Our Sixth Anniversary

North Shore Line car 413 heads up a southbound train under wire at the Loyola curve in June 1961, from a Kodachrome II slide. Kodachrome was first introduced in 1935, and it was reformulated in 1961 although still a very slow film at ISO 25. Prior to this it was ISO 10. Don's Rail Photos: "413 was built as a trailer observation car by Cincinnati Car in June 1924, #2765. It was out of service in 1932. 413 was rebuilt on May 28, 1943." (J. William Vigrass Photo)

North Shore Line car 413 heads up a southbound train under wire at the Loyola curve in June 1961, from a Kodachrome II slide. Kodachrome was first introduced in 1935, and it was reformulated in 1961 although still a very slow film at ISO 25. Prior to this it was ISO 10. Don’s Rail Photos: “413 was built as a trailer observation car by Cincinnati Car in June 1924, #2765. It was out of service in 1932. 413 was rebuilt on May 28, 1943.” (J. William Vigrass Photo)

The Trolley Dodger blog started on January 21, 2015, making this our sixth anniversary. We chose the date deliberately, as it was also the day when the fabled North Shore Line interurban ran its last. We wanted there to be beginnings, as well as endings, associated with that date.

In our six years, we have had 262 posts. Here is a breakdown of page views by year:

2015: 107,460
2016: 127,555
2017: 118,990
2018: 121,147
2019: 101,902
2020: 133,246
2021: 8,436 (21 days)
Total: 718,736

Add to that the 297,195 page views from my previous blog, and we are now over a million page views. We thank you for your support.

We have lots for you this go-round… plenty of new images, including many in color, a rare article about the Metropolitan West Side Elevated, some submissions from our readers, and more photos from the William Shapotkin collection, and even a product review. We also have some North Shore Line content.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

For more photos and discussions, consider joining the Trolley Dodger Facebook group, which, although new, already has 151 members.

Our Annual Fundraiser

We thank our readers for making 2020 our most successful yet, with 133,246 page views, surpassing our previous record of 2016, and a 30% increase over the previous year. Each January, we ask our readers to help defray the expenses involved with file storage, web hosting, domain registration and other overhead, the “nuts and bolts” things that make this blog possible. Fortunately, thanks to all of you, we have have received $565 to date, meeting our original goal. Additional donations are always welcome, and will be used to purchase more classic images for this site. If you enjoy what you see here, and would like it to continue, please consider making a donation by clicking on this link, or the one at the top or bottom of this post.

We thank you in advance for your time, consideration, and your generous support.

Recent Finds

CTA 979 is southbound on State, just south of Lake Street. Romance on the High Seas, playing at the State-Lake theater, was released on June 25, 1948, probably about the time when this picture was taken. The streetcar still has a CSL emblem as this was early in the CTA era.

CTA 979 is southbound on State, just south of Lake Street. Romance on the High Seas, playing at the State-Lake theater, was released on June 25, 1948, probably about the time when this picture was taken. The streetcar still has a CSL emblem as this was early in the CTA era.

A North Shore Line train at Randolph and Wabash.

A North Shore Line train at Randolph and Wabash.

The North Shore Line's headquarters in Highwood, with line car 604 out front. Not sure what caused the lightstruck portion of the neg, but I may try to repair the image in Photoshop at some future date since it is distracting.

The North Shore Line’s headquarters in Highwood, with line car 604 out front. Not sure what caused the lightstruck portion of the neg, but I may try to repair the image in Photoshop at some future date since it is distracting.

A close-up of the previous image. Don's Rail Photos: "604 was built by the C&ME in 1914. It was acquired by IRM in 1963."

A close-up of the previous image. Don’s Rail Photos: “604 was built by the C&ME in 1914. It was acquired by IRM in 1963.”

I was very fortunate to purchase this 1950s negative showing the CTA Stock Yards branch. Daniel Adams: "The view is facing east, at the intersection of Exchange and Packers Avenues. Racine Avenue Station, the first station encountered when a train consist pulls into the famed Stock Yards loop, can be seen in the distance. This train is beginning to make the first curve of the loop, to be heading south and soon pulling into Packers Station, which just a short distance away. Way back in the background, we can see the rather hazy tower of the Stock Yards National Bank, which stood on the west side of South Halsted Street." Andre Kristopans notes, "A correction re Stock Yards - the first station on the loop was Racine, the second SWIFT, then Packers, then Armour." So this train is between Racine and Swift.

I was very fortunate to purchase this 1950s negative showing the CTA Stock Yards branch. Daniel Adams: “The view is facing east, at the intersection of Exchange and Packers Avenues. Racine Avenue Station, the first station encountered when a train consist pulls into the famed Stock Yards loop, can be seen in the distance. This train is beginning to make the first curve of the loop, to be heading south and soon pulling into Packers Station, which just a short distance away. Way back in the background, we can see the rather hazy tower of the Stock Yards National Bank, which stood on the west side of South Halsted Street.” Andre Kristopans notes, “A correction re Stock Yards – the first station on the loop was Racine, the second SWIFT, then Packers, then Armour.” So this train is between Racine and Swift.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (aka Red Arrow) double-ended car 18 at 69th Street Terminal in July 1963. Don's Rail Photos: "18 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1949, #1755. It became SEPTA 18 in 1970 sold to BERA in 1982."

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (aka Red Arrow) double-ended car 18 at 69th Street Terminal in July 1963. Don’s Rail Photos: “18 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1949, #1755. It became SEPTA 18 in 1970 sold to BERA in 1982.”

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (formerly the Philadelphia & Western, aka Red Arrow) Bullet car 207 in July 1963. 207 was built by Brill in 1931, order #22932, as P&W 207. It became PST 207 in 1948 and SEPTA 207 in 1970. I understand it is now preserved at Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine. This car had extended wheelbase trucks and was tested up to 100 mph.

Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (formerly the Philadelphia & Western, aka Red Arrow) Bullet car 207 in July 1963. 207 was built by Brill in 1931, order #22932, as P&W 207. It became PST 207 in 1948 and SEPTA 207 in 1970. I understand it is now preserved at Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine. This car had extended wheelbase trucks and was tested up to 100 mph.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin wood car 28 in Forest Park in 1952. The front of the car is not in sharp focus because it was moving towards the photographer. Back then, film speeds, and therefore shutter speeds, were quite slow. The fastest film speed in use then was Kodak Super-XX, introduced in 1940, at ISO 200. But this is probably not that film. Panatomic-X, which Kodak began selling in 1933, was ISO 32, and Plus-X, introduced in 1938, was originally ISO 50 (later bumped up to 125). Photographers often dealt with the shutter speed problem by taking their pictures while a train was still at a distance. The tracks curve off to the right in the distance. I am not sure of the exact location, although the Eisenhower expressway is here now.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin wood car 28 in Forest Park in 1952. The front of the car is not in sharp focus because it was moving towards the photographer. Back then, film speeds, and therefore shutter speeds, were quite slow. The fastest film speed in use then was Kodak Super-XX, introduced in 1940, at ISO 200. But this is probably not that film. Panatomic-X, which Kodak began selling in 1933, was ISO 32, and Plus-X, introduced in 1938, was originally ISO 50 (later bumped up to 125). Photographers often dealt with the shutter speed problem by taking their pictures while a train was still at a distance. The tracks curve off to the right in the distance. I am not sure of the exact location, although the Eisenhower expressway is here now.

North Shore Line Silverliner 740 at Howard Street, probably in the late 1950s. This was an Ektachrome slide that was not date stamped, which means it is probably before 1958, but after 1955. It had faded to red, like many other such early Ektachromes that had unstable dyes. It was an attractive alternative to Kodachrome in that era, though, because the film speed was 32 instead of Kodachrome's 10.

North Shore Line Silverliner 740 at Howard Street, probably in the late 1950s. This was an Ektachrome slide that was not date stamped, which means it is probably before 1958, but after 1955. It had faded to red, like many other such early Ektachromes that had unstable dyes. It was an attractive alternative to Kodachrome in that era, though, because the film speed was 32 instead of Kodachrome’s 10.

While not the greatest photo, from a technical perspective, this is an original Kodachrome slide taken by George Krambles. This is perhaps only the second such slide I have purchased. It was shot at North Chicago Junction on January 20, 1952. Occasionally, railfan photographers would trade original slides, and this one was owned by J. William Vigrass.

While not the greatest photo, from a technical perspective, this is an original Kodachrome slide taken by George Krambles. This is perhaps only the second such slide I have purchased. It was shot at North Chicago Junction on January 20, 1952. Occasionally, railfan photographers would trade original slides, and this one was owned by J. William Vigrass.

NSL 707 heads up a northbound train crossing Dempster Street in Skokie in September 1958. Just behind the train, you can see a tiny bit of the station, which has been preserved and moved to a slightly different location. The southbound shelter was much more basic, and was approximately where the CTA built a new platform for Skokie Swift trains in 1964. Again, this was an early Ektachrome slide that had shifted to red (actually, it was the other color dyes that badly faded, leaving mostly the red visible) and was restored in Photoshop. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

NSL 707 heads up a northbound train crossing Dempster Street in Skokie in September 1958. Just behind the train, you can see a tiny bit of the station, which has been preserved and moved to a slightly different location. The southbound shelter was much more basic, and was approximately where the CTA built a new platform for Skokie Swift trains in 1964. Again, this was an early Ektachrome slide that had shifted to red (actually, it was the other color dyes that badly faded, leaving mostly the red visible) and was restored in Photoshop. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

A northbound North Shore Line train rounds the curve at Lake and Wabash in June 1961. We are looking to the east. This is an early Kodachrome II slide. The film had a faster ISO than the original Kodachrome, and was said to be sharper, with a thinner emulsion. But not all photographers were happy about the change, and it had a bit less contrast, and some missed the "Rembrandt blacks" of the old version. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

A northbound North Shore Line train rounds the curve at Lake and Wabash in June 1961. We are looking to the east. This is an early Kodachrome II slide. The film had a faster ISO than the original Kodachrome, and was said to be sharper, with a thinner emulsion. But not all photographers were happy about the change, and it had a bit less contrast, and some missed the “Rembrandt blacks” of the old version. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

A view of the North Shore Line's massive station at Zion, taken from the front of a train in July 1960 by J. William Vigrass. The city insisted on a large station, as they were confidant that their religious community would quickly grow, which it did not. It was torn down soon after the line quit in 1963. This is from an Ektachrome slide that had not faded, suggesting that Kodak had fixed the dye fading problem by 1960.

A view of the North Shore Line’s massive station at Zion, taken from the front of a train in July 1960 by J. William Vigrass. The city insisted on a large station, as they were confidant that their religious community would quickly grow, which it did not. It was torn down soon after the line quit in 1963. This is from an Ektachrome slide that had not faded, suggesting that Kodak had fixed the dye fading problem by 1960.

Milwaukee and Suburban Transport car 995 is on Route 10, the last Milwaukee streetcar line in the classic era, in august 1957. The 995 was one of the last two cars operated (along with 975) there on March 2, 1958. Streetcar service returned to Milwaukee on November 2, 2018, when a 2.1 mile route, known as "The Hop," opened.

Milwaukee and Suburban Transport car 995 is on Route 10, the last Milwaukee streetcar line in the classic era, in august 1957. The 995 was one of the last two cars operated (along with 975) there on March 2, 1958. Streetcar service returned to Milwaukee on November 2, 2018, when a 2.1 mile route, known as “The Hop,” opened.

The North Shore Line's Harrison Street Shops in July 1960. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

The North Shore Line’s Harrison Street Shops in July 1960. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

J. William Vigrass took this picture in July 1960 and marked it as "NSL" at Harrison (presumably, by the shops in Milwaukee). Edward Skuchas: "This is a Western 20 yard air dump car. They were used on railroads and trolley lines. Wilkes-Barre Railways had 2 or 3 and they adapted the ends for a radial drawbar. Car Works imported models in O & HO scale brass. They tilt and the sides lift." David Cole thinks this may be the remains of the NSL weed sprayer shown in CERA B-106.

J. William Vigrass took this picture in July 1960 and marked it as “NSL” at Harrison (presumably, by the shops in Milwaukee). Edward Skuchas: “This is a Western 20 yard air dump car. They were used on railroads and trolley lines. Wilkes-Barre Railways had 2 or 3 and they adapted the ends for a radial drawbar. Car Works imported models in O & HO scale brass. They tilt and the sides lift.” David Cole thinks this may be the remains of the NSL weed sprayer shown in CERA B-106.

A northbound Electroliner stops at Adams and Wabash on the Loop "L" in September 1959. While I am sure the sailors are about to board, chances are the woman in the blue dress is too, since she is carrying a small suitcase. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

A northbound Electroliner stops at Adams and Wabash on the Loop “L” in September 1959. While I am sure the sailors are about to board, chances are the woman in the blue dress is too, since she is carrying a small suitcase. (J. William Vigrass Photo)

A closer view of the last image. Carl Fischer Music, at 312 S. Wabash Avenue, was a place where you could buy sheet music for both popular and classical. They still sell online. This location closed on April 16, 1999. The Epicurean Restaurant, at 316 S. Wabash, served Hungarian food and may have closed in the 1970s.

A closer view of the last image. Carl Fischer Music, at 312 S. Wabash Avenue, was a place where you could buy sheet music for both popular and classical. They still sell online. This location closed on April 16, 1999. The Epicurean Restaurant, at 316 S. Wabash, served Hungarian food and may have closed in the 1970s.

Although photographer J. William Vigrass labelled this September 1960 slide as "NSL," readers on our TD Facebook group have identified it as the Chicago & North Western's Racine Depot, which still exists, although no longer used as a train station.

Although photographer J. William Vigrass labelled this September 1960 slide as “NSL,” readers on our TD Facebook group have identified it as the Chicago & North Western’s Racine Depot, which still exists, although no longer used as a train station.

This circa 1955-58 Ektachrome slide, with the color restored, shows an Electroliner on the four-track section of the north side "L". Not sure of the exact location. (J. William Vigrass Photo) Mike Franklin: "This is looking west from the Sedgwick Station on the North side L. (House to the right is still there at 1542 Hudson Ave.)"

This circa 1955-58 Ektachrome slide, with the color restored, shows an Electroliner on the four-track section of the north side “L”. Not sure of the exact location. (J. William Vigrass Photo) Mike Franklin: “This is looking west from the Sedgwick Station on the North side L. (House to the right is still there at 1542 Hudson Ave.)”

CA&E 410 awaits scrapping at Wheaton on April 23, 1962. It was built by Pullman in 1923. sister car 409 is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (K. C. Henkels Photo)

CA&E 410 awaits scrapping at Wheaton on April 23, 1962. It was built by Pullman in 1923. sister car 409 is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (K. C. Henkels Photo)

Red Arrow car 83 on the Media line in September 1959. The street sign says School Lane.

Red Arrow car 83 on the Media line in September 1959. The street sign says School Lane.

Red Arrow car 77, signed for the West Chester line, is at 69th Street Terminal in January 1954.

Red Arrow car 77, signed for the West Chester line, is at 69th Street Terminal in January 1954.

From the standpoint of classic railfan photography, this is perhaps the best shot in today's post, and shows Red Arrow car 24 on the Media line in May 1956.

From the standpoint of classic railfan photography, this is perhaps the best shot in today’s post, and shows Red Arrow car 24 on the Media line in May 1956.

Red Arrow car 13 on the Media line in November 1959.

Red Arrow car 13 on the Media line in November 1959.

Red Arrow Brilliner 5 on the Ardmore line in July 1959. This narrow street may be why this line was somewhat rerouted after being converted to bus at the end of 1966.

Red Arrow Brilliner 5 on the Ardmore line in July 1959. This narrow street may be why this line was somewhat rerouted after being converted to bus at the end of 1966.

This map, although not very clear, shows the track arrangement on the Loop "L" as it was in 1906, seven years before it was changed to run counter-clockwise, with all trains going in the same direction. That was done to facilitate through-routing north side and south side trains. North is down on this map. In 1906, the Loop was bi-directional with left-hand running. The Lake Street and Northwestern "L"s also ran left-handed, while the South Side and Met trains ran right-handed. From the October 19, 1906 edition of the Electric Railway Review.

This map, although not very clear, shows the track arrangement on the Loop “L” as it was in 1906, seven years before it was changed to run counter-clockwise, with all trains going in the same direction. That was done to facilitate through-routing north side and south side trains. North is down on this map. In 1906, the Loop was bi-directional with left-hand running. The Lake Street and Northwestern “L”s also ran left-handed, while the South Side and Met trains ran right-handed. From the October 19, 1906 edition of the Electric Railway Review.

Although this old real photo postcard identifies this as the "N. W. "L"," this is actually the Met crossing the Chicago River over two side-by-side bridges. According to Daniel Adams, this picture cannot have been taken after mid-1915, as swing bridge shown, on Jackson Boulevard, was replaced then. Once I receive the original of this in the mail, I will post a better version. Thanks to J. J. Sedelmaier for improving this one.

Although this old real photo postcard identifies this as the “N. W. “L”,” this is actually the Met crossing the Chicago River over two side-by-side bridges. According to Daniel Adams, this picture cannot have been taken after mid-1915, as swing bridge shown, on Jackson Boulevard, was replaced then. Once I receive the original of this in the mail, I will post a better version. Thanks to J. J. Sedelmaier for improving this one.

The Metropolitan West Side Elevated – 1895

We recently purchased the June 6, 1895 edition of Leslie’s Weekly, which has an extensive article, including numerous photographs and drawings, of the then-new Metropolitan West Side Elevated in Chicago:

The Normandy Flats was a large apartment building, purchased by the Met and moved to a new location. The 1894 Chicago Blue Book gave the Normandy Flats' address as 2300-2302 S. Indiana Avenue, presumably where the building was relocated during the construction of the Metropolitan West Side "L", as it was apparently in the way of something.

The Normandy Flats was a large apartment building, purchased by the Met and moved to a new location. The 1894 Chicago Blue Book gave the Normandy Flats’ address as 2300-2302 S. Indiana Avenue, presumably where the building was relocated during the construction of the Metropolitan West Side “L”, as it was apparently in the way of something.

