Night Beat

In this classic July 1963 shot, South Shore Line car 25 is parked at the east end of the line in downtown South Bend, across from the Hotel LaSalle. Service was cut back to Bendix at the outskirts of town in 1970, and later extended to the local airport. Don's Rail Photos adds, "25 was built by Pullman in 1927. It was lengthened and air conditioned, and got picture windows in 1947."

In this classic July 1963 shot, South Shore Line car 25 is parked at the east end of the line in downtown South Bend, across from the Hotel LaSalle. Service was cut back to Bendix at the outskirts of town in 1970, and later extended to the local airport. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “25 was built by Pullman in 1927. It was lengthened and air conditioned, and got picture windows in 1947.”

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Chicagoans of a certain age might recall Night Beat, a WGN-TV late night news show that aired after the Late Movie between 1958 and 1983. For much of that time, baritone Carl Greyson was the announcer.*

We begin today’s post with our very own Night Beat of sorts, an exhibit of some fine night photography from the early 1960s. We rightly celebrate 3/4 views of streetcars taken on days with bright sunshine and cloudless skies, but there is also something to be said for those few railfan shutterbugs who experimented and documented what some cities call “Owl Service.”

Back in the days of film and manually set cameras, many photographers operated using the “sunny f/16” rule, or some variation thereof, where your shutter speed corresponds to the film speed, and your lens opening is f/16 on a bright sunny day. So, with ISO 64 film, this gives a setting of 1/60th of a second at f/16, and you can extrapolate from there (i.e., this is equivalent to 1/125th at f/11, 1/250th at f/8, etc.).

But this relationship begins to fail when you are talking about longer exposures. It is an effect called “reciprocity failure.” Now, your general idea of reciprocity might be that if I scratch your back, you’ll scratch mine. But for our purposes, this means that photographic materials may not behave in a predictable manner when used outside of the norm.

So, long exposure times of several seconds may not give predictable results. There are other problems with night shots, including the different colors of mixed light sources (incandescent plus fluorescent), and problems with determining the proper exposure when light sources have such a wide range of brightness.

This means you really can’t follow any special rule for available light photography at night; it’s really a matter of trial and error. The best method is to steady your camera on a tripod and experiment with different exposures, in hopes that perhaps one image out of the lot might turn out really well.

What we have here are some excellent shots, taken by an unknown photographer who was good at this sort of thing and was willing to travel the country. Chances are, for every acceptable photo, there were several that ended up in the circular file.

Here’s to those unnamed Night Owls who prowled around in the 1960s and covered the traction Night Beat.

-David Sadowski

*You can hear the classic 1970s Night Beat theme here. A fuller version of the theme, which many associate with Chicago night life, can be heard in a 1977 special that featured actor Bill Bixby. Supposedly, the music was composed by Dave Grusin, although nobody seems to know for sure what the piece was called, or where it originated.

A two-car train of 6000s prepares to head east from the DesPlaines Avenue terminal on the CTA Congress branch in April 1964. This was the station arrangement from 1959 until the early 1980s. As I recall, the entrance at right in front of the train led to a narrow sidewalk where you had to cross the tracks in order to access the platform, hardly an ideal setup. At right there was a parking lot, and a few streaks of light show you where I-290 is located. The tracks today are in pretty much the same exact location, however.

A two-car train of 6000s prepares to head east from the DesPlaines Avenue terminal on the CTA Congress branch in April 1964. This was the station arrangement from 1959 until the early 1980s. As I recall, the entrance at right in front of the train led to a narrow sidewalk where you had to cross the tracks in order to access the platform, hardly an ideal setup. At right there was a parking lot, and a few streaks of light show you where I-290 is located. The tracks today are in pretty much the same exact location, however.

I believe this July 1963 picture shows the South Shore Line station at Roosevelt Road. Frank Hicks writes, "Chicago South Shore & South Bend 504. This interurban freight trailer has a more unusual history than most. It was built for ISC as an interurban combine, and ran on that system's lines in Indiana for five years until ISC became part of the great Indiana Railroad system. IR rebuilt the three cars of the 375-377 series into railway post office cars and put them to use in this unusual capacity. The three RPO's survived on IR until the end of interurban service in 1941, at which time all three were sold to the only other interurban line then operating in Indiana: the South Shore. The South Shore converted 376 into a line car while 375 and 377 became express package trailers. These cars were designed to run in passenger trains and had control lines so that they could be run mid-train; they were often used to transport newspapers. Car 504 was retired in 1975 and acquired by IRM, which has repainted it and put it on display." (Editor's Note: car 377 became 504.)

I believe this July 1963 picture shows the South Shore Line station at Roosevelt Road. Frank Hicks writes, “Chicago South Shore & South Bend 504. This interurban freight trailer has a more unusual history than most. It was built for ISC as an interurban combine, and ran on that system’s lines in Indiana for five years until ISC became part of the great Indiana Railroad system. IR rebuilt the three cars of the 375-377 series into railway post office cars and put them to use in this unusual capacity. The three RPO’s survived on IR until the end of interurban service in 1941, at which time all three were sold to the only other interurban line then operating in Indiana: the South Shore. The South Shore converted 376 into a line car while 375 and 377 became express package trailers. These cars were designed to run in passenger trains and had control lines so that they could be run mid-train; they were often used to transport newspapers. Car 504 was retired in 1975 and acquired by IRM, which has repainted it and put it on display.” (Editor’s Note: car 377 became 504.)

This slide showing one of the North Shore Line Electroliners is dated January 1963, and who knows, it may have been taken on that last frigid night. Jerry Wiatrowski writes, "The unidentified picture of the Electroliner was taken at North Chicago Junction. The train is Southbound coming off of the Waukegan bypass to Edison Court and Milwaukee."

This slide showing one of the North Shore Line Electroliners is dated January 1963, and who knows, it may have been taken on that last frigid night. Jerry Wiatrowski writes, “The unidentified picture of the Electroliner was taken at North Chicago Junction. The train is Southbound coming off of the Waukegan bypass to Edison Court and Milwaukee.”

When this April 1964 picture was taken at the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, the Red Arrow Lines were still privately held, and the Ardmore trolley was still running. Two and a half years later, it would be replaced by bus service. 1941-era Brilliner #1, a Sharon Hill car, is in the station.

When this April 1964 picture was taken at the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, the Red Arrow Lines were still privately held, and the Ardmore trolley was still running. Two and a half years later, it would be replaced by bus service. 1941-era Brilliner #1, a Sharon Hill car, is in the station.

It's August 1963 in Boston, and MTA PCC 3243 stands ready for another trip on the Green Line. Phil Bergen writes, "The night view of the Boston PCC that appears in today’s posting was taken at Riverside terminal. Although picture window PCCs were originally used on this line, other PCCs were added to meet the demand. The side roll sign, once enlarged, indicates this is a Riverside car, and the terminal itself is the only place where there were multiple tracks." The Riverside line started running on July 4, 1959 and occupies a right-of-way once used by a steam commuter railroad. It is considered a pioneer in what we today call "light rail."

It’s August 1963 in Boston, and MTA PCC 3243 stands ready for another trip on the Green Line. Phil Bergen writes, “The night view of the Boston PCC that appears in today’s posting was taken at Riverside terminal. Although picture window PCCs were originally used on this line, other PCCs were added to meet the demand. The side roll sign, once enlarged, indicates this is a Riverside car, and the terminal itself is the only place where there were multiple tracks.” The Riverside line started running on July 4, 1959 and occupies a right-of-way once used by a steam commuter railroad. It is considered a pioneer in what we today call “light rail.”

From 1949 until 1963, the North Shore Line had the CTA's Roosevelt Road station all to itself, as this July 1962 picture of car 752 shows. Don's Rail Photos: "752 was built by Standard Steel Car in 1930. It was modernized in 1940."

From 1949 until 1963, the North Shore Line had the CTA’s Roosevelt Road station all to itself, as this July 1962 picture of car 752 shows. Don’s Rail Photos: “752 was built by Standard Steel Car in 1930. It was modernized in 1940.”

The North Shore Line terminal in Milwaukee in January 1963.

The North Shore Line terminal in Milwaukee in January 1963.

A North Shore Line train stops at Edison Court in January 1963.

A North Shore Line train stops at Edison Court in January 1963.

A Toronto subway train in August 1963.

A Toronto subway train in August 1963.

Toronto Peter Witt 2766 at Vincent Loop in November 1964. (R. McMann Photo)

Toronto Peter Witt 2766 at Vincent Loop in November 1964. (R. McMann Photo)

TTC crane C-2 at work at Queen Street and Eastern Avenue in October 1966. (R. McMann Photo)

TTC crane C-2 at work at Queen Street and Eastern Avenue in October 1966. (R. McMann Photo)

A postcard view of C-2 at work in 1967.

A postcard view of C-2 at work in 1967.

Originally, I thought this was early 1960s night shot showed a CTA single-car unit in the 1-50 series, and those cars were used on the Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee line. But as Andre Kristopans has pointed out, the doors on those cars were closer to the ends than this one, which he identifies as being part of the 6511-6720 series. It just looks like there's one car, since the other "married pair" behind it is not illuminated. This picture was most likely taken at the end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue.

Originally, I thought this was early 1960s night shot showed a CTA single-car unit in the 1-50 series, and those cars were used on the Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee line. But as Andre Kristopans has pointed out, the doors on those cars were closer to the ends than this one, which he identifies as being part of the 6511-6720 series. It just looks like there’s one car, since the other “married pair” behind it is not illuminated. This picture was most likely taken at the end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue.

From left to right, we see New Orleans Public Service cars 930, 934, and 900 in the barn. All were built by Perley-Thomas Car Co in 1924, and are signed for the St. Charles line. New Orleans is practically unique in North America, in that it never modernized its fleet with PCCs, yet has maintained uninterrupted service with vintage equipment. (Even the newer cars New Orleans has now are "retro" styled.) The date of this photo is not known.

From left to right, we see New Orleans Public Service cars 930, 934, and 900 in the barn. All were built by Perley-Thomas Car Co in 1924, and are signed for the St. Charles line. New Orleans is practically unique in North America, in that it never modernized its fleet with PCCs, yet has maintained uninterrupted service with vintage equipment. (Even the newer cars New Orleans has now are “retro” styled.) The date of this photo is not known.

A South Shore Line train at the old Gary station in August 1970.

A South Shore Line train at the old Gary station in August 1970.

South Shore Line car 110 laying over at South Bend, Indiana in July 1963. This was the east end of the line until 1970, when service was cut back to the outskirts of town, and South Bend street running was eliminated. In 1992, service was extended to the South Bend International Airport, 3 miles northwest of downtown South Bend.

South Shore Line car 110 laying over at South Bend, Indiana in July 1963. This was the east end of the line until 1970, when service was cut back to the outskirts of town, and South Bend street running was eliminated. In 1992, service was extended to the South Bend International Airport, 3 miles northwest of downtown South Bend.

This remarkable picture was taken at the North Shore Line's Milwaukee terminal in January 1963. for all we know, this may be the last night of operation. If so, the temperature was below zero.

This remarkable picture was taken at the North Shore Line’s Milwaukee terminal in January 1963. for all we know, this may be the last night of operation. If so, the temperature was below zero.

A Dayton (Ohio) trolley bus at night in September 1972.

A Dayton (Ohio) trolley bus at night in September 1972.


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The next three photos have been added to our previous post Love For Selle (June 8, 2016):

Caption: "3 cars on North Shore Line northbound at Kenilworth (714 on rear of train), July 13, 1955. This was shortly before the end of service on the Shore Line Route. (Bob Selle Photo) Don's Rail Photos: "714 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1926, #2890. It is modernized in 1939 and preserved in 1963 by the Illinois Railway Museum."

Caption: “3 cars on North Shore Line northbound at Kenilworth (714 on rear of train), July 13, 1955. This was shortly before the end of service on the Shore Line Route. (Bob Selle Photo) Don’s Rail Photos: “714 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1926, #2890. It is modernized in 1939 and preserved in 1963 by the Illinois Railway Museum.”

This looks like a 1952 Chevrolet 4-door Fleetline fastback to me, which would be a somewhat rare model with only a few thousand produced. The fastback, which had enjoyed a brief vogue starting around 1941, was dropped for the 1953 model year.

