An early (turn of the century) view of passengers boarding an Illinois Central Suburban train before the line was converted from steam to electric in 1926. I am not certain of the location, but it may be in Hyde Park.
Today, we are ringing in 2023 with a bevy of classic traction images from many far-flung places for your enjoyment.
Later this month, the Trolley Dodger blog will begin its ninth year. This year, we expect to make our 300th post, and will reach one million page views. When we began this journey, these things hardly seemed possible, but here we are, in large part thanks to you, our readers.
January is traditionally the month when we ask our readers for donations to keep this site going. If you enjoy what you see here, we hope you will consider making a contribution via the link at the end of this post. The expenses we incur, in order to bring you the finest and most interesting traction pictures, are considerable and ongoing. Our research costs a lot, but you see the results here and in our four Arcadia Publishing books, which we hope make a modest contribution to society. If you have contributed to our efforts, we are most appreciative, and if you have not, we hope you will consider it.
We are pleased to report that our latest book The North Shore Line is now 100% complete and has gone to press. The publication date is February 20, 2023, and we are now taking pre-orders. You will find more information about that at the end of this post (and our Online Store). To date, we have received orders for 102 copies.
Our friend Kenneth Gear now has a Facebook group for the Railroad Record Club. If you enjoy listening to audio recordings of classic railroad trains, whether steam, electric, or diesel, you might consider joining.
FYI, the Hoosier Traction Facebook Group celebrates electric transit in Indiana and the Midwest. It also supports the activities of the annual Hoosier Traction Meet in Dayton, OH (although not affiliated with the North American Transit Historical Society, which organizes that event).
Indiana Railroad lightweight high-speed car 71 is at the Indianapolis Terminal on August 11, 1940.
Indiana Railroad high-speed car 58 (described as a “parlor car”) is at the Indianapolis Terminal yards on August 11, 1940.
Philadelphia streetcar 8026 is at Church Road in Glenside, PA on February 22, 1941, operating on Route 6.
CTA/CSL 7001 and 4001 at South Shops, circa 1958. This was scanned from a red border Kodachrome slide, and by early 1958, those mounts were replaced by more modern ones. In the last days of Chicago streetcars, there were some PCCs in dead storage due to accidents or mechanical issues. The red car at right is a trailer in the 8000-series. The body of 4001 is now at the Illinois Railway Museum, but 7001 was scrapped in 1959.
North shore Line 721 is at the back end of a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip that is making a photo stop at the Zion station.
North Shore Line freight loco 451. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “451 was built in 1907 by Alco, #44387, and General Electric, #2697. It was retired in February 1948 and sold for scrap in March 1949.”
Ravinia Park was built by the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric, predecessor of the North Shore Line. Here is a view of the original music pavilion.
There was once an A branch on the MBTA Green Line in Boston– the Watertown line, which shared some trackage with the B branch to Boston College. PCC streetcars were replaced by buses on June 20, 1969, and this photo by Robert A. Newbegin was taken that same month. Various reasons have been cited for the change, including an equipment shortage. But this view in the Newton Corner neighborhood shows another issue– the inbound PCC, shown crossing over a highway, is going against the flow of one way traffic. Still, this trackage remained in place until 1994, for non-revenue streetcar access to Watertown Yard.
Kansas City Public Service PCC 535 on the Dodson line. The type of slide mount for this red border Kodachrome dates it to circa 1955-57. Car 535 was built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1947, and Kansas City abandoned streetcars in 1957. They have since opened modern streetcar lines.
Illinois Terminal car 415 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago on February 21, 1960.
The view looking west along Van Bure Street under the Loop “L” on July 24, 1957. The “L” went further west from here until 1955, when a new connection was built through the old Wells Street Terminal a short distance north of here. The Insurance Exchange building is at right.
Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (aka Red Arrow) car 63 has turned north at Llanerch Junction on May 30, 1964. It was most likely operating on the Ardmore line, which was converted to bus on December 30, 1966. Kenneth Achtert adds, “PSTC #63 is indeed on the Ardmore Division (having just turned off of West Chester Pike) probably on a fantrip, as May 30, 1964, was a Saturday (and Memorial Day weekend).”
SEPTA (Red Arrow) double-ended car 19 at the 69th Street Terminal storage yard on August 9, 1971. It was built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1949, and although it looks like a PCC car, it is not considered one, as it has standard motor components.
A North Shore Line Electroliner heads southbound at North Chicago Junction on January 12, 1963, just over a week prior to abandonment.
Chicago Aurora and Elgin freight loco 2002 at Wheaton on August 6, 1939. Scanned from the original negative. (LaMar M. Kelley Photo)
Chicago Aurora and Elgin car 130 (ex-North shore Line) on April 13, 1943. (Malcolm D. McCarter Photo)
Chicago Aurora and Elgin 600 (ex-Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis) and line car 5, on a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip.
This time card for the Batavia branch of the Aurora, Eglin and Chicago (predecessor of the CA&E) dates to 1905, when the interurban began running trains to downtown Chicago over the Metropolitan West side “L”.
Chicago Aurora and Elgin steel cars 412 and 416 are at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park on July 23, 1955. After CA&E cut back service to here in 1953, riders could make a cross-platform change to ride the CTA Garfield Park “L” downtown, after paying another fare.
Chicago Aurora and Elgin 416 at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park on July 23, 1955. This is the view from the opposite direction as the last photo. There were two sets of platforms. The CA&E dropped off passengers at one platform, then traveled a short distance to pick others up at the other platform. CTA trains looped via a wooden trestle that went over the CA&E just west of here. This arrangement continued until the CA&E abruptly abandoned passenger service in the middle of the day on July 3, 1957. The CTA reconfigured the terminal and yard area in 1959, in conjunction with construction of the nearby expressway.
Lehigh Valley Transit
During the first half of the 20th century, Lehigh Valley Transit operated an interurban line known as teh Liberty Bell route between Allentown, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. 42 miles of the route were on LVT trackage, with the remaining 13 miles going into Philadelphia via shared trackage on the Philadelphia and Western.