The original Franklin Street Terminal was only open from 1895 to 1897, and this is the first time I have seen a description of what it looked like. As far as I am aware, no one has yet found a photo. It closed when the Union Loop opened. At the same time, a new "L" station was opened at Franklin and Van Buren. Another terminal was later built on this site, extending back to Wells Street. It opened in 1904.

The original Franklin Street Terminal was only open from 1895 to 1897, and this is the first time I have seen a description of what it looked like. As far as I am aware, no one has yet found a photo. It closed when the Union Loop opened. At the same time, a new “L” station was opened at Franklin and Van Buren. Another terminal was later built on this site, extending back to Wells Street. It opened in 1904.

Why aren’t there more images of the Franklin Street Terminal? Well, for one thing, it opened late, apparently too late to be photographed for the big publicity push that coincided with the opening of the Met “L”. Hence this illustration. There is a photo showing the other side of the building (or buildings– the accompanying article seems to indicate the terminal went through two buildings). Then, it closed little more than two years later, coinciding with the opening of the Union Loop, and any publicity surely concentrated on that, and not the terminal closing.

From the Collections of William Shapotkin:

Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric diesel switcher #5, which continued freight operations after the remaining remnant of the line was de-electrified. A section of this line is now the trackage of the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, IL.

Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric diesel switcher #5, which continued freight operations after the remaining remnant of the line was de-electrified. A section of this line is now the trackage of the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, IL.

Chicago & Eastern Illinois #4, the "Whippoorwill," arrives at 63rd Street (Little Englewood Station) in July 1947.

Chicago & Eastern Illinois #4, the “Whippoorwill,” arrives at 63rd Street (Little Englewood Station) in July 1947.

A Milwaukee Road diesel engine at Fox Lake, IL.

A Milwaukee Road diesel engine at Fox Lake, IL.

Milwaukee Road passenger trains at Fox Lake, IL.

Milwaukee Road passenger trains at Fox Lake, IL.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad passenger engine #241, taking water.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad passenger engine #241, taking water.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad freight engine #1827 after being overhauled at the South Louisville Shops.

Louisville & Nashville Railroad freight engine #1827 after being overhauled at the South Louisville Shops.

Wabash #21 Blue Bird at 63rd Street (Little Englewood Station) in July 1947.

Wabash #21 Blue Bird at 63rd Street (Little Englewood Station) in July 1947.

A Chicago & Interurban Traction Company car. This line operated between 63rd and Halsted and Kankakee, and was abandoned in 1927, due to increased competition from the Illinois Central Electric.

A Chicago & Interurban Traction Company car. This line operated between 63rd and Halsted and Kankakee, and was abandoned in 1927, due to increased competition from the Illinois Central Electric.

Chicago & Joliet Railway #212. This system ran from Archer and Cicero Avenues in Chicago and connected to the Chicago, Ottawa, & Peoria interurban. It was abandoned in 1933.

Chicago & Joliet Railway #212. This system ran from Archer and Cicero Avenues in Chicago and connected to the Chicago, Ottawa, & Peoria interurban. It was abandoned in 1933.

Chicago & Joliet Electric car 200. This car, the "Louis Joliet," was built by C&JE in the 1920s.

Chicago & Joliet Electric car 200. This car, the “Louis Joliet,” was built by C&JE in the 1920s.

Milwaukee Road #E-5.

Milwaukee Road #E-5.

Long Island Railroad snow plow #193.

Long Island Railroad snow plow #193.

Pittsburgh Railways at Resee-Charleroi. The car is signed for Riverview.

Pittsburgh Railways at Resee-Charleroi. The car is signed for Riverview.

Pittsburgh Railways line car M212 at the Washington Junction Yard.

Pittsburgh Railways line car M212 at the Washington Junction Yard.

Philadelphia & Western Strafford car 161 at Norristown on December 27, 1958. It was built by Brill in 1927 and continued to operate until sometime between 1888 and 1990. It is now owned by the New York Museum of Transportation.

Philadelphia & Western Strafford car 161 at Norristown on December 27, 1958. It was built by Brill in 1927 and continued to operate until sometime between 1888 and 1990. It is now owned by the New York Museum of Transportation.

P&W Strafford car 163 on June 24, 1955. After retirement in the 1990s, it was rebuilt into a gas-mechanical car and operated in Mt. Dora, Florida, but it is not certain whether it still exists.

P&W Strafford car 163 on June 24, 1955. After retirement in the 1990s, it was rebuilt into a gas-mechanical car and operated in Mt. Dora, Florida, but it is not certain whether it still exists.

P&W Strafford car 162 on September 28, 1958. Don's Rail Photos: "62 was built by Brill in June 1927, #22529. It was rebuilt as 162 in 1931 and became PST 162 in 1948. It became SEPTA 162 in 1970. It was sold to Rockhill Trolley Museum in 1991." Today it is the only survivor of the fleet preserved as a modernized 160 series car.

P&W Strafford car 162 on September 28, 1958. Don’s Rail Photos: “62 was built by Brill in June 1927, #22529. It was rebuilt as 162 in 1931 and became PST 162 in 1948. It became SEPTA 162 in 1970. It was sold to Rockhill Trolley Museum in 1991.” Today it is the only survivor of the fleet preserved as a modernized 160 series car.

Don's Rail Photos: "64 was built by Brill in June 1927, #22529. It was rebuilt as 164 in 1931 and became PST 164 in 1948. It became SEPTA 164 in 1970 and became a de-icing car in 1989. It was sold to Travel Northern Allegheny in 1992 but never used. It was sold to East Troy Electric Ry in 1994 and rebuilt as ETE Ry 64 in 2000. It was sold to Electric City Trolley Museum and will be restored as P&W 164." Here it is on September 28, 1958.

Don’s Rail Photos: “64 was built by Brill in June 1927, #22529. It was rebuilt as 164 in 1931 and became PST 164 in 1948. It became SEPTA 164 in 1970 and became a de-icing car in 1989. It was sold to Travel Northern Allegheny in 1992 but never used. It was sold to East Troy Electric Ry in 1994 and rebuilt as ETE Ry 64 in 2000. It was sold to Electric City Trolley Museum and will be restored as P&W 164.” Here it is on September 28, 1958.

P&W 165 at 69th Street Yards on November 12, 1958.

P&W 165 at 69th Street Yards on November 12, 1958.

Product Test – The Pixl-Latr

The Pixl-Latr is an interesting new product that may be useful to people who have film negatives, but no easy way to scan them. It was developed as a Kickstarter project.

I decided to purchase one, and here are my results.

The Pixl-Latr is a negative holder that can accommodate 35mm, medium format, and 4"x5" size films. It has a diffused backing to prevent the formation of Newton Rings on your scans. It pairs well with this LED light box. I practiced using it with a cellphone camera. The Pixl-Latr is not a substitute for a flatbed scanner, but is certainly more portable, and may come in handy in certain situations where a scanner is not available.

The Pixl-Latr is a negative holder that can accommodate 35mm, medium format, and 4″x5″ size films. It has a diffused backing to prevent the formation of Newton Rings on your scans. It pairs well with this LED light box. I practiced using it with a cellphone camera. The Pixl-Latr is not a substitute for a flatbed scanner, but is certainly more portable, and may come in handy in certain situations where a scanner is not available.

My cellphone picture, before working on it with an image editor.

My cellphone picture, before working on it with an image editor.

I reversed out the negative into a positive image.

I reversed out the negative into a positive image.

After cropping and adjusting both density and contrast. But the image is still technically a color image, and could be improved further by eliminating those subtle color casts.

After cropping and adjusting both density and contrast. But the image is still technically a color image, and could be improved further by eliminating those subtle color casts.

The finished product, as a black-and-white image. Not bad! Compare with the scanned image elsewhere in this post.

The finished product, as a black-and-white image. Not bad! Compare with the scanned image elsewhere in this post.

The only downside of my usual method of scanning negatives is the formation of Newton Rings, caused by the negative coming into direct contact with the bottom glass of the scanner. I do use ANR (anti-Newton Ring) glass on top of the negative, which diffuses the light and prevents their formation. Fortunately, these are only noticeable at high magnification.

The only downside of my usual method of scanning negatives is the formation of Newton Rings, caused by the negative coming into direct contact with the bottom glass of the scanner. I do use ANR (anti-Newton Ring) glass on top of the negative, which diffuses the light and prevents their formation. Fortunately, these are only noticeable at high magnification.

You can read more about Newton’s Rings here. They are an interference pattern, caused when one of the two items pressed together acts as a lens.

Recent Correspondence

LeRoy Blommaert writes:

How I met (and rode) the North Shore Line

I remember quite vividly the first time I saw the North Shore Line as well as the first time I rode it. It was the same time.

I was a sophomore in high school and I was on the debate team. We were to participate in a round robin tournament at St Mary’s in Evanston. We were given the address and told to take the L and change at Howard—but nothing beyond that.

While I had taken the L many times from Bryn Mawr to Wilson Ave, and downtown and to my grandmother’s on the west side, it was, with one exception, with my mother. I had never taken the L north. Neither apparently had my three companions.

We get to Howard; we get off; and we wait—but not too long. Soon something pulls in unlike anything I had ever seen before on the L. It was beautiful; it was powerful. I was entranced and I wanted to ride it. And not just sometime in the future. But now! Immediately! And I did. I persuaded my colleagues that this was the train we needed to take. They were somewhat skeptical but in the end they agreed.

I was generally a good boy (a very good boy in fact) who always followed the rules and rarely did anything I thought was wrong. But this time? This time was different! I wasn’t sure that it was not the train to take, but I had doubts that it was the right train. These doubts I dismissed.

We got on. It was one of the older cars. I remember it had a stove inside. I also remember how fast it went once we left the station and entered the cut. The conductor dutifully asked for our tickets. Obviously, we did not have them. I explained where we wanted to go; he said we got the wrong train, and we were left off at the first station—Skokie.

There we waited for the first train south. It was getting dark and no one was around. In those days, unlike today, there was very little around. We waited about an hour. Needless to say, we did not make it to the debate tournament.

The next time I rode the North Shore, the trip was much longer: to Milwaukee and back. It was a fan trip. I believe it was a Klebolt trip. I went with my father. How I found out about it, I don’t remember, as I did not know any railfans then. It was on this trip that I met Roy Benedict. I remember he wore a football helmet, not the kind we know today, but a leather one, the kind they wore in the 1920s. He had made some track maps that he either gave away or sold.

As fate would have it, in my freshman or sophomore year of college, we moved to Skokie—within walking distance of that same station. One summer I got a job in the Loop—in the Insurance Exchange Building. The best part of the job was riding the North Shore each week day. I got off at Quincy and Wells and for the trip back home, I walked to the station at Adams and Wabash. It was there I met Jeff Wien, who was a ticket agent for the summer. From there it was onto CERA meetings, to and from which I was able again to ride my favorite railroad in those early days. It is still my favorite railroad, except that sadly I can no longer ride it, except at the Illinois Railway Museum, but that is not the same. The speed is absent as is the distance and the varying landscapes.

FYI, a slightly edited version of this was published in the Edgewater Historical Society newsletter.

This prompted Jon Habermaas to write:

I first became aware of the North Shore from seeing the trains stored on the L south of Roosevelt Rd. Taking the Englewood L into the loop and as our train descended into the subway our tracks were straddled by the tracks holding the stored North Shore cars. My first trip on the North Shore was when I was in HS and needed to cut short my time with family on vacation and return to Chicago. I caught the first southbound train from Racine. I became a regular weekend rider when I was getting technical training as a new swabbie at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Getting off at LaSalle Street Station to catch a Rock Island commuter train I now realized that the large crowd of sailors we had often encountered coming down from the L platform had come from a North Shore train from Great Lakes.

LaSalle Street Station was the only one of the Chicago downtown railroad stations with direct access to the L. As a kid when we were downtown on shopping trips we often took the L to the department stores. Because the L trains were circling the loop in one direction it wasn’t possible to return that way and we would catch the Division/Van Buren streetcar on State for the return to LaSalle Street Station.

This prompted a discussion on the Trolley Dodger Facebook group about two other not-so-direct connections between the “L” and downtown train stations. Between 1970 and 1989, the Northwest Passage connected the C&NW terminal to the Clinton “L” station. It displaced Track 1 during those years.

The Canal Street station on the Met main line had a passageway leading to Union Station until the Garfield Park “L” was replaced by the new Congress median line in 1958. Here is a description from Graham Garfield’s excellent web site:

A new Union Station, serving several main line intercity railroads, was formally opened July 23, 1925, replacing an earlier railroad station on a similar site. The Chicago Daily Tribune on same day contained a paid advertisement stating, “A short enclosed passageway connects the station directly with the Canal Street Station of the Elevated Railroad.” Within the Canal “L” station a stairway went down to Union Station’s underground track level, then a walkway ran for half a block, separated from Union Station’s track area by an iron fence, and finally into the lobby of Union Station. The article “Chicago’s Stations: Gates to Everywhere” from the August 1948 issues of Trains magazine also discussed the “L”-Union Station tunnel:

“It’s kind of tough, also, that we can’t get out on the platform and look at the prow-pointed T1 at the head end of many Pennsy trains. But Union is all business, and frowns at folk who try to sneak by the gatemen ‘just to see the trains.’ Here’s a tip, though: if you go along ‘frustration walk’ — which is the entrance leading from the Canal Street ‘L’ station — you can get a squint of a train or two at the southwestern end of the terminal. Like as not, there will be some Burlington open-platform cars used on suburban runs out Aurora way.

“‘Frustration walk’ is so dubbed because commuters must walk along an iron-railed thoroughfare beside the tracks to enter the terminal. Then to go out to the train they are obliged to hike back from whence the came on the other side of the formidable railing. Short-cutting is verboten at Union. Many a commuter has seen his train pull out as he dashed madly down ‘frustration walk’ in an attempt to catch the train.”

There are some conflicting descriptions of how the tunnel actually connected to the “L” station. According to some accounts, the passage was accessed from within the Canal Street station building, suggesting the connection was to the station house. Others recall that the passage from Union Station deposited them on the Canal station platform, not in the station house, with fare collection in between.2 It is believed that there were, in fact, two access routes between the elevated platforms and the tunnel. Passengers en route from the elevated platform walked through the headhouse of the rapid transit station. While passengers from the tunnel went directly to the platforms after passing through a fare collection point.

Stuart B. Slaymaker adds:

The walkway was along Track 2. This would have been Track Zero. I seem to recall, it dumped you at or near the original outbound cab court. It was still there in 1979, when I worked at Station Services for Amtrak. Dark. Gate was locked with a big switch lock and an iron chain. In the dim light, I could see check-in desks from long-discontinued streamliners, like The Olympian Hiawatha and the Trail Blazer. All stored along the walkway, that formerly went to the Canal Street L Station. It must have been a LONG walk. The signs and ephemera behind the locked gate were covered with inches of black sooty dirt. I left CUS in September of 1979, and never saw this, again. I always wondered if any of the displays ever got saved.

Mike Jacob writes:

Hello. I came across your website while trying to find information on a print I have. Please see the attached. Have you seen it before or have any idea on the artist? Thank you in advance.

Thanks for writing. I can’t quite make out the signature, although the first name seems to be Jerome.

The artist is not familiar to me, but I would imagine they were copying an old photograph. There were two North Shore Line stations in Wilmette, and it’s not that easy to identify which one this is. This was part of the Shore Line Route, which was abandoned in 1955.

Perhaps our readers might know something more.

John G. Gaul writes:

Dempster Street- January 20, 1963.  Nine years old at the time and living in Evanston, my Dad took my brother and I to Dempster St one last time. They’re not very good, but I’m glad I brought my little old box camera with me. It was a very cold day I recall.

Photos by John G. Gaul:

We thank all our contributors. Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

-David Sadowski

New Steam Audio CD:

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.

misc676-001

STEAM CDs:

RGTS
Rio Grande to Silverton:
A Sound Portrait of Mountain Railroading

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.
Includes:
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.

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!

Bibliographic information:
Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
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.
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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) 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

This is our 262nd post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 718,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.
You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
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The Photography of Roger Puta

A Christmas Present While I was scanning some slides of Roger Puta's the other evening, I came upon this one. I fell in love with it immediately. It sure isn't one of your run-of-the-mill train pictures. Roger took it in November 1978 at the Lackawanna RR station in Newark, NJ. In thinking about it, I feel my high school buddy and railfan friend has sent me a Christmas present across the miles and the 25 years he has been gone. So I'm sharing his present with you. Enjoy, Marty Bernard (2015)

A Christmas Present
While I was scanning some slides of Roger Puta’s the other evening, I came upon this one. I fell in love with it immediately. It sure isn’t one of your run-of-the-mill train pictures. Roger took it in November 1978 at the Lackawanna RR station in Newark, NJ.
In thinking about it, I feel my high school buddy and railfan friend has sent me a Christmas present across the miles and the 25 years he has been gone. So I’m sharing his present with you.
Enjoy,
Marty Bernard (2015)

We have lots of gifts for you under the Trolley Dodger tree this season. Most feature the exceptional photography of the late, but very prolific Roger Puta (1944-1990). His friend Marty Bernard has scanned many of these and has generously uploaded them to a Flickr album that has, at last count, 929 public domain images.

Here is what Marty Bernard has written about Roger Puta:

Who Was Roger Puta? (2016)

I am asked that question often. Here is a short bio.

Roger and I went to High School together. He was a good friend and railfan buddy. We grew up in nearby towns along the CB&Q in the Chicago western suburbs. We railfanned together through college, often with our railfan friends from the Chicago area. He worked for the Santa Fe and Western Pacific and lived in the Washington DC area and San Francisco in the 1970s and 80s. He was a rare mileage freak, a prolific and darn good train photographer, and focused considerable attention on passenger trains. He traveled widely in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to meet those interests. If it ran on rails, or was related to something that ran on rails, he photographed it. Thus his collection of thousands of slides includes many of streetcars, depots, and railroad graphics. He was known for his slides shows, some of which were at Winter Rail. In 1990 he caught a train to the Pearly Gates.

