A Ravenswood “L” train at State and Lake in April 1964. Trains ran counter-clockwise around the Loop in one direction until the opening of the Dan Ryan line in 1969. Fritzel’s restaurant is at left. At right, you can just make out one of those “praying mantis” street lights, installed in 1959. Steve Felsenthal adds, “Ravenswood trains switched to the inner track after stopping on the outer track at Randolph & Wells except during weekdays rush hours during the CTA era from sometime in the early to mid 50s until 1969 when the direction of the inner loop track was reversed.”
Happy New Year! We begin 2019 with classic traction photos for our 225th post. William Shapotkin has generously shared more with us, and we have some recent finds of our own to round things out.
It costs real money to bring you these fine images, and soon the bill will come due for maintaining this site. It’s the time of year for our annual fundraiser, and our goal is to raise $436, to keep the Trolley Dodger blog around for another year. Can you help us?
We thank you in advance for your generosity in helping to keep this site going and free of advertising. If you wish to contribute, there are links at the end of this post.
We finished 2018 with 122,358 page views from 38,469 visitors. Page views increased by nearly 3% from the year before, making this our second-best year to date. We had about 10% more visitors than the year before, and in that category, it was our best year yet.
January 21 marks our fourth anniversary, and we will have another new post for you then.
During 2018, we made 22 posts in all. While this was less than in previous years, several of these posts had more than 100 images apiece (as does this one). With 225 posts, we have achieved our initial goal of creating an online archive and resource for people who are interested in vintage transit images. Our current goal is to keep the quality high while avoiding repeating ourselves.
We also published Building Chicago’s Subways, our second book in two years. Information on that book can be found at the end of this post.
From the William Shapotkin Collection
Classic South Shore Line Photos
Here are 49 great South Shore Line images, all from the William Shapotkin Collection. We are very grateful to Mr. Shapotkin for his generosity in sharing these photos with our readers and the railfan community.
#8 heads up train #511 at Miller on May 30, 1988. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
#44 at Dune Park, headquarters of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District that funded the electric operation and the new cars. This was a charter train. (Walter Veilbaum Photo)
#3 at Michigan City in 1938. (C. V. Hess Photo)
#4 at Gary on June 16, 1946. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
#6 at Michigan City in 1938. (C. V. Hess Photo)
#12 at Michigan City in 1939. (C. V. Hess Photo)
#22 in East Chicago, Indiana in 1953. (Richard Brown Photo)
#26 in Gary on October 29, 1949. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
#30 at South Bend in August 1938. (C. V. Hess Photo)
#30 at Tremont on May 17, 1941. (Charles Savage Photo)
#32 at South Bend on September 15, 1948. (Paul Stringham Photo)
#34 at Michigan City in September 1953. That’s the note that came with the photo… on the other hand, Spence Ziegler says, “Looks more like CSS&SB Car #34 is in the South Bend coach yard.” (Richard Brown Photo)
#100 at Chicago on February 8, 1944. The only patriotic car of CSS&SB. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo) (Editor’s note: there is a different picture of car 100 in this paint scheme in my book Chicago Trolleys.)
#100 at South Bend, apparently in the 1940s. (Charles Savage Photo)
Another photo of #100 at South Bend, but not taken at the same time. Note how the windows have been changed, with the installation of air conditioning. This photo appears to date to the early 1950s. (Charles Savage Photo)
#100 at Wagner Siding, east of Gary, on May 30, 1940. (Eugene Van Dusen Photo)
#100 at Wagner Siding, east of Gary, on May 30, 1940. (Eugene Van Dusen Photo)
#103 on September 20, 1942. (Paul Stringham Photo)
#106A at Chicago on August 22, 1968. (Will Whittaker Photo)
#102 at South Bend on July 8, 1947. At right, the auto appears to be a 1947 Studebaker, known as the “which way is it going” model. (Charles Savage Photo)
#201 at Michigan City in September 1953. (Richard Brown Photo)
Trailer #203 at South Bend in October 1938. (C. V. Hess Photo)
Dining car #301 in 1939. (Photo by A. Q.)
Parlor car #352 at Lydick, Indiana on September 20, 1942. It appears to have been rebuilt later and gone to the Canada Gulf & Terminal Railway. See their car 504 for comparison. (Paul Stringham Photo)
#354 was built by Pullman in 1927 as a parlor car trailer, and rebuilt as a passenger car trailer in 1939.
