An Easter Parade of Traction

The throngs of people in this June 1926 photograph were attending the Catholic Church's 28th International Eucharistic Congress in Mundelein. Note the variety of rail cars being used to move the masses. After the Congress ended, ridership on the North Shore Line's Mundelein-Libertyville branch was sparse enough that service was provided by a single city streetcar.

The throngs of people in this June 1926 photograph were attending the Catholic Church’s 28th International Eucharistic Congress in Mundelein. Note the variety of rail cars being used to move the masses. After the Congress ended, ridership on the North Shore Line’s Mundelein-Libertyville branch was sparse enough that service was provided by a single city streetcar.

As this is Easter weekend, here is a veritable “Easter Parade” of Illinois traction pictures for your enjoyment. No matter what your religious preference may be, we hope that you will not pass over them.

-David Sadowski

CTA 1767, signed for Route 58 - Ogden, is actually heading east on Randolph at Green Street in this early 1950s view.

CTA 1767, signed for Route 58 – Ogden, is actually heading east on Randolph at Green Street in this early 1950s view.

Randolph and Green Streets today.

Randolph and Green Streets today.

CSL 5644 is on Lincoln Avenue and signed to go to both Riverview Park and Harrison and State. 5644 was known as a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. Don's Rail Photos says, "5622 thru 5650 were built by Brill in 1909, #16952, for Southern Street Ry which was a subsidiary." (Southern Street Railway was one of the underlying companies that formed CSL.) Jim Huffman adds, "Probably a Riverview-Larrabee or aka Lincoln-Riverview car. Route Western & Roscoe crossover (later a loop west side of Western), EB to Damen, SB to Belmont, EB to Lincoln, SB to Larrabee thence into Downtown. Ended Sept 1947. A shuttle bus service on Roscoe to the Lincoln Ravenswood station remained for many years. Clybourn was another route that also at times that loop on Western, Clybourn’s actual crossover was at Western, but tracks continued north onto Western with switches into that loop. Western NB short turn cars also used that loop. At times there were cars from three routes in that loop. There were not that many turn-around loops with that many routes." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 5644 is on Lincoln Avenue and signed to go to both Riverview Park and Harrison and State. 5644 was known as a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. Don’s Rail Photos says, “5622 thru 5650 were built by Brill in 1909, #16952, for Southern Street Ry which was a subsidiary.” (Southern Street Railway was one of the underlying companies that formed CSL.) Jim Huffman adds, “Probably a Riverview-Larrabee or aka Lincoln-Riverview car. Route Western & Roscoe crossover (later a loop west side of Western), EB to Damen, SB to Belmont, EB to Lincoln, SB to Larrabee thence into Downtown. Ended Sept 1947. A shuttle bus service on Roscoe to the Lincoln Ravenswood station remained for many years. Clybourn was another route that also at times that loop on Western, Clybourn’s actual crossover was at Western, but tracks continued north onto Western with switches into that loop. Western NB short turn cars also used that loop. At times there were cars from three routes in that loop. There were not that many turn-around loops with that many routes.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 7005, still looking shiny, at the Madison-Austin loop. I would date this picture to circa 1937 as the paint has not yet dulled on the car.

CSL 7005, still looking shiny, at the Madison-Austin loop. I would date this picture to circa 1937 as the paint has not yet dulled on the car.

The same buildings are across the street from the east side of the Madison-Austin loop even today. But the flow of vehicles through the loop has been reversed, compared to how it was in streetcar days.

The same buildings are across the street from the east side of the Madison-Austin loop even today. But the flow of vehicles through the loop has been reversed, compared to how it was in streetcar days.

CTA Pullman 691 at Belmont and Central in November 1948. (Jack Gervais Photo)

CTA Pullman 691 at Belmont and Central in November 1948. (Jack Gervais Photo)

CSL 6200 on the Windsor Park line. This was a Multiple-Unit car. Don's Rail Photos adds, "6200 was built by CSL in 1924. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932." Andre Kristopans adds, "One funny thing about this location, when the CTA started the automated stop announcements on the buses, the southbound stop, which is where the B&O crossing was a bit south of 83rd Place, is announced as “Commercial Avenue at Railroad crossing”, even though the tracks have been gone since the 1970’s sometime!" (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 6200 on the Windsor Park line. This was a Multiple-Unit car. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “6200 was built by CSL in 1924. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932.” Andre Kristopans adds, “One funny thing about this location, when the CTA started the automated stop announcements on the buses, the southbound stop, which is where the B&O crossing was a bit south of 83rd Place, is announced as “Commercial Avenue at Railroad crossing”, even though the tracks have been gone since the 1970’s sometime!” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Here, CSL 2811 is outbound on the Riverdale line private right-of-way, headed for Michigan and 119th. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Here, CSL 2811 is outbound on the Riverdale line private right-of-way, headed for Michigan and 119th. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 6238 on the 67-69-71 line. This was known as a Multiple-Unit car. Don's Rail Photos adds, "6238 was built by Lightweight Noiseless Streetcar Co in 1924. It was rebuilt (for) one man service in 1932."

CSL 6238 on the 67-69-71 line. This was known as a Multiple-Unit car. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “6238 was built by Lightweight Noiseless Streetcar Co in 1924. It was rebuilt (for) one man service in 1932.”

CTA Marmon trolley buses 9586 and 9594 at the North Avenue garage.

CTA Marmon trolley buses 9586 and 9594 at the North Avenue garage.

CTA Marmon trolley bus on North Avenue.

CTA Marmon trolley bus on North Avenue.