I am now scanning and posting his slides. I continue to be surprised how many railfans knew him and respond to my posts of his slides. He did many railfan trips of multiple days with one or more of his fellow foamers.

We have selected over 100 of these images for today’s post, following our usual Recent Finds. I believe it is important to pay tribute to those fans who have gone before us, for we are truly “standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Happy Holidays!

-David Sadowski

PS- The Trolley Dodger is now on Facebook too.

Recent Finds

July 30, 1953: "North Shore Line northbound train leaving Randolph St. station on Wabash, from Marshall Field's window." (Glenn S. Moe Photo)

July 30, 1953: “North Shore Line northbound train leaving Randolph St. station on Wabash, from Marshall Field’s window.” (Glenn S. Moe Photo)

A close-up view of the previous picture.

A close-up view of the previous picture.

CTA 1024 and work car S-340 were used on a fantrip for the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in August 1958. The location is the old Church Street freight yard near Northwestern University. After the fantrip, car 1024 went to the museum's location in North Chicago under its own power. It has since been restored to its as-delivered appearance as car 24. Don's Rail Photos: "1024 was built by Pullman in 1899 as NWERy 24. It was renumbered 1024 in 1913 and became CRT 1024 in 1923. It was rebuilt as 1st S-111 on March 19, 1955, and sold to Illinois Railway Museum as 1024 in 1958. S-340 was rebuilt from a 1700 series car." In this case, the "rebuilding" appears limited to a new coat of yellow paint. Information from Andre Kristopans shows that S-340 was originally car 1815, retired on January 9, 1958. It lasted into the mid-1960s.

CTA 1024 and work car S-340 were used on a fantrip for the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in August 1958. The location is the old Church Street freight yard near Northwestern University. After the fantrip, car 1024 went to the museum’s location in North Chicago under its own power. It has since been restored to its as-delivered appearance as car 24. Don’s Rail Photos: “1024 was built by Pullman in 1899 as NWERy 24. It was renumbered 1024 in 1913 and became CRT 1024 in 1923. It was rebuilt as 1st S-111 on March 19, 1955, and sold to Illinois Railway Museum as 1024 in 1958. S-340 was rebuilt from a 1700 series car.” In this case, the “rebuilding” appears limited to a new coat of yellow paint. Information from Andre Kristopans shows that S-340 was originally car 1815, retired on January 9, 1958. It lasted into the mid-1960s.

CTA work car S-340, taken at the same location, and on the same IERM fantrip, as the previous picture. The date is April 20, 1958.

CTA work car S-340, taken at the same location, and on the same IERM fantrip, as the previous picture. The date is April 20, 1958.

CTA gate car 390 is part of a two-car Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip train at the Ravenswood terminal at Kimball and Lawrence in April 1957. Note the original station entrance, then nearly 50 years old, which had a green roof at this time. Sean Hunnicutt: "That is 6062 on the left."

CTA gate car 390 is part of a two-car Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip train at the Ravenswood terminal at Kimball and Lawrence in April 1957. Note the original station entrance, then nearly 50 years old, which had a green roof at this time. Sean Hunnicutt: “That is 6062 on the left.”

This is the same fantrip train as in the picture taken at Kimball and Lawrence. Two wooden "L" CTA cars, including 390, are posed for a photo stop at Sedgwick in April 1957. The occasion was a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip. Many of these trips took place on Sundays, when Ravenswood trains did not run on this part of the "L", so there could be leisurely photo stops. At night and on Sundays, the Rave operated as a shuttle, starting in 1949, going only as far as Armitage. In 1963, after the North Shore Line quit, the Ravenswood shuttle ended at Belmont. The shuttle operation ended in 2000, as ridership on the renamed Brown Line had greatly increased. Now all Brown Line trains go to the Loop.

This is the same fantrip train as in the picture taken at Kimball and Lawrence. Two wooden “L” CTA cars, including 390, are posed for a photo stop at Sedgwick in April 1957. The occasion was a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip. Many of these trips took place on Sundays, when Ravenswood trains did not run on this part of the “L”, so there could be leisurely photo stops. At night and on Sundays, the Rave operated as a shuttle, starting in 1949, going only as far as Armitage. In 1963, after the North Shore Line quit, the Ravenswood shuttle ended at Belmont. The shuttle operation ended in 2000, as ridership on the renamed Brown Line had greatly increased. Now all Brown Line trains go to the Loop.

A six-car North Shore Line special train. This picture may date to the 1930s. I am not sure of the location, but this may also be where many of the cars were lined up for scrapping after the interurban was abandoned in 1963.

A six-car North Shore Line special train. This picture may date to the 1930s. I am not sure of the location, but this may also be where many of the cars were lined up for scrapping after the interurban was abandoned in 1963.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 459 is westbound at Lakewood station on August 8, 1954, during a fantrip for the Central Electric Railfans' Association. (Bob Selle Photo)

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 459 is westbound at Lakewood station on August 8, 1954, during a fantrip for the Central Electric Railfans’ Association. (Bob Selle Photo)

This photo was taken by Steve Carter sometime during the last year of operation of the CA&E (1957), at the intersection of York Road and Vallette Street (Elmhurst), looking north.

This photo was taken by Steve Carter sometime during the last year of operation of the CA&E (1957), at the intersection of York Road and Vallette Street (Elmhurst), looking north.

CTA PCC 4113, a product of the Pullman company, heads west of a shoo-fly at Madison and Wacker Drive on March 30, 1950. This was during construction of Lower Wacker Drive, which began in 1949 and moved south at the rate of about one block per year.

CTA PCC 4113, a product of the Pullman company, heads west of a shoo-fly at Madison and Wacker Drive on March 30, 1950. This was during construction of Lower Wacker Drive, which began in 1949 and moved south at the rate of about one block per year.

CTA PCC 4169 (a Pullman) is eastbound at 119th Street, near the south end of Route 36 - Broadway-State, as it crosses over the Pennsylvania Railroad's "Panhandle" route.

CTA PCC 4169 (a Pullman) is eastbound at 119th Street, near the south end of Route 36 – Broadway-State, as it crosses over the Pennsylvania Railroad’s “Panhandle” route.

Chicago Rapid Transit car 4293 at University on the Jackson Park "L". If not for the sign on the platform, I would've hard a difficult time identifying this location. The car is flying American flags, which may mean this picture was taken on July 4th or some other holiday.

Chicago Rapid Transit car 4293 at University on the Jackson Park “L”. If not for the sign on the platform, I would’ve hard a difficult time identifying this location. The car is flying American flags, which may mean this picture was taken on July 4th or some other holiday.

The City of Chicago hired professional photographers to shoot various scenes of the new State Street Subway around the time it opened in 1943. Some of these were issued in a series of postcards. Here, we see the new north portal, just south of Armitage.

The City of Chicago hired professional photographers to shoot various scenes of the new State Street Subway around the time it opened in 1943. Some of these were issued in a series of postcards. Here, we see the new north portal, just south of Armitage.

A close-up view of the previous picture.

A close-up view of the previous picture.

There must be a story behind this picture, showing an observation car on a mainline railroad. There were a number of lines that had a Chicago Limited.

There must be a story behind this picture, showing an observation car on a mainline railroad. There were a number of lines that had a Chicago Limited.

The observation car pictured above does bear some resemblance to ones used on the North Shore Line:

North Shore Line observation parlor car 420.

North Shore Line observation parlor car 420.

CTA PCC 7180 is at South Shops on February 12, 1956, near work cars E-208 and F-29. Don's Rail Photos: "E208, sweeper, was built by McGuire in 1895 as CCRys E8. It was renumbered E208 in 1913 and became CSL E208 in 1914. It was retired on September 27, 1956. F29, plow, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924. It was retired on December 14, 1956."

CTA PCC 7180 is at South Shops on February 12, 1956, near work cars E-208 and F-29. Don’s Rail Photos: “E208, sweeper, was built by McGuire in 1895 as CCRys E8. It was renumbered E208 in 1913 and became CSL E208 in 1914. It was retired on September 27, 1956. F29, plow, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924. It was retired on December 14, 1956.”

A four-car Evanston Shopper's Special. The front car is 1269. Don's Rail Photos: "1269 was a trailer built by American Car & Foundry in 1907, #5098, as NWERy 269. It was renumbered 269 in 1913 and became CRT 1269 in 1923." This picture was taken on August 6, 1937 by Otto C. Perry. A version with less cropping is on Don's Rail Photos.

A four-car Evanston Shopper’s Special. The front car is 1269. Don’s Rail Photos: “1269 was a trailer built by American Car & Foundry in 1907, #5098, as NWERy 269. It was renumbered 269 in 1913 and became CRT 1269 in 1923.” This picture was taken on August 6, 1937 by Otto C. Perry. A version with less cropping is on Don’s Rail Photos.

Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric car 49 in South Elgin, IL on August 6, 1944.

Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric car 49 in South Elgin, IL on August 6, 1944.

The Photography of Roger Puta

The earliest photos here date to about 1962, when Roger Puta was 18 years old. By then, the CA&E had stopped running, but the rolling stock was still awaiting final disposition in Wheaton. That was also the last full year of service for the North Shore Line.

There are many pictures of the Chicago Transit Authority, including the western end of the Lake Street “L”, still running at ground level until the end of October 1962. The Evanston branch still used overhead wire until 1973, operating 4000-series “L” cars as well as 6000s and the 1-50 single car units. The new high-speed Skokie Swift began running in April 1964, just over a year after the demise of the North Shore Line.

The South Shore Line continued operating 1920s-era cars until the early 1980s, as the last surviving Chicago interurban. Those venerable orange interurban cars ran on South Bend streets until 1970. We have also included some pictures from the Erie Lackawanna’s Gladstone branch, which also used equipment of the same vintage, and seems very interurban-ish even though for some reason, it is not usually classified as one.

Midwest traction is well represented by photos from the Southern Iowa Railway and Iowa Terminal, including former Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern car 100, newly repainted just prior to being tragically destroyed in a 1967 fire.

To round out our feature of classic railcars, there are some pictures of Bullet cars on the former Red Arrow line between Philadelphia and Norristown, aka the Philadelphia & Western, now operated by SEPTA.

The captions are by Marty Bernard. I corrected a few minor typos.

1 of 2 Photos. On the slide mount Roger wrote, "CTA Lake St. B-train racing C&NW freight near Laramie Ave., Chicago, IL in May 1967." Before October 28, 1962 the Lake St. "L" ran at street level next to the C&NW's elevated embankment through far western Chicago and Oak Park after it dismounted its "L" structure above Lake Street. It was slow running with lots of grade crossings. On that date the trains shifted to new tracks up on the embankment. Roger's photo shows the results. At the right you can see the structure over Lake Street and see the tracks shift to the left (north) on to the C&NW embankment. And I really like this photo. Why? It's the pigeons. Four of them.

1 of 2 Photos. On the slide mount Roger wrote, “CTA Lake St. B-train racing C&NW freight near Laramie Ave., Chicago, IL in May 1967.”
Before October 28, 1962 the Lake St. “L” ran at street level next to the C&NW’s elevated embankment through far western Chicago and Oak Park after it dismounted its “L” structure above Lake Street. It was slow running with lots of grade crossings. On that date the trains shifted to new tracks up on the embankment. Roger’s photo shows the results. At the right you can see the structure over Lake Street and see the tracks shift to the left (north) on to the C&NW embankment. And I really like this photo. Why? It’s the pigeons. Four of them.

2 of 2 Photos. Roger wrote on the slide mount, "CTA eastbound Lake St. "L" taking down trolley pole at the station near N. Parkside Ave. and W. Lake St. in Chicago on August 14, 1962." At street level the trains drew their power from the trolley wire overhead -- on the "L" structure from a third rail. This is the last station before this eastbound train mounts the "L" structure. Above the old station, up on the embankment, is the nearly completed new station. The elimination of trolley pole running on the western end of the Lake Street "L" allowed the CTA to modernize its fleet without the cost of trolley poles.

2 of 2 Photos. Roger wrote on the slide mount, “CTA eastbound Lake St. “L” taking down trolley pole at the station near N. Parkside Ave. and W. Lake St. in Chicago on August 14, 1962.”
At street level the trains drew their power from the trolley wire overhead — on the “L” structure from a third rail. This is the last station before this eastbound train mounts the “L” structure. Above the old station, up on the embankment, is the nearly completed new station.
The elimination of trolley pole running on the western end of the Lake Street “L” allowed the CTA to modernize its fleet without the cost of trolley poles.

CTA Eastbound Lake St. "L" going past the pedestrian-only grade crossing at Elmwood Ave in Oak Park, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Eastbound Lake St. “L” going past the pedestrian-only grade crossing at Elmwood Ave in Oak Park, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Lake Street "L" trains meeting near N. Long Ave and W. Lake Street in Chicago, Il. on August 14, 1962

CTA Lake Street “L” trains meeting near N. Long Ave and W. Lake Street in Chicago, Il. on August 14, 1962

CTA Westbound Lake Street L approaching the Oak Park Ave. station while crossing the Euclid Ave. grade crossing in Oak Park, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Westbound Lake Street L approaching the Oak Park Ave. station while crossing the Euclid Ave. grade crossing in Oak Park, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Westbound Lake Street L in Oak Park, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Westbound Lake Street L in Oak Park, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Lake Street L coming down to street level off elevated track at N. Long Ave and W. Lake St. in Chicago, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Lake Street L coming down to street level off elevated track at N. Long Ave and W. Lake St. in Chicago, IL on August 14, 1962

CTA Ravenswood B train on outer loop at Randolph and Wells station, Chicago, IL on June 13, 1968

CTA Ravenswood B train on outer loop at Randolph and Wells station, Chicago, IL on June 13, 1968

CTA L cars in storage at Logan Square terminal, Chicago, IL on April 5, 1969. Sean Hunnicutt adds, "6629-30 on the outside corner. Funny note about this: my ex-girlfriend was born in Manila on this day."

CTA L cars in storage at Logan Square terminal, Chicago, IL on April 5, 1969. Sean Hunnicutt adds, “6629-30 on the outside corner. Funny note about this: my ex-girlfriend was born in Manila on this day.”

CTA interlocking tower at Logan Square Terminal, Chicago, IL on April 9, 1966 Roger Puta photograph Roger wrote, "The last mechanical interlocking on the CTA and will be replaced with a new tower."

CTA interlocking tower at Logan Square Terminal, Chicago, IL on April 9, 1966
Roger Puta photograph
Roger wrote, “The last mechanical interlocking on the CTA and will be replaced with a new tower.”

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) "L" until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O'Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta's photos except for Photo 2. 5. Yard at Logan Square from the unfinished tower. Sean Hunnicutt notes, "2153-54 (resting up for a long career) and 6615."

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos
The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) “L” until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O’Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta’s photos except for Photo 2.
5. Yard at Logan Square from the unfinished tower. Sean Hunnicutt notes, “2153-54 (resting up for a long career) and 6615.”

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) "L" until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O'Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta's photos except for Photo 2. 3. A Congress-Milwaukee A Train going through Logan Square Yard taken from Douglas-Milwaukee B train.

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos
The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) “L” until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O’Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta’s photos except for Photo 2.
3. A Congress-Milwaukee A Train going through Logan Square Yard taken from Douglas-Milwaukee B train.

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) "L" until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O'Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta's photos except for Photo 2. 1. Control panel in the unfinished tower at Logan Square on April 9. 1966.

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos
The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) “L” until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O’Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta’s photos except for Photo 2.
1. Control panel in the unfinished tower at Logan Square on April 9. 1966.

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) "L" until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O'Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta's photos except for Photo 2. 4. A Douglas Park bound B train crossing over just outside Logan Square terminal while Congress-Milwaukee A train waits. Taken from unfinished tower. Sean Hunnicutt adds, "2153-54 still on break at the right."

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos
The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) “L” until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O’Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta’s photos except for Photo 2.
4. A Douglas Park bound B train crossing over just outside Logan Square terminal while Congress-Milwaukee A train waits. Taken from unfinished tower. Sean Hunnicutt adds, “2153-54 still on break at the right.”

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) "L" until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O'Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta's photos except for Photo 2. 2. The old and new tower (correct me if I'm wrong). Rick's photo. Sean Hunnicutt: "6587-88."

CTA Logan Square Terminal and Yards Before the Kennedy Extension, 5 Photos
The Logan Square station served the CTA as the terminal of the Milwaukee (Ave.) “L” until February 1, 1970 when the Kennedy Extension to Jefferson Park (and later to O’Hare) opened. But on May 30, 1966, a new all-electric interlocking was placed in service at Logan Square tower. Roger Puta and Rick Burn had just visited Logan Square the month before and took these photos. These are Roger Puta’s photos except for Photo 2.
2. The old and new tower (correct me if I’m wrong). Rick’s photo. Sean Hunnicutt: “6587-88.”

CTA 6000s, Ravenswood Train, July 1965 These were early 6000 series cars with double headlights and a top center rollsign. The 6000s were rebuilt PCC streetcars. Roger's photo show them holding down a Ravenswood run in July, 1965. For more on these cars see: www.chicago-l.org/trains/roster/6000.html

CTA 6000s, Ravenswood Train, July 1965
These were early 6000 series cars with double headlights and a top center rollsign. The 6000s were rebuilt PCC streetcars. Roger’s photo show them holding down a Ravenswood run in July, 1965. For more on these cars see: http://www.chicago-l.org/trains/roster/6000.html

Chicago Transit Authority's Evanston Shuttle at Isabella station in Evanston, IL on May 26, 1962

Chicago Transit Authority’s Evanston Shuttle at Isabella station in Evanston, IL on May 26, 1962

CTA Skokie Swift, Skokie, IL May 1964

CTA Skokie Swift, Skokie, IL May 1964

Chicago Transit Authority "jitterbug" Skokie Swift car northbound on curve south of Oakton St., Skokie, IL on April 12, 1966

Chicago Transit Authority “jitterbug” Skokie Swift car northbound on curve south of Oakton St., Skokie, IL on April 12, 1966

Chicago Transit Authority 4000s as an Evanston Express (signed Evanston-Wilmette) leaving Isabella Station in Evanston, IL, April 12, 1966. Sean Hunnicutt adds, "4447."