This looks like a 1952 Chevrolet 4-door Fleetline fastback to me, which would be a somewhat rare model with only a few thousand produced. The fastback, which had enjoyed a brief vogue starting around 1941, was dropped for the 1953 model year.

It's May 30, 1958 and Chicago Surface Lines car 1467 (former CTA salt car AA72) is at the Electric Railway Historical Society site on Plainfield Road in Downer's Grove. Don's Rail Photos says this "Bowling Alley" car "was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4516. It was rebuilt as 1467 in 1911 and became CSL 1467 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA72 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on February 28, 1958. It was sold to Electric Railway Historical Society in 1959 and went to Illinois Railway Museum in 1973." Actually it must have been sold earlier, as the negative envelope has written on it "owned now by ERHS!" (Bob Selle Photo)

It’s May 30, 1958 and Chicago Surface Lines car 1467 (former CTA salt car AA72) is at the Electric Railway Historical Society site on Plainfield Road in Downer’s Grove. Don’s Rail Photos says this “Bowling Alley” car “was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4516. It was rebuilt as 1467 in 1911 and became CSL 1467 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA72 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on February 28, 1958. It was sold to Electric Railway Historical Society in 1959 and went to Illinois Railway Museum in 1973.” Actually it must have been sold earlier, as the negative envelope has written on it “owned now by ERHS!” (Bob Selle Photo)

North Shore Line cars 411 and 715 at an unidentified location. Don's Rail Photos says, "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." As for the other car, Don says, "715 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1926, #2890. It is modernized in 1939 and purchased by Mid-Continent Railroad Museum in 1963. It was sold to Wisconsin Electric Railway Museum in 1967 and then sold to Fox River Trolley in 1988."

North Shore Line cars 411 and 715 at an unidentified location. Don’s Rail Photos says, “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.” As for the other car, Don says, “715 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1926, #2890. It is modernized in 1939 and purchased by Mid-Continent Railroad Museum in 1963. It was sold to Wisconsin Electric Railway Museum in 1967 and then sold to Fox River Trolley in 1988.”

North Shore Line car 255 is laying over on middle storage track at the Roosevelt Road station on the Chicago "L". Don's Rail Photos": "255 was built by Jewett in 1917. It had all of the seats removed in the 1920s to provide a full length baggage car which ran in passenger trains. It was used for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to move equipment to Ravinia. On July 2, 1942, the 40 seats were replaced. Then on December 1, 1946, the seats were again removed. In addition to the Symphony, the car was used for sailors' baggage from Great Lakes." (C. Edward Hedstrom, Jr. Photo)

North Shore Line car 255 is laying over on middle storage track at the Roosevelt Road station on the Chicago “L”. Don’s Rail Photos”: “255 was built by Jewett in 1917. It had all of the seats removed in the 1920s to provide a full length baggage car which ran in passenger trains. It was used for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to move equipment to Ravinia. On July 2, 1942, the 40 seats were replaced. Then on December 1, 1946, the seats were again removed. In addition to the Symphony, the car was used for sailors’ baggage from Great Lakes.” (C. Edward Hedstrom, Jr. Photo)

CSL "Little" Pullman 985 at Wabash and Roosevelt in September 1936. It was built in 1910. It appears to be on through route 3 - Lincoln-Indiana, which operated from 1912 to 1951.

CSL “Little” Pullman 985 at Wabash and Roosevelt in September 1936. It was built in 1910. It appears to be on through route 3 – Lincoln-Indiana, which operated from 1912 to 1951.

CSL "Big" Pullman 144 on Cermak Road, September 19, 1934. Don's Rail Photos: "144 was built by Pullman in 1908. It was acquired by Illinois Railway Museum in 1959." It is rare to find pictures of the 144 in actual service as opposed to some 1950s fantrip.

CSL “Big” Pullman 144 on Cermak Road, September 19, 1934. Don’s Rail Photos: “144 was built by Pullman in 1908. It was acquired by Illinois Railway Museum in 1959.” It is rare to find pictures of the 144 in actual service as opposed to some 1950s fantrip.

A close-up of the car in the last photo. It closely resembles two very similar, low-production front wheel drive cars on the market circa 1930, the Cord L-29 and the even rarer Ruxton. However, Dan Cluley seems to have correctly identified this as a 1930 Checker Model M. The auto on the other side of the streetcar looks like an early 1930s Auburn, which was also built by Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg, headquartered in Auburn, Indiana.

A close-up of the car in the last photo. It closely resembles two very similar, low-production front wheel drive cars on the market circa 1930, the Cord L-29 and the even rarer Ruxton. However, Dan Cluley seems to have correctly identified this as a 1930 Checker Model M. The auto on the other side of the streetcar looks like an early 1930s Auburn, which was also built by Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg, headquartered in Auburn, Indiana.

The 1930 Checker Model M.

The 1930 Checker Model M.

This is a 1929 Ruxton Model A Baker-Raulang Roadster.

This is a 1929 Ruxton Model A Baker-Raulang Roadster.

And this is a 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible.

And this is a 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible.

An early 1930s Auburn with fancy hood ornament.

An early 1930s Auburn with fancy hood ornament.

Chicago Surface Lines 5241 on 111th Street near Vincennes on August 3, 1947. The sign on the front of the car indicates this was on through route 8. According to www.chicagrailfan.com, "Various Through Route combinations existed throughout the early history of this route. Original Through Route operated between Grace/Halsted and 63rd/Stony Island via Halsted and 63rd St. Beginning in 1912, some Halsted service, mainly route 42 Halsted-Downtown service, began operating south of 79th St. via Vincennes and 111th St. to Sacramento, over what now is the 112 route. While for most of through service continuing north on Halsted, the south terminal remained 79th St. Effective 5/24/31, the through Halsted service generally turned around at 111th/Sacramento, with the downtown service generally turning at 79th St. Through service south of 79th St. discontinued 12/4/49, when segment south of 79th St. was converted to buses." (John F. Bromley Collection)

Chicago Surface Lines 5241 on 111th Street near Vincennes on August 3, 1947. The sign on the front of the car indicates this was on through route 8. According to http://www.chicagrailfan.com, “Various Through Route combinations existed throughout the early history of this route. Original Through Route operated between Grace/Halsted and 63rd/Stony Island via Halsted and 63rd St. Beginning in 1912, some Halsted service, mainly route 42 Halsted-Downtown service, began operating south of 79th St. via Vincennes and 111th St. to Sacramento, over what now is the 112 route. While for most of through service continuing north on Halsted, the south terminal remained 79th St. Effective 5/24/31, the through Halsted service generally turned around at 111th/Sacramento, with the downtown service generally turning at 79th St. Through service south of 79th St. discontinued 12/4/49, when segment south of 79th St. was converted to buses.” (John F. Bromley Collection)

This July 1963 view shows the Wabash leg of Chicago's Loop "L" between Van Buren and Jackson. We are looking north, so the buildings behind the train of CTA 4000s are on the west side of the street. As you can see by the sign advertising Baldwin pianos and organs, this was once Chicago's "Music Row." The flagship Rose Records location was near here, as were Carl Fischer, the Guitar Gallery, American Music World and many others. The Chicago Symphony is still nearby, but nearly all the other music-related retailers are now gone from this area. You can just catch a glimpse of the iconic Kodak sign that still graces Central Camera under the "L". The old North Shore Line station, which closed about six months before this picture was taken, would have been up the street on the right just out of view. Until 1969 trains operated counterclockwise around the Loop on both tracks, so we are looking at the back end of this Lake Street "B" train. Adams and Wabash station is at the far right of the picture.

This July 1963 view shows the Wabash leg of Chicago’s Loop “L” between Van Buren and Jackson. We are looking north, so the buildings behind the train of CTA 4000s are on the west side of the street. As you can see by the sign advertising Baldwin pianos and organs, this was once Chicago’s “Music Row.” The flagship Rose Records location was near here, as were Carl Fischer, the Guitar Gallery, American Music World and many others. The Chicago Symphony is still nearby, but nearly all the other music-related retailers are now gone from this area. You can just catch a glimpse of the iconic Kodak sign that still graces Central Camera under the “L”. The old North Shore Line station, which closed about six months before this picture was taken, would have been up the street on the right just out of view. Until 1969 trains operated counterclockwise around the Loop on both tracks, so we are looking at the back end of this Lake Street “B” train. Adams and Wabash station is at the far right of the picture.

Enlarging a small section of the slide shows the Kodak sign in front of Central Camera at 230 S. Wabash.

Enlarging a small section of the slide shows the Kodak sign in front of Central Camera at 230 S. Wabash.

Central Camera today. The Kodak sign is still there.

Central Camera today. The Kodak sign is still there.

The corner of Wabash and Jackson today.

The corner of Wabash and Jackson today.

Two of the buildings in the 1963 photograph were torn down to make a parking lot, while the building to their right is still there.

Two of the buildings in the 1963 photograph were torn down to make a parking lot, while the building to their right is still there.

If you are curious about just what a Birney car is, you can read the definitive account by Dr. Harold E. Cox here.

Fort Collins Municipal Railway Birney car 20 in Colorado. There were three lines, and all three cars met in the town center once an hour so riders could transfer. Service ended in 1951, but a portion of one line was restored to service in the 1980s. Don's Rail Photos says, "20 was built by American Car Co. in April 1919, #1184. It was sold in 1951 and moved to the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Minden, NE. and has been on static display there ever since." (Joseph P. Saitta Photo)

Fort Collins Municipal Railway Birney car 20 in Colorado. There were three lines, and all three cars met in the town center once an hour so riders could transfer. Service ended in 1951, but a portion of one line was restored to service in the 1980s. Don’s Rail Photos says, “20 was built by American Car Co. in April 1919, #1184. It was sold in 1951 and moved to the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Minden, NE. and has been on static display there ever since.” (Joseph P. Saitta Photo)

Feel the Birn(ey)! After service in Fort Collins ended in 1951, car 26 was sold to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. But prior to being put on static display, it operated in a Detroit parade of street railway equipment in August 1953. Don's Rail Photos: "26 was built by American Car Co. in November 1922, #1324 as CERy 7. It was sold as FCM 26 it in 1924. It was sold to Henry Ford Museum and moved to Michigan in 1953 where it is on static display. It was operated several times on the trackage of the Department of Street Railways." (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) To read more about 26's Michigan sojourn, click here.

Feel the Birn(ey)! After service in Fort Collins ended in 1951, car 26 was sold to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. But prior to being put on static display, it operated in a Detroit parade of street railway equipment in August 1953. Don’s Rail Photos: “26 was built by American Car Co. in November 1922, #1324 as CERy 7. It was sold as FCM 26 it in 1924. It was sold to Henry Ford Museum and moved to Michigan in 1953 where it is on static display. It was operated several times on the trackage of the Department of Street Railways.” (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) To read more about 26’s Michigan sojourn, click here.

Laurel Line (Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad) car 37 at the G.E. plant on the Minooka branch on May 9, 1948. The occasion was an ERA (Electric Railroader's Association) fantrip. Nearly all this Scranton, Pennsylvania interurban was third-rail operated on private right-of-way, something it had in common with the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin. Some have wondered if the Laurel Line's fleet of steel cars, which ended service at the end of 1952, could have been used on the CA&E. They appear to have been too long to operate on the Chicago "L" system, but I do not know if such clearance issues would have kept them from running west of Forest Park. As it was, all these cars were scrapped, and ironically, some thought was given later to restoring a CA&E curved-side car as an ersatz Laurel Line replica. Wisely, it was decided against this.

Laurel Line (Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Railroad) car 37 at the G.E. plant on the Minooka branch on May 9, 1948. The occasion was an ERA (Electric Railroader’s Association) fantrip. Nearly all this Scranton, Pennsylvania interurban was third-rail operated on private right-of-way, something it had in common with the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin. Some have wondered if the Laurel Line’s fleet of steel cars, which ended service at the end of 1952, could have been used on the CA&E. They appear to have been too long to operate on the Chicago “L” system, but I do not know if such clearance issues would have kept them from running west of Forest Park. As it was, all these cars were scrapped, and ironically, some thought was given later to restoring a CA&E curved-side car as an ersatz Laurel Line replica. Wisely, it was decided against this.

