This amazing photo is from a glass plate negative we recently purchased, and shows a Chicago Union Traction streetcar RPO (railway post office) unpowered trailer car. CUT existed between 1899 and 1908, which helps date the photo. This car may previously have been a cable car trailer, before being pressed into mail service.
Instead of trains, planes, and automobiles, today we have a generous helping of classic bus, trolley, and train images courtesy of noted transit historian William Shapotkin. We thank Bill very much for sharing these with our readers. Even if you are not a huge fan of buses per se, and some electric traction fans aren’t, you still may appreciate seeing some of these locations, which offer views that you typically don’t see here on this blog. Many are contemporary to other streetcar pictures we have run, and show what types of equipment the CTA was running along with the “L” cars and streetcars that we often feature.
On the other hand, if you do like rubber-tired vehicles, then “hop on the bus, Gus!” And even if you don’t, chances are there are still plenty of railed vehicles here to keep you happy.
Please note: All photos in this section are from the collections of William Shapotkin.
This photo shows an old wooden Met car on the CTA’s Kenwood shuttle in the 1950s. The view looks east from the Indiana Avenue station. The south side main line continues off to the right. Service on the Kenwood branch ended in 1957.
This image, showing CTA bus 3676 on Route 82A, was not identified, but it clearly shows the Logan Square “L” terminal with connecting bus transfer area in the early 1960s.
CTA buses at the Western and 79th loop.
The old South Shore Line station in Gary, Indiana in July 1984. (Paul Johnsen Photo)
CTA Route 59 bus 5610 is at 59th and State on April 26, 1972.
CTA trolley bus 9392 is at the Montrose and Narragansett loop in 1965. This loop has since been removed.
A Metra train stops at the Mont Clare station on the former Milwaukee Road West Line on April 13, 1999. The original station at this location was demolished in 1964, and my father and I sifted through the rubble. We found several tickets, some dating back to the 1880s, which we donated to a local historical society. As far as I know, these are still on display at the Elmwood Park Public Library.
Chicao, IL: looking south on Holden Court (under the south side “L”) toward grade-separated crossing with the St. Charles Air Line from 15th Street in March 2000. (William Shapotkin Photo)
The Roosevelt Road streetcar extension, crossing the Illinois Central on its way back from the Field Museum and Soldier Field. The date is unknown, but service ended in 1953.
CTA 518 at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. Streetcar service on Halsted ended three months later. (James J. Buckley Photo)
CTA 652 and 678 pass each other at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. (James J. Buckley Photo)
CTA 6148 at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. (James J. Buckley Photo)
Chicago Aurora & Elgin 434 at the Seashore Trolley Museum in July 1963.
A Chicago Aurora & Elgin freight train at National Street in Elgin. The style of Kodachrome slide mount dates this picture to between 1955 and 1959. (Although passenger service ended in 1957, freight continued for nearly two more years.)
CSL 5130. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This is an E/B 31st car, having just crossing under the South Side ‘L’. View looks west (from Wabash).” We ran another picture of 5130 on the same route on our previous post Spring Forward (April 19, 2018).
CSL 5154. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This is a W/B 31st car at State St (South Side “L” in background). View looks east.” Again, we previously ran another picture of this same car on the same route in our post Spring Forward (April 19, 2018).
CTA bus 2566 is at 119th and Western, running on Route 49A.
CTA bus 5723 is at the Western and 79th loop, probably in the 1960s.
CTA bus 6541 is at the Western and 79th loop in 1953. Meanwhile, a postwar PCC (built by the St. Louis Car Co.) goes around the loop. Streetcar service on Western ended in June 1956. Jeff Wien writes, “The caption states that it is 1953 in this photo. I would guess 1948 not long after the loop opened. There is virtually no landscaping anywhere and the sidewalks look like they were recently laid. Later pictures of this loop showed green grass and bushes which was typical of CTA loops until they decided to asphalt over everything (ie: Clark-Arthur loop).” Andre Kristopans: “Bus 6541 at 79th/Western is definitely soon after loop opened. After 79th was converted, this spot is where 79th buses loaded, and 49A’s loaded about three bus lengths back, on the left side of the driveway (see 2578 shot following for new location).”
CTA bus 2578, running on Route 49A, is at the Western and 79th loop. When PCCs were introduced to Western Avenue in 1948, buses were substituted on the north and south ends of the line, which were spun off into extensions of Route 49. New loops were built, this being the one on the south end of the line.
CTA bus 5066 is turning north from Leland onto Western, running Route 49B in 1958. Here, riders could change to the Ravenswood “L”, today’s Brown Line. The station has since been rebuilt. Jeff Wien adds, “I believe that the photo of CTA 5066 at Western & Leland was taken in 1956 rather than 1958 as stated in the caption. Route 49 was converted to motor bus in June 1956. The photo shows the streetcar tracks still exposed as well as the overhead wires in place. I would imagine that the wires would have been removed by 1958, and I seem to recall that the City paved Western Avenue not long after the streetcars were removed. The City built the obnoxious overpass at Western and Belmont shortly after the streetcars were removed in 1956.”
Passengers board CTA bus 5470 at the Western and Berwyn loop on Chicago’s north side. Route 49B was the northern extension of the Western line.
CTA bus 3528 is on Route 54B (South Cicero) on Cicero at 26th, circa the late 1950s.
CTA bus 2543 is heading east on 103rd Street at Longwood Drive on Route 103 (103rd-106th Streets) in the late 1950s. The building directly behind the bus is now occupied by a Starbucks. Our resident south side expert M. E. writes, “Not showing in this picture (because of the trees) is Chicago’s only castle, on the northwest corner of 103rd and Longwood. (Longwood is at the bottom of the “hill”. Did you know: The land atop the “hill” is geologically called Blue Island? It begins north of 87th St. where the Dan Ryan’s Woods toboggan slide was.)” On the other hand, Stu Slaymaker says, “The shot of ACF-Brill bus that is labeled, 103rd and Longwood, was actually taken at 111th and Longwood. My old neighborhood. Out of the picture behind the photographer, is the R. I. Suburban Line Morgan Park-111th station. The used car lot on the right corner, was a Texaco station in the 1960s. The trees are so lush, you can’t see the Walker Branch Library, at the top of the hill.”
CTA 3449 is on Route 31 (31st Street). Not sure which cross street the streetcar is on.
