Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 10-31-2016

NJ Transit's Gladstone Branch took on the appearance of an Interurban railroad once it reached the open country side of Somerset County New Jersey. Close head ways, fast running, wooden catenary poles, and 1930's era MU equipment combined to create that Interurban look. This photo shows clearly the wooden catenary poles as a fast running Gladstone bound train of Ex-DL&W DC electric MU cars fly down the track near Bernardsville, NJ on June 2, 1983. (Kenneth Gear Photo)

NJ Transit’s Gladstone Branch took on the appearance of an Interurban railroad once it reached the open country side of Somerset County New Jersey. Close head ways, fast running, wooden catenary poles, and 1930’s era MU equipment combined to create that Interurban look. This photo shows clearly the wooden catenary poles as a fast running Gladstone bound train of Ex-DL&W DC electric MU cars fly down the track near Bernardsville, NJ on June 2, 1983. (Kenneth Gear Photo)

Reader’s Photos

Kenneth Gear writes:

On the subject of the The Guy Wicksall Traction Collection*, I am, as you said (you were referring to me?), looking forward to seeing the Gladstone Branch material on it.

NJ Transit’s Gladstone operation is about as close as I ever got to riding and photographing a true Interurban Railroad. I think it was very close, with it’s DC electric MUs and wooden catenary poles. It sure had the “feel” of an interurban, at least it did to me. I attached two photos to illustrate my point. One of my “railfan regrets” is never getting over to SEPTA’s Norristown line and riding and photographing the Bullet cars. I always meant to, but somehow it never happened. Another regret is that when I made a railfan trip to Chicago back in 1982 I did not ride the CSS&SB’s old MUs. I did however, photograph ONE train of them, I attached the photos as well.

Looking at this CSS&SB photo gave me an idea for the Trolley Dodger. Perhaps you could ask people to send in a few of their traction photographs to use in a “Readers Photos” section. These photos would not necessarily pertain to the subject of the post, just a little gallery of unrelated traction photos. It might come in handy if you need to fill out a Trolley Dodger post that’s a little short. It’s just an idea.

*See our post Guy Wicksall and His Films, October 11, 2016.

Thanks! I will run your pictures. Once people see how it’s done, they will probably be inspired to send others of their own. And yes, I was referring to you.

Does the Gladstone branch retain any of that interurban character today? Interesting that it was so interurban-ish, yet was probably never classified as one. Unfortunately, I never got to ride it before the old cars were replaced.

Ken replied:

I’d say the Gladstone Branch does retain it’s Interurban look, too a lesser degree. It’s still a single track main line with many passing sidings where, during rush hours, a lot of meets are done. The headways are still rather short between trains and the Gladstone end of the line has not changed all that much. It is an affluent area and land owners like their large estates and are not so willing to sell out for strip malls and housing developments.

What mostly made me think of Interurban trains on this line were the original Lackawanna RR DC electric MU cars, With their replacement, a good deal of that “charm” disappeared (daily commuters on those cars would most likely disagree). The wooden catenary poles have also been recently replaced with metal ones.

njt-mu-far-hills-12-15-14

I’ve attached a recent photo of a NJT train of ARROW MUs departing the Far Hills station to show you how it looks now, still somewhat Interurban if you ask me. The photo was taken in December of 2014.

njt-mu-millington-nj-8-23-84

I forgot to attach a photo of the Lackawanna MUs in traction orange. This scene, too me, has a very strong interurban flavor. It was taken in the last weeks of DC electric service and the lead MU looks a little rough around the edges, but I really like the shot. It was taken at Pond Hill Road near Millington NJ on August 23, 1984.

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South Shore coach/baggage car # 108 is the last car of a afternoon rush hour train. Seen from East Balbo Avenue, Chicago on June 23, 1982.

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Hoboken sure don’t look like this any more! The Ex-DL&W MUs are gone, the cranes along the long slip are gone, and the World Trade Center Towers are gone. This Kodachrome slide was taken on a gloomy day in March of 1980, just outside of the MU shed.

img108-copy

A nice broadside view of an afternoon rush hour Gladstone Branch train of NJ Transit (Ex-DL&W) DC electric MUs. The train is approaching the station stop at Far Hills, NJ on June 2, 1983. The Interurban RR look of this operation must not have been lost on someone in NJ Transit’s employ. When these cars needed repainting they were not given another coat of olive green paint- NJT painted them in a nice bright paint job of traction orange!


PS- I may be able to shed a little light on the mystery of the Lehigh Valley RR Baldwin switcher under catenary on the DVD.

Mr. Wicksall says in the narration that the scene may have been filmed on the North East Corridor in New Jersey. I think that is correct. It may have very likely been shot between Edison, NJ (at the time it may still have been called Stelton) and Metuchen. In this area was a former military base called Camp Kilmer. It was served by three railroads, the Pennsylvania (off the mainline), Lehigh Valley (off the Perth Amboy Branch), & Reading (off the Port Reading Branch). By the 1960s’ when that film was shot the base was closed and the land was being sold off for business redevelopment. Before this happened some of the base trackage was removed and that may have caused one railroad to use the tracks of another while serving the various industries on the former base property. I know the relationship among the competing RRs was not always friendly there. The Penn Central & Reading ended up in court fighting over who had the right to switch a chemical factory located on the Kilmer land.

Anyway, that is, in my humble opinion, the most likely reason for the LV train having been seen on PC electric trackage.

The only other place I know of that LV trains were regularly seen under PRR catenary was at “NK” tower in Newark, NJ where the “Hunter” connecting track linked the PRR NEC to the LV mainline. This was primarily a track used in the days of LV passenger service (which ended in 1961). Here LV diesels or steam was changed for PRR GG-1s (and reverse) for the trip into or out of Pennsylvania Station, New York. I believe a small amount of freight was interchanged here but the film footage on the DVD does not appear to have been shot here.

Thanks! I will forward this to Guy.


Another Mystery Photo

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Tony Zadjura of the Jefferson Township (Pennsylvania) Historical Society writes:

Hi Dave! Help! Need your help again. I don’t know what we have here. Overall view shows “Cobbs Gap” as it was called years ago. Present day PA Rt 435 runs below the cliffs, known as Greenville Cliffs years ago, in the background. The second photo is a cropped enlargement of the same. The car has the Erie logo, and the number 200. Thanks in advance.

Hopefully some of our readers can shed some light on this mystery photo, thanks.


Early CTA Schedules, Fares

Andre Kristopans recently sent us several scans, including a CTA schedule summary for Westchester trains, fare changes over the years, and CRT schedules as of the CTA takeover. Note Sunday only North-South. Other routes ran 24 hours terminal to terminal on Sunday.

Regarding fare changes, Andre adds:

A few items of interest:

On 10/1/47 CTA raised the fare from 8 cents to 10 cents. Chicago Motor Coach had already been 10 cents, so now inter-company transfers were free. CTA kept raising the fares, to 11c 5/11/48, and 13c 6/20/48, while CMC did not follow to 13c until 9/18/48. CTA again upped to 15c 10/15/49, while CMC did not follow until 11/8/51, but then CTA again went up, to 20c 6/1/52, which CMC did not match. So much of the time, CMC fares were LOWER than CTA.

Transfers were free until 7/23/61, then charge 5 cents. Went up to 10 cents 7/8/70.

Supertransfer (Sundays only) started 6/2/74

I replied:

Thanks. So, in 1952 if you transferred from CMC to CTA, you had to pay a nickel?

Andre:

Yes indeed! Additional amount was, as far as I can tell, paid to the receiving agency, in this case the CTA bus driver. But you can tell that towards the end, passengers were probably not too happy with this, because until 10/1/47 the extra fare was the other way!

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Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. You can always drop us a line at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

-David Sadowski


New From Trolley Dodger Press

VIDEOS ON DVD:

DVD05CoverA.pmd

The Guy Wicksall Traction Collection (1963-1975)

Our latest release, by special arrangement with Guy Wicksall, features video transfers of rare, high quality 16mm color films of electric railroads taken across the country between 1963 and 1975. These are much better quality than the more typical 8mm films railfans used back then. If you like classic railfan videos, you are sure to enjoy this collection, which features narration by the photographer. Mr. Wicksall receives a royalty on each disc sold.

Disc 1: 38 Chicago and New York Commuter Trains, 1963-1964 (18:24)
Includes Illinois Central Electric, South Shore Line, Chicago Transit Authority “L” trains in the Loop, on Lake Street, Howard, and Evanston lines, Chicago & North Western and Milwaukee Road commuters, Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central, Long Island Rail Road, New Haven, and New York elevated trains.

Disc 2: 48 Commuter Trains, 1968-1975 (57:22)
Includes San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) PCCs (some double-ended), trolley buses, and cable cars, Philadelphia Suburban (Red Arrow Lines), including Straffords and Bullets), Penn Central, New Haven, Erie Lackawanna, South Shore Line, Illinois Central Electric, and more.

Total time – 75:46

# of Discs – 2
Price: $24.95


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Chicago Streetcars in Color, Part Four

CTA 3182 and 660 at Cottage Grove and 115th in December 1951. This was the south end of route 4. The Illinois Central Electric is up on the embankment.

CTA 3182 and 660 at Cottage Grove and 115th in December 1951. This was the south end of route 4. The Illinois Central Electric is up on the embankment.

For our latest post, we have a collection of nice color images of classic Chicago streetcars, both red cars and PCCs. We have spent many, many hours working to improve the quality of these images, including both color correction and restoration, plus quite a bit of tedious “spot removal.” We feel the results, while not always perfect, are a great improvement compared to how they looked when we got them.

We hope that you too will enjoy our efforts. As always, if you can have anything interesting to say about these pictures, don’t hesitate to either leave a Comment on this post, or drop us a line at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To see earlier posts in this series, type Chicago streetcars in color in the search window at the top of the page.

CTA 7116 on the Museum Loop trackage near Soldier Field in January 1954. This would have been a short-turn on route 22 - Clark-Wentworth. These tracks were built in the early 1930s to serve the Century of Progress World's Fair. In CERA Bulletin 146, there is another picture of this same car on the Museum Loop in 1951. It's dark, but you can just make out an Illinois Central Electric train at right.

CTA 7116 on the Museum Loop trackage near Soldier Field in January 1954. This would have been a short-turn on route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. These tracks were built in the early 1930s to serve the Century of Progress World’s Fair. In CERA Bulletin 146, there is another picture of this same car on the Museum Loop in 1951. It’s dark, but you can just make out an Illinois Central Electric train at right.

CTA PCC 7058 crossing the Congress Expressway construction site on Halsted in May 1952.

CTA PCC 7058 crossing the Congress Expressway construction site on Halsted in May 1952.

A Pullman-built PCC at the same location. Here, the bridge has been completed.

A Pullman-built PCC at the same location. Here, the bridge has been completed.

In the latter days of streetcar service on Halsted (1953-54), PCCs were replaced by older red Pullman streetcars such as this one. More progress has been made building the highway, as compared with the previous pictures.

In the latter days of streetcar service on Halsted (1953-54), PCCs were replaced by older red Pullman streetcars such as this one. More progress has been made building the highway, as compared with the previous pictures.