The next three photos have been added to our earlier post Chicago’s Pre-PCCs (May 5, 2015):

Scranton Transit 508, an "Electromobile," was built by Osgood-Bradley Co in 1929. It was another attempt at a modern standardized streetcar in the pre-PCC era.

Scranton Transit 508, an “Electromobile,” was built by Osgood-Bradley Co in 1929. It was another attempt at a modern standardized streetcar in the pre-PCC era.

Baltimore Peter Witt 6146. Don's Rail Photos says it was "built by Brill in 1930 and retired in 1955." Sister car 6119 is at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, while 6144 is at Seashore. These were some of the most modern cars around, prior to the PCCs.

Baltimore Peter Witt 6146. Don’s Rail Photos says it was “built by Brill in 1930 and retired in 1955.” Sister car 6119 is at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, while 6144 is at Seashore. These were some of the most modern cars around, prior to the PCCs.

Indianapolis Railways 146, shown here on a special run in 1949, was a Brill "Master Unit" but appears very similar to the Baltimore Peter Witts. This car was built in 1933, one of the last streetcars built before the PCC era. Brill tried to sell street railways on standardized cars (hence the name "Master Units") but as you might expect, no two orders were identical.

Indianapolis Railways 146, shown here on a special run in 1949, was a Brill “Master Unit” but appears very similar to the Baltimore Peter Witts. This car was built in 1933, one of the last streetcars built before the PCC era. Brill tried to sell street railways on standardized cars (hence the name “Master Units”) but as you might expect, no two orders were identical.

We’ve added this next picture to our post Ringing the Bell (December 7, 2015):

Lehigh Valley Transit's Liberty Bell Limited lightweight high-speed car 1001 (ex-Cincinnati & Lake Erie 128) at the 69th Street Terminal on the Philadelphia & Western, September 21, 1949. Soon after this picture was taken, LVT passenger service was cut back to Norristown.

Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell Limited lightweight high-speed car 1001 (ex-Cincinnati & Lake Erie 128) at the 69th Street Terminal on the Philadelphia & Western, September 21, 1949. Soon after this picture was taken, LVT passenger service was cut back to Norristown.

PE double-end PCCs 5006 and 5012 at West Hollywood car house on September 8, 1946. These were used on the Glendale-Burbank line, which was "light rail" before the term ever existed. Service was abandoned in 1955 and I'll bet Angelinos wish they had it back today. (Norman Rolfe Photo)

PE double-end PCCs 5006 and 5012 at West Hollywood car house on September 8, 1946. These were used on the Glendale-Burbank line, which was “light rail” before the term ever existed. Service was abandoned in 1955 and I’ll bet Angelinos wish they had it back today. (Norman Rolfe Photo)

Pacific Electric double-end PCC 502x is boarded up for a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Don's Rail Photos says this car was "built by Pullman-Standard in October 1940, #W6642. It was retired in 1956 and was sold as FGU M.1523 and made modifications in 1959. It was retired in short time." You can see some additional pictures of these cars as they appeared in 1959 after being damaged by dripping lime deposits in the damp PE Subway here.

Pacific Electric double-end PCC 502x is boarded up for a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Don’s Rail Photos says this car was “built by Pullman-Standard in October 1940, #W6642. It was retired in 1956 and was sold as FGU M.1523 and made modifications in 1959. It was retired in short time.” You can see some additional pictures of these cars as they appeared in 1959 after being damaged by dripping lime deposits in the damp PE Subway here.

Brilliner 9 on the Red Arrow's Ardmore line in May 1965. About 18 months later, this line was converted to bus.

Brilliner 9 on the Red Arrow’s Ardmore line in May 1965. About 18 months later, this line was converted to bus.

A Septa Bullet car at the Norristown (Pennsylvania) terminal in August 1986.

A Septa Bullet car at the Norristown (Pennsylvania) terminal in August 1986.

Not all Bullets were double-ended, or built for the Philadelphia & Western. Here we see Bamberger Railroad car 125 in Salt Lake City on September 4, 1950. A single-end Bullet car, it originally came from the Fonda Johnstown & Gloversville. Don's Rail Photos says, "125 was built by Brill in 1932, #22961. It was sold as Bamberger RR 125 in 1939 and retired in 1952. The body was sold to Utah Pickle Co." We ran a picture of sister car 129 in our previous post Trolley Dodgers (January 15, 2016).

Not all Bullets were double-ended, or built for the Philadelphia & Western. Here we see Bamberger Railroad car 125 in Salt Lake City on September 4, 1950. A single-end Bullet car, it originally came from the Fonda Johnstown & Gloversville. Don’s Rail Photos says, “125 was built by Brill in 1932, #22961. It was sold as Bamberger RR 125 in 1939 and retired in 1952. The body was sold to Utah Pickle Co.” We ran a picture of sister car 129 in our previous post Trolley Dodgers (January 15, 2016).

Here is another photo of Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 315. Don's Rail Photos says, "315 was built by Kuhlman Car Co in 1909, #404. It was modernized at an unknown date and sold to Rockhill Trolley Museum in 1962."

Here is another photo of Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 315. Don’s Rail Photos says, “315 was built by Kuhlman Car Co in 1909, #404. It was modernized at an unknown date and sold to Rockhill Trolley Museum in 1962.”

D. C. Transit 1484 on route 30. Streetcar service in Washington ended in 1962, but recently started up again.

D. C. Transit 1484 on route 30. Streetcar service in Washington ended in 1962, but recently started up again.

Capital Transit Company PCC 1101 in Washington, D. C., with the U. S. Capitol in the background. From the looks of the car in the background, this picture was probably taken in the mid1950s. Don't ask me why there are two different spellings of capitol/capital.

Capital Transit Company PCC 1101 in Washington, D. C., with the U. S. Capitol in the background. From the looks of the car in the background, this picture was probably taken in the mid1950s. Don’t ask me why there are two different spellings of capitol/capital.


WGN's Late Movie "open," seen above, used a simple title image and not the sophisticated graphics of today. If you heard Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" coming out of your TV set in the 1960s or 70s, that most likely meant you were about to watch the Late Movie. (The afternoon "Early Show" movie on our local CBS station WBBM-TV used Leroy Anderson's "The Syncopated Clock" as their theme.) To see a clip of what the Late Movie open looked and sounded like, click here. Take Five was written by Paul Desmond, alto sax player in Brubeck's combo. If you are wondering who the man in the kaleidoscope image is, that's British actor/comedian Terry-Thomas.

WGN’s Late Movie “open,” seen above, used a simple title image and not the sophisticated graphics of today. If you heard Dave Brubeck‘s “Take Five” coming out of your TV set in the 1960s or 70s, that most likely meant you were about to watch the Late Movie. (The afternoon “Early Show” movie on our local CBS station WBBM-TV used Leroy Anderson‘s “The Syncopated Clock” as their theme.) To see a clip of what the Late Movie open looked and sounded like, click here. Take Five was written by Paul Desmond, alto sax player in Brubeck’s combo. If you are wondering who the man in the kaleidoscope image is, that’s British actor/comedian Terry-Thomas.

In the days before 24 hour a day television, most stations went off the air late at night. Some went completely off the air, leaving nothing but static and white noise, while others broadcast test patterns. This was perhaps the most popular type used and should be familiar to anyone of a certain age.

In the days before 24 hour a day television, most stations went off the air late at night. Some went completely off the air, leaving nothing but static and white noise, while others broadcast test patterns. This was perhaps the most popular type used and should be familiar to anyone of a certain age.


Recent Correspondence

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Barry Shanoff writes:

I was born and raised in Chicago, and left in 1975, at age 32, for the Washington, DC area where I have lived ever since. I recently discovered your website, and I enjoy what you have posted.

I have an extensive collection of Chicago transit memorabilia, including vintage CSL, CA&E and CNS&M items, that I am interested in selling. In particular, I have a CTA Rapid Transit sign roll as pictured and described in the attachments to this message.

Rather than posting the items on eBay or consigning them to an auction firm, I’d like to first offer them to Chicago area enthusiasts.

The price sign roll is $325 plus shipping. My guess is that it weighs about four pounds with the mailing tube. Shipping costs will depend on the destination. Best if a would-be buyer contacts me and we complete the arrangements via e-mail or phone.

As for my CTA and interurban material, I don’t have photos of the timetables and brochures, but I can put together a list with prices. Discounts for multi-item purchases. Anyone interested in this or that item can contact me and I will provide a cover photo.

You can contact Barry at: barry_5678@yahoo.com

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Phil Bergen writes:

Big fan of your site, though I’ve only been to Chicago once (1973) and am fascinated by the multiplicity of transit historically and today in Chicago.

Long-time subscriber to First & Fastest. several years ago I wrote to then-editor Roy Benedict suggesting an article for a fictional one-day fan trip around Chicago in a past year of his choice, for an out-of-towner, one that would show a variety of neighborhoods, equipment, and could be done in a day. I created one myself for Boston that ran in Roll Sign.

Mr. Benedict replied with interest in my proposal, but I never heard more about it. With your knowledge and wealth of photos, it might be something to try.

Thanks for your work. I belong to CERA and have enjoyed your PCC book very much. So full of material that it is sometime hard to hold such a tome!!

Glad you like the site and the PCC book. I’ll give your article proposal some thought.

Sometimes these things come together in unusual ways. There are times when I don’t really know what a post is about until it’s finished. Take this one, for example. On the one hand, it’s mainly about night photography, but the additional pictures, oddly enough seem to include quite a lot of preserved equipment, more so than you would expect. You could make quite a list of them. Then again, there are many things in this post that are “paired.” There is a picture of a North Shore car at Roosevelt Road at night, but also one in the day, and so on.

My general idea is to use pictures to tell a story. Often times, the individual pictures are like pieces of a mosaic or jigsaw puzzle. I fiddle around with them and rearrange them until they seem to fit together, and hopefully have some deeper meaning.

My understanding is that Roy Benedict does not have any current involvement with First & Fastest and has not for some years, although naturally I don’t speak for him. The current person to talk to regarding article ideas for that magazine would be Norm Carlson, who does excellent work. It’s a fine publication and sets a high standard for others to follow.

The Chicago PCC book was a labor of love for everyone who collaborated on it. At first, the idea was just for a standard-length picture book, but after we had collected a lot of material, we realized that quite a lot would have to be left out. So, the book grew in length, and at the same time we gradually decided there were other things that needed to go into the book, in order to tell the whole story.

So, the final product is twice standard length, and includes a lot of the history and background material that helps the reader put Chicago’s PCC era into context. It’s somewhere in between a picture book and a more scholarly text, and it seems a very worthwhile addition to the slim shelf of Chicago streetcar books. In the year since its release, it appears to have found an audience.

-David Sadowski

PS- Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. You can either leave a Comment directly on this post, or contact us at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 142nd 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 171,000 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.

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Seven

CSL Sedan 6317 at 10559 South Ewing. That bus at right is on the 103rd Street route. That's the old Eastside Theater behind the streetcar. According to Cinema Treasures, "The Eastside Theater opened in 1922, at Ewing Avenue between 105th Street and 106th Street, in the East Side neighborhood of Chicago, not far from the Illinois-Indiana border. The Eastside Theater closed in 1951. Today, a bank is located on the site of the Eastside Theater, in a building dating from the late-1970’s." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Sedan 6317 at 10559 South Ewing. That bus at right is on the 103rd Street route. That’s the old Eastside Theater behind the streetcar. According to Cinema Treasures, “The Eastside Theater opened in 1922, at Ewing Avenue between 105th Street and 106th Street, in the East Side neighborhood of Chicago, not far from the Illinois-Indiana border. The Eastside Theater closed in 1951. Today, a bank is located on the site of the Eastside Theater, in a building dating from the late-1970’s.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The same location today.

The same location today.

Here is another generous helping of classic Chicago streetcar photos from the latter part of the CSL era as well as the early days of its successor, the Chicago Transit Authority.

As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

FYI, there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space. To see previous posts, use the search window on this page.

-David Sadowski


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 123rd 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 129,000 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 donation there as well.

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

We thank you for your support.


