – 20 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E55 – McGC – 20 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E56 – McGC – 20 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E57 – Russell – 30 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
E58 – Russell – 30 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
E201 – McGC – 07 – 08/10/51 – 13266R
E202 – McGC – 07 – 08/10/51 – 13266R
E203 – McGC – 07 – 11/10/51 – 13266R
E204 – McGC – 07 – 12/23/52 – 14430R
E205 – McG – 95 – 02/09/52 – 13266R
E206 – McG – 95 – 08/10/51 – 13266R
E207 – McG – 95 – 07/20/51 – 13266R
E208 – McG – 96 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E209 – McG – 96 – 08/10/51 – 13266R
E210 – McG – 96 – 01/25/52 – 13266R
E211 – McG – 96 – 11/21/51 – 13266R
E212 – McG – 96 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E213 – McG – 96 – 09/17/56 – 18181R
E214 – McG – 96 – 08/10/51 – 13266R
E215 – McG – 96 – 11/10/51 – 13266R
E216 – McG – 97 – xx/xx/51 – 13266R
E217 – McG – 97 – 12/27/55 – 17266R
E218 – McG – 97 – 09/15/51 – 13266R
E219 – McG – 97 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E220 – McG – 97 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E221 – McGC – 08 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E222 – McGC – 08 – 03/30/59 – 10218R
E223 – McGC – 08 – 08/29/58 – 10218R
E224 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E225 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E226 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E227 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E228 – McGC – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E229 – McGC – 08 – 09/08/55 – 16283R
E230 – McGC – 08 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
E233 – McGC – 11 – 09/27/56 – 18181R
E234 – McGC – 11 – 12/24/52 – 14430R
E235 – McGC – 20 – 05/20/59 – 10218R
E236 – McGC – 20 – 05/20/59 – 10218R
E301 – CE – 93 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
E302 – McG – 94 – 01/25/52 – 13266R
E303 – McG – 95 – 11/16/51 – 13266R
E305 – McGC – 09 – 08/10/51 – 13266R
E306 – McGC – 09 – 09/15/51 – 13266R
E307 – McGC – 11 – 02/09/52 – 13266R
E308 – McGC – 11 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
E309 – McGC – 13 – 09/27/56 – 17266R
E331 – McGC – 07 – 09/15/51 – 13266R
E332 – McG – 96 – 09/27/56 – 18181R

Sweeper

E237 – Russell – 30 – 03/20/59 – 10218R

Plow

F28 – McGC – 24 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
F29 – McGC – 24 – 12/14/56 – 18181R
F30 – CSL – 30 – 05/17/58 – 19209R
F305 – CSL – 30 – 04/28/60 – 10218R

Mail ST

H7 – CUT – 00 – 05/16/49 – 11233R
H201 – CCRy – 07 – 07/02/48 – 10483R
H204 – ? – xx/xx/56 – 16389R

Dirt Trailer ST

I201 – CCRy – 09 – 06/06/56 – 16389R
I202 – CCRy – 09 – 12/26/52 – 14443R
I203 – CCRy – 09 – 06/16/50 – 12286R
I204 – CCRy – 09 – 12/26/52 – 14443R
I205 – CCRy – 09 – 05/27/52 – 14175R
I206 – CCRy – 09 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
I207 – CCRy – 09 – 12/22/55 – 16389R
I208 – ? – 06/16/50 – 12286R
I209 – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
I211 – CCRy – 02 – 12/26/52 – 14443R
I212 – CCRy – 02 – 05/27/52 – 14175R
I213 – CCRy – 02 – 12/26/52 – 14443R
I214 – CCRy – 00 – 05/27/52 – 14175R
I215 – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
I216 – ? – 05/27/52 – 14175R
I217 – ? – 12/26/52 – 14443R
I218 – ? – 07/02/48 – 10483R

Electric Shovel

J1 – Thew 16 – xx/xx/48 – 10345R

Crane

J201 – ? – 08 – 11/12/56 – 18219R
J202 – ? – 08 – xx/xx/73 – 8262G
J203 – ? – 08 – xx/xx/64 – 8946