CTA 4387 heading north on Clark, just north of Devon. On page 241 in CERA Bulletin 146, there is a different picture taken near this location.

CTA 4387 heading north on Clark, just north of Devon. On page 241 in CERA Bulletin 146, there is a different picture taken near this location.

The same location today.

The same location today.

This picture of CTA 528 was taken in January 1952 on Roosevelt Road near Ashland, where route 9 took a jog from Ashland to Paulina. There was a portion of Ashland where streetcars were not permitted to operate. One of our readers asks, "Why is there a gauntlet track in the foreground?" This is a picture of Roosevelt and Ashland (the north side of the street), where two different tracks converged into one. First, there was the Ashland car line turning onto Roosevelt towards Paulina. The other track would have been for Roosevelt, since at this point the line took a jog, and went off onto a sort of "service drive" on the sides of the street. In general, Roosevelt ran in the main part of the street, except for the section between Ogden and Ashland, which used this arrangement. (This arrangement is no longer used here, and the area where streetcars ran is now covered with grass.) So the two tracks, coming from different directions, could have converged into one at this spot. This is shown on the supervisor's track maps. Lending credence to my theory, you can see the "L" on Paulina in the background.

This picture of CTA 528 was taken in January 1952 on Roosevelt Road near Ashland, where route 9 took a jog from Ashland to Paulina. There was a portion of Ashland where streetcars were not permitted to operate. One of our readers asks, “Why is there a gauntlet track in the foreground?” This is a picture of Roosevelt and Ashland (the north side of the street), where two different tracks converged into one. First, there was the Ashland car line turning onto Roosevelt towards Paulina. The other track would have been for Roosevelt, since at this point the line took a jog, and went off onto a sort of “service drive” on the sides of the street. In general, Roosevelt ran in the main part of the street, except for the section between Ogden and Ashland, which used this arrangement. (This arrangement is no longer used here, and the area where streetcars ran is now covered with grass.) So the two tracks, coming from different directions, could have converged into one at this spot. This is shown on the supervisor’s track maps. Lending credence to my theory, you can see the “L” on Paulina in the background.

The same view today, looking west from Roosevelt and Ashland.

The same view today, looking west from Roosevelt and Ashland.

This is an enlargement from the 1948 CTA supervisor's track map, which can be found in our E-book Chicago's PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store. Roosevelt is the street between Taylor and 14th.

This is an enlargement from the 1948 CTA supervisor’s track map, which can be found in our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store. Roosevelt is the street between Taylor and 14th.

CTA Pullman 136 on Roosevelt near Ashland. This is an Ashland car, making the jog between Paulina and Ashland, while the bus is serving Roosevelt. Daniel Joseph adds, "The 5000 series Twin Coach propane buses were not being delivered to Chicago until December 1950 according to the data in Andre Kristopans' book." So the picture cannot be earlier than that date. The marquee of the Joy Theater, located at 1611 W. Roosevelt Road, provides another clue. According to Cinema Treasures, "Located on the Near West Side, on Roosevelt Road at the intersection of Ashland Avenue, the Orpheus Theatre opened in 1913. The movie house was later operated by the Marks Brothers circuit, and still later, by the Essaness circuit. By the 1940’s, the theatre was renamed the Joy Theatre. In 1952, the Joy Theatre was acquired by the Gomez family, who renamed it the Cine Tampico, for their home town in Mexico. It was still in operation as a Spanish-language movie house by the mid-1970’s. A drive-up bank is located today where this movie theatre once stood." That would make 1952 the latest date this photo could have been taken.

CTA Pullman 136 on Roosevelt near Ashland. This is an Ashland car, making the jog between Paulina and Ashland, while the bus is serving Roosevelt. Daniel Joseph adds, “The 5000 series Twin Coach propane buses were not being delivered to Chicago until December 1950 according to the data in Andre Kristopans’ book.” So the picture cannot be earlier than that date. The marquee of the Joy Theater, located at 1611 W. Roosevelt Road, provides another clue. According to Cinema Treasures, “Located on the Near West Side, on Roosevelt Road at the intersection of Ashland Avenue, the Orpheus Theatre opened in 1913. The movie house was later operated by the Marks Brothers circuit, and still later, by the Essaness circuit. By the 1940’s, the theatre was renamed the Joy Theatre. In 1952, the Joy Theatre was acquired by the Gomez family, who renamed it the Cine Tampico, for their home town in Mexico. It was still in operation as a Spanish-language movie house by the mid-1970’s. A drive-up bank is located today where this movie theatre once stood.” That would make 1952 the latest date this photo could have been taken.

The same location today. We are looking to the southwest. The bus is heading east, as was the streetcar in the preceding picture.

The same location today. We are looking to the southwest. The bus is heading east, as was the streetcar in the preceding picture.

CSL 1786 under the Lake Street "L" on November 23, 1952. Note the Chicago Motor Coach yard at right. CMC's assets had been purchased by CTA a few months earlier, and were gradually being integrated into regular CTA operations. Bill Shapotkin adds, "This pic is actually at Lake/Kenton (not Cicero). The car is E/B. This is the only such photo I have ever seen at this location."

CSL 1786 under the Lake Street “L” on November 23, 1952. Note the Chicago Motor Coach yard at right. CMC’s assets had been purchased by CTA a few months earlier, and were gradually being integrated into regular CTA operations. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This pic is actually at Lake/Kenton (not Cicero). The car is E/B. This is the only such photo I have ever seen at this location.”

CTA 1745 is westbound at Lake and Long in June 1952 on route 16. Here, it ran parallel to the ground-level portion of the Lake Street "L", also under wire.

CTA 1745 is westbound at Lake and Long in June 1952 on route 16. Here, it ran parallel to the ground-level portion of the Lake Street “L”, also under wire.

Lake and Long today. We are looking east. The CTA Green Line (formerly the Lake Street "L") has run on the embankment since 1962 and connects with the steel "L" structure at Laramie.

Lake and Long today. We are looking east. The CTA Green Line (formerly the Lake Street “L”) has run on the embankment since 1962 and connects with the steel “L” structure at Laramie.

Here, we see CTA 1745 at Lake and Austin, the west end of route 16, on June 15, 1952. In this view, looking east from suburban Oak Park, the Park Theatre is still in business. By the time streetcar service ended here in 1954, it had closed.

Here, we see CTA 1745 at Lake and Austin, the west end of route 16, on June 15, 1952. In this view, looking east from suburban Oak Park, the Park Theatre is still in business. By the time streetcar service ended here in 1954, it had closed.

The same location today.

The same location today.

This view of CTA 1751 looks west from the Chicago side of Lake and Austin in December 1953. The movie theater has closed, and was eventually demolished. Riders heading west from here could take a Chicago & West Towns bus across the street. The Lake Street "L", just to the south, continued west for another 1.5 miles.

This view of CTA 1751 looks west from the Chicago side of Lake and Austin in December 1953. The movie theater has closed, and was eventually demolished. Riders heading west from here could take a Chicago & West Towns bus across the street. The Lake Street “L”, just to the south, continued west for another 1.5 miles.

CSL Pullman 786 on Van Buren in February 1952.

CSL Pullman 786 on Van Buren in February 1952.

Among these red cars at 77th and Vincennes, we see CTA Pullman 142 at left in November 1949.

Among these red cars at 77th and Vincennes, we see CTA Pullman 142 at left in November 1949.

CTA 3277 heads north on Cicero Avenue near Cermak in October 1951, crossing the Douglas Park "L".

CTA 3277 heads north on Cicero Avenue near Cermak in October 1951, crossing the Douglas Park “L”.

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA 370 in the old Van Buren streetcar tunnel that ran under the Chicago River. This picture is dated October 1953.

CTA 370 in the old Van Buren streetcar tunnel that ran under the Chicago River. This picture is dated October 1953.

CTA Pullman 812 crossing the Illinois Central Electric suburban service in August 1948. Not sure which line this is. Bill Shapotkin: "As for the "line" (presume you mean the IC, not CSL/CTA line), the one in the next photo is the IC South Chicago line. The carline is Stony Island." M. E. writes, "I blew up this photo to read the destination sign. It seems to say 28 Stony Island, 93rd. If so, then this view is at 71st and Stony Island, and the streetcar is heading south. It was probably just south of 71st St. that Stony Island became very wide, with a private right-of-way for streetcars right down the middle of the street, then grassy swales on either side of the streetcar path, then one-way auto traffic on each side of the swales. I'm pretty sure this separation existed at 75th St. You see this private right-of-way in your photo here. Confirmation is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Shore,_Chicago where one paragraph states: Before the community came to be known as South Shore in the 1920s, it was a collection of settlements in southern Hyde Park Township. The names of these settlements—Essex, Bryn Mawr, Parkside, Cheltenham Beach, and Windsor Park—indicate the British heritage of the Illinois Central Railroad and steel mill workers who had come to inhabit them. Most of these settlements were already in place when the Illinois Central built the South Kenwood Station in 1881 at what is now 71st and Jeffrey Boulevard." Tony Waller: "The photo at 71st & Stony Island could have been of a Stony Island car or a Windsor Park car, as the latter line diverged from Stony Island at 73rd St." David Vartanoff: "pic of 812 might well be Stony Island and 71st. clues are, median streetcar ROW, and the name Parkside on the corner building. Parkside was the original name of the IC station at Stony Island." Bob Lalich: "I agree. The view is NW."

CTA Pullman 812 crossing the Illinois Central Electric suburban service in August 1948. Not sure which line this is. Bill Shapotkin: “As for the “line” (presume you mean the IC, not CSL/CTA line), the one in the next photo is the IC South Chicago line. The carline is Stony Island.” M. E. writes, “I blew up this photo to read the destination sign. It seems to say 28 Stony Island, 93rd. If so, then this view is at 71st and Stony Island, and the streetcar is heading south. It was probably just south of 71st St. that Stony Island became very wide, with a private right-of-way for streetcars right down the middle of the street, then grassy swales on either side of the streetcar path, then one-way auto traffic on each side of the swales. I’m pretty sure this separation existed at 75th St. You see this private right-of-way in your photo here. Confirmation is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Shore,_Chicago where one paragraph states: Before the community came to be known as South Shore in the 1920s, it was a collection of settlements in southern Hyde Park Township. The names of these settlements—Essex, Bryn Mawr, Parkside, Cheltenham Beach, and Windsor Park—indicate the British heritage of the Illinois Central Railroad and steel mill workers who had come to inhabit them. Most of these settlements were already in place when the Illinois Central built the South Kenwood Station in 1881 at what is now 71st and Jeffrey Boulevard.” Tony Waller: “The photo at 71st & Stony Island could have been of a Stony Island car or a Windsor Park car, as the latter line diverged from Stony Island at 73rd St.” David Vartanoff: “pic of 812 might well be Stony Island and 71st. clues are, median streetcar ROW, and the name Parkside on the corner building. Parkside was the original name of the IC station at Stony Island.” Bob Lalich: “I agree. The view is NW.”

71st and Stony Island today. We are looking north.

71st and Stony Island today. We are looking north.

Several CTA Sedans (aka Peter Witts) in the scrap yard on December 26, 1952. These cars were part of an order of 100 built in 1929 and potentially could have provided many more years of good service. Unfortunately, none were saved.