New From Trolley Dodger Press:

P1060517

American Streetcar R.P.O.s: 1893-1929

Mainline Railway Post Offices were in use in the United States from 1862 to 1978 (with the final year being operated by boat instead of on rails), but for a much briefer era, cable cars and streetcars were also used for mail handling in the following 15 cities*:

Baltimore
Boston
Brooklyn
Chicago
Cincinnati
Cleveland
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New York City
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Rochester, New York
St. Louis
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington, D.C.


*As noted by some of our readers, this list does not include interurban RPOs.

Our latest E-book American Streetcar R.P.O.s collects 12 books on this subject (over 1000 pages in all) onto a DVD data disc that can be read on any computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free software. All have been out of print for decades and are hard to find. In addition, there is an introductory essay by David Sadowski.

The rolling stock, routes, operations, and cancellation markings of the various American street railway post office systems are covered in detail. The era of the streetcar R.P.O. was relatively brief, covering 1893 to 1929, but it represented an improvement in mail handling over what came before, and it moved a lot of mail. In many places, it was possible to deposit a letter into a mail slot on a streetcar or cable car and have it delivered across town within a short number of hours.

These operations present a very interesting history, but are not well-known to railfans. We feel they deserve greater scrutiny, and therefore we are donating $1 from each sale of this item to the Mobile Post Office Society, in support of their efforts.

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.95


CSL 702, shown here in 1951, was built by the Pressed Steel Car Company in 1909. The photo caption describes this as being the last car left in the 701-750 series. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) Andre Kristopans: "750 is at South Shops, on what would be 78th St just east of Vincennes."

CSL 702, shown here in 1951, was built by the Pressed Steel Car Company in 1909. The photo caption describes this as being the last car left in the 701-750 series. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) Andre Kristopans: “750 is at South Shops, on what would be 78th St just east of Vincennes.”

Westbound car 3109 crosses the 18th Street bridge. This CSL Safety Car, also known as a Sewing Machine(?), was built by CSL in 1922. It was scrapped in 1948. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Westbound car 3109 crosses the 18th Street bridge. This CSL Safety Car, also known as a Sewing Machine(?), was built by CSL in 1922. It was scrapped in 1948. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Blue Island car 3111 on the 18th Street line, at about 1738 West. (Joe L. Diaz Collection) Andre Kristopans: "3111 is on 18th Street WB, just west of Halsted where 18th had a major jog to the south. Leavitt/Blue Island was the west end of the 18th line."

Blue Island car 3111 on the 18th Street line, at about 1738 West. (Joe L. Diaz Collection) Andre Kristopans: “3111 is on 18th Street WB, just west of Halsted where 18th had a major jog to the south. Leavitt/Blue Island was the west end of the 18th line.”

CSL Sedan 6281 at South Shops,probably when new (1929). (Chicago Surface Lines Photo)

CSL Sedan 6281 at South Shops,probably when new (1929). (Chicago Surface Lines Photo)

CSL 6237 at 51st and State. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 6237 at 51st and State. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

51st and State today. The school in the background is now called the Crispus Attucks Community Academy.

51st and State today. The school in the background is now called the Crispus Attucks Community Academy.

CSL 1533, signed for 16th and Kenton, on September 27, 1947, just a few days before the CTA takeover.

CSL 1533, signed for 16th and Kenton, on September 27, 1947, just a few days before the CTA takeover.

CSL 6139 on the 35th Street route on April 27, 1951. This was one of the "Odd 17" cars (actually 19) in the two series 3090-3091 and 6138-6154. According to Don's Rail Photos, "6139 was built by American Car Co in February 1918, (job) #1079."

CSL 6139 on the 35th Street route on April 27, 1951. This was one of the “Odd 17” cars (actually 19) in the two series 3090-3091 and 6138-6154. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “6139 was built by American Car Co in February 1918, (job) #1079.”

CSL 5068 on the Wallace-Racine route, circa 1948-49, near the Santa Fe Hotel. This was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. According to Don's Rail Photos, "5001 thru 5200 were built by Brill in 1905, #14318, for the Chicago City Ry. where they carried the same numbers. They were rebuilt in 1908 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars." George Foelschow: "I believe car 5068 is on Polk Street just west of State Street downtown, on the Wallace-Racine line. The Santa Fe was a modestly-appointed hotel in the South Loop and the restaurant carries a “10” on its awning. I don’t believe South Side Brills ever saw Webster Street on the North Side."

CSL 5068 on the Wallace-Racine route, circa 1948-49, near the Santa Fe Hotel. This was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “5001 thru 5200 were built by Brill in 1905, #14318, for the Chicago City Ry. where they carried the same numbers. They were rebuilt in 1908 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars.” George Foelschow: “I believe car 5068 is on Polk Street just west of State Street downtown, on the Wallace-Racine line. The Santa Fe was a modestly-appointed hotel in the South Loop and the restaurant carries a “10” on its awning. I don’t believe South Side Brills ever saw Webster Street on the North Side.”

CTA 1599 at Van Buren and Damen on September 24, 1949. This car was built by Chicago Railways in 1912. Don's Rail Photos says, "These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier." We are looking to the east, and the Paulina "L" is visible at rear. During construction of the Congress expressway, half of Van Buren in this area was used for ground-level rapid transit service between 1953 and 1958.

CTA 1599 at Van Buren and Damen on September 24, 1949. This car was built by Chicago Railways in 1912. Don’s Rail Photos says, “These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier.” We are looking to the east, and the Paulina “L” is visible at rear. During construction of the Congress expressway, half of Van Buren in this area was used for ground-level rapid transit service between 1953 and 1958.

Van Buren and Damen today.

Van Buren and Damen today.

CTA Pullman 199, signed for Baltimore and 93rd.

CTA Pullman 199, signed for Baltimore and 93rd.

CSL 6021 at Archer and Pitney Court on September 6, 1947. To paraphrase Don's Rail Photos, It was "built by Brill Car Co in July 1914, (job) #19450. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1945 and restored as two-man in 1946."

CSL 6021 at Archer and Pitney Court on September 6, 1947. To paraphrase Don’s Rail Photos, It was “built by Brill Car Co in July 1914, (job) #19450. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1945 and restored as two-man in 1946.”

CTA 6070 on the California shuttle on December 31, 1948. Andre Kristopans: "6070 is at California and Belmont SB. The building to the left still stands, the old “Immel State Bank”, now a banquet hall."

CTA 6070 on the California shuttle on December 31, 1948. Andre Kristopans: “6070 is at California and Belmont SB. The building to the left still stands, the old “Immel State Bank”, now a banquet hall.”

California and Belmont today. We are looking north.

California and Belmont today. We are looking north.

CTA 5565 on September 10, 1949. This was known as a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. M. E. writes, "Methinks this photo is at Root St. (4130 South) and Halsted. Under that assumption, the view faces north, the L is the Stock Yards L, and the streetcar is on the 44 Wallace-Racine line, heading from westbound on Root to southbound on Halsted."

CTA 5565 on September 10, 1949. This was known as a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. M. E. writes, “Methinks this photo is at Root St. (4130 South) and Halsted. Under that assumption, the view faces north, the L is the Stock Yards L, and the streetcar is on the 44 Wallace-Racine line, heading from westbound on Root to southbound on Halsted.”

CTA 3105 at Leavitt and Cermak on April 9, 1948. This is another Safety Car, aka a "Sewing Machine."

CTA 3105 at Leavitt and Cermak on April 9, 1948. This is another Safety Car, aka a “Sewing Machine.”

Leavitt and Cermak today.

Leavitt and Cermak today.

CSL 1382. To paraphrase Don's Rail Photos, "1382 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906 as CUT 4911. It became CSL 1382 in 1914."

CSL 1382. To paraphrase Don’s Rail Photos, “1382 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906 as CUT 4911. It became CSL 1382 in 1914.”

CSL 6162 on the Broadway-State line. Don's Rail Photos says, "6162 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This was part of a group known as "169" or Broadway-State cars.

CSL 6162 on the Broadway-State line. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6162 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was part of a group known as “169” or Broadway-State cars.

1537 and 1559 on the Taylor Street shuttle, after the mid-section of this line had been abandoned. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

1537 and 1559 on the Taylor Street shuttle, after the mid-section of this line had been abandoned. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2514 crossing the Rock Island at Givins station. According to www.chicagorailfan.com, the "earlier station was located on the north side of 111th St. west of Laflin Ave., on the east side of the tracks. A later station was constructed south of 111th St. on the west side of Marshfield Ave., on the east side of the tracks, discontinued in 1984. Construction of Interstate Highway 57 may have affected the station location." This was part of a series called "Robertson" Rebuild Cars, built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Andre Kristopans adds, "RI Givins station at the end was a small (maybe 10×20) cinder block structure south of 111th. It hung around for many years after no more trains stopped there until being demolished circa 2000."

CSL 2514 crossing the Rock Island at Givins station. According to http://www.chicagorailfan.com, the “earlier station was located on the north side of 111th St. west of Laflin Ave., on the east side of the tracks. A later station was constructed south of 111th St. on the west side of Marshfield Ave., on the east side of the tracks, discontinued in 1984. Construction of Interstate Highway 57 may have affected the station location.” This was part of a series called “Robertson” Rebuild Cars, built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Andre Kristopans adds, “RI Givins station at the end was a small (maybe 10×20) cinder block structure south of 111th. It hung around for many years after no more trains stopped there until being demolished circa 2000.”

Where the Rock Island crosses 111th today, just west of I-57.

Where the Rock Island crosses 111th today, just west of I-57.

CSL 5649 at Division and Western. This was another Brill-American-Kuhlman car. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 5649 at Division and Western. This was another Brill-American-Kuhlman car. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3189 at Cottage Grove and 38th. This was known as a "Sun Parlor" car and was built by CSL in 1923.

CSL 3189 at Cottage Grove and 38th. This was known as a “Sun Parlor” car and was built by CSL in 1923.

CTA Pressed Steel car 730. It was built in 1909 to the same specs as the Pullmans.

CTA Pressed Steel car 730. It was built in 1909 to the same specs as the Pullmans.

CSL's Navy tribute car during World War II. (Seth Bramson Collection)

CSL’s Navy tribute car during World War II. (Seth Bramson Collection)

CSL's War Bond car during World War II. This picture was probably taken around 1942 on State Street while the streetcar tracks were being redone as part of the subway construction project.

CSL’s War Bond car during World War II. This picture was probably taken around 1942 on State Street while the streetcar tracks were being redone as part of the subway construction project.

CSL 922, probably circa 1915. This was known as a "Little" Pullman and was built in 1910. (Seth Bramson Collection) Andre Kristopans: "922 – very early shot indeed. Note car is still in all green, not red and cream. Also note a date that looks like “3-22-15”? date painted on panel under front door. I imagine this is a paint date. Also note car has no side route signs. It is sitting at West Shops."

CSL 922, probably circa 1915. This was known as a “Little” Pullman and was built in 1910. (Seth Bramson Collection) Andre Kristopans: “922 – very early shot indeed. Note car is still in all green, not red and cream. Also note a date that looks like “3-22-15”? date painted on panel under front door. I imagine this is a paint date. Also note car has no side route signs. It is sitting at West Shops.”

CSL Pullman 677 on the outer end of Milwaukee Avenue on March 4, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection) Andre Kristopans: "677 – Most likely on Milwaukee north of Central where many cars turned back. Originally turnback point was Gale St, right where Jefferson Park terminal now is, but later was moved to Central."

CSL Pullman 677 on the outer end of Milwaukee Avenue on March 4, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection) Andre Kristopans: “677 – Most likely on Milwaukee north of Central where many cars turned back. Originally turnback point was Gale St, right where Jefferson Park terminal now is, but later was moved to Central.”

CSL Pullman 696 at the Museum Loop in Grant Park in April 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL Pullman 696 at the Museum Loop in Grant Park in April 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL Pullman 431 on Cicero Avenue, February 22, 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL Pullman 431 on Cicero Avenue, February 22, 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Six

The date is October 21, 1956, and the occasion is a weekend fantrip using red Pullman 225 and postwar PCC 4406. We have posted other photos from this fantrip before. By this time, Chicago only had two streetcar lines left, and they only operated on weekdays. Car 225 is one of three Pullmans that were saved, and it is now at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine. Bob Lalich adds, "The photo of red Pullman 225 on a fan trip was taken at 18th and Clark. The car is SB." The church was called Old St. John's, and was demolished around 1962.