Loco #802 at Fremont, Indiana in June 1956. (Will Whittaker Photo)
Loco #701 at Michigan City on August 22, 1968. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
Loco 702, lettered for South Shore RR.
Loco #900. (R. Biermann Photo)
Loco #903 (ex-IC), and #503 (ex-Indiana Railroad #375.
Loco #1005 at Michigan City in April 1940.
Locos #1009 and 1004 at Michigan City in June 1939. (Birney Miller Photo)
Loco #1013 at Michigan City. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
Loco #1014 at Michigan City. (C. V. Hess Photo)
Line car #1100. (Gus Wilson Photo)
Line car #1100 at Chicago on June 28, 1986 (for a fantrip, which I also attended). (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
#1100 in Chicago on June 28, 1986. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
Don’s Rail Photos says, “73 was built by Niles in 1908. In 1927 it was rebuilt into work motor 1126. In 1941 it was sold and converted to a house. In 1994 it was purchased for restoration from a buyer who had picked it up the month before for back taxes. He really did not want the car, just the land. Bob Harris began restoration in 2005. There were delays when Bob had a heart attack. There is a recent report on June 17, 2017.”
#1100 at Hudson Lake on June 28, 1986. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
#1100 at Dune Park on June 28, 1986. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
Loco #1014A at New Carlisle, Indiana on August 7, 1938, during an Illinois Central excursion. (Eugene Van Dusen Photo)
Line car #1101, formerly a passenger car, at Michigan City in April 1940. (Eugene Van Dusen Photo)
#1126 in August 1938. (Photo by R. S.)
CSS&SB combo, used by railfans at South Bend on March 22, 1938.
An 8-car train at Lake Park in Fall 1940.
RTA loco #126 heads a leased 10-car train, which supplemented electric service for a time due to a car shortage. It made one round-trip a day out of Michigan City.
Loco #2000 at Michigan City in May 1988. (Walter H. Vielbaum Photo)
#2004 and caboose #003 at Michigan City in May 1988. (Walter H. Veilbaum Photo)
Misc. Photos From the Shapotkin Collection
On July 25, 1943 several railfans posed on the northbound platform of the as-yet unopened State Street Subway station at North and Clybourn. From left to right, we have J. Goehst, O. Scheer, George Krambles, N. Strodte, John R. Williams, J. E. Merriken Jr., R. Burns, J. Hughes, and R. E. Geis. (William Shapotkin Collection)
A train station at an unidentified location in February 1970. (William Shapotkin Collection)
This is car #202 of the Chippewa Valley Electric in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Grand River Railway (Canada) baggage car 622. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Yakima (Washington) trolley #1776 in 1976. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Two CTA 4000-series “L” cars in Sylvania, Ohio in August 1976. (William Shapotkin Collection)
We have a picture of South Shore Line car 100 of our own. This one was taken on October 15, 1967 at the shops in Michigan City.
This picture shows CTA trolleybus 234 (prior to the renumbering, where a “9” was added before all TB #s) running on the 51st-55th line. Perhaps the machine at left is removing streetcar track. Presumably this is the early 1950s. (William Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA trolleybus 9672 and red Pullman 685 are near the Montgomery Wards complex at Chicago and Larrabee. This would be a Halsted streetcar, running on diversion trackage via Division to Crosby and Larrabee, then Chicago to Halsted, when work was being done on the Halsted Street bridge over the Chicago River. That dates the picture to 1953– after Marmon trolleybuses were delivered, but before streetcars stopped running on Halsted in 1954. (William Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
Chicago’s Initial System of Subways originally had parcel lockers for public use. This picture helps explain why they were eliminated. In this April 17, 1962 photo, bomb squad detectives are carefully removing some hand grenades that were found in just such a locker at State and Randolph, along with machine gun ammunition.
Jim Huffman: Pix #564 & 565 (below) are SB Cottages returning from Grand and State on Wabash. The #38 Indiana north terminal was Navy Pier via Wabash and Grand, when it ended as a route, the #4 Cottage took its place north to Grand on State & south on Wabash, for awhile.
CTA 4056 is running on Route 4 – Cottage Grove in 1953. This is one of the postwar PCCs that was converted to one-man operation.
CTA 7013 running on Route 4 – Cottage Grove in 1953.
