CTA 1758 at Randolph and Clark in the 1950s, with the Woods Theater in the background. It closed in 1989. “The Beauty and the Outlaw,” playing at the Woods, is more typically known as Ride, Vaquero!. This western starred Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner and was released on July 15, 1953, which helps date the photo.
As we work hard to finish our new book Chicago Trolleys, we thought we would take this opportunity to share some interesting images that our readers recently shared with us. Most of these are from a single individual who would prefer to remain anonymous.
Many of these are slides that were sold by the late Jack Bailey, under the name Ashland Car Works. Mr. Bailey also sold models using the ACW brand name.
The collector who shared these purchased most of the black-and-white prints from Downtown Hobby, which is now called Chicagoland Hobby.
That doesn’t tell you who took the pictures, in most cases, but that is where they came from.
We thank everyone for their contributions.
CTA PCCs 7070 and 7168 at Clark and Howard, the north end of route 22 – Clark-Wentworth, in the 1950s. (Ashland Car Works)
A CTA Sedan at 115th adn St. Lawrence, near the south end of the Cottage Grove line.
CTA PCC 4019 heads east on 63rd Place private right-of-way in 1949. This is a completely built up residential area today.
Patrick wirites,”CTA 1733 is actually on 25th Street east of Laramie. Ogden is a diagonal street and the street is too narrow for Cermak. The bank building seen over the top of 1733 is still there.” This would be the west end of route 58 – Ogden.
Andre Kristopans: “Re 723 at ‘Pulaski and North’ – no way. However, look carefully at the front truck of 723. It is not following the curve to its right, but is turning left. Seems like we are looking east on Harrison at Halsted and that is a Blue Island car about to go down Blue Island Av. That was a very awkward intersection before Circle Campus street realignments.”
CTA 7260 at 119th and Morgan. One of our regular readers writes, “I seem to recall that this photo was taken by Bill Janssen on December 4, 1955, the last day (early morning) that route 36 Broadway-State still existed. It is a Broadway-State car laying over, waiting to head north to Clark and Schreiber. It is not Broadway and Ardmore.” We were only going by what was written on the slide, which appears to be in error, thanks. This picture appears to be a time exposure (see the light streaking at right). My guess is that the photographer had his camera on a tripod, and used an exposure time of a few seconds for each picture.
CTA 4408 is southbound on Clark at Lake Street.
CTA 653 is northbound on Dearborn.
CTA 144 on a fantrip at Broadway and Ardmore, with a PCC behind.
The view looking north from State and Van Buren in the 1950s.
CTA 7193 heads south on State Street in the 1950s.
CTA 7192 northbound on Dearborn, after both Clark and Dearborn were converted to one-way streets.
CTA 7175 is westbound and Polk and Dearborn.
CTA 7210, southbound at Clark and Van Buren.
CMC GM bus 624 on route 34 – Diversey in the early 1950s. The fare at this time was 13 cents.
Chicago Motor Coach bus 1281, newly painted, at Wilcox garage on May 11, 1946. The CMC assets were purchased by the Chicago Transit Authority on October 1, 1952. Route 26 – Jackson became CTA route 126.
CMC double-decker 146 in July 1936.
CMC double-decker 146 in the 1930s.
CMC Mack bus 1005, eastbound on Addison near Wrigley Field. Andre Kristopans: “Cmc Mack was built in 1951.”
In this tricked-up photo, we see a GM demo bus, the design of which eventually became the 500 series, at an unidentified location (not Chicago) circa 1950. George Trapp adds, “The bus is the GM Model TDH5502 Demo which became Chicago Motor Coach #500 in 1951. This bus may have been the first paired window version of the Yellow/GM so called “Old Look” buses. It differed somewhat from the production buses #501-600 delivered from Oct. – Dec. 1948. The demo lacks the “Michigan marker lights” front and rear and has two rectangular shaped vents between the headlights which the 501-600 lacked. The CMC TDH5103’s 601-650 of 1950 and 651-700 of late 1951 as well as Fifth Avenue Coach TDH-5104’s of 1952 also lacked them.” Dan Cluely adds, “I believe that the demo bus picture is downtown Pontiac MI. The S.S. Kresge store seem to match, and this would only be a short distance from GM’s bus plant.”
Fifth Avenue Coach Company (NYC) double-decker 2030.
CSL gas bus #1 in the 1930s.
A CTA Lawrence Avenue trolley bus turning from Leland onto Broadway in the 1950s. This is how Lawrence TBs looped at the east end of the route. Notice the trolley bu wires were not shared with Broadway streetcars. (Gary Johnson Photo)
The famous Norfolk and Western Class J steam engine 611. Retired in 1959, and resurrected 21 years later, the 611 has three excursions planned for this April.
Illinois Terminal double-end PCC on the St. Louis-Granite City route.
CTA’s historical cars 4271-4272, now 95 years young.
1898 – General Electric and the forerunner to the Chicago Transit Authority make history with the world’s first electric multiple-unit cars. That must be inventor Frank Julian Sprague at the front of the car.
In 1972, CTA 4358 emerged as rail grinder S-I “Shhhicago.” Don’s Rail Photos: “4358 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1924, (order) #2860.”
A CTA wooden “L” car, signed as a Lake Street “B” train.
The Lake Street Elevated Railroad in the 1890s, when it was steam-powered.
