Joseph Canfield and the North Shore Line

The Shore Line in June 1955, the month before abandonment.  (Joseph Canfield Photo, Dave Stanley Collection)

The Shore Line in June 1955, the month before abandonment. (Joseph Canfield Photo, Dave Stanley Collection)

Today, we are featuring North Shore Line images, generously shared with us by Dave Stanley. Many of these were taken by the late Jospeh Canfield, and even better, a good selection show the Shore Line Route, which was abandoned in 1955.

I spent a lot of time in Photoshop making these images look better. I hope you will like the results.

As always, if you can help us identify locations, we would like to hear from you.

In addition, we have some recent photo finds of our own.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

From the Collections of Dave Stanley:

The one-way (presumably eastbound) direction of traffic here is probably a clue to this location on the north side, whether in Evanston or Chicago.

The one-way (presumably eastbound) direction of traffic here is probably a clue to this location on the north side, whether in Evanston or Chicago.

NSL 159 and train crossing a bridge on the Shore Line Route. on July 20, 1955 (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 159 and train crossing a bridge on the Shore Line Route. on July 20, 1955 (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 725 at the rear of a train crossing the same bridge on July 20, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 725 at the rear of a train crossing the same bridge on July 20, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

That looks like NSL 154 at the head of a train crossing the same bridge on July 20, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

That looks like NSL 154 at the head of a train crossing the same bridge on July 20, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

This shows a North Shore Line interurban train turning south from Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette between 4th and 3rd. After making a station stop, the NSL continued south into Chicago via CTA trackage starting at Linden Avenue. This picture was taken on July 17, 1955 by the late Joseph M. Canfield, just one week before service was abandoned on the NSL's Shore Line Route. The CTA section of the route was connected to NSL trackage that ran parallel to the Chicago & North Western by several blocks of street running through a residential neighborhood, where speed was restricted to (I think) 10 mph. Some blocks west of here, the trains turned north in an area that is currently occupied by a Panera (and, before that, one of those A-frame IHOPs). I have included a Google street view photo of the same location. The North Shore Line ran in the section where you can see the street widens.

This shows a North Shore Line interurban train turning south from Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette between 4th and 3rd. After making a station stop, the NSL continued south into Chicago via CTA trackage starting at Linden Avenue. This picture was taken on July 17, 1955 by the late Joseph M. Canfield, just one week before service was abandoned on the NSL’s Shore Line Route. The CTA section of the route was connected to NSL trackage that ran parallel to the Chicago & North Western by several blocks of street running through a residential neighborhood, where speed was restricted to (I think) 10 mph. Some blocks west of here, the trains turned north in an area that is currently occupied by a Panera (and, before that, one of those A-frame IHOPs). I have included a Google street view photo of the same location. The North Shore Line ran in the section where you can see the street widens.

A winter scene along Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette.

A winter scene along Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette.

At an unknown location on the Shore Line Route.

At an unknown location on the Shore Line Route.

NSL 182 heads up a Shore Line train on July 15, 1955.

NSL 182 heads up a Shore Line train on July 15, 1955.

The late Joseph Canfield took this picture on July 8, 1950.

The late Joseph Canfield took this picture on July 8, 1950.

A North Shore train in Highland Park on July 22, 1955.

A North Shore train in Highland Park on July 22, 1955.

NSL 411 on January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 411 on January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 411 on January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 411 on January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

A train of Silverliners on April 20, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

A train of Silverliners on April 20, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

An Electroliner at speed on April 7, 1961. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

An Electroliner at speed on April 7, 1961. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

A four car train (no, I won't call them

A four car train (no, I won’t call them “Greenliners”) on May 27, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

A North Shore Line freight train, headed up by loco 454, on July 9, 1960. (Josdeph Canfield Photo)

A North Shore Line freight train, headed up by loco 454, on July 9, 1960. (Josdeph Canfield Photo)

February 22, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

February 22, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

February 22, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

February 22, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 748 on July 18, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 748 on July 18, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

A North Shore Line interurban train, possibly on a fantrip, at the Deerpath station in Lake Forest, Illinois. Photo by Joseph M. Canfield, from the Dave Stanley collection. The boy at left is probably collecting Social Security now.