The date is October 21, 1956, and the occasion is a weekend fantrip using red Pullman 225 and postwar PCC 4406. We have posted other photos from this fantrip before. By this time, Chicago only had two streetcar lines left, and they only operated on weekdays. Car 225 is one of three Pullmans that were saved, and it is now at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.
Bob Lalich adds, “The photo of red Pullman 225 on a fan trip was taken at 18th and Clark. The car is SB.” The church was called Old St. John’s, and was demolished around 1962.

The same location today. The large shadow is from an "L" extension that did not exist when the previous picture was taken. It was built in 1969 for the Dan Ryan line and is now used by the Orange Line.

The same location today. The large shadow is from an “L” extension that did not exist when the previous picture was taken. It was built in 1969 for the Dan Ryan line and is now used by the Orange Line.

Here is another generous helping of classic Chicago streetcar photos. They date to the latter part of the CSL era as well as the early days of its successor, the Chicago Transit Authority. (We also have a trolley bus photo.)

As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

FYI, there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space. To see previous posts, use the search window on this page.

-David Sadowski


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 122nd 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 128,000 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 donation there as well.

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

We thank you for your support.


New From Trolley Dodger Press:

P1060517

American Streetcar R.P.O.s: 1893-1929

Mainline Railway Post Offices were in use in the United States from 1862 to 1978 (with the final year being operated by boat instead of on rails), but for a much briefer era, cable cars and streetcars were also used for mail handling in the following 15 cities*:

Baltimore
Boston
Brooklyn
Chicago
Cincinnati
Cleveland
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New York City
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Rochester, New York
St. Louis
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington, D.C.


*As noted by some of our readers, this list does not include interurban RPOs.

Our latest E-book American Streetcar R.P.O.s collects 12 books on this subject (over 1000 pages in all) onto a DVD data disc that can be read on any computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free software. All have been out of print for decades and are hard to find. In addition, there is an introductory essay by David Sadowski.

The rolling stock, routes, operations, and cancellation markings of the various American street railway post office systems are covered in detail. The era of the streetcar R.P.O. was relatively brief, covering 1893 to 1929, but it represented an improvement in mail handling over what came before, and it moved a lot of mail. In many places, it was possible to deposit a letter into a mail slot on a streetcar or cable car and have it delivered across town within a short number of hours.

These operations present a very interesting history, but are not well-known to railfans. We feel they deserve greater scrutiny, and therefore we are donating $1 from each sale of this item to the Mobile Post Office Society, in support of their efforts.

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.95


CTA 9193 is on what is billed as "Chicago's first trackless trolley special," March 2, 1958. Andre Kristopans: "Trolleybus 9193 is on Kedzie just north of the Sanitary & Ship Canal (about 33rd). Bridge is IC Iowa Division, background bridge is Chicago & Illinois Western. Clue was the big tank to the right. 1938 aerial photo shows this tank. Note how little traffic there is on Sunday!" The occasion was the very first Omnibus Society of America fantrip, which used a prewar trolley bus on south side areas where they had not been used in service.

CTA 9193 is on what is billed as “Chicago’s first trackless trolley special,” March 2, 1958. Andre Kristopans: “Trolleybus 9193 is on Kedzie just north of the Sanitary & Ship Canal (about 33rd). Bridge is IC Iowa Division, background bridge is Chicago & Illinois Western. Clue was the big tank to the right. 1938 aerial photo shows this tank. Note how little traffic there is on Sunday!” The occasion was the very first Omnibus Society of America fantrip, which used a prewar trolley bus on south side areas where they had not been used in service.

The same location today, approximately 3374 S. Kedzie. There is an incline at this point leading up a bridge, behind the photographer, going over the Sanitary & Ship Canal.

The same location today, approximately 3374 S. Kedzie. There is an incline at this point leading up a bridge, behind the photographer, going over the Sanitary & Ship Canal.

CTA 5426 is on route 8 at Halsted and Lake, having just passed the "L". The National Cash Register Company was located at 178 N. Halsted, just south of the "L", so we are looking north.

CTA 5426 is on route 8 at Halsted and Lake, having just passed the “L”. The National Cash Register Company was located at 178 N. Halsted, just south of the “L”, so we are looking north.

The same scene today is almost unrecognizable.  National Cash Register's former location is now a parking lot.  The "L" station at Halsted was closed in 1994, during the Green Line rebuild, and demolished in 1996.  It was replaced, more or less, by the Morgan station two blocks west, which opened in 2012.  Chicago's downtown is moving west and this area is undergoing rapid change.

The same scene today is almost unrecognizable. National Cash Register’s former location is now a parking lot. The “L” station at Halsted was closed in 1994, during the Green Line rebuild, and demolished in 1996. It was replaced, more or less, by the Morgan station two blocks west, which opened in 2012. Chicago’s downtown is moving west and this area is undergoing rapid change.

Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company car 59, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1901. Joint service to Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago, Indiana was operated with the Chicago Surface Lines until June 9, 1940.

Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company car 59, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1901. Joint service to Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago, Indiana was operated with the Chicago Surface Lines until June 9, 1940.

CTA Sedan 3337 is southbound on Wabash for route 4 - Cottage Grove in the early 1950s.

CTA Sedan 3337 is southbound on Wabash for route 4 – Cottage Grove in the early 1950s.

CTA 1771 says it is on route 60 - Blue Island in this early 1950s photo. But, as Andre Kristopans notes, "Look carefully – this is on Lake near Austin! Destination sign reads “Lake-Austin”, route # sign is set wrong!" (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

CTA 1771 says it is on route 60 – Blue Island in this early 1950s photo. But, as Andre Kristopans notes, “Look carefully – this is on Lake near Austin! Destination sign reads “Lake-Austin”, route # sign is set wrong!” (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

The same location today. This is around 5994 W. Lake.

The same location today. This is around 5994 W. Lake.

CTA 5304 is eastbound on the private right-of-way at the west end of route 63, followed by prewar PCC 4002. Note how 5304 is using the front trolley pole, reversed. (R. J. Anderson Photo)

CTA 5304 is eastbound on the private right-of-way at the west end of route 63, followed by prewar PCC 4002. Note how 5304 is using the front trolley pole, reversed. (R. J. Anderson Photo)

The same location today. This is about 5938 W. 63rd Place. As you can see, the middle building, once a storefront, has been converted to residential. That explains why it goes all the way out to the sidewalk. The bungalow at right looks much as it did, while the building at left has had its top redone at some point, due to deterioration of the brick, as you can see on the side of the building.

The same location today. This is about 5938 W. 63rd Place. As you can see, the middle building, once a storefront, has been converted to residential. That explains why it goes all the way out to the sidewalk. The bungalow at right looks much as it did, while the building at left has had its top redone at some point, due to deterioration of the brick, as you can see on the side of the building.

CTA 928 is on route 47 in this September 2, 1949 view. Andre Kristopans: "at end of line at 47th and Kedzie."

CTA 928 is on route 47 in this September 2, 1949 view. Andre Kristopans: “at end of line at 47th and Kedzie.”

47th and Kedzie today. One building is still there, but the top has been redone.

47th and Kedzie today. One building is still there, but the top has been redone.

CTA salt spreader AA105, formerly car 2854, at 69th and Ashland. This car was scrapped on February 17, 1954. (C. Edward Hedstrom Collection)

CTA salt spreader AA105, formerly car 2854, at 69th and Ashland. This car was scrapped on February 17, 1954. (C. Edward Hedstrom Collection)

#28 Stony Island cars also went to the Pier at times. After Indiana & Stony went Bus, Cottage (for awhile) was extended to Grand & Wabash to State, but not to the Pier.

In this September 12, 1951 view, CTA 982 is heading south at about 400 N. Wabash, approaching the bridge over the Chicago River. The Silver Frolics nightclub at rear, said to be run by The Outfit, closed in the early 1960s and became the second location of the famous Chez Paree. (C. Edward Hedstrom, Jr. Photo) Jim writes: ‘This is a route #38 Indiana car from Navy Pier to 51st Street its south terminal. It is not a 51st St car.
#28 Stony Island cars also went to the Pier at times. After Indiana & Stony went Bus, Cottage (for awhile) was extended to Grand & Wabash to State, but not to the Pier.
Cottage used the #38 Short turn front roll sign for Wabash-Grand & PCC cars were used.”

There is a modern parking garage on the site of the old Silver Frolics on Wabash today.

There is a modern parking garage on the site of the old Silver Frolics on Wabash today.

CTA 6180 is at 43rd and Oakenwald on August 8, 1953, the last day of streetcar service on the 43rd-Root Street line. Note the Illinois Central station at rear. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA 6180 is at 43rd and Oakenwald on August 8, 1953, the last day of streetcar service on the 43rd-Root Street line. Note the Illinois Central station at rear. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

43rd and Oakenwald today.

43rd and Oakenwald today.

CTA 5508 at 79th and Western on May 29, 1949. That looks like a 1948-50 Packard at left, which some have nicknamed the "pregnant elephant" styling. We can catch a glimpse of the nearby CTA turnback loop for route 49 - Western at right. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 5508 at 79th and Western on May 29, 1949. That looks like a 1948-50 Packard at left, which some have nicknamed the “pregnant elephant” styling. We can catch a glimpse of the nearby CTA turnback loop for route 49 – Western at right. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 6236 at 71st and California on the 67-69-71 route on May 29, 1949. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 6236 at 71st and California on the 67-69-71 route on May 29, 1949. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 3266 at 71st and California on the 67-69-71 route on May 29, 1949. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 3266 at 71st and California on the 67-69-71 route on May 29, 1949. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA work car R202 at 93rd and Drexel on December 30, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Photo) Andre Kristopans: "R202 is a sand car. It was used to deliver sand to the sand boxes that were located at most terminals and other places where streetcars might encounter slippery conditions. Remember, in the 1950’s streets were not salted, and all that was plowed was basically the car tracks, using mostly sweepers."

CTA work car R202 at 93rd and Drexel on December 30, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Photo) Andre Kristopans: “R202 is a sand car. It was used to deliver sand to the sand boxes that were located at most terminals and other places where streetcars might encounter slippery conditions. Remember, in the 1950’s streets were not salted, and all that was plowed was basically the car tracks, using mostly sweepers.”

CSL 2802 is on Anthony Avenue at Commercial Avenue in this July 13, 1941 photo. Note the Pennsylvania Railroad station at rear. (John F. Bromley Collection) Bob Laich: "The building immediately behind CSL 2802 on Anthony Avenue was PRR’s South Chicago freight station, which was built at street level. The platform for the South Chicago passenger station can be seen on the elevation in the right background." Andre Kristopans adds, "something odd here – note “Special” sign in front window. Appears to be a charter waiting for its party off the PRR." This must be Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip #35, which used this car on that date.

CSL 2802 is on Anthony Avenue at Commercial Avenue in this July 13, 1941 photo. Note the Pennsylvania Railroad station at rear. (John F. Bromley Collection) Bob Laich: “The building immediately behind CSL 2802 on Anthony Avenue was PRR’s South Chicago freight station, which was built at street level. The platform for the South Chicago passenger station can be seen on the elevation in the right background.” Andre Kristopans adds, “something odd here – note “Special” sign in front window. Appears to be a charter waiting for its party off the PRR.” This must be Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip #35, which used this car on that date.

CSL 3212 heads up the line-up at Archer Station (car house) on October 16, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL 3212 heads up the line-up at Archer Station (car house) on October 16, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL 3217 is on route 73 - Armitage on July 1, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection) Andre Kristopans: "EB passing Mozart Park at Armitage and Avers."

CSL 3217 is on route 73 – Armitage on July 1, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection) Andre Kristopans: “EB passing Mozart Park at Armitage and Avers.”