A colorized postcard view of a two-car Lake Street train crossing the Chicago River in the early 1900s. The postcard itself was mailed in 1907.
This transit worker is wearing a Chicago Union Traction cap, and a Chicago Railways jacket. This may help date the photo, as Chicago Railways acquired Chicago Union Traction in 1908.
CSL 7003 on Madison.
CSL 4018 in experimental colors, at Kedzie Station circa 1945-46. It’s signed for the Madison-Fifth branch line. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CTA 4012 and 4090 at Kedzie Station. Since neither PCC has a logo, this is probably early in the CTA era that started on October 1, 1947. Both cars would have been running on Route 20 – Madison. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CTA prewar PCC 4047 is running on the 10-cent Madison Shuttle.
CSL 7053, 4145, and follower, at the Vincennes and 80th turning loop.
CSL 3300 on Montrose. Note the old Divco milk truck at left. Jim Hufman adds that we are “looking west on Montrose from Ashland, the building on the right is on the NW corner.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CTA prewar PCC 4007 at 63rd Place and Narragansett, west end of Route 63, on September 11, 1948.
CSL 2730 and 2728, among others, at an unknown location. Jim Huffman: “Seems to be a Riverview-Larrabee car, could be Wrightwood car barn.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 4080, a Pullman PCC newly delivered at South Shops.
CSL 3210 on Montrose at Milwaukee, west end of the line. Streetcars were replaced by buses on July 29, 1946. Trolley buses ran west o here. The entire line was converted to trolley bus on April 19, 1948, and they continued in used until January 13, 1973. Jim Huffman adds, “car #3310 is behind the car waiting to go east. This was always a problem with PM pull-out trippers at the end of line crossovers. The regular cars would have a longer layover/recovery time than the pull-outs would have. Often the tripper would arrive after their follower, hence the follower at the extreme end with its leader squeezed in so as to leave first. If two followers were there first, one would have to take the crossover & back up on the adjacent track. This I learned from observation when I was younger & also from CSL family members. Buses do not have this problem, they just go around.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 3298 on Montrose. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 5702 on Archer. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 5731 on Route 5, South Chicago Avenue. Note two fans on the railroad embankment, taking pictures. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CTA 4036 is turning westbound on 63rd Place at Central. There was a section of nearly a mile of private right-of-way west of here. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 3287 on Montrose near Kedzie. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 3307 on Montrose. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 2616, signed for 115th and Halsted. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 2733, signed for Downtown. Jim Huffman: “Riverview-Larrabee.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 5073, signed for Archer and Western. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 2754 on a wintry day, signed or Roscoe and Western. Andre Kristopans writes, “I strongly suspect (2754 is) northbound on Larrabee at Clybourn on Route 40 Riverview-Larrabee.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 3298 on Montrose. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 2816, signed or Cottage Grove and 38th.
CTA 4330, a Pullman PCC, heads south on Halsted, crossing a brand-new bridge over the Congress Expressway, then under construction, in 1950. In the background is the Met “L” main line, which remained in use at this location until June 1958. The PCC is signed for Route 42, Halsted-Downtown. M. E. adds, “The streetcar’s destination sign reads route 42, but route 42 did not run when and where the picture was taken (Halsted at Congress). At that spot, only route 8 ran. The correct sign would have said 8 Halsted-79.” Jim Huffman adds, “The motorman saw the 79th thru the little view window & stopped there.”
CTA 282 and 285 at 63rd and Kedzie in August 1953.
CTA 6101-6102 on the Paulina Connector, crossing the Congress rapid transit line, on April 21, 1991. This trackage is now used by the CTA Pink Line. Ater being stored at the Fox River Trolley Museum for many years, these cars are now back on CTA property as part of their historical collection and it is hoped they will someday run again. (Albert J. Reinschmidt Photo)
CTA red Pullman 225 and PCC 4406 on an October 21, 1956 fantrip. M. E. adds, “This picture is at 16th and Clark, facing north. Streetcars had their own private right-of-way west of Clark going under the two railroad viaducts located here.”
CA&E #321 is on the back of an outbound train at Marshfield Junction.
A train of CA&E woods near Wells Street Terminal in downtown Chicago.
CTA 2067-2068 head up a westbound Lake Street train in June 1965.