A train of CTA 2000s on the Lake Street “L”.
CTA GMC New Look bus 1305, on State near the Chicago Theater.
Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue.
Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue. Note Kroch’s bookstore, which later became Kroch’s and Brentano’s.
Although the Chicago Surface Lines built some replica vehicles in the 1930s, North Chicago Street Railroad car 8 is not among them. An original built in 1859, we see it here in demonstration service during the 1948-49 Chicago Railroad Fair on the lakefront. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.
Chicago Motor Coach Ford bus 434, circa 1946.
An artist’s rendering of a CTA New Look bus.
This is the upper deck of CMC double-decker bus 146.
A CSL streetcar at Western and Devon in the 1930s, near the old Nortown Theater. That appears to be a Chrysler Airflow in front of the streetcar.
CTA 7155 signed for route 49 – Western.
CTA 4160 on Madison near the Garfield Park field house. George Trapp notes, “CSL PCC #4160 on Madison, while photographed on Madison in Garfield Park, this is a publicity photo. The side sign reads Clark-Wentworth and was probably taken in the summer of 1947 before cars in this series, although not necessarily this one, went to Madison.”
CTA 225 in the 1950s, probably at 77th and Vincennes prior to a fantrip. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.
CSL 297 on Belmont.
It’s hard to make out the number, but this shows a CSL one-man car at Armitage and Hudson in the 1940s. That is not far from Lincoln Avenue.
Neil Pantelis writes:
Thank you for such a great page and for sharing an incredible amount of information.
Can you tell me by looking at this photo if the subject is wearing the uniform of a conductor, driver, motorman etc? He is in a group photo from my grandparents engagement party.
The photo is from the Douglas Park area of Chicago in the year 1917. It is very likely near the intersection of California and Ogden.
Anyone working for the Chicago Surface Lines in 1917 would most likely have had a CSL badge, with a number, on their hat. The resolution on this picture is such that it’s difficult to tell whether or not there is such a badge.
Perhaps our readers can weigh in on this. This appears to be but a portion of a larger photo. If I could see the rest, perhaps we can try to put this into the proper context.
Glad you like the blog.
A Chicago City Railway Co. hat badge.
Spence Ziegler writes:
I tried to access this website recently and I noticed that it’s gone; do you know anything about this? Any information or thoughts on this would greatly be appreciated. It’s address was CAERR.com.
Thank you in advance.
Looks like someone didn’t pay for the domain renewal. Julie Johnson died in 2011, and presumably left some money to pay for this, and now the registration has run out. Not sure who else was involved with this web site.
I did a “Whois” search and it looks like someone updated the site several months ago, so someone else must be involved:
Expires On 2017-02-14 Registered On 2000-02-14 Updated On 2016-06-22
Jack Bejna writes:
I enjoy the Trolley Dodger immensely, especially anything CA&E! I grew up in Broadview and walked to Proviso High School every day along the CA&E right of way from 9th avenue to 5th Avenue. This month’s CA&E images are some that I haven’t seen before and are great, especially since they’re medium format images. I have a request… I would like to see a good image of the old dispatcher’s office (before it was repainted and the upper windows covered over. I’m sure someone took pictures of the office but I’ve never seen one.
Thanks for all you do; it sure makes my day!
PS- Here are some CA&E shots that I have Photoshopped. All of them except CA&E 26 are from the JJ (Julie Johnson) collection.
What you call “Photoshopping” is nothing new, when you consider that retouching and airbrushing has been around for a long time. There is nothing wrong with creating idealized versions of photographs that eliminate unnecessary parts of the background that are distracting, as long as everyone realizes what they are.
If anyone is familiar with promotional materials from General Motors, St. Louis Car Company, Chicago Surface Lines, etc., you will see all sorts of retouched and airbrushed images. Photoshop is just a different way of achieving the same result.
My own approach to photo restoration is to eliminate imperfections to make the image look more realistic. It’s a big world, and there is plenty of room for both approaches, as long as there is “truth in packaging,” so people will know the difference.
Thanks for sharing these with our readers. Another good reason for posting these is that Julie Johnson’s web site has, for the moment, disappeared.
CA&E 46: This builders photo of CA&E 46 was too good not to improve; looks a lot better.
CA&E 28: A really poor print that I worked on to improve; not a bad shot.
CA&E 26: The nice original was marred by the fence in front of it so I removed it and it looks much better.
CA&E 24: A washed out shot that deserved to be worked on a bit.
CA&E 14: Pretty much the same as CA&E 12.
CA&E 12: The original was coupled to another car and looked a little crowded, so I got rid of the car and cleaned up the image as well.
In my search for CA&E car Photos, sometimes you just can”t find what you want. Recently, I was looking at an image from the WCJ collection – ETRM, specifically car 46, a 1902 Stephenson Motor. I had been searching for a good image of car 101, a 1902 Stephenson trailer. Hmmm, the wheels started turning and here you see the result. I’m sure a purist would be able to pick apart some details, etc., but it sure looks like CA&E trailer 101 to me! (Editor’s note: I assume WCJ stands for early railfan William C. Janssen.)
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 176th 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 253,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.
You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
We thank you for your support.
In order to continue giving you the kinds of historic railroad images that you have come to expect from The Trolley Dodger, we need your help and support. It costs money to maintain this website, and to do the sort of historic research that is our specialty.
