About Us

The Trolley Dodger features musings on transit, past, present, and future by David Sadowski.  Mr. Sadowski is currently moderator of the Yahoo CHICAGOTRANSIT discussion group, and edited the CERA Members Blog from February 2013 until December 2014.  He is also co-author of Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958, published by Central Electric Railfans’ Association in June 2015.*

His new book Chicago Trolleys was released on September 25, 2017 by Arcadia Publishing.

Mr. Sadowski is editor of the following E-books:

For Trolley Dodger Press

The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973 (2015)

Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story (2015)

For Central Electric Railfans’ Association*

CERA’s “Spirit of 76” (The First 76 CERA Bulletins, 1938-1947) (2014)

The Complete ERHS Collection: Bulletins 1-49 of the Electric Railway Historical Society (2014)

Reach us by e-mail:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

In order to continue giving you the kinds of historic railroad images that you have come to expect from The Trolley Dodger, we need your help and support. It costs money to maintain this website, and to do the sort of historic research that is our specialty. Your financial contributions help make this possible and are greatly appreciated.

 

It's an uphill climb, keeping this thing going. But we can do it with your help.

It’s an uphill climb, keeping this thing going. But we can do it with your help.

*Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

We try harder.

We try harder.

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17 thoughts on “About Us

  1. The website name caught my attention–here in the Los Angeles area many of us are fans of the baseball team that was once known as the “Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers”. During their first few years, they played in the Los Angeles Coliseum, which, up until 1963 was served by the narrow-gauge Yellow Cars. The Dodgers built their own park, and as might be expected in Southern California, it’s accessible only by automobile or bus. Not sure if it’s going to happen again this year, but last year there was shuttle-bus service to LA Union Station, where light rail, subway and Metrolink service is available.

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    • Although I am from the Chicago area, I have always had a fondness for Brooklyn and “Dem Bums.” So the title does pay tribute to that heritage. Besides which, trolleys are such a large topic that I hope I don’t let myself get run over by them.

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  2. I had happened to come across the “transportblog.co.nz” while searching for more information on the impending closure of the Wellington, NZ trackless trolley network. I noticed they also use the WordPress.com system as the CERA blog as well as this one uses. On leaving a couple of messages I noticed on first posting them they allowed for a five minute countdown window during which one could go back and correct an error or add something in that five minute window. After the 5 minute period, there was no more editing. Question: is it possible to have that feature here? I suspect it is either a newer version or an available option with a higher cost perhaps. Thank you.

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    • As the administrator of this blog, I have a “control panel” area where I can choose different options. However, none of them involve this, and we are already a “premium” blog, in the sense that it costs money and is not free. But nowhere do I see any option that would accomplish what you want.

      However, as I have written to you before, as the admin I can edit people’s comments later, so if there is anything you would like to change, I can do that for you.

      Other than that,I suggest you direct your inquiries directly to WordPress. Perhaps they can give you a better answer than I can.

      Thanks.

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  3. David, Thank you for your time and effort in putting out The Trolley Dodger. I have greatly enjoyed the photos and have learned a lot from you and your contributors, and also appreciate your moderation of the Chicago Transit group. Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After reading your January 2015 story on the CTA Westchester Branch, the picture of the train crossing Madison street in Bellwood brought back some great memories, I grew up in that house, my grandfather was Clarence Lemm, track foreman for the Aurora and Elgin Railroad, he died in 1936. My father followed in grandpa’s footsteps, he worked at CTA 43 years, he started as a clerk and retired as the head of insurance and pensions. When my brother and I were very young my dad would take us for rides on the Aurora and Elgin, he used grandpa’s Sunset Lines employee pin and we all road free of charge. Thank you for some great memories!

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  5. I was a streetcar operator for the MUNI of SF during the 60’s and I took the streetcar a block off the tracks-which was a long standing record. I have a picture of me departing the car after the incident. The slip-up was attributed to faulty brakes. I could be more specific- for it was an interesting story- streetcar wise.

    I lived on the Southside of Chicago as a child so I love the pics of your streetcars. As all Chicagoans I rode them a lot. I also have made paintings and drawings of elevated trains, subways and interurbans. My father was a noted photographer of Chicago-maybe you heard of him: Torkel Korling.

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    • Torkel Korling (1903-1998) was a true renaissance man. He invented the automatic diaphragm mechanism that made the SLR camera practical. He also invented the collapsing “Tiltall” type tripod.

      In addition to this, he was one of the leading industrial photographers from the 1920s to the 1950s, and later in life, an expert nature photographer who published many books. He did at least one cover shot for Life magazine, and convinced them for just that one time only to leave their large logo off the front cover.

      I am fortunate to have met your father when he was 85 and trying to market his latest invention, the “Optipivot.” We discussed photography, and he had nothing but disdain for the methods used by contemporary commercial shooters.

      The would waste hundreds of pictures in the hopes of finding something usable. His method, he said, was to carefully set up a “master shot,” and then he would take one or two pictures at the most. Once he got what he wanted, there was no need, he felt, to take another picture.

      He also complained to me about how the various Japanese camera manufacturers refused to pay him any royalties for his automatic diaphragm patent, which made the 35mm single lens reflex camera practical. Instead, they waited until his patent expired in the 1950s and then they all came out with such cameras.

      He applied for this patent in 1933 and it was awarded three years later. He told me the idea came to him when he was photographing children. They moved around so much that he did not have time to focus his camera with the lens wide open, then reset his aperture to take the picture. His invention allowed viewing with the lens wide open, and then the aperture would automatically change back to its preset f/stop once the shutter was pressed to take the picture.

      His invention was licensed by Garflex and first used on their Super D model reflex cameras. According to Camerapedia, “The RB Super D, which features a semi-automatic diaphragm, was produced in 3¼×4¼ (1941-1963) and 4 x 5 (1948-1957) formats.”

      Photos taken by Torkel Korling are now in the collections of many museums around the world, and have been featured in several exhibitions. Anyone who has ever used an SLR camera owes Mr. Korling a debt of gratitude.

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  6. I just found your site. What a pleasure’ Wonderful photos and captions. I was so impressed, I sent off a small donation straightaway. Hours of entertainment await!

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  7. Hello Trolley Dodger,
    I was wondering if you had any information or photos concerning the Grand Trunk Western Railroad that ran commuter service within Chicago up until at least 1935. My main interest is the Main Line-Illinois, which ran on what has been freight rail lines since then I believe, with limited commuter service until 1971. Here’s a link to where I found out about these trains. These were probably not trolleys but I’m not sure. There is one station building remaining at Chicago Lawn which I’ve seen along with the steps of the station at 59th St. Further along that line there are probably more station buildings standing. Any photos from anywhere on this line would be incredible imo.

    http://www.chicagorailfan.com/msgtw.html

    Like

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