CSL 3425 is on Route 31 (31st Street) at Pitney Court. However, the date provided (1946) must be wrong, since this line was not converted to bus until February 29, 1948. (Thanks to Daniel Joseph for pointing that out.)
CTA 5493 is heading south from the Western and Berwyn loop, on Route 49B (North Western). This picture was taken after streetcar service ended in 1956, as the tracks appear to already be paved over and overhead wires removed.
On August 9, 1953 CTA bus 5306 heads west on Route 6 – Van Buren Street at Racine, next to new temporary Garfield Park “L” trackage that went into service the following month. at right, you can see the existing “L” structure, which was torn down the following year.
CTA bus 5499 is at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in Forest Park, running on Route 17 – Westchester, which replaced the Westchester “L” in 1951.
CTA 2365 is operating on Route 58 – Ogden at 26th and Cicero Avenue in the late 1950s.
CTA 6814 is on 115th Street at Michigan Avenue on Route 115 in the 1960s. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This view (correctly identified as 115th/Michigan) looks east.”
CTA 2718 and 2734 at 74th and Damen.
CTA 3620 at 54th Avenue in CTA 3620 at 54th Avenue in Cicero, the end of the line for the Douglas Park “L” (now the Pink Line).
CTA 2603 at 119th and Western, the south end of Route 49A.
CTA 6532 at the Western and 79th loop, running on Route 79.
Chicago & West Towns 848 at the DesPlaines Avenue CTA terminal on August 7, 1980. The second overpass, behind the bus, was for the Chicago Great Western freight line. That bridge and tracks have since been removed. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)
Westbound Rock Island train #113 at the 91st Street depot on April 5, 1970. Our resident south side epert M. E. adds, “The caption says this view is “at the 91st Street depot.” Not quite. The view faces north. The train is curving from west (along 89th St.) to south. Notice the railroad crossing signals and gates in the background. That trackage joined with the CRI&P traffic to the east. On that trackage ran the B&O Capitol Limited on its way to Washington DC, as captured in https://thetrolleydodger.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/proofs288.jpg , although in that photo the Capitol Limited is inbound to Chicago.”
The interlocking levers at the 91st Street Rock Island Tower on July 3, 1969.
The lineup board at the Rock Island 91st Street Tower on July 3, 1969.
The interlocking levers at the Rock Island’s 61st Street Tower on January 5, 1969.
Tower man Roy Bliss and Assistant Tower man Jack Poehron are flagging all trains by the burned-out Rock Island 61st Street Tower on April 20, 1967. The wooden tower had opened in 1898.
Rock Island train #11 (with engine #621) passes the burned-out 61st Street Tower on April 20, 1967, the day after the fire. 61st was the end of the four-track section running from LaSalle Street Station in downtown Chicago.
Rock Island train #19, as seen from the 61st Street Tower.
Rock Island 61st Street Tower on December 8, 1968. (Looking north at movable point crossing- RI “in” (L), NYC “out” (R).
The Rock Island 91st Street Tower on April 5, 1970.
The Rock Island’s 91st Street Tower, where the railroad crossed the PRR “Panhandle” route, as it looked on August 17, 1974. As you can see, the tower has received a new coat of paint since the last picture.
Baltimore & Ohio #5, the Capitol Limited, passing by the Beverly Junction Tower one hour and 50 minutes late, on April 5, 1970.
CTA bus 8829 is at Ashland and 95th in 1973. Daniel Joseph adds, “If the destination sign is reliable, I believe this bus is on the #45 Ashland Downtown and not on #9 Ashland.”
CTA 2528 is at Ogden and Cermak on Route 58 on April 29, 1961. Bill Shapotkin adds, “Yes, this is indeed Cermak/Ogden — the view looks west.”
CTA 5863 at the Ashland and 95th Street terminal, south end of Route 9, on June 20, 1973. (John Le Beau Photo)
Chicago & West Towns bus 777 at the CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal on March 17, 1974. The terminal has since been redone. The two sets of stairs on DesPlaines Avenue appear to provide a way for pedestrians to cross a busy street where there are no stoplights. (John Le Beau Photo)
CTA “New Look” bus 9441, running on Route 17 – Westchester, is at the DesPlaines terminal on June 28, 1977. Since the previous picture was taken, the set of stairs on the west side of DesPlaines Avenue has been removed. Since the other stair still appears to be in use, it seems as though the CTA decided to extend the walkway to the platform area, so that commuters would not need to go up and down so many stairs.
CTA 9461 is at Catalpa and Broadway, operating on Route 84 – Peterson on September 1, 1980. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)
CTA 8417 is on Route 17 – Westchester in June 1971. (John Le Beau Photo)
PACE 6338 is heading south on Harlem Avenue on Route 305, having just gone under the CTA Green Line “L” in December 2012. (Mel Bernero Photo)
PACE 6225 heads west on Route 309 – Lake Street at Harlem Avenue. To the left, just out of view, is the former Marshall Field’s store in Oak Park, a local landmark. It later housed a Border’s bookstore, now also gone. This photo must have been taken a few years ago, as you would see some new tall buildings if you took the same picture today. Unable to move outward, Oak Park is moving “up.” (John Le Beau Photo)
CTA 2527 is at 25th and Laramie in Cicero, the west end of Route 58 – Ogden. The date appears to be the late 1950s.
Chicago & West Towns buses 839 and 804 are laying over in the middle of the street at Cermak and 47th Street in January 1979. This is near the border between Cicero and Chicago, and also adjacent to the old Western Electric plant.
RTA bus 8107 at the West Towns bus garage in oak Park on April 12, 1981. (John Le Beau Photo)
RTA 8049 at the West Towns garage in Oak Park on May 28, 1978. This is now the site of a Pete’s Fresh Market. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)
PACE bus 2092 is exiting from the CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal in April 1992. Where the bus is, was once the approximate location of Chicago Great Western freight tracks, which spanned DesPlaines Avenue via a bridge and then connected with the Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal tracks. That portion of the old CGW right-of-way between here and First Avenue has been paved, and provides a connection to the Prairie Path, which starts at First Avenue.
CTA 1806 is on Route 84 – Peterson at Western Avenue on April 21, 1957. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)
This slide was labeled “Oak Park,” but actually, it’s on the border between Elmwood Park and River Grove. PACE bus 22550 is heading east on Grand Avenue, going over the long crossing of the Metra Milwaukee District West Line on route 319 on May 8, 1993. There has een much talk over the years of grade-separating these tracks, where some accidents have occurred, but so far nothing has come of it. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)
RTA bus 496 is at the Brookfield Zoo on December 11, 1977. Andre Kristopans adds, “Bus 496 is on an OSA (Omnibus Society of America) charter. Note the “9” covered with tape.” (John Le Beau Photo)
RTA bus 8044 is at the old West Towns garage in Oak Park in March 1983.