As we mentioned in a previous post, we also are on a tight deadline to finish our new book Chicago Trolleys. Your financial contributions will help make this book better, and are greatly appreciated.
CTA pre-war PCCs 4016 and 4050 at Western and 79th, southern terminal of route 49. This picture was taken seconds after a similar one on page 363 of CERA Bulletin 146. That picture is dated May 1956 and is attributed to William C. Janssen.
The CTA terminal at Western and 79th today.
Here are more classic traction photos we recently acquired. While many are from Chicago, our trip this time takes us all around the country, and even across our northern border.
As always, if you have interesting tidbits of information to add, you can either post a Comment here, or drop us a line directly aat:
Don’t forget, if you click on each picture with your mouse, you can bring up a larger version in your browser, and zoom in on that one too for closer inspection.
When I got this slide, it was identified as being a station on the Garfield Park “L”. However, I did some further research, and it is actually the old Austin Boulevard stop on the Douglas Park line. The house and apartment buildings in the background are still there. The Douglas branch was cut back to 54th Avenue in 1952 and the former right-of-way is now used for parking. Locals still call it the “L” Strip.
The same view today.
CTA 2163-2164, then brand new, in the 54th Avenue Yard, west end of the Douglas Park “L” (now the Pink Line) in 1964. The roadway at left is where the line continued before it was cut back in 1952. (Walter Broschart Photo)
CTA 4002 is shown heading north on route 49 – Western on July 14, 1953. The photographer was up on the Logan Square “L” platform. The people at right are waiting for a southbound car at a safety island. In the distance, we see what was then the Bloomingdale freight spur of the Milwaukee Road, but is now part of the 606 Trail. Jim Huffman adds, “Photo #525. “CTA 4002 is shown heading north on route 49 – Western on July 14, 1953”, I feel is incorrect. 1. There is a 1955 Chevrolet on the left, precludes 1953. 2. 1-Man, Pre-War PCC were assigned in June 1955 (as well as 1-Man Post-Wars), prior to that Western used 2-Man Post-War PCCs only. Went Bus in June 1956. 3. People standing on the safety island are waiting at the end for the front door boarding of an 1-man car. Prior to 1-Man cars, they waited at the other end for the rear doors. 4. Although there is no proof, the 55 Chev looks somewhat used, I would say this is a 1956 photo.”
CSL single-truck mail car H2, apparently still operational, is shown years after streetcar RPO (Railway Post Office) service ended in 1915. It was scrapped on October 2, 1942. From the looks of the autos in the background, this picture may date to the 1920s.
CTA red Pullman 225 is shown here on a mid-1950s fantrip at the 77th Street Shops. The big man at front is Maurice Klebolt (1930-1988), who organized many such trips for the Illini Railroad Club. He later moved to San Francisco and helped start the historic trolley festival there. Car 225 is preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine. (Chuck Wlodarczyk Photo)
On this fantrip, Maury is calling the shots. Looks like he’s wearing a tie with various railroad insignias.
Car 225 under makeshift cover at Seashore (Kennebunkport, Maine) in the late 1950s. (Walter Broschart Photo)
CSL 2601 is shown running on the last day of streetcar service on route 111 (111th Street), September 22, 1945. As for the exact location, Andre Kristopans says this is “probably just west of Indiana Av., looks like the school campus in background that is between King and Indiana to this day.”
CSL 4033 passes the Garfield Park field house on Madison in 1938.
CSL Pullman 318 is heading west on Fullerton in the mid-1930s picture. At right, you can just make out the marquee of the old Liberty Theatre, which opened in 1911 and closed in 1951. The building is now a banquet hall. Will Rogers’ name is on the marquee. The photo date is given as September 8, 1937 and I guess that is possible although Rogers died in August 1935.
The same area today.
The former Liberty Theatre at 3705 W. Fullerton.
CSL 7024 is westbound on Madison just west of the Chicago River in this September 8, 1937 view. The photo caption describes this as a “noiseless streetcar,” with magnetic air brakes and rubber cushioned wheels.
The view from 400 W. Madison today. We are looking to the southeast.
CTA 7093 is southbound on State Street near Lake, as a route 36 Broadway-State car. The film Scaramouche, playing at the State-Lake, was released on June 27, 1952, so that is the approximate date of this picture. Note a Chicago Motor Coach Company bus at left. The State-Lake opened in 1919 and closed in 1985. It was taken over by WLS-TV for use as a studio. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)
State and Lake today.
CTA 7051 is northbound at State and Delaware as a route 36 Broadway-State car in the early 1950s. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)
State and Delaware today, looking south.
CTA 1784, on route 16, has just turned from eastbound Lake Street south on Dearborn, and is passing the Selwyn Theater. A poster advertises Joan Bennett and Zachary Scott in the play Bell, Book and Candle. They took over those parts on May 9, 1952, which is the approximate date of this picture. Bell, Book and Candle was later made into a movie in 1958, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. Michael Todd eventually bought the Harris and Selwyn later in the 1950s and they were converted into movie theaters. The facades of those two buildings have been saved and are now part of the Goodman Theater complex. (Walter Hulsweder Photo)
Dearborn and Lake today.
Joan Bennett and Zachary Scott in the 1952 off-Broadway version of Bell, Book and Candle.