Crane – Crawler

J2 – Brownhoist – 22 – xx/xx/56 – ?
J205 – Thew – xx/xx/48 – 10345R

Lumber ST

K201 – CCRy – 08 – 12/27/55 – 16389R

Lumber Trailer ST

K251 – CCRy – 08 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
K252 – CCRy – 08 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
K253 – CCRy – 08 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
K254 – CCRy – 08 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
K255 – CCRy – 08 – 12/27/55 – 16389R

Locomotive ST

L1 – CRys – 08 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
L204 – CCRy – 08 – 07/02/48 – 10483R

Locomotive

L201 – CCRy – 08 – 10/02/61 – 11239R
L202 – CCRy – 08 – 06/09/58 to S343 T158
L203 – CCRy – 08 – 05/20/59 – 10218R

Money ST

M201 – CCRy – 07 – 06/16/50 – 12286R

Dump

N1 – Koppel – 11 – 03/17/61 – 10821R
N3 – Diff – 18 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
N4 – Diff – 18 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
N5 – Diff – 18 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
N201 – Diff – 18 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
N202 – Diff – 18 – 06/08/50 – 12286R

Dump Trailer

N51 – OA – 16 – 05/13/58 – 10158R
N52 – OA – 16 – 05/31/55 – 16389R
N53 – OA – 16 – 05/13/58 – 10158R
N54 – OA – 16 – 05/13/58 – 10158R
N55 – OA – 16 – 05/13/58 – 10158R

Meter Test

O1 – CRys – 12 – 06/08/50 – 12286R

Wreck ST

P4 – CUT – ? – 07/02/48 – 10483R
P5 – CUT – 00 – 02/09/51 – 13011R

Wreck Trailer ST

P251 – CCRy – 03 – 05/27/52 – 14175R

Sand ST

R201 – CCRy – 11 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
R202 – CCRy – 11 – 06/18/53 – 15231R

Supply

S1 – CRys – 09 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
S2 – CRys – 09 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
S3 – CRys – 11 – 09/02/55 – 16389R
S4 – CRys – 11 – 06/18/53 – 15231R

S201 – CCRy – 08 – 09/27/56 – 18181R

Supply ST

S51 – CUT – 06 – 10/26/49 – 11312R
S53 – CUT – 06 – 11/25/49 – 11312R
S54 – CUT – 06 – 05/14/51 – 13134R

Cupola Trailer ST

U251 – CCRy – ? – 06/16/50 – 12286R

Line

V201 – CCRy – 07 – 12/14/56 – 18181R

Work

W1 – CUT – 05 – 09/08/55 – 16389R
W3 – CRys – 08 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W4 – CRys – 08 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
W5 – CRys – 08 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W6 – CRys – 08 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
W7 – CRys – 08 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W8 – CRys – 08 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W9 – CRys – 09 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W10 – CRys – 09 – 12/14/56 – 16389R
W11 – CRys – 09 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W12 – CRys – 09 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W13 – CRys – 09 – 05/27/52 – 14175R
W14 – CRys – 09 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W15 – CRys – 09 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W17 – CRys – 09 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W18 – CSL – 46 – (1609) 04/03/55 – 16389R
W201 – CCRy – 07 – 10/21/54 to S317 T63
W202 – CCRy – 07 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
W203 – CCRy – 07 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W204 – CCRy – 07 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
W205 – CCRy – 07 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
W206 – CCRy – 07 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W207 – CCRy – 07 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W208 – CCRy – 07 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W209 – CCRy – 07 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W210 – CCRy – 07 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W211 – CCRy – 07 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W212 – CCRy – 07 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W213 – CCRy – 07 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W214 – CCRy – 07 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W215 – CCRy – 07 – 12/11/54 – 16389R
W216 – CCRy – 08 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W217 – CCRy – 08 – 05/08/51 – 13135R
W218 – CRy – 08 – 12/11/54 – 16389R
W219 – CCRy – 08 – 12/11/54 – 16389R
W220 – CCRy – 08 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W221 – CCRy – 08 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W222 – CCRy – 08 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W223 – CCRy – 08 – 12/31/52 to S309
W224 – CCRy – 08 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
W225 – CCRy – 08 – 11/10/54 – 16389R
W226 – CCRy – 08 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W227 – CCRy – 08 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W230 – CCRy – 01 – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W301 – CCRy – 07 – 11/20/53 to S314 T61
W302 – CCRy – 07 – 12/11/54 – 16389R