CTA bus 4580 heads west on Harrison at Springfield on March 7, 1991.
CTA bus 1112 is at 115th and Perry in February 1983.
South Suburban Safeway Lines bus 702 is northbound at 119th and Western, probably around 1970. Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, “South Suburban Safeway Lines went north on Western to 63rd, then east to Halsted, the heart of Englewood. Actually, east to Union, south to 63rd Place, and west to the L station at Halsted and 63rd Place, where it ended its northbound run. Southbound, it first took Halsted north to 63rd, then west to Western, etc. The other thing to notice in this picture is that Western Ave. was not as wide south of 119th. This is because the Chicago city limit is 119th, and south of that is Blue Island.”
South Suburban Safeway Lines 714 on Western at 79th on October 4, 1975. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)
CTA 871, running on Route 49B North Western, is at the Western Avenue stop on the Ravenswood “L” in June 1973. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)
CTA 5567 is on Western near 63rd Street on April 20, 1972 (Route 49). Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, “Notice Cupid Candies on one corner and Fannie May Candies across the street.” Jeff Weiner adds, “CTA 5567 appears to be at Western and 62nd, as the City maintained a traffic signal there for the Sears store. Until a closed-loop system was installed, the 62nd signal operated fixed-time during store hours, and went on yellow-red flash when the store was closed. After it was modernized, the operation was semiactuated, with coordination to the other signals on Western. Until it was modernized, the median signals were on concrete “blockbuster” foundations, replaced with mast arm signals afterwards.”
CTA 5978 is at the Western and 79th loop on June 20, 1973. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)
CTA Pullman 312 on Kedzie. Bill Shapotkin adds, “Car is working #52 — Kedzie-California and is laying over in California at Roscoe. View looks north.”
CTA Pullman 444 at Armitage and California in January 1950.
CTA one-man car 6184 at Lawrence and Luna in 1949.
CTA 336, in June 1952, is on California Avenue at Augusta Boulevard.
Chicago Surface Lines 474 is on Belmont at Clark in May 1947.
CSL 1644 is on Route 6 at Division and California in May 1942. The Divison and Van Buren car lines were through-routed starting in 1937.
CTA 5574 at an unknown location. Jon Habermaas writes, “Photo appears to be on the Halsted route where the line is on private right of way along Vincennes Ave., paralleling the Rock Island mainline… in the background you can see the Washington Heights Rock Island depot and a cross buck along the Pennsy’s Panhandle division, which crosses Vincennes Avenue and the Rock Island just south of 103rd Street. The car would be around 104th and Vincennes Ave.” Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, “Mr. Habermaas’s description is accurate. I will add that this private right of way started at 89th St., just south of the CRI&P Beverly branch viaduct, and ended around 107th St. where Vincennes veered farther west from the CRI&P main line. And more historically, this right-of-way originated for the Kankakee car, which had its barn at 88th and Vincennes and ran on Halsted as far north as Englewood.” Andre Kristopans: “Car 5574 SB at 105th or so. You can just make out the 104th RI station in the back, and PRR crossbuck to the right in the distance.” (Robert W. Gibson Photo)
CTA 1749, one of the few old streetcars repainted in green, is at Cermak and State in January 1954, running on Route 21. Note the steam engine in the background.
CTA prewar PCC 4038 is eastbound on 63rd Street. PCCs ran on this line between 1948 and 1952. If the address on the building is any guide, this is probably 122 East 63rd Street.
Illinois Central Electric bi-level car 1514 at the Blue Island Yards on April 23, 1978.
CTA trolley bus 9553 is on its last run, a fan trip held on April 1, 1973. Here it is on Fullerton Avenue near the Milwaukee Road freight line. This was one week after trolley buses were taken out of service.
CTA Marmon-Herrington trolley bus 535 at North and Cicero.
BEDT 0-6-0 #16 in Brooklyn, NY on October 9, 1982.
Chicago Subway Lecture
Samuel D. Polonetzky makes a point during his presentation at the Chicago Maritime Museum on July 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)
On July 25 2018, Samuel D. Polonetzky, P.E., B.Sc. gave a presentation before the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago, of which he is a member. The topic was “Crossing of the Chicago River by the State Street Subway.” He showed actual motion pictures of the construction of the Subway in 1938-40.
Mr. Polonetzky is a Civil Engineer who served the City of Chicago, Department of Streets & Sanitation for thirty five years, rising from Engineer-In-Training to Acting Chief Engineer. During this tenure he acquired a deep knowledge of Chicago’s public rights-of-way and the underground infrastructure. He is also an active member of the Illinois Railway Museum at Union IL and a Life Member of the American Public Works Association.
The Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago meets in the Chicago Maritime Museum located in the Bridgeport Arts Center, 3400 S. Racine Av. Chicago Ill. 60609.
The film shown is called Streamlining Chicago (1940), and you can watch it here:
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!
Title Building Chicago’s Subways Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960
Building Chicago’s Subways 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:
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 216th 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 425,000 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.
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.
Tony Manthos: “Birney 93 (very elaborate 3), destination boards read “Willard via Third.” Looks like end of line loop in pretty remote spot.” Frank Hicks: “This is the Jamestown Street Railway in Jamestown, NY. This exact car (this isn’t actually a Birney, it’s a 1926 St. Louis Car Company product*) is currently being restored by a group there.” http://jamestowntrolley.org/trolrest/index.html
I have been struggling to identify some trolley-related photos which came in mixed auction lots.
One significant score this morning was interurban 302, which I found to be Jamestown Westfield & NW. Others remain a mystery. Do you think you would have time to take a look at them?
Thanks and regards.
Tony Manthos London UK
Thanks for sharing. We’ll see what our readers think. Likewise, I am sure they would also like to see the pictures that you have identified, including interurban 302.