CTA trolley bus 9462 at the Cicero and Montrose loop. The McDonald's at rear says 9 billion hamburgers have been sold, which would help date this photo to perhaps the mid-1960s. I believe this was the first McDonald's in the City of Chicago.

CTA trolley bus 9462 at the Cicero and Montrose loop. The McDonald’s at rear says 9 billion hamburgers have been sold, which would help date this photo to perhaps the mid-1960s. I believe this was the first McDonald’s in the City of Chicago.

CTA trolley bus 9631 is westbound on Belmont at Cicero circa 1970.

CTA trolley bus 9631 is westbound on Belmont at Cicero circa 1970.

9462 at the Cicero and Montrose loop.

9462 at the Cicero and Montrose loop.

Illinois Central electric suburban cars 1125 and 1226 in downtown Chicago on July 17, 1965.

Illinois Central electric suburban cars 1125 and 1226 in downtown Chicago on July 17, 1965.

Don's Rail Photos says: "415 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1924, #1324, as CO&P (Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria) 64. It became C&IV (Chicago & Illinois Valley) 64 in 1929. It was rebuilt as IT (Illinois Terminal) 415 on September 16, 1934. and sold to Illinois Electric Railway Museum on October 19, 1956."

Don’s Rail Photos says: “415 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1924, #1324, as CO&P (Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria) 64. It became C&IV (Chicago & Illinois Valley) 64 in 1929. It was rebuilt as IT (Illinois Terminal) 415 on September 16, 1934. and sold to Illinois Electric Railway Museum on October 19, 1956.”

Chicago and Joliet Electric car 242, known as the "Ottawa," after the 1934 abandonment.

Chicago and Joliet Electric car 242, known as the “Ottawa,” after the 1934 abandonment.

When I received this picture, it was identified only as being on the Wells Street leg of the Loop "L". However, the construction work shown identifies it as Quincy and Wells, circa 1926-27. The "L" platforms are being extended with metal canopies, while work at left is underway on the Wells Street Terminal, which had an impressive three-story facade designed by Chicago Rapid Transit Company staff architect Arthur U. Gerber. We are facing north.

When I received this picture, it was identified only as being on the Wells Street leg of the Loop “L”. However, the construction work shown identifies it as Quincy and Wells, circa 1926-27. The “L” platforms are being extended with metal canopies, while work at left is underway on the Wells Street Terminal, which had an impressive three-story facade designed by Chicago Rapid Transit Company staff architect Arthur U. Gerber. We are facing north.

Here, we are looking north on Wabash at Van Buren, near Tower 12, circa the 1940s.

Here, we are looking north on Wabash at Van Buren, near Tower 12, circa the 1940s.

This is the old State and Van Buren station on the Loop "L", looking east towards Tower 12. This station was closed in 1972 and demolished. It has since been replaced, due to its proximity to the Harold Washington Library.

This is the old State and Van Buren station on the Loop “L”, looking east towards Tower 12. This station was closed in 1972 and demolished. It has since been replaced, due to its proximity to the Harold Washington Library.

A snowy scene at Wabash and Lake, site of the tightest curve on the "L".

A snowy scene at Wabash and Lake, site of the tightest curve on the “L”.

CTA gate car 1050 at Howard on the Evanston shuttle.

CTA gate car 1050 at Howard on the Evanston shuttle.

We originally ran another version of this photo in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Five (Spetember 26, 2016), where it was identified as Noyes Street in Evanston looking south. This version of the photo has less cropping and is dated August 10, 1928. Work is underway on elevating this portion of the Evanston "L".

We originally ran another version of this photo in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Five (Spetember 26, 2016), where it was identified as Noyes Street in Evanston looking south. This version of the photo has less cropping and is dated August 10, 1928. Work is underway on elevating this portion of the Evanston “L”.

This is an inspection train at the Lake Street Transfer "L" station, which provided connections between the Lake Street "L", on the lower level, and the Metropolitan above. The higher level station was closed in February 1951, when the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway opened.

This is an inspection train at the Lake Street Transfer “L” station, which provided connections between the Lake Street “L”, on the lower level, and the Metropolitan above. The higher level station was closed in February 1951, when the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway opened.

CRT 1715 at Marion Street in Oak Park on the ground-level portion of the Lake Street "L". It is signed as a local and is about to head east. This car was originally built by St. Louis Car Conpany in 1903 for the Northwestern Elevated Railway as car 715 and was renumbered to 1715 in 1913.

CRT 1715 at Marion Street in Oak Park on the ground-level portion of the Lake Street “L”. It is signed as a local and is about to head east. This car was originally built by St. Louis Car Conpany in 1903 for the Northwestern Elevated Railway as car 715 and was renumbered to 1715 in 1913.

CTA 1780 heads up an "A" train at Marion Street in Oak Park. The ground-level portion of the Lake Street "L" was relocated onto the nearby C&NW embankment in 1962. This picture was probably taken between 1948 and 1955.

CTA 1780 heads up an “A” train at Marion Street in Oak Park. The ground-level portion of the Lake Street “L” was relocated onto the nearby C&NW embankment in 1962. This picture was probably taken between 1948 and 1955.

A CRT gate car on the Stock Yards branch of the "L".

A CRT gate car on the Stock Yards branch of the “L”.

This picture, taken on May 21, 1934, shows how the CRT Stock Yards "L" branch was extensively damaged by fire two days earlier. Service west of Halsted did not resume until January 16, 1935.

This picture, taken on May 21, 1934, shows how the CRT Stock Yards “L” branch was extensively damaged by fire two days earlier. Service west of Halsted did not resume until January 16, 1935.

