The “Other” Penn Central

Photo caption: "Penn Central Railway #2 at the end of line (in) South Fork. Note motorman raising trolley to wire from window. These were center door cars. 1918."

Photo caption: “Penn Central Railway #2 at the end of line (in) South Fork. Note motorman raising trolley to wire from window. These were center door cars. 1918.”

Railfans are probably familiar with the ill-fated Penn Central railroad, described by the Wikipedia as follows:

The Penn Central Transportation Company, commonly abbreviated to Penn Central, was an American Class I railroad headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that operated from 1968 until 1976. It was created by the 1968 merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads. The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad was added to the merger in 1969; by 1970, the company had filed for what was, at that time, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

However, you might not be aware there was another ill-fated Penn Central, a short trolley line that briefly operated about 50 years before the more famous one. I certainly knew nothing about it until recently, when a few mysterious snapshots from 1918 surfaced:

Photo caption: "Penn Central Railway #2 leaving South Fork, 1918. After several runaways, (the) borough put (a) bumping block across tracks where car is pictured."

Photo caption: “Penn Central Railway #2 leaving South Fork, 1918. After several runaways, (the) borough put (a) bumping block across tracks where car is pictured.”

Photo caption: "Penn Central Railway #2 at Old Portage RR cut between Summerhill and Wilmore, 1918. Motorman on front. Line never ran long enough for crews to have uniforms. This also was a 1200 volt line getting power from Southern Cambria."

Photo caption: “Penn Central Railway #2 at Old Portage RR cut between Summerhill and Wilmore, 1918. Motorman on front. Line never ran long enough for crews to have uniforms. This also was a 1200 volt line getting power from Southern Cambria.”

Photo caption: "Penn Central Railway #2 at Old Portage RR Cut, 1918. Motorman and Conductor on front."

Photo caption: “Penn Central Railway #2 at Old Portage RR Cut, 1918. Motorman and Conductor on front.”

I decided to do a bit of research. Turns out it’s an interesting story.

The web site of CamTran, a Pennsylvania bus operator, gives the following information:

Southern Cambria Railway Co. 1908-1928

The “fabulous Southern Cambria, dread of the timid traveler,” is a story of a transit line that tried to conquer the tortuous terrain of the Alleghanies. Extending from Johnstown to Nanty Glo, South Fork, and Ebensburg, the line was plagued by numerous accidents, the most tragic of which was the head-on crash of two trolleys on August 12, 1916. Twenty-seven lives were lost and 80 injured. The Southern Cambria continued operating until December 17, 1928.

South Fork-Portage Railway Co. 1912-1928

The South Fork-Portage Company was originally chartered as the Johnstown & Altoona Railway Co. with the intention of connecting the two cities by rail. But money problems narrowed the vision to a three mile trolley line between South Fork and Summerhill. In 1918, the company failed and reorganized as the Penn Central Railway Co. with the goal of extending the line to Portage. Numerous derailments resulted in the termination of the company in 1928.

Even these few facts may be subject to correction. According to Department Reports of Pennsylvania, Volume 3, Part 4, the date of reorganization was 1917, not 1918:

Screen Shot 05-29-16 at 05.28 AM.PNG

The captions on the 1918 snapshots make me wonder if the 1928 termination date is accurate. They indicate that the line did not run long enough for the crews to get uniforms. They also allude to the short operation being accident prone, with several runaway trains leading the local government to place a barrier across the tracks. Since there the entire fleet seems to have been two cars built in 1913 by Niles, it wouldn’t have taken much to finish it off.

There seems to have been a cozy relationship between the Penn Central and the Southern Cambria. There may have been perfectly good reasons for forming a separate entity in this case, but perhaps the Penn Central operated only briefly in 1918 and existed on paper until the demise of the Southern Cambria ten years later.

It should be remembered that interurbans were the hi-tech enterprises of their time, chronically underfunded and overextended, with a very short peak coming around the time of the first World War– just the time we are dealing with here. From all accounts, the first Penn Central was a marginal operation at best, with a quick demise.

George W. Hilton and John Fitzgerald Due, in their classic The Electric Interurban Railways in America (1960), speculated that if highways had been developed a few years earlier, there might not have been an “Interurban Era” at all.

However, I for one think America is better off today for having had such marvelous electric interurban railways as the North Shore Line, South Shore Line, Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, Pacific Electric, and Lehigh Valley Transit, among others too numerous to mention. These were giants in their field, and long stood the test of time. With a bit more help, we could have saved a great deal more of this heritage than was actually done. Still, we are undergoing a true “trolley renaissance” today, and if transported into the past, some of today’s light rail surely has much in common with the earlier interurbans.

In that sense, the word “interurban” itself has a sociological meaning that ties it to an earlier era, mainly the first half of the 20th century. Nowadays, most people who ride the South Shore Line (the last classic passenger interurban) probably think of it as commuter rail.

Perhaps the second Penn Central would have been better off choosing a different name. It seems that 50 years before the New York Central merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad, this name was already jinxed.


Electric Traction magazine reported on page 513 of their August 1918 issue:

NEW ELECTRIC LINE OPENED

The formal opening of the new line of the Penn Central Railway Company, of South Fork, Pa., from South Fork to a point beyond Summerhill, took place recently when a car traversed the line bearing officials of the company, and others who had been invited to attend the event. Without the slightest hitch the car moved over the line from South Fork to the eastern terminus, where a stop of an hour was made before the return.

The roadbed over the entire 3 1/2 miles was found to be in splendid condition and the car negotiated the distance with all the ease and comfort of a Pullman coach. Secretary and Manager O. P. Thomas was congratulated over the achievement of the company in pushing its line through as far as it has gone, and the brilliant prospects for completing the line to Portage at no very distant date.

The car is of the heavy side entrance type and ideal for suburban traffic. Practically the only heavy grade on the line is encountered immediately after leaving the South Fork terminal. From the end of the eastern terminal on to Portage the trolley company will use the old roadbed of the Pennsylvania Railroad the greater part of the distance. Grading for the balance of the lines is 90% completed and the only factors that may handicap its early completion are lack of rails and labor.

The new line will draw on a rather thickly populated territory, including South Fork, Ehrenfeld, Summerhill, Wilmore, Portage, Beaverdale, St. Michael and other places. The original charter has been extended to Gallitzin, still further paralleling the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The latter has aided the trolley company in the development of it project in every way.

One car is now running regularly on the completed line; the fare is 10 cents.

Officers of the Penn Central Railway Company are: Robert Pearce, of Portage, president; Henry J. Raab, of Johnstown, vice-president; Andrew Strayer, of Johnstown, treasurer; and O. P. Thomas, of Johnstown, secretary and manager.


