CTA’s New 7000s

CTA 7009-7010 at Dempster.

CTA 7009-7010 at Dempster.

Cooler weather returned to the Chicago area last Friday, after a string of hot and muggy days. We took this opportunity to take pictures on the Chicago Transit Authority.

We rode the new 7000-series cars for the first time on the Yellow Line (formerly the Skokie Swift), where they were being tested last week. Our luck was good, as our ride from Dempster to Howard turned out to be the last trip of the day for these new cars, which are being tested extensively on the CTA system.

My impression of these new “L” cars was very favorable. While in many respects they are similar to the existing fleet, the 7000s are instantly recognizable, due to their blue end caps. They are smooth and quiet in operation, and offer improved seating, with fewer sideways seats, which did not prove to be very popular on the 5000s. The 7000s will replace the 2600-series cars, some of which are now 40 years old.

We also took some pictures of the Belmont Flyover construction progress, which is part of the RPM (Red and Purple Modernization) project. The flyover will keep Red, Purple, and Brown Line trains from having to cross in front of each other, and will therefore add capacity to these routes once it opens this November.

In addition, we have more classic traction pictures to share, both our own, and from our contributors Larry Sakar, Bob Bresse-Rodenkirk, and Jack Bejna.

-David Sadowski

PS- If you enjoy reading these posts, you might consider joining our Trolley Dodger Facebook Group as well. We currently have 419 members.

CTA Yellow Line

CTA 7009-7010 has arrived at Dempster in Skokie.

CTA 7009-7010 has arrived at Dempster in Skokie.

Our 7000s train pulls up to the platform at Dempster.

Our 7000s train pulls up to the platform at Dempster.

The 7000s interior. There is less sideways seating than on the 5000s, which should prove popular with riders.

The 7000s interior. There is less sideways seating than on the 5000s, which should prove popular with riders.

Skokie Shops.

Skokie Shops.

Skokie Shops. You can see 6711-6712 and 6101-6102, part of CTA's Historic Fleet.

Skokie Shops. You can see 6711-6712 and 6101-6102, part of CTA’s Historic Fleet.

There are some 2400s at Howard Yard, for use in work service.

There are some 2400s at Howard Yard, for use in work service.

7009-7010 after arriving at Howard. Unfortunately, there was no return trip on these cars.

7009-7010 after arriving at Howard. Unfortunately, there was no return trip on these cars.

From the side, you can hardly tell the 7000s from other "L" cars.

From the side, you can hardly tell the 7000s from other “L” cars.

The new 7000s have distinctive blue caps on the ends.

The new 7000s have distinctive blue caps on the ends.

A northbound Red Line train at Howard.

A northbound Red Line train at Howard.

CTA 7009-7010 at Howard.

CTA 7009-7010 at Howard.

The 7000s were done for the day and about to be put back in the yard.

The 7000s were done for the day and about to be put back in the yard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

Howard Yard.

Howard Yard.

Flatcars at Skokie Shops.

Flatcars at Skokie Shops.

The CTA's historic 6000s at Skokie Shops.

The CTA’s historic 6000s at Skokie Shops.

Skokie Shops. Note the 7000-series car present.

Skokie Shops. Note the 7000-series car present.

East Prairie Road.

East Prairie Road.

This portion of platform is a remnant of the old Crawford-East Prairie station on the Niles Center route.

This portion of platform is a remnant of the old Crawford-East Prairie station on the Niles Center route.

Kostner.

Kostner.

Oakton curve.

Oakton curve.

Although the Skokie Swift has been renamed the Yellow Line, the CTA still uses this distinctive logo. I believe it was designed by the late George Krambles.

Although the Skokie Swift has been renamed the Yellow Line, the CTA still uses this distinctive logo. I believe it was designed by the late George Krambles.

CTA 5519-5520 at the Dempster terminal.

CTA 5519-5520 at the Dempster terminal.

The bus turnaround area has a shelter that is stylistically in keeping with the Dempster Street Terminal.

The bus turnaround area has a shelter that is stylistically in keeping with the Dempster Street Terminal.

This is the back end of the historic Dempster Street Terminal, originally built for the North Shore Line and designed by Arthur U. Gerber. The station was moved a bit from its original location to create a bus turnaround area.

This is the back end of the historic Dempster Street Terminal, originally built for the North Shore Line and designed by Arthur U. Gerber. The station was moved a bit from its original location to create a bus turnaround area.

From 1925 to 1948, Dempster was the terminal of the CRT's Niles Center branch.

From 1925 to 1948, Dempster was the terminal of the CRT’s Niles Center branch.

Belmont Flyover

The Belmont Flyover is massive and work is proceeding rapidly. It may be put into service as soon as this November.

The Belmont Flyover is massive and work is proceeding rapidly. It may be put into service as soon as this November.

This welder wanted me to take his picture with his mask on and the flame lit.

This welder wanted me to take his picture with his mask on and the flame lit.

Thumbs up.

Thumbs up.

The three-story Vautravers Building at 947 West Newport Avenue was recently moved 30 feet to the west by the CTA as part of the flyover project, so a curve could be straightened out.