The single-track Stock Yards loop.

The single-track Stock Yards loop.

CRT 4318 at one of the ground-level stations on the west end of the Garfield Park line, headed for Westchester. The fencing at left may be related to construction work on the Congress Expressway, which resulted in this line being relocated.

CRT 4318 at one of the ground-level stations on the west end of the Garfield Park line, headed for Westchester. The fencing at left may be related to construction work on the Congress Expressway, which resulted in this line being relocated.

CA&E 46 on the west end of a six-car train at Laramie Yards.

CA&E 46 on the west end of a six-car train at Laramie Yards.

CA&E 424 loops at DesPlaines Avenue circa 1953-57, with a Chicago Great Western freight train in the background. We are looking north.

CA&E 424 loops at DesPlaines Avenue circa 1953-57, with a Chicago Great Western freight train in the background. We are looking north.

The CA&E off-street terminal at Aurora. There is a sign indicating this is the new terminal, opening on December 31st (1939). Since there are trains in the station,I would date this picture to circa 1940. Previously, trains ran on city streets in downtown Aurora.

The CA&E off-street terminal at Aurora. There is a sign indicating this is the new terminal, opening on December 31st (1939). Since there are trains in the station,I would date this picture to circa 1940. Previously, trains ran on city streets in downtown Aurora.

This view of the CA&E Aurora terminal is from the early 1950s.

This view of the CA&E Aurora terminal is from the early 1950s.

The CA&E Wheaton station in the early 1950s.

The CA&E Wheaton station in the early 1950s.

A view of the CA&E Wheaton Yards.

A view of the CA&E Wheaton Yards.

This picture shows CA&E car 425 at Glen Oak on a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip. The date was September 2, 1940.

This picture shows CA&E car 425 at Glen Oak on a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip. The date was September 2, 1940.

CA&E wood car 318, at right, is making a photo stop at Clintonville on the Elgin branch, during an early Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip. Presumably the 415 at left is a regular service car.

CA&E wood car 318, at right, is making a photo stop at Clintonville on the Elgin branch, during an early Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip. Presumably the 415 at left is a regular service car.

A close-up of the previous picture.

A close-up of the previous picture.

Not-So-Recent Correspondence

We recently acquired a letter and some photographs that were sent by the late William E. Robertson (1920-2003) of Wilmette, Illinois to George (Krambles?):

Sep/22/1951

Dear George,

Here are a few photographs taken on the North Shore Line some years ago, hope they will be of general interest. Regret delay in posting them to you, after your promptness in (sending) Fort Dodge photos to me!

In two weeks I am taking a big eastern trip through Canada and New England where I hope to get many electric railway pictures. Will not be home until the opening of November, but still look for(ward to) your visit here. No other news for now.

Sincerely, Bill

Bill Robertson was part of the “Greatest Generation” of early railfans.  The letter does not say whether Mr. Robertson took these photos, but that’s a good inference.

Among other things, Bill Robertson was an inventor, and had a few patents in his name, including one for a “High-Speed Transportation System.” This must have had some utility, as it has been cited by several other later patents.

Chances are, Bill Robertson took all six pictures. The captions shown are his:

#1 Sweeper on Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette, Ill., Shore Line Route. Jan/31/1940.

#1 Sweeper on Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette, Ill., Shore Line Route. Jan/31/1940.

#2 Waukegan city car barn, North Chicago, Ill. This car long since scrapped, photo taken in September 1939.

#2 Waukegan city car barn, North Chicago, Ill. This car long since scrapped, photo taken in September 1939.

#3 Shore Line train, Greenleaf Avenue, Wilmette, Ill. Taken about 1944. Southbound.

#3 Shore Line train, Greenleaf Avenue, Wilmette, Ill. Taken about 1944. Southbound.

#4 North Chicago barns, Birney car that later went to Milwaukee, Wis. Scrapped in 1947. Photo taken in September 1939. Car shown in 2 at left.

#4 North Chicago barns, Birney car that later went to Milwaukee, Wis. Scrapped in 1947. Photo taken in September 1939. Car shown in 2 at left.

#5 Chicago Limited in Milwaukee, date unknown, but after 1939.

#5 Chicago Limited in Milwaukee, date unknown, but after 1939.

#6 Worst North Shore wreck, at Burlington Road, Kenosha, Wis. Sunday night, Feb. 23, 1930. 11 killed, 100 injured and one car so smashed it was never returned to service (No. 745).

#6 Worst North Shore wreck, at Burlington Road, Kenosha, Wis. Sunday night, Feb. 23, 1930. 11 killed, 100 injured and one car so smashed it was never returned to service (No. 745).

Recent Correspondence

Jack Bejna writes:

Hi Dave,

Another great post! I can’t imagine how you find the time to put these excellent posts together; I’m just glad you do! If your readers haven’t sat in front of a computer Photoshopping for hours on end to improve a single image they can’t possibly know how much work goes into your posts. I’m sending along some images of the Wheaton depot and shop areas.

Thanks for all the wonderful photos you have shared with our readers. You do a fantastic job! I appreciate your kind words.

North Shore Line Abandonment Petition

In 1962, the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee Railway petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon the entire interurban. The railroad convinced the ICC that there was no hope to restore profitability in this era before government subsidies. The last trains ran in the early hours of January 21, 1963.

There were various groups trying to save the railroad. This document, published by the North Shore Line, tends to undercut various arguments made by these outside groups. An impression is conveyed that operations were already quite lean, and that further significant cost savings were not realistic.