CSL 5814 (route 4 - Cottage Grove) is southbound on Wabash at Roosevelt Road on June 13, 1947. At rear, you can see where the Roosevelt Road streetcar line was extended to the Museum Loop for the 1933-34 world's fair (A Century of Progress). (J. William Vigrass Photo)

CSL 5814 (route 4 – Cottage Grove) is southbound on Wabash at Roosevelt Road on June 13, 1947. At rear, you can see where the Roosevelt Road streetcar line was extended to the Museum Loop for the 1933-34 world’s fair (A Century of Progress). (J. William Vigrass Photo)

Wabash and Roosevelt Road today. Since the previous picture was taken, Roosevelt was extended east, in roughly the same location as the old CSL viaduct over the Illinois Central.

Wabash and Roosevelt Road today. Since the previous picture was taken, Roosevelt was extended east, in roughly the same location as the old CSL viaduct over the Illinois Central.

CTA 6034 is at Kedzie and Bryn Mawr, the north end of route 17, on April 16, 1949. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 6034 is at Kedzie and Bryn Mawr, the north end of route 17, on April 16, 1949. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 5802 in August 1948 at one of the Stations (car houses) serving the Cottage Grove line. As you can see, at one time CSL (and CTA) were very much interested in landscaping and beautification. (Carl Hehl Photo) Bob Lalich: "CTA 5802 in August 1948 was taken at the Burnside car barn. The IC tracks can be seen in the background. There was an article about the Burnside car barn gardens in First & Fastest a couple of years ago." Andre Kristopans adds, "definitely the back yard at Burnside."

CTA 5802 in August 1948 at one of the Stations (car houses) serving the Cottage Grove line. As you can see, at one time CSL (and CTA) were very much interested in landscaping and beautification. (Carl Hehl Photo) Bob Lalich: “CTA 5802 in August 1948 was taken at the Burnside car barn. The IC tracks can be seen in the background. There was an article about the Burnside car barn gardens in First & Fastest a couple of years ago.” Andre Kristopans adds, “definitely the back yard at Burnside.”

CSL 1933 at Chicago Avenue and Lake Shore Drive on May 12, 1947. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL 1933 at Chicago Avenue and Lake Shore Drive on May 12, 1947. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL 287 on route 52, Kedzie-California. (John Buff Photo) Andre Kristopans: "287 looks like Kedzie at Marquette. Note trolley wire tensioners behind car that would indicate near a terminal."

CSL 287 on route 52, Kedzie-California. (John Buff Photo) Andre Kristopans: “287 looks like Kedzie at Marquette. Note trolley wire tensioners behind car that would indicate near a terminal.”

Although the photo says this is Madison, that sure looks like Chicago Union Station, which means car 701 is probably on Adams instead, heading east. (B. H. Nichols Photo) Bob Lalich: "I agree with your comment, car 701 is passing CUS on Adams." Andre Kristopans: "701 should be on Adams EB at Canal."

Although the photo says this is Madison, that sure looks like Chicago Union Station, which means car 701 is probably on Adams instead, heading east. (B. H. Nichols Photo) Bob Lalich: “I agree with your comment, car 701 is passing CUS on Adams.” Andre Kristopans: “701 should be on Adams EB at Canal.”

Adams and Canal today.

Adams and Canal today.

CTA 3250 is at the end of the line on route 67. The presence of "wings" on this car would indicate this car has probably been repainted green. (John Buff Photo)

CTA 3250 is at the end of the line on route 67. The presence of “wings” on this car would indicate this car has probably been repainted green. (John Buff Photo)

CSL Sedan 3343 at around 7740 S. Vincennes Avenue on December 1, 1940, passing South Shops.

CSL Sedan 3343 at around 7740 S. Vincennes Avenue on December 1, 1940, passing South Shops.

The same area today.

The same area today.

CSL Red Cross tribute car near the Wrigley Building in June 1944. This car was in the 1700-series. (Gordon Lloyd Photo)

CSL Red Cross tribute car near the Wrigley Building in June 1944. This car was in the 1700-series. (Gordon Lloyd Photo)

CTA 5421 at South Shops on May 20, 1951.

CTA 5421 at South Shops on May 20, 1951.

CTA Pullman 848 at South Shops on May 20, 1951

CTA Pullman 848 at South Shops on May 20, 1951.

CSL 3132 on Broadway-State. Andre Kristopans adds, "just a feeling based on background buildings, but I’ll bet it’s on 119th between Halsted and Michigan." (Comparison with other photos indicates the location is most likely 119th and Morgan.)

CSL 3132 on Broadway-State. Andre Kristopans adds, “just a feeling based on background buildings, but I’ll bet it’s on 119th between Halsted and Michigan.” (Comparison with other photos indicates the location is most likely 119th and Morgan.)

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Five

CTA Pullman 143 changing ends at Grand and Harlem in July 1949. It appears that the motorman is just about ready to head east and switch over to the other track. Before the advent of shopping centers, this was one of the busiest shopping districts in the entire city. Note the 1949 Ford just to the right of the streetcar, with some sort of advertising sign on top. My Dad had a '49 Ford, but I doubt he ever put any advertising on it. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) CTA Pullman 143 changing ends at Grand and Harlem in July 1949. It appears that the motorman is just about ready to head east and switch over to the other track. Before the advent of shopping centers, this was one of the busiest shopping districts in the entire city. Note the 1949 Ford just to the right of the streetcar, with some sort of advertising sign on top. My Dad had a '49 Ford, but I doubt he ever put any advertising on it. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA Pullman 143 changing ends at Grand and Harlem in July 1949. It appears that the motorman is just about ready to head east and switch over to the other track. Before the advent of shopping centers, this was one of the busiest shopping districts in the entire city. Note the 1949 Ford just to the right of the streetcar, with some sort of advertising sign on top. My Dad had a ’49 Ford, but I doubt he ever put any advertising on it. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

Everyone wants to go home for the holidays, even if just in spirit. So, for this, our latest batch of classic views of Chicago streetcars, we have made sure to include some pictures from our old stomping grounds.

I grew up near Grand and Harlem on Chicago’s west side, in the Mont Clare neighborhood, then one of the busier shopping areas outside of the Loop. The Grand Avenue streetcar stopped running in 1951, three years before I was born, so I don’t remember that. Today, however, we have not one but two photos showing the west end of the line. I can assure you that such pictures are rare indeed.

I do fondly recall the Grand trolley bus, which terminated at Grand and Noridca, an off-street loop about two blocks east of Harlem, which the CTA still uses for various bus routes (65 – Grand and 74 – Fullerton). The #90 – Harlem bus used to terminate here, but now goes south all the way to the CTA Green Line in Forest Park. I’ve been told that the CTA would have preferred to put the loop closer to Harlem, but this was the closest point at which the necessary land was available.

I recall walking over to Grand and Harlem along with my mother and siblings to go shopping on many occasions. With the rise of various shopping centers within easy driving distance, the Grand and Harlem area went into a gradual decline in the 1970s and 80s, resulting in many empty storefronts and, eventually, demolished buildings.

The great Montclare theatre opened around 1929, prospered for decades, and eventually sputtered into permanent closure in the mid-80s. It is now but a memory along with many other local landmarks of my youth. We saw films all the time at the Mont Clare, which at one time had an expensive organ. I even worked there for six weeks in 1970 as an usher, and some years later, my sister worked at the candy counter.

We also have a few pictures of the route 16 – Lake streetcar. Again, I am too young to remember this (it quit six months before I was born) but I certainly recall riding the Lake Street “L” many times when it still ran at ground level for the two-and-a-half miles west of Laramie.

Nowadays, the CTA doesn’t even offer bus service on Lake Street, which was at one time an important route. For a time, CTA used special narrow buses to navigate around the “L” support columns on Lake. Streetcars, of course, could operate on much closer clearances, since they were on rails.

Fortunately, we still have our memories and these great pictures, which date to the “red car” era in Chicago.

As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

FYI there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space. To see previous posts in this series, use the search window on this page.

Yesterday, we reached another milestone with 100,000 page views in less than 11 months since our first post on January 21st. We must be doing something right and hope to do even better in 2016. Thank you for spending time with us.

Happy Holidays!

-David Sadowski


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New Addition to Our Collection of Traction Audio CDs – Toronto Streetcars

It’s always a good day when we can expand our offerings of traction audio CDs. We have several additional steam titles that are coming down the pike, but there just happen to have been a lot fewer audio recordings made of streetcars and interurbans in the classic era.

We thank collector Kenneth Gear for sharing a 1962 recording of Toronto streetcars (described below) with us. This features Peter Witts and PCCs.

It has been our intent to pair up traction LPs on CDs, to give our customers the best value for their money. The only traction CD in our collection that still was not paired up with another recording is Interurban Memories, which has audio from both Pacific Electric and the North Shore Line recorded circa 1959-60, the waning days of both these great interurbans.

Combining these two LPs onto a single CD results in a running time of more than 73 minutes, at no additional cost to you. All our traction CDs are new 2015 digital remasters, using the modern technology, from the best available sources. In some cases, we have compared multiple versions of the same recording in order to pick the best one to use.

We are glad to make these long out-of-print public domain recordings available once again at very reasonable prices. Many of these “orphan works” of long-gone enterprises like the Railroad Record Club have been rescued from the dustbin of history and are now sounding better than ever. Eventually, we hope to have all the Railroad Record Club recordings available once again.


Capture16SOTS.PNG

IM & TS
Interurban Memories
The Sounds of Toronto Streetcars
# of Discs – 1
Price: $14.95

Interurban Memories features Hi-Fi audio of the Pacific Electric and the North Shore Line in their twilight years 1959-1960. The Sounds of Toronto Streetcars was recorded in 1962.

You will hear sounds at trackside and on board trains. The North Shore Line portion, from 1960, includes a run from Skokie (Dempster Street) to Edison Court. The Pacific Electric recordings were made on the line between L. A. and Long Beach, including the Watts Local that quit in late 1959. You will hear both the Blimps and the Hollywood Cars.

The Toronto streetcar audio recordings include both a Peter Witt car and a PCC. While streetcars still do run in Toronto, both these types of cars have long since been replaced with more modern equipment.

Both these recordings were originally issued on LP by record companies that have long been out of business.

Total time – 73:42


CTA 927 at Grand and Harlem, then the west end of route 65 - Grand. Note the S. S. Kresge dime store at right. There were once three different dime stores in this shopping area (Kresge's, Neisner's, and Woolworth's). There were still two of these when I was growing up. All are long gone now. The buildings at right, which were probably built circa 1910-1915, have since been torn down and there is a Chase Bank facility there now. Behind the streetcar, you can just catch a glimpse of Ablin Drugs, a local landmark for many decades. There is an Alden's department store visible. They were considerably downmarket from stores like Marshall Field's. This picture was probably taken in July 1949. Alden's and Ablin's were in suburban Elmwood Park. There is a Caputo's Fresh Market on that corner now. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA 927 at Grand and Harlem, then the west end of route 65 – Grand. Note the S. S. Kresge dime store at right. There were once three different dime stores in this shopping area (Kresge’s, Neisner’s, and Woolworth’s). There were still two of these when I was growing up. All are long gone now. The buildings at right, which were probably built circa 1910-1915, have since been torn down and there is a Chase Bank facility there now. Behind the streetcar, you can just catch a glimpse of Ablin Drugs, a local landmark for many decades. There is an Alden’s department store visible. They were considerably downmarket from stores like Marshall Field’s. This picture was probably taken in July 1949. Alden’s and Ablin’s were in suburban Elmwood Park. There is a Caputo’s Fresh Market on that corner now. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

The corner of Grand and Harlem, looking to the southwest into Elmwood Park. A West Towns bus is turning west on Grand; a double-ended CTA route 65 streetcar is parked in the street, and will soon head back east; and a CTA route 90 - Harlem bus is parked at the corner and will then make a right turn and head north. Note that the trolley seems to have parked far enough off from Harlem to permit cars to make left turns. In 1951, the streetcar was replaced with a trolley bus that terminated a couple blocks east of here at Grand and Nordica, which then became the transfer point for the CTA Harlem bus. In the 1980s, the West Towns was purchased by Pace and this bus route became today's route 307. Nowadays the CTA #90 bus continues south of here to the Green Line in Oak Park. (Illinois Digital Archives Photo)

