Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven

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

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

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

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

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

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

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

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

-David Sadowski


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashland and Irving Park today. We are looking east.

Ashland and Irving Park today. We are looking east.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5847 N. Broadway today.

5847 N. Broadway today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Bronsky writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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25 thoughts on “Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven

  1. Regarding the third and fourth photos in this group…the location is correct, but the alignment is slightly off. The photographer is looking northwest up Milwaukee Avenue; the “turtleback” car at the left in the first picture is on Grand. The block in the background (with the corner bar and Schlitz billboard) was recently torn down for new construction; the buildings had all been painted a bluish-gray and left to deteriorate for years.

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  2. You have the streets misidentified in the two shots at Grand/Milwaukee. The street you are looking down is Milwaukee, cars could be Milwaukee, Elston, or Division routes. the 1900 on the left in the first photo is on Grand, and Halsted crosses both left to right.

    Sedan 3367 is turning west to north at 95th and Cottage Grove.

    3113 is at Ashland and Irving Park, on the NORTH ASHLAND shuttle route between Irving Park and Fullerton. It was made part of the main route in the 1930’s when the Ashland bridge over the North Branch was built.

    The lakefront shot is indeed Oak St, the Chicago Ave loop which was on the NORTH side of Grand about where the entrance to the water filtration plant now is.

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

    The first bridge photo is Kedzie across the Sanitary & Ship Canal. The IC bridge in the background is still there, the Kedzie bridge was replaced mid-1960’s, which caused the conversion of the Kedzie-California trolley bus route to motor buses, because CTA did not want to put wires on the shoo-fly.

    The second bridge photo is much harder to ID. However, notice that while the bridge is for lanes, the streetcar is on the “wrong side”, as both tracks are on the near half of the bridge!

    Devon carhouse fire wasn’t anywhere near as bad as people like to think. This was a large facility, and part of one bay burned out. Remember, CSL had over 3000 cars, so losing 60-some was no big deal, when you get right down to it.

    CSL kept many single truckers into the 1930’s to “pad the valuation”. Most were scrapped circa 1936 when the prewar PCC;s came, as the PCC’s had to, on the books, replace cars of an “equal value”.

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    • One of our regular readers writes:

      In reading about CSL’s practice of storing old streetcars for years so as to increase their corporate asset values, when preparing for public takeover, it is interesting to note that the Pittsburgh Railways Company stored PCCs for years in closed car barns so as to increase their asset values when they were taken over by the Port Authority in 1964. National City Lines retained streetcars in St Louis, Baltimore and Philadelphia so as to increase the value of their capital assets when they sold them to public authorities.

      From an investor capitalist perspective, streetcars offered capital assets in the cars, overhead, tracks and substations which motor buses did not. It was a shrewd way of increasing the amount that they were paid by the public agencies who bought the assets and in most cases proceeded to abandon them as soon as they could.

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      • For CSL, this became a bone of contention when negotiating a buyout price with the fledgling CTA in the 1940s. The bond holders wanted something like $250m, while the final amount paid was $75m. CTA wanted to pay a depreciated price, while CSL wanted full value for its assets.

        The amount paid was even less than that, however, when you consider that CSL had $30m in cash set aside for equipment purchases.

        In the 1950s, CTA board member Werner W. Schroeder studied the issue, and concluded that the price paid was fair, because it had been properly adjudicated. But CSL was, at that time, under the control of the bankruptcy courts.

        The same did not hold true of the Chicago Motor Coach Company. When CTA bought them in 1952, they had to pay more than they wanted to.

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  3. The lakefront picture features the Furniture Mart at Lake Shore Drive at Erie Street, built in 1926 and the largest building in Chicago for a time. The tiny beach would be at Ohio Street. The Chicago Avenue line approached Navy Pier until the drive was “improved”, though I believe its tracks were separate from the Grand Avenue line.

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  4. Our regular reader M. E. writes:

    Here are my thoughts about locations of two photos in your 154th posting.

    The photo titled “CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route” must have been taken at 95th and Cottage Grove, because the streetcar is turning from one road to another. At 95th St. there were actually two Cottage Grove Aves.– one heading north along the west side of the Illinois Central main line, the other heading south along the east side of the IC main line. To connect from one Cottage Grove to the other (whether north- or southbound), the streetcars turned left onto 95th St., went under the IC, then turned north on the other Cottage Grove.

    As for which side of the IC this picture depicts, I believe it is the west side, because I recall a wall along the south side of 95th St. Ergo, this view is west on 95th and the streetcar is heading north.

    In the caption of the next photo, titled “CSL 3113 on the Ashland route”, you ask whether this photo was taken at the south end the Ashland line at 95th St. The streetcar is obviously at a terminal because it would otherwise be on the wrong track. But I think this is not 95th St., for these reasons:

    (1) The streetcar tracks ended maybe 15 or 20 feet north of 95th St. Therefore, the traffic signal in the photo would have to be at 95th St. Looking at the car in the photo, the era was probably the 1930s. Even then, 95th St. was routes US 12 and 20, and 95th was a wider road than appears in the photo.