Several CTA Sedans (aka Peter Witts) in the scrap yard on December 26, 1952. These cars were part of an order of 100 built in 1929 and potentially could have provided many more years of good service. Unfortunately, none were saved.

In 1953, the City of Chicago sold part of Cottage Grove Avenue (between 31st and 35th) to developers, who eventually built the Lake Meadows Apartments. This portion of street was closed to traffic, except for the route 4 streetcar, which received a series of reprieves from the City Council until buses replaced the PCCs in June 1955. If we can identify the church at left, we should be able to determine if we are facing north or south. This car is 4032. M. E. adds: "The destination sign seems to read 4 Cottage Grove, then either 93rd or 115th. Either way, the view is north, the streetcar is heading south. Confirming this are all the tall buildings at the right side, which must be near downtown." Frank Hicks: "The photo on Cottage Grove is facing north, probably at 33rd; the church in the left background is Olivet Baptist at 31st & King Drive." Eugene King: "The church in the pic with southbound Blue Goose 4032 is the Olivet Baptist Church. It is located at the south east corner of 31st Street and King Dr (South Parkway at the time of the photo). I am a member and know at least one other member who attends regularly lived in the neighborhood prior to the construction of the Lake Meadows and Prairie Shores apartments."

In 1953, the City of Chicago sold part of Cottage Grove Avenue (between 31st and 35th) to developers, who eventually built the Lake Meadows Apartments. This portion of street was closed to traffic, except for the route 4 streetcar, which received a series of reprieves from the City Council until buses replaced the PCCs in June 1955. If we can identify the church at left, we should be able to determine if we are facing north or south. This car is 4032. M. E. adds: “The destination sign seems to read 4 Cottage Grove, then either 93rd or 115th. Either way, the view is north, the streetcar is heading south. Confirming this are all the tall buildings at the right side, which must be near downtown.” Frank Hicks: “The photo on Cottage Grove is facing north, probably at 33rd; the church in the left background is Olivet Baptist at 31st & King Drive.” Eugene King: “The church in the pic with southbound Blue Goose 4032 is the Olivet Baptist Church. It is located at the south east corner of 31st Street and King Dr (South Parkway at the time of the photo). I am a member and know at least one other member who attends regularly lived in the neighborhood prior to the construction of the Lake Meadows and Prairie Shores apartments.”

Olivet Baptist Church today, with the Lake Meadows Apartments in the background. (This view is from a different vantage point than the preceding photo. Here we are north of the church on Martin Luther King Drive.)

Olivet Baptist Church today, with the Lake Meadows Apartments in the background. (This view is from a different vantage point than the preceding photo. Here we are north of the church on Martin Luther King Drive.)

CTA 4011 and other PCCs at the west end of the 63rd Street line in December 1951.

CTA 4011 and other PCCs at the west end of the 63rd Street line in December 1951.

CTA 4047 crossing the Chicago River at State Street on December 7, 1953. This is a route 4 - Cottage Grove car.

CTA 4047 crossing the Chicago River at State Street on December 7, 1953. This is a route 4 – Cottage Grove car.

CTA Pullman 252 in the early 1950s at an unknown location. One of regular readers thinks this is "Van Buren, one block east of Ashland, with the car heading east." If so, the date can't be later than 1951. Streetcar service on Van Buren ended then to allow for construction of the temporary Garfield Park "L" right-of-way at ground level, which opened in September 1953.

CTA Pullman 252 in the early 1950s at an unknown location. One of regular readers thinks this is “Van Buren, one block east of Ashland, with the car heading east.” If so, the date can’t be later than 1951. Streetcar service on Van Buren ended then to allow for construction of the temporary Garfield Park “L” right-of-way at ground level, which opened in September 1953.

The same location today. We are looking west on Van Buren, just east of Ashland.

The same location today. We are looking west on Van Buren, just east of Ashland.

CTA 6204 on 93rd at Stony Island Avenue in 1949.

CTA 6204 on 93rd at Stony Island Avenue in 1949.

CTA 7197 is southbound at Clark and Thome. There is a similar picture taken at this location on page 155 of CERA Bulletin 146.

CTA 7197 is southbound at Clark and Thome. There is a similar picture taken at this location on page 155 of CERA Bulletin 146.

CTA D-304, a sprinkler converted into a snow plow, shown at 77th and Vincennes in September 1951.

CTA D-304, a sprinkler converted into a snow plow, shown at 77th and Vincennes in September 1951.

CTA 3122 and 1764 at the east end of the Chicago Avenue line on March 29, 1952. A few of the older streetcars were painted green, but I don't know of anyone who preferred this to CSL red.

CTA 3122 and 1764 at the east end of the Chicago Avenue line on March 29, 1952. A few of the older streetcars were painted green, but I don’t know of anyone who preferred this to CSL red.


New From Trolley Dodger Press

VIDEOS ON DVD:

DVD05CoverA.pmd

The Guy Wicksall Traction Collection (1963-1975)

Our latest release, by special arrangement with Guy Wicksall, features video transfers of rare, high quality 16mm color films of electric railroads taken across the country between 1963 and 1975. These are much better quality than the more typical 8mm films railfans used back then. If you like classic railfan videos, you are sure to enjoy this collection, which features narration by the photographer. Mr. Wicksall receives a royalty on each disc sold.

Disc 1: 38 Chicago and New York Commuter Trains, 1963-1964 (18:24)
Includes Illinois Central Electric, South Shore Line, Chicago Transit Authority “L” trains in the Loop, on Lake Street, Howard, and Evanston lines, Chicago & North Western and Milwaukee Road commuters, Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central, Long Island Rail Road, New Haven, and New York elevated trains.

Disc 2: 48 Commuter Trains, 1968-1975 (57:22)
Includes San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) PCCs (some double-ended), trolley buses, and cable cars, Philadelphia Suburban (Red Arrow Lines), including Straffords and Bullets), Penn Central, New Haven, Erie Lackawanna, South Shore Line, Illinois Central Electric, and more.

Total time – 75:46

# of Discs – 2
Price: $24.95


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 163rd 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 211,000 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. You can make a contribution there as well.

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

We thank you for your support.

Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Seven

CTA 6000s and gate cars in the early 1950s at Lawrence and Kimball, the terminus for Ravenswood trains. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6000s and gate cars in the early 1950s at Lawrence and Kimball, the terminus for Ravenswood trains. (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 are featuring the North Side “L”, used by today’s CTA Red, Brown, and Purple lines.

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:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page.


CTA single-car unit car 7 at Lawrence and Kimball. (Terrell Colson Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA single-car unit car 7 at Lawrence and Kimball. (Terrell Colson Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Using information on the back of the North Side "L" photo, we originally identified the train on the left as North Shore Line. But as Allen Breyer points out, " I think there may be an error on the caption of the 3rd photo in installment number 7. I think the train on the left is CRT 4000s, not a North Shore train. It would be unusual for a North Shore train to be using one of the inside tracks and there seem to be route sign(s) on the LH side of the front of the car, whereas North Shore steel cars have built-in signs on the right front." The train at right is a CRT wood car. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Using information on the back of the North Side “L” photo, we originally identified the train on the left as North Shore Line. But as Allen Breyer points out, ” I think there may be an error on the caption of the 3rd photo in installment number 7. I think the train on the left is CRT 4000s, not a North Shore train. It would be unusual for a North Shore train to be using one of the inside tracks and there seem to be route sign(s) on the LH side of the front of the car, whereas North Shore steel cars have built-in signs on the right front.” The train at right is a CRT wood car. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture.

A close-up of the previous picture.

Ex-North Shore Line line car, here renumbered as S-606, on the CTA in early 1966. Don's Rail Photos: "S-606 was built by Cincinnati in January 1923, #2620, as Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 606. In 1963 it became CTA S-606 and burned in 1978. The remains were sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum." (George Trapp Photo)

Ex-North Shore Line line car, here renumbered as S-606, on the CTA in early 1966. Don’s Rail Photos: “S-606 was built by Cincinnati in January 1923, #2620, as Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 606. In 1963 it became CTA S-606 and burned in 1978. The remains were sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum.” (George Trapp Photo)

This photo shows the Wilson Avenue yard circa 1900, when it was the original northern terminal for the Northwestern Elevated Railway. Wilson Shops, shown here under construction, opened in 1901 and burned down on October 26, 1996. (George Trapp Collection)

This photo shows the Wilson Avenue yard circa 1900, when it was the original northern terminal for the Northwestern Elevated Railway. Wilson Shops, shown here under construction, opened in 1901 and burned down on October 26, 1996. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA single car unit 4 changing directions near Howard, in Skokie Swift service circa 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single car unit 4 changing directions near Howard, in Skokie Swift service circa 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA S-354 and other work equipment at Howard in early 1966. It was rebuilt from a 1922-vintage 4000-series "L" car in 1965. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA S-354 and other work equipment at Howard in early 1966. It was rebuilt from a 1922-vintage 4000-series “L” car in 1965. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6554 at Loyola in its original paint, in December 1962. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6554 at Loyola in its original paint, in December 1962. (George Trapp Photo)

This photo of a CRT train was taken at the Willow station on the north side main line. This small station opened in 1905 and was one of the only stations that CRT ever closed. It was located just south of where the State Street Subway connection to the "L" was built, which necessitated Willow's closure on May 17, 1942 and subsequent demolition. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This photo of a CRT train was taken at the Willow station on the north side main line. This small station opened in 1905 and was one of the only stations that CRT ever closed. It was located just south of where the State Street Subway connection to the “L” was built, which necessitated Willow’s closure on May 17, 1942 and subsequent demolition. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A CTA Evanston Express train, made up from cars in the 25-28/39-50 series, at Loyola in December 1962. That's the Granada Theatre at rear. (George Trapp Photo)

A CTA Evanston Express train, made up from cars in the 25-28/39-50 series, at Loyola in December 1962. That’s the Granada Theatre at rear. (George Trapp Photo)

This photo, taken circa 1942-43, shows the "L" connection to the State Street Subway under construction. (George Trapp Collection)

This photo, taken circa 1942-43, shows the “L” connection to the State Street Subway under construction. (George Trapp Collection)

The subway ramp, just south of Armitage. (George Trapp Collection)

The subway ramp, just south of Armitage. (George Trapp Collection)

The North Side "L". Not sure of the exact location. (George Trapp Collection)

The North Side “L”. Not sure of the exact location. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, we are looking south from Wilson in early days. There is a ramp going down to ground level at right. Those tracks were part of the freight operations that CRT took over from the Milwaukee Road. Fantrip trains sometimes made it down to street level there. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, we are looking south from Wilson in early days. There is a ramp going down to ground level at right. Those tracks were part of the freight operations that CRT took over from the Milwaukee Road. Fantrip trains sometimes made it down to street level there. (George Trapp Collection)

Crane S-201 at Wilson. (George Trapp Collection)

Crane S-201 at Wilson. (George Trapp Collection)

Wilson Shops, showing the Lower Yard tracks. (George Trapp Collection)

Wilson Shops, showing the Lower Yard tracks. (George Trapp Collection)