Forgive me if the above seems imbued with a sense of rosy, unwarranted optimism, trying to mask a sense of imminent dread and desperation. Ten cents seems to be a lot to charge for a 3 1/2 mile ride in 1918. There were many operators of the time charging a fraction of that for much longer journeys.

Why did it take five years to build a 3 1/2 mile line? Perhaps we will never know, but for part of that time, there was a war going on.

The first Penn Central turned out to be a trolley so obscure that there is nothing to be found about it on Don Ross‘ excellent and voluminous web site.

As for the rolling stock, the Electric Railway Journal reported as follows on page 768 of their April 26, 1913 issue:

NEW CENTER-ENTRANCE COMBINATION CARS

Two cars designed by W. A. Haller, of the Federal Light & Traction Company, have just been built by the Niles Car & Manufacturing Company for the South Fork-Portage Railway. This road is now under construction between South Fork and Portage by the Portage Construction Comapny, of which G. U. G. Holman is president. An extension of the line will be made as rapidly as possible so as to operate through cars crossing the mountain range between Johnstown and Altoona. Between South Fork and Johnstown the cars will run over the tracks of the Southern Cambria Railway Company.

Owing to the almost continuous climb from both Johnstown and Altoona to the summit, it was considered necessary to have cars as light as possible yet with great seating capacity to accommodate the mining population in the small coal towns though which the road runs. In fact, for a considerable portion of the distance, these mining towns are at close intervals, and the traffic at present will be primarily local. Larger cars of the same type are contemplated for through service when the road is extended. while the extreme length of the present car is only 45 ft. 7 in. and 44 ft. 7 in. over vestibules, the seating capacity is fifty-six persons. There is also a baggage compartment 8 ft. long which also can be occupied by passengers.

One of the novel features is the folding motorman’s cab, which isolates the motorman at the front end and which, when at the rear end, swings transversely with the car and supports two folding seats, increasing the seating capacity by four persons. The left sides of the center vestibule and of the baggage room also are fitted with folding slat seats as it is intended to open only the right-hand side.

Each side of the center vestibule is fitted with four pairs of two-panel folding doors glazed with clear glass from top to bottom, so that the conductor can observe the pavement from his station. These doors are operated by handles from the conductor’s station only. The step openings are covered by Edwards automatic steel trap doors.

The entire underframe, side frame and outside sheathing are of steel– the interior finish being of agasote and mahogany. Each car is equipped with four Westinghouse 1200-volt, 75-hp motors with HL double-end control and geared for a speed of 45 m.p.h.

On account of local clearances, the car is mounted with the bottoms of side sills 7 in. above the rails, the first step being 15 in. high. This may, however, be lowered to 11 in. if obstructions permit.

There were two South Fork-Portage cars, built by the Nile Car & Manufacturing company in 1913.

There were two South Fork-Portage cars, built by the Nile Car & Manufacturing company in 1913.

Screen Shot 05-29-16 at 03.44 AM 001.PNG

South Fork-Portage Railway stock, issued in 1912.

South Fork-Portage Railway stock, issued in 1912.

This summary, from a World War I-era McGraw Transit Directory, shows that the principals of the South Fork-Portage Railway were the same as those of the Penn Central, which is was reorganized into in 1917:

Screen Shot 05-29-16 at 05.13 AM.PNG

Screen Shot 05-29-16 at 05.13 AM 001.PNG


Correspondence

Daria Phoebe Brashear
writes:

I have some clippings for you regarding the line.

Also of note, the line had no passing siding, so apparently (I recall, probably from a Ben Rohrbeck book) that one of the 2 cars was sold off at some point, having otherwise been stuck at the end of the line.

That 1915 “subway” trackage dispute probably killed the line, given they would then have had no good way to pass the PRR line’s embankment what with the old Portage Railroad right of way consumed by what became route 53.

Altoona Mirror, 24 May 13:
SOUTH FORK PORTAGE RY. ON PENNSY TRACK

Valuable concessions. which will hasten the completion of the trolley line from this city to Johnstown, have been granted to the South Fork • Portage Railway Company by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The concessions have been secured by Mr. George Holeman, who is promoting the new railway. The line between South Fork and Portage is nearing completion, and cars will be operated there before many days, be(sic) those two points. Following is a summary of the agreement which has been secured from the Pennsy by Mr. Holman : “The exclusive use of the Old Portage and New Portage roadbeds between SummerhiII and Gallitzin. The use of the Pennsylvania’s own right of way and property at six places—through Cassandra borough ; a piece of land, east of Cassandra upon the main line right of way at the deep cut. between Cassandra and Lilly; a plot of land in Cresson borough, and a plot of ground between Cresson and Gallitzin.” The right is also granted to cross the P. R. R. main line at eight under-grade and five overhead crossings. together with the right to cross branch tracks at grade. Mr. Holman is to be congratulated upon the successful negotiation of this valuable right to the trolley company. He expects to be able to announce the date of the opening of the line within the next few weeks.

Altoona Times, 27 May 13:
BURY CORPSE ON RIGHT OF WAY OF S. F.-P. RAILWAY

Effort Is Made To Prevent Trolley Line From Crossing Cemetery

SOUTH FORK, May 26.—In an effort to check work of the South Fork•Portage Railway company upon the property of St. James Cemetery Association for the reason, it is understood, that the right-of-way has not been paid for, interested persons are alleged to have disinterred a body from the burial ground near Summerhill last evening and buried it again just in front of the steam shovel used in constructing the trolley line. This was not accomplished however, until two foreigners, laborers for the trolley company, had been arrested for trespass.

About 9 o’clock last evening people who are protesting against the progress of the traction line over cemetery property before legal matters are adjusted went to the right-of-way and dug a grave in front of the steam shovel. They then went to that section of the burial ground known as the “potters’ field,” it is said, and disinterred the body of an unknown man, killed on the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks several months ago. Before they removed the body to the prepared grave, officials of the traction company learned of the move, and sent two foreigners to the shovel to till the grave. This was done, large stones being dropped into the hole. Undaunted, however, the other party dug a new grave close to the shovel and placed the body in it, it is said.

The two foreigners were then arrested on charges of trespass. The body was placed close to the winding roadway that leads from the township highway up through the cemetery.

Attorney Arthur C. Simler, an official of the South Fork – Portage line, said today that permission to construct the line hail been given by Bishop Eugene A. Garvey, pending the granting of a petition by the court.

“The title to all church property in the diocese is vested in the Bishop,” said Mr. Simler. He was willing that we build the line through the St.James cemetery, as the tracks are beside the township road, on a strip separated from the cemetery proper by a fence. “We have the option on the property, but can’t close up the right-of-way til we get an order from the Court for the transfer. Our petition for that must be presented during a session of a court, and it it will be presented the first Monday in June. Pending the granting of the order Bishop Garvey indicated his willingness that we proceed with the grading.”