Work Trailer

W51 – CRys – ? – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W52 – CRys – ? – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W53 – CRys – ? – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W54 – CRys – ? – 06/18/53 – 15231R
W56 – CSL – 46 – (1636) 12/11/54 – 16389R
W251 – CCRy – ? – xx/xx/55 – 16389R
W252 – CCRy – 07 – 12/11/54 – 16389R

Work ST

W33 – CRys – 07 – 12/26/52 – 14443R

Work Trailer ST

W61 – CRys – 07 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W62 – CRys – 07 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W63 – CRys – 08 – 12/26/52 – 14433R
W64 – CRys – 08 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W65 – CRys – 08 – 02/09/52 – 13266R
W66 – CRys – 08 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W67 – CRys – 08 – 05/17/58 – 19141R
W68 – CRys – 08 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W71 – CRys – 08 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W72 – CRys – 08 – 06/12/50 – 12286R
W73 – CRys – 08 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W74 – CRys – 11 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W77 – CRys – 07 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W78 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W79 – CRys – ? – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W80 – CRys – ? – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W81 – CRys – ? – 12/14/56 – 16389R
W82 – CRys – 13 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W83 – CRys – 13 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W84 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W85 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W86 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W87 – CRys – ? – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W89 – CRys – ? – 10/26/49 – 11312R
W90 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W91 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W92 – CRys – 08 – 01/12/55 – 16389R
W93 – CRys – ? – 05/14/51 – 13134R
W94 – CRys – ? – 12/26/52 – 14433R
W95 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W96 – CRys – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W97 – CRys – ? – 07/02/48 – 10483R
W98 – CRys – 10 – 10/12/49 – 11312R
W99 – CRys – 13 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W100 – CRys – ? – 12/14/56 – 16389R
W101 – CRys – ? – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W102 – CRys – ? – 12/14/56 – 16389R
W261 – CCRy – ? – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W262 – CCRy – 02 – 06/05/50 – 12286R
W263 – CCRy – 00 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W264 – CCRy – 00 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W265 – CCRy – 00 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W268 – CCRy – 00 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W269 – CCRy – 00 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
W270 – CCRy – 00 – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W271 – CCRy – ? – 06/08/50 – 12286R
W299 – CCRy – ? – 07/02/48 – 10483R
W316 – CSC – ? – 07/02/48 – 10483R
W317 – CSL – ? – 06/05/50 – 12286R

Derrick

X1 – CRys – 10 – 03/11/59 – 10218R
X2 – CSL – 17 – 12/27/55 – 16389R
X3 – CSL – 10 – 04/10/59 – 10218R
X4 – CSL – 47 – (N2) 06/09/58 to S344 T158
X201 – CCRy – 07 – 03/30/59 – 10218R