CTA 2175-2176, a northbound Lake-Dan Ryan “B” train, near Adams and Wabash station on August 2, 1974. (Douglas N. Grotjahn Photo)
Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car #30. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “These 15 motor cars and 5 trailers were built by Stephenson Car Co. in 1903 and were part of the original stock. 30 was built by Stephenson in 1903. It was retired in 1959.”
North Shore Line city streetcar #354, which once ran on the streets of Milwaukee and Waukegan, at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago, September 15, 1957.
CTA Pullman PCC 4111 heads west on Monroe Street in 1950, running on Route 20 – Madison.
A two-car train of CTA 6000s heads east on Garfield Park temporary trackage at Paulina on April 3, 1954. The photographer was standing on the platform of the Met “L” station at Marshfield Junction, then still in use or Douglas Park trains.
Red Arrow Brilliner #9 at the end of the Ardmore line in May 1965.
Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. (aka Red Arrow) #17, a double-ended interurban car built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1949, is at the west end of the long West Chester line, which was bussed in 1954 to facilitate the widening of West Chester Pike.
Philadelphia Transportation Co. PCC #2031 is on a section of private right-of-way at the end of Route 6 in the early 1950s. That looks like aa 1953 Cadillac at right. This section of route was eventually cut back due to highway construction. (Walter Broschart Photo)
Public Service #2695 is inbound on the Hudson line on the old Hoboken elevated near the Summit turnoff at Palisade Avenue.
A Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit articulated “Bluebird” set of cars, on its inaugural run in 1939.
A set of articulated Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit “Bluebird” cars on Fulton Street at Tompkins Avenue.
We recently purchased some original plans from the Initial System of Subways, which detail where various utilities were intended to be relocated at the subway station at Grand and State. This just goes to show the incredible level of detail required for a project of this sort. Interestingly, these plans were in London, England and have now been repatriated back to Chicago. They are dated October 1939, and this document was voided out in December of that same year (and no doubt replaced with an updated version, based on the actual locations of utilities).
Ashley Koda writes:
I came across your website while researching the history of my apartment building. I have the attached photo reflecting a Chicago Surface Line Car No. 3098 on the corner of Erie & Bishop. I understand that this line was in operation between 1913-1947. I found a photo on your website of a 3098 car at Erie & Racine which looks identical to the one attached, so I was hoping you could please help me narrow the time frame of this photo or perhaps point me to some resources that may assist.
Thanks for writing.
Your note doesn’t mention which route the streetcar is on, and neither does the caption on the picture you found on my blog. However, it is probably this one, although the dates don’t quite match up with 1913-1947 (information from www.chicagorailfan.com):
Horse car route introduced by Chicago Passenger Railway
Streetcar route introduced by West Chicago Street Railroad/Chicago Railways (north of 21st St.)
Streetcar route introduced by Southern Street Railway (21st St. to Archer)
Streetcar route introduced by Chicago City Railway (south of Archer)
1886 – horse car service introduced primarily on Erie between downtown and Ashland
1886 – horse car service introduced on Racine between downtown and 21st St.
1896 – service on Erie and Racine converted to electric streetcar
1898 – Racine streetcar extended south via Throop and Morgan to Union Stockyards
12/1/12 – Through Route streetcar introduced, combining Erie and Racine routes
7/25/48 – streetcar route converted to buses
9/13/81 – discontinued
Through Route operated between Union Stockyards and near northwest side. Segment between 21st St. and Archer actually introduced by Chicago General Railway Co., acquired by Southern Street Railway Co. in 1905.
Midday service discontinued 9/10/61
Car House: Noble (until 8/31/47)
Blue Island (8/31/47-7/25/48)
Bus Garage: Blue Island (7/25/48-1/16/55)
As for the streetcar itself, Don’s Rail Photos gives the following information:
3098 was built by CSL in 1922. It was scrapped in 1948.
More pictures of streetcars were taken by fans in the 1940s than in the 1930s, perhaps in part because it was widely known that the older ones would soon be disappearing. So while there may not be much in the picture that can help date it, chances are it is from the period 1940-1948 than anything earlier than that, just due to statistics.
I hope this helps.
PS- Here is the other picture of 3098 that we previously ran.
Andre Kristopans: “3098 SB turning off Erie into Racine.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago last November, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways
There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.
While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!
Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960
Building Chicago’s Subways is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.
The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.
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Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)
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