The three-story Vautravers Building at 947 West Newport Avenue was recently moved 30 feet to the west by the CTA as part of the flyover project, so a curve could be straightened out.

There is more to the RPM project than just the Belmont Flyover. Parts of the century-old "L" embankment north of Wilson Avenue are being replaced. The Lawrence Avenue station is currently closed, and there is a temporary station at Argyle (shown here).

There is more to the RPM project than just the Belmont Flyover. Parts of the century-old “L” embankment north of Wilson Avenue are being replaced. The Lawrence Avenue station is currently closed, and there is a temporary station at Argyle (shown here).

Recent Finds

Red Arrow car 27, from a late 1950s red border Kodachrome slide. It was built by Brill in 1918. Sister car 25 was retired in 1964.

Red Arrow car 27, from a late 1950s red border Kodachrome slide. It was built by Brill in 1918. Sister car 25 was retired in 1964.

Red Arrow car 68 in the late 1950s, from a red border Kodachrome. We ran a different picture taken at this location in a previous post, so I can tell the location is Sheldon and Spring Avenues on the Ardmore line, which was converted to buses at the end of 1966.

Red Arrow car 68 in the late 1950s, from a red border Kodachrome. We ran a different picture taken at this location in a previous post, so I can tell the location is Sheldon and Spring Avenues on the Ardmore line, which was converted to buses at the end of 1966.

On June 6, 1954, William C. Hoffman took this picture looking to the northwest at Congress and Bishop Streets (1432 W.), showing the demolition of main line of the Metropolitan "L".

On June 6, 1954, William C. Hoffman took this picture looking to the northwest at Congress and Bishop Streets (1432 W.), showing the demolition of main line of the Metropolitan “L”.

The view looking west from Congress and Racine Avenue (1200 W.), showing the old Metropolitan "L"'s Throop Street Shops and power plant in the process of being torn down to make way for the Congress Expressway on June 6, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking west from Congress and Racine Avenue (1200 W.), showing the old Metropolitan “L”‘s Throop Street Shops and power plant in the process of being torn down to make way for the Congress Expressway on June 6, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Again, looking northwest from Congress and Racine, but this time on July 25, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Again, looking northwest from Congress and Racine, but this time on July 25, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Photographer Bruce C. Nelson took this picture of CTA 5695-5696 on February 19, 2017, when these cars (and two others), decorated to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908, were used on a fantrip sponsored by the Central Electric Railfans' Association (and made possible by a substantial donation by the late Jeffrey L. Wien).

Photographer Bruce C. Nelson took this picture of CTA 5695-5696 on February 19, 2017, when these cars (and two others), decorated to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908, were used on a fantrip sponsored by the Central Electric Railfans’ Association (and made possible by a substantial donation by the late Jeffrey L. Wien).

This shows why I am fully in favor of the recent plan to replace the State and Lake station on the Loop "L" with something new and modern. There was little left of the original station anyway, due to previous renovations and a fire. Clark Frazier took this picture looking north from State Street on April 21, 1980.

This shows why I am fully in favor of the recent plan to replace the State and Lake station on the Loop “L” with something new and modern. There was little left of the original station anyway, due to previous renovations and a fire. Clark Frazier took this picture looking north from State Street on April 21, 1980.

This picture of North Shore Line car 254 on the "L" in August 1962 generated a lot of discussion on the Facebook Trolley Dodger group. First of all, where is it? Jon Habermaas has identified it as the Harrison Curve at Harrison and Wabash. He also says that the train is northbound, turning onto Wabash, as the location of the combine as the lead car shows.

This picture of North Shore Line car 254 on the “L” in August 1962 generated a lot of discussion on the Facebook Trolley Dodger group. First of all, where is it? Jon Habermaas has identified it as the Harrison Curve at Harrison and Wabash. He also says that the train is northbound, turning onto Wabash, as the location of the combine as the lead car shows.

Jon Habermaas also posted this picture, taken at the same location.

Jon Habermaas also posted this picture, taken at the same location.

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a four-car train of 4000s at 43rd Street on October 13, 1952... with three cars in the old paint scheme and one in the new.

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a four-car train of 4000s at 43rd Street on October 13, 1952… with three cars in the old paint scheme and one in the new.

The view looking north at the 43rd Street station on October 13, 1952 found a train of flat-door 6000s. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking north at the 43rd Street station on October 13, 1952 found a train of flat-door 6000s. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a southbound train of CTA 6000s at 43rd Street on March 13, 1955.

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a southbound train of CTA 6000s at 43rd Street on March 13, 1955.

The view looking northwest from Congress and Ashland (1600 W.) on October 29, 1950. The one car train is a Douglas Park, and the two-car train of brand new 6000s is from Logan Square. This was a few months before the new Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway opened. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking northwest from Congress and Ashland (1600 W.) on October 29, 1950. The one car train is a Douglas Park, and the two-car train of brand new 6000s is from Logan Square. This was a few months before the new Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway opened. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

A Lake Street "L" A train prepares to head east from the Harlem terminal in September 1966. These cars were two years old then, and the line had only been elevated here four years earlier.

A Lake Street “L” A train prepares to head east from the Harlem terminal in September 1966. These cars were two years old then, and the line had only been elevated here four years earlier.