The line ran through a lot of farmland and open areas, with numerous stops in small towns along the way. Several of the station buildings still exist.
The Liberty Bell line is considered one of the classic American interurbans, and had somewhat of a Midwestern character despite being located in Pennsylvania. Like many other interurbans, it fell into a decline due to the Great Depression and the rise of the automobile, but rather than pack it in, LVT decided to modernize in 1938. Several lightweight high speed cars were purchased second hand and helped keep the line going for more than a dozen additional years.
Traffic was good during World War II, but went into an irreversible decline after the war. With new highways siphoning off traffic, the interurban had no future and was abandoned in 1951. Even the replacement bus service did not last.
Here are some classic views of LVT interurbans and city streetcars. Nearly all were scanned from original negatives or slides.
A Lehigh Valley Transit lightweight high-speed car is southbound on the Philadelphia and Western, crossing over Matson Ford Road, approaching Conshohocken Road station in January 1947. (David H. Cope Photo)
A Liberty Bell Limited train leaving Allentown, PA. The interurban ran to Philadelphia until 1949, partially via the Philadelphia and Western. For the last two years, service was cut back to Norristown until the 1951 abandonment.
Some Lehigh Valley Transit freight motors are at the Philadelphia and Western’s Norristown Terminal on a foggy day. The P&W connected with the Liberty Bell interurban route that continued to Allentown until 1951.
LVT 1023 (at left) has just passed another car on the streets of Norristown. The Pennsylvania license plate on the auto would indicate we are in an odd-numbered year (1947, 1949, or 1951). Kenneth Achtert: “#1023 is on Marshall siding with the Reading Railroad Elm Street yard to the right.”
LVT 1030 at the Allentown depot.
LVT 1023 at the Allentown depot.
Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell interurban was abandoned in September 1951, but the company still had various streetcar lines in the Allentown and Bethlehem area that continued. Here, we see LVT 357, operating on a stretch of Gillmore Street line private right of way known as the “Race Track.” This picture was taken on October 26, 1952, the last day of streetcar service on the South Bethlehem Division (and there is a notice of the service change on the telephone pole at right). The last LVT streetcar ran in 1953.
LVT 963 passes a Liberty Bell car at the Allentown depot, while passengers board for the trip to Philadelphia.
An LVT Liberty Bell car is on a passing siding in Norristown, adjacent to a Reading Railroad yard for its electrified commuter rail service to Philadelphia. While the Liberty Bell line is long gone, commuter rail service to Norristown continues under SEPTA. Kenneth Achtert adds, “on Marshall siding NB with (Reading Railroad) Elm Street yard to the right.”
LVT city streetcar 908, signed for Fullerton. Don’s Rail Photos: “908 was built by Brill Car Co in February 1917, #20206. It was rebuilt.”
LVT 917, signed for the South Bethlehem route. Don’s Rail Photos: “917 was built by Brill Car Co in February 1917, #20206. It was rebuilt.”
A southbound LVT Liberty Bell car on 8th Street crosses Walnut Street in Allentown.
LVT Liberty Bell car 1005. Don’s Rail Photos: “1005 was built by Cincinnati Car in June 1930, #3050, as C&LE 123. It was sold to LVT as 1005 in 1938 and scrapped in 1952.”
LVT city streetcar 924. It was built by Brill, around the time 1917-1919.
LVT city streetcar 927, signed for Albright. Don’s Rail Photos: “927 was built by Brill Car Co in February 1919, #20706. It was rebuilt.”
LVT city streetcars 908 (at right), and possibly 413 at left.
LVT city streetcar 908, signed for Albright.
This is an amazing photograph. LVT 1001 is northbound in Norristown, passing the Rambo House Hotel. I assume this was a short distance from where the Liberty Bell met the Philadelphia and Western line. There is a circa 1950-51 Ford parked at right. The car sign just says Express instead of Philadelphia Express, as LVT cut back passenger service to Norristown in 1949. Their fleet of second-hand high speed cars was wearing out, in part due to having to climb hills in Pennsylvania, instead of the flat Midwest prairies they were designed to traverse. The car at left may have a 1951 Pennsylvania license plate, indicating this picture may have been taken shortly before the abandonment of rail service.
This picture was taken at the same location, and same time, as the previous image. We are in Norristown on Swede St. with Airy St. in the background, not far from the point where the LVT Liberty Bell line met the Philadelphia and Western. LVT 1002 is an outbound Allentown Limited. Kenneth Achtert: “#1002 is not yet headed to Allentown, but is backing up on Swede St. about to turn onto Airy St. (note that the front-end pole is up). These single-ended cars would unload at the Norristown Terminal (after through operation was halted) then would back up the 3-4 blocks on Swede and Airy Streets to Rink Loop, back around the loop, then back to the Terminal (now facing north) for the trip to Allentown.”
LVT 1021 is operating as a northbound Allentown Limited. Most of the Liberty Bell route was single tracked, with passing sidings. This is Acorn Siding, located by Normandy Farms in Blue Bell, PA.
The photographer took this picture while riding in a southbound Liberty Bell train on Markley Street in Norristown. Most of this was single track and we are on a passing siding. The northbound car approaching us could be 1021, and the picture probably dates to 1949-51, as the sign on the approaching car does not say Philadelphia. The Reading Company’s Elm Street commuter train station is off to the right.
This LVT Philadelphia Limited car is at Nace Siding, which Wikipedia says was “in open country just north of Souderton and the Souderton carbarn.”
Another picture at Nace Siding. The car is LVT 1008.
This LVT car is signed as a Norristown Local, which dates the picture to circa 1949-51. Not sure of the exact house number location on Airy Street in Norristown, but it has just crossed Cherry Street.
A rear end view of LVT 1030 on Airy Street in Norristown, about to turn onto Swede Street towards the Philadelphia and Western station. As this car originally came from the Indiana Railroad, it was slightly different than the other lightweight high-speed cars, which started out as Cincinnati and Lake Erie “Red Devils.” The IR cars were designed for multiple-unit operation, while the C&LE cars were not. Therefore, car 1030 had a more squared off back end. The C&LE cars were more rounded.