A North Shore Line interurban train, possibly on a fantrip, at the Deerpath station in Lake Forest, Illinois. Photo by Joseph M. Canfield, from the Dave Stanley collection. The boy at left is probably collecting Social Security now.

July 24, 1961. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

July 24, 1961. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

Line car in June 1952.

Line car in June 1952.

NSL 723 is westbound on the Mundelein branch on May 19, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 723 is westbound on the Mundelein branch on May 19, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 168 is eastbound on the Mundelein branch on July 21, 1960. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 168 is eastbound on the Mundelein branch on July 21, 1960. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 177 heads up a two-car train at Libertyville on February 22, 1959. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 177 heads up a two-car train at Libertyville on February 22, 1959. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 709 is northbound at Highmoor on February 12, 1961. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 709 is northbound at Highmoor on February 12, 1961. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

An Electroliner southbound at Highmoor on May 28, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

An Electroliner southbound at Highmoor on May 28, 1962. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

January 12, 1963. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

This shows where the North Shore Line interurban tracks connected to the CTA at Linden Avenue in Wilmette, just east of the terminal at the north end of the Evanston branch. Here, on July 25, 1955 the track connection with the CTA has been severed forever, as service on the NSL's Shore Line Route was abandoned the day before. There was one final fantrip on the route this same day.

This shows where the North Shore Line interurban tracks connected to the CTA at Linden Avenue in Wilmette, just east of the terminal at the north end of the Evanston branch. Here, on July 25, 1955 the track connection with the CTA has been severed forever, as service on the NSL’s Shore Line Route was abandoned the day before. There was one final fantrip on the route this same day.

Although this photo is not very sharp, it is historic, since it shows the dismantling of the Shore Line Route on January 28, 1956. I think this may be Wilmette. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

Although this photo is not very sharp, it is historic, since it shows the dismantling of the Shore Line Route on January 28, 1956. I think this may be Wilmette. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

Joseph Canfield took this photo to show the Trains Stop sign on a pole here along Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette.

Joseph Canfield took this photo to show the Trains Stop sign on a pole here along Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette.

This

This “before the North Shore Line” photo shows car 37.

NSL 715 and 411 at an unknown location.

NSL 715 and 411 at an unknown location.

June 1955.

June 1955.

NSL 159 on the Shore Line Route, July 17, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 159 on the Shore Line Route, July 17, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

Although this is not the greatest photo, technically, it is one of the few I have seen at this location in Waukegan. That may be NSL 168.

Although this is not the greatest photo, technically, it is one of the few I have seen at this location in Waukegan. That may be NSL 168.

I don't know the location, but at least I can tell you this picture was taken on February 12, 1958. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

I don’t know the location, but at least I can tell you this picture was taken on February 12, 1958. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 219 on November 24, 1955. Don's Rail Photos adds:

NSL 219 on November 24, 1955. Don’s Rail Photos adds: “219 was built by Cincinnati in October 1922, #2605, as a merchandise dispatch car. It was rebuilt as a work car in 1948.” (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 411 on November 24, 1955. Don's Rail Photos:

NSL 411 on November 24, 1955. Don’s Rail Photos: “411 was built as a trailer observation car by Cincinnati Car in June 1923 #2640. It was out of service in 1932. 411 got the same treatment on February 25, 1943, and sold to Trolley Museum of New York in 1963. It was sold to Wisconsin Electric Railway & Historical Society in 1973 and sold to Escanaba & Lake Superior in 1989.” (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 413 on August 21, 1955. Don's Rail Photos:

NSL 413 on August 21, 1955. 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.” (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL 154 on August 21, 1955. Don's Rail Photos:

NSL 154 on August 21, 1955. Don’s Rail Photos: “154 was built by Brill in 1915, #19605. It was acquired by Anderson Railroad Club in 1963 and purchased by Ohio Railway Museum in 1967.” (Joseph Canfield Photo)

Inside the shops on August 25, 1956. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

Inside the shops on August 25, 1956. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

August 21, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

August 21, 1955. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

NSL loco 456 at Weber.