The body will not be moved, at least not for a short time, said Mr. Simler. The steam shovel will be moved to the other end of the cemetery strip, from where work will be done toward the grave. Squire Schofield has not given the two foreigners a hearing, as an attempt is being made to settle the case.

Thomas McGuire. who made the informations against the foreigners, could not be reached today, and an effort to communicate with Father Quinn, pastor of St James Church this afternoon elicited the information that he was at the cemetery.

The body that was placed in the right-of-way was never identified, it is said. The man was thought to have been from Sharon. He was killed near South Fork by a freight train.

Harrisburg Telegraph, 17 Aug 15:
Cunningham Insists on Public Utilities Co. Complying With Law

Highway Commissioner Cunningham and Chief Engineer Uhler served notice to-day by a ruling that public utilities corporations must conform with the law when dealing with the State Highway Department. The South Fork – Portage Railway Company, in Cambria county, has been endeavoring for some time past to secure right of way along a State highway route. Permission to pass beneath a subway, now occupied by the State highway, had been denied, but, through a misunderstanding, the railway company proceeded to lay tracks without a permit along this road.

Chief Engineer Uhler ordered the tracks removed and, on the failure of the company to do so, the State highway employees tore them up. Notwithstanding this, the railway company relaid the tracks and then secured a preliminary injunction in the Cambria county courts preventing the State Highway Department from removing the tracks. Officers said the work had been done without orders. Commissioner Cunningham observed that the officers of the company were responsible for the acts of subordinates.

The representatives of the company were told that unless the tracks were voluntarily removed and the preliminary injunction not acted upon, the department would be perfectly willing to take the subject into the courts for a ruling. After some argument the railway officials acceded to this demand and the tracks in dispute will be removed.

Also, The Johnstown and Altoona Railway was apparently a competitor. See page 32:
https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/TheOffice/OfficialAttorneyGeneralOpinions/1911_1912_AG_Bell_opinions.pdf

We are grateful to Daria Phoebe Brashear for sharing this information.

Editor’s Note: Benson W. Rohrbeck (1933-2015), mentioned above, authored about a dozen books on various Pennsylvania trolley lines, starting in 1964. These were self-published (by Ben Rohrbeck Traction Publications) and spiral-bound. They are an excellent resource.

Again, from Daria Phoebe Brashear:

Stephen Titchenal (Stephen@Titchenal.com)’s guess at the line (heavy yellow line). Mostly matches what I had but I’m unsure what the situation was with the first two underpasses east of Summerhill, why those were okay but the third wasn’t. My guess was that it followed the route of what’s now route 53 (thin yellow line) but the aerials from 1939 don’t obviously show such. Also a small fragment of a 1918 PRR valuation map which I don’t have publication permission for, which confirms the line ran (there) on the north side of the portage railroad, and made it to what would be the 3rd subway east of Summerhill, which is presumably the one the court case was about, which makes sense given that was the “deep” Portage Railroad cut, square in the middle of that fragment.

Given this, it seems pretty likely that that case, making the line unable to use that subway, was what did it in so early (and why it never made it to Portage.)

Of course, looking carefully, the fragment shows the trolley in the 2nd of 3 tunnels at the left. So. Yeah. I guess his map is right!

Last little bits: Since you still wonder about it on the page, I can identify the locations of all 4 pictures.

The two in the portage cut are one end of the line. The other two are in the same spot on Maple Avenue, at the other end of the line, what appears to be at Grant St.

Of note:
http://data.cei.psu.edu/pennpilot/era1970/cambria_1967/cambria_1967_photos_jpg_800/cambria_090367_apy_9hh_184.jpg

We’re looking up the hill, northeastward out of South Fork. The Line would have logically started where the Southern Cambria connected, which was via the bridge over the PRR, now gone, but shown in this aerial, and still standing when I was in high school, complete with what were probably the bents that held the trolley wire spanning the bridge still standing 60+ years after the Southern Cambria ceased service. On the right side of the street there’s a tailor, and another building behind it, further from us, right out against the street, but on the corner we can see in one of the pictures that the building is set a bit back. It matches Maple and Grant on this image which is 50 years later… but it’s not like there was a lot of reason for South Fork to turn over heavily.

Also, if you look at the image which shows the top of the hill, note that the track appears to move from the center, toward the left, but at the same time the street is narrower and on a shelf? The grade separation is visible in the aerial.

I’ll attach Sanborn 1916s for South Fork which came from sanborn.umi.com and thus can’t be distributed today; alas the Penn State library’s scans of originals only include 1910, and Library of Congress’s aren’t online, or those would be publishable.

The other end was taken looking basically east, from a point slightly west of this:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Summerhill,+PA/@40.376462,-78.7443303,241m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89cb0a5b6dd618af:0xd4cc84b70057a7e4!8m2!3d40.3781296!4d-78.7605764

The trolley line ran on the north of the Portage Railroad (which is now Portage St, route 53) through the cut which is mostly still there just to the west of this point. The railroad cars were on the track to the right — that is, south — of the line outbound from South Fork, and basically just behind the car from our vantage was the other car that never ran, and then the line would have turned slightly left, northeastward, to go through the subway that Cunningham and Uhler scolded them over.

I get it, I suppose. All 3 such subways look like this.

And the problem wasn’t even just that: staying along route 53 would have involved 3 such tunnels between here and Wilmore, and staying on the south side of the PRR here would have bypassed only two of those, leaving the line to need to still somehow get under the PRR and into the middle of Wilmore. Doable, but not cheap. Or they could have bypassed all 3, missed the center of Wilmore and showed up on the south side of the PRR in Portage, but presumably they hadn’t secured usage of any right of way to have let them do that, and they apparently had already used up all their funds getting done only what they did. So that story from 1915 was, realistically, the death of the line, in spite of the opening 2 years later. All I can guess is they hoped to make a good show of opening in the hopes they’d get more funds somehow, but the era of that was over.

Looks like you have solved the mystery for sure… kudos to you, thanks!

More Mystery Photos

If you can help us identify some of these pictures, we would greatly appreciate it. You can either leave a comment on this post, or drop us a line at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

-David Sadowski

Editor’s Note: Our readers (see the Comments to this post) have helped us reach a general consensus about most of these pictures.

1. The picture of Met “L” cars was taken at the Laramie shops on the Garfield Park line.

2. The Douglas picture may show the Kenton Yard.

3. We have a difference of opinion about the gate cars in the yard, but this could very well be Linden Yard in Wilmette looking north from Maple Avenue. The contemporary view lines up well with the older photo, and this is a place where you would have expected to see gate cars. They were, of course, used throughout the CTA system but in the 1940s and 50s you would have been more likely to see Met cars in the Laramie Yard.