Wilson Avenue looking west from Broadway on January 21, 1929. The track in the background was used for freight. (George Trapp Collection)

Wilson Avenue looking west from Broadway on January 21, 1929. The track in the background was used for freight. (George Trapp Collection)

The North Side "L", north of Lawrence Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

The North Side “L”, north of Lawrence Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

Eight cars of 4000s at Wilson. The head car (4439) is signed as an Evanston Express, but in actual practice, platform length limited those trains to six cars. (Allen T. Zagel Photo)

Eight cars of 4000s at Wilson. The head car (4439) is signed as an Evanston Express, but in actual practice, platform length limited those trains to six cars. (Allen T. Zagel Photo)

CTA S-104 and S-105 on the ground level Buena trackage south of Wilson. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA S-104 and S-105 on the ground level Buena trackage south of Wilson. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Wilson Avenue in early days. We are looking north. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Wilson Avenue in early days. We are looking north. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 1149 is in the lead on a Howard-bound train that was also destined for the Niles Center (Skokie) branch. That probably dates this photo to the 1940s, prior to 1948 when the CTA abandoned the Niles Center branch. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CRT 1149 is in the lead on a Howard-bound train that was also destined for the Niles Center (Skokie) branch. That probably dates this photo to the 1940s, prior to 1948 when the CTA abandoned the Niles Center branch. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CRT 1813 is part of a two-car train at Sedgwick. The flags may indicate this was a fantrip. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 1813 is part of a two-car train at Sedgwick. The flags may indicate this was a fantrip. (George Trapp Collection)

The Merchandise Mart station, looking south, on September 26, 1944. Those tracks at left went to the old North Water Terminal. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The Merchandise Mart station, looking south, on September 26, 1944. Those tracks at left went to the old North Water Terminal. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The Merchandise Mart station under construction on October 22, 1930. It opened on December 5th the same year. We are looking north. (George Trapp Collection)

The Merchandise Mart station under construction on October 22, 1930. It opened on December 5th the same year. We are looking north. (George Trapp Collection)

A northbound Ravenswood train comes out of the subway near Armitage in the 1940s. This picture had to have been taken between 1943 and 1949. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A northbound Ravenswood train comes out of the subway near Armitage in the 1940s. This picture had to have been taken between 1943 and 1949. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The old "L" station at Larrabee, Ogden and North Avenue, which closed in 1949 as part of the CTA's revision of North-South service. This was a "local" station, and did not fit in with the changeover to A/B "skip stop" service. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The old “L” station at Larrabee, Ogden and North Avenue, which closed in 1949 as part of the CTA’s revision of North-South service. This was a “local” station, and did not fit in with the changeover to A/B “skip stop” service. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A three-car "L" train at Sedgwick. (George Trapp Collection)

A three-car “L” train at Sedgwick. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, CRT 1790 is part of a Jackson Park Express at Addison. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, CRT 1790 is part of a Jackson Park Express at Addison. (George Trapp Collection)

Northwestern elevated Railroad car 755. Don's Rail Photos: "1755 was built by Jewett Car in 1903 as NWERy 755. It was renumbered 1755 in 1913 and became CRT 1755 in 1923. It was rebuilt as S-330 in June 1956." (George Trapp Collection)

Northwestern elevated Railroad car 755. Don’s Rail Photos: “1755 was built by Jewett Car in 1903 as NWERy 755. It was renumbered 1755 in 1913 and became CRT 1755 in 1923. It was rebuilt as S-330 in June 1956.” (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4082 was part of the earlier batch of 4000s, built in 1913 by Cincinnati Car Company. They were originally intended to have a center door, but this was apparently considered unnecessary by the time they were put into service. The center doors on these cars were covered up and seating was increased instead. Fans called them the "baldys." (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4082 was part of the earlier batch of 4000s, built in 1913 by Cincinnati Car Company. They were originally intended to have a center door, but this was apparently considered unnecessary by the time they were put into service. The center doors on these cars were covered up and seating was increased instead. Fans called them the “baldys.” (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4138 is part of a Ravenswood Local train at Western. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4138 is part of a Ravenswood Local train at Western. (George Trapp Collection)

S-105 in CTA days. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

S-105 in CTA days. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here, a CRT 4000-series car is being used to haul a flatcar of some sort in work train service on the North Side, probably in the 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, a CRT 4000-series car is being used to haul a flatcar of some sort in work train service on the North Side, probably in the 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the last picture.

A close-up of the last picture.

A nice side view of CRT 4406. Most of the signs identify it as a Howard Street Express, although one has it as a 61st Street Local. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A nice side view of CRT 4406. Most of the signs identify it as a Howard Street Express, although one has it as a 61st Street Local. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This picture is a bit washed out, but shows a two-car train of CTA "flat door" 6000s in Ravenswood service. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This picture is a bit washed out, but shows a two-car train of CTA “flat door” 6000s in Ravenswood service. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA articulated 5004 at Lawrence and Kimball. This predates when the four cars in this series were retrofitted with pan trolleys and assigned to the Skokie Swift. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA articulated 5004 at Lawrence and Kimball. This predates when the four cars in this series were retrofitted with pan trolleys and assigned to the Skokie Swift. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 5004 being rebuilt at Skokie Shops for Swift service in February 1966. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 5004 being rebuilt at Skokie Shops for Swift service in February 1966. (George Trapp Photo)

Experimental running gear under CTA single car unit 27, shown here at Wilson on March 27, 1961. Some improvements tried out on on some of the 6000s were later used on the 2000-series in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

Experimental running gear under CTA single car unit 27, shown here at Wilson on March 27, 1961. Some improvements tried out on on some of the 6000s were later used on the 2000-series in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

By the time this picture was taken (February 1966), the original "baldy" 4000s had been taken out of service and replaced by 2000s. (George Trapp Photo)

By the time this picture was taken (February 1966), the original “baldy” 4000s had been taken out of service and replaced by 2000s. (George Trapp Photo)

Here. we see CTA 5001, renumbered as 51, in Skokie Swift service in 1966. (George Trapp Photo)

Here. we see CTA 5001, renumbered as 51, in Skokie Swift service in 1966. (George Trapp Photo)

The remaining pair of 4000s kept by CTA after the rest were taken out of service in 1973, shown here at Wilson on a fantrip (probably in the late 1970s or early 1980s). We are looking south. (George Trapp Photo)

The remaining pair of 4000s kept by CTA after the rest were taken out of service in 1973, shown here at Wilson on a fantrip (probably in the late 1970s or early 1980s). We are looking south. (George Trapp Photo)

Another shot from the same trip. (George Trapp Photo)

Another shot from the same trip. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6279 and 6280 as delivered. These curved-door 6000s included some parts from scrapped Chicago PCC streetcars. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6279 and 6280 as delivered. These curved-door 6000s included some parts from scrapped Chicago PCC streetcars. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos: "S-105 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in August 1920, #53556, as NWER S-105. In 1923 it became CRT S-105 and CTA S-105 in 1948. In 1982 it was sold to TECo for parts and was sold to East Troy Electric RR in 1997. It was sold to Illinois Railway Museum in 2007." It is shown at the Wilson Avenue Yards on the north side. (George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos: “S-105 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in August 1920, #53556, as NWER S-105. In 1923 it became CRT S-105 and CTA S-105 in 1948. In 1982 it was sold to TECo for parts and was sold to East Troy Electric RR in 1997. It was sold to Illinois Railway Museum in 2007.” It is shown at the Wilson Avenue Yards on the north side. (George Trapp Collection)

S-104 in CTA days. (George Trapp Collection)

S-104 in CTA days. (George Trapp Collection)

Another photo of S-104. (George Trapp Collection)

Another photo of S-104. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos says, "S-104 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in August 1920, #53555, as Northwestern Elevated RR S-104. In 1923 it became CRT S-104 and CTA S-104 in 1948. In 1978 it was sold to Toledo Edison Co as 4. It was sold to Rail Foundation in 1996." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “S-104 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in August 1920, #53555, as Northwestern Elevated RR S-104. In 1923 it became CRT S-104 and CTA S-104 in 1948. In 1978 it was sold to Toledo Edison Co as 4. It was sold to Rail Foundation in 1996.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A CRT station on the North Side. Not sure of the exact location. I'm wondering of it could be Lawrence? (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection) Miles Beitler writes, "this photo does appear to be Lawrence Ave station looking south. The ramp down to Buena yard appears on the far right, as well as the merging of four tracks into two on the approach to Wilson station."

A CRT station on the North Side. Not sure of the exact location. I’m wondering of it could be Lawrence? (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection) Miles Beitler writes, “this photo does appear to be Lawrence Ave station looking south. The ramp down to Buena yard appears on the far right, as well as the merging of four tracks into two on the approach to Wilson station.”

An enlargement of the previous picture, showing a penny scale similar to one that was at the Laramie station on the Garfield Park "L".

An enlargement of the previous picture, showing a penny scale similar to one that was at the Laramie station on the Garfield Park “L”.


Recent Additions:

This picture has been added to our previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016):

A two-car Met "L" train crosses the Chicago River just west of the Loop in July 1951.

A two-car Met “L” train crosses the Chicago River just west of the Loop in July 1951.

Here, we added this one to Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Five (September 26, 2016):

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.

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.

Finally, this one’s been added to More CA&E Jewels (February 9, 2016):

The CA&E station at Spring Road in Elmhurst in the 1950s.

The CA&E station at Spring Road in Elmhurst in the 1950s.


New From Trolley Dodger Press

VIDEOS ON DVD:

DVD05CoverA.pmd

The Guy Wicksall Traction Collection (1963-1975)

Our latest release, by special arrangement with Guy Wicksall, features video transfers of rare, high quality 16mm color films of electric railroads taken across the country between 1963 and 1975. These are much better quality than the more typical 8mm films railfans used back then. If you like classic railfan videos, you are sure to enjoy this collection, which features narration by the photographer. Mr. Wicksall receives a royalty on each disc sold.

Disc 1: 38 Chicago and New York Commuter Trains, 1963-1964 (18:24)
Includes Illinois Central Electric, South Shore Line, Chicago Transit Authority “L” trains in the Loop, on Lake Street, Howard, and Evanston lines, Chicago & North Western and Milwaukee Road commuters, Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central, Long Island Rail Road, New Haven, and New York elevated trains.

Disc 2: 48 Commuter Trains, 1968-1975 (57:22)
Includes San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) PCCs (some double-ended), trolley buses, and cable cars, Philadelphia Suburban (Red Arrow Lines), including Straffords and Bullets), Penn Central, New Haven, Erie Lackawanna, South Shore Line, Illinois Central Electric, and more.

Total time – 75:46

# of Discs – 2
Price: $24.95


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 162nd 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 209,000 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. You can make a contribution there as well.

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

We thank you for your support.

Guy Wicksall and His Films

South Shore Line car 102 in downtown Chicago.

South Shore Line car 102 in downtown Chicago.

You probably have not ever heard of Guy J. Wicksall before, but he has been shooting movies of trains for a long time now. He recently had some of his rare 16mm color films converted to video. By special arrangement with the photographer, we are now able to offer our readers The Guy Wicksall Traction Collection (1963-1975) on DVD (details below, at the end of this post).

