CTA trolley bus 374 at Montrose and Narrangansett in 1948, “Another New CTA Bus.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
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. Some of these pictures also have streetcars in them.
To see additional photos he has already shared with us, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page. Several other posts should come up.
For the streetcar fans, we have also included several additional trolley pictures from our own collections, featuring the Chicago & West Towns Railways, Illinois Terminal Railroad, and its subsidiary the Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria.
As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:
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Bill Robb: “Chicago City Railway 430 is a 1938 ACF H-13-S. These units lasted unit 1953-55.”
CSL buses 6515 and 6407 at South Shops. The destinations signs on 6515 do not match. George Trapp: “CSL bus 6515 built by GM model TD-4506 built in 1946 is newly delivered and photo most likely taken by CSL.”
Bill Robb: “Chicago City Railways 402 is a 1934 ACF H-13-S.”
Andre Kristopans: “The Diversey TB shot is eb at Kimball. Large building across street still there.” Trolley bus service on Diversey ended in 1955 once the route was consolidated with former Chicago Motor Coach route 134. Ray Piesciuk: “The Diversey TB route was extended to Harlem (actually a wye at Neva) on 06/19/1932.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL bus 825, signed for Peterson. Bill Robb: “Calumet & South Chicago 825 is a 1939 White 805M which ran until a general purge of obsolete buses in 1949.” Andre Kristopans: “Most likely turning from north on Catalpa to west on Hollywood. Loop at the time was Bryn Mawr-Catalpa-Hollywood-Broadway.”
CSL bus 6520 on extension route 103A. The original version of this route operated between 1930 and 1941. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CTA trolley bus 465. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Another new trolley bus being delivered to Chicago by rail. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “New St. Louis trolley bus #411 on flatcar in a freight train in April of 1948 on Illinois Terminal, note catenary.”
CTA trolley buses 570 and 571 being delivered on Illinois Central flatcars.
North and Lamon was the approximate location of CTA North Avenue garage, so presumably that is where this picture of trolley bus 403 was taken. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “St. Louis trolley bus 403 is next to Pullman-Standard trolley bus 344 built at Worcester plant. Both delivered in
1948, St. Louis unit in March-April, Pullman in Nov.-Dec.”
A St. Louis Car Company builder’s photo of trolley bus 172. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL had an open-air trolleybus yard at Central and Avondale, adjacent to the Chicago & North Western. The Kennedy expressway now occupies this location. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) Ray Piesciuk: “The open air TB yard at Central-Avondale shows two buses with poles that are not trolley buses. They are work motor buses BA-106 & BA-115 outfitted with sleet scraping poles.”
Another reader writes: “Note the “Marmon-Herrington” builder’s plate on the front of the bus. When the buses were retired, there were no such builder’s plates to be found under the advertising holders that had existed at that location for most of the lives of the coaches. “
Another view of the old Central and Avondale yard. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Here is a 1940s map of the area around Central and Avondale on Chicago’s northwest side, where the Surface Lines had a temporary open-air trolley bus yard parallel to the Chicago & North Western starting in 1943. It was replaced by the Forest Glen garage in 1955. This area is now occupied by the Kennedy expressway.
George Trapp: “CSL #3226 is at South end of South Damen streetcar line, bus 6805 is on the shuttle bus extension to 87th Street.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 6153 on a charter, eastbound at Washington and State. Meanwhile, a suburban bus bound for the Brookfield Zoo approaches. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Andre Kristopans: “The Brookfield Zoo bus is Bluebird Coach Lines. Route was from downtown out Randolph, Ogden, 26th Desplaines, with most trips continuing out 31st, LaGrange, Ogden to Aurora.”
CSL 3189, northbound at State and Lake, on August 29, 1947. Note the Greyhound bus at right. (Thomas H, Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL Sedan 3332 southbound at Wabash and Roosevelt on September 27, 1947. Note the Greyhound bus at right. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive) Allen Breyer: “Also shows the old Union Bus Terminal behind the Greyhound.”
CSL 5289 passes some CSL buses at 78th and Vincennes, looking NE. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “5251 thru 5300 were built by Brill in 1906, #15365, for CCRy. They were brought up to higher standards in 1909.” (Gordon Lloyd Photo) This CSL bus photo is not part of the Trapp collection. Chuck Amstein: “The South Shops building in the background is still there.”
Another reader notes, “The two Yellow Coach gas buses in the background were purchased by CSL and are painted in the pre-Mercury Green CSL motor bus colors of Red and Cream with Black Striping as found on CSL 3407 at the Illinois Railway Museum today.”
Chicago & West Towns Railways
FYI, we have also added these two pictures to our earlier post West Towns Streetcars in Black-and-White (August 4th).
C&WT 104 at the Harlem and Cermak car barn on April 3, 1948, less than two before the end of streetcar service. One of the replacement buses is at right. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)
C&WT line car 15, with its famous bent pole.The defect was apparently accidental, but it was certainly distinctive.
Illinois Terminal Railroad
According to Don’s Rail Photos, IT 104 “was built by American Car in 1917 as AG&StL 64. In 1926 it became StL&ARy 64 and in 1930 it became IT 104.” This picture was taken in Granite City on August 14, 1956.
IT 284, decked in bunting, on what must have been the final revenue trip on this portion of the interurban in 1955. If anyone can identify the exact date or the location, please let me know. (Glenn L. Sticken Photo) You can see a picture of the same bunting applied to IT 277 at the Illinois Railway Museum in 2011 here:
IT double-end PCC 455 at speed in St. Louis on May 18, 1951.
Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria
Here are four rare photos of the CO&P. Since it was abandoned in 1934, photos are scarce. We previously posted a few more here.
CO&P freight motor 1523 at the Ottawa Shops in 1934, presumably around the time of abandonment.
CO&P express freight car 301 in November 1910.
CO&P first #60 at Depue in 1910, a product of the Danville Car Company.
CO&P #66 at the Ottawa Shops in 1934, presumably at the time of abandonment. It was built by St. Louis Car Company in 1924. Some cars in this series were rebuilt for use on the rest of the Illinois Terminal system, including IT 415 (former CO&P 64) which is now at the Illinois Railway Museum.