Chicago Transit Authority 4000s as an Evanston Express (signed Evanston-Wilmette) leaving Isabella Station in Evanston, IL, April 12, 1966. Sean Hunnicutt adds, “4447.”

Chicago Transit Authority southbound Skokie Swift car south of Oakton St. in Skokie, IL on ex-CNS&M track on April 12, 1966

Chicago Transit Authority southbound Skokie Swift car south of Oakton St. in Skokie, IL on ex-CNS&M track on April 12, 1966

CTA 2240 at Laramie on the Douglas Line in April 1985

CTA 2240 at Laramie on the Douglas Line in April 1985

CTA O'Hare Station, April 1985

CTA O’Hare Station, April 1985

CTA Laramie stop on the Douglas (Pink) Line in April 1985

CTA Laramie stop on the Douglas (Pink) Line in April 1985

CTA 2292 at Laramie on the Douglas (Pink) Line in April 1985

CTA 2292 at Laramie on the Douglas (Pink) Line in April 1985

CTA 6-car 4000 series Ravenswood A train near Grand Ave. Station, Chicago, IL om February 2, 1968

CTA 6-car 4000 series Ravenswood A train near Grand Ave. Station, Chicago, IL om February 2, 1968

CTA 2-car train approaching Belmont Ave. Station on April 9, 1966 Roger Puta photograph Roger wrote, "Note doors and windows signify early L car." Sean Hunnicutt: "6057-58."

CTA 2-car train approaching Belmont Ave. Station on April 9, 1966
Roger Puta photograph
Roger wrote, “Note doors and windows signify early L car.” Sean Hunnicutt: “6057-58.”

Chicago Transit Authority Evanston Express with 4000 series cars at Clark Junction near the Belmont Station, Chicago, IL on February 2, 1968.

Chicago Transit Authority Evanston Express with 4000 series cars at Clark Junction near the Belmont Station, Chicago, IL on February 2, 1968.

CTA Evanston Express near Wellington station, Chicago, IL in February, 1968

CTA Evanston Express near Wellington station, Chicago, IL in February, 1968

CTA B Douglas-Milwaukee and A Congress-Milwaukee trains at end of track, Logan Square Terminal on April 9, 1966

CTA B Douglas-Milwaukee and A Congress-Milwaukee trains at end of track, Logan Square Terminal on April 9, 1966

These articulated cars were called "jitterbugs". There were only 4. Roger's photo is of CTA 54 as southbound Skokie Swift train south of Oakton St. in Skokie, IL on ex-CNS&M trackage on April 12, 1966. For more on these cars see: www.chicago-l.org/trains/roster/5000.html

These articulated cars were called “jitterbugs”.
There were only 4. Roger’s photo is of CTA 54 as southbound Skokie Swift train south of Oakton St. in Skokie, IL on ex-CNS&M trackage on April 12, 1966. For more on these cars see: http://www.chicago-l.org/trains/roster/5000.html

CTA (left to right) at Belmont Ave. Station, Ravenswood 2-car SB, B Jackson Park - Howard 6 car NB, A Englewood - Howard 6 car NB, in distance 2-car NB Ravenswood on April 9, 1966

CTA (left to right) at Belmont Ave. Station, Ravenswood 2-car SB, B Jackson Park – Howard 6 car NB, A Englewood – Howard 6 car NB, in distance 2-car NB Ravenswood on April 9, 1966

CTA 4-car Evanston Express approaching Isabella Ave. station with 4 trolley poles up, Evanston, IL, North Shore Channel bridge in background on April 12, 1966 These are single man cars used individually as shuttles on the Evanston Line during off hours.

CTA 4-car Evanston Express approaching Isabella Ave. station with 4 trolley poles up, Evanston, IL, North Shore Channel bridge in background on April 12, 1966
These are single man cars used individually as shuttles on the Evanston Line during off hours.

CTA Howard - Englewood A Train southbound at Addison, Chicago, IL on August 25, 1962

CTA Howard – Englewood A Train southbound at Addison, Chicago, IL on August 25, 1962

CTA A train Englewood - Howard L approaching Belmont Ave. station on Saturday evening rush hour, Chicago, IL on April 9, 1966. Sean Hunnicutt: "6286."

CTA A train Englewood – Howard L approaching Belmont Ave. station on Saturday evening rush hour, Chicago, IL on April 9, 1966. Sean Hunnicutt: “6286.”

CTA 4-car Evanston Express approaching Isabella Ave. station, Evanston, IL, April 12, 1966

CTA 4-car Evanston Express approaching Isabella Ave. station, Evanston, IL, April 12, 1966

CTA Skokie Swift, Skokie, IL in May 1964 Crawford looking east

CTA Skokie Swift, Skokie, IL in May 1964 Crawford looking east

CTA 8127 Evanston Express on Outer Loop at Randolph and Wells Note only one pair of poles -- permanently coupled cars. June 13, 1968

CTA 8127 Evanston Express on Outer Loop at Randolph and Wells
Note only one pair of poles — permanently coupled cars. June 13, 1968

CTA 4-car Evanston Express leaving Isabella Ave. station, Wilmette, IL on April 12, 1966

CTA 4-car Evanston Express leaving Isabella Ave. station, Wilmette, IL on April 12, 1966

CTA Evanston Express train approaching the Merchandise Mart station, Chicago, IL on June 13, 1968

CTA Evanston Express train approaching the Merchandise Mart station, Chicago, IL on June 13, 1968

The Skokie Swift Over the North Shore Cannel Roger Puta took this photo in May of 1964 in Skokie. (This appears to be the uncropped version of this photo.)

The Skokie Swift Over the North Shore Cannel
Roger Puta took this photo in May of 1964 in Skokie. (This appears to be the uncropped version of this photo.)

The Skokie Swift Over the North Shore Cannel Roger Puta took this photo in May of 1964 in Skokie. He didn't have a telephoto lens at that time. So I cropped the photo much tighter just to see what it would look like. This allowed me to eliminate much of the uninteresting sky and get the photo closer to obeying the Rule of Thirds. It also shows that the car is slightly burred which does not show in the original size photo.

The Skokie Swift Over the North Shore Cannel
Roger Puta took this photo in May of 1964 in Skokie. He didn’t have a telephoto lens at that time. So I cropped the photo much tighter just to see what it would look like. This allowed me to eliminate much of the uninteresting sky and get the photo closer to obeying the Rule of Thirds. It also shows that the car is slightly burred which does not show in the original size photo.

CA&E 427 stored at Wheaton, IL Shops, April 25, 1962

CA&E 427 stored at Wheaton, IL Shops, April 25, 1962

CA&E 429 stored at Wheaton, IL shops, April 25, 1962

CA&E 429 stored at Wheaton, IL shops, April 25, 1962

3 More About Electroliners from Roger Puta's Camera CNS&M herald on the Electroliner at station in Milwaukee, WI on October 21, 1962.

3 More About Electroliners from Roger Puta’s Camera
CNS&M herald on the Electroliner at station in Milwaukee, WI on October 21, 1962.

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee -- 4 Photos These are scans of Roger Puta's slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI. CNS&M Passenger Terminal at 6th St. and W. Clybourn Ave.

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee — 4 Photos
These are scans of Roger Puta’s slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI.
CNS&M Passenger Terminal at 6th St. and W. Clybourn Ave.

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee -- 4 Photos These are scans of Roger Puta's slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI. Lower yard east of the Terminal on W. Clybourn St. down toward the Milwaukee Road Passenger Station. (I once knew what that second car in was. Please remind me.) Sean Hunnicutt: "The first car is 170."

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee — 4 Photos
These are scans of Roger Puta’s slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI.
Lower yard east of the Terminal on W. Clybourn St. down toward the Milwaukee Road Passenger Station. (I once knew what that second car in was. Please remind me.) Sean Hunnicutt: “The first car is 170.”

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets -- 4 Photos I don't know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions. 1. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 5th St. approaching W. Orchard St. 2. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 5th St. near W. Orchard St. 3. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner coming out of private right-of-way onto S. 6th St. at W. Scott Ave. [Look who has the railfan seats. I don't remember. Are they looking at a blank wall?]

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets — 4 Photos
I don’t know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions.
1. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 5th St. approaching W. Orchard St.
2. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 5th St. near W. Orchard St.
3. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner coming out of private right-of-way onto S. 6th St. at W. Scott Ave. [Look who has the railfan seats. I don’t remember. Are they looking at a blank wall?]

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets -- 4 Photos I don't know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner coming out of private right-of-way onto S. 6th St. at W. Scott Ave. [Look who has the railfan seats. I don't remember. Are they looking at a blank wall?]

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets — 4 Photos
I don’t know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions.
CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner coming out of private right-of-way onto S. 6th St. at W. Scott Ave. [Look who has the railfan seats. I don’t remember. Are they looking at a blank wall?]

3 More About Electroliners from Roger Puta's Camera The last CNS&M Tavern - Lounge car on the substitute Electroliner that day. See previous photo.

3 More About Electroliners from Roger Puta’s Camera
The last CNS&M Tavern – Lounge car on the substitute Electroliner that day. See previous photo.

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee -- 4 Photos These are scans of Roger Puta's slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI. CNS&M Yards and Shops at Harrison Street.

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee — 4 Photos
These are scans of Roger Puta’s slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI.
CNS&M Yards and Shops at Harrison Street.

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets -- 4 Photos I don't know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 5th St. near W. Orchard St.

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets — 4 Photos
I don’t know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions.
CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 5th St. near W. Orchard St.

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets -- 4 Photos I don't know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions. CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 6th St. between W. Washington Ave. and Scott Ave. [Love the marked lights!]

An Electroliner on the Milwaukee Streets — 4 Photos
I don’t know how Roger Puta did it, but he photographed the same northbound Electroliner both on 5th and 6th Streets on October 21, 1962 only a couple blocks apart. Here are his captions.
CNS&M Train 805, The Electroliner on S. 6th St. between W. Washington Ave. and Scott Ave. [Love the marked lights!]

CNS&M Train 415 starting to move on W. National Ave. on S. 6th St. in Milwaukee, WI on October 12, 1962

CNS&M Train 415 starting to move on W. National Ave. on S. 6th St. in Milwaukee, WI on October 12, 1962

CNS&M Train 422 on S. 5th St. at W. Rogers Ave. in Milwaukee, WI on October 21, 1962

CNS&M Train 422 on S. 5th St. at W. Rogers Ave. in Milwaukee, WI on October 21, 1962

3 More About Electroliners from Roger Puta's Camera Each of the two Electroliner had a day off each week for maintenance and repair. So on every Tuesday and Thursday the substitute Electroliner would run. Roger caught the substitute in this photo. Here is his caption: CNS&M NB Train 803, The Electriliner, consisting of Silverliner 769, Tavern - Lounge 415 (upper window sash and trailer trucks), and Silverliner 76? stopped at the Racine, WI depot on October 21, 1962.

3 More About Electroliners from Roger Puta’s Camera
Each of the two Electroliner had a day off each week for maintenance and repair. So on every Tuesday and Thursday the substitute Electroliner would run. Roger caught the substitute in this photo. Here is his caption: CNS&M NB Train 803, The Electriliner, consisting of Silverliner 769, Tavern – Lounge 415 (upper window sash and trailer trucks), and Silverliner 76? stopped at the Racine, WI depot on October 21, 1962.

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee -- 4 Photos These are scans of Roger Puta's slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI. I blew up the sign on the roof of the canopy.

North Shore Facilities in Milwaukee — 4 Photos
These are scans of Roger Puta’s slides taken October 12, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI.
I blew up the sign on the roof of the canopy.

A Surprise South Shore Shot Roger Puta and I railfanned the South Shore a lot during College (Christmas, semester, and Easter break). As I was scanning his South Shore slides yesterday I was surprised by this one. I have near duplicates of most of his South Shore slides because I was standing next to him. Not this one. It looks like it may have been a grab shot. Here is his caption: CSS&SB going down grade from Pennsylvania - Wabash Bridge in Gary, Indiana on February 10, 1963.

A Surprise South Shore Shot
Roger Puta and I railfanned the South Shore a lot during College (Christmas, semester, and Easter break). As I was scanning his South Shore slides yesterday I was surprised by this one. I have near duplicates of most of his South Shore slides because I was standing next to him. Not this one. It looks like it may have been a grab shot.
Here is his caption: CSS&SB going down grade from Pennsylvania – Wabash Bridge in Gary, Indiana on February 10, 1963.

CNS&M Glenayre passenger station in Glenview, Illinois. This slide was taken on January 24, 1963 three days after the North Shore abandoned service. It is one of nine Mediterranean Revival Style built by Samuel Insull. Only two still exist: Beverly Shores on the South Shore Line and Briergate on the North Shore Line.

CNS&M Glenayre passenger station in Glenview, Illinois. This slide was taken on January 24, 1963 three days after the North Shore abandoned service. It is one of nine Mediterranean Revival Style built by Samuel Insull. Only two still exist: Beverly Shores on the South Shore Line and Briergate on the North Shore Line.

CNS&M Train 409 northbound south of the Northbrook, Illinois station on the Skokie Valley Route on May 26, 1962.

CNS&M Train 409 northbound south of the Northbrook, Illinois station on the Skokie Valley Route on May 26, 1962.

CNS&M southbound Train 216 from Waukeegan, IL approaching the former Asbury Ave. station in Skokie, Ill. CERA Railfan Special in Car 720 was first train to stop at Asbury Ave since 1941, August 25, 1962.

CNS&M southbound Train 216 from Waukeegan, IL approaching the former Asbury Ave. station in Skokie, Ill. CERA Railfan Special in Car 720 was first train to stop at Asbury Ave since 1941, August 25, 1962.

CNS&M way freight on the team track between Northfield and Northbrook, Illinois on May 26, 1962.

CNS&M way freight on the team track between Northfield and Northbrook, Illinois on May 26, 1962.

Just an Electroliner I don't remember ever seeing a photo of an Electroliner from the Ridge Ave. (called Ridge Blvd. in Chicago) Bridge in Evanston, IL. But my friend Roger Puta took one on November 3, 1962, a little over 2 1/2 months before they ceased to run because the North Shore ended operations. Here is his caption on the slide mount, "CNS&M Train 802, the Electroliner taken from Ridge Blvd. bridge in Evanston, IL. Ridge Blvd. had been a stop on the old Skokie "L" and the station is still standing." The 3rd rails are have a slight layer of rust. Both Electroliners were saved. The one at the Illinois Ry Museum at Union, IL is being fully renovated. The one at Rockhill Trolley Museum, Rockhill Furnace, PA is in SEPTA (Red Arrow) colors.

Just an Electroliner
I don’t remember ever seeing a photo of an Electroliner from the Ridge Ave. (called Ridge Blvd. in Chicago) Bridge in Evanston, IL. But my friend Roger Puta took one on November 3, 1962, a little over 2 1/2 months before they ceased to run because the North Shore ended operations. Here is his caption on the slide mount, “CNS&M Train 802, the Electroliner taken from Ridge Blvd. bridge in Evanston, IL. Ridge Blvd. had been a stop on the old Skokie “L” and the station is still standing.”
The 3rd rails are have a slight layer of rust.
Both Electroliners were saved. The one at the Illinois Ry Museum at Union, IL is being fully renovated. The one at Rockhill Trolley Museum, Rockhill Furnace, PA is in SEPTA (Red Arrow) colors.

CSS&SD 105 at Gary, IN on January 27, 1964 Chicago South Shore and South Bend

CSS&SD 105 at Gary, IN on January 27, 1964
Chicago South Shore and South Bend

CSS&SB 801 in Hegewisch (Burnham Yard) in Chicago on January 27, 1964.

CSS&SB 801 in Hegewisch (Burnham Yard) in Chicago on January 27, 1964.

CSS&SB 106 at the Kensington stop in Chicago, IL in September 1963. This is where the South Shore diverts on to its own track and heads east.

CSS&SB 106 at the Kensington stop in Chicago, IL in September 1963. This is where the South Shore diverts on to its own track and heads east.

I posted the second photo a while back. Thought it was neat. Today I found the one Roger Puta took a few seconds earlier while the train was on the bridge. And he managed to avoid getting the headight hidden behind a structure member! This is a CSS&SB eastbound (to Chicago) going over Pennsylvania - Wabash RR bridge in Gary, Ind. on February 10, 1963.

I posted the second photo a while back. Thought it was neat. Today I found the one Roger Puta took a few seconds earlier while the train was on the bridge. And he managed to avoid getting the headight hidden behind a structure member! This is a CSS&SB eastbound (to Chicago) going over Pennsylvania – Wabash RR bridge in Gary, Ind. on February 10, 1963.

CSS&SB 11 at Gary, Ind. in July, 1979. That hand railing at the left is 802's.

CSS&SB 11 at Gary, Ind. in July, 1979. That hand railing at the left is 802’s.

CSS&SB 802 in the double track pocket at Gary, Ind. in July, 1979.

CSS&SB 802 in the double track pocket at Gary, Ind. in July, 1979.

CSS&SB 109 going up grade to Pennsylvania - Wabash bridge in Gary, Ind. on February 10, 1963.

CSS&SB 109 going up grade to Pennsylvania – Wabash bridge in Gary, Ind. on February 10, 1963.

CSS&SB 107 eastbound at the Hegewisch stop in Chicago, IL on December 31, 1965. (That's my wonderful Plymouth. Roger and I were in our senior year of college.)

CSS&SB 107 eastbound at the Hegewisch stop in Chicago, IL on December 31, 1965. (That’s my wonderful Plymouth. Roger and I were in our senior year of college.)

CSS&SB 801 in January 1964, location not recorded.

CSS&SB 801 in January 1964, location not recorded.

Two CSS&SB 700s (ex-NYC) on a caboose hop approaching the Gary, Ind. depot in January 1964.