Bell, Book and Candle helped inspire the later TV series Bewitched.
This undated photo shows the station (car house) at Cottage Grove and 38th. It is undated, but the newest car shown here was built in 1912. So a good guess would be sometime between 1912 and the early 1920s, when streetcars were painted red to make them more visible to motorists. Several cars can be identified in this picture. From left to right, I see 5368, 5357, 5364, 5378, 5707, 5802, 5782, 5743, 5759, 5736, 5386, 5706, and 5348. All are either Brill-American-Kuhlman cars, or Nearsides. Streetcars last ran out of Cottage Grove in 1955, after which the building was demolished.
A close-up of four unidentified men in the photo. Presumably, all worked out of the Cottage Grove station.
It’s April 23, 1939, and Chicago & West Towns cars 140 and 141 are operating on an early Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip. Car 141, the lone survivor of the fleet, is now restored to operable condition at the Illinois Railway Museum.
New Site Additions
FYI, these Birney car pictures have been added to Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016):
Fort Collins Municipal Railway “Birney” car 21, at the intersection of Johnson and Mountain Avenues. (Ward Photo)
Restored FCMR 21 as it appeared on May 14, 1995. (Mark D. Meyer Photo)
FCMR 22 on October 26, 1949. Its paint scheme is described as green, red, and aluminum.
FCMR 25 at the car barn. (Ward Photo)
Many other cities had Birneys, of course. Here, we see Brantford (Ontario) Municipal Railway car 137 on July 1, 1935. This was ex-Lock Haven, Pa. Electric Railway car #2. (George Slyford Photo)
In this mid-1950s view, Village of East Troy Railway freight motor M-15 is shown here in East Troy, Wisconsin, near the power station which now serves as the waiting room for the East Troy Electric Railroad museum operation. It was built by TMER&L in 1920 and is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Walter Broschart Photo)
Montreal Tramways had four of these unique observation cars in their fleet, which were used for sightseeing tours. Here, car #3 is at St. Joseph’s Shrine on August 14, 1948. All four cars have been preserved, and car 3 is now at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum. A few years ago, I rode the very similar car #2 at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
This picture shows Red Arrow Brilliner 8 and an older car at the end of the Ardmore branch on May 15, 1949. It looks like the older car is in fantrip service, while the Brilliner is the regular service car ahead of it. The Ardmore branch was replaced by buses in 1966.
Here, Red Arrow Brill Master Unit 86 is the regular service car at the end of the line in West Chester, with the older fantrip car behind it. Again, the date is May 15, 1949.
The photo caption reads, “Two car streamline train arriving at Norristown, looking up from R. R. tracks.” The date is May 12, 1935, meaning these “Bullet” cars were just a few years old.
This picture was added to Chicago’s Pre-PCCs (May 5, 2015):
Baltimore Transit Company car 6105, shown here on route 15 – Ostend St., is one of the last modern streetcars built before PCCs took over the market. The sign on front says that September 7 will be the last day for 6 hour local rides. Perhaps that can help date the picture.
The Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley (aka the Laurel Line) was a Scranton-area interurban powered by third rail, much as the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin was. Here, we see coach #37 in Scranton on September 9, 1950. The line quit at the end of 1952. There were no takers for these cars and all were scrapped. It has been suggested that perhaps CA&E might have benefited from buying some of these cars, although it does seem they were too long for tight turns on the Chicago “L”. However, I do not know if this would have prevented them from running on the CA&E after the system was cut back to Forest Park. In any case, CA&E had previously reduced the length of other cars purchased from the Baltimore & Annapolis in 1938. What was missing in 1953, apparently, was a willingness to continue trying to operate.
The Hagerstown & Frederick was a Maryland interurban in sparsely populated rural areas, a veritable real-life “Toonerville Trolley.” Despite having practically no ridership, it subsisted on freight and somehow managed to survive into the mid-1950s. Here, we see freight motor #5 in Frederick, Maryland on April 11, 1954. (Gene Connelly Photo)
In some sense, the Charles City Western in Iowa was comparable to the Hagerstown & Frederick, in that it had sparse ridership, yet managed to survive into the 1950s with freight. Here we see combine 50 in March 1937. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “50 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1915. It became Iowa Terminal 101 in December 1964. It was sent to Mount Pleasant and restored as CCW 50. It was then sent to Boone & Scenic Valley RR.” Vintage audio of the Charles City Western in operation can be heard on Railroad Record Club disc #28, which is available on compact disc via our Online Store.
The Omaha & Council Bluffs Street Railway operated between Nebraska and Iowa. Here, car 814 is shown in Council Bluffs in September 1936, unloading passengers next to a natty-looking 1935 V8 Ford Sedan Delivery, advertising Old gold cigarettes. I assume this car was built by O&CB in 1908 and was rebuilt in 1932, possibly to convert it to one-man service. If so, riders would board at the rear and pay as they left through the front. Note the “people catcher” device at front.
Virginia Sammis writes:
I wrote you once before, and I was hoping you might be able to help me again. I am still trying to find CSL employee photos. I had a researcher in Chicago spend some hours looking at the CHM archives of the CSL newsletter and she did find Gustav Johnson’s brief obituary in there for 1946. But very few photos. Do you know of any other place I might find photos of employees of CSL?