Another shot of LVT 908, signed for Fullerton.
Original Slides For Sale
My friend Jeff Wien passed away nearly two years ago, and I inherited his extensive slide collection, which takes up a lot of space. His interests were very wide-ranging, far more so than mine. One of my resolutions for 2023 is to start going through this collection systematically and decide what to keep, and add to my own collection. Simply leaving all these slides in boxes does not do anyone any good.
It is a fact of life that you can’t keep everything and you can’t take it with you. Since the Trolley Dodger blog has ongoing expenses, and my book projects cost real money, I have decided to sell some of these slides to help defray expenses and de-clutter. Here are the first 30 slides I have listed on eBay. The process of going through these will take several years. I can still post the scanned images to the blog, as I have done below.
Most of the slides below were taken by the late James J. Buckley (1918-1994), who was an excellent photographer.
We continue to purchase prints, slides, and negatives for what we consider our core collection, which we hope will eventually end up at a proper institution that can make good use of it. Those things that do not fit into our core collection can be sold, and the proceeds will help in our overall efforts.
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 1974 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CRI&P 652-610-654 and 14 cars on train 5, intercity service to Rock Island, IL Location: Chicago IL Date: May 4, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley This is slide EBA030 in our internal filing system. From the Wikipedia: By the time Amtrak was formed in 1971, the once-proud Rock Island was down to just two intercity trains, the Chicago-Peoria Peoria Rocket and the Chicago-Rock Island Quad Cities Rocket, both of which now operated entirely within the borders of Illinois. However, the Rock Island opted against joining Amtrak, in part because the government assessed the Amtrak entrance fee based upon passenger miles operated in 1970. After concluding that the cost of joining would be greater than remaining in the passenger business, the railroad decided to “perform a public service for the state of Illinois” and continue intercity passenger operations. To help manage the service, the Rock Island hired National Association of Railroad Passengers founder Anthony Haswell as managing director of passenger services. The last two trains plied the Rock Island’s Illinois Division as the track quality declined from 1971 through 1977. The transit times, once a speedy 2½ hours in the 1950s, had lengthened to a 4½ hour run by 1975. The State of Illinois continued to subsidize the service to keep it running. The track program of 1978 helped with main-line timekeeping, although the Rock Island’s management decreed that the two trains were not to delay freight traffic on the route. By this time, both once-proud trains were down to just two coaches, powered by EMD E8 locomotives entering their second decade of service. With the trains frequently running with as many paying passengers as coaches in the train, Illinois withdrew its subsidy, and the two trains made their final runs on December 31, 1978. Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 6 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak Conrail Train Valpo Local 1971 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CR 5780-5603 plus 3 commuter train to Valparaiso, IN Location: Chicago IL Date: May 14, 1977 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Calumet, also commonly called the Valpo Local, was a 43.6-mile (70.2 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak between Chicago and Valparaiso, Indiana. Despite Amtrak’s mandate to provide only intercity service, the Calumet was a commuter train. Transferred from Conrail in 1979, the full route was shared with Amtrak’s Broadway Limited until 1990; the Calumet was discontinued the next year. Link to eBay Listing
Bolton Tram 66 Original 1985 35mm Kodachrome Slide UK Subject: Bolton Tram 66 Location: Fleetwood (on Blackpool Tramway, UK) Date: July 14, 1985 Photographer: James J. Buckley From The Bolton News: The Bolton 66 tramcar was built in 1901 as an open top eight-wheel double deck bogie tram by the Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works in Preston. Bolton 66, the only tram in Blackpool Transport’s Heritage Tramcar fleet which does not originate in Blackpool, is well over one hundred years old and is still in good running order but that has not always been the case. At the beginning of the 1960’s, Alan Ralphs and Bolton-born Derek Shepherd took the decision to attempt to restore the Bolton tramcar. After more than 40 years serving the people of Bolton, the tramcar spent twenty years as a semi derelict bodyshell on a farm on the moors above Bolton. However, with lots of enthusiasm, a group led by the duo, professional electrical engineer Derek Shepherd and supported by Alan Ralphs, spent many hours to completely restore the tram to a new condition taking them 18 years to complete. In June 1981 the tram was moved to Blackpool and started to operate on the seafront, where it has remained for the last 41 years, due to Covid the 40th anniversary was postponed until this year. Link to eBay Listing
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 1971 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CRI&P 664 and 6 cars, commuter train to Blue Island Location: 47th Street, Chicago IL Date: September 8, 1971 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: Chicago commuter service The Rock Island also operated an extensive commuter train service in the Chicago area. The primary route ran from LaSalle Street Station to Joliet along the main line, and a spur line, known as the “Suburban Line” to Blue Island. The main-line trains supplanted the long-distance services that did not stop at the numerous stations on that route. The Suburban Line served the Beverly Hills area of Chicago as a branch leaving the main line at Gresham and heading due west, paralleling the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad passenger line before turning south. The Suburban Line made stops every four blocks along the way before rejoining the main line at Western Avenue Junction in Blue Island. From the 1920s on, the suburban services were operated using Pacific-type 4-6-2 locomotives and specially designed light-heavyweight coaches that with their late 1920s build dates became known as the “Capone” cars. The suburban service became well known in the diesel era, as the steam power was replaced, first with new EMD FP7s and ALCO RS-3s, with two Fairbanks-Morse units added later. In 1949, Pullman-built 2700-series cars arrived as the first air-conditioned commuter cars on the line. In the 1960s, the Rock Island tried to upgrade the suburban service with newer equipment at lower cost. Second-hand Aerotrains, while less than successful in intercity service, were purchased to provide further air-conditioned accommodations that had proven popular with the 2700 series cars. When the Milwaukee Road purchased new Budd Company stainless-steel, bilevel cars in 1961, the Rock Island elected to add to a subsequent order and took delivery of its first bilevel equipment in 1964. Power for these new cars was provided by orphaned passenger units: three EMD