A grade separation project in Evanston. Brian M. Hicks: “This is Foster Station in Evanston, looking north in Fall 1929.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)
Our latest post features another generous selection of Chicago rapid transit photos from the collections of George Trapp. We thank him again for sharing these with our readers.
There will be additional installments in this series. Today, we have concentrated on the Evanston branch, today’s CTA Purple Line.
As always, if you have anything interesting to add to the discussion, you can either leave a comment here on this post, or contact us directly at:
PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page. To find more Evanston pictures, type “Evanston” in the search window.
A map of the CTA Purple Line (Evanston) branch.
Wood cars under wire in Evanston in the 1950s. Howard yard is at left. George Trapp: “Note the variety of car types in the yard: 1000 series NW gate car at far left next to a St. Louis built Articulated with a Pullman unit coupled to it, Baldy 4000 in CTA Green, 6001-6130 series and two rows of Plushie 4000’s one in CTA Green the other in CRT Brown. You can also make out 1st and 2nd series of flat door 6000’s in station. Photo probably dates to 1952-53.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)
The North Shore Channel bridge in 1961. (George Trapp Photo)
During World War II, CRT 4427 was done up in patriotic garb to support the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). It is signed as a Jackson Park Express via the subway, so this probably dates the picture to 1943-44. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)
Here, we have a difference of opinion. George Trapp: “2 car train on single track is probably circa 1938-1943 as the 4000 series is in Brown/Orange. Believe location is Emerson St. and bridge is being installed where none existed before.” On the other hand, Brian M. Hicks says that this view “is from Central St. looking North. The 2700 Hampton Pkwy apartments can be seen in the background (1930-31).” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)
A close-up of the previous picture, showing the apartments in question.
The viaduct at Emerson, which is between the Foster and Davis stations.
A one-man CTA car crosses the North Shore Channel in 1961. This view is from Central Street. (George Trapp Photo)
This appears to show a grade separation project in Evanston. Brian M. Hicks: “Noyes street looking south in the Fall of 1929.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)
Northwestern car 5 (later CRT 1005) at the Central Street yard, sometime between 1908 and 1912. (George Trapp Collection)
The old Central Street yard in Evanston. According to http://www.chicago-l.org: “The Central Street terminal consisted of a simple high-level wooden island platform and small headhouse at the north end of the platform near the street. The tracks and station were at ground-level, as was the entire Evanston extension of the Northwestern, as the “L” simply electrified the existing ground-level steam railroad’s tracks. A small yard was built at Central Street, south of the station, for car storage, although its capacity was modest. Central Street also served as the main transfer point between the “L” and the Chicago & Milwaukee Electric interurban (ancestor of the North Shore Line). The C&ME had already been leasing the St. Paul’s tracks for a few years from Linden Avenue in Wilmette to Church Street in downtown Evanston, where their terminal was located just a block from the “L”‘s Davis Street station. Transfer was also available to the Evanston Electric Railway Company’s streetcar line, which ran along Central and then south on Sherman to downtown Evanston. (Later converted to motor buses, the line essentially became the Evanston Bus Company’s Route #1, then the CTA’s #201 Central-Sherman bus, now the #201 Central-Ridge.)
By 1912, the Northwestern had outgrown its terminal at Central Street. There were also new riders to be had in the nearby suburb to the north, Wilmette. In February 1912, Northwestern President Britton I. Budd notified Wilmette officials of his extension intentions and, despite opposition that quickly developed, the line was extended on April 1, 1912. The Central Avenue yard was soon closed and the station’s island platform was eventually replaced with a set of side platforms. A station house was located at the north end of the inbound platform.” (George Trapp Collection)
The Evanston embankment under construction. Brian M. Hicks says this is “the intersection of Lincoln and Ridge looking North in 1930.” According to http://www.chicago-l.org: “The Purple Line shuttle is the suburban portion of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad, which opened an extension from Wilson Avenue in Chicago to Central Street, Evanston in 1908. In 1912, the line was extended to its current terminus at Linden Avenue, Wilmette. The extension opened as a ground-level line, but was elevated in sections over several decades. Of the portion of the extension now on the Purple Line, the section from Howard to University Place was elevated in 1908-10 and the remaining portion to Isabella Avenue on the Evanston-Wilmette city limits was raised in 1928-31. Unlike most parts of the “L”, the Purple Line is elevated on a solid-fill embankment with concrete retaining walls.” (George Trapp Collection)
One of the 5001-5004 “Doodlebugs” in Evanston. George Trapp says this is “car 5003, one of the St. Louis built pair. Compare with photo of car 5001 and notice different trolley shrouds, roof air intakes, end windows, end door windows and destination sign windows. St. Louis cars also had stainless steel grab irons as did 6001-6200.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trap Collection)
Two 4000s in Evanston, one repainted in CTA colors, and the other still in CRT brown. George Trapp says the repaintings began around 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)
4000s near Howard. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
CTA 4447 plus one at Main Street in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
4000s on the Evanston Express. This looks like State and Lake to me. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
4000s in work car service on the old siding near South Boulevard. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
4000s downtown. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
Miles Beitler writes: “Although these three photos are undated in your blog, I believe that the presence of trolley wire over the streetcar tracks dates the photos to 1935 or earlier. As far as I know, the Evanston streetcar line was abandoned in 1935, and while the tracks remained for some time, the trolley wire was likely removed soon after service ended.”