(She had written some months ago, looking for information on Gustav Johnson, who emigrated to America around 1880, worked for the Chicago Surface Lines, and died in 1946.)
The employee newsletter would have been the best bet. However, I do know a genealogist, and I can ask her to see what she can find out.
In the CTA era, which started in October 1947, the newsletter ran more pictures of retirees, of which there were many. However, we are talking about several thousands of people working there at any one given time, so the odds of finding one person are not good.
If you know which routes, or which car houses (aka “stations”) he might have worked at, that would help.
I just got a picture (see elsewhere in this post) showing four guys standing outside the car barn at Cottage Grove and 38th, taken in the early 20th century, but have no way of knowing who the people in the picture are.
I will run your request in my blog, and see what other people might suggest.
Ms. Sammis replied:
This is what his obituary said: “Gustave Johnsen, 84, motorman from Devon, died 11-22-46, after along illness. He had been with the company for 35 years.”
It was actually spelled Gustav Johnson. Does that mean that he would have reported to work every day at the Devon Station at 6454 N. Clark St/Devon St.? Also, can you confirm that a “motorman” was the engineer on the trolley and the “conductor” collected the fares?
Thank you for your help David. I am determined to find a photograph of Gustav SOMEWHERE!
Yes, that means he worked out of the Devon station, or car house. And yes, the motorman operated the streetcar, while the conductor collected the fares. We have run lots of pictures in previous posts showing streetcars at or near Devon station. You can find those by typing Devon into the search window at the top of this page.
Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes:
Your latest post, Recent Finds Part 2, includes a photo of the carbarn at 38th and Cottage Grove. This photo obviates my wild guess that perhaps the photo ostensibly of the 69th and Ashland carbarn instead might have been the 38th & Cottage barn. (See our previous post Recent Finds, December 2, 2016.)
This observation, together with the Campbell barn label (Campbell is nowhere near Cottage Grove), cements my opinion that you are correct saying the previous photo is of the 69th and Ashland carbarn.
None of which solves the mysteries of why there are so many 4 Cottage Grove cars at the 69th and Ashland barn, and how they got there from Cottage Grove.
It’s a mystery, alright… hopefully one we will eventually clear up, thanks!
Kenneth Gear writes:
Hi David. I’ve been falling behind on my reading lately and just today read the latest Trolley Dodger “Recent Finds 2”.
I was very interested in the photo of Hagerstown & Frederick Railway freight motor # 5.
Back in 2008 while chasing and photographing the Maryland Midland RR train UBHF from Union Bridge to Highfield, I was surprised to find H&F freight motor #5 displayed at the former site of the H&F Thurmont Station along Main Street.
It was apparently under going restoration at the time. The building in the background is a former H&F electric sub station. I’m not sure how this restoration has progressed in the ensuing years, but here is the photo I took back on March 9, 2008:
Thanks! Good to know this car was saved. Here’s what Don’s Rail Photos says: “5 was built by H&F in 1920. It was retired in 1955 and went to Shade Gap Electric Ry. It then was returned to home by H&F Ry Historical Society.”
About the line in general, Don Ross adds:
“It’s hard to describe the H&F since it seems to be more of a country trolley than an interurban line. Yet they did operate freight service and covered some 76 miles of line in western Maryland. It was the last passenger interurban east of Chicago. The H&F was a consolidation of several lines dating back to 1902. They joined together in 1913. Abandonments began in 1932. In 1938 the main line was cut so that there were two separate sections, one at Hagerstown, and the other at Frederick. The Hagerstown line finally quit in 1947, but the Frederick to Thurmont passenger service lasted until February 20, 1954. Freight service was later dieselized but lasted only until 1958.”
I checked and it looks like the car went from the Rockhill Trolley Museum to Thurmont in 2006. The car is now owned by the City and there are trucks under the body.
As for the Shade Gap name, here is how the Wikipedia explains it:
The museum operates what has been historically referred to as the Shade Gap Electric Railway to demonstrate the operable pieces in its collection. “Shade Gap” refers to the name of a branch of the East Broad Top Railroad, from whom the museum leases it property.
Charles Turek writes:
re: Recent Finds, Part 2 – image dave513.jpg
Having grown up at 27th & Harvey in Berwyn, IL, effective walking distance from Austin/Cermak in the 1950s, I can confirm the station is, indeed, Austin on the Douglas Park line. The distinctive chain gate, which was atypical for the line, was my first clue. I used to find this gate fascinating to watch and enjoyed hearing the pulleys (in the towers on each side of Austin) crank it up and down. This was a very busy area in those days and the chain gate was effective in stopping traffic in both lanes that would otherwise attempt to get past standard gates to make the signals at Cermak Road. Nonetheless, the gateman who holed up in the little house in front of the station was still necessary.
Love your web pages and visit them often.
Stained Glass from New York’s Third Avenue El
FYI, to raise money to help fund the original research we do on this site, we are selling two unique artifacts— decorative stained glass, circa 1878, from stations on the old IRT Third Avenue El in New York, which was torn down in 1955. We purchased these several years ago from a noted New York collector.
You can check out our eBay auction here. This may be your only opportunity to own a true piece of history from that fabled line, which has yet to be replaced more than 60 years after it was abandoned.