Baggage

Y303 – CE – 11 – 09/27/56 – 18181R

Sweeper Trailer

no# – CSL – ? – xx/xx/56 – 18181R

Salt Cars

AA1 – 17266 – /55
AA2 – 17266 – /55
AA3 – 13266 – /52
AA4 – 13266 – /52
AA5 – 13266 – /52
AA6 – 13266 – /52
AA7 – 17266 – /55
AA8 – 19141 – /58
AA9 – 18181 – /56
AA10 – 16283 – /55
AA11 – 13266 – /52
AA12 – 16283 – /54
AA13 – 16283 – /54
AA14 – 16283 – /54
AA15 – 13266 – /52
AA16 – 13266 – /52
AA17 – 13266 – /52
AA18 – 13266 – /52
AA19 – 13266 – /52
AA20 – 16283 – /54
AA21 – 16283 – /55
AA22 – 13266 – /52
AA23 – 16283 – /54
AA24 – 16283 – /54
AA25 – 17266 – /55
AA26 – 19141 – /58
AA27 – 19141 – /58
AA28 – 18181 – /56
AA29 – 18181 – /56
AA30 – 17266 – /55
AA31 – 17266 – /55
AA32 – 18181 – /56
AA33 – 17266 – /55
AA34 – 16283 – /54
AA35 – 12603 – /52
AA36 – 19141 – /58
AA37 – 19141 – /58
AA38 – 18181 – /56
AA39 – 16283 – /54
AA40 – 13266 – /52
AA41 – 13266 – /52
AA42 – 13266 – /52
AA43 – 16283 – /54
AA44 – 13266 – /52
AA45 – 12391 – /50
AA46 – 17266 – /55
AA47 – 13266 – /52
AA48 – 13266 – /52
AA49 – 14175 – /52
AA50 – 17266 – /55
AA51 – 17266 – /55
AA52 – 17266 – /55
AA53 – 19141 – /58
AA54 – 18181 – /56
AA55 – 16283 – /54
AA56 – 17266 – /55
AA57 – 18181 – /56
AA58 – 18181 – /56
AA59 – 18181 – /56
AA60 – 17266 – /55
AA61 – 18181 – /56
AA62 – 18181 – /56
AA63 – 10218 – /59
AA64 – 16283 – /54
AA65 – 15451 – /54
AA66 – 19141 – /58
AA67 – 13266 – /52
AA68 – 13266 – /52
AA69 – 18181 – /56
AA70 – 15451 – /54
AA71 – 13266 – /52
AA72 – 19209 – /58
AA73 – 16283 – /54
AA74 – 16283 – /54
AA75 – 18181 – /56
AA76 – 19141 – /58
AA77 – 18181 – /56
AA78 – 17266 – /55
AA79 – 15451 – /54
AA80 – 16283 – /54
AA81 – 18181 – /56
AA82 – 13266 – /52
AA83 – 16283 – /54
AA84 – 15451 – /54
AA85 – 18181 – /56
AA86 – 18181 – /56
AA87 – 13266 – /52
AA88 – 13266 – /52
AA89 – 16283 – /54
AA90 – 18181 – /56
AA91 – 17266 – /55 – x-1545 – /48 – 10143
AA92 – 17266 – /55
AA93 – 19141 – /58
AA94 – 13266 – /52
AA95 – 10218 – /59
AA96 – 17266 – /55
AA97 – 19141 – /58
AA98 – 10218 – /58
AA99 – 18181 – /56
AA100 – 13266 – /52
AA101 – 18181 – /56
AA102 – 13266 – /52
AA103 – 15451 – /54
AA104 – 18181 – /56
AA105 – 15451 – /54
AA106 – 13266 – /52
AA107 – 13266 – /52

1466 – 13059 – /51
2626 – 13059 – /51
4001 – T12 /53 to shed; from Pass 1948 S10143
7001 – T12 /53 to shed; from Pass 1948 S10143

Thanks, Andre, for sharing that with us. This blog is a collaborative effort with our readers. We share the information that we have, and you in turn have been kind enough to share some things with us. The result is that we all know more than we did before.

Don’s Rail Photos says, “L201 was built by Chicago City Ry in 1909 as CCRy C49. It was renumbered L201 in 1913 and became CSL L201 in 1914.”