4. and 5. Theses two pictures likely show the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago operation which ran until 1940. You can read more about that here. This had common ownership with the South Chicago City Railway Company, which explains why these cars look so much like Chicago’s.

6. We are now certain that the picture of car 242 shows the Chicago and Joliet Electric.

Thanks to all who contributed information.

These are Chicago Metropolitan "L" cars, but where was this picture taken? There seems to be dirt beneath the tracks, indicating we are at ground level.

These are Chicago Metropolitan “L” cars, but where was this picture taken? There seems to be dirt beneath the tracks, indicating we are at ground level.

That this is a CTA wooden "L" car (#2338) signed for the Douglas Park line is clear, but not the location. Where could this picture have been taken?

That this is a CTA wooden “L” car (#2338) signed for the Douglas Park line is clear, but not the location. Where could this picture have been taken?

CRT/CTA gate cars-- but where was this picture taken?

CRT/CTA gate cars– but where was this picture taken?

CTA's Linden Yard as it looks today, looking north from Maple. The track layout looks much the same as in the mystery picture, with three cars side-by-side. It would make sense to see gate cars there in the 1940s and 50s when the older picture was taken.

CTA’s Linden Yard as it looks today, looking north from Maple. The track layout looks much the same as in the mystery picture, with three cars side-by-side. It would make sense to see gate cars there in the 1940s and 50s when the older picture was taken.

Is this a Chicago streetcar, and if so, where was this picture taken? (Sorry for the lo-res image.)

Is this a Chicago streetcar, and if so, where was this picture taken? (Sorry for the lo-res image.)

Is this a Chicago streetcar, and if so, where was this picture taken? (Sorry for the lo-res image.)

Is this a Chicago streetcar, and if so, where was this picture taken? (Sorry for the lo-res image.)

This is car number 242 of a 1920s side of the road interurban, but which one? Could it possibly be the Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway, which connected the Chicago Surface Lines and the Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria? They did have a car 242, but I'm not sure this is the same car. Don's Rail Photos says, "242 was built by Cummings Car & Coach Co. in 1927." They have another picture of C&JE car 242 here for comparison. If this is that car, it would narrow down the time when this picture could have been taken to between 1927 and 1933. (We previously ran a picture of car 242 in a previous post.)

This is car number 242 of a 1920s side of the road interurban, but which one? Could it possibly be the Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway, which connected the Chicago Surface Lines and the Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria? They did have a car 242, but I’m not sure this is the same car. Don’s Rail Photos says, “242 was built by Cummings Car & Coach Co. in 1927.” They have another picture of C&JE car 242 here for comparison. If this is that car, it would narrow down the time when this picture could have been taken to between 1927 and 1933. (We also ran a picture of car 242 in a previous post.)

A close-up of the logo on the side of car 242.

A close-up of the logo on the side of car 242.


To round out today’s post, here are a few more interesting shots. No mysteries, however:

This circa 1952 photo gives a "bird's eye view" from one of Montreal's four open-air sightseeing trams. Car #2 is now at the Seashore Trolley Museum, in operable condition. I was fortunate enough to ride that car in 2014. You can see pictures I took of it here.

This circa 1952 photo gives a “bird’s eye view” from one of Montreal’s four open-air sightseeing trams. Car #2 is now at the Seashore Trolley Museum, in operable condition. I was fortunate enough to ride that car in 2014. You can see pictures I took of it here.

montreal1

Montreal Tramways had four of these unique observation cars in their fleet, which were used for sightseeing tours. Here, car #3 is at St. Joseph's Shrine on August 14, 1948. All four cars have been preserved, and car 3 is now at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum. A few years ago, I rode the very similar car #2 at the Seashore Trolley Museum.

Montreal Tramways had four of these unique observation cars in their fleet, which were used for sightseeing tours. Here, car #3 is at St. Joseph’s Shrine on August 14, 1948. All four cars have been preserved, and car 3 is now at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum. A few years ago, I rode the very similar car #2 at the Seashore Trolley Museum.

On the back of this photo, which shows Chicago Surface Lines 4003 at the Madison-Austin loop, it was misidentified as Brooklyn. See? You can't always trust what is written on the back of the photograph. As the man said, "trust, but verify."

On the back of this photo, which shows Chicago Surface Lines 4003 at the Madison-Austin loop, it was misidentified as Brooklyn. See? You can’t always trust what is written on the back of the photograph. As the man said, “trust, but verify.”

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 138th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 163,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

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

We thank you for your support.


Spring Cleaning

A couple of CA&E woods (including 308) head east, approaching the Des Plaines Avenue terminal in April 1957, a few months before abandonment of passenger service. Another CA&E train is in the terminal, while a train of CTA 4000s, including a "baldy" with the blocked-off center door, turns around on a wooden trestle. This arrangement began when the CA&E stopped running downtown in September 1953.

A couple of CA&E woods (including 308) head east, approaching the Des Plaines Avenue terminal in April 1957, a few months before abandonment of passenger service. Another CA&E train is in the terminal, while a train of CTA 4000s, including a “baldy” with the blocked-off center door, turns around on a wooden trestle. This arrangement began when the CA&E stopped running downtown in September 1953.

April showers have given way to May flowers, and it is high time here at Trolley Dodger HQ for a little spring cleaning.

A long time ago, railfans would put together dossiers on various subjects. Our own method, we confess, is to do something similar. We collect photographs and artifacts on various subjects, and after we have collected a sufficiency, that provides enough material for a blog post.

Inevitably, however, there are some odds and ends left over. So, this weekend we have cleaned out our closets, so to speak, and have rounded up some interesting classic images that we are adding to previous posts. People do look at our older posts, and when we can improve them, we do so. After all, we want this site to be an online resource for information that people will use as much in the future as they do today.

To this, we have added some recent correspondence and even a few interesting eBay items for your enjoyment. Add a few “mystery photos” to the mix, and you’ll have a complete feast for the eyes to rival anything put on a plate by the old Holloway House cafeteria.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

hollowayhouse


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 137th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 157,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

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

We thank you for your support.


The eBay Beat

berwynexpress1

berwynexpress2

This old metal sign dates to the 1940s or early 50s and was used on Douglas Park “L” trains prior to the introduction of A/B “skip stop” service, which started in December 1951. It’s remarkable that this sign, obsolete for more than 64 years, still exists. It was recently offered for sale on eBay, but the seller was asking about $500 for it and it did not sell.