    (2) If this were 95th St., the apartment building would be on the northwest corner of 95th and Ashland. I recall no such building there. And that is mainly because the Pennsylvania RR freight line ran southeast and northwest, just west of 95th and Ashland. There likely would not have been room for the apartment building between Ashland and the Pennsy RR. (And it would have been a lousy place to live, because of the train horns at the intersection.) Also, there was positively no building on the southwest corner of 95th and Ashland, because the railroad was too close to Ashland to allow for any buildings. You can see this on a map where, south of 95th, Ashland Ave. becomes Beverly Blvd. to parallel the old Pennsy line.

    All of which leads me to think this is probably the north terminal at Southport and Clark.

    The photo titled “I’m not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago’s lakefront” is probably, as you surmise, at Navy Pier. There was a huge building on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, which I think was the Furniture Mart. That would have been only a block north of Grand Ave., where Navy Pier is. There were no streetcars anywhere near the Oak St. beach.

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  5. Many thanks for these wonderful pictures.

    I have taken the liberty of showing how they can be improved with Photoshop, working on this one photo.

    Sincerely,

    Marty Robinson

    >

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  6. I concur that Dave 090 photo is not at Ashland & 95th. The Walgreen’s store is on the NE corner. Thus a streetcar changing ends would have the store entrance to the right of the photo (unless the photo is transposed backwards). There also wasn’t any apartments south or west of the Walgreen’s. The vacant lots were not developed until the mid 1950s with the Beverly movie theater (Home of Single Features) on the SE corner and the Beverly Drive-in restaurant (with their superb “Big Bev Burgers”) on the SW corner.

    I concur that Dave photo 089 is 95th & Cottage Grove on the northerly extending segment of that avenue. The fence along 95th St. with the heavily wooded area beyond it was a buffer for the IC railroad’s Burnside passenger car shops (serving both electric commuter mu’s and intercity cars) hidden deep within. I grew up near there and never suspected the presence of the railroad facility! A nearby lumber yard was permitted to prudently mine trees from the area.

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  7. Since this installment is about the Chicago Surface Lines this may be a good time to ask about the record of the old radio program “Keeping Pace” that you purchased back in March. I was wondering if you were able to find some way of listening to it, I would really like to know what is on that disc!

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    • I contacted the Museum of Broadcast Communications here in Chicago. They told me that they may be able to play the disc, but they never got back to me about whether they actually can. I offered to donate the disc to them in exchange for a recording. I will follow up, thanks.

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  8. Regarding the Navy Pier photo: “The number on this car at Navy Pier looks like 3010”

    studying the picture and inverting it to a negative image the car number looks like 3916 or possibly 5916.

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  9. Charles Billette writes:

    I find that Chicago in the Red Car days to have a lot in common with my home town, Glasgow, Scotland. Beautifully setted streets, good workshops, many lines that ended in a crossover, intensive services etc. Must have been wonderful living there in those days!

    In the last batch of photographs, there were views of a junction with Grand, Halstead and Milwaukee meeting in a “six-ways”(?) crossing. It seems to be even more fearsome than Glasgow’s St George’s Cross which was a five-ways crossing. Do you have/know of any decent photos of this six-ways? Trackwork and overhead work are of great interest to me and this junction looks to be a beauty!

    Thanks for all the fabulous pics.

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    • I know that at one time, that intersection was at least a Grand Union, perhaps even a double GU. If we can find some pictures of this, we will post them. We were sure to include an overhead shot of a Chicago Grand Union in CERA B-146, since every streetcar book ought to have at least one such picture. There were several GUs in Chicago at one point, although I don’t know offhand whether it was 5, 6, or whatever.

      Halsted is spelled without an “a,” although I don’t know if it always was so. You see the same thing happen with Cleveland, which sometimes gets another “a” thrown in, or Pittsburgh, which used to drop its last letter sometimes. Spelling was an approximate thing back in the old days, I guess.

      Thanks.

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  10. The two shots of S Western Av bridge are likely from almost the same timeframe. Western Ave was widened in the 1910’s, I guess right after WW1. I have seen a photo taken off the Logan square L Western station looking north before widening, and Western then was about as wide as Damen is today at North Ave. Western was one of the last major widening jobs. Western Blvd was built about the same time as the widening, sometime around 1910 or so, and some spots the local street was never fully widened out, such as under the railroad bridges at Pershing, since the railroad bridges were quite new at the time. There were other places were streets were widened and tracks not moved, as widening was often on one side of the street only.

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  11. 1260 on Montrose might be at Knox. Does not appear to be at Milwaukee, but that was a 1930 extension, and this is likely before then.

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