Although not marked, this may be L203. Don’s Rail Photos says, “L203 was rebuilt from a passenger car.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

3286 shares the repair bay with two other cars at Noble Station (car house). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

3286 shares the repair bay with two other cars at Noble Station (car house). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Instruction car 1466 on Franklin at Congress. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1466 was built by CUT in 1890 as CUT 4509. It was rebuilt as 1467 in 1911 and became CSL 1466 in 1914. It was converted to a training car. It was used on the grade out of the Washington St. tunnel to help students learn car control on hills. It was scrapped on March 9, 1951.” One of our earliest posts showed a similar car engaged in just such tunnel training. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don’s Rail Photos notes, “X3 was built by Chicago Rys in 1909 as CRys 66. It was renumbered W16 in 1913 and became CSL W16 in 1914. It was rebuilt as X3 in 1928.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Crane X2. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Crane X2. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “L203 was rebuilt from a passenger car.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

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)

Sprinkler D61. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Sprinkler D61. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

D201. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

D201. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Sprinkler D4. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Sprinkler D4. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

A snow plow, converted from two sprinkler cars, at Elston Avenue Station (car house). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

A snow plow, converted from two sprinkler cars, at Elston Avenue Station (car house). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

H201. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

H201. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

W227 with short, single-truck trailer carrying a load of motor armetures at Burnside Station (car house). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

W227 with short, single-truck trailer carrying a load of motor armetures at Burnside Station (car house). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

A closeup view of the tracks around Burnside Station circa 1946.

A closeup view of the tracks around Burnside Station circa 1946.

S1. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S1. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Supply car 2765.

Supply car 2765.

Sand car R201 at South Shops. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Sand car R201 at South Shops. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Money car M201. Its days as a US Mail car long gone, M201 has traded its resplendent white livery for utilitarian green paint. At South Shops. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Money car M201. Its days as a US Mail car long gone, M201 has traded its resplendent white livery for utilitarian green paint. At South Shops. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S4. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S4. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

5404 at South Shops, loaded with transfers printed there, bound for Noble Street Station. Though just rebuilt, this car is in work service, not passenger service. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

5404 at South Shops, loaded with transfers printed there, bound for Noble Street Station. Though just rebuilt, this car is in work service, not passenger service. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

E53 at North Avenue Station (car barn). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

E53 at North Avenue Station (car barn). (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Plow/sprinkler D205. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Plow/sprinkler D205. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

W-203 northbound on a curve north of 104th Street, about to pass 6248 outbound on South Deering to 112th and Torrence. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

W-203 northbound on a curve north of 104th Street, about to pass 6248 outbound on South Deering to 112th and Torrence. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S-53 at West Shops. An unusual 3/4 closed, 1/4 open car. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S-53 at West Shops. An unusual 3/4 closed, 1/4 open car. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Sweeper E27. Don’s Rail Photos says, “E27 was built by McGuire-Cummings as CRys E27. It became CSL E27 in 1914.” Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S2. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S2. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “1457 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4500. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car AA68 in 1948.”

Dump car N201. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “N201 was built by Arthur Koppel Car Co in 1915.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

S4.

S4.

Crane car X201 passes by the Hotel Luzerne, which was located at 2004 N. Clark. The cigar store on the corner urges you to “call for Philip Morris.” Johnny Roventini (1910-1998) played the part of Johnny the Bellboy for the cigarette brand for more than 40 years, issuing this famous call more than one million times by his own estimation. This pitchman became one of the first “living trademarks.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

hotelluzerne

hotelluzerne2

morris_41

Except for a ceremonial event in 1946, the era of Chicago streetcar RPOs ended on November 21, 1915, less than two years into the CSL era. This photo was taken on October 14, 1938 by Edward Frank Jr., who described the car’s colors as tannish yellow gold with gold letters and trimmings. The location is the Lincoln Avenue car barn (aka “station”). According to Don’s Rail Photos, “H2 was built by West Chicago Street Ry in 1895 as 3. It became CRys 3 and renumbered H2 in 1913. It became CSL H2 in 1914.” Presumably it survived at least until 1938 as some sort of work car.

More Hoosier Traction

Gary Railways #17 and #3. The body of a sister car, #19, is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Gary Railways #17 and #3. The body of a sister car, #19, is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

The next Hoosier Traction Meet (see below) will take place in Indianapolis on September 11 and 12, the weekend after Labor Day. We thought it would be a good idea to give that event another plug, and at the same time, this gives us an excuse to some examples of Hoosier traction from days gone by.