New Book Project
We are now working on a new paperback book Chicago Trolleys, that we expect will be published in 2017. Original research does cost money, so please consider making a donation to cover our costs. We will keep you updated as we progress, and thank you in advance for your help.
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 170th 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 228,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.
You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a contribution there as well.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
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:
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.
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 103rd 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 100,000 page views from approximately 29,000 individuals.
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 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.
IM & TS
The Sounds of Toronto Streetcars
# of Discs – 1
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 Streetcarswas 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)
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)
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)
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 523 on a Madison Street shoo-fly, during construction of lower Wacker Drive in the early 1950s. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)
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 Pullman 509, an Ashland car at Southport-Clark.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
CSL 3167 on Broadway at Sheridan. The old Granada Theatre, one of Chicago’s lost movie palaces, is visible at rear. It was located at 6427 North Sheridan Road. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp adds: “CSL #3167 is on Broadway between Rosemont and Devon-Sheridan, photo dates to around 1930. Note that car 3167 is the last car in a line of six 169 class cars as is the southbound Broadway car. These cars ran on Broadway and it’s variants from 1923 until early 1948. Building at far right next to Kushler Chevrolet is the Rosemont Garage of the Chicago Motor Coach Company.”
Thanksgiving is a time to share the abundance of life with family and friends. During this past year, our readers have shared many things with us. In keeping with the holiday spirit, we present a “feast for the eyes.”
Thanks to the generosity of George Trapp, here is another abundant helping of classic Chicago Surface Lines streetcar photos from his collection. (To see additional photos he has already shared with us, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page. Several other posts should come up.)
Most of these pictures date to the “red car” era in Chicago, which began in the early 1920s and ended in 1954.
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:
FYI there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space.
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 99th 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 95,000 page views from nearly 28,000 individuals.
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.
CSL 2733, signed for 79th and Brandon. (Heier Industrial Photo) Chuck Amstein writes, “79th St. and just east of Emerald Ave., looking NW. The buildings to the left of #2733 are still there.”
George Trapp: “CSL #6055 is on Route 17 in front of Kedzie Depot.” (Heier Industrial Photo) Through route 17 was Kedzie and ran from 1911 to 1949.
George Trapp: “CSL #872 on Through Route 3, Lincoln-Indiana is on the North approach to the Wabash Avenue bridge. Note the Chicago Motor Coach 45-passenger GM bus on the Michigan Avenue Blvd. bridge.” (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL salt spreader AA102, formerly car #2851, retired on 8/10/1951 and scrapped in 1952. (Heier Industrial Photo)
George Trapp: “CSL Brill #5349 is eastbound on 63rd Street near State judging from the address of Indian Trailer.” (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL 426, is on Armitage, signed to go downtown. Milwaukee Avenue cars also used these signs for North Western Station. (Heier Industrial Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #426 is on the Armitage-Downtown line, which was almost a branch of the Milwaukee Avenue line.”
CSL 3093, a one-man car, signed for Morgan and Pershing. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #3093 is on Erie at Ashland.”
3093 again, this time signed for Erie and Ashland. Andre Kristopans: “3093 on Bridge is on the old Throop St bridge over the Sanitary & Ship Canal.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
3093 turning at 21st. Note the late 1930s Packard at left. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Close-up of the Packard. The trim design on the side of the engine compartment makes this a 1938 model. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Andre Kristopans says, “2909/1419 on 87th are just west of Commercial Av, the east end of the route.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Andre Kristopans: “2918 is at Pershing and Western – McKinley Park in background. Note side sign “35-PERSHING”. Most of time West Pershing was a shuttle between Western and Ashland, but rush hours cars ran thru via Ashland and 35th to Cottage Grove.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 204 on Western Avenue. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL modernized small Pullman 804 on south Cicero Avenue, near Midway Airport (which may have been called Chicago Municipal Airport when this picture was taken). (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL Big Pullman 204 signed for route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 453 northbound on Clark. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 3041 on Montrose in winter. Jim Huffman writes, “Photo #936 shows two Montrose cars, waiting their time, about to go EB at Milwaukee Av. Note that the 1st car is a two-man car & the following car is a one-man car. On Lawrence Av after it went to one-man cars, on certain nights when the Aragon ballroom let out, two-man cars would be used at that time for the crowds.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) Streetcar service on Montrose ended on 7/29/46. The entire route was converted to trolley buses as of 4/19/48, which continued to 1973.
CSL 459 heading towards Soldier Field and the Field Museum of Natural History, crossing over the Illinois Central right-of-way. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Andre Kristopans: “3098 SB turning off Erie into Racine.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
3096 signed for Morgan and Pershing, heads through some backyard private right-of-way. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 3295 has just gone under an “L” storage yard. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #3295 is on Montrose just west of North Side “L”, (with the) south end of Wilson Avenue shop storage yard in background.”
CSL 1784, in WWII garb supporting the Women’s Army Corps on route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. That’s the Ridge Theatre at right. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1776 in patriotic garb during World War II, on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway). (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1776 is on Broadway just south of Devon.”
George Trapp: “Photo of car 204 with new Twin Coach buses in background, it appears car is in process of being converted to a salt spreader, cars last assignment was on Western after PCC’s bumped it from Clark-Wentworth.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) I’m not sure about a salt car, since 204 does not appear on the list of conversions we got from Andre Kristopans, which you can read here: http://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/10/04/trolley-dodger-mailbag-10-4-2015-etc/ George Trapp adds, “It seems to be a mystery what the bracket on the side of car 204 is for nor the location, is it South Shops property? This car was extensively modernized after a fire in the early 1930’s.”