In sum, the only thing that could have saved the interurban at this stage would have been subsidies. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The Chicago Transit Authority had reached the same conclusion in the late 1950s, and it is only due to such subsidies, staring in the mid-1960s, that we have any public transit to speak of in this country today.

At any rate, this makes fascinating reading for North Shore Line fans.

-David Sadowski

Finally, Tom Morrow writes:

An Electric Transit Easter Parade cannot be complete without Pullman 441 from Dayton. Circa 1962.

Photo by Cliff Scholes.

Take care.

Chicago Trolleys

Work continues on our upcoming book Chicago Trolleys, which is now in the layout and proofreading stage. Lots of work has been done on the text, and the final selection of photos has been made. We will keep you advised as things progress.

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A Tale of Two Cities

This remarkable picture was taken at the North Shore Line's Milwaukee terminal in January 1963. for all we know, this may be the last night of operation. If so, the temperature was below zero.

This remarkable picture was taken at the North Shore Line’s Milwaukee terminal in January 1963. for all we know, this may be the last night of operation. If so, the temperature was below zero.

Today, we feature color slides taken in Chicago and Philadelphia. Those are the “two cities” in our title, but we also make brief side trips to Los Angeles and Mexico City. Somehow, though A Tale of Four Cities just doesn’t have the same ring.

Come to think of it, some of these pictures were taken in Milwaukee and South Bend, so that’s even more cities.

Chicago’s transit system and Philadelphia’s have shared a few things in common over the years. After the North Shore Line quit in 1963, the two articulated Electroliners (see one in our lead picture) were bought by the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company, better known as the Red Arrow Lines. Rechristened Liberty Liners, they continued in service from 1964 until about 1976.

Dr. Thomas Conway, Jr., who helped modernize the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban in the 1920s, did the same with the Philadelphia & Western, which later became part of Red Arrow.

In the late 1980s, Red Arrow’s successor SEPTA purchased several pairs of used Chicago Transit Authority rapid transit cars (from the 6001-6200 series) to help keep service going, as their existing equipment (Bullets and Strafford cars) was really showing its age.

While the CA&E’s 1953 cutback in service to Forest Park helped speed its demise but a few years later, the P&W Norristown line, which survives today, has never had direct service to downtown Philly.

The CA&E’s 10 curved-sided cars, built in 1945, are often cited as the last “standard” interurbans built in this country. Depending on how you define the word standard, some double-ended cars built for Red Arrow by St. Louis Car Company (they also built the CA&E cars) in 1949 might take the prize instead. These closely resemble PCC cars but don’t qualify as “true” PCCs because they used standard trucks and motors.

The other contenders for last standard interurban are two series built for the Illinois Terminal in the late 1940s. Double-end PCCs were purchased for the St. Louis to Granite City line, and streamliners for longer inter-city use.

For that matter, Pittsburgh Railways used PCC cars (built in the late 1940s) on their interurban lines to Washington and Charleroi. These cars continued in service in Pittsburgh for many years after the last interurban ran in 1953.

Scanning these images was just a starting point. I put in many hours of work in Photoshop to remove imperfections and improve the color. As always, if you have location information you can give us, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

We salute the many fine photographers, whose names are unfortunately not known to us, who took these exceptional pictures. It is important to give credit where credit is due, but in too many cases, when we receive a slide, negative, or print, there isn’t a name associated with it. We wish it were otherwise, but we are grateful that so many fine images have survived the decades in order to be shared with you. Our intentions are always to give these images, and the people who took them, the respect they deserve. When we have such information, we always give proper credit.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

PS- You can see more great night shots in our previous post Night Beat (June 21, 2016).

Chicago Area

South Shore Line car 110 laying over at South Bend, Indiana in July 1963. This was the east end of the line until 1970, when service was cut back to the outskirts of town, and South Bend street running was eliminated. In 1992, service was extended to the South Bend International Airport, 3 miles northwest of downtown South Bend.

South Shore Line car 110 laying over at South Bend, Indiana in July 1963. This was the east end of the line until 1970, when service was cut back to the outskirts of town, and South Bend street running was eliminated. In 1992, service was extended to the South Bend International Airport, 3 miles northwest of downtown South Bend.

Sailors board a North Shore Line train at Great Lakes on June 1, 1962. Car 751 is at rear.

Sailors board a North Shore Line train at Great Lakes on June 1, 1962. Car 751 is at rear.

North Shore Line 731 is at Libertyville on the Mundelein branch. We featured another picture at this location, taken in warmer weather, in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016).

North Shore Line 731 is at Libertyville on the Mundelein branch. We featured another picture at this location, taken in warmer weather, in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016).

North Shore Line 723 at the front of a three-car train at an unidentified location. Andre Kristopans: "NSL 723 is on the Evanston L, I would say between Central and Noyes." George Trapp: " I believe the train is Northbound on the Evanston "L" somewhere between the Foster Street and Central Street stations, probably closer to the latter on the last section of the line to be elevated starting in 1928."

North Shore Line 723 at the front of a three-car train at an unidentified location. Andre Kristopans: “NSL 723 is on the Evanston L, I would say between Central and Noyes.” George Trapp: ” I believe the train is Northbound on the Evanston “L” somewhere between the Foster Street and Central Street stations, probably closer to the latter on the last section of the line to be elevated starting in 1928.”

North Shore Line car 773 and train on the Loop "L". The car is signed as a Chicago Express on the Shore Line Route, which was abandoned in July 1955.

North Shore Line car 773 and train on the Loop “L”. The car is signed as a Chicago Express on the Shore Line Route, which was abandoned in July 1955.