Two CSS&SB 700s (ex-NYC) on a caboose hop approaching the Gary, Ind. depot in January 1964.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend 707 in Burnham Yard, January 1972

Chicago South Shore & South Bend 707 in Burnham Yard, January 1972

Chicago South Shore & South Bend 705 coming westbound into Hammond. The Indiana Toll Road is in the background in February 1972.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend 705 coming westbound into Hammond. The Indiana Toll Road is in the background in February 1972.

Chicago South Shore & south Bend 702 Burnham Yard, January 1972

Chicago South Shore & south Bend 702 Burnham Yard, January 1972

CSS&SB 32 in Hammond, IN on January 27, 1964

CSS&SB 32 in Hammond, IN on January 27, 1964

CSS&SB 106 in South Bend, Ind. on January 27, 1964 02

CSS&SB 106 in South Bend, Ind. on January 27, 1964 02

CSS&SB Train 320 boarding passengers in street at South Bend, Indiana station on April 9, 1966. Rick Burn and Steve Summer at right

CSS&SB Train 320 boarding passengers in street at South Bend, Indiana station on April 9, 1966. Rick Burn and Steve Summer at right

CSS&SB 104 in Michigan City, IN on January 27, 1964

CSS&SB 104 in Michigan City, IN on January 27, 1964

Roger Puta found CSS&SB 106 being loaded in South Bend, Ind. on January 27, 1964

Roger Puta found CSS&SB 106 being loaded in South Bend, Ind. on January 27, 1964

Erie-Lackawanna EMUs in Orange, NJ on November 1978

Erie-Lackawanna EMUs in Orange, NJ on November 1978

Erie-Lackawanna EMUs at Hoboken Terminal, December 1978

Erie-Lackawanna EMUs at Hoboken Terminal, December 1978

Erie-Lackawanna EMUs at Hoboken Terminal, December 1978

Erie-Lackawanna EMUs at Hoboken Terminal, December 1978

EL EMU Train on the Gladstone Branch from Pill Hill Road in November 1978

EL EMU Train on the Gladstone Branch from Pill Hill Road in November 1978

EL Montclair Station Depot in November 1978 R24 Building exists. Tracks gone.

EL Montclair Station Depot in November 1978 R24
Building exists. Tracks gone.

From the end of a platform in the Erie-Lackwanna Terminal at Hoboken, NJ in November 1978

From the end of a platform in the Erie-Lackwanna Terminal at Hoboken, NJ in November 1978

Erie Lackwanna Montclair Depot in November 1978 -- 3 Photos Building exists. Tracks gone.

Erie Lackwanna Montclair Depot in November 1978 — 3 Photos
Building exists. Tracks gone.

Lackawanna Railroad Freight House at Morristown NJ on Morristown Line former M&E Division of Lackawanna RR in November 1978 R26

Lackawanna Railroad Freight House at Morristown NJ on Morristown Line former M&E Division of Lackawanna RR in November 1978 R26

ex-DL&W Tower located eastbound side at Orange NJ station on Morristown Line in November 1978

ex-DL&W Tower located eastbound side at Orange NJ station on Morristown Line in November 1978

EL Signal P389 on Gladstone Branch. P is for Passaic & Delaware, former name of Gladstone Branch. Signal is west of Far Hills, NJ in November 1978

EL Signal P389 on Gladstone Branch. P is for Passaic & Delaware, former name of Gladstone Branch. Signal is west of Far Hills, NJ in November 1978

EL Chatham NJ station on former DL&W Morris & Essex, later EL Morristown Line in November 1978 B22

EL Chatham NJ station on former DL&W Morris & Essex, later EL Morristown Line in November 1978 B22

EL EMU Train on the Gladstone Branch from Pill Hill Road in November 1978

EL EMU Train on the Gladstone Branch from Pill Hill Road in November 1978

EL EMU interior in November 1978

EL EMU interior in November 1978

EL EMUs at Hoboken in November 1978

EL EMUs at Hoboken in November 1978

EL EMU westbound to Gladstone, NJ MU train on Gladstone branch... note parlor car in consist. Eastbound train # was 412 Gladstone to Hoboken weekdays only in November 1978

EL EMU westbound to Gladstone, NJ MU train on Gladstone branch… note parlor car in consist. Eastbound train # was 412 Gladstone to Hoboken weekdays only in November 1978

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 101 at Charles City Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 101 at Charles City
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 on MILW interchange tracks Mason City Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 on MILW interchange tracks Mason City
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 at Emery Shops Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 at Emery Shops
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 at West Mason City Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 at West Mason City
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967. Freight Motors 80 and 81 at the shops, Emery, IA

Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967.
Freight Motors 80 and 81 at the shops, Emery, IA

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 101 near Oakwood Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 101 near Oakwood
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad shops and substation at Emery Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad shops and substation at Emery
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 at shops at Emery Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 at shops at Emery
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Southern Iowa Railway Freight Motor 101 -- 3 Photos Roger Puta took these during a railfan weekend in June 1963. Near Maine, IA

Southern Iowa Railway Freight Motor 101 — 3 Photos
Roger Puta took these during a railfan weekend in June 1963.
Near Maine, IA

Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967. Box Motor 31 (ex-Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee) and Passenger Car 100 (ex-Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern Railway) near Mason City.

Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967.
Box Motor 31 (ex-Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee) and Passenger Car 100 (ex-Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern Railway) near Mason City.

Southern Iowa Railway Freight Motor 101 -- 3 Photos Roger Puta took these during a railfan weekend in June 1963. At the Moravia, IA depot.

Southern Iowa Railway Freight Motor 101 — 3 Photos
Roger Puta took these during a railfan weekend in June 1963.
At the Moravia, IA depot.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 101 near Roseville Siding Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 101 near Roseville Siding
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad right of way just east of Emery taken from Box Motor with Passenger Car 100 ahead Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad right of way just east of Emery taken from Box Motor with Passenger Car 100 ahead
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 near Clear Lake Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 near Clear Lake
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 near Clear Lake Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Iowa Terminal Railroad Car 100 near Clear Lake
Photograph taken by Roger Puta the weekend of August 12th and 13th, 1967 in Iowa.

Southern Iowa Railway Freight Motor 101 -- 3 Photos Roger Puta took these during a railfan weekend in June 1963. South of the Moravia Iowa depot. Iowa Southern Utilities (former owner of the railroad) substation at left.

Southern Iowa Railway Freight Motor 101 — 3 Photos
Roger Puta took these during a railfan weekend in June 1963.
South of the Moravia Iowa depot. Iowa Southern Utilities (former owner of the railroad) substation at left.

Some Iowa Terminal Railroad Freight Motors -- 4 Photos Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967. Steeple Cab 30 in yards at Charles City, IA

Some Iowa Terminal Railroad Freight Motors — 4 Photos
Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967.
Steeple Cab 30 in yards at Charles City, IA

Some Iowa Terminal Railroad Freight Motors -- 4 Photos Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967. Freight Motor 61 at the shops, Emery, IA

Some Iowa Terminal Railroad Freight Motors — 4 Photos
Roger Puta took these August 12 and 13 of 1967.
Freight Motor 61 at the shops, Emery, IA

6 Brill Bullet Photos Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember. Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos
Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember.
Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember. Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos
Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember.
Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember. Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos
Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember.
Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember. Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos
Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember.
Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember. Note: Brill made transit cars.

6 Brill Bullet Photos
Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember.
Note: Brill made transit cars.

Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember. Note: Brill made transit cars. And yes, that's Roger Puta.

Roger Puta took these six photos of SEPTA Brill Bullet 200 at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA in May 1983. I rode these cars and stupidly never took interior shots. Thanks Roger for helping me remember.
Note: Brill made transit cars.
And yes, that’s Roger Puta.

FYI, a Google search brought up additional info on the life of Roger Puta here.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

-David Sadowski

New Steam Audio CD:

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.

misc676-001

STEAM CDs:

RGTS
Rio Grande to Silverton:
A Sound Portrait of Mountain Railroading

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.
Includes:
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.

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!

Bibliographic information:
Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
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) 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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This is our 260th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 704,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.
You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
We thank you for your support.
DONATIONS
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 web site better, and are greatly appreciated.

Never Too Late

Former Chicago Surface Lines mail car 6, built in 1891, as it looked on May 25, 1958. This car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum, where it was recently vandalized. You can see a black-and-white photo of this car, taken at the same time as this one, in our previous post Throwback Thursday (January 7, 2016). To see a picture of West Chicago Street Railway car 4, also taken the same day, there's one in our post Chicago Streetcars In Color (February 22, 2015).

Former Chicago Surface Lines mail car 6, built in 1891, as it looked on May 25, 1958. This car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum, where it was recently vandalized. You can see a black-and-white photo of this car, taken at the same time as this one, in our previous post Throwback Thursday (January 7, 2016). To see a picture of West Chicago Street Railway car 4, also taken the same day, there’s one in our post Chicago Streetcars In Color (February 22, 2015).

Recent news reports that eight historic railcars at the Fox River Trolley Museum were vandalized to the tune of perhaps as much as $150,000 brought back some memories.

Back in 1961, when I was six years old, my family took a Sunday drive out to the Chicago Aurora & Elgin’s Wheaton Yards to take one last look at their fleet. We had read in the news that efforts to save the CA&E had failed, and that the entire line was being abandoned forever.

I never did get to ride the CA&E, which stopped running passenger service in 1957. But I did at least get to see the railcars on their home turf in Wheaton. I distinctly recall being gratified that they did not appear to be vandalized. I did not see any broken windows.

Not all of these cars were saved, but some did make it off the property and several lived to run again in museum service in various parts of the country. (We ran some pictures of the “hospital train” in our post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 1-29-2016.)

That anything at all got saved was, in my humble opinion, a miracle. Now it is true that in the waning days of traction, there were fans who “liberated” various bits and pieces of trolleys that were destined for the scrap heap. Their goal was to preserve history, not desecrate it. In some cases, these original parts have since been put back onto historic equipment, or are now in the collections of railroad museums. At least they were saved for future generations.

Railroad museums across the country depend on small groups of dedicated volunteers. Occasionally, entire museum operations have either failed or have been obliged to relocate. The sad situation faced by the Indiana Transportation Museum, which was recently evicted from its home in Noblesville, is but the latest example.

Let’s take a closer look at Aurora, Elgin & Fox River car 304. This fine specimen of a 1920s interurban car, which returned to run on the small surviving portion of its home rails at the Fox River Trolley Museum, was damaged by the two young vandals. It is not just a piece of equipment that was injured. This was a senseless attack on the history of an entire region.

While this blog is not affiliated with the Fox River Trolley Museum, we wholeheartedly support their efforts, and historic preservation. Insurance, unfortunately, will only cover a small portion of the cost of replacing all the broken glass and other damage. The bulk of funds will have to come from private donations.

The museum has begun a fundraising campaign, which must be successful. I realize many of us are angry about this senseless destruction, but let’s turn our anger into something constructive.

We are but the current caretakers of precious artifacts of the past. If we fail to preserve them, it will be a loss to all who come after us. We can all lament that a couple of young kids did a tremendous amount of harm here, but it’s never too late for the rest of us to do the right thing, right now.

-David Sadowski

The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains

We recently acquired the original artwork for this January 17, 1938 Toonerville Trolley comic panel by the great Fontaine Fox (1884-1964).

We recently acquired the original artwork for this January 17, 1938 Toonerville Trolley comic panel by the great Fontaine Fox (1884-1964).

In a time when trolley lines criss-crossed this country, and were a part of everyday life for Americans, there was even a railfan comic strip. Or, better put, a comic strip by a railfan, Fontaine Fox.

His “Toonerville Trolley” comic ran in newspapers from 1913 until he retired in 1955. Over time, he even grew to resemble the “Skipper,” his own creation. Fox even answered his voluminous fan mail using letterhead he had printed up for the Toonerville Electric Railway Company.

Here is what the Filson (Kentucky) Historical Society has to say about Fontaine Fox:

Fontaine Talbot Fox III, creator of the famous Toonerville Trolley, was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1884. He started his career as a reporter for the Louisville Herald, but soon abandoned this course to pursue his true passion of drawing cartoons. During a visit to the small town of Pelham, New York, Fox received inspiration for what would become one of the nation’s most beloved comics. While in Pelham, he rode on the local trolley car, where the conductor’s unhurried manner and penchant for gossiping with his passengers gave Fox the idea for his own comic strip. By 1915, the resulting comic series, Toonerville Folks, had come to the attention of the Wheeler Syndicate and was soon published in newspapers across the nation.

The Filson’s collections contain a number of items documenting the life and career of this celebrated cartoonist, including photographs of Fox and his family, as well as some of his correspondence and several scrapbooks with clippings of his cartoons. Notable among Fox’s papers are a collection of twenty-one original pen and ink cartoons from his beloved Toonerville Folks. Set in the fictional town of Toonerville, the single-paneled cartoon featured a rickety trolley car and a glimpse into suburban life in the early twentieth century. Fox created a cast of characters that charmed a nation: the Terrible-Tempered Mr. Bang, the Powerful Katrinka, Mickey (Himself) McGuire (the town bully), Aunt Eppie Hogg (the fattest woman in three counties), and of course the Skipper, who piloted the beloved trolley car. Toonerville Folks ran in hundreds of newspapers nationwide for over forty years, until Fox’s retirement in 1955. His comics would become an inspiration for a future generation of cartoonists.

Actually, it was a single panel cartoon six days a week. On Sunday, it was in color, in multiple panels. The strip had various names, including The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains and Toonerville Folks. Eventually, the adventures of the “Skipper” and his rickety trolley car only took up a part of the action, as Fox developed a variety of memorable characters for Toonerville.

Blake A. Bell
writes an excellent blog called Historic Pelham, and has written extensively about Fox, the Toonerville Trolley, and its connection to the area.

While the phrase “Toonerville Trolley” eventually became synonymous with any rural streetcar or interurban running on poorly maintained track, Pelham, NY, its inspiration, is actually a suburb, located 14 miles from Midtown Manhattan in Westchester County. It is near the city of New Rochelle, made famous as the home of Rob and Laura Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966).

The Toonerville Trolley ran in over 200 daily newspapers in its heyday, and was popular enough to inspire numerous motion pictures. The first series, circa 1920-21, was silent and produced by the Betzwood Studios in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (more on that in our book review section). You can watch one of those films here.

Next, a young Mickey Rooney (1920-2014) later starred in 78 short films based on the Toonerville character Mickey McGuire, made between 1927 and 1934. This was Mickey Rooney’s first big break in show business. He even attempted, unsuccessfully, to legally change his name to Mickey McGuire.

There were also some Toonerville Trolley animated shorts, made in 1936 by Van Beuren Studios, which can be seen on Youtube. Here is one example:

By the late 1930s, trolley lines were starting to disappear from the American scene. On July 31, 1937 the Pelham Manor “H” trolley line ran its last. Fontaine Fox used the popularity of his comic strip to turn this into a major event.

From Historical Treasures of Westchester County:

On July 31, 1937, the H-Line Trolley that inspired Fontaine Fox was shut down for good – replaced by a bus line. That day the Village of Pelham Manor hosted a celebration attended by about 8,000 people for the last run of the “Toonerville Trolley”.

This “pass,” signed by Fontaine Fox who attended the event, entitled the bearer to ride the trolley car during its last trip. That trip took hours to travel only a couple of miles due to the crowds and the antics of local residents dressed as various characters from the “Toonerville Folks” comic strip.

The Hagerstown & Frederick interurban, which we have featured in a variety of posts, is an example of a country interurban that was frequently called a “Toonerville Trolley.” Its last passenger interurban ran on February 20, 1954.

Perhaps inspired by this, around this time Fontaine Fox bowed to the inevitable, and “retired” the trolley from his strip, replacing it with a bus. But such was the popularity of the old contraption that I believe he brought it back, prior to the strip’s demise in 1955 with Fox’s retirement. He donated some of his original artwork to a trolley museum.

As a tribute to Fontaine Fox, here we present an entire month’s worth of daily Toonerville panels, from June 1927. You will note that only some of the dailies include the trolley and Skipper (who, apparently, was based on real-life Pelham operator James (“Old Jim”) Bailey, who lived in the Bronx). Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) made his historic non-stop flight from New YHork to Paris on May 20-21, 1927 and “Lindbergh mania” is reflected in many of the strips shown here, suggesting that Fox was working on some of these panels not long before they appeared in newspapers.

Fontaine Fox in retirement:

Book Reviews



Montgomery County Trolleys
by Mike Szilagyi, with a Foreword by Andrew W. Maginnis
Arcadia Publishing, 2018

We recently received a copy of Montogomery County Trolleys from the author, as we had provided a couple of images he used in the book. Otherwise, chances are we might not have seen this fine addition to Arcadia’s Images of Rail series, which we are also involved with (see below for information on Building Chicago’s Subways, and our Online Store for copies of Chicago Trolleys).

Author Mike Szilagyi was no stranger to us, as we had corresponded concerning a different book project he was involved with as mapmaker. This was eventually published as Riding the Bell: Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell Route by Ron Ruddell, Bulletin 147 of the Central Electric Railfans’ Association (2015).

Naturally, the maps Mr. Szilagyi made for this new book are excellent. But the entire thing is well done, from the scope the author set out to cover, the organization of the chapters, picture selection, text, and captions.

Here is a capsule description:

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was once served by 140 miles of trolley lines. In the first half of the 20th century, a wide array of trolley cars rolled over Montgomery County’s rails, from quaint open streetcars rumbling through borough streets to sleek 80-mile-an-hour trolleys sailing across open fields in Upper Gwynedd and Hatfield Townships. The cars had zero emissions, and some lines were powered by renewable hydroelectric power. Taking the trolley was a convenient, affordable option for those travelling and commuting in Montgomery County, nearby Philadelphia, and points beyond. Freight was also carried on board trolleys, with prompt parcel delivery service. Fortunately, many years ago, dedicated trolley fans had the foresight to aim their cameras at these unique vehicles, providing rare glimpses not just of the trolleys but also of Montgomery County’s rapidly changing landscapes.

Mike Szilagyi’s interest in trolleys was sparked at a young age by the sight of big green streamliners gliding down Old York Road near his grandmother’s house in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia. Today, Szilagyi lives and works in Montgomery County, where he plans and designs bicycle paths and serves on the North Wales Historic Commission.