NSL loco 456 at Weber.

NSL loco 457.

NSL loco 457.

Locos 458 and 455 at North Chicago.

Locos 458 and 455 at North Chicago.

NSL loco 459.

NSL loco 459.

Three NSL locos.

Three NSL locos.

NSL 178 heads up a two-car train on Chicago's Loop

NSL 178 heads up a two-car train on Chicago’s Loop “L”, with a CTA train of 4000s at right. (Charles Thompson Photo)

Crossing the Chicago River just north of the Loop in July 1962.

Crossing the Chicago River just north of the Loop in July 1962.

This picture has been seen here before, but why not show it again? It's the introduction of the Silverliners in 1950, at the old CTA North Water Terminal.

This picture has been seen here before, but why not show it again? It’s the introduction of the Silverliners in 1950, at the old CTA North Water Terminal.

NSL 743 at an undetermined location on Chicago's

NSL 743 at an undetermined location on Chicago’s “L”.

CNS&M 741 heads up a two-car train approaching the Merchandise Mart in July 1962.

CNS&M 741 heads up a two-car train approaching the Merchandise Mart in July 1962.

A Silverliner in Kenosha.

A Silverliner in Kenosha.

A five-car CNS&M train on Chicago's north side. In the days before air conditioning became standard on rapid transit cars, a rider holds the door open on a hot day to take advantage of the breeze.

A five-car CNS&M train on Chicago’s north side. In the days before air conditioning became standard on rapid transit cars, a rider holds the door open on a hot day to take advantage of the breeze.

An Electroliner in June 1962, with what appears to be a CTA bus at right.

An Electroliner in June 1962, with what appears to be a CTA bus at right.

CNS&M 712 and 736 at Roosevelt Road in June 1962.

CNS&M 712 and 736 at Roosevelt Road in June 1962.

An Electroliner in Waukegan.

An Electroliner in Waukegan.

Edison Court, January 1963.

Edison Court, January 1963.

Edison Court, January 1963.

Edison Court, January 1963.

CNS&M 761 is at the back end of a southbound train on the old Sixth Street Viaduct in September 1961.

CNS&M 761 is at the back end of a southbound train on the old Sixth Street Viaduct in September 1961.

Milwaukee, June 1962.

Milwaukee, June 1962.

At Harrison Street.

At Harrison Street.

Recent Correspondence:

Jim Dexter writes:

I enjoyed the North Shore Line photos very much.

The second photo, showing the combine traveling over the viaduct, was clearly taken at Church Street in downtown Evanston. You can see the Marshall Field’s department store building — which is still there — just beyond the viaduct on the left. And straight ahead, you can see the old Evanston Public Library. That building has been replaced twice, but it’s still the location of the library.

I would also strongly suspect that the next three pictures show the bridge over the North Shore Sanitary Canal in Evanston, just north of the Central Street L station. That would fit in with the geographic sequencing of the photos, between downtown Evanston and Greenleaf Avenue in Wilmette. I think you can see the end of the Central Street platform in the background.

I lived in Evanston from 1955 to 1972.

Jeff Wien writes:

I do not know if you still need to identify some of the Canfield images, but here is what I figured:

253 Church Street, Evanston
159 North Shore Channel Bridge, Evanston, south of Isabella
725,184 Same location as 159
Greenleaf & 4th, Wilmette, train is heading west, not south
Greenleaf at approx. 8th Street in snow
Wilmette Station, train heading north from station
182 Forest Avenue crossing, Wilmette
Kenilworth
411 Lake Bluff (7 views around Lower Lake Bluff trackage)
Deerpath
Lower Lake Bluff
Arcadia, Mundelein Branch
Rondout
Liner north of Lake Bluff Station
715-411 Glencoe Gauntlet track

I hope that this list is helpful to you in plugging in the missing information.