All the photos in this post are screen grabs from the Wicksall Collection. We figured the best way to introduce these films to you would be to go to the source, and discuss them with Guy himself.

Here is an edited transcript of my conversation with the man behind the movies from October 10, 2016.  Mr. Wicksall is now 81 years old and lives in the Finger Lakes area in upstate New York.

-David Sadowski


How long have you been making movies?

I started making movies in 1960. I have right now, some 59 DVDs. If I could ever get the money together, I have enough material for another 30 or 40.

That’s pretty incredible. What subject matter would most of them be?

Most of it is anything that ran on steel rails (laughs), there are a few exceptions, I have a few of the aerial cable ways in Switzerland. I have a real short piece, a 15-minute piece, on the Minnesota Transportation Museum trolleys.

And what percentage of your film footage would you say is devoted to electric traction?

Oh, probably 5 percent, maybe as much as 10 when you count in the European stuff.

And was it all 16mm that you shot?

Not all of it. The first few years I was shooting 8mm. When Kodak came out with their Super 8, my local photo shop loaned me a sample of Kodak Super 8 film, and I looked at that, and compared it with the 8mm, and decided that the 8mm wasn’t suitable, and the Super 8 wasn’t any better, so I changed at that time to 16mm.

(Editor’s note: Kodak introduced Super 8 in 1965, but some of Mr. Wicksall’s 16mm films date back to 1963. You can read more about these film formats here.)

And how much larger is the 16mm film area that the 8mm?

Oh, well, it’s at least four times the area.

That makes a tremendous difference as far as the quality is concerned. I’m very pleased with the excellent quality of the films that you made, because I am used to seeing videos made up from 8mm, where the picture is so fuzzy that if you made a screen shot of it, you’d hardly know what it was a picture of.

Right. I know what you mean. And, talking with people, it seems that the Super 8 got worse as the years went by. They tried to push the speed, it hurt the quality of the image.

Was it Kodachrome or Ektachrome, or both?

Kodachrome.

What was the film speed back then?

Well, I started out with 25 ASA, and I think I got to 64 at some point.

And what kind of film was available for 16mm? Was it also Kodachrome?

Yes. I always shot Kodachrome on the 16mm.

And then, at some point, did you switch over to using video?

Yes, I got pushed into it by the cost, when I started shooting 16 it was about $9 for a 50-foot reel, and it went to $70, and I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to go to something that was a little more reasonable. Unfortunately, I lost a little quality on the early Hi8 camera I used.

Sure. But now they keep coming up with new formats for the video, they’ve got this new one called 4k, which is the best one yet.

Well, the big problem is they keep changing formats so quickly. Now I’ve had three different video cameras with three different setups. A couple used Hi8, and the last one is digital video on SD cards, and things keep changing.

Regarding some of the film on the two traction discs, I could ask you a few questions. You made some business trips to Chicago, is that how you ended up making some films around Chicago?

Some of it was business trips to Chicago, and some of it was just plain vacation. I didn’t get a lot of business trips. The stuff shot in New York was on business trips, and some of the stuff shot in Chicago was on business trips, but not all of it.

In ’63 or so, you took some film on the “L”. It looked like you were at what they now call Adams and Wabash station, watching some trains come around into the station, and you’ve got some footage where you rode out on the Lake Street “L” to Oak Park.

Right.

That was the year after they had elevated that one section, the outer end of the Lake Street “L”, it ran on the ground for 2 ½ miles on the west end, and I saw that you had a glimpse there showing the track was still in place, even though you were up on the embankment. But it looks like they had paved over the grade crossings.

I was wondering a little bit what that track was.

Until October 28, 1962, the west end of the Lake Street “L” ran on the ground, west of the Laramie station. There was a ramp that went down to ground level and it ran parallel to the Chicago and North Western embankment there, using overhead wire. They had trolley poles on the trains, and clearances were very tight. There were something like 22 grade crossings, blind crossings, where you could easily have an accident where a vehicle would run under that viaduct and run right into a train. It was kind of dangerous. These were manually operated gates, so there was a lot of manpower involved.

The CTA wanted to reduce expenses, improve the running time, and safety, so they made a deal with the Chicago and North Western in the 1950s to relocate the tracks onto the embankment, which had probably been put up sometime around 1910. It was a big project which involved a variety of different government bodies, the Village of Oak Park, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority, the State of Illinois, and it was a “win-win” situation, because everybody benefited from the relocation of the tracks. When they got rid of those tracks, that made the street wider, and it allowed for more parking, and of course there were a lot of improvements based on the quicker running time for the trains, and since it was grade separated, there weren’t going to be any more accidents with pedestrians and vehicles.

I grew up in the area around Oak Park, so we rode those trains many times when they ran on the ground. The clearances were so tight that they couldn’t run the 6000-series “L” cars, which had curved sides, and just that little bit of extra room was enough that they couldn’t run those cars on that part of the line. I noticed also that you had taken some film showing trains going up the ramp out of the old Hamlin Yard, which was near Lake and Pulaski.

You remind me of what was in that video. A lot of it, I’ve forgotten. Of course, it’s been a few years, I’ve had some time to forget stuff.

Yeah, for car storage then, they really didn’t have a proper yard as such at the end of the line, which was in Forest Park, just west of Harlem Avenue. For car storage, they had this Hamlin Yard, across the street from West Shops, used by the Surface Lines. They had streetcar trackage running in and out of there, where they had overhead wire. They also had a third track on the Lake Street “L” where they stored some cars. You had some great shots of all of that.

And then you had shots of the South Shore Line and the Illinois Central Electric, showing the old IC cars from 1926, plus the Highliners, the bi-levels that were replacing them back in the ’70s.

Yes, yes.

All great stuff. Those first generation Highliners have now been retired, just within the last year or so, and they’ve been replaced by something very similar, but more modern.

That’s the thing about a lot of this railfanning. I’ve been at it long enough that sometimes, the things have been replaced, and sometimes the replacements have been replaced.

Right. And on the South Shore Line, all those old cars have been replaced. I think that many of them have been saved, by many railway museums, and there are a few of them that actually operate some, like the Illinois Railway Museum, and the East Troy Electric Railroad in Wisconsin. I did ride those cars a few times in their twilight years. Those cars were replaced by some Japanese-made vehicles around 1981, and now they even have some bi-levels of their own. They piggybacked on an order of cars for the Metra Electric, which runs the service now that used to be the Illinois Central suburban. They just use them during weekday rush hours. There is even now some talk of double-tracking the rest of the line out to South Bend.

It’s been a lot of changes.

Your first shots there of the South Shore Line were taken in 1971 or so. Up until the summer of 1970, they ran all the way into downtown South Bend. They had some street running there, which they cut back to the outskirts of town. Since that time, they built some new track to a nearby airport. There’s always been talk about grade separating the track that runs on the streets through Michigan City, but they haven’t done that yet. They keep arguing over which route they would use. So, at the moment, all those South Shore trains run right down the street through Michigan City, like they have for many, many decades.

You had some great footage in other places too, like in San Francisco, amazing shots of all that wonderful old equipment. Fortunately, they still have some old equipment running, on those historic lines they’ve come up with, and then Red Arrow, some great footage there of the Red Arrow Lines. Do you have some memories of those visits?

Oh yes. I have some memories, but I don’t have the details. I have to watch the videos to see what I saw.

There’s a lot out east, New York and New Jersey.

I’ve got a lot of, oh dear, Conrail. I was looking here, I’ve got Minnesota Transportation Museum, September ’74, that’s 11 minutes. There’s another one that’s about 15 minutes, that shows the same stuff years later.

Some of the east coast stuff would be interesting to many people. There’s a friend of mine who lives in New Jersey. I’m sure he would love to see your footage of the Gladstone Branch, the Erie Lackawanna. Some of that reminds me of, the old cars there, reminds me a lot of the ones that were used on the Illinois Central.

Trains have changed so much in the last 50 years.

Sure, those lines are running too, but they’re all NJ Transit.

Now, the Como-Harriet trolley (Minneapolis-St. Paul), I have the one reel from 1974, and another one that shows the same thing in 1998, with expansion and so on. Anyway, I’ve got these two, which add up to another oh, 26 minutes. They might be of some small interest too.

Oh, sure.

I used to show my movies to the Syracuse chapter of the NRHS. I wore out a projector doing that. Now I’ve gotta get off the phone. My wife is calling me for supper.

I have no objection to your making copies of these DVDs, and to sell them. I am quite happy with it. My thought is, it does no good sitting on my shelf. I would rather have it spread as widely as possible, and you look like you might be a good person to do that.

It’s been so nice talking to you. We’ll be in touch. Thanks so much. Take care.

You’re welcome.


The original Illinois Central Electric trains, which were built in 1926.

The original Illinois Central Electric trains, which were built in 1926.

4000s pass the old Tower 12 at Wabash and Van Buren in Chicago's Loop.

4000s pass the old Tower 12 at Wabash and Van Buren in Chicago’s Loop.

A Lake train of 4000s approaches Adams and Wabash in 1963, when the Loop was single-directional.

A Lake train of 4000s approaches Adams and Wabash in 1963, when the Loop was single-directional.

A two-car CTA Ravenswood train approaches Adams and Wabash in 1963.

A two-car CTA Ravenswood train approaches Adams and Wabash in 1963.

In 1963, the old Lake Street Transfer station had not yet been torn down. It was removed the following year. Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains stopped running on the other level here in 1951.

In 1963, the old Lake Street Transfer station had not yet been torn down. It was removed the following year. Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains stopped running on the other level here in 1951.

A quick glimpse of CTA trolley bus 9649.

A quick glimpse of CTA trolley bus 9649.

A Milwaukee Road train in the early 1960s. Not sure if this is inter-city or commuter service. Bi-levels were being phased in on the MR commuter lines. David Vartanoff adds: "The Milw Road train is a commuter run. By the time he was filming, intercity cars had been repainted to UP as the E-7 was."

A Milwaukee Road train in the early 1960s. Not sure if this is inter-city or commuter service. Bi-levels were being phased in on the MR commuter lines. David Vartanoff adds: “The Milw Road train is a commuter run. By the time he was filming, intercity cars had been repainted to UP as the E-7 was.”

The photographer was on a northbound Evanston train that was pacing a Howard train of 6000s.

The photographer was on a northbound Evanston train that was pacing a Howard train of 6000s.

4000s pass the old Tower 18 in Chicago's Loop. It was torn down and relocated in 1969 so that Lake Street trains could go directly east at this point, when that line was paired with the new Dan Ryan service.

4000s pass the old Tower 18 in Chicago’s Loop. It was torn down and relocated in 1969 so that Lake Street trains could go directly east at this point, when that line was paired with the new Dan Ryan service.

CTA single-car units under wire in Evanston in 1963.

CTA single-car units under wire in Evanston in 1963.

A Pennsy GG1.

A Pennsy GG1.

A New Haven train emerges from a tunnel in Manhattan.

A New Haven train emerges from a tunnel in Manhattan.

A New York rapid transit train on the 7 line in 1964.

A New York rapid transit train on the 7 line in 1964.