This volume’s foreword was written by noted transit historian and longtime Montgomery County resident Andrew W. Maginnis.

In addition to detailed captions for each photograph, the book offers a brief history of transportation in Montgomery County, placing the trolley era in its historical context. The timeline of travel may be very generally summed up as:

dirt roads – canals – railroads – trolleys – motor vehicles

Rather than each mode supplanting the previous, there were varying degrees of overlap between them. That said, the use of animals for motive power was there from the beginning, only fading as motor vehicles gained prominence in the 1910s and 1920s. The bicycle came on the scene in a big way in the 1890s, never really completely disappeared, and is today enjoying widespread resurgence.

By concentrating on Montgomery County, the author is able to provide tremendous variety, as he was therefore able to include the Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell interurban, the Philadelphia & Western High-Speed Line to Norristown, numerous small-town trolleys, and even a bit of Philadelphia streetcars (Route 6 went into the county). Although very little of this remains, back in the day I did manage to ride Bullets and Strafford cars on the Norristown line (which still operates, with more modern equipment) as well as PCCs on SEPTA’s Route 6, which was replaced by buses in January 1986, subjects covered in this book.

Montgomery County Trolleys is dedicated to the memory of the late Harry Foesig (1897-2003) whose long life spanned parts of three centuries. He was co-author, along with Dr. Harold E. Cox, of Trolleys of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (1968). This was an obvious inspiration for this new volume, which can be thought of as a kind of “spiritual descendant” of that earlier tome. That book also included some excellent maps, rendered by Foesig.

Anyone who has an interest in the subject, and the rich heritage of Keystone-state traction, would do well to pick up copies of each. While the earlier book is long out of print, you should have little difficulty in finding a used copy at a reasonable price. Mine only cost about $10, which is perhaps about half what you should expect to pay for Montgomery County Trolleys.

Interestingly, longtime railfan Andrew W. Maginnis contributed to both books, 50 years apart. Perhaps the 50-year anniversary was also a factor that motivated the author to put this new collection together, just as I was inspired by some anniversaries to do my new book (see below).

-David Sadowski

Pre-Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There are three subway anniversaries this year 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!

Bibliographic information:

Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
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 will be published on October 1, 2018. Order your copy today, and it will be shipped on or about that date. 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:

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 215th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 422,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.

DONATIONS

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 web site better, and are greatly appreciated.

Remembering Truman Hefner (1926-2017)

This picture was taken prior to September 20, 1953, looking east from the old DesPlaines Avenue station. The eastbound CA&E train is about to cross the B&O, a source of many delays. Due to expressway construction in the city, the CA&E stopped running east of here, and a new terminal facility was constructed to the west of this one, where riders could switch to CTA trains for the trip downtown. (Truman Hefner Photo)

This picture was taken prior to September 20, 1953, looking east from the old DesPlaines Avenue station. The eastbound CA&E train is about to cross the B&O, a source of many delays. Due to expressway construction in the city, the CA&E stopped running east of here, and a new terminal facility was constructed to the west of this one, where riders could switch to CTA trains for the trip downtown. (Truman Hefner Photo)

Recent Correspondence

Stewart Odell writes:

I’m hoping you can help clarify something for me.  A dear family friend of many years passed this weekend in OKC. In searching his official obit I have come across a reference to him in your August 2015 blog. Truman Hefner was from Cook County and lived with his family for many years in OKC, where I met him.

I’m trying to determine how he might have come to be mentioned in your column. The coincidence of 1) his birthplace- 2) His name and- 3) the fact that he was a miniature railroad enthusiast to the point where he built a miniature railroad in his back yard for his children and the neighborhood kids to enjoy, is uncanny to me. It only follows that he might have also been an amateur photographer.

Truman also traveled the state of Oklahoma (and probably the country) pursuing his enthusiasm for both miniature and full-size rail systems and their history.

Have you any idea how the lone reference on your site may have come to be? Not a show-stopper, just sentimental, and interested. Meanwhile, I’ve discovered your amazing site.

Thanks for writing. I am very sorry to hear that Truman Hefner has passed away.

I knew him as one of the very best railfan photographers, whose work has been widely distributed, including any number of books. When I was involved with putting together Central Electric Railfans’ Association bulletin 146, we used several of his color images of Chicago PCC streetcars.

I spoke to him on the phone several times, and he was always very cheerful, upbeat, enthusiastic, and generous.

In September 2014, when CERA held an event called the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table, we invited him to attend. He bought a plane ticket, but unfortunately there was some sort of computer problem at O’Hare that day that prevented flights from arriving or departing.

Still, he did participate in the meeting by telephone. At the time, he was about 88 or 89 years old.

He told me that he only took railfan photos for a few years, and described his camera to me. It was made in Germany and had an excellent quality lens. He still had the camera, but said it was no longer working.

I would imagine he was excited about the prospect of streetcars returning to Oklahoma City.

My sincere condolences go out to his family.

He’s mentioned in four of my blog posts.
The one titled CA&E Mystery Photos Answers – Part 1 has an image of his in it, taken from an original slide in my collection. The very first picture in the post titled The CTA, the CA&E, and “Political Influence” is Mr. Hefner’s.

He is also mentioned in a few posts on the blog I did before this one. That was in connection to the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table. For that event, I designed a poster that featured a photo of Mr. Hefner’s. It shows a Chicago PCC at the Museum Loop near Soldier Field, and was taken on April 26, 1951, the day that Gen. Douglas MacArthur spoke to a large crowd there.

From his Legacy remembrance page:

Truman Dale Hefner

October 24, 1926 – May 21, 2017

Truman passed away at his home in Oklahoma City. He was born in Lexington, Illinois to parents, Guy and Ferne Hefner. Most of his early life was in Berwyn, Illinois, where after graduating high school in 1944, he enlisted in the Air Force. He was called into the service in 1945, and was discharged at the end of the war. Truman continued his military service with the Air Force Reserves and reached the rank of first lieutenant. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and went on to work for Motorola and Eureka Williams before transferring to Oklahoma City in 1958 to work for Western Electric where he remained until his retirement in 1989.

Truman’s lifelong interest in trains sparked his other interest of photography. He loved to travel with family and friends, always taking pictures and movies of their journeys. The 1/8 scale model train hobby was his true passion. He enjoyed traveling near and far visiting many club and friend’s tracks. He was one of the founding members of the Locomotive Operators of Central Oklahoma, a member of the Oklahoma Railroad Museum and many more railroad clubs over the years. Truman and his partner, Jim Murray, started a business, Cannonball, to supply hobbyists with railroad equipment.

Truman is survived by his wife of 69 years, Vera (Hoch) Hefner; daughters Trudy Hefner, Nancy and Herb Conley, Susan Carey and Marshall Lee, Barbara and Philo Hatch; daughter-in-law Ellyn Novak Hefner; 9 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Anna Mae Meyer and his only son Jimmy Hefner.

Truman Hefner took many great pictures with a German Karomat camera similar to this one, which has a high-quality Schneider lens.

Truman Hefner took many great pictures with a German Karomat camera similar to this one, which has a high-quality Schneider lens.

CA&E 453 in a winter scene. Here, we are looking east from Halsted. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CA&E 453 in a winter scene. Here, we are looking east from Halsted. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 586 at Milwaukee and Canal on route 56 in October 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 586 at Milwaukee and Canal on route 56 in October 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

This was perhaps Truman Hefner's best-known photograph. Please note, the Trolley Dodger blog is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans' Association.

This was perhaps Truman Hefner’s best-known photograph. Please note, the Trolley Dodger blog is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

I found two videos showing Mr. Hefner and his miniature railroad train.

Over the Years at Mexican Hat (the C&IG RR from April 1986 to May 2009) by Truman Hefner

Over the Years at Zuni by Truman Hefner

He will be missed by everyone in the railfan community.

Genevieve Heydt writes:

Dear Trolley Dodger,
While working on a group history project with some friends, I stumbled upon your website while tracking some train cars from the AE&FRE line that was shut down during the Great Depression and had some questions regarding some of these lines and what was going on with them in certain periods because I struggled to find answers myself online. I noticed a trend of cars being sold from CI/SHRT to Speedrail in 1950 to Speedrail and then being scrapped in 1952. Regarding these trends, I was wondering if you had any information or speculations around these events.

If you could, a response between now and Thursday night would be appreciated because we present on Friday and I would love to learn more before we present.

Thank you,
Genevieve Heydt
Sophomore of the Gifted Academy in Elgin Highschool

Thank you for writing.

To answer your question, it helps to know the history of the various properties involved.

The AE&FRE halted passenger service in 1935, so all their rolling stock would have been put up for sale. Lighweight interurban cars 300-304 and 306 (not sure what happened to 305, perhaps it was involved in a wreck or used for parts) were sold to the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line, which still exists in Cleveland.

These fine cars (built by St. Louis Car Co.) were just over 10 years old at the time and were well suited for use on the SHRT, which was by then completely grade-separated and did not run in traffic on city streets at all.

SHRT also bought a half-dozen lightweight interurban cars of another type, known as “Cincinnati curved-side cars.” These were built by the Cincinnati Car Co. in 1928-29 and were a popular style, used by many properties across the country.

Between 1947 and 1953, SHRT modernized its fleet by purchasing PCC streetcars, which had become the industry standard. Some were bought new, and others second-hand.

Having newer equipment meant they no longer needed some of these older cars, which were put up for sale. By this time, streetcars and interurbans were getting to be fewer and fewer, and the market for such vehicles was shrinking.

The last new PCC car was built in 1952. It was nearly 25 years before another new American streetcar was built.

Meanwhile, in the Milwaukee area, the once mighty Milwaukee Electric interurban was in decline. Parts were abandoned and replaced by buses. By 1949, the last remaining segment, running from Milwaukee to Waukesha, was sold to Jay Maeder, who renamed it Speedrail.

As much as possible, he wanted to replace their heavyweight equipment with lighter cars that would use less electricity. Speedrail bought several of the Cincinnati curved-side cars from SHRT, and a couple from Lehigh Valley Transit.

These were refurbished and continued in use until 1951, when Speedrail shut down in the aftermath of a horrific head-on collision in which several people were killed. A heavy car struck a lighter one on a fantrip, with Jay Maeder at the controls.

The Speedrail cars were put up for sale, but there were no buyers and all were cut up for scrap in 1952.

In 1954, SHRT sold six cars (300-304, 306) to Gerald E. Brookins, a developer who had built a trailer park in the Cleveland suburbs. He built a streetcar line in this development to take people back and forth from their trailers to his general store.

This development was called Trolleyville, USA and continued in use for many years. The first car ran in 1963.

You could consider this something akin to an operating museum for trolleys.

After Mr. Brookins died, his family kept Trolleyville going for some time, but eventually decided to sell the trailer park. There was an attempt to create a museum operation that would run on the SHRT, and some of the Trolleyville cars did actually operate there briefly, but ultimately the plans came to naught and all their collection was sold to various trolley museums at an auction.

Fortunately, AE&FRE car 304 was purchased by the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, so it now operates on a small portion of its original tracks.

I have posted pictures of AE&FRE equipment on my blog, including passenger cars in service, and electric freight operations in South Elgin after 1935.

I hope this helps.

Good luck with your presentation.

PS- One of my posts has several pictures from Trolleyville USA.

Jack Bejna has shared more of his wonderful restoration work with us. This time, the pictures feature Chicago, Aurora & Elgin cars built by the Niles Car & Manufacturing Co. in 1902.

From Don’s Rail Photos:

Niles Cars 10 thru 28 even

These 10 motor cars were built by Niles Car & Mfg Co. in 1902 and were part of the original stock. 10 was rebuilt with a baggage compartment in 1910. It was later removed, but then reinstalled in April 1933 for funeral service. It was wrecked September 10, 1948, and scrapped. 12 was modernized in April 1940 and retired in 1955. 14 was modernized in December 1939 and retired in 1955. 16 was modernized in December 1939 and retired in 1959. 18 was modernized in March 1941 and retired in 1955. 20 is preserved at the R.E.L.I.C. museum at South Elgin. 22 was wrecked on October 12, 1911, at Waller Avenue, and scrapped. 24 was modernized in July 1943 and retired in 1959. 26 was modernized in June 1943 and retired in 1959. 28 was modernized at an unknown date and retired in 1959.

10 was built by Niles Car in 1902. It was rebuilt with a baggage compartment in 1910. It was later removed, but then reinstalled in April 1933 for funeral service. It was wrecked September 10, 1948, and scrapped.

CA&E Car 10 and trailer 5, CERA fantrip #12, August 6, 1939.

CA&E Car 10 and trailer 5, CERA fantrip #12, August 6, 1939.

CA&E Car 12.

CA&E Car 12.

CA&E Car 14.

CA&E Car 14.

CA&E Car 16.

CA&E Car 16.

CA&E Car 18.

CA&E Car 18.

CA&E Car 20.

CA&E Car 20.

CA&E Car 24.

CA&E Car 24.

CA&E Car 26.

CA&E Car 26.

CA&E Car 28 west of DesPlaines Avenue.

CA&E Car 28 west of DesPlaines Avenue.

Joe Kaczynski writes:

Hello David,

I was going thru some things and found the attached photo that I had gotten on E-Bay several years ago. It’s the West Town neighborhood where I grew up. I was born in ’57 and sadly missed the streetcar era. But fondly recall the Marmon-Herrington trolley buses that ran in their place until 1967.

In all probability the photo was taken from the Chicago Ave. El platform on the old Logan Square Line. It’s a westbound streetcar on Route #66 Chicago Ave., just having crossed Paulina St.

On the rear of the photo is written:

“CTA 3165
Chicago-Paulina
8-27-50
T.H. Desnoyers”

I don’t recall ever seeing this photo on your website.

Thanks! Thomas H. Desnoyers (1928-1977) took many great photographs, but unfortunately died before his time.

CTA 3165 at Chicago and Paulina, August 27, 1950. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo)

CTA 3165 at Chicago and Paulina, August 27, 1950. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo)

On a personal note, since this is Memorial Day, I thought I would share a blog post written about my uncle, Frank Sadowski, Jr. (1921-1945). The “Bobbie” mentioned there is my father, Edmund Robert Sadowski (1924-1996). Both served their country during World War II. My aunt Margaret (1922-2004), who drove an ambulance during the war, is also mentioned.

-David Sadowski

Chicago Trolleys

Work continues on our upcoming book Chicago Trolleys, which is now in the layout and proofreading stage. The expected publication date is September 25th of this year. We will keep you advised as things progress.

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The Great Chicago Interurbans – Part One (CA&E and AE&FRE)

Here is a very rare photo taken at Laramie Yards in 1936. At left we see North Shore Line car 722, heading up a four-car train and signed for Wheaton. CNS&M cars did, of course, operate on parts of the Chicago "L" system, of course, but this is the first picture I have seen showing them at this location, posed next to CA&E cars 421 and 401. 722 was buit by Cincinnati Car Co. in 1926. I wonder what the occasion was that brought four North Shore Line cars to Wheaton? (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Here is a very rare photo taken at Laramie Yards in 1936. At left we see North Shore Line car 722, heading up a four-car train and signed for Wheaton. CNS&M cars did, of course, operate on parts of the Chicago “L” system, of course, but this is the first picture I have seen showing them at this location, posed next to CA&E cars 421 and 401. 722 was buit by Cincinnati Car Co. in 1926. I wonder what the occasion was that brought four North Shore Line cars to Wheaton? (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The last Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee interurban train ran in the early hours of a very cold January 21, 1963. George Hilton and John Due, in their classic book The Electric Interurban Railways in America called this the end of the Interurban Era in the United States. The 54th anniversary was just a few days ago.

Since this was also the second anniversary of this blog, we thought this an excellent opportunity to showcase the three great Chicago-area interurbans- the North Shore Line, South Shore Line, and Chicago, Aurora & Elgin.

We have been saving up images of these lines, and now find ourselves with enough for two posts. So today, we will begin with the “Roarin’ Elgin” and its one-time subsidiary, the Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric. The great majority of these images were scanned from the original medium-format negatives.

While we do lament the passing of the Interurban Era and two of the three major Chicago systems, we can celebrate them with these classic pictures. Some of these were made possible thanks to your recent generous donations.

We will round out January in a few days with our second installment of great Chicago interurbans, featuring the North Shore Line and South Shore Line. Watch this space!

-David Sadowski

A Bird’s Eye View

While visiting a friend at Rush hospital earlier this month, I took a few pictures from out the window. It just so happened his room had a spectacular view of where the Chicago Transit Authority’s Pink Line crosses over the Blue Line. There is a ramp at this location, which is also where the old Marshfied Junction was on the Met “L”. In previous posts, we have run pictures showing how this looked like before expressway construction in the early 1950s.

An inbound Blue Line train passes the point where part of an access ramp at the Damen-Ogden-Paulina station was damaged during a lightning storm. With the addition of chain-link fencing, it has since been reopened.

An inbound Blue Line train passes the point where part of an access ramp at the Damen-Ogden-Paulina station was damaged during a lightning storm. With the addition of chain-link fencing, it has since been reopened.

A southbound Pink Line train about to cross over the Blue Line.

A southbound Pink Line train about to cross over the Blue Line.

An inbound Blue Line train.

An inbound Blue Line train.

A northbound Pink Line train has just passed the location of the old Marshfield Junction on the Met "L".

A northbound Pink Line train has just passed the location of the old Marshfield Junction on the Met “L”.

The CA&E and AE&FRE

This is a rare photo, as it shows AE&FRE car 304 sometime prior to the abandonment of passenger service in 1935. Don's Rail Photos: "304 was built by St Louis Car in 1924. #1306. In 1936 it was sold CI/SHRT (aka Shaker Heights Rapid Transit) as 304 and in 1954 it was sold to CP&SW (Trolleyville USA) as 304. It was sold to Fox River Trolley Museum in 2009." I have had the pleasure of riding on this fine car at the Fox River Trolley Museum, as it has returned to its home rais after a 75-year absence. You can see pictures I took of it there on the previous blog that I worked on here. Long may it run.

