CTA 4000 series fan trip Chicago Avenue Station (this probably took place on a Sunday, at a time when the Ravenswood wasn’t running any further south than Belmont).
In our last post, we noted the recent death of Mel Bernero, who was active in several organizations, most notably the Omnibus Society of America. He leaves a rich photographic legacy, and one he freely shared– 34,343 pictures uploaded to Flickr in the last 13 years.
Reflecting his interests, the great majority of these are bus pictures, but he took lots of CTA “L” pictures as well, beginning in 1969. Mel was a talented photographer, and in the late 1960s and early 70s there was quite a lot to take pictures of.
As a tribute to Mel Bernero, we present a generous selection of his work. The great majority of images here are his, nearly all the color images in fact. The black-and-white pictures are things he collected, taken by others. We hope you will enjoy them.
PS- We have tweaked a few of these images when it was possible to make them look better, and added a bit of missing caption information here and there as well.
The Photography of Mel Bernero
CTA fan trip Lake Street crossing Lake Street 8-1972
CTA Logan Square yard
CTA 1101 OSA fan trip Logan Square 10-10-1961 Richard Kaplan Photo
CTA 413 Logan Square 6-1966 Ronald Sullivan-John LeBeau Collection
CTA 8479 is on Grand Avenue, near the old “L” station, which closed in 1970.
CTA 5167 by the Logan Square “L” terminal, which closed in 1970.
Chicago Motor Coach 810 63rd & Loomis. Our resident South Side expert M.E. adds, “This photo, looking south, shows the 63rd and Loomis L terminal before one track was extended out over the street. The auto on the street seems to have huge horns on each side of the hood. I think it is a late 1940s Cadillac. Also interesting is that the bus sign reads “Marquette Rd. Limited, (to) Washington and Canal.” How did it get there? I found a decent map: https://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/10180/213749/ChicagoBoulevardSystem_20120312_version1-0.pdf This route used Loomis Blvd. (1400 W.) between Marquette Rd. (6700 S.) and Garfield Blvd. (5500 S.), where it turned east on Garfield. Beyond that, the route probably turned north on Michigan Ave. (which never had streetcars anywhere north of 95th St.), then all the way into downtown.
CTA 3339 Jeffery & 71st St. in 1968, running parallel to the Illinois Central Electric’s South Chicago branch (now the Metra Electric).
CTA 9368 (aka CSL 368) unloading from flat car at South Shops
CTA 9368 (aka CSL 368) after unloading from flat car at South Shops
CTA 9361 is westbound on Irving Park Road, passing under the north-south “L”. The tracks it is about to cross belonged to the Milwaukee Road, and were used to interchange freight with the “L” until 1973. (Jeff Wien Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA 9375 at the east end of the Montrose trolley bus line, near the Wilson Avenue “L” station… about to turn south on Broadway. (Jeff Wien Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA 9378 is heading south on Broadway, about to turn west on Montrose (Route 78). (Jeff Wien Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA 9193, on a March 2, 1958 fantrip for the Ominbus Society of America. This looks like the Roosevelt Road viaduct to me.
CTA 1726, 9565 at Grand and Nordica
CTA 7616 63rd-Stony Island (east terminal of the Jackson Park “L”) in 1974.
CTA 4271-4272 Washington-Wabash (celebrating the CTA’s 70th anniversary, presumably on October 1, 2017)
CTA 1608-4000 Series L cars (this is where the Lake Street “L” descended to ground level, just west of Laramie, which it did until October 1962).
CTA fan trip Hamlin Yard Lake Street 8-1972
CTA Jefferson Park 11-1973
CTA 5000 series Skokie Swift Ridge Avenue 1972
CTA 4000 series work equipment Lake-Wells 6-1969 (this is probably when the original Tower 18 was being replaced, and new track added, in conjunction with the opening of the Lake-Dan Ryan service a few months later).