You can see pictures of similar signs in use in our earlier post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Three (March 23, 2016). In practice, a train that was not an express would simply flip the sign over and become a local, unless it was a “short turn” going to Lawndale only, to be put into storage, which involved a different sign.

The seller says:

The sign is made by the Chicago Veribrite sign company that was very well know in sign making and went out of business in 1965. Sign measures about 19.5 x 11 in size.

I found a list of sign manufacturers online that says the Veribrite Sign Company was in business from 1915 to 1965.

There were other signs used that were not metal. Some paper signs were used to identify Garfield Park trains in the 1950s, and a few of these have also survived.

Mystery Photos

The three photos below are listed for sale on eBay as being from Chicago, but this is obviously in error. Perhaps some of our keen-eyed readers can tell us where they actually do come from. If we can determine the real locations, we will contact the seller so they can update their listings accordingly. (See the Comments section for the answers.)

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Englewood “L” Extension

Prior to the construction of the CTA Orange Line, which opened in 1993, the City of Chicago and CTA seemed more interested in tearing down elevated lines than in building them. However, the 1969 two-block extension of the Englewood branch of the South Side “L” (part of today’s Green Line) was an exception to this. It was even thought there might be further extensions of this branch all the way to Midway airport, but that is now served by the Orange Line. There was only a brief period of time when these construction pictures could have been taken. According to Graham Garfield’s excellent web site, the extension opened on May 6, 1969. At this time the new Ashland station, with more convenient interchange with buses, replaced the old Loomis terminal.

FYI, we posted another photo of the Englewood extension construction in our previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Three (March 23, 2016).

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Farewell to Red Cars Fantrip

This picture has been added to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Five (December 11, 2015), which featured another photo taken at the same location, on the same fantrip:

CTA regular service car 3167, painted green, is at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21. Red cars 479 and 473, at the rear, are on the famous CERA "farewell to red cars" fantrip. The date is May 16, 1954, two weeks before the end of red car service in Chicago.

CTA regular service car 3167, painted green, is at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21. Red cars 479 and 473, at the rear, are on the famous CERA “farewell to red cars” fantrip. The date is May 16, 1954, two weeks before the end of red car service in Chicago.


LVT on the P&W

We’ve added another photo showing Lehigh Valley Transit freight operations on the Philadelphia and Western after (passenger service there was abandoned) to our post Alphabet Soup (March 15, 2016), which already had a similar picture:

LVT freight motor C-17 approaches Norristown terminal ion the Philadelphia and Western in January 1951. Although the Liberty Bell Limited cars stopped running on the P&W in 1949, freight operations continued right up to the time of the September 1951 abandonment.

LVT freight motor C-17 approaches Norristown terminal ion the Philadelphia and Western in January 1951. Although the Liberty Bell Limited cars stopped running on the P&W in 1949, freight operations continued right up to the time of the September 1951 abandonment.


More CA&E Action

The Chicago, Aurora & Elgin picture at the top of this page, plus these two others, have been added to our previous post More CA&E Jewels (February 9, 2016).

This undated 1950s photo shows a westbound Chicago, Aurora & Elgin train (cars 406 and 41x) at the Villa Park station. According to the Great Third Rail web site, "The station was rebuilt again in 1929. During this reconstruction, the eastbound platform was moved to the west side of Villa Avenue with the construction of an expansive Tudor Revival station designed by Samuel Insull’s staff architect, Arthur U. Gerber. The westbound platform remained in place and was outfitted with a flat roofed wooden passenger shelter. Villa Park was one of a few stations to survive the demise of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin. Both it and Ardmore (the next station west) were purchased by the village of Villa Park and refurbished with an official dedication by the Villa Park Bicentennial Commission on July 5, 1976. It is now home to the Villa Park Historical Society which hosts an annual ice cream social on July 3, the anniversary of the day the CA&E ended passenger service."

This undated 1950s photo shows a westbound Chicago, Aurora & Elgin train (cars 406 and 41x) at the Villa Park station. According to the Great Third Rail web site, “The station was rebuilt again in 1929. During this reconstruction, the eastbound platform was moved to the west side of Villa Avenue with the construction of an expansive Tudor Revival station designed by Samuel Insull’s staff architect, Arthur U. Gerber. The westbound platform remained in place and was outfitted with a flat roofed wooden passenger shelter. Villa Park was one of a few stations to survive the demise of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin. Both it and Ardmore (the next station west) were purchased by the village of Villa Park and refurbished with an official dedication by the Villa Park Bicentennial Commission on July 5, 1976. It is now home to the Villa Park Historical Society which hosts an annual ice cream social on July 3, the anniversary of the day the CA&E ended passenger service.”

I believe this photo shows CA&E freight loco 4006 on the Mt. Carmel branch.

I believe this photo shows CA&E freight loco 4006 on the Mt. Carmel branch.

Here is Lackawana & Wyoming Valley 31 as it appeared on August 3, 1952. Passenger service ended on this third-rail line at the end of that year. Some have wondered if the LL rolling stock could have benefited the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, but the general consensus is these cars would have been too long to navigate the tight curves on the Loop "L", although perhaps they could have been used west of Forest Park. As it was, there were no takers and all were scrapped. Ironically, some thought was later given by a museum of adapting a CA&E curved-side car into an ersatz Laurel Line replica, but this idea was dropped.

Here is Lackawana & Wyoming Valley 31 as it appeared on August 3, 1952. Passenger service ended on this third-rail line at the end of that year. Some have wondered if the LL rolling stock could have benefited the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, but the general consensus is these cars would have been too long to navigate the tight curves on the Loop “L”, although perhaps they could have been used west of Forest Park. As it was, there were no takers and all were scrapped. Ironically, some thought was later given by a museum of adapting a CA&E curved-side car into an ersatz Laurel Line replica, but this idea was dropped.

The next photo has been added to our post The Mass Transit Special (February 4, 2016):

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North Shore Line Action

These Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee photos have been added to our post A North Shore Line Potpourri, Part Two (August 22, 2015):

A northbound CNS&M Shore Line Route train, headed up by 413, at the downtown Wilmette station in June 1954. The Shore Line was abandoned not much more than one year later. We are looking to the southeast.

A northbound CNS&M Shore Line Route train, headed up by 413, at the downtown Wilmette station in June 1954. The Shore Line was abandoned not much more than one year later. We are looking to the southeast.

A current view of where the North Shore Line station in downtown Wilmette was once located. We are at the corner of Wilmette Avenue and Poplar Drive, looking to the southeast. The station was located in what is now the parking lot of a strip mall. The storefronts at rear are on Greenleaf Avenue, where the CNS&M Shore Line Route turned east for some slow street running before connecting up with the CRT/CTA at Linden Avenue.

