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:
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)
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.
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)
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 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)
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)
The subway ramp, just south of Armitage. (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)
Crane S-201 at Wilson. (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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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”.
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.
The CA&E station at Spring Road in Elmhurst in the 1950s.
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