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express service s-b
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Main Street Evanston 7-1975
CTA 4455 Evanston Express Lake-Wells 9-1971
CTA 4000 series fan trip Kedzie Station 4-1973
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Harlem-Lake Terminal 11-9-1974
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express Randolph-Wabash 5-1971
CTA 4000 series Lake-Wells 9-1971
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Harlem-Lake Terminal 11-9-1974
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Randolph-Wells 11-9-1974
CTA 4437 Evanston North of Main Street Station 9-1969
CTA 4000 series fan trip 3-1975
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express Main Street Evanston 2-1970
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 11-9-81
CTA 4 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 11-1971
CTA 29 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 11-1969
CTA 53 Yellow Line Dempster Terminal 2-1979
CTA 23 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 6-1971
CTA 52 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 1-1970
CTA 54 Yellow Line Howard Terminal 7-1981
CTA 2000 series Logan Square Station showing construction for the Kimball subway extension in 1969.
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Central Street Station 7-1981.
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Express Isabella 4-1971
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Howard Terminal 3-1974
CTA 1-50 series Evanston service n-b at Foster 7-1981
CTA 1-50 series Skokie Swift Oakton Street 1-1970
CTA 1-50 series Skokie Swift Kostner Ave 11-1971
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Howard Terminal 9-1969
CTA 1-50 series Purple Line Isabella Station 1-1970
CTA 1-50 series Skokie Swift Crawford Ave 1-1975
CTA 42 Evanston North of Main Street Station 9-1969
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Central Street station 7-1981
CTA 24 Skokie Swift Oakton Street 3-1974
CTA 25 Skokie Swift 7-1981
CTA 29 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 12-1971
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Howard Terminal 11-1971
CTA 1-50 series Skokie Swift Prairie Avenue 4-1970
CTA 6000 series 14th-State 6-1982
CTA 5000 series Skokie Swift 7-1969
CTA 5000 series Skokie Swift Kostner Avenue
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express 11-1969
CTA 4000 series fan trip Desplaines Terminal Forest Park 3-71
CTA 4409 fan trip Main Street Evanston 3-1975
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express North Shore Channel
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express Southbound 5-1970
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express Wabash-Lake 5-1971
CTA 4000 series Evanston Express Main Street 9-1969
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Sedgwick Station 4-1973
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Randolph-Wells 11-9-1974
CTA 4000 series Evanston Linden Terminal 9-1969
CTA 4410 fan trip 10-21-1973.
CTA 4000 series work equipment Lower 63rd Material Yard
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip 63rd-Ashland Terminal 11-9-1974a
CTA 4000 series North Branch Chicago River 9-1969
CTA 4271-4272 fan trip Howard Terminal 7-1975.
CTA 29 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 11-1969
CTA 24 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 4-1974
CTA 42 Evanston service n-b at Foster 7-1981
CTA 52 Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 7-1981
CTA 52 Skokie Swift Howard Terminal looking south 7-1981
CTA 54 Ridge Avenue 7-1969
CTA 29 Skokie Swift Howard Terminal 7-1981
CTA 2000 series Wabash-Lake 5-1971
CTA 1-50 series Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 1-1970.
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Express Isabella 5-1970
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Isabella 1-1970
CTA 1-50 series Evanston service Maple Avenue
CTA 1-50 series Purple Line Isabella Station.
CTA 1-50 series Evanston Linden Yard 7-1981
CTA 1-50 series Skokie Swift Dempster Terminal 1-1975
FYI, we have digitally remastered another classic steam railroad audio LP to Compact Disc. Many additional titles, including the complete output of the Railroad Record Club, in our Online Store.
RGTS Rio Grande to Silverton: A Sound Portrait of Mountain Railroading Price: $14.99
These are vintage 1960 narrow gauge steam train recordings, in true stereo, and originally released on LP in 1961. It is long out of print.
01. Riding The Train To Silverton
02. Photo Run At Elk Park
03. Arriving At Silverton
04. Train Time At La Jara
05. Illini Special At Cumbres Pass
06. Doubleheader Starting At Monero
07. Eastbound Freight
08. Arriving At Chama
09. Whistles At Coxo
10. Freight With Pusher At Coxo
Gone are the nostalgic sounds of steam echoes and thundering exhausts, but the memory is immortal. May they live on in the locomotive lexicon, as a monument to the era when trains were pulled by STEAM POWER.
As with all of our recordings, this CD comes with the complete, original liner notes.