Recent Photo Finds

“Five CTA one-man arch roof cars #3145, 1772, 3232, 3220, and 3266 in the process of being scrapped at 77th and Vincennes (South Shops) on December 12, 1953 (taken through fence).” (Robert Selle Photo)

Brooklyn and Queens Transit PCC 1051 on the

Brooklyn and Queens Transit PCC 1051 on the “Triboro Trolley Tour” in 1948. That appears to be a 1934 Ford at left.

South Shore Line #105 is at Bendix in South Bend, headed east, on July 6, 1953. In 1970, service was cut back to here, but has since been extended to a local airport. There are plans afoot to once again bring trains to downtown South Bend, but on private right-of-way. (Robert Selle Photo)

South Shore Line #105 is at Bendix in South Bend, headed east, on July 6, 1953. In 1970, service was cut back to here, but has since been extended to a local airport. There are plans afoot to once again bring trains to downtown South Bend, but on private right-of-way. (Robert Selle Photo)

“CTA ex-CSL 4-wheel trailers (bottom one is W-267) at DesPlaines Avenue “L” terminal on October 5, 1958.” Behind this, you can see some wooden Met “L” cars in work service. (Robert Selle Photo)

Don's Rail Photos:

Don’s Rail Photos: “E23, sweeper, was built by McGuire in 1895 as NCStRy 34. It became CRys 26 in 1908 and renumbered E23 in 1913. It became CSL E23 in 1914 and retired on March 11, 1959.” Here, E23 is at the 77th Street yards on August 8, 1958, several weeks after the end of streetcar service in Chicago. (Robert Selle Photo)

“CTA one-man car 6177 is turning south onto Kedzie from Cermak Road on July 23, 1953.” (Bob Selle Photo)

A two-car train of CTA 6000s in August 1970 at the DesPlaines Avenue terminal of what is now the Blue Line in Forest Park. This was the circa 1959 version of this terminal, which has since been replaced.

A two-car train of CTA 6000s in August 1970 at the DesPlaines Avenue terminal of what is now the Blue Line in Forest Park. This was the circa 1959 version of this terminal, which has since been replaced.

A two-car train of CTA 2000s at Harlem Avenue on the Lake Street

A two-car train of CTA 2000s at Harlem Avenue on the Lake Street “L” (today’s Green Line) on November 11, 1966. Until 1962, this line ran on the ground next to the Chicago & North Western embankment.

The CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal in August 1970. The towers at right have since been demolished.

The CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal in August 1970. The towers at right have since been demolished.

CTA 2000s and 6000s at the old Logan Square terminal on November 13, 1966.

CTA 2000s and 6000s at the old Logan Square terminal on November 13, 1966.

CTA prewar PCC 4046 is at a loop located at 72nd and Cottage Grove, circa 1952-55 when these cars were used on Route 4.

CTA prewar PCC 4046 is at a loop located at 72nd and Cottage Grove, circa 1952-55 when these cars were used on Route 4.

North Shore Line Silverliner special at Glencoe gauntlet on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line Silverliner special at Glencoe gauntlet on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

“View of CTA Big Pullmans #588, 572, and 537 at 70th and Ashland yards on January 2, 1954.” (Robert Selle Photo)

CTA one-man car 1757, turning north onto Pulaski Road from Fifth Avenue (at the west end of the Fifth Avenue line) on July 5, 1953. This is one of the old red cars that the CTA painted green. Notice that the streetcar is turning onto a gauntlet track, so as not to interfere with the northbound and southbound tracks on Pulaski. The Pulaski station on the Garfield Park