The location of this 1950s Loop photo was a mystery. But Graham Garfield writes, "It’s Wells Street looking north at Monroe St. The 200 on the building in the background isn’t 200N, it’s 200W. Everything in this view is gone now, except the “L” and the building on the near left (the SW corner of Wells/Monroe)."

The location of this 1950s Loop photo was a mystery. But Graham Garfield writes, “It’s Wells Street looking north at Monroe St. The 200 on the building in the background isn’t 200N, it’s 200W. Everything in this view is gone now, except the “L” and the building on the near left (the SW corner of Wells/Monroe).”

Halsted looking south from 63rd Street. This picture was taken some time between 1907 and 1910. This station on the Englewood "L" has been rebuilt twice since then and is still in use today as part of the CTA Green Line.

Halsted looking south from 63rd Street. This picture was taken some time between 1907 and 1910. This station on the Englewood “L” has been rebuilt twice since then and is still in use today as part of the CTA Green Line.

A close-up of the previous picture.

A close-up of the previous picture.

This was a slide that was recently sold on eBay that I did not win. North Shore Line car 157 is apparently on a fantrip at the Milwaukee Terminal in the early 1960s, with the Milwaukee Road's train shed in the background.

This was a slide that was recently sold on eBay that I did not win. North Shore Line car 157 is apparently on a fantrip at the Milwaukee Terminal in the early 1960s, with the Milwaukee Road’s train shed in the background.

There were six original slides on auction recently, all taken in Chicago on January 10, 1956. I assume the photographer, who is as of yet unknown, may have simply been in town for a short time. I did win three of these, and will post improved scans once I receive them, but I thought they were interesting as an entire set:

A nice view of a gateman's shanty on the ground level portion of the Lake Street "L" in Oak Park. All 22 grade crossings here were manually operated.

A nice view of a gateman’s shanty on the ground level portion of the Lake Street “L” in Oak Park. All 22 grade crossings here were manually operated.

This is either the Kedzie or Homan station on the Lake Street "L" (today's Green Line). There was a third track on a portion of the line, originally used for express trains. In the CTA era, it was used for midday car storage.

This is either the Kedzie or Homan station on the Lake Street “L” (today’s Green Line). There was a third track on a portion of the line, originally used for express trains. In the CTA era, it was used for midday car storage.

Graham Garfield thinks this is the "L" station at Quincy and Wells, looking north.

Graham Garfield thinks this is the “L” station at Quincy and Wells, looking north.

Wentworth on the Englewood branch. Much of what you see here was cleared away within a few years to build the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Wentworth on the Englewood branch. Much of what you see here was cleared away within a few years to build the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Here's a 1950s view of the shuttle train that went to the Polo Grounds, where the New York Giants played, before decamping to San Francisco after the 1957 season. It was located in Manhattan, within view of Yankee Stadium (which was across the river in the Bronx). This was apparently the last vestige of the 6th and 9th Avenue Els in Manhattan. The expansion New York Mets played their 1962 and 1963 seasons at the Polo Grounds, while Shea Stadium was being built, after which it was torn down.

Here’s a 1950s view of the shuttle train that went to the Polo Grounds, where the New York Giants played, before decamping to San Francisco after the 1957 season. It was located in Manhattan, within view of Yankee Stadium (which was across the river in the Bronx). This was apparently the last vestige of the 6th and 9th Avenue Els in Manhattan. The expansion New York Mets played their 1962 and 1963 seasons at the Polo Grounds, while Shea Stadium was being built, after which it was torn down.

Ebbets Field

I recently bought seven original red border Kodachrome slides, taken at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn during a World Series game between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. (They cost me just $7.50 apiece.)

The Dodgers were originally called the Trolley Dodgers in the early part of the 20th century, so I hope you won’t mind seeing these pictures here, even though they do not have a transit connection per se.

It is not often that old photos can be dated, but there are enough clues here that the actual date of this one can be figured out. The advertising signs match other pictures from the 1949 WS, where the Yankees beat the Dodgers, 4 games to 1. Games 3, 4, and 5 were played in Brooklyn, and the first two of those had a 1 pm start. Game 5 started at 2 pm since it was a Sunday.

Since the clock here says it is just after 2, and the game hasn’t started yet, this is Sunday, October 9, 1949. By studying one slide, you can see it was taken during the National Anthem. At the base of the scoreboard, there’s the iconic sign for Abe Stark’s clothing store (“Hit sign, win suit”).

Two blimps were flying overhead, one advertising R&H Beer, the other Tydol Gasoline.

The Yankees defeated the Dodgers that day 10-6 in the deciding game of the Series. Ebbets Field was not a large ballpark, and this game was attended by a crowd of 33,711 (several thousand less than the modern capacity of Fenway Park or Wrigley Field).

Ebbets Field had lights installed in 1938. This game was also historic, since the lights were turned on during the 9th inning, the first time this had been done in a WS game. (All WS games were played in the daytime until 1971.)

When games were over, fans were able to walk on part of the left field grass to exit by the center field gate.