We ran another version of this image in a previous post, but this one is better because there is less cropping. A northbound CNS&M Shore Line Route train, headed up by 413, at the downtown Wilmette station in June 1954. The Shore Line was abandoned not much more than one year later. We are looking to the southeast.

We ran another version of this image in a previous post, but this one is better because there is less cropping. A northbound CNS&M Shore Line Route train, headed up by 413, at the downtown Wilmette station in June 1954. The Shore Line was abandoned not much more than one year later. We are looking to the southeast.

An Illinois Central Electric suburban commuter train in 1963. (Fred Byerly Collection)

An Illinois Central Electric suburban commuter train in 1963. (Fred Byerly Collection)

This picture, taken in September 1958, appears to show the back end of a CTA Congress branch train heading east over temporary trackage just east of DesPlaines Avenue, where there was a crossing at grade. Construction work was underway for I290, and the previous June, the new rapid transit line in the Congress expressway median had opened as far west as Cicero Avenue.

This picture, taken in September 1958, appears to show the back end of a CTA Congress branch train heading east over temporary trackage just east of DesPlaines Avenue, where there was a crossing at grade. Construction work was underway for I290, and the previous June, the new rapid transit line in the Congress expressway median had opened as far west as Cicero Avenue.

CTA Pullman-built PCC 4223 on a shoo-fly at Halsted and Congress circa 1952. The Congress expressway was under construction, and the first thing built were the bridges. That is the Garfield Park "L" in the background, which continued to operate until June 1958. The temporary trackage in Van Buren Street was a short distance west of here. We are facing north. Those lines on the car are shadows from nearby telephone wires.

CTA Pullman-built PCC 4223 on a shoo-fly at Halsted and Congress circa 1952. The Congress expressway was under construction, and the first thing built were the bridges. That is the Garfield Park “L” in the background, which continued to operate until June 1958. The temporary trackage in Van Buren Street was a short distance west of here. We are facing north. Those lines on the car are shadows from nearby telephone wires.

A two-car train of CTA 4000s goes up the ramp toward the Laramie station on the Lake Street "L" on July 5, 1960. The portion of the line west of here was relocated onto the nearby Chicao & North Western embankment on October 28, 1962. Earlier that year, power on the ramp was changed from overhead wire to third rail, to facilitate the transition.

A two-car train of CTA 4000s goes up the ramp toward the Laramie station on the Lake Street “L” on July 5, 1960. The portion of the line west of here was relocated onto the nearby Chicao & North Western embankment on October 28, 1962. Earlier that year, power on the ramp was changed from overhead wire to third rail, to facilitate the transition.

CTA Red Pullmans 532 and 153 pass each other on Route 8 - Halsted at Chicago. We are looking north.

CTA Red Pullmans 532 and 153 pass each other on Route 8 – Halsted at Chicago. We are looking north.

A train of CTA 4000s on a fantrip on the Skokie Swift (today's Yellow Line). These were last used in regular service in 1973, but this slide is dated March 1975. (Rex K. Nelson Photo)

A train of CTA 4000s on a fantrip on the Skokie Swift (today’s Yellow Line). These were last used in regular service in 1973, but this slide is dated March 1975. (Rex K. Nelson Photo)

CTA prewar PCC 4018 on Cottage Grove at 13th in February 1955. (William C. Janssen Photo)

CTA prewar PCC 4018 on Cottage Grove at 113th in February 1955. (William C. Janssen Photo)

CTA Red Pullman 109 is heading westbound on Blue Island at Western.

CTA Red Pullman 109 is heading westbound on Blue Island at Western.

CA&E 422 at the head of a four-car train.

CA&E 422 at the head of a four-car train.

CA&E 317 and 316 on an Illini Railroad Club fantrip in the 1950s.

CA&E 317 and 316 on an Illini Railroad Club fantrip in the 1950s.

CA&E 432 in winter.

CA&E 432 in winter.

CA&E 317.

CA&E 317.

CA&E 406 at State Road on the Batavia branch.

CA&E 406 at State Road on the Batavia branch.

To me, this looks like CA&E 419 is approaching the Forest Park terminal at DesPlaines Avenue. CTA Garfield Park "L" trains would loop via the wooden flyover at rear. Construction is underway at the station, which make me wonder if this picture was taken around the time of the September 1953 cutback.

To me, this looks like CA&E 419 is approaching the Forest Park terminal at DesPlaines Avenue. CTA Garfield Park “L” trains would loop via the wooden flyover at rear. Construction is underway at the station, which make me wonder if this picture was taken around the time of the September 1953 cutback.

CA&E 454. Methinks this is Bellwood, near 25th Avenue, where the nearby Chicago Great Western had a freight yard.

CA&E 454. Methinks this is Bellwood, near 25th Avenue, where the nearby Chicago Great Western had a freight yard.

CA&E 430 at Batavia Junction in 1957. (Fred Byerly Collection)

CA&E 430 at Batavia Junction in 1957. (Fred Byerly Collection)

CA&E 319 heads up a train of woods.

CA&E 319 heads up a train of woods.

CA&E 316 and 317 have just departed Forest Park and are heading west in the 1950s. CTA Garfield Park "L" cars would loop using the wooden trestle at rear. This is the approximate location of I290 today.

CA&E 316 and 317 have just departed Forest Park and are heading west in the 1950s. CTA Garfield Park “L” cars would loop using the wooden trestle at rear. This is the approximate location of I290 today.

CA&E 406 on a 1950s fantrip, most likely on the Batavia branch.

CA&E 406 on a 1950s fantrip, most likely on the Batavia branch.