CSL 2909, signed for Division and Grand. Since it is on an angle street, this may be Grand Avenue. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 2907, at the west end of the 87th Street route. Jon Habermaas writes: “The line ended east of the Rock Island viaduct, and there was no connection to the tracks on Vincennes. The car has changed ends and is ready for a new trip eastbound on 87th.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) M. E. adds, “The 87th St. streetcar line’s west end was on the east side of the Rock Island main line. Therefore, the streetcar shown has ended its run on the westbound track, switched trolleys, and is ready to head back east. On the west side of the railroad viaduct is Vincennes Ave., on which is a Halsted-Vincennes car. Just to the east of this view on 87th St. is Halsted St.”
CSL 2859 at Southport and Clark, the north terminus of route 9 – Ashland. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
George Trapp: “CSL #3168 is at Devon and Kedzie,” signed for route 36 – Broadway-State. He continues, “photo taken after CTA takeover as evidenced by ad on 3168, probably just before Broadway-State cut back to Ravenswood Avenue. Notice all the open land in the area, CTA could have built a loop for PCC cars if they had wanted.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 230 crosses the old Milwaukee Road freight tracks near Wrigley Field. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1759 on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1759 is on Devon approaching Kedzie.”
CSL 5279, signed for Halsted and Waveland, north terminus of route 8. However, this looks more like Clark Street near Lincoln Park. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #5279 is on Route 42, which ran through to Halsted-Waveland via Clark and Halsted returning via Broadway and Clark until late 1947.” (I assume the route was changed once PCCs began running on route 8 – Halsted.)
CSL 3120 in the same location as the previous picture. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 209, westbound on route 72 – North Avenue, prepares to cross the north branch of the Chicago River near Goose Island. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 117 has just left the Cermak loop near the lakefront, added for the 1933-34 World’s Fair (A Century of Progress) (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 113 crosses the Milwaukee Road freight tracks that used to go by Wrigley Field. This was originally their main line. The large sign indicates a “through route,” in this case 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1775 during WWII, promoting the Navy, is signed for Broadway. At right there is one of those supervisor’s shantys that used to dot the Chicago landscape. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1775 turning from Clark onto Devon.”
CSL 1775 again. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1775 on route 22, this time promoting the Merchant Marine. Folksinger Woody Guthrie was a member of the Merchant Marine during World War II. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1775 Merchant Marine is northbound on Clark at Devon.”
CSL 1784 signed for Broadway-State during WWII, advertising the U. S. Maritime Service. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1784 is on Schreiber alongside Devon Depot.”
George Trapp: “CSL #3157 is at 77th Street Depot.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 577 and 536 pass each other near downtown. Bill Shapotkin writes, “Believe this pic looks S-S/E on Milwaukee Ave from approx Des Plaines. The bridge x/o the joint MILW/PRR tracks.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 5012. The sign “Stock Yards Direct” may provide a clue as to which route this is. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) M. E. writes, “Magnifying the picture twice, the destination sign reads Racine – Downtown. Also, the side roller sign says Racine. Because of the Santa Fe in the background, and because the streetcar appears to be on a diagonal street, I think the streetcar is on Archer Ave. heading northeast. It will turn left (north) on either Clark St. or State St. to get downtown. As for the Stock Yards Direct sign, the Stock Yards are in the opposite direction. Heading southwest on Archer, the Racine car line went south on Wallace (600 West) to Root (4132 South), west to Halsted (800 West), south to 47th St., west to Racine (1200 West), south to 87th St. The Stock Yards were in the square mile bordered by Pershing, Halsted, 47th and Ashland, so the Racine car ran alongside the Stock Yards from Root and Halsted to 47th and Racine.”
CSL 3154 at the Clark-Arthur loop. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1457, during its days as a salt spreader. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1457 is in Devon Depot open South Yard, note Pullman PCC in 4300’s alongside.”
CSL 3134, southbound on Broadway-State. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL modernized small Pullman 804 on south Cicero Avenue near Midway Airport. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 5915. (Heier Industrial Photo) Patrick writes, “Photos 953, 952 and 947 are taken in front of the Eighth Street Theater http://www.artic.edu/aic/resources/resource/2002?search_id=1&index=0 , which was home of the WLS National Barn dance as can be seen on the marquee in 947. The featured streetcars are southbound on Wabash. The taller building to the left still exists. The theater and the nearer tall building were demolished for exposition space for the Hilton (former Stevens) Hotel.”
CSL 5777. (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL Sedan 3351. Note the marquee on the Eighth Street Theater at right, advertising the WLS National Barn Dance, which was broadcast “every Saturday.” George Trapp: “(The) three shots on Wabash at Eighth were probably taken in Summer of 1947 when the Sedans were beginning to replace the Nearsides on Routes 4 and 5 after being bumped off of Route 22 by new PCC’s.” (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL 3100. If the sign at right is any indication, that is probably the South Side Park “L” at rear. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) M. E. thinks this streetcar is on the 18th Street line, which “started at Leavitt (2200 West) and Blue Island, went north on Leavitt to 18th St., then east to probably Michigan Ave.” George Foelschow: “I believe 3100 is eastbound on 18th Street crossing South Clark Street. There was a Catholic church at 18th and Clark. The 18th St. line ended at State. Track on 18th east of State and Wabash turned south on Indiana and was used by Indiana and Cottage Grove cars.”