F7s, an EMD E6, and the two EMD AB6s. The engines were rebuilt with head end power to provide heat, air conditioning, and lighting for the new cars. In 1970, another order, this time for Pullman-built bilevel cars arrived to further supplement the fleet. To provide the power for these cars, several former Union Pacific EMD E8 and EMD E9 diesels were also rebuilt with head end power and added to the commuter pool. The outdoor passenger concourse and platforms of LaSalle Street Station as built and operated by Metra. The trains shown are commuter runs to Blue Island and Joliet, Illinois. The commuter service was not exempt from the general decline of the Rock Island through the 1970s. Over time, deferred maintenance took its toll on both track and rolling stock. On the Rock Island, the Capone cars were entering their sixth decade of service and the nearly 30-year-old 2700s suffered from severe corrosion due to the steel used in their construction. LaSalle Street Station, the service’s downtown terminal, suffered from neglect and urban decay with the slab roof of the train shed literally falling apart, requiring its removal. By this time, the Rock Island could not afford to replace the clearly worn-out equipment. In 1976, the entire Chicago commuter rail system began to receive financial support from the state of Illinois through the Regional Transportation Authority. Operating funds were disbursed to all commuter operators, and the Rock Island was to be provided with new equipment to replace the tired 2700 series and Capone cars. New Budd bilevels that were near copies of the 1961 Milwaukee Road cars arrived in 1978. New EMD F40PH units arrived in late 1977 and, in summer, 1978, briefly could be seen hauling Capone cars. The Rock Island’s commuter F and E units were relegated to freight service or the scrapyard. With the 1980 end of the Rock Island, the RTA purchased the suburban territory and remaining Rock Island commuter equipment from the estate, while the Chicago and North Western Railway took over operations for a year before the RTA began operating it directly in 1981. LaSalle Street Station was torn down and replaced with the Chicago Stock Exchange building, with a smaller commuter station located one block south of the old station. The RTA gradually rebuilt the track and added more new equipment to the service, leaving the property in better shape than it was in the Rock Island’s heyday, albeit with less track. The Rock Island District, as the Rock Island’s suburban service is now known, now operates as part of Metra, the Chicago commuter rail agency. Our resident South Side expert M.E. adds, “Your (or maybe the Wikipedia) text says “The Suburban Line served the Beverly Hills area of Chicago as a branch leaving the main line at Gresham and heading due west, paralleling the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad passenger line before turning south.” The wording “paralleling the B&OCT RR passenger line” is not precise. On a sheet of paper, maybe the CRI&P and the B&OCT ran parallel, but in reality, they shared the ground-level trackage for about a mile. The CRI&P’s first station on the Suburban Line (after leaving the Main Line) was at 89th and Loomis (1400 W.). It was (and still is) called Brainerd. One block of Loomis, between 89th and 90th Sts., became a business district. Just as the commuter lines to the north and west saw the development of business districts around commuter train stations, the CRI&P Suburban Line brought about business districts at Brainerd, 95th St., 99th St., 103rd St., and 111th St. At the western end of that shared mile, about a block west of Ashland Ave. (1600 W.), the B&OCT turned north while the CRI&P turned south. At the eastern end of the shared mile, a few blocks west of Vincennes (which at that point was about 1000 W.), the B&OCT kept going east while the CRI&P Suburban Line ascended to the Main Line and turned north. Way back (I’m talking about 1950 and earlier), the Halsted St. streetcar line went south on Vincennes, eventually ending at 111th and Sacramento (3000 W.) where it served a row of cemeteries along 111th. Southbound along Vincennes, at 89th St., having just gone under the CRI&P overhead Suburban Line junction with the Main Line, the streetcar line diverged from the street itself onto its own private right-of-way adjacent to the CRI&P Main Line. So 89th and Vincennes was at one time a nice place to watch railroad and streetcar activity.” Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak Turboliner RTG 1978 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RTG 6715, train 334 Location: Chicago, IL on route to Milwaukee Date: April 15, 1978 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
mtrak RDC Train 1974 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RDCs 31-30-10, Train 370 Location: Cicero, IL (between Dubuque and Chicago) Date: June 24, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 7 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Santa Teresa Tram, or Tramway (Portuguese: Bonde de Santa Teresa, IPA: [bõˈdʒi dʒi ˈsɐ̃tɐ teˈɾezɐ]), is a historic tram line in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It connects the city centre with the primarily residential, inner-city neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, in the hills immediately southwest of downtown. It is mainly maintained as a tourist attraction and is nowadays considered a heritage tramway system, having been designated a national historic monument in 1985. The line has a very unusual gauge: 1,100 mm (3 ft 7+5⁄16 in). The main line is 6.0 kilometres (3.7 miles) long. Having run continuously since its opening in 1877 (except for a 2011–15 suspension), it is one of the oldest street railway lines in the world and having been electrically powered since 1896, it is the oldest electric railway in all of Latin America. For many years it was also the only remaining metropolitan tram system in Brazil. The only other original tram systems in the country to have survived past 1971 are the Campos do Jordão interurban tram/light rail line, which continues to operate today, and the Itatinga line (near Bertioga), a rural and non-public tram line which had ceased operation as a tramway by 2017. All other cities closed their systems by 1971 (Santos being the last), but since that time, three towns, Belém, Campinas and Santos, have reinstated trams as heritage services. Rio de Janeiro opened a modern light rail/tram system in 2016. Link to eBay Listing
Pittsburgh PAT PCC 1751 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Pittsburgh PAT PCC 1751 Location: Broadway near Neeld, Beechview, 42/38 route Date: May 21, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Link
Santos Tramways São Paulo Brazil Original 1965 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Serviço Municipal de Transportes Coletivos car 216 Location: Santos Date: March 12, 1965 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak Turboliner RTG 1974 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RTG 63-95-94-93-62 Location: Bloomington IL (on Chicago-St. Louis route) Date: November 2, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Amtrak took over much of the nation’s rail passenger service in 1971, and the Turboliners were an attempt to modernize. Ultimately, they proved unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, and were withdrawn from service in 1981. Some were rebuilt and were used in the Northeast Corridor from 1988-1994. Link to eBay Listing