If you can shed any light on these photos, you can either leave a Comment on this post, or write us directly at:
Tony Manthos: “Here is the photo of no. 128. I am hoping that this is San Diego Elec. Ry. 128 (St. Louis Car Co. 1912). I understand the series had centre doors but they were removed in 1924. I can’t read the signs on the side and front. The car on the right seems to have the same sign, but only the H of the first word is visible. The box-like appendage on the roof seems to be a feature of SD cars. The flame shaped streetlight globes are distinctive. Are they a SD feature? There are 5 trolley cars in the picture, which seems a lot for a relatively quiet street. My big question is this – No. 128 and some others were apparently sold to make private residences around1937, but the California license plate on the auto has a 1948 tag in the corner. I hope you can make sense of this. Many thanks.” Don Ross: “The 128 was Municipal Ry of San Francisco.” Tunnelstation writes: “The cars you think are SD cars are indeed San Francisco Municipal Railway streetcars. The location is on Duboce Street passing the “New” Mint just off of Market street. In the background is where the Sunset Tunnel (built in 1928) is located, which took the Muni cars through the hills to the Inner Sunset District on their way to the Beach and the Pacific Ocean where the “N” Judah Street line ended in a loop.”
James B. Holland writes:
The above is clearly San Francisco on Duboce with Market Street behind the photographer and Church Street the first intersection in the distance. Part way up the hill in the distance the tracks cross the right-sidewalk to enter the Sunset Tunnel (the picture is not clear but it does appear to show the tunnel portal outline itself!). The photographer is facing West which is Outbound. The strong cliff on the right supports the San Francisco Mint.
The Trolleys are on top of the current entrance for the “N” and “J” lines into the Market Street Subway. Indeed, the car coming toward us has “N” in the cube on the roof immediately behind the doors.
The “trestle” photo hints at West Penn but could be most any ‘smaller’ interurban line up and over a mainline RR!
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You … for these excellent emails on trolleys. A native of Pittsburgh, I lived a decade in Zion, IL, following my stint in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club! This is the latter 1960s and early 1970s! After this I did 3.5+decades in San Francisco but am now in upstate NY!
Duboce and Market today.
Tony Manthos: “There is a vertical diamond lozenge logo on the cab side which looks like it might be a Ft. Dodge, Des Moines & Southern. Looks like edges to it so it could be a plate. Mighty steep grade it’s on. I can’t see any headlights and what’s even stranger, no pole and no wire. If there was a wire would that guy be on the boxcar roof? Has it been converted to battery power or internal combustion?” Don Ross: “The loco seems to be FtDDM&S but it is a little shaky.”
Tony Manthos: “All I can see on the sweeper is No.6 under the front middle window.” Don Ross: “I think the other sweeper was Third Avenue Ry.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr180.htm Frank Hicks: “Sweeper 6 – this is the Chicago & West Towns.”
Tony Manthos: “As for the trestle, it’s a long shot, just in case you have encountered it before or know the site. The main line underneath is very well maintained. They obviously didn’t want an interurban diamond getting in their way.” Don Ross: “The trestle was Milwaukee at Grafton.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2672.htm On the other hand, Scott Greig says, “The Milwaukee Electric viaduct identified as Grafton is actually the viaduct near Mequon quarry. The view is looking north, from the side of Highway 57.”
Tony Manthos: “Interurban 818. The snow tempted me to Denver & Intermountain 818 but I believe it had a center door.” Don Ross: “818 is Denver. The center door was only on one side.” http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr2234.htm
Tony Manthos writes:
I am blown away by the response from your readers. Very many thanks to you and all of them.
I know where to go if I get more of the same.
I had actually already identified the little Jamestown car and have been in correspondence with the guys who are doing the restoration. They kindly sent me a photo similar to mine taken at the same spot and one of the scene today, taken from the same place on the sidewalk. It hasn’t changed much. The loop is paved and the local bus turns on it. They also sent me photos of when they rescued it – it was a fishing shack on a nearby lake and they had to haul it out of thick trees. They found a good space to work on it, in the old depot, and they are doing a first rate job.
Unfortunately a big wrench has been thrown into the works, in the shape of a theatrical company which is going to convert the depot into a theatre venue in honor of Lucille Ball, who was born in Jamestown, and they don’t feel a trolley is compatible. The restoration group is in despair because they have no place to move to and continue the work. I did suggest they spread a rumor that Lucy used to go to school in that trolley but my contact had already tried that and the committee shot it down. I wish I could do something to help them out.
Thanks again and best regards.
Another Mystery Photo
MBTA (Boston) PCC 3147 at an unidentified location in October 1966. Could this be the old Braves Field loop? Tunnelstation writes:”The Boston PCC picture is located at the end of the “C” line near the Chestnut Hill Reservoir off Beacon Street. The scene is the exit from the Reservoir Car yard out to the street which also serves as the end of the line return loop going to Downtown Boston. That is one of the oldest continuous running trolley lines in America and is still in service today using cars built in Japan.” Beacon Street is the MBTA Green Line “C” branch.
The general area of the 1966 photo. That may be the same building at left, with the fire escape.
A contemporary aerial view.
Phil Bergen writes:
The second color Boston photo is indeed the same large building that trolleys loop around at the corner of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue.
The only remaining portion of Braves Field that shows on the Sanborn map is the section marked Pavilion A. The stadium has gradually been reduced in size from its baseball configuration. It was the original home field of the AFL Boston (New England) Patriots and later became the property and home field of Boston University. After BU dropped football, it has evolved into a soccer/field hockey/intramural multipurpose field.
A map showing the Braves Field loop in 1916. A portion of this old ballpark still exists.
We recently came across some interesting photos showing the last days of steam operation on the Brooklyn East District Terminal Railroad, which was a rail-marine terminal that operated until 1983. Small steam engines were used until October 25, 1963. These had been converted from coal to oil in the 1930s. A number of these locos have been preserved.
The Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad was a “pocket” railroad, one with no connection to other railroads by land. It had a main pocket yard on the Brooklyn waterfront at Kent Avenue from North 4th Street (the PRR N. 4th St. yard, immediately north of the Domino Sugar plant and the Williamsburgh Bridge, in an area formerly known as Palmer’s Docks), extending north to North 10th Street and east inland only a few blocks, and a small yard directly across Newtown Creek in Queens, Pidgeon Street Terminal, and a third yard, Navy Terminal, down at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (New York Naval Shipyard), but this latter was strictly for in-yard transfer. It now (Jan 01) appears that there was a second Queens yard. All commerce by rail was via carfloats, barges with rails on them, which were moved by tugboats across or along the East, North (Hudson), and Harlem Rivers to railheads at St. George on Staten Island (B&O) or in the Bronx (EL, NYC, NH) or New Jersey (PRR, CNJ, LV) where connections to the mainland railroads were available. It is also possible that connections with the LIRR via its marine terminals in Bay Ridge or LIC might have given mainland access via the New Haven over the Hell Gate Bridge but I have never seen any indication this was so, nor is the LIRR listed on the BEDT’s Feb 1964 connections list. Historian Tom Flagg advised 19 Jan 01 that there was even a Warren St. Terminal in Jersey City which only lasted from about 1910-1915 until shortly after 1920; its track plan looked much more like a Christmas Tree layout, with a loop, than it did a real railroad. Tom suggests that perhaps that’s why it didn’t last long! Further, he advised that the BEDT became a common carrier in 1940, which certainly changes its status (source: Plowden, April 1961, article on BEDT in Railroad Magazine). Aha, interstate commerce for sure!