CTA one-man car 1757, turning north onto Pulaski Road from Fifth Avenue (at the west end of the Fifth Avenue line) on July 5, 1953. This is one of the old red cars that the CTA painted green. Notice that the streetcar is turning onto a gauntlet track, so as not to interfere with the northbound and southbound tracks on Pulaski. The Pulaski station on the Garfield Park “L” is at rear. (Robert Selle Photo)

A three-cr train of CTA 1700-series RR roof

A three-cr train of CTA 1700-series RR roof “L” cars descends the ramp between Laramie and Central on the Lake Street “L”, bringing it down to street level, on December 6, 1952. (Robert Selle Photo)

CSL instruction car 1466 is on Franklin near Van Buren Street on June 12, 1943. This car was used for training in the Van Buren tunnel under the Chicago River, not far from where this picture was taken. (R. J. Anderson photo)

CSL instruction car 1466 is on Franklin near Van Buren Street on June 12, 1943. This car was used for training in the Van Buren tunnel under the Chicago River, not far from where this picture was taken. (R. J. Anderson photo)

Prewar CSL PCC 7017 at the Madison and Austin loop in 1938. (Photo by Meyer)

Prewar CSL PCC 7017 at the Madison and Austin loop in 1938. (Photo by Meyer)

A southbound two-car North Shore Line train, headed up by 771, at Zion on September 24, 1961.

A southbound two-car North Shore Line train, headed up by 771, at Zion on September 24, 1961.

On October 20, 1996, a C&NW freight train passes some CTA 2400s (2457, 2512, and 2410) in the Green Line yard in Forest Park. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

On October 20, 1996, a C&NW freight train passes some CTA 2400s (2457, 2512, and 2410) in the Green Line yard in Forest Park. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

To celebrate the centennial of the Chicago

To celebrate the centennial of the Chicago “L”, a pair of CTA 2000s (2007-2008) were repainted and renumbered 1892-1992. We see them at the Green Line yard in Forest Park on March 15, 1996, with a C&NW freight at rear. It looks like the River Forest Jewel had recently opened, as only a portion of the parking lot was being used. The remainder was once occupied by a building that had recently been demolished. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

CTA articulated compartment car 5002, renumbered to car 52 in the early 1960s, was once again renumbered as 75 for this country's bicentennial. It eventually went to the Illinois Railway Museum as 52. Here we see it at Skokie Shops on January 26, 1975. (Bruno Berzins Photo)

CTA articulated compartment car 5002, renumbered to car 52 in the early 1960s, was once again renumbered as 75 for this country’s bicentennial. It eventually went to the Illinois Railway Museum as 52. Here we see it at Skokie Shops on January 26, 1975. (Bruno Berzins Photo)

Now Available On Compact Disc

CDLayout33p85

RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963

Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.

Total time – 73:14


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern

$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.

Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30

Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31

Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02

Total time (3 discs) – 215:03


The Trolley Dodger On the Air

We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago last November, 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)

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Chicago, South Shore & South Bend car 30 was built in 1926 by Pullman, and retired in the early 1980s. It, and several of its sister cars, are an important part of East Troy's fleet.

Chicago, South Shore & South Bend car 30 was built in 1926 by Pullman, and retired in the early 1980s. It, and several of its sister cars, are an important part of East Troy’s fleet.

There’s plenty of traction action going on nowadays in Wisconsin, the Badger State. We just spent an eventful weekend checking it out.

On Friday, we stopped by Kenosha for a ride on their two-mile streetcar loop. 4616, the Cincinnati tribute car, was out on the line that day.

On Saturday, I spent some time in Milwaukee, where track construction on Phase 1 of their new modern streetcar line is well underway. A few blocks of track are already in place on St. Paul Street.

The 2.5 mile-long line begins near the Milwaukee Intermodal Station (Amtrak), and heads east into the historic Third Ward. It will cross the Milwaukee River, but as of this writing no work has been done to add tracks to the existing bridge on St. Paul.

From the Third Ward, home of the Milwaukee Public Market, the line heads north into the Lower East Side, via two one-way routes, before turning north and east to its initial terminus at Burns Commons.