Milwaukee Road Electrification E71 1970 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Milwaukee Road E71 Location: East end of Butte, MT yard Date: October 2, 1970 Photographer: Unknown The Milwaukee Road operated an extensive system of electric freight in its Pacific Extension in the northwestern United States between 1914 and 1974. Link to eBay Listing
Southern Pacific 4449 Steam Loco “Daylight” 1991 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: SP 4449 Location: Benecia Date: May 17, 1991 Photographer: Unknown From the Wikipedia: Southern Pacific 4449, also known as the Daylight, is the only surviving example of Southern Pacific Railroad’s “GS-4” class of 4-8-4 “Northern” type steam locomotives and one of only two GS-class locomotives surviving, the other being “GS-6” 4460 at the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri. GS is an abbreviation of “General Service” or “Golden State,” a nickname for California (where the locomotive was operated in regular service). The locomotive was built by Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio for the Southern Pacific in May 1941; it received the red-and-orange “Daylight” paint scheme for the passenger trains of the same name which it hauled for most of its service career. No. 4449 was retired from revenue service in 1956 and put into storage. In 1958, the Southern Pacific donated the locomotive to the City of Portland, Oregon. The City then put the locomotive on static display in Oaks Amusement Park, where it remained until 1974. After this, No. 4449 was then restored to operation for use in the American Freedom Train, which toured the 48 contiguous United States as part of the nation’s 1976 Bicentennial celebration. The locomotive has operated in excursion service throughout that area since 1984. The locomotive’s operations are based at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland, Oregon where it is maintained by a group of volunteers named the Friends of SP 4449. In 1983, a poll of Trains magazine readers selected 4449 as being the most popular locomotive in the United States. Link to eBay Listing
Southern Pacific 4449 Steam Loco “Daylight” 1984 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: SP 4449 Location: Unknown Date: May 8, 1984 Photographer: Unknown Link to eBay Listing
Illinois Central City of New Orleans 1966 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: IC 4020-4015 Location: Chicago IL Date: July 10, 1966 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The City of New Orleans is an Amtrak passenger train which operates on an overnight schedule between Chicago and New Orleans. The train is a successor to the Illinois Central Railroad’s Panama Limited. The original City of New Orleans began in 1947 as part of the Illinois Central Railroad, and was the longest daylight run in the United States. The daylight train under that name ran through 1971, when it was moved to an overnight schedule as the Panama Limited. The present name was brought back in 1981, still on an overnight schedule. The train is the subject of the bittersweet 1971 song “City of New Orleans”, written by Steve Goodman. The train operates along a route that has been served in one form or another for over a century. The Panama Limited originally ran from 1911 to 1971, though the IC ran Chicago-New Orleans trains since the turn of the century. Additional corridor service is provided between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois–the northern leg of the route–by the Illini and Saluki. Link to eBay Listing
Sao Paulo Brazil CMTC Tram 1807 ex-NYC 1965 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CMTC 807 (ex-Third Avenue Railway System, NYC) Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil Date: March 11, 1965 Photographer: James J. Buckley From http://www.tramz.com: Additions in later years included 75 center-door cars, called centex in São Paulo, acquired second-hand in 1947 from the Third Avenue Transit System in New York. Third Avenue Railway had built them for conduit operation in 1938; trolley poles were added in São Paulo, doors were removed on one side and they were numbered 1701-1849. These “Huffliners” ran twice as long in São Paulo as in New York. In 1947 the São Paulo tramway system had 689 trams: 252 single-truck open motors, 28 single-truck open trailers, 153 double-truck open motors, In 1960 CMTC announced that it would rid the city completely of trams by 1968. The Santa Amaro route, which ran mostly on private right-of-way, would be converted to rapid transit. Several short routes were abandoned in the early 1960s: Barra Funda, Vila Prudente, Brésser, Bosque, Jardim Paulista. After 1963 open trams ran only on the Belém line – it had no turning loop, so required double-end cars. July and August 1966 saw the abandonment of most of the major tram routes in the city: Lapa, Penha, Belém, Pinheiros, Perdizes, Angélica, São Judas Tadeu. In January 1967 the end came to the others: Ipiranga, Fábrica, Casa Verde and Alto da Vila Maria. Only the Santo Amaro line remained. Its inner terminus was cut back to Vila Mariana and henceforth São Paulo, like Rio de Janeiro, had only one standard-gauge trolley line running in an obscure area at the edge of town. On 27 March 1968, with thousands of weeping paulistas lining the route, a cortège of 12 camarões made a final roundtrip to Santo Amaro and ended 96 years of tram service in the city. Link to eBay Listing
Toronto Streetcar TTC ALRV 4201 1988 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: TTC ALRV 4201 Location: Lake Shore and Symons, Etibicoke, Ontario Date: May 30, 1988 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Illinois Central City of New Orleans 1966 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: IC 4039-4104-4031-4021 Location: Chicago IL Date: July 10, 1966 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Open Tram 4 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 4 Location: Carioca, Rio de Janeiro Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Baltimore and Ohio Capitol Limited 1967 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: B&O 1419-2415/8 Location: Capitol Limited Train 6 departing Chicago Date: September 16, 1967 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Capitol Limited was an American passenger train run by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, originally between New York City and Grand Central Station in Chicago, Illinois, via Union Station, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Pittsburgh. For almost 48 years, it was the B&O’s flagship passenger train, noted for personalized service and innovation. At the time of its discontinuation on May 1, 1971, when Amtrak took over most rail passenger service in the U.S., the Capitol Limited operated between Washington and Chicago. Link to eBay Listing