The New York Central in Manhattan.

The New York Central in Manhattan.

To this day, San Francisco operates trolley buses as well as PCCs.

To this day, San Francisco operates trolley buses as well as PCCs.

SF Muni PCC 1021 and a 1955-57 two-seater Thunderbird roadster.

SF Muni PCC 1021 and a 1955-57 two-seater Thunderbird roadster.

SF Muni double-end PCC 1015.

SF Muni double-end PCC 1015.

A San Francisco cable car in the late 1960s.

A San Francisco cable car in the late 1960s.

Red Arrow Strafford car 163 on a curve.

Red Arrow Strafford car 163 on a curve.

Red Arrow Strafford car 164.

Red Arrow Strafford car 164.

A Strafford car with a Liberty Liner (ex-North Shore Line Electroliner) behind it at 69th Street.

A Strafford car with a Liberty Liner (ex-North Shore Line Electroliner) behind it at 69th Street.

A Bullet car on the Norristown High-Speed Line.

A Bullet car on the Norristown High-Speed Line.

A train of Philadelphia "Almond Joys" at 69th Street Terminal.

A train of Philadelphia “Almond Joys” at 69th Street Terminal.

St. Louis-built double-end car 16 (not an official PCC, although it certainly looks like one) on the Red Arrow.

St. Louis-built double-end car 16 (not an official PCC, although it certainly looks like one) on the Red Arrow.

Red Arrow Brilliner #1 at 69th Street.

Red Arrow Brilliner #1 at 69th Street.

David Vartanoff: "PRR never had RDCs. That is an NYC (New York Central) car."

David Vartanoff: “PRR never had RDCs. That is an NYC (New York Central) car.”

David Vartanoff: "The PRR EMU you show is NYC (New York Central). The under running third rail is the clue."

David Vartanoff: “The PRR EMU you show is NYC (New York Central). The under running third rail is the clue.”

Erie Lackawanna.

Erie Lackawanna.

A Penn Central train.

A Penn Central train.

An Erie Lackawanna train in New Jersey.

An Erie Lackawanna train in New Jersey.

700-series electric freight locos.

700-series electric freight locos.

The South Shore Line shops in Michigan City.

The South Shore Line shops in Michigan City.

The South Shore Line in Indiana.

The South Shore Line in Indiana.

South Shore Line car 108 in Chicago.

South Shore Line car 108 in Chicago.

An Illinois Central bi-level whose end has not yet been repainted in brighter colors.

An Illinois Central bi-level whose end has not yet been repainted in brighter colors.

IC Highliners downtown.

IC Highliners downtown.

Illinois Central bi-levels in Chicago, with the old Central Station in the background.

Illinois Central bi-levels in Chicago, with the old Central Station in the background.


Recent Correspondence

Father Thomas Nagle writes:

Hello…hope you can point me in the right direction. I remember seeing CTA wreck wagons as a kid and was always fascinated by them. They looked like CFD rigs to me with Mars lights, gongs and sirens and even red and green headlights. Are there any photos of them available anywhere? I’ve googled them and come up empty. Thank you.

Fr Thomas Nangle
CPD chaplain retired

Perhaps our readers may have some pictures, thanks!

One of our regular readers writes:

Why didn’t the CSL/CTA ever install Post War PCC cars on Ashland Avenue? The street was as wide as Western Avenue from the north end to the south end. All that would have been necessary would have been the construction of an off street loop (such as Western and Berwyn) at 95th Street and a connecting track off of northbound Clark to southbound Southport at the north terminal.

PS: Is it possible that Ashland and Milwaukee might have been slated for PCCs if they had ordered 1,000 as had been originally thought?

In 1937, when the “Green Book” plan was issued, the City of Chicago envisioned replacing half the existing streetcar fleet with PCCs, and the other half with buses (some of which would have been trolley buses). But the report noted that at some future date, buses might be able to handle all the traffic.

Half the fleet, at that time, would have been something more like 1,500 PCC cars. That the number was soon reduced to 1,000 probably reflects the continuing trend toward buses.

Milwaukee would have to be a candidate for PCCs, since one PCC (4051) was operated there in 1940-41, on a test basis with the altered door configuration that CSL adopted for the postwar cars.

On the other hand, arguing against that is the plan, formulated in 1939, for the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway. Only the outer portion of Milwaukee truly made sense to run PCCs if you were going to have a greatly improved, more direct rapid transit service running in a subway on Milwaukee. PCCs would have done well in feeder service between the Imlay Loop at the city limits and the Logan Square terminal.

Offhand, I don’t know where Ashland would stack up in a list of the heaviest lines. But certainly the prevailing wisdom at CSL in the 1930s and 40s was to use streetcars for the heaviest lines, trolley buses for the medium ones, and gas or diesel buses for the rest. I assume that Ashland had plenty enough ridership to be considered for PCCs, though, and it would have been an excellent choice.

Ridership in the WWII era was heavy enough that CSL and the City planned to assign the 600 postwar PCCs to just four major lines. But by the time the deliveries were complete, this had been expanded to six lines, since ridership was declining.

What we don’t know is how strategic these assignments were, with the thought of creating an ongoing streetcar system for Chicago that could have continued into the future. One thought is that perhaps the CTA and the City felt that they had to spread the new cars around, so that more neighborhoods would benefit from the new service.

If that was a consideration, it would argue against Ashland, since it ran parallel to Western and went to many of the same parts of town. It would argue in favor of choosing a street like 63rd, which ran east-west on the south side and therefore served different neighborhoods.

In any event, by 1947 the CTA, even as it was still taking deliveries on the postwar order, seems to have planned for the gradual phasing out of streetcars, even the PCC ones. The 1947 CTA modernization plan (which you can read in my E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story), which covered the years 1946-1955, anticipated having only three streetcar lines left by 1955, which is pretty much what actually did happen. Presumably, they would have phased those out in the years following 1955, if another such plan had been published.

Furthermore, it was not always possible for CTA to put turnback loops where they wanted them. The area around 95th and Ashland was built up and who knows what locations would have been available.

There were plans to build a loop for the 36-Broadway at 115th that never materialized, due to neighborhood opposition. And the Grand-Nordica trolley bus loop for route 65 – Grand could only be put a couple blocks away from Harlem, which would have been much the preferred location.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. You can always reach us at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com


New From Trolley Dodger Press

VIDEOS ON DVD:

South Shore Line car 102 in downtown Chicago.

South Shore Line car 102 in downtown Chicago.

The Guy Wicksall Traction Collection (1963-1975)

Our latest release, by special arrangement with Guy Wicksall, features video transfers of rare, high quality 16mm color films of electric railroads taken across the country between 1963 and 1975. These are much better quality than the more typical 8mm films railfans used back then. If you like classic railfan videos, you are sure to enjoy this collection, which features narration by the photographer. Mr. Wicksall receives a royalty on each disc sold.

Disc 1: 38 Chicago and New York Commuter Trains, 1963-1964 (18:24)
Includes Illinois Central Electric, South Shore Line, Chicago Transit Authority “L” trains in the Loop, on Lake Street, Howard, and Evanston lines, Chicago & North Western and Milwaukee Road commuters, Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Central, Long Island Rail Road, New Haven, and New York elevated trains.

Disc 2: 48 Commuter Trains, 1968-1975 (57:22)
Includes San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) PCCs (some double-ended), trolley buses, and cable cars, Philadelphia Suburban (Red Arrow Lines), including Straffords and Bullets), Penn Central, New Haven, Erie Lackawanna, South Shore Line, Illinois Central Electric, and more.

Total time – 75:46

# of Discs – 2
Price: $24.95


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Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Six

This could be an "as new" photo showing Metropolitan West Side "L" car 876. Don's Rail Photos: "2873 thru 2887 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 873 thru 887. In 1913 they were renumbered 2873 thru 2887 and in 1923 they became CRT 2873 thru 2987." (George Trapp Collection)

This could be an “as new” photo showing Metropolitan West Side “L” car 876. Don’s Rail Photos: “2873 thru 2887 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 873 thru 887. In 1913 they were renumbered 2873 thru 2887 and in 1923 they became CRT 2873 thru 2987.” (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 go back to the west side for some classic shots of the Lake Street and Metropolitan “L” branches, forerunners of today’s CTA Green, Blue and Pink Lines.

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:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page.


The Metropolitan “L”:

This picture was taken at Wells and Van Buren, and shows the old connection between the Met lines and the Loop. The Insurance Exchange building is at right. In 1955, this connection was replaced by one that went right through the old Wells Street Terminal, last used by CA&E trains in 1953 (and CTA in 1951). The terminal can be seen in this picture on the left hand side, where there is a walkway connecting it to the Quincy and Wells station. Once the Congress median line opened in 1958, no such connections were needed, and they were removed by 1964. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This picture was taken at Wells and Van Buren, and shows the old connection between the Met lines and the Loop. The Insurance Exchange building is at right. In 1955, this connection was replaced by one that went right through the old Wells Street Terminal, last used by CA&E trains in 1953 (and CTA in 1951). The terminal can be seen in this picture on the left hand side, where there is a walkway connecting it to the Quincy and Wells station. Once the Congress median line opened in 1958, no such connections were needed, and they were removed by 1964. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

I've zoomed in to show the old Wells Street Terminal.

I’ve zoomed in to show the old Wells Street Terminal.

This photo is rather curious, as a blow-up on the section behind CTA 6097-6098 (a Douglas Park train) appears to show tracks leading off to the right. That could possibly be the track connection, used from 1955-58, that ran through the old location of Wells Street Terminal. On the other hand, Myron Moyano says, "the shot was taken from the LaSalle and Van Buren platform, looking west towards the junction at Wells and Van Buren. The platform furthest away after the junction was Franklin Street." George Trapp adds, "6097-6098, photo is at LaSalle and Van Buren, Insurance Exchange Building is above car 6097 and rear half of 6098. Junction is with Wells Street leg of Loop "L" and station in distance is Franklin and Van Buren used by Met trains." He guesses the photo dates to about 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This photo is rather curious, as a blow-up on the section behind CTA 6097-6098 (a Douglas Park train) appears to show tracks leading off to the right. That could possibly be the track connection, used from 1955-58, that ran through the old location of Wells Street Terminal. On the other hand, Myron Moyano says, “the shot was taken from the LaSalle and Van Buren platform, looking west towards the junction at Wells and Van Buren. The platform furthest away after the junction was Franklin Street.” George Trapp adds, “6097-6098, photo is at LaSalle and Van Buren, Insurance Exchange Building is above car 6097 and rear half of 6098. Junction is with Wells Street leg of Loop “L” and station in distance is Franklin and Van Buren used by Met trains.” He guesses the photo dates to about 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture.  Are those tracks leading off to the right?  Apparently they are, but just the ones leading to the Wells leg of the "L".  The station further in the distance is part of the Met main line.

A close-up of the previous picture. Are those tracks leading off to the right? Apparently they are, but just the ones leading to the Wells leg of the “L”. The station further in the distance is part of the Met main line.