Several of these color images were Ektachrome slides that have faded to red over the past 50 or 60 years. Usually, red Ektachromes date to around 1956 or so– the stability of the dyes was eventually improved. The problem is not the red dye layer itself, but the greens and blues that receded, leaving practically nothing but red.
People used to think these were unsalvageable, other than to convert them to black and white. But with today’s digital technology, it is possible to restore many of these classic images to something like their original appearance. To show you what is possible, we are including the “before” versions in addition to the “after.”
PS- If you are interested in knowing what became of the BEDT property after it was abandoned in 1983, go here. There is also a very comprehensive site devoted to the BEDT here.
BEDT 0-6-0 #16 in Brooklyn, NY on October 9, 1982.
The BEDT tug “Invincible” nudges a car float on the Brooklyn side of the East River in June 1956.
You can hear the sounds of steam on the Brooklyn East District Terminal in our CD collection Twilight of Steam, available through our Online Store.
From The New York Times – Oct. 26, 1963:
DIESEL REPLACES LAST IRON HORSE
Buffs Sad, Engineer Happy at Brooklyn Ceremony
By John F. Callahan
The last regularly operating steam locomotive in the East died yesterday.
With a hiss of steam that roared and then faded to a gasping whisper, No. 10 ended a 44-year run in the shuttling yard of the Brooklyn East District Terminal.
Begrimed, and clouded in her own steam from the last of her banked-down boiler fires, the old black, 28-foot six-wheeler looked tired– especially alongside the bright blue, 44-foot diesel electric locomotive that has taken its place.
A few sad facial expressions were noticeable among steam locomotive buffs who were snapping pictures from all angles. But there was an absence of sadness on the part of Joseph Keane, engineer on No. 10.
Too Hot For Comfort
“There’s no use feeling badly,” he remarked. “The diesel is better in every way, and I can’t forget how hot that cab was in the winter, as well as in the sweltering summer. Just step up in there and see for yourself, and mind, the fire is about out.”
Then he was joined in the ventilated cab of the diesel locomotive, where there was an air-cooled supply of drinking water and but three main switch- and engine-throttles, compared with more than 20 knobs, handles, bars and cords, and no drinking water, in old No. 10’s cab.
The terminal is one of three in Brooklyn that transport freight cars on floats between the New Jersey side of the Hudson River and piers along the Brooklyn side of the East River, Brooklyn’s Eastern District’s No. 10 is one of four sister steam locomotives that were replaced yesterday by four diesel electric engines.
Nicholas G. Cutler, a railroad man since 1926 and vice president of operations for the terminal, said he would miss the sound of locomotive steam.
“It was an old-world sound, and it was good to hear on a bitter winter day; it seemed to warm one a bit,” he remarked, looking down into the yard from his second-floor office window at 86 Kent Avenue in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn.
“Actually, I think we might have kept at least one of the steam engines if we could replace parts, but no iron works make them anymore,” he said. “That factor, plus the economies of operation offered by the diesel, decided us in burying the steam engine.”
It was the same decision that influenced the major railroads to abandon the old Iron Horse beginning in 1925, when the diesel first edged its way onto the nation’s railroad tracks.
In the mid-20s there were about 65,000 steam locomotives, some with as many as 12 wheels, and many of them making, if not beating, the diesel’s speed. As long ago as 1893, old 999 ran at a top speed of 112.5 miles an hour up near Buffalo. A diesel’s maximum today is about 100 miles an hour.
The last steam engine operated by the New York Central was No. 1977. She finished her run in May, 1957, and since then her counterparts have been nostalgic conversation pieces.
Except for a few steam locomotives working in marble quarries in Vermont and on narrow-gauge tracks in outdoor railroad museums and along spurs in some southern states, the Iron Horse is dead in the eastern half of the country, and her plaintive whoooo, hoooo, whoooo has been replaced by the shrilly efficient blast of the staid diesel.
Kenneth Gear adds:
Hi David, I enjoyed the BEDT story in the latest Trolley Dodger and thought I’d share a little info about, and an few photos of 0-6-0T # 16.
Back in the early 1990’s I paid a few visits to the ex-PRR Greenville car float in Jersey City, NJ to photograph the New York Cross Harbor RR’s Alco switchers in action. The NYCH had taken over the operations of the BEDT and a few other remaining waterfront rail lines in New York, as well as the New Jersey side car float.
In 1992 and 1993 the New York Cross Harbor held “Railfan Days”. The railroad welcomed railfans onto the property for tours of the yard and photo ops of the car floats being loaded/unloaded.
I knew the NYCH used ex-BEDT Alco switcher locomotives but I was very surprised to find that 0-6-0T # 16 was still here on the property at Bush Terminal in Brooklyn. The railroad pulled the steamer out of the engine house and spotted it next to Alco S-1 switchers 22 & 25 for both day and night photos! I’ve attached a few photos of #16 that I took that day.
The way #16 was painted in the early 1990s is different than how it looked when it last ran in 1963. That would suggest it was repainted at some later date, but by who?
Did the #16 get abandoned later on, and was it vandalized (stripped for brass) before it was saved? Or was it sent to a museum while still in good shape?
As I remember it, BEDT sold the # 16 shortly after it was replaced with diesels in 1963 but it never left Brooklyn.
Who repainted it and why I’m not sure but there was some talk of restoration on a tourist Railroad. The New York Cross Harbor RR ceased operations very quickly and management was under suspicion of some legal wrong doing and the whole railroad was abandoned and eventually taken over by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. 16 was still on the property at this time and the Port Authority disposed of the locomotive and it ended up on Long Island.