The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season (and their rivals, the New York Giants, went to San Francisco), leaving the Yankees as the sole New York team until the expansion team Mets joined them in 1962. Ebbets Field, which opened in 1913, was torn down in 1960 and replaced by apartments.

"Hit sign, win suit."

“Hit sign, win suit.”

Recent Correspondence

This is one of the North Shore Line stations designed by Arthur U. Gerber. But which one? My guess is Kenosha. The original slide, from November 1987, was so underexposed that it almost looked opaque, but I did what I could with it.

This is one of the North Shore Line stations designed by Arthur U. Gerber. But which one? My guess is Kenosha. The original slide, from November 1987, was so underexposed that it almost looked opaque, but I did what I could with it.  (William Shapotkin Collection)

Larry Sakar writes:

As regards photo 2021/07/bills228 your guess that this is the Kenosha, WI. NSL station is 100% correct.

The giveaway is the entrance. This is the north end of the station. Sometime in the ’80’a or ’90’s when It was Spaghetti Station and then just “The Station,” the owners decided to add a banquet room to the north end of the building. It completely ruined its historical appearance. No attempt was made to make it look anything like the existing building and that big, square addition looked totally out of place with Arthur Gerber’s original design. They also ended up building across from one platform to the other forever ruining that part as well.

I went there in April or May of 1972. There was no bus service in Kenosha at the time, so I had to walk from the location of the TM station (8th Avenue & 55th St.) to the NSL station at 27th Avenue and 63rd St. When I got there I found the building completely enclosed by a picket fence. Luckily, the gate or whatever was open and I walked in and began snapping photos. In those days I was using an Ansco box camera and 620 b&w film with 8 shots to the roll. Talk about primitive!

Just then a gentleman came out of the station which was open on the south end. I explained that I was a traction fan and the North Shore line which had built this station is one of my areas of study. I thought I was going to get kicked off the property, but the man was quite flattered that I was interested in the building.

Did he know about the NSL and the history of the building? He never said. He said I was welcome to take as many pictures as I wished, and said he’d invite me inside but he had just finished washing the floor and it was slippery.

It was just as well because I’d lost the flash attachment to that camera years earlier. Remember the days of flash attachments and flashbulbs? I was also limited in how much time I could spend there. I’d come down from Milwaukee on the Wisconsin Coach Lines bus, which let you off in the downtown Kenosha area. I was really going to have to hustle if I was going to make the next bus back to Milwaukee. Luckily, I did.

I still have the prints that I shot that day and will send them to you should you wish to use them.

NSL Kenosha Station, north end of the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, north end of the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, looking south from the former track area, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, looking south from the former track area, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, southbound platform from the northbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, southbound platform from the northbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, waiting room on the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, waiting room on the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

Bob Bresse-Rodenkirk sent in three recent photos, taken at the Shore Line Trolley Museum, in East Haven, CT:

“The Chicago Boys in proper North Shore uniform. Stephen B. Rudolph and Bob Bresse-Rodenkirk. Photos by Alan Zelazo.”

Bob adds, “I am the motorman there and Steve Rudolph is conductor.” Chicagoans may remember Bob from WBBM radio, under his professional name, Bob Roberts.

Finally, Jack Bejna sent us this photo of Chicago Surface Lines 4001:

An "as built" photo of experimental Chicago Surface Lines car 4001 in 1934. It was built by Pullman-Standard, and its body shell is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Jack Bejna Collection)

An “as built” photo of experimental Chicago Surface Lines car 4001 in 1934. It was built by Pullman-Standard, and its body shell is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Jack Bejna Collection)

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

-David Sadowski

The Trolley Dodger On the Air

I recently appeared on the Dave Plier Show on WGN radio, to discuss Chicago’s Lost “L”s. You can hear that discussion here.

Our Latest Book, Now Available:

Chicago’s Lost “L”s

From the back cover:

Chicago’s system of elevated railways, known locally as the “L,” has run continuously since 1892 and, like the city, has never stood still. It helped neighborhoods grow, brought their increasingly diverse populations together, and gave the famous Loop its name. But today’s system has changed radically over the years. Chicago’s Lost “L”s tells the story of former lines such as Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Stockyards, Normal Park, Westchester, and Niles Center. It was once possible to take high-speed trains on the L directly to Aurora, Elgin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The L started out as four different companies, two starting out using steam engines instead of electricity. Eventually, all four came together via the Union Loop. The L is more than a way of getting around. Its trains are a place where people meet and interact. Some say the best way to experience the city is via the L, with its second-story view. Chicago’s Lost “L”s is virtually a “secret history” of Chicago, and this is your ticket. David Sadowski grew up riding the L all over the city. He is the author of Chicago Trolleys and Building Chicago’s Subways and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

Title Chicago’s Lost “L”s
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2021
ISBN 1467100007, 9781467100007
Length 128 pages

Chapters:
01. The South Side “L”
02. The Lake Street “L”
03. The Metropolitan “L”
04. The Northwestern “L”
05. The Union Loop
06. Lost Equipment
07. Lost Interurbans
08. Lost Terminals
09. Lost… and Found

Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus facsimile of a 1926 Chicago Rapid Transit Company map, with interesting facts about the “L” on the reverse side.

The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.