A current view of where the North Shore Line station in downtown Wilmette was once located. We are at the corner of Wilmette Avenue and Poplar Drive, looking to the southeast. The station was located in what is now the parking lot of a strip mall. The storefronts at rear are on Greenleaf Avenue, where the CNS&M Shore Line Route turned east for some slow street running before connecting up with the CRT/CTA at Linden Avenue.

CNS&M line car 606 on October 12, 1961. Don's Rail Photos says, "606 was built by Cincinnati in January 1923, #2620. In 1963 it became Chicago Transit Authority S-606 and burned in 1978. The remains were sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum." Joseph Hazinski writes, "The picture of North Shore Line car 606 is Northbound at Harrison Avenue on the mainline just before entering S. 5th Street. After adjustments are made to the overhead 606 will continue its patrol to the downtown Milwaukee terminal and lunch before returning south to Highwood."

CNS&M line car 606 on October 12, 1961. Don’s Rail Photos says, “606 was built by Cincinnati in January 1923, #2620. In 1963 it became Chicago Transit Authority S-606 and burned in 1978. The remains were sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum.” Joseph Hazinski writes, “The picture of North Shore Line car 606 is Northbound at Harrison Avenue on the mainline just before entering S. 5th Street. After adjustments are made to the overhead 606 will continue its patrol to the downtown Milwaukee terminal and lunch before returning south to Highwood.”

The North Shore Line's Silverliners, when freshly painted and seen in bright sunlight, positively gleamed.

The North Shore Line’s Silverliners, when freshly painted and seen in bright sunlight, positively gleamed.


More South Shore Line Action

These Chicago, South Shore and South Bend interurban photos have been added to our post Tokens of Our Esteem (January 20, 2016):

CSS&SB 106 heads up a two-car train going east from the South Shore's old South Bend terminal. This street running was eliminated in 1970 when the line was cut back to Bendix at the outskirts of town. Since then, it has been extended to the local airport.

CSS&SB 106 heads up a two-car train going east from the South Shore’s old South Bend terminal. This street running was eliminated in 1970 when the line was cut back to Bendix at the outskirts of town. Since then, it has been extended to the local airport.

George Foelschow: "The latest Trolley Dodger installment, which included a photo of a South Shore Line train on East LaSalle Avenue in South Bend, reminded me of a watercolor painting I acquired before moving from Chicago in 1978. The artist is David Tutwiler and the painting is dated (19)77. It depicts a similar scene. I thought you may want to share it with Trolley Dodger readers." Thanks, George!

George Foelschow: “The latest Trolley Dodger installment, which included a photo of a South Shore Line train on East LaSalle Avenue in South Bend, reminded me of a watercolor painting I acquired before moving from Chicago in 1978. The artist is David Tutwiler and the painting is dated (19)77. It depicts a similar scene. I thought you may want to share it with Trolley Dodger readers.” Thanks, George!

The same location today.

The same location today.

South Shore Line cars 28 and 19 at the Randolph Street station in downtown Chicago in March 1978. By then, these cars were more than 50 years old and had but a few more years to run. That's the Prudential Building in the background. Since then, this station has been rebuilt and is now underneath Millennium Park.

South Shore Line cars 28 and 19 at the Randolph Street station in downtown Chicago in March 1978. By then, these cars were more than 50 years old and had but a few more years to run. That’s the Prudential Building in the background. Since then, this station has been rebuilt and is now underneath Millennium Park.


Whither Watertown

On my first trip to Boston in 1967 I rode all the lines, including the Watertown trolley which briefly was designated as the A line (although I don’t recall ever seeing any photos of that designation on roll signs. I’ve read that officially, Watertown was “temporarily” bussed in 1969 due to a shortage of PCCs for the other lines. The tracks and wire were retained until about 1994 for access to Watertown Yard, where some maintenance work was done.

Recently, I found a blog post that offers perhaps the best explanation of why the Watertown trolley was replaced by buses. Starting in 1964, a choke point got added to the Watertown trackage in the form of an on ramp for the Mass Pike highway, which was one way. So, streetcars had not only to fight massive traffic congestion at this one point, but going against the regular traffic flow as well. Therefore, the MBTA decided to replace the Watertown trolley with buses (the 57) that were re-routed around this choke point.

Here are some pictures showing a 1988 fantrip on the Watertown line, which had by then not seen regular revenue service with streetcars in nearly 20 years. How I wish I was on that trip.

Three generations of Boston streetcars on a June 12, 1988 Watertown fantrip. That's a Type 5 car (5734) behind PCC 3295, with Boeing-Vertol LRV 3404 behind it. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Three generations of Boston streetcars on a June 12, 1988 Watertown fantrip. That’s a Type 5 car (5734) behind PCC 3295, with Boeing-Vertol LRV 3404 behind it. (Clark Frazier Photo)

MBTA LRV 3404, signed as an instruction car (probably so regular passengers would not try to board it) on a June 12, 1988 fantrip on Boston's former Watertown line. (Clark Frazier Photo)

MBTA LRV 3404, signed as an instruction car (probably so regular passengers would not try to board it) on a June 12, 1988 fantrip on Boston’s former Watertown line. (Clark Frazier Photo)


Recent Correspondence

Railroad Record Club Audition Records

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Kenneth Gear writes:

Hi David. Recently there was an auction on eBay for 4 RRC LPs. Interestingly each of the album jackets have a rubber stamping on them. It reads: THIS IS AN AUDITION SET RECORD AND IS THE PROPERTY OF THE RAILROAD RECORD CLUB HAWKINS, WI 54530.

The person selling these LPs offered no explanation but I can only conclude that these records were (or were planned to be) played on the radio or sent to a railroad or audiophile magazine for review. If they were played on air, wouldn’t it be great to know where and when. Perhaps the broadcast included an interview with Mr. Steventon. Have you ever seen a review of a RRC record in any magazine or newspaper archive?

I saw that too, thanks. One possibility is that these were demonstration records to be played in booths at record stores. Or perhaps they were used to try and drum up orders from people who had no idea what a railroad record was like?

Maybe the radio station idea is best… in any event, these must have been at least at one time owned by Steventon. Perhaps one of our readers might have a better idea what such audition records were used for.

We have written about the Railroad Record Club several times before. Don’t forget that we offer more than 80% of their entire output on CDs, attractively priced and digitally remastered, in our Online Store.


Farnham Third Rail System

Charlie Vlk writes:

Does anyone know the origin/disposition of the experimental interurban car used by Farnham in his demonstration of the Farnham Third Rail System? A section of side track at Hawthorne on the CB&Q was modified with Farnham’s third rail which was an under-running system that was only energized when the car was collecting power in a segment. Variations of this system were used by the NYC and other railroads. The trial took place in 1897 and he car looks similar to, but not identical, to Suburban Railroad (West Towns) equipment but had different trucks and slightly different window spacing.