BEDT documents dated June 24, 1963 request $7,000 asking price of #16.
Non-BEDT documents (5/90 issue of Semaphore) show #16 was sold to a G. Foster, then resold, then (erroneously) state it was scrapped!
In actuality, #16 had been sold to George Foster, for use in conjunction with BEDT #12 & Ron Ziel’s Sag Harbor & Scuttle Hole operation; but was never removed from the Kent Ave. property and was abandoned in place when BEDT ceased operations in 1983.
It remained there until late 1993, at which time #16 was brought to NY Cross Harbor RR for cosmetic restoration.
From the time of move from Kent Avenue and during restoration in NY Cross Harbor shops, Robert Diamond (of BHRA) claims ownership. Mr. Diamond was kind enough to send a copy of receipt from owner of Kent Avenue property authorizing #16 to be moved by Mr. Diamond and transfers ownership of #16 to Mr. Diamond. According to Mr. Diamond, sometime after restoration and “unveiling” in 1993, NYCH donated #16 without his consent.
According to sources at the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston, they were supposed to acquire it. Unfortunately, the TMNY could not fund the rigging and move from Brooklyn to Kingston, so #16 was offered by NYCH to Friends of Locomotive 35 in Oyster Bay, which accepted it. However, it was allegedly brought to the RR Museum of Long Island in Riverhead in error, but has remained at that location as their project.
New information states #16 was NOT brought to Riverhead in error, but was sent there intentionally with the knowledge of Friends of Loco #35, as a RR Museum of LI banner was hung on 16 during its move.
A Redder Red Arrow
Here is another example of photo restoration. Fittingly, this is from the Red Arrow Lines (Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company) in 1960 at an unidentified location. Even the Red Arrow wasn’t this red!
The photo on Red Arrow is at Drexel Hill jct the car is headed towards 69th st coming from Sharon Hill. The tracks in the foreground are the pocket tracks at the jct where they short turn cars behind the photographer are the tracks to Media. All still remains today although the 80 class car is long gone.
On July 24, a lightning bolt hit the long ramp leading to the Chicago Transit Authority’s Medical Center station on the Blue Line, completely destroying a long section of the original late 1950s canopy. It made for some very compelling video:
Fortunately, no one was hurt. CTA service was fully restored by the next morning, after all the debris was removed from the tracks. This station was originally called Damen-Ogden-Paulina, and it’s the Paulina entrance that remains closed.
Basically, if you see the video somebody captured from a car on the expressway, the lightning went up the ramp over about 20 seconds, totally destroying, mostly melting, all the aluminum parts of the walkway, walls, railings, with part of the roof falling onto the tracks and causing a massive arc. I have never seen anything even similar to this!
These three pictures have been added to our previous post Night Beat (June 21, 2016):
The North Shore Line terminal in Milwaukee in January 1963.
A North Shore Line train stops at Edison Court in January 1963.
A Toronto subway train in August 1963.
This picture has been added to our post Love For Selle (June 8, 2016):
CTA 3025 is running inbound on Elston on June 30, 1949. (Bob Selle Photo) Neil Arsenty adds, “Although this is the Elston Avenue line, this is actually taken at Milwaukee and Kinzie going southeast. The building behind the streetcar still stands at the Northwest corner.”
Milwaukee and Kinzie today.
NOW AVAILABLE, DIGITALLY REMASTERED ON COMPACT DISC:
First published in 1959, and long out of print, Steam Echoes captures the unforgettable sound drama of steam engines in action. Like Whistles West, it features the recordings of E. P. Ripley, made in the waning days of steam during the 1950s.
The scenes were selected for listening pleasure as well as to create an historical document. They represent the everyday workings of our old steam friends, selected for the most interest, or the most beauty. The series are purposely kept short to preserve their brilliance. They show the steam engine in all four of the ways it may be heard at work– riding in it, on the train behind it, traveling along beside it, and standing at trackside while it goes by, or stops and takes off again.
Railroads featured include Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Canadian National.
Ghost Train: Ghost Train, first issued in 1962 and also long unavailable, is a Hi-Fi stereo sound panorama of haunting memories, highlighting the final days of steam railroading. Railroads featured include the Grand Trunk Western, Norfolk & Western, Nickel Plate Road, Union Pacific, and the Reading Company. A particular highlight is a special whistle recording, demonstrating the famous “Doppler Effect” in true stereophonic sound.
Total time – 79:45
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 149th 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 182,000 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. You can make a contribution there as well.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
Ephemera from a 1957 CA&E fantrip organized by the late Maury Klebolt. He later moved to San Francisco and was instrumental in starting the historic trolley operations that continue to this day. (William Barber Collection)
Back in the 1930s and 40s, railfans were sometimes referred to as “juice fans,” since they liked electric trains. I suppose this was a derisive term, at first, coined by outsiders to the hobby. But like many such nicknames, it was gradually embraced by the fans, who eventually wore it as a badge of honor. This explains its use in a 1957 flyer advertising a fantrip on the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin in its last weeks of passenger operation, reproduced above.
Eventually, the term fell out of favor, and is about as common today as “Oh, you kid” or “23 Skidoo.”
Some months back, William Barbershared with us a picture taken on a 1957 Chicago, Aurora & Elgin fantrip. There was some question about the location, which our readers eventually identified as being on the Batavia branch, in the section between the old power house and the Batavia terminal.
One of the CA&E pictures in our last post Tokens of Our Esteem (January 20th) got Mr. Barber interested in sharing some additional CA&E pictures with us:
This 1955 photo’s a bit of a mystery. Could this be Wheaton? William Barber: “Yes, this is Wheaton at the grade crossing immediately east of the depot.” The location is Main Street looking east.
Main street looking east on Wheaton as it looks today.
Reference this photo from the 01/20/16 Trolley Dodger. Yes, this is Wheaton at the grade crossing immediately east of the depot. Below are several photos that I took around 1959 or 1960. I apologize for the poor quality. The first one was taken from the upper platform of the tower looking east. Note the same building in the background and the the dead end switch leading from the eastbound main just before the next grade crossing. I have also attached some photos that my dad took on a 1957 Illini Railroad Club excursion.