CA&E 314 is at the rear of a two-car train that has just crossed the B&OCT tracks just east of DesPlaines Avenue. The station at left would be DesPlaines Avenue, so we are looking to the west. Note the large gas holder that was a local landmark for years.

CA&E 314 is at the rear of a two-car train that has just crossed the B&OCT tracks just east of DesPlaines Avenue. The station at left would be DesPlaines Avenue, so we are looking to the west. Note the large gas holder that was a local landmark for years.

CA&E 402 and train.

CA&E 402 and train.

CA&E 307 at the Wheaton Shops.

CA&E 307 at the Wheaton Shops.

If I had to guess, I would say this picture of a CTA wooden "L" car and CA&E 422 was taken at DesPlaines Avenue, shortly before the September 1953 cutback in service. The old station was on the east side of DesPlaines Avenue.

If I had to guess, I would say this picture of a CTA wooden “L” car and CA&E 422 was taken at DesPlaines Avenue, shortly before the September 1953 cutback in service. The old station was on the east side of DesPlaines Avenue.

A short CA&E freight train, complete with caboose. Some other interurbans did not use cabooses.

A short CA&E freight train, complete with caboose. Some other interurbans did not use cabooses.

CA&E 408 heads up a train that appears to be heading eastbound, possibly just west of DesPlaines Avenue.

CA&E 408 heads up a train that appears to be heading eastbound, possibly just west of DesPlaines Avenue.

CA&E 316 and 317, possibly on the same Illini Railroad Club fantrip shown in a few other pictures in this post. The location may perhaps be the Mt. Carmel branch, which operated on overhead wire instead of third rail.

CA&E 316 and 317, possibly on the same Illini Railroad Club fantrip shown in a few other pictures in this post. The location may perhaps be the Mt. Carmel branch, which operated on overhead wire instead of third rail.

CA&E 460 is at Fifth Avenue in Maywood on March 6, 1958. This was one of a handful of fantrips that were run after passenger service was abandoned on July 3, 1957. The second car may be 417. This was about as far east as trains could go at this point, as the CA&E's suspension of service had facilitated construction of what we now know as I290 near the DesPlaines River. The CA&E tracks were relocated slightly north of where they had crossed the river, and were ready for service again in 1959, but by then the railroad had abandoned all service and no trains were run on the new alignment.

CA&E 460 is at Fifth Avenue in Maywood on March 6, 1958. This was one of a handful of fantrips that were run after passenger service was abandoned on July 3, 1957. The second car may be 417. This was about as far east as trains could go at this point, as the CA&E’s suspension of service had facilitated construction of what we now know as I290 near the DesPlaines River. The CA&E tracks were relocated slightly north of where they had crossed the river, and were ready for service again in 1959, but by then the railroad had abandoned all service and no trains were run on the new alignment.

A CA&E freight train. Tom writes: "The Unknown CAE with the two freight motors is an Eastbound Freight at Berkeley under the I 294 / Eisenhower Expressway . I grew up a block away from there in Elmhurst."

A CA&E freight train. Tom writes: “The Unknown CAE with the two freight motors is an Eastbound Freight at Berkeley under the I 294 / Eisenhower Expressway . I grew up a block away from there in Elmhurst.”

A pair of curved-sided CA&E cars, headed up by 452.

A pair of curved-sided CA&E cars, headed up by 452.

CA&E 452 at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park, where passengers could transfer to eastbound CTA trains from 1953 to 1957.

CA&E 452 at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park, where passengers could transfer to eastbound CTA trains from 1953 to 1957.

CA&E 432 and 459 on the Met "L" just west of the Loop, prior to the September 20, 1953 cutback in service to Forest Park.

CA&E 432 and 459 on the Met “L” just west of the Loop, prior to the September 20, 1953 cutback in service to Forest Park.

This picture may show CA&E 319 and 320 on a December 7, 1958 fantrip. This was the last passenger operation on the railroad. Freight service continued for a few more months before it too was abandoned.

This picture may show CA&E 319 and 320 on a December 7, 1958 fantrip. This was the last passenger operation on the railroad. Freight service continued for a few more months before it too was abandoned.

CA&E electric locos 2001 and 2002 and train.

CA&E electric locos 2001 and 2002 and train.

Looks like CA&E 458 and (I think) 434.

Looks like CA&E 458 and (I think) 434.

A CA&E freight train on the Mt. Carmel branch. I can't quite make out the loco's number (400x).

A CA&E freight train on the Mt. Carmel branch. I can’t quite make out the loco’s number (400x).

Philadelphia Area

SEPTA car 15 picks up a passenger across from the Media Theater (which is showing the film Taxi Driver) in May 1976.

SEPTA car 15 picks up a passenger across from the Media Theater (which is showing the film Taxi Driver) in May 1976.

A close-up of the previous picture. We are facing east.

A close-up of the previous picture. We are facing east.

SEPTA 19 on the Sharon Hill line in May 1976. Kenneth Achtert adds, "SEPTA 19 on the Sharon Hill line is outbound at Drexel Hill Junction."

SEPTA 19 on the Sharon Hill line in May 1976. Kenneth Achtert adds, “SEPTA 19 on the Sharon Hill line is outbound at Drexel Hill Junction.”

SEPTA double-ended car 15, built in 1949, in May 1976. Not sure whether this is the Media or the Sharon Hill line. Kenneth Achtert: "Car 15 is on the Media line at the east end of the Media street-running, crossing Providence Road about to reach Bowling Green station."

SEPTA double-ended car 15, built in 1949, in May 1976. Not sure whether this is the Media or the Sharon Hill line. Kenneth Achtert: “Car 15 is on the Media line at the east end of the Media street-running, crossing Providence Road about to reach Bowling Green station.”