Let’s hope there is someone out there who will have an answer for you, thanks.


St. Louis PCC Will Run Again

Steve Binning writes:

Hi, just thought that you might like to know about the PCC restoration at Museum of Transportation in St. Louis.

On May 21, 50 years to the day from the last streetcar operation in St. Louis, the Museum will present to the public a restored and operational PCC. We will be giving rides all day long. This car will be added to the other 3 cars operating at the Museum.

StL PS 1743


Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster

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Finally, there was some interesting correspondence regarding the Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster, which we wrote about on May 19, 2015.

Jeff Wilson writes:

The driver of the gasoline truck, Melvin (Mel) Wilson was my paternal grandfather who left behind a wife and four young boys.

It was a horrible tragedy that should never be forgotten.

Craig Cleve, author of The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster added:

Jeff,

I regret not being able to find more information about your grandfather when I wrote my book about the accident. Obviously, you didn’t know him. But what can you tell us about him?

Jeff Wilson replied:

Like you said, I never met him. My father told me stories and I’ve seen many pictures of Mel. After Pearl Harbor Mel enlisted in the Navy and served during WWII. He died on my father’s 8th grade graduation night. My Dad had asked Mel to stay at home that evening to attend his graduation ceremony. Mel knowing he had 4 boys to support decided that he would drive that evening and earn some extra money to buy his boy’s new shoes. They never saw him alive again.

I am gratified that we are helping to make these personal connections. It is important that the personal stories behind this tragedy be told.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten

CSL 1744 and 830 at Western and Howard. The sign on the diner advertises a "small fry lunch," perhaps for children, unless they had a tiny griddle. Another sign at rear promotes the Howard business district. George Trapp: "The Small Fry Restaurant was a full restaurant that lasted into the 1960's under that name. I believe it was renamed the Small Chalet sometime in the late 1960's."

CSL 1744 and 830 at Western and Howard. The sign on the diner advertises a “small fry lunch,” perhaps for children, unless they had a tiny griddle. Another sign at rear promotes the Howard business district. George Trapp: “The Small Fry Restaurant was a full restaurant that lasted into the 1960’s under that name. I believe it was renamed the Small Chalet sometime in the late 1960’s.”

7555 N. Western today. The Small Fry/Chalet has been replaced by a Wintrust Bank.

7555 N. Western today. The Small Fry/Chalet has been replaced by a Wintrust Bank.

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

Sometimes, the photos organize themselves into “themes,” and today’s batch features a lot of Broadway-State cars on the northern part of that route. Don’s Rail Photos has an excellent page with additional information on this type of car here.

Don Ross says:

When the various Chicago street railways were consolidated as Chicago Surface Lines, there were still vestiges of prior ownership which is why this group of cars is divided into various number groups. The CSL shops and other manufacturers turned out a number of cars for the various divisions including this group in 1923. There were also some smaller 10 window cars which are covered on another page. Some of the cars were converted to one man service in later years as indicated by the horizontal white stripe on the front dash.

Technically speaking, CSL was a unified operating entity made up of several underlying companies,  the Chicago City Railway, Chicago Railways Company, Calumet and South Chicago Railway, and the Southern Street Railway.  Of the four, the first two companies were by far the largest.  All continued to exist, at least on paper, until the Chicago Transit Authority bought out the various bond holders on October 1, 1947, after which they were liquidated.

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

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

We are very grateful for the generosity of George Trapp in sharing these great classic images with us. We also wish to thank the original photographers who took these pictures, most notably the late Edward Frank, Jr. and Joe Diaz, who tirelessly roamed the streets of Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s to document what was then the largest streetcar system in the world.

-David Sadowski


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CSL 3367 and 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3367 and 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3111, signed for Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: "Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars."

CSL 3111, signed for Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: “Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars.”

CSL 3118, signed for Devon, in the mid-1930s. George Trapp: "Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars."

CSL 3118, signed for Devon, in the mid-1930s. George Trapp: “Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars.”

CSL 3191 in the 1940s. The old Cine Theater, at rear, was located at 2516 W. Devon. According to Cinema Treasures, "The Rapp & Rapp-designed Cine was opened in 1937 in the neighborhood of West Rogers Park, on Devon Avenue at Maplewood Avenue. The Cine closed in 1953 and was converted into a clothing store. The former theater has housed an Indian restaurant for many years." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3191 in the 1940s. The old Cine Theater, at rear, was located at 2516 W. Devon. According to Cinema Treasures, “The Rapp & Rapp-designed Cine was opened in 1937 in the neighborhood of West Rogers Park, on Devon Avenue at Maplewood Avenue. The Cine closed in 1953 and was converted into a clothing store. The former theater has housed an Indian restaurant for many years.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 near the Cine Theater, at about 2560 W. Devon. Don's Rail Photos says, "1750 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 near the Cine Theater, at about 2560 W. Devon. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1750 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Devon and Maplewood today.

Devon and Maplewood today.

There is a nearly identical picture of CSL 1775 in our earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Four (November 27, 2015), which we reproduce below. However, careful examination shows that they are two different photos taken at nearly the same time. They were so similar that I even tried using photo stitching software to see if they could be the same. The program said there is no overlap. Notice how the front trolley pole is in a slightly different position than in the other photo, which must have been taken seconds before this one. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

There is a nearly identical picture of CSL 1775 in our earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Four (November 27, 2015), which we reproduce below. However, careful examination shows that they are two different photos taken at nearly the same time. They were so similar that I even tried using photo stitching software to see if they could be the same. The program said there is no overlap. Notice how the front trolley pole is in a slightly different position than in the other photo, which must have been taken seconds before this one. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1775 during WWII, promoting the Navy, is signed for Broadway. At right there is one of those supervisor's shantys that used to dot the Chicago landscape. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: "CSL #1775 turning from Clark onto Devon."

CSL 1775 during WWII, promoting the Navy, is signed for Broadway. At right there is one of those supervisor’s shantys that used to dot the Chicago landscape. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1775 turning from Clark onto Devon.”

CSL 1784 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. That's a 1938-40 Cadillac at right. This William L. Mitchell design did much to catapult Cadillac to the forefront of the luxury car market. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1784 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. That’s a 1938-40 Cadillac at right. This William L. Mitchell design did much to catapult Cadillac to the forefront of the luxury car market. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1741 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1741 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750. Perhaps the Sinclair gas station and the gas tank can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson says it's Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: "Side shot of 1750 is at Devon and Kedzie, gas holder with red and white checkerboard located a couple of blocks North of Devon."