CTA 6113-6114, signed for Douglas, on the Loop "L". If I had to guess, I would say this might be the Van Buren leg, but I'm not 100% sure about that. George Trapp: "6113-6114 at same location and probably same day (as photo with 6097-6098, which is on the Van Buren leg), further east closer to Clark Street. My guess is photo probably dates to 1952." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6113-6114, signed for Douglas, on the Loop “L”. If I had to guess, I would say this might be the Van Buren leg, but I’m not 100% sure about that. George Trapp: “6113-6114 at same location and probably same day (as photo with 6097-6098, which is on the Van Buren leg), further east closer to Clark Street. My guess is photo probably dates to 1952.” (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4102 and its "plus one" are heading west, just after having crossed the Chicago River on the four-track Met main line. They are serving both Logan Square and Humboldt Park, meaning this two-car train will be split at Damen and North. The station is Canal, which also had walkways connecting directly to Union Station. It closed in June 1958 when the Congress median line opened. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4102 and its “plus one” are heading west, just after having crossed the Chicago River on the four-track Met main line. They are serving both Logan Square and Humboldt Park, meaning this two-car train will be split at Damen and North. The station is Canal, which also had walkways connecting directly to Union Station. It closed in June 1958 when the Congress median line opened. (George Trapp Collection)

The four-track Met bridge over the Chicago River (actually, two two-track bridges).

The four-track Met bridge over the Chicago River (actually, two two-track bridges).

This certainly has the appearance of a Met station. Looking at this photo under magnification shows the bridge in the background, and some of the buildings, match up with the old station at Madison and Paulina. The presence of 6000s here would date the picture to late 1950 or early 1951, before the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway went into service. We are looking north. We posted another photo taken towards the north end of this station in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016). (George Trapp Collection)

This certainly has the appearance of a Met station. Looking at this photo under magnification shows the bridge in the background, and some of the buildings, match up with the old station at Madison and Paulina. The presence of 6000s here would date the picture to late 1950 or early 1951, before the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway went into service. We are looking north. We posted another photo taken towards the north end of this station in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016). (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture. Note how there is something covering over the coupler. George Trapp: "6000's at Madison-Paulina, cars fitted with gloves over couplers like Illinois Terminal's PCC's to protect electrical contacts. By the time 6131-6200 series delivered, hinged covers were fitted."

A close-up of the previous picture. Note how there is something covering over the coupler. George Trapp: “6000’s at Madison-Paulina, cars fitted with gloves over couplers like Illinois Terminal’s PCC’s to protect electrical contacts. By the time 6131-6200 series delivered, hinged covers were fitted.”

Don's Rail Photos: "2756 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSERy 756. In 1913 it was renumbered 756. It became CRT 2756 in 1923. At an unknown date it was rebuilt as a medical car. It was primarily used for physical exams for employees, and occasionally even made it to Milwaukee on the CNS&M." This picture would seem to show it in funeral car configuration. (George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos: “2756 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSERy 756. In 1913 it was renumbered 756. It became CRT 2756 in 1923. At an unknown date it was rebuilt as a medical car. It was primarily used for physical exams for employees, and occasionally even made it to Milwaukee on the CNS&M.” This picture would seem to show it in funeral car configuration. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos says, "2281 was built by Pullman in 1900 as M-WSER 281. It was rebuilt in 1912 and in 1913 it was renumbered 2281. It became CRT 2281 in 1923." The car is signed for 5th Avenue. This was the original name of Wells Street until 1916. So it is that 5th Avenue and not one of the stops used by Westchester Branch trains from 1926 to 1951 on the CA&E main line. Therefore, the picture dates to between 1913 and 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “2281 was built by Pullman in 1900 as M-WSER 281. It was rebuilt in 1912 and in 1913 it was renumbered 2281. It became CRT 2281 in 1923.” The car is signed for 5th Avenue. This was the original name of Wells Street until 1916. So it is that 5th Avenue and not one of the stops used by Westchester Branch trains from 1926 to 1951 on the CA&E main line. Therefore, the picture dates to between 1913 and 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2705, signed for Wells Street, so we know the photo is from 1916 or later. This picture was probably taken at Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don's Rail Photos: "2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756." (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2705, signed for Wells Street, so we know the photo is from 1916 or later. This picture was probably taken at Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don’s Rail Photos: “2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Met car 2730, again signed for 5th Avenue, which limits this photo to 1916 or earlier. This time we are at the Logan Square yard. (George Trapp Collection)

Met car 2730, again signed for 5th Avenue, which limits this photo to 1916 or earlier. This time we are at the Logan Square yard. (George Trapp Collection)

CRTR 2866, most likely t Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don's Rail Photos says, "2859 thru 2871 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 859 thru 871. In 1913 they were renumbered 2859 thru 2871 and in 1923 they became CRT 2859 thru 2871." (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRTR 2866, most likely t Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don’s Rail Photos says, “2859 thru 2871 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 859 thru 871. In 1913 they were renumbered 2859 thru 2871 and in 1923 they became CRT 2859 thru 2871.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2802, signed for 5th Avenue, which would date this picture to no later than 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2802, signed for 5th Avenue, which would date this picture to no later than 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos says, "2721 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as Metropolitan-West Side Elevated Ry 721. In 1913 it was renumbered 721. In 1919 it was rebuilt as a merchandise dispatch car to be leased to the North Shore line. After a short time it was replaced by new and similar MD cars built for the North Shore. It was then returned to the CRT and used in work service. It became CRT 2721 in 1923." The location is likely Laramie Yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection) We ran a different picture of 2721 in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016).

Don’s Rail Photos says, “2721 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as Metropolitan-West Side Elevated Ry 721. In 1913 it was renumbered 721. In 1919 it was rebuilt as a merchandise dispatch car to be leased to the North Shore line. After a short time it was replaced by new and similar MD cars built for the North Shore. It was then returned to the CRT and used in work service. It became CRT 2721 in 1923.” The location is likely Laramie Yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection) We ran a different picture of 2721 in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016).

CRT 4383 is signed as going to Maywood and Westchester via the Garfield Park "L". It is coupled to an older gate car. We are at one of the ground-level stations. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4383 is signed as going to Maywood and Westchester via the Garfield Park “L”. It is coupled to an older gate car. We are at one of the ground-level stations. (George Trapp Collection)

The Douglas Park Yards at 54th Avenue in the 1950s. (George Trapp Collection)

The Douglas Park Yards at 54th Avenue in the 1950s. (George Trapp Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 "doodlebugs" and a Met car at Logan Square along with a work car. George Trapp: "One of the Pullman built doodlebugs, 5001-5002 at Logan Square appears to be coupled to the Met's original steel dreadnought #2717. Odd for doodlebug to be at Logan Square at this time, 6000's in background with cream roofs date photo to 1950-51. Doodlebugs had been assigned to Evanston for over a year by this time." Coupling modern equipment to 2717, and the timeframe, may provide an answer. Perhaps these cars were being used for testing in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway, which opened in February 1951. Wood cars were banned from the subway by city ordinance, due to fire safety concerns, but this did not apply to 2717, as it was an early experiment with an all-steel car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 “doodlebugs” and a Met car at Logan Square along with a work car. George Trapp: “One of the Pullman built doodlebugs, 5001-5002 at Logan Square appears to be coupled to the Met’s original steel dreadnought #2717. Odd for doodlebug to be at Logan Square at this time, 6000’s in background with cream roofs date photo to 1950-51. Doodlebugs had been assigned to Evanston for over a year by this time.” Coupling modern equipment to 2717, and the timeframe, may provide an answer. Perhaps these cars were being used for testing in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway, which opened in February 1951. Wood cars were banned from the subway by city ordinance, due to fire safety concerns, but this did not apply to 2717, as it was an early experiment with an all-steel car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA "flat door" cars 6003-6004 at Logan Square in the 1950s. Note the slightly different paint scheme compared to later cars in this series. George Trapp: "6003-6004 at Logan Square, in addition to the different paint scheme from 6005-6130, notice extra metal sheets riveted to large window posts between 1st and 2nd windows from each end. Only 6001-6004 had them." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA “flat door” cars 6003-6004 at Logan Square in the 1950s. Note the slightly different paint scheme compared to later cars in this series. George Trapp: “6003-6004 at Logan Square, in addition to the different paint scheme from 6005-6130, notice extra metal sheets riveted to large window posts between 1st and 2nd windows from each end. Only 6001-6004 had them.” (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6007-6008. Note how the ends of these cars were painted differently than 6001-6004. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6007-6008. Note how the ends of these cars were painted differently than 6001-6004. (George Trapp Collection)

We have restored these four badly faded color prints as best we could. This one shows CTA single car unit 41 in 1959, as new, at Logan Square. Note it has not yet been fitted with trolley poles, which this car used when put into service in Evanston in 1961. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

We have restored these four badly faded color prints as best we could. This one shows CTA single car unit 41 in 1959, as new, at Logan Square. Note it has not yet been fitted with trolley poles, which this car used when put into service in Evanston in 1961. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A lineup of 6000s at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A lineup of 6000s at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6151-6152, 17, and 18 at the Logan Square bumper post in 1959. The greenish blob in the lower left corner of the picture is lens flare caused by the sun, essentially internal reflections of the glass elements of the lens that occur when you shoot into the light. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6151-6152, 17, and 18 at the Logan Square bumper post in 1959. The greenish blob in the lower left corner of the picture is lens flare caused by the sun, essentially internal reflections of the glass elements of the lens that occur when you shoot into the light. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA single car unit 18 at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA single car unit 18 at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)


The Lake Street “L”:

CRT 3042 was a Lake Street car. According to Don's Rail Photos, "3001 thru 3100 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as Lake Street Elevated RR 1 thru 100. In 1913 they were renumbered 3001 thru 3100 and became Chicago Rapid Transit 3001 thru 3100 in 1923." (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 3042 was a Lake Street car. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “3001 thru 3100 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as Lake Street Elevated RR 1 thru 100. In 1913 they were renumbered 3001 thru 3100 and became Chicago Rapid Transit 3001 thru 3100 in 1923.” (George Trapp Collection)

A two-car Lake Street "A" train (one car is numbered 1708) on the Loop "L". Not sure of the exact location, but as you can see in back, this is an area where there was a continuous platform connection stations. This allowed for more trains to stop at the same time, and was likely the inspiration for the continuous platforms in Chicago's downtown subways. Myron Moyano adds, "Car 1708 under the Lake Street section is at Madison and Wells." (George Trapp Collection)

A two-car Lake Street “A” train (one car is numbered 1708) on the Loop “L”. Not sure of the exact location, but as you can see in back, this is an area where there was a continuous platform connection stations. This allowed for more trains to stop at the same time, and was likely the inspiration for the continuous platforms in Chicago’s downtown subways. Myron Moyano adds, “Car 1708 under the Lake Street section is at Madison and Wells.” (George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA cars 2003-2004 (paired with 2001-2002) in demonstration service at Randolph and Wabash in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

Brand new CTA cars 2003-2004 (paired with 2001-2002) in demonstration service at Randolph and Wabash in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 2003-4 and 2001-2 on demonstration runs on the Wabash leg of the Loop "L" in 1964. This was the first series of rapid transit cars to come with air conditioning as standard equipment, something we take for granted today. Unfortunately, the AC was underpowered for the job it had to do, and the ceiling-mounted units tended to drip water on people. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 2003-4 and 2001-2 on demonstration runs on the Wabash leg of the Loop “L” in 1964. This was the first series of rapid transit cars to come with air conditioning as standard equipment, something we take for granted today. Unfortunately, the AC was underpowered for the job it had to do, and the ceiling-mounted units tended to drip water on people. (George Trapp Photo)