For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

NEW DVD:

A Tribute to the North Shore Line

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the demise of the fabled North Shore Line interurban in January 2013, Jeffrey L. Wien and Bradley Criss made a very thorough and professional video presentation, covering the entire route between Chicago and Milwaukee and then some. Sadly, both men are gone now, but their work remains, making this video a tribute to them, as much as it is a tribute to the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee.

Jeff drew on his own vast collections of movie films, both his own and others such as the late William C. Hoffman, wrote and gave the narration. Bradley acted as video editor, and added authentic sound effects from archival recordings of the North Shore Line.

It was always Jeff’s intention to make this video available to the public, but unfortunately, this did not happen in his lifetime. Now, as the caretakers of Jeff’s railfan legacy, we are proud to offer this excellent two-hour program to you for the first time.  The result is a fitting tribute to what Jeff called his “Perpetual Adoration,” which was the name of a stop on the interurban.

Jeff was a wholehearted supporter of our activities, and the proceeds from the sale of this disc will help defray some of the expenses of keeping the Trolley Dodger web site going.

Total time – 121:22

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.99 (Includes shipping within the United States)

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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The Spice of Life

The date of this picture is not known, but it must have been in the early 1950s. We see a Chicago & North Western commuter train (aka a "Scoot") at left on an embankment, while an eastbound CTA train is on the ground level portion of the Lake Street "L". Perhaps a more exact location can be determined by the signal tower shown in the photo. I think the woods were off of Lake by the end of 1954, and steam only lasted a couple more years on the C&NW. Now both Metra commuter trains and CTA's Green Line trains share this embankment. (William Shapotkin Collection)

The date of this picture is not known, but it must have been in the early 1950s. We see a Chicago & North Western commuter train (aka a “Scoot”) at left on an embankment, while an eastbound CTA train is on the ground level portion of the Lake Street “L”. Perhaps a more exact location can be determined by the signal tower shown in the photo. I think the woods were off of Lake by the end of 1954, and steam only lasted a couple more years on the C&NW. Now both Metra commuter trains and CTA’s Green Line trains share this embankment. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Variety, they say, is the spice of life, and we certainly have a spicy batch of photos for you today. Most are from the collections of William Shapotkin, whose interests range far afield. Looking through all these photos was, for me at least, like Christmas in July.

We hope that you will enjoy them as much as we do. We thank Mr. Shapotkin for generously sharing these images with our readers.

-David Sadowski

PS- If you enjoy reading these posts, you might consider joining our Trolley Dodger Facebook Group as well. We currently have 391 members.

Meet the Author

We will be appearing at City Lit Books (2523 N. Kedzie Avenue in Chicago) at 1:00 pm this Saturday, July 24, to discuss our new book Chicago’s Lost “L”s.

Our program will start with a 20 minute audiovisual presentation, followed by questions and answers from the audience, and a book signing. We hope to see you there.

Interestingly, City Lit Books occupies the same building that once housed the Logan Square “L” Terminal, although you would hardly know it by looking at the exterior. Our presentation will give an overview of the book, and then delve further into the historic “L”s of the northwest side (Logan Square, Humboldt Park, and Ravenswood), with plenty of pictures of the Logan Square Terminal.

The Trolley Dodger On the Air

On July 16th, I was invited to appear on the Dave Plier Show on WGN radio, to discuss Chicago’s Lost “L”s. You can hear that discussion here.

Recent Finds

CA&E 318 is on a mid-1950s fantrip sponsored by the Illini Railroad Club. The car is out on the Mount Carmel branch. You can see Maury Klebolt (1930-1988), the trip organizer, in the window. Mike Franklin: "This photo is looking west on the north side of Roosevelt Rd in Hillside taken from Oak Ridge Ave. That is not a cemetery on the right but rather the outdoor show room for Peter Troost Monument Co, same as today. Queen of Heaven Mausoleum at Wolf & Roosevelt can be seen in the distant left."

CA&E 318 is on a mid-1950s fantrip sponsored by the Illini Railroad Club. The car is out on the Mount Carmel branch. You can see Maury Klebolt (1930-1988), the trip organizer, in the window. Mike Franklin: “This photo is looking west on the north side of Roosevelt Rd in Hillside taken from Oak Ridge Ave. That is not a cemetery on the right but rather the outdoor show room for Peter Troost Monument Co, same as today. Queen of Heaven Mausoleum at Wolf & Roosevelt can be seen in the distant left.”

The same location today.

The same location today.

We are looking east along Lake Street, just west of Laramie, in the early 1950s. The Lake Street "L" descended to ground level here, running parallel to the CTA Route 16 streetcar for a few blocks. Streetcar service was replaced by buses on May 30, 1954.

We are looking east along Lake Street, just west of Laramie, in the early 1950s. The Lake Street “L” descended to ground level here, running parallel to the CTA Route 16 streetcar for a few blocks. Streetcar service was replaced by buses on May 30, 1954.