CSL 1750. Perhaps the Sinclair gas station and the gas tank can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson says it’s Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: “Side shot of 1750 is at Devon and Kedzie, gas holder with red and white checkerboard located a couple of blocks North of Devon.”

CSL 1725 on the Broadway-State route. Perhaps the buildings at left can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson identifies this as Devon just west of Ridge. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "CSL 1725 is westbound on Devon at Damen, Angel Guardian Orphanage is located on South Side of Devon. Old St. Henry's Church is in background at Ridge Blvd."

CSL 1725 on the Broadway-State route. Perhaps the buildings at left can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson identifies this as Devon just west of Ridge. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 1725 is westbound on Devon at Damen, Angel Guardian Orphanage is located on South Side of Devon. Old St. Henry’s Church is in background at Ridge Blvd.”

CSL 1725. Same location information as above. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1725. Same location information as above. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Devon west of Ridge today. You can recognize the same church building as in the 1940s pictures, even though the orphanage just to the west of the cemetery has been replaced by Misericordia, another Catholic institution (out of this picture).

Devon west of Ridge today. You can recognize the same church building as in the 1940s pictures, even though the orphanage just to the west of the cemetery has been replaced by Misericordia, another Catholic institution (out of this picture).

A Brill builder's photo of CSL 3119. Don's Rail Photos says, "3119 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This was part of a series known as the 169 or Broadway-State cars. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

A Brill builder’s photo of CSL 3119. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3119 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was part of a series known as the 169 or Broadway-State cars. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

The as-new interior of CSL 3119 at the Brill plant in 1922. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

The as-new interior of CSL 3119 at the Brill plant in 1922. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

George Trapp: "Car 3120 and others of it's class are actually in the Clark-Arthur loop, materials stockpiled for rebuilding of Devon Depot which was being rebuilt at the time." Half of Devon Station burned down in a 1922 fire. (Fred Borchert Photo, printed by Edward Frank, Jr.)

George Trapp: “Car 3120 and others of it’s class are actually in the Clark-Arthur loop, materials stockpiled for rebuilding of Devon Depot which was being rebuilt at the time.” Half of Devon Station burned down in a 1922 fire. (Fred Borchert Photo, printed by Edward Frank, Jr.)

CSL 3124 being delivered. Don's Rail Photos says, "3124 was built by Brill Car Co. in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3124 being delivered. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3124 was built by Brill Car Co. in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3137 at Clark and Devon. (William C. Janssen Collection)

CSL 3137 at Clark and Devon. (William C. Janssen Collection)

An early photo of CSL 3161. Don's Rail Photos says, "3161 was built by Cummings Car Co in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This may be a builder's photo at the Cummings plant.

An early photo of CSL 3161. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3161 was built by Cummings Car Co in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This may be a builder’s photo at the Cummings plant.

CSL 3161 as new at the McGuire-Cummings plant in 1923. This same builder also made Chicago and West Towns car 141, now restored to running condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 3161 as new at the McGuire-Cummings plant in 1923. This same builder also made Chicago and West Towns car 141, now restored to running condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

You might wonder if both poles are up in this 1930s picture of CSL 3178. But there is another car behind this one. I would assume this picture was taken on Clark Street near Lincoln Park, and 3178 is operating as a Broadway car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "Car 3178 on Broadway line not Broadway-State in the early 1930's before two lines combined in August of 1937."

You might wonder if both poles are up in this 1930s picture of CSL 3178. But there is another car behind this one. I would assume this picture was taken on Clark Street near Lincoln Park, and 3178 is operating as a Broadway car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “Car 3178 on Broadway line not Broadway-State in the early 1930’s before two lines combined in August of 1937.”

CSL 6158 and followers at Devon and Kedzie. Don's Rail Photos says, "6158 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This was another Broadway-State car. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 6158 and followers at Devon and Kedzie. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6158 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was another Broadway-State car. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1745 at Devon and Sacramento. As another "169" or Broadway-State car, Don's Rail Photos adds, "1745 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This photo predates the rebuilding since a one-man car of this type would have a white stripe on the front. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1745 at Devon and Sacramento. As another “169” or Broadway-State car, Don’s Rail Photos adds, “1745 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This photo predates the rebuilding since a one-man car of this type would have a white stripe on the front. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 at Devon and Kedzie, north end of the long Broadway-State route. As you can see, the area here was not yet built up. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 at Devon and Kedzie, north end of the long Broadway-State route. As you can see, the area here was not yet built up. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1745, presumably near Devon and Kedzie. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1745, presumably near Devon and Kedzie. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1725 on the Clark-Wentworth route. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "CSL 1725 is at Vincennes and 79th with coupler reattached at one end for possible use of trailers during World War II, which never took place."

CSL 1725 on the Clark-Wentworth route. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 1725 is at Vincennes and 79th with coupler reattached at one end for possible use of trailers during World War II, which never took place.”

CSL 3201 is northbound at State on the Broadway route. That's Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "CSL 3201 is on State not Wabash sometime between 7/10/32 and 8/19/37. Car is one of two experimental MU cars built by CSL in 1924 with the 23 class cars. Cars ran mainly on Broadway after their first year." Broadway-State cars ran on Wabash from 1939 to 1949, when the State Street bridge was being rebuilt.

CSL 3201 is northbound at State on the Broadway route. That’s Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 3201 is on State not Wabash sometime between 7/10/32 and 8/19/37. Car is one of two experimental MU cars built by CSL in 1924 with the 23 class cars. Cars ran mainly on Broadway after their first year.” Broadway-State cars ran on Wabash from 1939 to 1949, when the State Street bridge was being rebuilt.

George Trapp: "CSL 2859, built in 1924 by CSL for the Calumet & South Chicago to replace a wrecked car." This is typed as a "169" or Broadway-State car.

George Trapp: “CSL 2859, built in 1924 by CSL for the Calumet & South Chicago to replace a wrecked car.” This is typed as a “169” or Broadway-State car.

CSL 3246 and 3247 operating in tandem in the 1920s. Andre Kristopans has pointed out that two cars would have used but a single trolley pole in order to avoid having the second car run afoul of switches. The location is given as Maypole and Springfield. (CSL Photo)

CSL 3246 and 3247 operating in tandem in the 1920s. Andre Kristopans has pointed out that two cars would have used but a single trolley pole in order to avoid having the second car run afoul of switches. The location is given as Maypole and Springfield. (CSL Photo)

CSL 6222 signed for Devon and Kedzie. One of our readers says this car is going westbound on Chicago Avenue at Clark.

CSL 6222 signed for Devon and Kedzie. One of our readers says this car is going westbound on Chicago Avenue at Clark.