Santos Tramways São Paulo Brazil Original 1965 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Serviço Municipal de Transportes Coletivos cars 90-223 Location: Santos Date: March 12, 1965 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 18 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 17 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Santa Teresa Tram, or Tramway (Portuguese: Bonde de Santa Teresa, IPA: [bõˈdʒi dʒi ˈsɐ̃tɐ teˈɾezɐ]), is a historic tram line in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It connects the city centre with the primarily residential, inner-city neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, in the hills immediately southwest of downtown. It is mainly maintained as a tourist attraction and is nowadays considered a heritage tramway system, having been designated a national historic monument in 1985. The line has a very unusual gauge: 1,100 mm (3 ft 7+5⁄16 in). The main line is 6.0 kilometres (3.7 miles) long. Having run continuously since its opening in 1877 (except for a 2011–15 suspension), it is one of the oldest street railway lines in the world and having been electrically powered since 1896, it is the oldest electric railway in all of Latin America. For many years it was also the only remaining metropolitan tram system in Brazil. The only other original tram systems in the country to have survived past 1971 are the Campos do Jordão interurban tram/light rail line, which continues to operate today, and the Itatinga line (near Bertioga), a rural and non-public tram line which had ceased operation as a tramway by 2017. All other cities closed their systems by 1971 (Santos being the last), but since that time, three towns, Belém, Campinas and Santos, have reinstated trams as heritage services. Rio de Janeiro opened a modern light rail/tram system in 2016. Link to eBay Listing
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC 41 Original 1968 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: SHRT PCC 41 Location: 55th Street, Cleveland OH Date: May 25, 1968 Photographer: James J. Buckley From Don’s Rail Photos: “41 was built by St. Louis Car (Company) in 1946, #1655, as SLPS (St. Louis Public Service) 1766. It was sold as SHRT 41 in 1959 and converted to MU (multiple unit) operation after purchase. It was sold to Buckeye Lake Trolley in 1984.” Link to eBay Listing
Blackpool Tramway 40 Original 1985 35mm Kodachrome Slide UK Subject: Blackpool Tramway 40 Location: Fleetwood UK Date: July 14, 1985 Photographer: James J. Buckley Blackpool Tramway 40 was built in 1926 and retired in 1963. It has since been part of the collection at the Crich Tramway Village museum. Here, it is shown operating briefly once again on the Blackpool Tramway in 1985. Link to eBay Listing
Glasgow Tram 1297 Original 1985 35mm Kodachrome Slide UK Subject: Glasgow Tram 1297 Location: Fleetwood (on Blackpool Tramway, UK) Date: July 14, 1985 Photographer: James J. Buckley Glasgow Tram 1297 was built in 1948 and retired in 1962. It is part of the collection at the Crich Tramway Village museum. Here, it is shown operating on the Blackpool Tramway briefly in 1985. Link to eBay Listing
Great Northern Railway Red River 1954 Original 35mm Red Border Kodachrome Slide Subject: GNR 12 Location: Departing Minneapolis station for St. Paul Date: Fall 1954 Photographer: Unknown From the Wikipedia: The Red River was a passenger train operated by Great Northern Railway between Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Saint Paul, Minnesota (operating between 1950 and 1968). History Great Northern Railway’s third new train set of 1950 was a new schedule named the Red River. The five-car streamliner built by American Car and Foundry Company began service June 25, 1950, operating a daily round trip 324 miles (521 km) each way between Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The train went southbound in the morning returning northbound in the evening. The cars for the Red River streamliner were quite different than those built for the International (another 1950 introduction) in that the Red River’s cars had extra insulation and the coaches were equipped with Baker Heaters as there was no steam heat available at the Grand Forks depot where the cars stood overnight. The locomotive was sent to the roundhouse each evening for any running repairs and service so the solution was the installation of the Baker Heaters in the cars. Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak RDC Train 1975 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RDCs 30-32-15, Train 372 Blackhawk Location: Crawford (Chicago bound, between Dubuque and Chicago) Date: September 14, 1975 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Milwaukee and Suburban Transport 1975 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: M&ST 1466 Location: Wells-River (posed by the old Milwaukee Electric power plant) Date: June 29, 1975 Photographer: Jeff Wien Link to eBay Listing
Yakima Valley Transit Trolley 1975 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: YVT 1776/1976 Location: 44th-Nob Hill, Yakima Date: June 1975 Photographer: Jeff Wien Link to eBay Listing
Our Latest Book, Now Available for Pre-Order:
The North Shore Line
Publication Date: February 20, 2023
FYI, my new Arcadia Publishing book The North Shore Line is now finished and has gone to press. My publisher decided to expand it to 160 pages, instead of the usual 128. That’s a 25% increase, without any change to the $23.99 price. I am quite pleased with how this turned out.
From the back cover:
As late as 1963, it was possible to board high-speed electric trains on Chicago’s famous Loop “L” that ran 90 miles north to Milwaukee. This was the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad, commonly known as the North Shore Line. It rose from humble origins in the 1890s as a local streetcar line in Waukegan to eventually become America’s fastest interurban under the visionary management of Midwest utilities tycoon Samuel Insull. The North Shore Line, under Insull, became a worthy competitor to the established steam railroads. Hobbled by the Great Depression, the road fought back in 1941 with two streamlined, air-conditioned, articulated trains called Electroliners, which included dining service. It regained its popularity during World War II, when gasoline and tires were rationed, but eventually, it fell victim to highways and the automobile. The North Shore Line had intercity rail, commuter rail, electric freight, city streetcars, and even buses. It has been gone for nearly 60 years, but it will always remain the Road of Service.
Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus North Shore Line map. Books will ship by USPS Media Mail as soon as we receive them, on or before February 20, 2023.
Chapters: 01. Beginnings 02. The Milwaukee Division 03. The Shore Line Route 04. The Skokie Valley Route 05. The Mundelein Branch 06. On the “L” 07. City Streetcars 08. Trolley Freight 09. The Long Goodbye 10. The Legacy
Title The North Shore Line
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2023
ISBN 1467108960, 978-1467108966
Length 160 pages
The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.
For Shipping to US Addresses:
New Compact Disc, Now Available:
The Last Chicago Streetcars 1958
# of Discs – 1
Until now, it seemed as though audio recordings of Chicago streetcars were practically non-existent. For whatever reason, the late William A. Steventon does not appear to have made any for his Railroad Record Club, even though he did make other recordings in the Chicago area in 1956.
Now, audio recordings of the last runs of Chicago streetcars have been found, in the collections of the late Jeffrey L. Wien (who was one of the riders on that last car). We do not know who made these recordings, but this must have been done using a portable reel-to-reel machine.