The photos of cars 20 and 459 as well as the other operating equipment were all taken on an Illini Railroad Club fan trip on June 9, 1957. Attached are copies of a portion of the flyer for the trip and our ticket stubs. In the July 2015 issue of the Trolley Dodger, you posted another photo of mine from that same trip showing car no. 20 at a rural grade crossing which I thought was Prince’s Crossing. However, your readers corrected my comment and I think they finally identified it as near the Elgin terminal. (Editor’s note: It was actually identified as being on the Batavia branch, as you will see in the photo captions that follow below.) My other comments with that first post describe the events of that trip fairly well. Here they are again:
“As a 14 year old, I had the pleasure of riding the CA&E with my late father in June 9, 1957 on a Illini Railroad Club fan trip. At that time, the CA&E terminated at the Forest Park loop where our fan trip started. We covered the entire railroad from there to Wheaton, Elgin, Batavia and Aurora. We started with car #459 and would have used it for the entire trip except for a mishap that occurred while we were traveling up the Mt. Carmel Branch along Mannheim.
One of the third rail shoes struck a pile of gravel in the stone quarry and was damaged. We were able to operate to Wheaton with one shoe, but the Railroad decided that we should change cars there. This was a fine turn of events and significantly improved the trip for most of the passengers. Hopefully, someone else will respond who was on the same trip. I would like to hear from them. I am guessing that there were probably 40 people on that trip.”
The other four photos of the railroad at Wheaton after the shut down. Several friends and I drove over to the railroad during 1959 or 1960, from Downers Grove where we lived. At that time, of course, nothing was running, but most of the equipment was still held at the shop.
I just found the ticket stubs and part of the flyer for that trip, copy attached. I have also attached a copy of a flyer from another trip, but I don’t know if it ran or not. If it ran, we did not ride that trip.
Yes, the December 7, 1958 fantrip did take place, and was actually the last passenger train to ever run on the CA&E. Wood cars 319 and 320 were operated that day. We have previously posted a picture taken from that wintry day, and will include it in this post as well.
Interestingly, both cars were saved. 319 is at the Illinois Railway Museum, while 320 is in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. 320 had a notable distinction as, I believe, the last car ever to leave the CA&E property in April 1962, just prior to the complete dismantling of the railroad.
As Larry Plachno has written:
A special note must be made of car 320 which assumed some special importance. The car had been sold to the Iowa Railway Historical Museum in Centerville, Iowa. On Friday, April 6, 1962, Jim and Bob Lewis of the Museum and V. Allan Vaughn of the Iowa Chapter of the NRHS were in Wheaton to prepare 320 for movement to Iowa.
That morning was spent oiling journals and motors, removing motor brushes, and boarding up the car for movement. Arrangements had already been made with Walter Schneider, head of the Commercial Metals scrapping operation, for a special movement of this car. At 1:00 P.M. the Commercial Metals EJ&E switcher 212 came up to the car and was coupled up with an adapter coupler. By 1:30, the diesel and car 320 headed down the Aurora branch. By 2:30 P.M. the diesel and car reached the CB&Q interchange at Aurora. After arriving in Aurora, additional work was done on boarding up the windows for the trip west.
On Sunday, a CB&Q switcher pulled 320 to the Eola Yard where it was placed on a flat car for shipment to Centerville, Iowa. Only days later the Commercial Metals locomotive would return to Aurora to start ripping up rail. However, 320 arrived safely in Centerville and began museum operations on June 9 and 10, 1962. Consequently, 320 was the last car to operate over CA&E mainline rail. It was also the first museum car to operate after the abandonment of the CA&E. In all, 12 wooden passenger cars, seven steel passenger cars, one line car, and one flat car were saved. As far as is known, all but one car (320) left Wheaton through a temporary interchange track installed by the C&NW in Wheaton.
Chicago Aurora & Elgin 320 on CB&Q flat car 94027 at Eola, Illinois on May 12, 1962. (Chuck Zeiler Photo)
We thank Mr. Barber for sharing these great pictures with us.
I actually enjoy seeing the ones that have motion blur in them. They remind us that the “Roarin’ Elgin” wasn’t a static or slow-moving affair. It was all about SPEED and these pictures demonstrate that quite well, showing things in motion. I assume that several of these photos have not been published before.
CA&E ROW at Wheaton Looking East from the gate tower. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Wheaton Station, which was eventually torn down. (William Barber Collection)
Main street looking west in Wheaton, the site of the old CA&E station.
CA&E Motor 3003 at Wheaton Shops. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Motors 2001, 2002 and 3003 at Wheaton Shops. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Motor 4006 at Wheaton Shops. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Motor no. 7 at Wheaton Shops. (William Barber Collection)
In a previous post, our readers identified the location of this June 9, 1957 fantrip photo as being on the CA&E Batavia branch, between the power house and the Batavia terminal. This was one of but two sections on this branch that used overhead wire. (William Barber Collection)
As this enlargement from Roy Benedict’s 1957 track map shows, there were but two places on the CA&E Batavia branch under trolley wire. Having eliminated State Road as a possibility, that pretty much decides it as the stretch between the Power House and the end of the line.
CA&E Car no. 459 on the Mannheim Spur, June 9, 1957. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Car no. 20 Elgin, IL Station, June 9, 1957. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Car no. 20 meets a 450 series car at Geneva Junction on June 9, 1957. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Motors 4005 & 4006 EJ&E interchange at Wayne, June 9, 1957. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Car no. 459 End of Track 12th St., Hillside, IL, June 9, 1957. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Car no. 20 taken from the EJ&E Bridge, June 9, 1957. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E Car no. 20 on the Aurora Branch, June 9, 1957. (William Barber Collection)
CA&E 459 at Raymond Street in Elgin, June 9, 1957. (Mark Llanuza Collection)
The flyer for what became the final passenger movement on the CA&E. Freight service lasted a few months into 1959 before it too was abandoned. Various efforts to revive the interurban failed, and it received government permission for complete abandonment in 1961. (William Barber Collection)
On December 7, 1958, CA&E wood cars 319 and 320 operated the last passenger train on that venerable railroad as a charter. Here, we are at Fifth Avenue station looking east. After the CTA abandoned the Westchester branch, this station was repainted in CA&E colors, and the interurban took over all service here from 1951-57.
Another picture from the December 7, 1958 CA&E fantrip. Here, the snow has started falling and we are at the Elgin end of the line. (Mark LLanuza Collection)
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 113th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. During our first 365 days of operation, we received 114,587 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. You can make a donation there as well.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
We thank you for your support.