This is a rare photo, as it shows AE&FRE car 304 sometime prior to the abandonment of passenger service in 1935. Don’s Rail Photos: “304 was built by St Louis Car in 1924. #1306. In 1936 it was sold CI/SHRT (aka Shaker Heights Rapid Transit) as 304 and in 1954 it was sold to CP&SW (Trolleyville USA) as 304. It was sold to Fox River Trolley Museum in 2009.” I have had the pleasure of riding on this fine car at the Fox River Trolley Museum, as it has returned to its home rais after a 75-year absence. You can see pictures I took of it there on the previous blog that I worked on here. Long may it run.

Here is an excellent model that shows AE&FRE 300's colors. (Bruce Moffat Photo)

Here is an excellent model that shows AE&FRE 300’s colors. (Bruce Moffat Photo)

CA&E wood car 138 at the Wheaton Yard on July 3, 1949. Don's Rail Photos says, "138 was built by American Car Co in March 1910, #844, as C&ME 138. It was rebuilt in 1914 and no retired date." This was one of several cars leased from the North Shore Line in 1936 and purchased from them a decade later. Ironically, this made them the last passenger cars bought by CA&E. They were considered surplus after service was cut back to Forest Park in 1953 and were scrapped shortly thereafter.

CA&E wood car 138 at the Wheaton Yard on July 3, 1949. Don’s Rail Photos says, “138 was built by American Car Co in March 1910, #844, as C&ME 138. It was rebuilt in 1914 and no retired date.” This was one of several cars leased from the North Shore Line in 1936 and purchased from them a decade later. Ironically, this made them the last passenger cars bought by CA&E. They were considered surplus after service was cut back to Forest Park in 1953 and were scrapped shortly thereafter.

Don's Rail Photos: "301 was built by Niles Car & Mfg Co in 1906. It was modernized in December 1940."

Don’s Rail Photos: “301 was built by Niles Car & Mfg Co in 1906. It was modernized in December 1940.”

Don's Rail Photos: "105 was built by Stephenson in 1903. It was modernized in August 1940 and retired in 1955. "

Don’s Rail Photos: “105 was built by Stephenson in 1903. It was modernized in August 1940 and retired in 1955. “

CA&E 302 at the Wheaton Yard in July 1948. Don's Rail Photos: "302 was built by Niles Car & Mfg Co in 1906. It was modernized in May 1940."

CA&E 302 at the Wheaton Yard in July 1948. Don’s Rail Photos: “302 was built by Niles Car & Mfg Co in 1906. It was modernized in May 1940.”

Express car 15 at Wheaton on June 18, 1947. Don's Rail Photos says, "15 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1910. It was scrapped in 1953."

Express car 15 at Wheaton on June 18, 1947. Don’s Rail Photos says, “15 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1910. It was scrapped in 1953.”

CA&E 458 at Wheaton on June 18, 1947. This was part of an order of 10 curved-sided cars built in 1945 by St. Louis Car Company. Some consider these the last standard interurban cars built.

CA&E 458 at Wheaton on June 18, 1947. This was part of an order of 10 curved-sided cars built in 1945 by St. Louis Car Company. Some consider these the last standard interurban cars built.

Don's Rail Photos: "11 was built by Brill in 1910, #16483. It was rebuilt to a line car in 1947 and replaced 45. It was acquired by Railway Equipment Leasing & Invenstment Co in 1962 and became Fox River Trolley Museum in 1984. It was lettered as Fox River & Eastern." Here we see it at Wheaton in July 1948.

Don’s Rail Photos: “11 was built by Brill in 1910, #16483. It was rebuilt to a line car in 1947 and replaced 45. It was acquired by Railway Equipment Leasing & Invenstment Co in 1962 and became Fox River Trolley Museum in 1984. It was lettered as Fox River & Eastern.” Here we see it at Wheaton in July 1948.

In the days before scanners, fans tried to document things as best they could. Here is a not-so-successful attempt to photograph the blueprint for car 451 in August 1949.

In the days before scanners, fans tried to document things as best they could. Here is a not-so-successful attempt to photograph the blueprint for car 451 in August 1949.

Don's Rai Photos: "9 was built by Niles Car in 1907. It was scrapped in 1959." This picture was taken at Wheaton in April 1952.

Don’s Rai Photos: “9 was built by Niles Car in 1907. It was scrapped in 1959.” This picture was taken at Wheaton in April 1952.

Here is 425 at the Aurora terminal in October 1949. While the CA&E used third rail extensively, the Aurora and Elgin terminals had overhead wire. This terminal replaced street running in downtown Aurora in the late 1930s. The 425 was built by Cincinnati Car Co. in 1927.

Here is 425 at the Aurora terminal in October 1949. While the CA&E used third rail extensively, the Aurora and Elgin terminals had overhead wire. This terminal replaced street running in downtown Aurora in the late 1930s. The 425 was built by Cincinnati Car Co. in 1927.

Here, we see freight motor 9 at Wheaton in 1947. (Walter Broschart Photo)

Here, we see freight motor 9 at Wheaton in 1947. (Walter Broschart Photo)

CA&E 38 at the CTA Laramie Avenue Yards on May 17, 1948. Trackage west of here was owned by CA&E. Don's Rail Photos: "38 was built by Stephenson in 1903. It was modernized in September 1939 and retired in 1959."

CA&E 38 at the CTA Laramie Avenue Yards on May 17, 1948. Trackage west of here was owned by CA&E. Don’s Rail Photos: “38 was built by Stephenson in 1903. It was modernized in September 1939 and retired in 1959.”

CA&E 139 heads up a five-car train of woods in the maroon and cream paint scheme. I don't know where this was taken. There is a siding with overhead wire, so perhaps that is a clue towards figuring it out. The water tower in the background may indicate that we are somewhere west of Laramie. Randall Hicks: "I believe the picture of 139 and train was taken facing north at Childs St. crossover. The train is pulling south off the west ladder. There was a short team track there under wire. And that is indeed somewhere west of Laramie. 🙂" Yes, Wheaton is indeed west of Laramie, thanks.

CA&E 139 heads up a five-car train of woods in the maroon and cream paint scheme. I don’t know where this was taken. There is a siding with overhead wire, so perhaps that is a clue towards figuring it out. The water tower in the background may indicate that we are somewhere west of Laramie. Randall Hicks: “I believe the picture of 139 and train was taken facing north at Childs St. crossover. The train is pulling south off the west ladder. There was a short team track there under wire. And that is indeed somewhere west of Laramie. 🙂” Yes, Wheaton is indeed west of Laramie, thanks.

CA&E 300 and 453 in Wheaton. Don's Rail Photos: "300 was built by Niles Car & Mfg Co in 1906. It was modernized in May 1942." (Anderson Photo)

CA&E 300 and 453 in Wheaton. Don’s Rail Photos: “300 was built by Niles Car & Mfg Co in 1906. It was modernized in May 1942.” (Anderson Photo)

CA&E 311 at the CTA aramie Avenue Yards on May 17, 1948. This shows a small area in the yards where CA&E could store a few trains in mid-day for use in the afternoon rush hour. I am pretty sure those 1920s Chicago bungalows at left are still there. Don's Rail Photos adds, "311 was built by Kuhlman Car Co in 1909, #404. It was modernized at an unknown date."

CA&E 311 at the CTA aramie Avenue Yards on May 17, 1948. This shows a small area in the yards where CA&E could store a few trains in mid-day for use in the afternoon rush hour. I am pretty sure those 1920s Chicago bungalows at left are still there. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “311 was built by Kuhlman Car Co in 1909, #404. It was modernized at an unknown date.”

The approximate location of the previous photo is 5413 W. Flournoy, on Chicago's west side. The area once occupied by the CA&E's storage tracks is now part of the Eisenhower expressway footprint.

The approximate location of the previous photo is 5413 W. Flournoy, on Chicago’s west side. The area once occupied by the CA&E’s storage tracks is now part of the Eisenhower expressway footprint.

A two-car train of 300-series woods on a July 8, 1949 fantrip. From the "side of the road" location under wire, I would guess this is the Mt. Carmel branch along Mannheim Road.

A two-car train of 300-series woods on a July 8, 1949 fantrip. From the “side of the road” location under wire, I would guess this is the Mt. Carmel branch along Mannheim Road.

Sunset Lines indeed! (Or sunrise, depending on the angle.) Here we see wood car 38 at an unknown location. (Walter Broschart Photo)

Sunset Lines indeed! (Or sunrise, depending on the angle.) Here we see wood car 38 at an unknown location. (Walter Broschart Photo)

CA&E 407, built by Pullman in 1923, at Wheaton Yard. (Walter Broschart Photo)

CA&E 407, built by Pullman in 1923, at Wheaton Yard. (Walter Broschart Photo)

CA&E 5 at Wheaton Yards in July 1948.

CA&E 5 at Wheaton Yards in July 1948.

CA&E 141 on single-track private right-of-way at Batavia Junction on August 13, 1952. This was one of several woods that CA&E bought from the North Shore Line in 1946, after the latter decided it no longer wanted to run wood cars in passenger service. CA&E ran wood cars right up until the end of service.

CA&E 141 on single-track private right-of-way at Batavia Junction on August 13, 1952. This was one of several woods that CA&E bought from the North Shore Line in 1946, after the latter decided it no longer wanted to run wood cars in passenger service. CA&E ran wood cars right up until the end of service.

CA&E 34 at the Wheaton Yards in June 1947. Don's Rail Photos: "34 was built by Stephenson in 1903. It was modernized in February 1940 and retired in 1959." (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

CA&E 34 at the Wheaton Yards in June 1947. Don’s Rail Photos: “34 was built by Stephenson in 1903. It was modernized in February 1940 and retired in 1959.” (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

Here, part of the caption information I received with this negative must be wrong. This is CA&E 431 at the Illinois (Electric) Railway Museum. The date is given as November 17, 1962 but the location is said to be Union. Since the date is so specific, I would venture this is actually North Chicago instead. Cars were not moved to Union until 1964. (Richard S. Short Photo)

Here, part of the caption information I received with this negative must be wrong. This is CA&E 431 at the Illinois (Electric) Railway Museum. The date is given as November 17, 1962 but the location is said to be Union. Since the date is so specific, I would venture this is actually North Chicago instead. Cars were not moved to Union until 1964. (Richard S. Short Photo)

CA&E wood car 26 in Aurora. Don's Rail Photos notes: "26 was built by Niles Car in 1902. It was modernized in June 1943 and retired in 1959."

CA&E wood car 26 in Aurora. Don’s Rail Photos notes: “26 was built by Niles Car in 1902. It was modernized in June 1943 and retired in 1959.”

CA&E 142 at Wheaton in July 1948. Some of these cars were used on the North Shore Line as late as 1946. We wrote about that on the previous blog we worked on. Check out the post A Mystery Solved (August 6, 2013) for more details.

CA&E 142 at Wheaton in July 1948. Some of these cars were used on the North Shore Line as late as 1946. We wrote about that on the previous blog we worked on. Check out the post A Mystery Solved (August 6, 2013) for more details.

AE&FRE loco 23. The caption gives the location as Aurora, but this may be in error. After passenger service ended in 1935, this line was reduced to three miles of track in the South Elgin area-- the current site of the Fox River Trolley Museum. Electric locos ran unti 1947, and the last freight move took place in 1972. Around 1940, there were a couple of fantrips.

AE&FRE loco 23. The caption gives the location as Aurora, but this may be in error. After passenger service ended in 1935, this line was reduced to three miles of track in the South Elgin area– the current site of the Fox River Trolley Museum. Electric locos ran unti 1947, and the last freight move took place in 1972. Around 1940, there were a couple of fantrips.

AE&FRE electric freight loco 49 in Elgin in November 1939. This was one of two that the railroad had in it latter days.

AE&FRE electric freight loco 49 in Elgin in November 1939. This was one of two that the railroad had in it latter days.

AE&FRE loco 49. The neg envelope says this is Aurora, but it is much more likely to be Elgin.

AE&FRE loco 49. The neg envelope says this is Aurora, but it is much more likely to be Elgin.

You may have seen this picture before, but here we now have it from the original medium format negative. It shows a two-car train of Chicago Rapid Transit Company 4000s on an early CERA fantrip (#6) that took place on February 12, 1939. The CA&E connection is that here we see the cars on the Mt. Carmel branch. These rapid transit cars did get around-- during World War II, some were operated on the North Shore Line to move service personnel around. (Anderson Photo)

You may have seen this picture before, but here we now have it from the original medium format negative. It shows a two-car train of Chicago Rapid Transit Company 4000s on an early CERA fantrip (#6) that took place on February 12, 1939. The CA&E connection is that here we see the cars on the Mt. Carmel branch. These rapid transit cars did get around– during World War II, some were operated on the North Shore Line to move service personnel around. (Anderson Photo)

This is a well-known photo showing the Wells Street Terminal, where CA&E cars ended up in downtown Chicago starting in 1905. CA&E trains did not go around the Loop, although this terminal was adjacent to it. There is some question as to whether all CA&E cars could actually make the Loop's tight clearances. To the best of my knowledge, some could and perhaps others could not.

This is a well-known photo showing the Wells Street Terminal, where CA&E cars ended up in downtown Chicago starting in 1905. CA&E trains did not go around the Loop, although this terminal was adjacent to it. There is some question as to whether all CA&E cars could actually make the Loop’s tight clearances. To the best of my knowledge, some could and perhaps others could not.

CA&E 428 at the Laramie Avenue Yards on November 3, 1940. This was built by the Cincinnati Car Co. in 1927. (Frank Krejcik Photo)

CA&E 428 at the Laramie Avenue Yards on November 3, 1940. This was built by the Cincinnati Car Co. in 1927. (Frank Krejcik Photo)

CA&E 426 at the Elgin terminal. Although this was the "Great Third Rail," overhead wire was used here.

CA&E 426 at the Elgin terminal. Although this was the “Great Third Rail,” overhead wire was used here.

The CA&E's Aurora terminal, after it was moved here in the late 1930s.

The CA&E’s Aurora terminal, after it was moved here in the late 1930s.

A 6-car train of CA&E woods near Laramie Avenue on May 7, 1937.

A 6-car train of CA&E woods near Laramie Avenue on May 7, 1937.

A two-car train of CA&E woods at the Bellwood station. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

A two-car train of CA&E woods at the Bellwood station. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CA&E 134 and 137 under wire at State Road crossing on the Batavia branch, August 30, 1942. The flags would seem to indicate this was CERA fantrip #39. Wire was used here for a short distance instead of third rail, due to the width of the crossing.

CA&E 134 and 137 under wire at State Road crossing on the Batavia branch, August 30, 1942. The flags would seem to indicate this was CERA fantrip #39. Wire was used here for a short distance instead of third rail, due to the width of the crossing.

A four-car train of the woods that were (at that time) being leased to CA&E by the North Shore Line. We see them at York Road in 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

A four-car train of the woods that were (at that time) being leased to CA&E by the North Shore Line. We see them at York Road in 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Recent Correspondence

Jade C. Huguenot writes:

I’d like to ask you a question about some historical research I’ve been doing about my hometown, Mystic, CT. I’ve got a very old postcard (1907) that features two trolleys and a utility pole with several black and white diagonal stripes at its base on our main street, just a few hundred feet away from our bascule drawbridge (it can be seen here on the left utility pole http://www.groton-ct.gov/history/detail.asp?bibid=1079).

At first, I wondered if this signaled a trolley stop, but I know from researching other postcards from my area in that time period that a trolley stop was designated by a thick band of white (several feet thick) painted onto the utility pole, usually several feet up from the ground.

Then I wondered if it could be some sort of safety alert with “black and white stripes” placed several hundred feet before a drawbridge, like the one Boston instituted after a trolley of theirs crashed into the river while the drawbridge was open, killing 47 people (https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/10/29/trolleydisaster/c451CX1qx9SpPo5tJAupFP/story.html). However, the original report from Boston’s Public Safety Commission in 1917 said that the black and white striped alert should be on a mechanized gate.

Do you have any clue if this is related to trolleys at all? I would greatly appreciate your help with this!!

I will put it in my next post, thanks. Got any pictures I can use?

Yes! Here is the picture of the trolleys on our main street. The striped utility pole is shown to the left. Trolleys first began running in Mystic in 1905, and this postcard is dated 1907. I have also included a picture of a woman waiting by a trolley stop- which looks very different from the striped pole seen in the postcard. If you need any more pictures, let me know!

Perhaps one of our readers may know, thanks. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of spending an evening in Mystic, CT and even ate at Mystic Pizza, which was made famous by a film of the same name.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. But better yet, why not write us at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

176-west-main-street-2-trolleys-1907-gpl

1907-trolley-stop

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Under Our Tree

Here are some Christmas colors for you. On January 23, 1954, CTA 1782 passes 1774 at the west end of the Lake Street line near Austin Boulevard. Since 1782 has already been repainted green, it most likely could not have been the car in the 1780 series that was oddly renumbered as "78" on the Madison-Fifth shuttle a short time later (see a picture on our previous post Chicago Streetcars in Black-and-White (January 23, 2015). The Park Theater, by then already shuttered, was behind the two streetcars.

Here are some Christmas colors for you. On January 23, 1954, CTA 1782 passes 1774 at the west end of the Lake Street line near Austin Boulevard. Since 1782 has already been repainted green, it most likely could not have been the car in the 1780 series that was oddly renumbered as “78” on the Madison-Fifth shuttle a short time later (see a picture on our previous post Chicago Streetcars in Black-and-White (January 23, 2015). The Park Theater, by then already shuttered, was behind the two streetcars.

I'm having difficulty identifying this car. But note it has a "continental" spare tire, implying it is not one of the cheaper models. The newest it could be is a 1954. The 1955 models wouldn't have been on the market until some months after streetcars quit on Lake Street. So far, my best guess is this may be a 1953 Dodge Coronet. Gary Kleinedler: I believe that the CTA 1782 & 1774 photo shows a 1953 Dodge Coronet Diplomat 2-door hardtop. All 1952 Dodge models had separate, bolted-on rear fenders; the photo shows a straight fender sideline. The 1953 Coronet series was the top trim line (Meadowbrook--Coronet; Wayfarer models were discontinued after 1952), and a Coronet 2-door hardtop would have a three-piece wraparound rear window and V-8 Hemi engine. The 1954 Dodge Coronet (and new top-line Royal) models had the model name in script on the rear fenders, which doesn't seem to be present in the photo. A Continental spare wheel kit and wire wheels (which appear to be present) were both offered as factory options in 1953. I took the above info from the Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1974, John Gunnel, ed.