Although signed for Clark-Wentworth, this shot of 4160 is actually on Madison in Garfield Park. (CSL Photo) George Trapp says he got this picture from the late Robert Gibson.
This is the third of four installments featuring Chicago PCC pictures from the collections of George Trapp. You can find Part One of the Chicago PCC series here, and Part Two here. We also posted some of Mr. Trapp’s photos of historic Chicago buses here.
Thanks to Mr. Trapp’s generosity, we now have at least another 150 additional images of Chicago PCC streetcars. Nearly all of these are previously unknown to me. Mr. Trapp has been collecting these type of pictures for nearly the last 50 years, and has let us borrow some of them so that we might feature them here and add them to our electronic book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store.
The fourth and final batch of Mr. Trapp’s PCC pictures will feature both the prewar Chicago PCCs and the experimental cars that preceded them. We will have those posted in the next few days, so check this space.
We also wish to thank the great photographers who took these pictures originally. We have provided attribution for each photo where we have the information.
Of course, the deluxe hardcover book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era 1936-1958, published in June by Central Electric Railfans’ Association, is the premier volume covering the rise and fall of the modern streetcar in the Windy City. That book contains hundreds of great color photos and is a must-have for anyone who is interested in the subject, or even anyone who is interested in knowing what Chicago’s disparate neighborhoods looked like in a bygone era. While I am proud to be a co-author of that work, B-146 is available directly from the publisher. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with CERA.
In my humble opinion, B-146 is a fantastic bargain and a great value for the money, and I urge you to get a copy if you have not already done so.
My more recent E-book, available on a data disc in PDF format, is intended as a very unofficial supplement and companion to that noble work. One advantage that an electronic book has over a printed one is that more information can be added to it as things become available. We have already added numerous photos, maps, etc. to it, and the material from the Trapp Collection is a tremendous addition, which we are very grateful to have.
On top of that, we are adding another section of photographs to the book covering Chicago’s rapid transit system as it appeared early in the CTA era. That will give the reader a very clear idea of how badly the system was in need of improvement and modernization, a factor in the process by which CTA ultimately decided to eliminate streetcars.
With the E-book, we are not attempting to duplicate anything covered in B-146, which mainly showcases color photography. But there are still lots of great black-and-white photos that deserve to be seen, and lots of other information which could not be included even in a 448-page book. Chicago once had the largest streetcar system in the world, and chances are it will be a long time, if ever, before anyone has the “last word” about it.
If you have already purchased our E-book, and wish to get an updated copy with the additional information, this can be done at little or no cost to you. We always intended that it would be improved over time and offer an upgrade service to our purchasers on an ongoing basis.
As always, clicking on each photo with your mouse should bring up a larger version of the picture in your browser. You may be able to magnify this if you then see a “+” on your screen.
Chicago’s postwar PCCs were built by Pullman-Standard (310 cars) and the St. Louis Car Company (290 cars). You can readily tell which ones are which, since the Pullmans are more squarish in appearance, especially the windows, and the St. Louies have more curved lines.
Finally, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to share about the photos you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know, either by making a comment on this post, or by dropping us a line to:
Thanks to the generosity of George Trapp, all of the photos in today’s post are being added to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story.
Car 7089 at South Shops.
PCC 7090 at 81st and Halsted.
St. Louis-built 7071 at 81st and Halsted. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
PCC 7096 at 81st and Halsted. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
PCC 7068 at 81st and Halsted on June 9, 1947. (James J. Buckley Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL 7068 on Western. A woman with a very striking 1940s outfit has just gotten off. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
A close-up of the previous picture.
7062 as new at St. Louis Car Company.
A St. Louis Car Company photo of 7062’s interior.
Another St. Louis Car Company photo of a 7062’s interior.
Car 7052 heading north on Clark near Lincoln Park. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
7047 at 81st and Halsted. (James J. Buckley Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)
7094 southbound on Wentworth at about 44th. That’s the old Stockyards “L” in the rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
7047 at 81st and Halsted.
CSL 7047 at 77th and Vincennes. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 7035 at South Shops in 1947. (CSL Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)
A St. Louis Car Company picture of 7035. With some retouching and airbrushing, it was used in the photo that follows.
4160 northbound at Clark and Illinois in 1948. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
4158, a southbound Broadway-State car, at Clark and Armitage in 1949. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
4158 entering the Clark-Howard loop on July 15, 1953. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)
I can’t make out the car number (41xx) but this is a Pullman heading southbound on route 36 on Broadway and Rosemont, with the old Granada Theatre in the background. The Granada, one of the great Chicago movie palaces, was built in 1926 and demolished around 1990. It was located at 6427 N. Sheridan Road and had 3,443 seats. To the right, just out of view, would have been a Chicago Motor Coach bus garage. This picture was taken in 1948. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)
4157 southbound on Clark at Lincoln Park. (Chicago Transit Authority Photo)
4157 and 4156 being delivered to South Shops. CSL records indicate the date is January 18, 1947. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)