Yesterday was The Trolley Dodger’s first birthday, and that’s the one that usually gets the most attention from the parents. They make a big fuss over the infant, throw a party, and take lots of pictures. Then, gradually, less and less pictures are taken of the brat and eventually he ends up in reform school. Anyway, we’re off to a good start thanks to your help. Let’s hope we don’t get the “terrible twos.”
Joey Morrow, one of our younger railfans, writes:
It’s the North Shore’s 53/100th anniversary!!!
Happy Birthday NSL, I thank the the world that I learned about the NSL and I think people should take a moment to look a how the railroads shaped America, and how the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad shaped high speed rail operation. 100 years ago the Chicago and Milwaukee electric was renamed into the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad, what it would remain for the last 47 years of service. 53 years ago (in about 2 1/2 hours). The railroad that shaped the awesome interurban era, will be the one to end it. It will ride the rails into heaven right behind her sister, the Chicago Aurora & Elgin, and it will show everyone the power of highways and what they can do to a railroad that shaped an era that could have been the railroads we see today.
Now the NSL shall sadly end what it has started. This railroad tops my list of favorite railroads. I watched the Amtrak HHP-8’s come to an end before I knew about the ACS-64’s. The awful story of Grand Trunk Western 5629 and 5632 scared me, to know the awesome steam power can’t stop a company to get it’s property. They shall join the other lost sister interurban roads that got lost from their southern sister. And the South Shore Line shall carry on the legacy of the interurban. The Iowa electric shall carry on last non-private electric freight operation, with their newest locomotives from 1923, these trains need help, help them. These stories of trains are what shape my life, and the adventure inside my soul to find remains of the NSL. Trains are what fuel me, it pumps steam powered pistons in my heart and turns drive wheels so I can walk. It’s what makes my life as a 13 year old in 7th grade possible. Please everyone, take trains into consideration, if there were no trains, then there will be no America. Trains are big, important, beautiful, behemoths on rails.
Thanks, Joey. Keep up the good work. Also keep in mind that, many times, when one door closes, another opens. While for many years there was one electric railway abandonment after another, now it is generally the reverse, with more and more new lines being built all the time.
Joey also asked if anyone can identify what railroad used to run in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge in New York, on Plymouth Street. He is not sure whether these were freight tracks or streetcar. In the close-up view, you can see an overhead wire support:
So, let’s see if we can help out an aspiring (not expiring) railfan.
Dick Myers replies:
I have a possible answer to the question posed by Joey in your Trolley Dodger blog posting. I posed the question to another email group, and received the following reply:
That’s the Brooklyn Bridge you see in the photos and the tracks may have been those of the B.E.D.T. (Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal) which serviced the piers along the East River Brooklyn waterfront into the 1960s. They had a fleet of 0-4-0T locomotives. Steve Hayes
The Wikipedia article on this railroad indicates they only used steam and diesel locomotives.
Thanks, however further research has shown it was not the B. E. D. T. (PS- The 3-CD collection Twilight of Steam, available via our Online Store, has audio recordings on it of steam locomotives on the Brooklyn East District Terminal not long before they switched to diesel in 1963.)
Looks like both Seth (see comments section below) and Bill Wall have the correct answer:
The section of track you are looking at was formerly operated by the Jay Street Connecting RR, abandoned in 1959. It was never electrified. What you see there sticking out from the warehouse is most likely either an awning or some kind of hoist for unloading. Find attached another photo of the area from 1944:
Daniel Joseph has some additional information to share with us regarding off-street bus loops (mostly regarding Evanston):
The #202 and Saturday #203 short turns used Sherman-Davis as a terminal until those routes were discontinued. My memory fails me as to the location of the terminal for the #204.
If my memory is still working correctly, during Sunday Chicago Bears football games at Soldiers Field in the late 1980s, the left northbound lane of Lake Shore Drive south of Balbo was used by southbound #128 Soldiers Field buses. This will need verification.
The southbound contraflow bus lane in the left northbound lane in Lake Shore Drive from Balbo to Soldiers Field for Sunday Bears football games was confirmed by Robert Bourine and David L. Phillips. Unknown how the buses existed this lane.
Also the bus lane at Linden Purple Line is always used for bus replacement shuttles.
Weekday afternoons CTA operated a bus from Skokie Shops south on Crawford/Pulaski to Foster. In the morning a north bound trip may also have been provided.
Sherman & Davis bus bay was confirmed by Robert Bourine and David L. Philips. it was separated from Sherman by an Island with pillars supporting the parking garage.The city of Evanston has a photo.
Skokie Shops bus boarding in the parking lot was confirmed by Walter Keevil and David L. Phillips. In the afternoon it traveled south on Crawford/Pulaski to Foster. Technically this route would accept regular passengers at the parking lot. We cannot determine if a corresponding morning northbound trip existed.
Andre Kristopans adds:
It did turn into shop property. Routing at least until the 1970’s was Oakton-Dodge/California-Foster-Pulaski, I gather to make more connections. Also Sherman/Davis turn-in was used by all four Evanston routes until the big rearrangement when 202 and 203 went away and 205/206 started.
Model of North Shore Line Milwaukee Terminal
Yesterday, I noticed some interesting photos online in an e-mail distributed by Terrell Colson, posted by Jim Rindt:
There has recently been interest in the Depots by John “Midwest Interurban Terminal” which is, of course,The North Shore Line’s Milwaukee Terminal in HO scale. I built one for a customer a number of years ago but I cannot remember if I ever posted pics of it here or not. So here it is, enjoy!
After seeing the pictures of the model, I contacted Jim Rindt and asked if he would let us post them here.
Thanks for your note. I would be glad to have you to post the pics of it on your blog. Your blog is one I enjoy.
My website is http://www.rindtsrelics.com and I have several other North Shore items available and soon the Insull Spanish depots in N, HO & O scales. By the Summer I am hoping to have HO kits available for the Dempster, Kenosha and Mundelein.
The original North Shore Line terminal in Milwaukee sat vacant for more than a year before it was torn down in the summer of 1964. Another building occupies the site at 6th and Michigan today, with nary a trace of traction heritage to be found. But model-making presents an opportunity to preserve history in another way, one that builds things instead of tearing them down.
That made it especially appealing to me yesterday, the 53rd anniversary of the North Shore Line’s demise. It is no coincidence that this is the same date I picked to launch The Trolley Dodger. I would like January 21st to be associated with new beginnings and not just sad endings.
There is a large North Shore Line sign very much like this one on display at the Illinois Railway Museum, although I do not know for certain whether it actually came from the Milwaukee terminal.