Total time – 45:49
The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago in November 2018, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. 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 Chapter Titles: 01. The River Tunnels 02. The Freight Tunnels 03. Make No Little Plans 04. The State Street Subway 05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway 06. Displaced 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. For Shipping to US Addresses: For Shipping to Canada: For Shipping Elsewhere: 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) Help Support The Trolley Dodger
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20 thoughts on “The Photography of Mel Bernero”
Re Jeff Park night shot – cars 6101-6102 were temporarily assigned to WNW for a short time along with 6105-6106, 6241-6242 to test new cab signal intallation prior to cab signals being added to 6053-6510 series cars.
I am confused by the 2 photos identified as 1969 Lake Street fan trips. The Lake and Hamlin location sounds like a West Side (city) location but I don’t recall there being a train & bus yard or both ground and elevated level tracks at that site.
Can you explain further ?
Hamlin Yard and West Shops… see my other reply, thanks.
Thank You. I never saw a ground level yard or ramp at Lake & Hamlin. I do recall, however, a long ramp at/near Laramie Ave. So, I thought maybe the shops/yard at Hamlin and Oakton was involved.
There was such a ramp at the Hamlin Yard, but no longer, on the Lake Street “L”.
Regarding my previous comment…
The photos I was referencing are “1972 Fan Trips” – not 1969 – with a train yard at a Hamlin and Lake address. I don’t recall a train and bus yard or both ground and elevated tracks at that location. Can you help un-confuse me ?
Prior to 1964, the Lake Street “L” did not have a proper yard at the end of the line where all its trains could be stored. Some “L” cars were stored on the third (express) track, and there was also Hamlin Yard, at ground level. This was across the street from the CSL West Shops, and there was a track connection, with overhead wire, between the two. On this 1972 fantrip, one of the 1-50 series single car units was operated there, much in the manner of a streetcar. The tracks crossing Lake Street were only removed about six years ago.
I recognize the name M. Bernero from Passenger Car Photo Index. There are photos from his archive that have various passenger equipment from iconic Railroad lines taken during the early years of Amtrak. I didn’t know that he took photos of the CTA and these are very interesting. Thank you Mr. Sadowski for posting these images from a friend who passed away so recently.
Great photos David, keep up with the great work.
Thank you for this recent post and informing of the passing of Mel Bernero. I have enjoyed his collection of photo graphs for many years. Hopefully with your help more will surface.
Some of the Chicago trolley buses I recognize as my material. I didn’t mark my slides, so anyone could put their name on them.
If you can tell me which ones are yours, I can credit you accordingly, thanks.
Good afternoon! Great pics! I was looking for some help. I am the Captain of CFD Engine Co 115. We are located at 11940 S Peoria. Recently an old timer visited. He told me he had seen a photo or an ad for the Broadway-State street car line where you can see our firehouse in the background. The terminus building or a turnaround was on the 11900 block of Morgan. We are losing our 112 year old firehouse and being moved to the NW corner of 119th and Morgan. I am looking for historic photos of our firehouse to bring with. Trying to keep some history with us. I have poured over your site and just cannot seem to find such a picture. Did I miss it? Might you know where I might find it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Capt James Fleming E115 CFD
Sent from my iPhone
I will look for such a picture for you, and if our readers can help, I am sure we will hear from them as well, thanks. Good luck in your new home.
Google Maps provides 2 or 3 views of the current site at 11950 S. Peoria. Here is a link;https://maps.app.goo.gl/Pxv1B9YdrDUmnccXA
BTW, our nephew, Gabriel Crittenden is assigned to CFD Engine 75 at 119th & State St.
Regarding the first photo of 4000`s entering Chicago station, wonder why Logan Square and Humboldt Pk. destination sign was used. They were my favorite L lines during my early railfan years. Didn`t think I would ever see that sign again.
It was a fantrip. That wasn’t unusual, to put up an old sign. In this case, Humboldt Park had been gone for probably 20 years when this picture was taken.
Lots of great photos as usual, but I was particularly struck by the shots of the Logan Sq & Jackson Park terminals. It seems that views like those that show the whole station and how it fit into the neighborhood are relatively rare.
We often miss the big picture in life, yes…