I’m having difficulty identifying this car. But note it has a “continental” spare tire, implying it is not one of the cheaper models. The newest it could be is a 1954. The 1955 models wouldn’t have been on the market until some months after streetcars quit on Lake Street. So far, my best guess is this may be a 1953 Dodge Coronet.
Gary Kleinedler:

I believe that the CTA 1782 & 1774 photo shows a 1953 Dodge Coronet Diplomat 2-door hardtop. All 1952 Dodge models had separate, bolted-on rear fenders; the photo shows a straight fender sideline. The 1953 Coronet series was the top trim line (Meadowbrook–Coronet; Wayfarer models were discontinued after 1952), and a Coronet 2-door hardtop would have a three-piece wraparound rear window and V-8 Hemi engine. The 1954 Dodge Coronet (and new top-line Royal) models had the model name in script on the rear fenders, which doesn’t seem to be present in the photo. A Continental spare wheel kit and wire wheels (which appear to be present) were both offered as factory options in 1953. I took the above info from the Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1974, John Gunnel, ed.

A 1953 Dodge Coronet.

A 1953 Dodge Coronet.

dodge-coronet-1953-7


There are lots of great photos under the Trolley Dodger tree this year. Besides the color shots, we have many rare, classic black-and-whites, which came out of one railfan’s scrapbook and were taken in the early-to-mid 1930s. Many of these were taken by one Earl W. McLaughlin of Chicago. There was a man by the same name who worked for the CTA in 1958 (and did some reporting for the Transit News, their employee publication), but I am not yet sure if they are one and the same.

Some railfans like to ride, and others prefer to take pictures. Edward Frank, Jr., whose work we have featured on many occasions, was in the latter category– he rode his bicycle everywhere instead of taking the streetcar, in order to save up money for film. Given the number of shots Mr. McLaughlin took at ends of various lines, I’d say he liked to ride as well as photograph.

As always, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to add to the discussion, after seeing these pictures, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Happy Holidays!

-David Sadowski

PS- So far, I have determined that Earl W. McLaughlin was born in 1915 and died in 1969. For much of his life, he lived on the north side of Chicago, and died in Des Plaines. In 1940, his profession was grading furs.

Illinois Central Electric car 1210 heads up a Randolph St. Express on September 9, 1959. Don's Rail Photos adds, "1100 thru 1239 were built by Pullman in 1929. 1198 went to Illinois Railway Museum in 1972." (Clark Frazier Photo) Andre Kristopans: "IC 1210 – arriving at 91st/South Chicago. Tracks on right were B&O. Note trailers were always at the NORTH end of an IC Electric train, as only a trailer would fit under the old South Water St entrance to Randolph St Station, so in order to use the full track length, trailers always had to lead north." Daniel Gornstein adds, "I'm not sure if anyone else has replied on the IC 91st St. photo yet, but the unquestionable answer is on the catenary pole. If you look closely on the macro view you will see, arranged vertically, this: "SC4-33," meaning South Chicago Subdistrict, located at MP 4.33. The 2 branches used to have independent MP's, but are now shown on Engineering Dept. files as the same distance to South Water St., as the Univ. Pk. mainline does. To the photographer's rear is 91st St. and in the distance, just north of 90th St., is NB signal 420, or approx. MP 4.2. IRM's operable "Suburban Unit" is motor 1198, as noted, and trailer 1380."

Illinois Central Electric car 1210 heads up a Randolph St. Express on September 9, 1959. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “1100 thru 1239 were built by Pullman in 1929. 1198 went to Illinois Railway Museum in 1972.” (Clark Frazier Photo) Andre Kristopans: “IC 1210 – arriving at 91st/South Chicago. Tracks on right were B&O. Note trailers were always at the NORTH end of an IC Electric train, as only a trailer would fit under the old South Water St entrance to Randolph St Station, so in order to use the full track length, trailers always had to lead north.” Daniel Gornstein adds, “I’m not sure if anyone else has replied on the IC 91st St. photo yet, but the unquestionable answer is on the catenary pole. If you look closely on the macro view you will see, arranged vertically, this: “SC4-33,” meaning South Chicago Subdistrict, located at MP 4.33. The 2 branches used to have independent MP’s, but are now shown on Engineering Dept. files as the same distance to South Water St., as the Univ. Pk. mainline does. To the photographer’s rear is 91st St. and in the distance, just north of 90th St., is NB signal 420, or approx. MP 4.2. IRM’s operable “Suburban Unit” is motor 1198, as noted, and trailer 1380.”

This picture, showing a Skokie Swift single car unit at the Dempster terminal, was taken on August 11, 1964. We see an interesting variety of 1960s cars in the parking lot, including a first-generation Corvair. The slide says this is car #30, but under magnification, the number looks more like 39. However, as far as I know, car 39 was then being used in Evanston service with trolley poles. So perhaps 30 is correct. That car is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Douglas N. Brotjahn Photo)

This picture, showing a Skokie Swift single car unit at the Dempster terminal, was taken on August 11, 1964. We see an interesting variety of 1960s cars in the parking lot, including a first-generation Corvair. The slide says this is car #30, but under magnification, the number looks more like 39. However, as far as I know, car 39 was then being used in Evanston service with trolley poles. So perhaps 30 is correct. That car is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Douglas N. Brotjahn Photo)

Here, we see MBTA (Boston) double-end PCC 3346 at the Ashmont end of the Ashmont-Mattapan line in November 1977. This picture has special significance to me, as I rode these cars for the first and only time just three months earlier. They were nearing the end of their service lives, however, and by the time I revisited, had been replaced by single-ended PCCs. Over time, the terminals at both ends of this feeder line have been changed, and I don't believe the cars run here any longer. I recall there was a sign somewhere in the vicinity, probably from the 1920s, calling this the "High Speed Trolley." I hope someone managed to save that sign.

Here, we see MBTA (Boston) double-end PCC 3346 at the Ashmont end of the Ashmont-Mattapan line in November 1977. This picture has special significance to me, as I rode these cars for the first and only time just three months earlier. They were nearing the end of their service lives, however, and by the time I revisited, had been replaced by single-ended PCCs. Over time, the terminals at both ends of this feeder line have been changed, and I don’t believe the cars run here any longer. I recall there was a sign somewhere in the vicinity, probably from the 1920s, calling this the “High Speed Trolley.” I hope someone managed to save that sign.

I have wondered for some time where this picture of CTA 4389 was taken. I had a gut feeling it was somewhere on the south side. Turns out, this is Wentworth and 59th. There is a picture taken at this location on page 217 of CERA B-146. All the buildings on the left are gone now, as this is where the Dan Ryan expressway now runs. As for the date, that truck appears to have a 1955 Illinois license plate. M. E. writes: "When compared with the photo on p. 217 of B-146, this is indeed 59th and Wentworth. What confuses me is the trackage turning from westbound 59th onto southbound Wentworth. Lind says the 59th St. streetcar line converted to bus in 1948. So my guess is that the CTA wanted to keep trackage open on 59th between Wentworth and State St., and the CTA built the turning trackage at Wentworth after 59th went to bus."

I have wondered for some time where this picture of CTA 4389 was taken. I had a gut feeling it was somewhere on the south side. Turns out, this is Wentworth and 59th. There is a picture taken at this location on page 217 of CERA B-146. All the buildings on the left are gone now, as this is where the Dan Ryan expressway now runs. As for the date, that truck appears to have a 1955 Illinois license plate. M. E. writes: “When compared with the photo on p. 217 of B-146, this is indeed 59th and Wentworth. What confuses me is the trackage turning from westbound 59th onto southbound Wentworth. Lind says the 59th St. streetcar line converted to bus in 1948. So my guess is that the CTA wanted to keep trackage open on 59th between Wentworth and State St., and the CTA built the turning trackage at Wentworth after 59th went to bus.”

Here is an enlargement of part of the 1952 CTA Surface System track map. It does show a track connection between Wentworth and State. Possibly some of these connections were kept for bypass use in case of flooded viaducts, such as the one that resulted in the infamous 1950 crash between a PCC car and a gasoline truck. M. E. writes: "The enlarged map you added of the 59th-Wentworth trackage made me think about how the 4 Cottage Grove cars got to the 69th and Ashland barn. Try this: Cottage Grove to 61st, west to State, north to 59th, west to Wentworth, south to 63rd, west to Ashland, south to 69th. You suggested that all this trackage was kept open (at least as late as 1952) to bypass flooded viaducts such as the one on State south of 63rd. This theory would also apply to the viaducts on the 63rd St. line. Much of that line between Wentworth and State consisted of viaducts for four passenger railroads (New York Central + Nickel Plate; Pennsylvania; and Rock Island), as well as Englewood Union Station. In fact, between the station and State St. there was a big yard for New York Central freight, which accounted for the majority of the viaduct over 63rd St. So, if the 63rd St. viaducts were to flood, the 63rd St. cars (let's say heading east) would turn north on Wentworth to 59th, east to State, south to 63rd, then east on 63rd.

Here is an enlargement of part of the 1952 CTA Surface System track map. It does show a track connection between Wentworth and State. Possibly some of these connections were kept for bypass use in case of flooded viaducts, such as the one that resulted in the infamous 1950 crash between a PCC car and a gasoline truck. M. E. writes: “The enlarged map you added of the 59th-Wentworth trackage made me think about how the 4 Cottage Grove cars got to the 69th and Ashland barn. Try this: Cottage Grove to 61st, west to State, north to 59th, west to Wentworth, south to 63rd, west to Ashland, south to 69th. You suggested that all this trackage was kept open (at least as late as 1952) to bypass flooded viaducts such as the one on State south of 63rd. This theory would also apply to the viaducts on the 63rd St. line. Much of that line between Wentworth and State consisted of viaducts for four passenger railroads (New York Central + Nickel Plate; Pennsylvania; and Rock Island), as well as Englewood Union Station. In fact, between the station and State St. there was a big yard for New York Central freight, which accounted for the majority of the viaduct over 63rd St. So, if the 63rd St. viaducts were to flood, the 63rd St. cars (let’s say heading east) would turn north on Wentworth to 59th, east to State, south to 63rd, then east on 63rd.

The same location today.

The same location today.

You might think, at first glance, that this picture of CSL 453 was taken downtown, but you would be wrong. This is the east end of the Lawrence line at Broadway in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. The motorman and conductor are talking before making the trip west to Austin on August 4, 1934. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

You might think, at first glance, that this picture of CSL 453 was taken downtown, but you would be wrong. This is the east end of the Lawrence line at Broadway in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The motorman and conductor are talking before making the trip west to Austin on August 4, 1934. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

The same location today.

The same location today.

On a foggy day in December 1932, we see CSL "maximum traction" car 6109 southbound at State and Wacker.

On a foggy day in December 1932, we see CSL “maximum traction” car 6109 southbound at State and Wacker.

This photo of CSL 6170 heading northbound, was taken at State and Wacker, probably also in December 1932.

This photo of CSL 6170 heading northbound, was taken at State and Wacker, probably also in December 1932.

This damaged photo of CSL 581 was taken at the Imlay Loop at the outer end of route 56 - Milwaukee, on August 4, 1935. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

This damaged photo of CSL 581 was taken at the Imlay Loop at the outer end of route 56 – Milwaukee, on August 4, 1935. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

Here, we see CSL 6176 on Broadway at Berwyn (5300 N.). This Broadway-Wabash car is going direct to the World's Fair gates at 18th and 23rd Streets on August 4, 1934. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

Here, we see CSL 6176 on Broadway at Berwyn (5300 N.). This Broadway-Wabash car is going direct to the World’s Fair gates at 18th and 23rd Streets on August 4, 1934. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

The same location today.

The same location today.

This picture of CSL 335 may have been taken on route 65 - Grand. If so, it is heading east.

This picture of CSL 335 may have been taken on route 65 – Grand. If so, it is heading east.

CSL 1333, built in 1908.

CSL 1333, built in 1908.

CSL 5383 is laying over at the north end of the Ashland line, at Southport and Clark, on August 4, 1934. Since the Ashland bridge over the Chicago River was not opened until 1936, this car would have crossed the river via Southport. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

CSL 5383 is laying over at the north end of the Ashland line, at Southport and Clark, on August 4, 1934. Since the Ashland bridge over the Chicago River was not opened until 1936, this car would have crossed the river via Southport. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

CSL 381. Andre Kristopans: "Probably somewhere in Devon Carbarn yard. Lawrence and Broadway/Wabash both ran out of there." George Trapp adds, "I am pretty sure the location is at the Devon Depot, the east end of the South open yard, the ladder track curves out into Schreiber Avenue behind the photographer. Car 381 is signed for Cottage Grove-Broadway TR#1. Car 3201 to it's left is signed for Lawrence which operated out of Devon in the 1930's, it is one of the two original MU cars, 3200-3201 with 4 motors. These cars operated on Broadway during the daytime as two man cars and as night cars on Lawrence as one man. The car barn structure also looks like Devon Depot."

CSL 381. Andre Kristopans: “Probably somewhere in Devon Carbarn yard. Lawrence and Broadway/Wabash both ran out of there.” George Trapp adds, “I am pretty sure the location is at the Devon Depot, the east end of the South open yard, the ladder track curves out into Schreiber Avenue behind the photographer. Car 381 is signed for Cottage Grove-Broadway TR#1. Car 3201 to it’s left is signed for Lawrence which operated out of Devon in the 1930’s, it is one of the two original MU cars, 3200-3201 with 4 motors. These cars operated on Broadway during the daytime as two man cars and as night cars on Lawrence as one man. The car barn structure also looks like Devon Depot.”

Caption: "Chicago Surface Lines #3284. i man car built by Lightweight Noiseless Car Co. in 1925. Taken: Chicago, Ill., 8-4-34. Former two-man (car) also in MU (multiple unit) service. Now equipped with stop light and foot brakes." The car is shown at the east end of the Montrose line, just west of Broadway. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

Caption: “Chicago Surface Lines #3284. i man car built by Lightweight Noiseless Car Co. in 1925. Taken: Chicago, Ill., 8-4-34. Former two-man (car) also in MU (multiple unit) service. Now equipped with stop light and foot brakes.” The car is shown at the east end of the Montrose line, just west of Broadway. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

This photo of CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3325, taken August 4, 1935, was a challenge to identify. These cars were being used exclusively on the Clark-Wentworth line then. The sign for the Heinsen Photo Studio (located at 6221 N. Clark) provided the necessary clue to ID this as Clark and Granville. The car is heading south. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

This photo of CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3325, taken August 4, 1935, was a challenge to identify. These cars were being used exclusively on the Clark-Wentworth line then. The sign for the Heinsen Photo Studio (located at 6221 N. Clark) provided the necessary clue to ID this as Clark and Granville. The car is heading south. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

Clark and Granville today. The building that once had a photo studio is still there.

Clark and Granville today. The building that once had a photo studio is still there.

CSL 1984, built by the Chicago Railways Company in 1913-1914, is shown at the east end of the North Avenue line on November 24, 1934. That's Clark Street in the rear. When route 72 was changed to trolley bus in 1949, buses continued to a new turnaround loop east of Clark. The building at rear is the old Plaza Hotel. To see it from another angle, check out our post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 2-28-2016. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

CSL 1984, built by the Chicago Railways Company in 1913-1914, is shown at the east end of the North Avenue line on November 24, 1934. That’s Clark Street in the rear. When route 72 was changed to trolley bus in 1949, buses continued to a new turnaround loop east of Clark. The building at rear is the old Plaza Hotel. To see it from another angle, check out our post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 2-28-2016. (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

North and Clark today.

North and Clark today.

Here is an interesting photo of CSL one-man car 3110, taken on August 4, 1934. The location is Ashland and Irving Park Road, and the large building at rear is Lake View High School, where my mother graduated in 1946. Since this was two years before the north and south portions of Ashland were connected by a new bridge over the Chicago River, this is a North Ashland Shuttle car, running the two miles between Irving Park (4000 N.) and Fullerton (2400 N.). (Actually, the sign says the car is going to Clybourn, which is just south of Fullerton.) We ran another North Ashland Shuttle photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven (September 2, 2016). (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

Here is an interesting photo of CSL one-man car 3110, taken on August 4, 1934. The location is Ashland and Irving Park Road, and the large building at rear is Lake View High School, where my mother graduated in 1946. Since this was two years before the north and south portions of Ashland were connected by a new bridge over the Chicago River, this is a North Ashland Shuttle car, running the two miles between Irving Park (4000 N.) and Fullerton (2400 N.). (Actually, the sign says the car is going to Clybourn, which is just south of Fullerton.) We ran another North Ashland Shuttle photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven (September 2, 2016). (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo)

Ashland and Irving Park today.

Ashland and Irving Park today.

It's not easy to determine just where this picture of CSL 1589 was taken on August 4, 1934. The car is signed for Irving Park and Neenah, and with the track configuration, you would expect we are at the east end of the Irving Park line. However, according to my CSL track maps, the crossover was just west of Broadway. If so, that doesn't explain the traffic signal in the picture. Perhaps Irving Park cars turned back just east of Broadway? (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo) Andre Kristopans: "More likely Irving and Clark. Note cemetery behind car."

It’s not easy to determine just where this picture of CSL 1589 was taken on August 4, 1934. The car is signed for Irving Park and Neenah, and with the track configuration, you would expect we are at the east end of the Irving Park line. However, according to my CSL track maps, the crossover was just west of Broadway. If so, that doesn’t explain the traffic signal in the picture. Perhaps Irving Park cars turned back just east of Broadway? (Earl W. McLaughlin Photo) Andre Kristopans: “More likely Irving and Clark. Note cemetery behind car.”

Irving Park and Broadway today.

Irving Park and Broadway today.