These important recordings will finally fill a gap in transit history. The last Chicago Transit Authority streetcar finished its run in the early hours of June 21, 1958. Now you can experience these events just as Chicagoans did.
As a bonus, we have included Keeping Pace, a 1939 Chicago Surface Lines employee training program. This was digitally transferred from an original 16” transcription disc. These recordings were unheard for 80 years.
Total time – 74:38
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An eastbound six-car Lake Street “L” A train approaches Oak Park Avenue in suburban Oak Park on March 23, 1955. Trains ran adjacent to South Boulevard until October 28, 1962, when they were relocated to the Chicago and North Western embankment. (Robert A. Selle Photo)
October 28, 2022 was the 60th anniversary of the elevation of the outer 2.5 miles of the Lake Street “L” (now the CTA Green Line). This was an important event in the history of suburban Oak Park and the Austin neighborhood in Chicago.
The steel Lake Street “L” structure, first opened in 1893, was only built as far west as Laramie Avenue (5200 W). Once the main “L” lines were built by the four original private companies, they extended service out to less populated areas at a greatly reduced cost by putting the tracks at ground level. The idea was to establish service, then wait until the surrounding area developed, and then elevate the tracks.
In some cases, this elevation never happened. To this day, portions of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Brown, Pink, Yellow, and Purple lines continue to run at ground level.
The Lake Street “L”‘s ground level extension opened in 1901. The Chicago and North Western’s tracks, which were adjacent to the “L”, were elevated circa 1909-1910, with extremely tight clearances the result. The ground level “L” operated much like a streetcar, using overhead wire instead of third rail, and used high-level platforms.
By the 1930s, the City of Chicago, under the influence of New York City, wanted to build subways to replace the Loop elevated. The subways that eventually were built (State Street, Milwaukee-Dearborn, and West Side) were very ambitious and costly projects which helped alleviate overcrowding on the Loop, but could not replace it outright.
City planners had ideas for putting portions of the Lake line into various subways, so portions of the elevated structure could be torn down. But once the Chicago Transit Authority took over operations in 1947, it was quickly determined that the outer portion of the line, the ground-level section, was the real difficulty.
There were 22 grade crossings in this section, all manually operated by a gateman 24 hours a day. In a similar situation, the City of Berwyn was uncooperative with the CTA’s plans to reduce the number of grade crossings and install automatic gates. As a result, service on the Douglas Park “L” was cut back from Oak Park Avenue (6800 W) to 54th Avenue (5400 W), where it remains today.
Faced with the possible truncation of the Lake Street “L” to Laramie Avenue, the Village of Oak Park took a different approach, working cooperatively with all the interested parties (the City of Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, and the Chicago and North Western), and a plan came about that benefitted everyone.
The C&NW embankment had enough extra space on it to accommodate the CTA tracks, which permitted the Lake Street “L” to be elevated at last. Removing the tracks from the street eliminated all 22 grade crossings, reducing the CTA’s payroll.
“L” operations were speeded up, offering better service, and the North Western received new revenue from renting out the space. The railroad was allowed to close some lightly used commuter rail stations, ceding these customers to the CTA, which speeded up service for riders farther out.
Removing the ground-level tracks widened the street, reducing traffic congestion and increasing the amount of parking spaces available. It was a win-win for all.
Plans were finalized around 1958, but construction does not seem to have begun until 1961. Service was changed over to the embankment at 6:00pm on October 28, 1962 (see the newspaper article below).
I was seven years old when this transition took place, and rode the ground-level “L” many times. It was always a bit tense, as all 22 cross streets were blind crossings. Cars might come darting out from under a viaduct at the last second, and there were some collisions between “L” cars and autos.
The tight clearances also prevented the use of the CTA’s 6000-series “L” cars in the 1950s, as they had curved sides that stuck out farther than previous equipment. Once the line began running on the embankment, it was possible to use newer equipment, and the CTA assigned many of their new 2000-series rapid transit cars to the Lake line starting in 1964.
Now, the “L” has been running on the embankment for nearly the same length of time as the ground-level operation had. And practically every trace of that surface trackage and stations is long gone.
People who have grown up in the area since 1962 might not have any idea that the “L” ever ran anywhere but on the embankment, but this is an important part of Oak Park’s history, and it deserves to be remembered.
Fortunately, we recently collected various images showing both the construction work, and many taken on the very day of the ground-level operation, October 28, 1962. In addition to this, we have an excellent selection of other classic traction photos from around the country.
We are pleased to report that our latest book The North Shore Line is now 100% complete and has gone to press. The publication date is February 20, 2023, and we are now taking pre-orders. You will find more information about that at the end of this post (and our Online Store).
Our friend Kenneth Gear now has a Facebook group for the Railroad Record Club. If you enjoy listening to audio recordings of classic railroad trains, whether steam, electric, or diesel, you might consider joining.
FYI, the Hoosier Traction Facebook Group celebrates electric transit in Indiana and the Midwest. It also supports the activities of the annual Hoosier Traction Meet in Dayton, OH (although not affiliated with the North American Transit Historical Society, which organizes that event).
The Lake Street “L” in Transition
In this July 16, 1961 view, work has just started on connecting the “L” with the nearby Chicago and North Western embankment. But the changeover point between overhead wire and third rail has already been moved to the Central Avenue ground-level station. This would otherwise have been a complicating factor in the transition process, as both routes would need to be operational for a short time simultaneously.
The view looking west from Laramie Avenue on August 27, 1961. A new temporary track has been built at left, supported by wooden pilings, to allow the ground-level operation to continue while the new “L” connection is being built. Note the Chicago and North Western freight train at right.
This picture, taken on August 27, 1961, shows how the “L” was shored up during construction of the new connection to the nearby railroad embankment.
On August 27, 1961, new steel has been added to the “L” structure at Laramie Avenue. This section of “L” was eventually rebuilt in the 1990s, when the line was shut down for about two years.
On September 10, 1961, new streel is being added to the “L” to support the additional tracks needed for the realignment.
Looking west from the Laramie Avenue “L” station on September 17, 1961. New tracks will be added to create a junction between the old and new alignments.