SEPTA 22 near the 69th Street Terminal in May 1976.

SEPTA 22 near the 69th Street Terminal in May 1976.

SEPTA Brilliner 4, signed as an instruction vehicle, in downtown Media in May 1976. These cars continued in service into the early 1980s, when they were replaced by the current fleet of double-ended Kawasaki LRVs.

SEPTA Brilliner 4, signed as an instruction vehicle, in downtown Media in May 1976. These cars continued in service into the early 1980s, when they were replaced by the current fleet of double-ended Kawasaki LRVs.

A SEPTA Bullet car crosses the Schuylkill River in May 1976.

A SEPTA Bullet car crosses the Schuylkill River in May 1976.

SEPTA "Master Unit" 83 (left) and Brilliner 8 meet at Drexel Hill Junction on August 16, 1981. Kenneth Achtert: "The shot of 83 and 8 at Drexel Hill Junction is on a fantrip, with 83 inbound from Media and 8 on the pocket track."

SEPTA “Master Unit” 83 (left) and Brilliner 8 meet at Drexel Hill Junction on August 16, 1981. Kenneth Achtert: “The shot of 83 and 8 at Drexel Hill Junction is on a fantrip, with 83 inbound from Media and 8 on the pocket track.”

SEPTA Strafford car 160 in May 1976. This looks like the Norrsitown Terminal.

SEPTA Strafford car 160 in May 1976. This looks like the Norrsitown Terminal.

One of the Liberty Liners on the Schuylkill River bridge in May 1976.

One of the Liberty Liners on the Schuylkill River bridge in May 1976.

A berthed Liberty Liner in May 1976.

A berthed Liberty Liner in May 1976.

SEPTA Bullet car 7 (207?) in May 1976. Kenneth Achtert adds, "Bullet car 7 in May 1976 is, in fact, #207. The ten bullets were always numbered 200-209, but carried the single last digit on the roof over the ventilation scoop as an aid for the dispatcher located at Bryn Mawr above the track area. (The tracks were in a cut at that location.) The older cars also carried numbers on the roof, but this practice was discontinued on all but the bullets, no doubt since the bullets had no other number visible from the front."

SEPTA Bullet car 7 (207?) in May 1976. Kenneth Achtert adds, “Bullet car 7 in May 1976 is, in fact, #207. The ten bullets were always numbered 200-209, but carried the single last digit on the roof over the ventilation scoop as an aid for the dispatcher located at Bryn Mawr above the track area. (The tracks were in a cut at that location.) The older cars also carried numbers on the roof, but this practice was discontinued on all but the bullets, no doubt since the bullets had no other number visible from the front.”

SEPTA Brill Master Units 82 and 86 in May 1976. This may be the storage tracks near 69th Street Terminal, which are a short vestige of the old West Chester line. Kenneth Achtert: "82 and 86 are indeed on the storage tracks on West Chester Pike west of 69th St. Terminal."

SEPTA Brill Master Units 82 and 86 in May 1976. This may be the storage tracks near 69th Street Terminal, which are a short vestige of the old West Chester line. Kenneth Achtert: “82 and 86 are indeed on the storage tracks on West Chester Pike west of 69th St. Terminal.”

A "railfan seat" view out the front or back window of a Norristown train on the Schuylkill River bridge in May 1976.

A “railfan seat” view out the front or back window of a Norristown train on the Schuylkill River bridge in May 1976.

A Liberty Liner crosses the Schuylkill River on February 16, 1964, about a month after they were put in service on the Norristown line.

A Liberty Liner crosses the Schuylkill River on February 16, 1964, about a month after they were put in service on the Norristown line.

One of the SEPTA Liberty Liners in February 1972. Kenneth Achtert: "The Liberty Liner in February 1972 appears to be southbound leaving Wynnewood Road."

One of the SEPTA Liberty Liners in February 1972. Kenneth Achtert: “The Liberty Liner in February 1972 appears to be southbound leaving Wynnewood Road.”

Red Arrow car 24 at the 69th Street Terminal in August 1960.

Red Arrow car 24 at the 69th Street Terminal in August 1960.

Red Arrow Bullet car 8 on the Norristown High Speed Line. I'm not sure at what point this car was renumbered to 208. This picture may have been taken shortly after the SEPTA takeover in 1970. Kenneth Achtert: "Bullet car 8 was always 208 (see previous), and the picture was definitely after the SEPTA takeover as evidenced by the blue-backed patches for the logos."

Red Arrow Bullet car 8 on the Norristown High Speed Line. I’m not sure at what point this car was renumbered to 208. This picture may have been taken shortly after the SEPTA takeover in 1970. Kenneth Achtert: “Bullet car 8 was always 208 (see previous), and the picture was definitely after the SEPTA takeover as evidenced by the blue-backed patches for the logos.”

The control cab of one of the two Liberty Liners, as it looked in May 1976, near the end of service.

The control cab of one of the two Liberty Liners, as it looked in May 1976, near the end of service.

The interior of a Liberty Liner in May 1976.

The interior of a Liberty Liner in May 1976.

Bullet car 208 (left) and Strafford car 160 (right) in May 1976. I was fortunate to ride both such cars on this line in 1985.

Bullet car 208 (left) and Strafford car 160 (right) in May 1976. I was fortunate to ride both such cars on this line in 1985.

Red Arrow car 13 in downtown Media in May 1976.

Red Arrow car 13 in downtown Media in May 1976.

A SEPTA Bullet car crosses the Schuylkill River in May 1976.