We are fortunate to have found some great pictures, including a couple original negatives from some of the earliest fantrips by Central Electric Railfans’ Association on Gary Railways. CERA* is one of the premier railfan organizations, and it is our considered opinion that if you are not already a member, you ought to become one.

In general the Chicago Surface Lines did not operate outside of the City of Chicago, but there was an unusual joint operation, as described by the Chicago Railfan web site:

Service into Indiana was jointly operated with the Hammond Whiting & East Chicago Railway, later Calumet Railways, and finally Chicago & Calumet District Transit Co. Originally, route duplicated Windsor Park route between 63rd St. and Stony Island and 92nd/Commercial. In 1913, route was revised to operate via South Chicago from a new terminal at 63rd St. and South Park (now King Drive), using South Park south of 63rd St. After streetcars were discontinued, Chicago & Calumet District Transit Co. continued to operate replacement bus service, while streetcar service within Illinois was replaced with South Chicago-Ewing route, which evolved into present CTA route 30.

Service into Indiana was discontinued on June 9, 1940. Fortunately, we were able to hunt up a few pictures.

Indiana Railroad car 65 was the first piece of equipment acquired by the Illinois Railway Museum (then called the Illinois Electric Railway Museum). This is a wonderful lightweight, high-speed interurban car and is a joy to ride. It has recently been fitted with reupholstered leather bucket seats.

We tracked down a picture showing sister car 63 from the IR. The only other survivor from that order is car 55, which was turned into Lehigh Valley Transit Company car 1030, now at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

Bill Shapotkin: “Gary Railways car 19 at Indiana Harbor (that is the Pennsy’s Indiana Harbor passenger station at right, by the way). taken on March 19, 1939 — the day AFTER the last day of service on the Indiana Harbor (and Hobart) lines. (See CERA Bulletin 137, Pages 229-233, which includes a similar pic to above on Page 230.)”

Gary Railways car 19 crossing the EJ&E near Valparaiso on the very first CERA fantrip, May 1, 1938. Bill Shapotkin: “This is a different vantage point to the one shown on Page 224 of CERA Bulletin 137.” The body of this car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Chicago Surface Lines #3219, a one-man car built by CSL, as it looked on September 8, 1940. This car had formerly been used on the line to East Chicago, Indiana, which was abandoned three months before this picture was taken. This is also known as a "maximum traction" car because of its trucks. The white stripe on the end indicated it was a one-man car. Bob Lalich says this is "106th and Indianapolis. The car is eastbound."

Chicago Surface Lines #3219, a one-man car built by CSL, as it looked on September 8, 1940. This car had formerly been used on the line to East Chicago, Indiana, which was abandoned three months before this picture was taken. This is also known as a “maximum traction” car because of its trucks. The white stripe on the end indicated it was a one-man car. Bob Lalich says this is “106th and Indianapolis. The car is eastbound.”

Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company #70, the last car to be scrapped. It was built by the St. Louis Car Company. We see it here at the Hammond Barn on September 8, 1940. These lines were abandoned in June 1940.

Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company #70, the last car to be scrapped. It was built by the St. Louis Car Company. We see it here at the Hammond Barn on September 8, 1940. These lines were abandoned in June 1940.

Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company #70 at Hammond in February 1939.

Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company #70 at Hammond in February 1939.

A Chicago and Calumet District transfer.

A Chicago and Calumet District transfer.

Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 74.

Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 74.

Indiana Railroad lightweight high-speed interurban car 63 at Bluffton in 1936. (C. Edward Hedstrom, Sr. Photo) Car 65, a sister to this one, is preserved in operable condition at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Indiana Railroad lightweight high-speed interurban car 63 at Bluffton in 1936. (C. Edward Hedstrom, Sr. Photo) Car 65, a sister to this one, is preserved in operable condition at the Illinois Railway Museum.

-David Sadowski

PS- We occasionally add photos to old posts. Here are a couple of recent examples:

This photo was added to Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 8-12-2015, since it goes along with the photos of the Chicago, Ottawa and Peoria.

Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway #242, shown at the Archer and Cicero station in Chicago in September 1933. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo) Mehlenbeck was member #11 of Central Electric Railfans’ Association. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “242 was built by Cummings Car & Coach Co in 1927.” Service on this line, which connected to the Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria, was abandoned on November 16, 1933.

Somehow we managed to leave this photo out of our recent post A North Shore Line Potpourri, Part Two:

CNS&M 168 heads up a three-car Chicago Local on the Shore Line Route, stopping at Linden Avenue in Wilmette. The date is February 11, 1939.

CNS&M 168 heads up a three-car Chicago Local on the Shore Line Route, stopping at Linden Avenue in Wilmette. The date is February 11, 1939.

It would be interesting to know whether the train is heading north or south. Going north, it would turn west onto street running on Greenleaf Avenue before turning north to run parallel with the Chicago & North Western. Heading south, it would begin running over the Chicago “L” system’s Evanston route. I am sure one of our keen-eyed readers can provide the answer.

Val Ginter writes:

The question on the page had to do with the direction of the train. I haven’t been there in many, many years; however, it looks like the train is northbound, and will turn left–or to our right–onto Greenleaf Avenue, where it will travel in the middle of the street for about three-fourths of a mile, before turning north onto its own right-of-way and the Wilmette station. I miss that whole thing: a big bite out of the Chicagoland apple.

On the other hand, Myron Moyano says:

Relative to the direction of the train at Linden Avenue on the Shore Line Route, take a close look at the angle of the sun and also the destination sign of the lead car. The picture is looking north at a southbound train.

The building at left in the North Shore Line picture is still there, located just north of where the CTA line ends at Linden Avenue. This proves the photographer was indeed looking north and the train was heading southbound.

The building at left in the North Shore Line picture is still there, located just north of where the CTA line ends at Linden Avenue. This proves the photographer was indeed looking north and the train was heading southbound.

So now we have a real difference of opinion. They can’t both be right.


HOOSIER TRACTION 2015

This September, a group of men and women will converge upon Indianapolis, IN for the annual gathering of the Hoosier Traction Meet. Considered by many to be the premier event of its kind, this conference of interested enthusiasts, historians, published authors and rail and transit professions consists of two complete days of audio/visual presentations on the history, operation and technology of electric railway and transit operations throughout the Midwest. In addition to the numerous auditorium events, there is an exhibition of electric rail and transit, where items of interest from transfers and photographs to fare boxes and operating models are for sale.

This year marks the 32nd annual Hoosier Traction Meet. Founded by Dr. Howard Blackburn, the Hoosier Traction Meet features, in addition to its auditorium events and exhibition hall, a opportunity for those interested in electric railway and transit to exchange ideas and swap stories with old acquaintances and meet new friends.

Allow me to take this opportunity to cordially invite each and every one of you to this special event — an event which has been the rail and transit highlight of my year for nearly twenty years. Attached you will find a copy of the Prospectus for this year’s gathering. Note that by mailing in your reservation in advance, the admission price is half that paid at the door — now that’s a bargain in anybody’s book! In addition, there are numerous restaurants and shops nearby, allowing plenty of opportunities to and have lunch or supper with your fellow enthusiasts.

Please consider joining us for this year’s event.

Wm Shapotkin
Auditorium Manager
Hoosier Traction Meet

Mr. Shapotkin is co-author of Faster Than the Limiteds:
The Story of the Chicago – New York Electric Air Line Railroad
and Its Transformation into Gary Railways

Central Electric Railfans’ Association* Bulletin 137

By Dr. Thomas R. Bullard and William M. Shapotkin

Published in 2004 – now out of print

*Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.


As an added bonus, here is some authentic 1920s jazz, courtesy of Bix Beiderbecke. Although the legendary Bix (1903-1931) hailed from Iowa, he did spend at least one summer blowing his cornet (which is now in the collection of the Chicago History Museum as far as I know) at Hudson Lake in Indiana, and I’m sure he got there via what we now know as the South Shore Line interurban.