Third rail (here referred to as “trolley rail”) was installed between Laramie and Parkside Avenues on the Lake Street “L” as of May 8, 1961. This was one of the first actions taken in the project to move the “L” onto the nearby railroad embankment.
Work on the CTA’s new Congress “L” branch was finishing up just as work began on realigning the outer portion of the Lake Street “L”. Once these projects were finished, all the CTA grade crossings in Oak Park and Forest Park were eliminated.
The changeover point from third rail to overhead wire on the Lake Street “L” was moved from Laramie to Central Avenue on May 22, 1961, at the beginning of the relocation project.
Overhead wire was removed from the eastbound Lake Street “L” track between Central and Laramie on May 24, 1961.
Central Avenue and Lake Street on October 28, 1962. This was the only place on the “L” system where trains under wire crossed a trolley bus line. Motor buses replaced trolley buses on Central on January 17, 1970. This portion of Lake Street was renamed Corcoran Place a few years after this picture was taken, to honor a local alderman who had recently died.
We are looking east along what was then Lake Street at Mayfield Avenue on October 28, 1962. We are just east of where the dedication ceremony took place. The new Central Avenue “L” station can be seen in the distance.
We are looking to the northeast along what was then Lake Street (now Corcoran Place) just east of Austin Boulevard on October 28, 1962.
Chicago’s dedication ceremony for the new “L” alignment took place on what was then Lake Street (now Corcoran Place), between Austin Boulevard and Mason Avenue. Mayor Richard J, Daley and CTA chairman Virgil Gunlock presided. A similar ceremony was held in Oak Park.
CTA “L” car 4407 appears to have been decorated for the dedication event near the Austin stop on October 28, 1962.
I believe we are just west of the Austin Boulevard “L” station on October 28, 1962.
Clearances were extremely narrow on the ground level portion of the Lake Street “L”, and therefore, when the line was elevated, temporary entrances were used. Once the old “L” had been cleared away, construction of the permanent entrances continued.
Again, near Austin Boulevard on October 28, 1962. We are looking to the northeast.
An eastbound Lake Street “A” train is just east of Ridgeland Avenue on October 28, 1962.
We are looking west, just east of the Ridgeland Avenue “L” station on October 28, 1962. The building at left with the sign on it advertising a dry cleaner is now occupied by the Tayloe Glass Company.
We are looking west along South Boulevard at Marion Street in suburban Oak Park on October 28, 1962. A two-tone mid-50s Ford heads north on Marion, while an early 1960s Corvair is eastbound on South Boulevard. This is a rare opportunity to see “L” cars on both levels.
We are looking west along South Boulevard at Marion Street on October 28, 1962. The sign at left advertises Blue Cab, and there is a cab waiting there to serve people getting off the “L”.
Looking west along South Boulevard at Marion Street on October 28, 1962. Due to the narrow width of South Boulevard in this area, it was a one-way street going east. This section is now a two-way street, although there is still a section that is one way westbound, between Oak Park Avenue and Home Avenue.
A closer view of the new and old “L” stations. The sign above the entrance advertises the all metal “L” cars the CTA had operated on Lake since the last wood cars were taken off this line in 1954.
At one time, Blue Cab had their headquarters on South Boulevard, but I don’t recall offhand whether they were located here. The Lake Street “L” ground-level trackage extended across Harlem Avenue a short distance west of here. In the distance, you can see construction is already underway on expanding the railroad embankment to create a new yard for Lake Street trains. It opened in 1964.
This slide, taken by the same photographer, has a processing date of May 1963. Lake Street trains are running on the embankment, with their trolley poles removed. The old tracks are still in place but will soon be ripped up. The adjacent street was widened and parking spaces added.
The Congress Expressway is under construction at Homan Avenue on October 9, 1955, and would soon open as far west as Laramie Avenue. Tracks are already being laid for the new CTA Congress “L” line, which opened on June 22, 1958, replacing the old Garfield Park “L”. Note the very flimsy barrier separating the “L” and highway. This soon proved completely inadequate and was eventually replaced by concrete barriers. Mayor Richard J. Daley drove the first spike for the new rails on July 8, 1955 near Pulaski Road. We are looking east. The entire story of the transition from the Garfield Park “L” to the Congress median line is told in my 2018 book Building Chicago’s Subways.
We were fortunately to recently purchase this original early red border Kodachrome slide, taken on September 7, 1941. It shows a fan taking a picture of Connecticut Company car 500, built in 1904 and described as the pride of the fleet, equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and dining tables. It was acquired by the Shore Line Trolley Museum in 1948.
A view of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Stock Yards branch on September 16, 1956. Service was discontinued the following year, and it has now been 65 years since the last wooden “L” car ran in regular service in Chicago.
Some Milwaukee Electric interurban trains ran past the North Shore Line’s Milwaukee Terminal, although there does not seem to have been a track connection here. This picture dates to the 1940s. A TM interurban car did operate on a North Shore Line fantrip in 1949, so there must have been a track connection somewhere. An Electroliner is berthed at the terminal.
The Logan Square “L” Terminal, right around the end of service in late January 1970. Service was extended on this line via the new Kimball Subway and a median line in the Kennedy Expressway. Service went only to Jefferson Park at first, but now continues all the way to O’Hare Airport.
Another view of the old Logan Square “L” station near the end of service.
On December 6, 1958, CTA salt car AA98 was still on a trailer at the Electric Railway Historical Society (ERHS) location in Downers Grove. It was formerly Chicago Surface Lines car 2846 and was built in 1908 by the South Chicago City Railway. It went to the Illinois Railway Museum in 1973. (Robert A. Selle Photo)
The CTA Congress Expressway median line was not the first of its type, that distinction having been taken by the Pacific Electric in 1940. Here, we see a 600-series “Hollywood” car in Cahuenga Pass at Barham Boulevard. This print was made in 1946 but could have been taken earlier. PE service here ended in 1952 (this was part of the Van Nuys line) and the right-of-way was taken up by additional traffic lanes. (Stuart A. Liebman Photo)