The CTA State and Lake station on April 21, 1980, looking north. This is why I am not sorry to see the old station replaced by a new one-- the old one was messed with a lot over the years. It was also damaged by fire, with the result that very little that is original remains. (Clark Frazier Photo)

The CTA State and Lake station on April 21, 1980, looking north. This is why I am not sorry to see the old station replaced by a new one– the old one was messed with a lot over the years. It was also damaged by fire, with the result that very little that is original remains. (Clark Frazier Photo)

On February 19, 2017, thanks to a substantial donation from the late Jeffrey L. Wien, the Central Electric Railfans' Association held a fantrip on the CTA using a four-car train wrapped to celebrate the Chicago Cubs' World Series victory the previous fall. The lead car was 5695. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

On February 19, 2017, thanks to a substantial donation from the late Jeffrey L. Wien, the Central Electric Railfans’ Association held a fantrip on the CTA using a four-car train wrapped to celebrate the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory the previous fall. The lead car was 5695. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

On June 1, 1950 CTA PCC 7217 was used as part of an inquest into the fatal collision between car 7078 and a gasoline truck that killed 33 people (and injured many others) on May 25th of that year. The location is 6242 S. State Street. The resulting fire destroyed several nearby buildings. This accident is the subject of a book (The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster).

On June 1, 1950 CTA PCC 7217 was used as part of an inquest into the fatal collision between car 7078 and a gasoline truck that killed 33 people (and injured many others) on May 25th of that year. The location is 6242 S. State Street. The resulting fire destroyed several nearby buildings. This accident is the subject of a book (The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster).

Chicago Aurora & Elgin car 205 heads up a westbound four-car train at Cicero Avenue on the Garfield Park "L".

Chicago Aurora & Elgin car 205 heads up a westbound four-car train at Cicero Avenue on the Garfield Park “L”.

The beginnings of demolition of the Stohr Arcade building at Broadway and Wilson in December 1922. This Frank Lloyd Wright-designed triangular structure, partially hidden underneath the Northwestern "L". barely lasted a decade and was replaced by Arthur U. Gerber's Uptown Union Station the following year. (Chicago Daily News Collection, DN-0075219, Chicago History Museum)

The beginnings of demolition of the Stohr Arcade building at Broadway and Wilson in December 1922. This Frank Lloyd Wright-designed triangular structure, partially hidden underneath the Northwestern “L”. barely lasted a decade and was replaced by Arthur U. Gerber’s Uptown Union Station the following year. (Chicago Daily News Collection, DN-0075219, Chicago History Museum)

There was once a veritable railfan comic strip that appeared in hundreds of daily newspapers– Fontaine Fox‘s Toonerville Trolley. Here are eight daily panels from December 1939. You will note that most do not feature the trolley or its Skipper.

December 2, 1939.

December 2, 1939.

December 4, 1939. The reference to Holland relates to the "phony war" period of World War II. War had broken out in Europe, but Germany did not invade Holland until the Spring of 1940.

December 4, 1939. The reference to Holland relates to the “phony war” period of World War II. War had broken out in Europe, but Germany did not invade Holland until the Spring of 1940.

December 6, 1939.

December 6, 1939.

December 7, 1939.

December 7, 1939.

December 9, 1939.

December 9, 1939.

December 11, 1939.

December 11, 1939.

December 13, 1939.

December 13, 1939.

December 14, 1939.

December 14, 1939.

From the Collections of William Shapotkin:

Bill had three different duplicate slides, all of this same image. I tried to stitch them all together to see if the result would be sharper than the three rather fuzzy slides. It didn't seem to help much. All I know about this North Shore Line scene is that it was taken in 1957. One of the dupes was from Ashland Car Works.

Bill had three different duplicate slides, all of this same image. I tried to stitch them all together to see if the result would be sharper than the three rather fuzzy slides. It didn’t seem to help much. All I know about this North Shore Line scene is that it was taken in 1957. One of the dupes was from Ashland Car Works.

CTA 6238 at 71st and Western on February 3, 1953.

CTA 6238 at 71st and Western on February 3, 1953.

February 22, 1956 at the Chicago & North Western's Lake Bluff station. At right, an eastbound passenger train arrives, while a westbound freight (coming off the "New Line") passes. The view looks north.

February 22, 1956 at the Chicago & North Western’s Lake Bluff station. At right, an eastbound passenger train arrives, while a westbound freight (coming off the “New Line”) passes. The view looks north.

CTA single-car unit 41 in July 1992. This car is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. During the 1980s it was usually paired with car 28, which unfortunately was not saved.

CTA single-car unit 41 in July 1992. This car is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. During the 1980s it was usually paired with car 28, which unfortunately was not saved.

North Shore Line 758 heads up a four-car train, while a nearby Milwaukee Electric interurban is visiting on a 1949 fantrip.

North Shore Line 758 heads up a four-car train, while a nearby Milwaukee Electric interurban is visiting on a 1949 fantrip.

CTA 6151, a Stony Island car, at Navy Pier on July 4, 1951.

CTA 6151, a Stony Island car, at Navy Pier on July 4, 1951.

CA&E bus 101.

CA&E bus 101.

CA&E 409 at Trolleyville, USA in Olmstead Falls, OH in July 1966. Since 2009, this car has been at the Illinois Railway Museum.

CA&E 409 at Trolleyville, USA in Olmstead Falls, OH in July 1966. Since 2009, this car has been at the Illinois Railway Museum.