Here is a map showing the planned lines. Cars will be stored underneath nearby highway 94.

This is the first time I have seen new streetcar construction. I’m used to seeing decades-old tracks, long buried under asphalt, being torn out. The idea that this line will be completed sometime within the next two years is an exciting prospect.

Here is a recently discovered video, showing the final day of service on Route 10, Milwaukee’s last streetcar line, on March 1, 1958:

On Sunday, we headed out to the East Troy Electric Railroad, to ride on the last remaining original interurban trackage in Wisconsin.

South Shore Line car 30, which is one that was never lengthened and modernized, was out that day, as was Twin cities Rapid Transit 1583. The two 4000s are out of service and being worked on, as are the two Milwaukee cars.

We rode 1583 last year (see our previous post Badger Traction, 2016).

This was our first time riding a South Shore Line car at East Troy, and they seem to do quite well there. The South Shore cars, which were capable of high speeds, used 1500 volt DC current on their home tracks, but now have to make do with just 600. This is not a problem, as top speed on this demonstration railroad is about 15-20 mph.

The South Shore cars are wider than the line was designed for, which means tighter clearances with the line poles. If you do travel there, be sure not to stick anything out the windows.

While tourist trolleys and railroad museums are important and deserve your support, I for one will be glad when Wisconsonites will be able to use a streetcar for its original intended purpose, which is to get from one place to another.

-David Sadowski

Don's Rail Photos: "4616 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1950, #1674, and completed by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1951, #1912, as TTC 4515, Class A8. It was rebuilt in 1991 as 4616, Class A15. It was sold to Vintage Electric Streetcar Co in 1996 and sold to KTL as 4616. It was painted in a Cincinnati Street Ry scheme."

Don’s Rail Photos: “4616 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1950, #1674, and completed by Canadian Car & Foundry in 1951, #1912, as TTC 4515, Class A8. It was rebuilt in 1991 as 4616, Class A15. It was sold to Vintage Electric Streetcar Co in 1996 and sold to KTL as 4616. It was painted in a Cincinnati Street Ry scheme.”

At left, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

At left, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

This was originally a smoking compartment.

This was originally a smoking compartment.

Car 30 still has its original mahogany wood, unlike the South Shore cars that were lengthened and modernized in the 1940s.

Car 30 still has its original mahogany wood, unlike the South Shore cars that were lengthened and modernized in the 1940s.

Recent Finds

This August marks 50 years since my first trip to Boston. This picture of MBTA 3295 was taken on Beacon Street on August 31, 1967, and shows the PCCs just as I remember them from that time. (Frederick F. Marder Photo)

This August marks 50 years since my first trip to Boston. This picture of MBTA 3295 was taken on Beacon Street on August 31, 1967, and shows the PCCs just as I remember them from that time. (Frederick F. Marder Photo)

Chicago Missouri & Western GP 40 3025, as it looked on September 5, 1987. If the CM&W logo looks surprisingly familiar, that's because it was copied from the CA&E. All of which should be no surprise, as the Venango River folks, who owned the South shore Line at that time, were involved. In fact, it was taking on this railroad that proved their undoing. (Bruno Berzins Photo)

Chicago Missouri & Western GP 40 3025, as it looked on September 5, 1987. If the CM&W logo looks surprisingly familiar, that’s because it was copied from the CA&E. All of which should be no surprise, as the Venango River folks, who owned the South shore Line at that time, were involved. In fact, it was taking on this railroad that proved their undoing. (Bruno Berzins Photo)

Here is a very interesting streetscape. It shows one of the old Third Avenue El stations in the Bowery, Manhattan in 1955, possibly after the line closed on May 12. Those two convertibles are Fords.

Here is a very interesting streetscape. It shows one of the old Third Avenue El stations in the Bowery, Manhattan in 1955, possibly after the line closed on May 12. Those two convertibles are Fords.