Dempster station in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Bill Shapotkin adds, “Nice view of the Calvary C&NW passenger station in these two pix (this one and the next). Note that there was an elevator (not for ADA, but for funeral caskets).” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection) Miles Beitler adds,”This photo shows a four car CRT train.”
Chicago Avenue in Evanston. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection) Miles Beitler adds, “This photo shows a two car North Shore Line train on the Shore Line route.”
Dempster Street in Evanston in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
CTA 4441 at the front of a train of 4000s in Evanston Express service. Can this be Howard? (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
CTA 4296 heads up an Evanston Express train at Randolph and Wabash. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)
CTA single car unit #2 near Howard in 1964. George Trapp (this and next picture): “Cars 2 and 3 are Skokie Swift cars on Howard turn back loop going into service.” (George Trapp Photo)
CTA single car unit #2 on the turnback loop in Skokie service near Howard in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)
CRT/CTA 5001 in Evanston shuttle service. Brian M. Hicks says that this is a southbound train at Dempster. He adds, “The dip in the platform canopy still exists!” (George Trapp Collection)
A 1961 view of the North Shore Channel bridge from Isabella Street. (George Trapp Photo)
CTA car 50 at South Boulevard in 1962. (George Trapp Photo)
An Evanston Express train at Loyola in December 1962. (George Trapp Photo)
The bridge over the North Shore Channel in July 1961. (George Trapp Photo)
CTA 5004 is shown northbound on the Evanston shuttle at Howard Street, in its original aluminum and red paint scheme. It was built by St. Louis Car company in 1948. George Trapp adds, “note row of 6000’s is led by 6001-6004 with unique end paint jobs from later cars in series. Photo probably dates to late 1952 – 1953.” (George Trapp Collection)
This picture shows the old Central St. Evanston terminal. Note the large number of trailers. At the station, you can see a Chicago & Milwaukee Electric wood interurban. This was the predecessor of the North Shore Line. (George Trapp Collection)
CRT 1029, originally numbered 29, was built by Pullman in 1899 for the Northwestern Electric Railway. It is seen here on the Evanston branch. Brian M. Hicks says this is a southbound train at Dempster. (George Trapp Collection)
CRT/CTA 1757, signed as an Evanston local. Don’s Rail Photos: “1756 thru 1768 were built by Jewett Car in 1903 as NWERy 756 thru 768. They were renumbered 1756 thru 1768 in 1913 and became CRT 1756 thru 1768 in 1923.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)
Finally, here are some photos George Trapp took at the Linden terminal in Wilmette, on a 4000s fantrip. It looks like a trip I remember being on. This would have been after 1975 or so, since the two historic cars here have already been renovated:
FYI, that’s the late Bill Hoffman at left. In his photographs and films, he preserved a great deal of transit history. There are many Hoffman photographs in CERA Bulletin 146.
Here is one from our own collections:
On May 26, 1963, a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip train makes a photo stop on the CTA team track at South Boulevard in Evanston. This train consisted of 4259-4260 and 4287-4288. By this time, the 4000-series cars, which were originally designed to operate individually as well as in multiple units, were being used as semi-married pairs.
FYI, we have started a new blog devoted to the old Clark Theater, which ran two different movies every day of the year from more than 20 years. To film buffs, it was sort of like the Ebbets Field of revival movie houses, something long gone but fondly remembered, an important part of the old Chicago Loop:
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