The corner of Grand and Harlem, looking to the southwest into Elmwood Park. A West Towns bus is turning west on Grand; a double-ended CTA route 65 streetcar is parked in the street, and will soon head back east; and a CTA route 90 – Harlem bus is parked at the corner and will then make a right turn and head north. Note that the trolley seems to have parked far enough off from Harlem to permit cars to make left turns. In 1951, the streetcar was replaced with a trolley bus that terminated a couple blocks east of here at Grand and Nordica, which then became the transfer point for the CTA Harlem bus. In the 1980s, the West Towns was purchased by Pace and this bus route became today’s route 307. Nowadays the CTA #90 bus continues south of here to the Green Line in Oak Park. (Illinois Digital Archives Photo)

National was a popular grocery chain in postwar Chicago. This is how their new location at 1705 N. Harlem Avenue (a few blocks south of Grand ) looked on July 18, 1949, three days before opening. The building eventually became an Osco Drug and was torn down several years ago when Osco moved to a new building on the next block north. (Bob Kotalik Photo)

National was a popular grocery chain in postwar Chicago. This is how their new location at 1705 N. Harlem Avenue (a few blocks south of Grand ) looked on July 18, 1949, three days before opening. The building eventually became an Osco Drug and was torn down several years ago when Osco moved to a new building on the next block north. (Bob Kotalik Photo)

This is what the the area near Grand and Nordica looked like before things got very built up. Service was extended west to Harlem in 1911. The date given for this picture is 1916, but by then at least some of the retail buildings at Grand and Harlem had already been built. We are looking to the west. In the late 1800s, this area had been farmland. Local pioneer Harriet Sayre's house was located not far from here at the corner of Grand and Sayre. I recall seeing it demolished in 1960 to make way for a bank. A few blocks to the south, Sayre elementary school opened in 1929. My father went to school there, and I also went there through the fifth grade. (Illinois Digital Archives Photo)

This is what the the area near Grand and Nordica looked like before things got very built up. Service was extended west to Harlem in 1911. The date given for this picture is 1916, but by then at least some of the retail buildings at Grand and Harlem had already been built. We are looking to the west. In the late 1800s, this area had been farmland. Local pioneer Harriet Sayre’s house was located not far from here at the corner of Grand and Sayre. I recall seeing it demolished in 1960 to make way for a bank. A few blocks to the south, Sayre elementary school opened in 1929. My father went to school there, and I also went there through the fifth grade. (Illinois Digital Archives Photo)

The Grand Avenue streetcar at the end of the line in 1921. 72nd Avenue was later renamed Harlem. (Illinois Digital Archives Photo)

The Grand Avenue streetcar at the end of the line in 1921. 72nd Avenue was later renamed Harlem. (Illinois Digital Archives Photo)

A 1960 CTA photo of the Grand and Nordica off-street bus loop. Route 65 - Grand trolley buses began operating from here in 1951, as did route 90 - Harlem buses. 74B West Fullerton buses began using the loop on December 12, 1955.

A 1960 CTA photo of the Grand and Nordica off-street bus loop. Route 65 – Grand trolley buses began operating from here in 1951, as did route 90 – Harlem buses. 74B West Fullerton buses began using the loop on December 12, 1955.

This image from www.trolleybuses.net, credited to the Scalzo collection, shows a Grand trolleybus, Marmon 9437, at Grand and Nordica on October 12, 1968. There was a grocery next to the loop, which later became a thrift store.

This image from http://www.trolleybuses.net, credited to the Scalzo collection, shows a Grand trolleybus, Marmon 9437, at Grand and Nordica on October 12, 1968. There was a grocery next to the loop, which later became a thrift store.

Marmon 9437 westbound on Grand at Newland on September 7, 1969, again from www.trolleybuses.net and the Scalzo collection. From 1954 to 1964, my family lived just south of here on Medill. The Rambler dealer later became AMC, then Jeep, Chrysler-Jeep and is now demolished. We are a short distance from the Grand-Nordica loop.

Marmon 9437 westbound on Grand at Newland on September 7, 1969, again from http://www.trolleybuses.net and the Scalzo collection. From 1954 to 1964, my family lived just south of here on Medill. The Rambler dealer later became AMC, then Jeep, Chrysler-Jeep and is now demolished. We are a short distance from the Grand-Nordica loop.

The CTA bus loop at Grand and Noridca as it appears today. The two halves of the loop are bisected by retail, which once included the Terminal Grill, which had pictures of Grand Avenue streetcars hanging on the wall. From 1951 to 1973, CTA route 65 trolley buses turned back here.

The CTA bus loop at Grand and Noridca as it appears today. The two halves of the loop are bisected by retail, which once included the Terminal Grill, which had pictures of Grand Avenue streetcars hanging on the wall. From 1951 to 1973, CTA route 65 trolley buses turned back here.

CSL 1616 heads west towards Lake and Austin, while running parallel to a ramp just west of Laramie that will bring the Lake Street "L" down to ground level. Both lines will then run side-by-side for a few blocks. At rear, an eastbound "L" train is changing over from overhead wire to third rail. By 1961, the changeover point had been moved further west as part of the process that eventually relocated this portion of "L" to the nearby Chicago & North Western embankment. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1616 heads west towards Lake and Austin, while running parallel to a ramp just west of Laramie that will bring the Lake Street “L” down to ground level. Both lines will then run side-by-side for a few blocks. At rear, an eastbound “L” train is changing over from overhead wire to third rail. By 1961, the changeover point had been moved further west as part of the process that eventually relocated this portion of “L” to the nearby Chicago & North Western embankment. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

A contemporary view looking east on Lake Stret just west of Laramie. Until October 1962, the "L" descended onto the left portion of Lake Street and ran at ground level to Forest Park.

A contemporary view looking east on Lake Stret just west of Laramie. Until October 1962, the “L” descended onto the left portion of Lake Street and ran at ground level to Forest Park.

CSL 1627, heading west on route 16 - Lake, prepares to cross the ground-level tracks of the Lake Street "L" at Pine Avenue, one block east of Central. It will then proceed just over half a mile before turning back at Austin Boulevard. This is also where Lake Street itself takes the same jog. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1627, heading west on route 16 – Lake, prepares to cross the ground-level tracks of the Lake Street “L” at Pine Avenue, one block east of Central. It will then proceed just over half a mile before turning back at Austin Boulevard. This is also where Lake Street itself takes the same jog. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Lake and Pine today, the same general view as the previous photo.

Lake and Pine today, the same general view as the previous photo.

CTA 6172 passes under the Chicago & North Western overpass near the west end of route 16 - Lake in June 1952. We are facing south, and the streetcar would also have just crossed the Lake Street "L" tracks on the other side of the viaduct. The ground-level portion of Lake was elevated onto the embankment in 1962. Route 16 ended a short distance west of here at Austin Boulevard, the city limits.

CTA 6172 passes under the Chicago & North Western overpass near the west end of route 16 – Lake in June 1952. We are facing south, and the streetcar would also have just crossed the Lake Street “L” tracks on the other side of the viaduct. The ground-level portion of Lake was elevated onto the embankment in 1962. Route 16 ended a short distance west of here at Austin Boulevard, the city limits.

Pine Avenue at Lake Street, looking south. This is the same view as in the previous photo showing where the Lake streetcar went under the C&NW embankment until the end of May, 1954.

Pine Avenue at Lake Street, looking south. This is the same view as in the previous photo showing where the Lake streetcar went under the C&NW embankment until the end of May, 1954.

CSL 3144 is eastbound on route 16 - Lake, just west of where the line passed under the C&NW.

CSL 3144 is eastbound on route 16 – Lake, just west of where the line passed under the C&NW.

The view today looking west on Lake Street at Pine Avenue, where Lake and its streetcar crossed under the C&NW embankment. This is approximately the same view as the previous photo.

The view today looking west on Lake Street at Pine Avenue, where Lake and its streetcar crossed under the C&NW embankment. This is approximately the same view as the previous photo.

In 1946, my grandparents on my mother's side bought a wooden frame house at 6226 South Honore Street in Chicago. Previously, they had lived in Lakeview on Newport starting in 1937. This is what their block on Honore looked like in 1946. The jalopy at left, which looks like a Model A Ford, was their car and must have been the oldest one on the block. The house remained in the family until the early 1970s when my uncle sold it. It has since been demolished, as have most of the other homes on this block. They lived just north of 63rd Street, which had a busy streetcar line, and less than a mile away from Loomis, west end of the Englewood branch of the south side "L". In 1969 the "L" was extended west a few blocks to Ashland, a more logical place to transfer to buses.

In 1946, my grandparents on my mother’s side bought a wooden frame house at 6226 South Honore Street in Chicago. Previously, they had lived in Lakeview on Newport starting in 1937. This is what their block on Honore looked like in 1946. The jalopy at left, which looks like a Model A Ford, was their car and must have been the oldest one on the block. The house remained in the family until the early 1970s when my uncle sold it. It has since been demolished, as have most of the other homes on this block. They lived just north of 63rd Street, which had a busy streetcar line, and less than a mile away from Loomis, west end of the Englewood branch of the south side “L”. In 1969 the “L” was extended west a few blocks to Ashland, a more logical place to transfer to buses.

CTA Pullman 133, eastbound on 63rd Place private right-of-way between Narrangansett and Central on the 63rd Street line.

CTA Pullman 133, eastbound on 63rd Place private right-of-way between Narrangansett and Central on the 63rd Street line.

PCC 7023 heads west on the mile-long private right-of-way at the west end of the 63rd Street line. This is a built-up residential neighborhood today.

PCC 7023 heads west on the mile-long private right-of-way at the west end of the 63rd Street line. This is a built-up residential neighborhood today.

CTA prewar PCC 7012 at the west end of the 63rd Street line (63rd Place and Narragansett). Not sure which direction we are facing.

CTA prewar PCC 7012 at the west end of the 63rd Street line (63rd Place and Narragansett). Not sure which direction we are facing.

A view of the CTA bus loop at 6400 West 63rd Place as it appears today. The wooden frame building at right looks very much like one in the previous prictrue. According to Andre Kristopans, the loop was reduced in size to make room for the new Chicago Public Library branch at rear.

A view of the CTA bus loop at 6400 West 63rd Place as it appears today. The wooden frame building at right looks very much like one in the previous prictrue. According to Andre Kristopans, the loop was reduced in size to make room for the new Chicago Public Library branch at rear.

CTA 3167 and 479 at Cermak and Kenton on May 16, 1954, by the massive Western Electric plant. 479 was there on a "farewell to red cars" fantrip sponsored by Central Electric Railfans' Association, which was organized by Bernard Rossbach.

CTA 3167 and 479 at Cermak and Kenton on May 16, 1954, by the massive Western Electric plant. 479 was there on a “farewell to red cars” fantrip sponsored by Central Electric Railfans’ Association, which was organized by Bernard Rossbach.

CTA regular service car 3167, painted green, is at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21. Red cars 479 and 473, at the rear, are on the famous CERA "farewell to red cars fantrip." The date is May 16, 1954, two weeks before the end of red car service in Chicago.

CTA regular service car 3167, painted green, is at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21. Red cars 479 and 473, at the rear, are on the famous CERA “farewell to red cars fantrip.” The date is May 16, 1954, two weeks before the end of red car service in Chicago.

CTA 1728 and 3127 at Cermak and Kenton in May 1952. This was the western end of route 21 - Cermak.

CTA 1728 and 3127 at Cermak and Kenton in May 1952. This was the western end of route 21 – Cermak.

CTA 1724 is westbound at Ogden and Cicero on June 24, 1951.

CTA 1724 is westbound at Ogden and Cicero on June 24, 1951.

CTA Pullman 144 in fantrip service, April 1956. Regular use of these cars had ended nearly two years before. This car is now preserved in operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. George Trapp adds, "144 is actually westbound on Devon at Ravenswood, (the) photographer must have been on the Chicago & NorthWestern's viaduct. Track curving off to the left was used by Route 36 Broadway cars, by this date the State end had been bustituted. Out of sight was a track curving from eastbound Devon to northbound Ravenswood used by Western pull ins to Devon Depot. Eastbound track on Devon between Ravenswood and Clark not used for regular service after Dec. 1947."