An ancient view of Lake and Market, showing where the Market Street stub branched off. (George Trapp Collection)

An ancient view of Lake and Market, showing where the Market Street stub branched off. (George Trapp Collection)

A rare photo of the old Market Street stub terminal, where some Lake Street "L" trains terminated in the days before A/B "skip stop" service. It was torn down in the late 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

A rare photo of the old Market Street stub terminal, where some Lake Street “L” trains terminated in the days before A/B “skip stop” service. It was torn down in the late 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

The old Lake Street "L" bridge over the Chicago River. (George Trapp Collection)

The old Lake Street “L” bridge over the Chicago River. (George Trapp Collection)

A pair of shiny new 5000s (first pair is 5001-5002) on the Lake Street "L" bridge over the Chicago River, circa 1947-48. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A pair of shiny new 5000s (first pair is 5001-5002) on the Lake Street “L” bridge over the Chicago River, circa 1947-48. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here is the Lake Street view of Lake Transfer, with two woods in the station. Riders could change here for the Met "L" Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains. (George Trapp Collection)

Here is the Lake Street view of Lake Transfer, with two woods in the station. Riders could change here for the Met “L” Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4338 heads up a Lake Street Local train somewhere on the west side. This photo is probably no later than 1943, since all the 4000s were shifted to the State Street subway then. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4338 heads up a Lake Street Local train somewhere on the west side. This photo is probably no later than 1943, since all the 4000s were shifted to the State Street subway then. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT S-200 in the Lake and Hamlin yard. Don's Rail Photos says, "S-200 was built by Barney & Smith in 1901 at M-WSER 783. It was renumbered in 1913 as 2783. In 1916 it was rebuilt as a work motor and numbered S-200. It became CRT S-200 in 1923." In this photo, it looks like it is being used to string trolley wire. You can see the ramp leading up to the "L" at right. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT S-200 in the Lake and Hamlin yard. Don’s Rail Photos says, “S-200 was built by Barney & Smith in 1901 at M-WSER 783. It was renumbered in 1913 as 2783. In 1916 it was rebuilt as a work motor and numbered S-200. It became CRT S-200 in 1923.” In this photo, it looks like it is being used to string trolley wire. You can see the ramp leading up to the “L” at right. (George Trapp Collection)

There was a short stretch, less than half a mile actually, where Lake Street trains ran parallel under wire right next to streetcars, as you can see here. The trolley is heading west, while the train of wood cars is going east, and just starting to head up the ramp. Route 16 streetcars crossed the "L" and turned north a block east of Central Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

There was a short stretch, less than half a mile actually, where Lake Street trains ran parallel under wire right next to streetcars, as you can see here. The trolley is heading west, while the train of wood cars is going east, and just starting to head up the ramp. Route 16 streetcars crossed the “L” and turned north a block east of Central Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

Editor’s note: Lake and Pine is perhaps the only place left in Chicago where streetcar tracks are still visible. Here are four pictures that I took there on July 7, 2016. The view is looking south:

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Here's an interesting streetscape that could not be duplicated today. According to the back of the picture, it shows the view looking east from South Boulevard and Austin, on the eastern edge of Oak Park. The Lake Street "L", where it ran on the ground, had a very narrow right-of-way that the 6000s, with their bulging sides, could not fit in. So, looking for a place to build space for CRT/CTA employee use, there was nowhere to go but up. Not sure which bus routes are there in back, but this was the Chicago side of the street, which would argue against West Towns. It must be Chicago, since Oak Park was "dry" at the time and liquor is being sold. Bill Shapotkin adds: "If this is indeed at Austin (and I believe it is), the street is still called Lake (NOT South Blvd -- as I understand that is strictly an Oak Park name). There were de facto two Lake Streets at this point-- one north of the C&NW and one south of the C&NW. The name "Corcoran" (again as I understand it) did not come along until possibly the time the 'L' was rerouted onto the C&NW embankment). As for the bus -- probably a W/B E16 -- Lake. The bus looped via W/B Lake-N/B Austin-E/B Lake-S/B Mayfield-E/B Lake. That said, there appears to be a bus heading E/B as well -- and that I cannot explain." George Trapp adds, "Lake Street photo at South Blvd. and Austin, buses are Chicago Motor Coach TD-4502's at terminal of Route 31 Washington Blvd. Buses are in their original 1940 paint jobs so photo dates to 1940's." (George Trapp Collection)

Here’s an interesting streetscape that could not be duplicated today. According to the back of the picture, it shows the view looking east from South Boulevard and Austin, on the eastern edge of Oak Park. The Lake Street “L”, where it ran on the ground, had a very narrow right-of-way that the 6000s, with their bulging sides, could not fit in. So, looking for a place to build space for CRT/CTA employee use, there was nowhere to go but up. Not sure which bus routes are there in back, but this was the Chicago side of the street, which would argue against West Towns. It must be Chicago, since Oak Park was “dry” at the time and liquor is being sold. Bill Shapotkin adds: “If this is indeed at Austin (and I believe it is), the street is still called Lake (NOT South Blvd — as I understand that is strictly an Oak Park name). There were de facto two Lake Streets at this point– one north of the C&NW and one south of the C&NW. The name “Corcoran” (again as I understand it) did not come along until possibly the time the ‘L’ was rerouted onto the C&NW embankment). As for the bus — probably a W/B E16 — Lake. The bus looped via W/B Lake-N/B Austin-E/B Lake-S/B Mayfield-E/B Lake. That said, there appears to be a bus heading E/B as well — and that I cannot explain.” George Trapp adds, “Lake Street photo at South Blvd. and Austin, buses are Chicago Motor Coach TD-4502’s at terminal of Route 31 Washington Blvd. Buses are in their original 1940 paint jobs so photo dates to 1940’s.” (George Trapp Collection)

In this current map, it appears that Lake Street crosses over from south of the UP embankment to the north at Pine, where the CSL/CTA route 16 streetcar did. West of Pine, the street on the south side of the embankment is called Corcoran Place. (West of Austin, in suburban Oak Park, this is South Boulevard.) However, there is some question as to when the name was changed to Corcoran Place (see the next map).

In this current map, it appears that Lake Street crosses over from south of the UP embankment to the north at Pine, where the CSL/CTA route 16 streetcar did. West of Pine, the street on the south side of the embankment is called Corcoran Place. (West of Austin, in suburban Oak Park, this is South Boulevard.) However, there is some question as to when the name was changed to Corcoran Place (see the next map).

In this early 1940s Chicago street map, the street south of the embankment is labelled as Lake all the way to Austin Boulevard, where it apparently crosses over to the north of the embankment in Oak park. There is no sign of any Corcoran Place. The solid line, shown crossing over from north to the south of the tracks at Pine Street, is the route of the route 16 - Lake streetcar. However, the map does not really make it clear whether, technically, the street to the north of the tracks was called Lake in this section, or was a continuation of Kinzie, as it was east of Pine. Were there in fact two Lake Streets in this section? There wouldn't have been duplicate street numbers, since in this area, each half would've only had buildings on one side of the street. Perhaps a map expert can clarify all this.

In this early 1940s Chicago street map, the street south of the embankment is labelled as Lake all the way to Austin Boulevard, where it apparently crosses over to the north of the embankment in Oak park. There is no sign of any Corcoran Place. The solid line, shown crossing over from north to the south of the tracks at Pine Street, is the route of the route 16 – Lake streetcar. However, the map does not really make it clear whether, technically, the street to the north of the tracks was called Lake in this section, or was a continuation of Kinzie, as it was east of Pine. Were there in fact two Lake Streets in this section? There wouldn’t have been duplicate street numbers, since in this area, each half would’ve only had buildings on one side of the street. Perhaps a map expert can clarify all this.

The same view today.

The same view today.

This is a Lake Street local train, heading west on the ground level section, which was elevated in 1962. Since this photo predates A/B "skip stop" service, it must date to before April 5, 1948. (George Trapp Collection)

This is a Lake Street local train, heading west on the ground level section, which was elevated in 1962. Since this photo predates A/B “skip stop” service, it must date to before April 5, 1948. (George Trapp Collection)

A westbound Lake "A" train in 1950s Oak Park. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A westbound Lake “A” train in 1950s Oak Park. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

An inbound Lake Street Local somewhere in Oak Park prior to the adoption of A/B service in 1948. The outer portion of the line, from about Oak Park Avenue west, did not have fencing. There were numerous manually operated grade crossings along the 2 1/2 miles where trains ran on the ground. (George Trapp Collection)

An inbound Lake Street Local somewhere in Oak Park prior to the adoption of A/B service in 1948. The outer portion of the line, from about Oak Park Avenue west, did not have fencing. There were numerous manually operated grade crossings along the 2 1/2 miles where trains ran on the ground. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, we see some Met cars in service on the Lake Street "L". In the days when the outer portion ran on the ground, there was a short stretch just west of Harlem Avenue, which is what we see here. There was actually a station just west of Harlem, which was not used very much, compared to the one at Harlem and Marion. Wood cars last ran on Lake on July 5, 1954. In 1962, the nearby embankment was expanded by CTA to create a new yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here, we see some Met cars in service on the Lake Street “L”. In the days when the outer portion ran on the ground, there was a short stretch just west of Harlem Avenue, which is what we see here. There was actually a station just west of Harlem, which was not used very much, compared to the one at Harlem and Marion. Wood cars last ran on Lake on July 5, 1954. In 1962, the nearby embankment was expanded by CTA to create a new yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)


Bonus Photo:

This picture is not from George Trapp, but we thought you might find it interesting anyway:

In this 1950s photo, CTA bus 5602 is on route 6. Meanwhile, we see trains of 4000s and 6000s on the "L" at Wabash and Lake. From 1913 to 1969, trains on both tracks ran in a counterclockwise direction. George Trapp: "Bus 5602 is on route 6, Garfield Blvd not Van Buren. The 5500 series propane buses didn't start to arrive until late 1953. Garfield route was one of the first routes transferred away from a former CMC garage, 52nd to Ashland-69th. Propane 5500's were a downgrade from CMC Diesels which were faster, easier to see out of and had more comfortable mohair plush seats."

In this 1950s photo, CTA bus 5602 is on route 6. Meanwhile, we see trains of 4000s and 6000s on the “L” at Wabash and Lake. From 1913 to 1969, trains on both tracks ran in a counterclockwise direction. George Trapp: “Bus 5602 is on route 6, Garfield Blvd not Van Buren. The 5500 series propane buses didn’t start to arrive until late 1953. Garfield route was one of the first routes transferred away from a former CMC garage, 52nd to Ashland-69th. Propane 5500’s were a downgrade from CMC Diesels which were faster, easier to see out of and had more comfortable mohair plush seats.”


Recent Additions:

Here’s one more that we added to our previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Five (September 26, 2016):

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)

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)


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