CTA 2923 at the Addison station on the (now) Red Line in June 1993. It was suggested that this might be Addison on the Ravenswood (today's Brown Line) because there are only two tracks visible. However, Graham Garfield says, "No no! This is actually a very special photo! This is a temporary platform at Addison Red Line (only recently having become the “Red Line”, née North-South Route) built as part of the staging for reconstructing the station, which was rather involved because the structure had to be widened to change from dual side platforms to a single island platform. I was interested to see this photo, as I have only seen a handful of photos of the staging and temp facilities from this project. To accommodate the island platform, the space between the center tracks had to the widened, so the two northbound tracks (3 & 4) stayed on the original steel structure and the southbound tracks (1 & 2) were placed on a new concrete deck with direct track fixation instead of the standard cut spikes and tie plates on the steel-deck elevated. While this concrete structure was being built, southbound Evanston and Howard trains ran on track 3 until August 19, 1994, when both where shifted onto track 1 on the new decking. On August 21, southbound Howard trains moved onto their permanent home on track 2. The new island platform had opened earlier in the summer. The layout of the switches in Addison Interlocking north of the station were arranged specifically to make that reroute scheme possible. So this view looks north on the temporary SB platform along track 3, with a SB Red Line A train stopping."

CTA 2923 at the Addison station on the (now) Red Line in June 1993. It was suggested that this might be Addison on the Ravenswood (today’s Brown Line) because there are only two tracks visible. However, Graham Garfield says, “No no! This is actually a very special photo! This is a temporary platform at Addison Red Line (only recently having become the “Red Line”, née North-South Route) built as part of the staging for reconstructing the station, which was rather involved because the structure had to be widened to change from dual side platforms to a single island platform. I was interested to see this photo, as I have only seen a handful of photos of the staging and temp facilities from this project.
To accommodate the island platform, the space between the center tracks had to the widened, so the two northbound tracks (3 & 4) stayed on the original steel structure and the southbound tracks (1 & 2) were placed on a new concrete deck with direct track fixation instead of the standard cut spikes and tie plates on the steel-deck elevated. While this concrete structure was being built, southbound Evanston and Howard trains ran on track 3 until August 19, 1994, when both where shifted onto track 1 on the new decking. On August 21, southbound Howard trains moved onto their permanent home on track 2. The new island platform had opened earlier in the summer.
The layout of the switches in Addison Interlocking north of the station were arranged specifically to make that reroute scheme possible.
So this view looks north on the temporary SB platform along track 3, with a SB Red Line A train stopping.”

A three-car CA&E train at the Aurora terminal.

A three-car CA&E train at the Aurora terminal.

A five-car North Shore Line train on July 5, 1957. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

A five-car North Shore Line train on July 5, 1957. (Joseph Canfield Photo)

CTA Pullman 550 at Madison and Canal in November 1951, presumably running on Route 56 - Milwaukee Avenue. That's the Chicago Daily News building at rear.

CTA Pullman 550 at Madison and Canal in November 1951, presumably running on Route 56 – Milwaukee Avenue. That’s the Chicago Daily News building at rear.

CTA trolley bus 9761 is running on Route 85 - Central near the end of electric bus service. This slide was processed in April 1973. The Manor Theater was located at 5609 W. North Avenue, and was eventually converted into a banquet hall (Ferrara Manor) after it was purchased by the same family that owned the Ferrara Pan Candy Company. So, the location of this slide is at Central and North Avenues, looking to the southwest as the bus is heading north to Bryn Mawr.

CTA trolley bus 9761 is running on Route 85 – Central near the end of electric bus service. This slide was processed in April 1973. The Manor Theater was located at 5609 W. North Avenue, and was eventually converted into a banquet hall (Ferrara Manor) after it was purchased by the same family that owned the Ferrara Pan Candy Company. So, the location of this slide is at Central and North Avenues, looking to the southwest as the bus is heading north to Bryn Mawr.

CTA 550 entering the Imlay loop at Milwaukee and Devon in September 1951.

CTA 550 entering the Imlay loop at Milwaukee and Devon in September 1951.

This is a former Toronto PCC streetcar, but I have no other information about the picture.

This is a former Toronto PCC streetcar, but I have no other information about the picture.

CSL 6022 at Kedzie and 47th Place in June 1943 (?) Not sure if this date is correct, considering the slab-sided postwar auto on the next block. Dan Cluley writes, "Regarding the date of bills188 the sign on the streetcar advertises “Park and Recreation week – May 21-30” That seems to have been a national promotion in 1948. My guess on the car would be postwar Hudson." So let's call it June 1948 then.

CSL 6022 at Kedzie and 47th Place in June 1943 (?) Not sure if this date is correct, considering the slab-sided postwar auto on the next block. Dan Cluley writes, “Regarding the date of bills188 the sign on the streetcar advertises “Park and Recreation week – May 21-30” That seems to have been a national promotion in 1948. My guess on the car would be postwar Hudson.” So let’s call it June 1948 then.

CTA Pullman 900 at 93rd and Stony Island on November 16, 1951.