CTA Pullman 144 in fantrip service, April 1956. Regular use of these cars had ended nearly two years before. This car is now preserved in operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. George Trapp adds, “144 is actually westbound on Devon at Ravenswood, (the) photographer must have been on the
Chicago & NorthWestern’s viaduct. Track curving off to the left was used by Route 36 Broadway cars, by this date the State end had been bustituted. Out of sight was a track curving from eastbound Devon to northbound
Ravenswood used by Western pull ins to Devon Depot. Eastbound track on Devon between Ravenswood and Clark not used for regular service after Dec. 1947.”

CTA 3207 is signed for the 93rd-95th route on June 27, 1948. This was early in the CTA era, and this car does not appear to have either a CTA or CSL logo on its side. M. E. writes, "CTA 3207 is signed for the 93rd-95th route on June 27, 1948." The railroad on the right is the east-west line (I believe the Rock Island) that ran at about 94th Place. If this picture had been taken about a block behind the current camera location, it would show the north-south railroad that crosses the east-west railroad. So this view faces east and is situated at about 94th Place and a block west of Stony Island Ave. The streetcar is heading west. The 93rd-95th line wiggled a bit in this area. It went west on 93rd St. to Stony Island Ave., south on Stony Island to about 94th St., west a half-block or so, south another half-block (the streetcar trackage at the left of the picture), then west alongside the east-west railroad. It is this last-mentioned turn that is photographed." Andre Kristopans: "Regarding the PROW west of Stony Island – there are THREE railroads to the right – nearest is the Belt Ry of Chicago, furthest is the Rock Island, both heading for South Chicago, and coming into the middle from the right is the Chicago & Western Indiana from State Line. The CWI crossed the RI and the Nickel Plate (New York Chicago & St Louis) which headed north towards the NYC at 75th St at what was called Pullman Junction. Also, the reason for the PROW was because before Calumet Yard was built by the Nickel Plate about 1950, their yard was between 83rd and 93rd, and thus 93rd St was never put thru."

CTA 3207 is signed for the 93rd-95th route on June 27, 1948. This was early in the CTA era, and this car does not appear to have either a CTA or CSL logo on its side. M. E. writes, “CTA 3207 is signed for the 93rd-95th route on June 27, 1948.” The railroad on the right is the east-west line (I believe the Rock Island) that ran at about 94th Place. If this picture had been taken about a block behind the current camera location, it would show the north-south railroad that crosses the east-west railroad. So this view faces east and is situated at about 94th Place and a block west of Stony Island Ave. The streetcar is heading west. The 93rd-95th line wiggled a bit in this area. It went west on 93rd St. to Stony Island Ave., south on Stony Island to about 94th St., west a half-block or so, south another half-block (the streetcar trackage at the left of the picture), then west alongside the east-west railroad. It is this last-mentioned turn that is photographed.”
Andre Kristopans: “Regarding the PROW west of Stony Island – there are THREE railroads to the right – nearest is the Belt Ry of Chicago, furthest is the Rock Island, both heading for South Chicago, and coming into the middle from the right is the Chicago & Western Indiana from State Line. The CWI crossed the RI and the Nickel Plate (New York Chicago & St Louis) which headed north towards the NYC at 75th St at what was called Pullman Junction. Also, the reason for the PROW was because before Calumet Yard was built by the Nickel Plate about 1950, their yard was between 83rd and 93rd, and thus 93rd St was never put thru.”

CTA 5309 is running a charter on the 59th-61st Street line, July 4, 1949 (date of an ERA fantrip). (Charles K. Willhoft Photo) M. E. writes, "Based on the L in the background, this picture shows either the Englewood L station at State St. south of 59th St. or the Jackson Park L station at 61st St. and Prairie Ave. If the former, this view faces north on State St. from about 61st St. If the latter, this view faces west on 61st St. from about 600 east." Another reader says, "I do not believe that this is 61st and State because the street is too narrow to be State Street. Take a look at (Bill) Hoffman's photos of State & 62nd Place on route 36 (in CERA Bulletin 146) and you can see how wide State Street was and is today. "

CTA 5309 is running a charter on the 59th-61st Street line, July 4, 1949 (date of an ERA fantrip). (Charles K. Willhoft Photo) M. E. writes, “Based on the L in the background, this picture shows either the Englewood L station at State St. south of 59th St. or the Jackson Park L station at 61st St. and Prairie Ave. If the former, this view faces north on State St. from about 61st St. If the latter, this view faces west on 61st St. from about 600 east.” Another reader says, “I do not believe that this is 61st and State because the street is too narrow to be State Street. Take a look at (Bill) Hoffman’s photos of State & 62nd Place on route 36 (in CERA Bulletin 146) and you can see how wide State Street was and is today. “

CTA 5257 at 79th and Western on July 31, 1948. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA 5257 at 79th and Western on July 31, 1948. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA 3262, signed for route 28, is at the Vincennes Avenue shops on July 4, 1949. (Charles K. Willhoft Photo) This picture may have been taken during an ERA fantrip. One of our readers opines, "Burnside Station at 93rd & Drexel (possibly)."

CTA 3262, signed for route 28, is at the Vincennes Avenue shops on July 4, 1949. (Charles K. Willhoft Photo) This picture may have been taken during an ERA fantrip. One of our readers opines, “Burnside Station at 93rd & Drexel (possibly).”

CTA 3232 is on route 67 at 71st and California, the west end of the line.

CTA 3232 is on route 67 at 71st and California, the west end of the line.

CTA Pullman 187 is southbound on route 9 - Ashland in a winter wonderland. M. E. writes, "The only at-grade railroad crossing I know of on Ashland Ave. is the one at 89th St., trackage used by Rock Island Beverly branch commuter trains (Metra trackage today) and the daily B&O Capitol Limited. Because the streetcar's destination sign reads Ashland and 69th, this car is probably heading north on Ashland."

CTA Pullman 187 is southbound on route 9 – Ashland in a winter wonderland. M. E. writes, “The only at-grade railroad crossing I know of on Ashland Ave. is the one at 89th St., trackage used by Rock Island Beverly branch commuter trains (Metra trackage today) and the daily B&O Capitol Limited. Because the streetcar’s destination sign reads Ashland and 69th, this car is probably heading north on Ashland.”

CTA 523 on a Madison Street shoo-fly, during construction of lower Wacker Drive in the early 1950s. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA 523 on a Madison Street shoo-fly, during construction of lower Wacker Drive in the early 1950s. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CSL 6234.

CSL 6234.

CTA Pullman 426 on route 52 - Kedzie-California on July 23, 1953, at California-Roscoe.

CTA Pullman 426 on route 52 – Kedzie-California on July 23, 1953, at California-Roscoe.

CTA 255 on Route 52 - Kedzie-California, with its two-man crew on July 23, 1953, at California-Roscoe.

CTA 255 on Route 52 – Kedzie-California, with its two-man crew on July 23, 1953, at California-Roscoe.

CTA Pullman 509, an Ashland car at Southport-Clark.

CTA Pullman 509, an Ashland car at Southport-Clark.

CSL 1731 at Armitage Station (car house) in War Bond livery, July 1942.

CSL 1731 at Armitage Station (car house) in War Bond livery, July 1942.

CTA 6297 stops to let off passengers just south of the Loop. The sign advertising the Stevens Hotel should provide a clue as to the location. This is now the Hilton Chicago, located at 720 S. Michigan, but of course no streetcars ran on Michigan downtown. (The second trolley pole you see at rear is on another streetcar that is hidden from view by this one.) M. E. writes, "These cars, called Sedans, ran on Cottage Grove Ave., sometimes in conjunction with the pre-war PCC cars. The Cottage Grove route downtown used Wabash Ave. Now let's talk about the big buildings. The two big buildings at the left are the back side of the Stevens Hotel, which fronted on Michigan Ave. The sign advertising the Stevens Hotel is on a separate building along Wabash. Another factor is the intersecting street, which must be Balbo (700 South). Balbo ran along the north side of the Stevens Hotel. Ergo, this picture is at Wabash and Balbo, facing southeast, and the streetcar is southbound."

CTA 6297 stops to let off passengers just south of the Loop. The sign advertising the Stevens Hotel should provide a clue as to the location. This is now the Hilton Chicago, located at 720 S. Michigan, but of course no streetcars ran on Michigan downtown. (The second trolley pole you see at rear is on another streetcar that is hidden from view by this one.) M. E. writes, “These cars, called Sedans, ran on Cottage Grove Ave., sometimes in conjunction with the pre-war PCC cars. The Cottage Grove route downtown used Wabash Ave. Now let’s talk about the big buildings. The two big buildings at the left are the back side of the Stevens Hotel, which fronted on Michigan Ave. The sign advertising the Stevens Hotel is on a separate building along Wabash. Another factor is the intersecting street, which must be Balbo (700 South). Balbo ran along the north side of the Stevens Hotel. Ergo, this picture is at Wabash and Balbo, facing southeast, and the streetcar is southbound.”

CSL 6177 southbound at State and Wacker on July 26, 1939. George Trapp: "Photo of car 6177 on State just south of Wacker, car is empty and is probably laying over as it's on the northbound track. After closure of old State Street bridge it was a good place for short turn State Downtown cars to lay over. Side sign says State-Michigan."

CSL 6177 southbound at State and Wacker on July 26, 1939. George Trapp: “Photo of car 6177 on State just south of Wacker, car is empty and is probably laying over as it’s on the northbound track. After closure of old State Street bridge it was a good place for short turn State Downtown cars to lay over. Side sign says State-Michigan.”

CSL 1910 at the eastern end of the Chicago Avenue line in April, 1941.

CSL 1910 at the eastern end of the Chicago Avenue line in April, 1941.

CTA 5457 at 79th and Western on May 29, 1949. Note the PCC in the nearby loop at rear. M. E. writes, "The PCC loop was at the south end of the Western Ave. streetcar line. The loop itself was on the east side of Western at about 78th Place. Car 5457 is at the end of the westbound track on 79th St. east of Western. The trolley has been reversed and the car is ready to head back east on 79th St. To the left of car 5457 is the intersection of 79th and Western."

CTA 5457 at 79th and Western on May 29, 1949. Note the PCC in the nearby loop at rear. M. E. writes, “The PCC loop was at the south end of the Western Ave. streetcar line. The loop itself was on the east side of Western at about 78th Place. Car 5457 is at the end of the westbound track on 79th St. east of Western. The trolley has been reversed and the car is ready to head back east on 79th St. To the left of car 5457 is the intersection of 79th and Western.”

C&IT stands for the Chicago & Interurban Traction Company. Don's Rail Photos says, "The Chicago & Interurban Traction Company was incorporated in February 1912, taking over all trackage outside Chicago in March 1912 (all trackage in the City of Chicago went to the Chicago City Railway Company). C&IT interurban service continued from the south side Engelwood Elevated Station at 63rd and Halsted (trackage in Chicago was leased along with the shops at 88th and Vincennes) to Kankakee." Samuel Insull took over the C&IT in 1922 and tried to revive the line, but when the competing Illinois Central elevated much of their line and electrified, the C&IT could not compete and interurban service was abandoned in 1927.

CSL 2802 on a charter, possibly a July 4, 1949 fantrip held by the Electric Railroaders’ Association on various south side lines. Bill Shapotkin writes: “Believe this pic is in the streetcar terminal next to the 63/Halsted ‘L’ station (where the C&IT cars and later busses of South Suburban Safeway and Suburban transit began their runs). View looks east.” M. E. adds, “Bill Shapotkin is correct. This view faces east along 63rd Place on the south side of the 63rd and Halsted (Englewood) L station, which was east of Halsted. One small nit about Bill’s text: The bus lines were named Suburban Transit System and South Suburban Safeway Lines.”
C&IT stands for the Chicago & Interurban Traction Company. Don’s Rail Photos says, “The Chicago & Interurban Traction Company was incorporated in February 1912, taking over all trackage outside Chicago in March 1912 (all trackage in the City of Chicago went to the Chicago City Railway Company). C&IT interurban service continued from the south side Engelwood Elevated Station at 63rd and Halsted (trackage in Chicago was leased along with the shops at 88th and Vincennes) to Kankakee.” Samuel Insull took over the C&IT in 1922 and tried to revive the line, but when the competing Illinois Central elevated much of their line and electrified, the C&IT could not compete and interurban service was abandoned in 1927.

The "L" station at 63rd and Halsted as it looks today.

The “L” station at 63rd and Halsted as it looks today.