A SEPTA Bullet car crosses the Schuylkill River in May 1976.

Besides the Brilliners and postwar St. Louis cars, older equipment continued in use on Red Arrow into the early 1980s. Here, we see Brill "Master Unit" 80, built in 1932, in SEPTA colors in May 1976 near the 69th Street Terminal.

Besides the Brilliners and postwar St. Louis cars, older equipment continued in use on Red Arrow into the early 1980s. Here, we see Brill “Master Unit” 80, built in 1932, in SEPTA colors in May 1976 near the 69th Street Terminal.

The next two scenes are from medium format transparancies, which were mounted in oversized mounts as seen here. Standard 35mm slide mounts are 2" x 2", and these are 2.75" x 2.75". I don't know if slide projectors were made that could handle these giants. You wouldn't exactly call these "super slides," since that term refers to size 127 or 828 film (which is larger than 35mm) mounted in 2x2 mounts.

The next two scenes are from medium format transparancies, which were mounted in oversized mounts as seen here. Standard 35mm slide mounts are 2″ x 2″, and these are 2.75″ x 2.75″. I don’t know if slide projectors were made that could handle these giants. You wouldn’t exactly call these “super slides,” since that term refers to size 127 or 828 film (which is larger than 35mm) mounted in 2×2 mounts.

SEPTA Brilliner 5 in February 1971. Kenneth Achtert: "Brilliner #5 in the medium format transparency is just past the Naylor’s Run trestle approaching the Congress Ave. stop."

SEPTA Brilliner 5 in February 1971. Kenneth Achtert: “Brilliner #5 in the medium format transparency is just past the Naylor’s Run trestle approaching the Congress Ave. stop.”

SEPTA Brilliners 9 and 3 meet in February 1971. Kenneth Achtert: "Brilliners 9 and 3 are at Lansdowne Ave. (#9 outbound). The teenagers are students from Monsignor Bonner HS (boys) and Archbishop Prendergast HS (girls), out of view to the left. The schools have since been combined."

SEPTA Brilliners 9 and 3 meet in February 1971. Kenneth Achtert: “Brilliners 9 and 3 are at Lansdowne Ave. (#9 outbound). The teenagers are students from Monsignor Bonner HS (boys) and Archbishop Prendergast HS (girls), out of view to the left. The schools have since been combined.”

A close-up of the previous scene.

A close-up of the previous scene.

Angel’s Flight (Los Angeles)

We have posted several pictures of Angel’s Flight before. To find those, type Angel’s Flight in the search window at the top of this page.

The view looking down the Angel's Flight Railway in August 1966. Nearby buildings had already been torn down as part of the redevelopment of this area, which included leveling part of Bunker Hill.

The view looking down the Angel’s Flight Railway in August 1966. Nearby buildings had already been torn down as part of the redevelopment of this area, which included leveling part of Bunker Hill.

A family rides the Angel's Flight funicular in Los Angeles' Bunker Hill neighborhood in May 1969. Service ended later that year, and Angel's Flight was dismantled and put into storage for many years before being reopened a short distance from here.

A family rides the Angel’s Flight funicular in Los Angeles’ Bunker Hill neighborhood in May 1969. Service ended later that year, and Angel’s Flight was dismantled and put into storage for many years before being reopened a short distance from here.

Angel's Flight, May 1969.

Angel’s Flight, May 1969.

Angel's Flight, May 1969.

Angel’s Flight, May 1969.

Angel's Flight, May 1969.

Angel’s Flight, May 1969.

Mexico City

This, and the three pictures that follow, were taken in Mexico City in May 1957, apparently by a pretty good photographer. Mexico's last remaining streetcar line (Tasqueña–Xochimilco) was converted to light rail in 1986. The PCCs were purchased second-hand from North American properties, including Detroit.

This, and the three pictures that follow, were taken in Mexico City in May 1957, apparently by a pretty good photographer. Mexico’s last remaining streetcar line (Tasqueña–Xochimilco) was converted to light rail in 1986. The PCCs were purchased second-hand from North American properties, including Detroit.

2017 Hoosier Traction Meet

Bill Shapotkin writes:

On September 8th-9th, a group of men and women will converge upon Indianapolis, IN for the annual gathering of the Hoosier Traction Meet. Considered by many to be the premier event of its kind, this conference of interested enthusiasts, historians, published authors and rail and transit professions consists of two complete days of audio/visual presentations on the history, operation and technology of electric railway and transit operations throughout the Midwest. In addition to the numerous auditorium events, there is an exhibition of electric rail and transit, where items of interest from transfers and photographs to fare boxes and operating models are for sale.

This year marks the 34th annual Hoosier Traction Meet. Founded by Dr. Howard Blackburn, the Hoosier Traction Meet features, in addition to its auditorium events and exhibition hall, a opportunity for those interested in electric railway and transit to exchange ideas and swap stories with old acquaintances and meet new friends.

Allow me to take this opportunity to cordially invite each and every one of you to this special event — an event which has been the rail and transit highlight of my year for nearly twenty years.

Click here for a Prospectus.

Note that by mailing in your reservation in advance, the admission price is half that paid at the door — now that’s a bargain in anybody’s book! In addition, there are numerous restaurants and shops nearby, allowing plenty of opportunities to and have lunch or supper with your fellow enthusiasts.

Please consider joining us for this year’s event.

Wm Shapotkin
Auditorium Manager
Hoosier Traction Meet

Chicago Trolleys

Work continues on our upcoming book Chicago Trolleys, which is now in the layout and proofreading stage. Lots of work has been done on the text, and the final selection of photos has been made. We will keep you advised as things progress.

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