CTA Pullman 900 at 93rd and Stony Island on November 16, 1951.

CTA 3191 at Stony Island and 93rd on July 11, 1951.

CTA 3191 at Stony Island and 93rd on July 11, 1951.

The Pioneer Limited (live steam) at Kiddieland amusement park in August 1992. After Kiddieland closed, the steam engines were purchased by the Hesston Steam Museum.

The Pioneer Limited (live steam) at Kiddieland amusement park in August 1992. After Kiddieland closed, the steam engines were purchased by the Hesston Steam Museum.

The observation car on the Kiddieland Express at Kiddieland amusement park in Melrose Park, IL in August 1992. (William Shapotkin Photo)

The observation car on the Kiddieland Express at Kiddieland amusement park in Melrose Park, IL in August 1992. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Milwaukee Road "bipolar" electric loco E-2 on display at the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, MO on August 2, 1995. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Milwaukee Road “bipolar” electric loco E-2 on display at the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, MO on August 2, 1995. (William Shapotkin Photo)

CTA gate car 322 is signed as a Kenwood Local on Chicago's Loop "L" in July 1`1948. Kenwood became a shuttle, running only as far as the Indiana Avenue station, in August 1949 as part of CTA's major revision of north-south service.

CTA gate car 322 is signed as a Kenwood Local on Chicago’s Loop “L” in July 1`1948. Kenwood became a shuttle, running only as far as the Indiana Avenue station, in August 1949 as part of CTA’s major revision of north-south service.

Chicago, IL. CTA car 5010 leads the inaugural revenue run of 5000-series cars on CTA's Howard-Dan Ryan Line at Howard terminal. The view looks W-NW on April 19, 2010. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Chicago, IL. CTA car 5010 leads the inaugural revenue run of 5000-series cars on CTA’s Howard-Dan Ryan Line at Howard terminal. The view looks W-NW on April 19, 2010. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Chicago, IL. Rear-end interior view of CTA "L" car 5010. Photo taken during inaugural revenue run of 5000-series cars on the Howard-Dan Ryan line (April 19, 2010). (William Shapotkin Photo)

Chicago, IL. Rear-end interior view of CTA “L” car 5010. Photo taken during inaugural revenue run of 5000-series cars on the Howard-Dan Ryan line (April 19, 2010). (William Shapotkin Photo)

CA&E 604 and 427 in Wheaton.

CA&E 604 and 427 in Wheaton.

CA&E 405.

CA&E 405.

CA&E 56.

CA&E 56.

CA&E car 20 at the Fox River Trolley Museum in July 1987, with CTA 5001 and a 4000 in the background.

CA&E car 20 at the Fox River Trolley Museum in July 1987, with CTA 5001 and a 4000 in the background.

A CTA freight train is on the north side "L" in this undated photo, looking south. Electric freight service was the "L"s responsibility from 1920 to 1973, a holdover from the days when this was a Milwaukee Road line operating at ground level.

A CTA freight train is on the north side “L” in this undated photo, looking south. Electric freight service was the “L”s responsibility from 1920 to 1973, a holdover from the days when this was a Milwaukee Road line operating at ground level.

CA&E 422.

CA&E 422.

The CA&E Wheaton Yard and Shops.

The CA&E Wheaton Yard and Shops.

"In the last days of the last streetcar line in Milwaukee, a Wells Street car trundels through downtown." This would have to be no later than 1958. A new modern streetcar line began operations in Milwaukee a few years ago. (A. C. Kalmbach Photo)

“In the last days of the last streetcar line in Milwaukee, a Wells Street car trundels through downtown.” This would have to be no later than 1958. A new modern streetcar line began operations in Milwaukee a few years ago. (A. C. Kalmbach Photo)

CA&E 430.

CA&E 430.

I did the best I could with this image, which was completely faded to red. It shows Illinois Terminal 451 being used in regular service on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line in October 1976, due to a car shortage. (Jim Walker Photo)

I did the best I could with this image, which was completely faded to red. It shows Illinois Terminal 451 being used in regular service on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line in October 1976, due to a car shortage. (Jim Walker Photo)

Cleveland RTA PCC 75 is at East 83rd Street on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line on May 30, 1976.

Cleveland RTA PCC 75 is at East 83rd Street on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line on May 30, 1976.

SEPTA 6139-6140 (ex-CTA) at the Norristown terminal on March 10, 1987. Until 1951, there was a ramp continuing north from here, leading to street trackage used by the Lehigh Valley Transit's Liberty Bell interurban, which continued to Allentown. This terminal has since been replaced.

SEPTA 6139-6140 (ex-CTA) at the Norristown terminal on March 10, 1987. Until 1951, there was a ramp continuing north from here, leading to street trackage used by the Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell interurban, which continued to Allentown. This terminal has since been replaced.

This is one of the North Shore Line stations designed by Arthur U. Gerber. But which one? My guess is Kenosha. The original slide, from November 1987, was so underexposed that it almost looked opaque, but I did what I could with it.

This is one of the North Shore Line stations designed by Arthur U. Gerber. But which one? My guess is Kenosha. The original slide, from November 1987, was so underexposed that it almost looked opaque, but I did what I could with it.