This is indeed a rare and historic photo. By comparison with a postcard view on Don Ross' web site, taken at exactly the same time, we can say with certainty that this shows Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria freight loco 25 pulling some coaches into Princeton, Illinois on July 31, 1908. This was the first CO&P train to this area.

This is indeed a rare and historic photo. By comparison with a postcard view on Don Ross’ web site, taken at exactly the same time, we can say with certainty that this shows Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria freight loco 25 pulling some coaches into Princeton, Illinois on July 31, 1908. This was the first CO&P train to this area.

Interior shots from long ago are fairly rare. This one shows Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC 42 in May 1967. Don's Rail Photos says, "42 was built by St. Louis Car in 1946, #1655, as SLPS 1767. It was sold as SHRT 42 in 1959 and converted to MU operation after purchase."

Interior shots from long ago are fairly rare. This one shows Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC 42 in May 1967. Don’s Rail Photos says, “42 was built by St. Louis Car in 1946, #1655, as SLPS 1767. It was sold as SHRT 42 in 1959 and converted to MU operation after purchase.”

Old-time railfanning was, unfortunately, often a series of "lasts." Here we see DC Transit 1101 at the Peace Monument in front of the Capitol building on January 27, 1962, the last day of service. Streetcars have since returned to Washington, D. C.

Old-time railfanning was, unfortunately, often a series of “lasts.” Here we see DC Transit 1101 at the Peace Monument in front of the Capitol building on January 27, 1962, the last day of service. Streetcars have since returned to Washington, D. C.

Here is a northbound five-car North Shore Line train at Great Lakes on December 30, 1951, with 706 at the rear.

Here is a northbound five-car North Shore Line train at Great Lakes on December 30, 1951, with 706 at the rear.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin woods 317 and 316 went to the end of the line on the Batavia branch on an Illini Railroad Club fantrip on October 16, 1955.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin woods 317 and 316 went to the end of the line on the Batavia branch on an Illini Railroad Club fantrip on October 16, 1955.

North Shore Line 733 is at Chicago Avenue on the "L" in June 1953.

North Shore Line 733 is at Chicago Avenue on the “L” in June 1953.

CA&E caboose 1001 at Wheaton, February 21, 1959. This was just prior to the end of freight service on the railroad. Passenger service ended on July 3, 1957, except for a few charters.

CA&E caboose 1001 at Wheaton, February 21, 1959. This was just prior to the end of freight service on the railroad. Passenger service ended on July 3, 1957, except for a few charters.

CTA trolley bus 9440, northbound on Lake Park at 56th, in October 1958. Trolley bus service ended on the 51st-55th route on June 21, 1959, exactly one year after the last Chicago streetcar ran. This was the beginning of a 14-year phase out of electric bus service.

CTA trolley bus 9440, northbound on Lake Park at 56th, in October 1958. Trolley bus service ended on the 51st-55th route on June 21, 1959, exactly one year after the last Chicago streetcar ran. This was the beginning of a 14-year phase out of electric bus service.

Recent Correspondence

Jack Bejna writes:

The Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railway started operations with 8 motors and 2 trailers built by the Niles Car Company in 1902, and 16 motors and 5 trailers built by the John Stephenson Car Company, also in 1902. Here are images of the Stephenson cars except for: CA&E 32 (rebuilt to flat car 1936), CA&E 40 (retired 1911), CA&E 50 (no image found), CA&E 58 (burned 1911).

Thanks for the CA&E photos!

Great stuff, as always.

Jack replies:

My plan is to eventually provide you with as complete a photographic record of the CA&E roster that you may use as you see fit. As I find new images that are worthy of your wonderful site I will provide them to you. The latest group of the original Stephenson order is missing a few of the cars that either were off the roster early or were not photographed much. Car 38 is, of course, the only car that was converted to rectangular end windows so I created an image that highlights the windows.

Thanks for the last two posts of The Trolley Dodger; both of them present a huge amount of information, images, etc., of properties that disappeared many years ago but still live thanks to your continuing efforts!

Good job!!

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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