More Buses, Trolleys, and Trains

This amazing photo is from a glass plate negative we recently purchased, and shows a Chicago Union Traction streetcar RPO (railway post office) unpowered trailer car. CUT existed between 1899 and 1908, which helps date the photo. This car may previously have been a cable car trailer, before being pressed into mail service.

This amazing photo is from a glass plate negative we recently purchased, and shows a Chicago Union Traction streetcar RPO (railway post office) unpowered trailer car. CUT existed between 1899 and 1908, which helps date the photo. This car may previously have been a cable car trailer, before being pressed into mail service.

Instead of trains, planes, and automobiles, today we have a generous helping of classic bus, trolley, and train images courtesy of noted transit historian William Shapotkin. We thank Bill very much for sharing these with our readers. Even if you are not a huge fan of buses per se, and some electric traction fans aren’t, you still may appreciate seeing some of these locations, which offer views that you typically don’t see here on this blog. Many are contemporary to other streetcar pictures we have run, and show what types of equipment the CTA was running along with the “L” cars and streetcars that we often feature.

On the other hand, if you do like rubber-tired vehicles, then “hop on the bus, Gus!” And even if you don’t, chances are there are still plenty of railed vehicles here to keep you happy.

-David Sadowski

Please note: All photos in this section are from the collections of William Shapotkin.

This photo shows an old wooden Met car on the CTA's Kenwood shuttle in the 1950s. The view looks east from the Indiana Avenue station. The south side main line continues off to the right. Service on the Kenwood branch ended in 1957.

This photo shows an old wooden Met car on the CTA’s Kenwood shuttle in the 1950s. The view looks east from the Indiana Avenue station. The south side main line continues off to the right. Service on the Kenwood branch ended in 1957.

This image, showing CTA bus 3676 on Route 82A, was not identified, but it clearly shows the Logan Square "L" terminal with connecting bus transfer area in the early 1960s.

This image, showing CTA bus 3676 on Route 82A, was not identified, but it clearly shows the Logan Square “L” terminal with connecting bus transfer area in the early 1960s.

CTA buses at the Western and 79th loop.

CTA buses at the Western and 79th loop.

The old South Shore Line station in Gary, Indiana in July 1984. (Paul Johnsen Photo)

The old South Shore Line station in Gary, Indiana in July 1984. (Paul Johnsen Photo)

CTA Route 59 bus 5610 is at 59th and State on April 26, 1972.

CTA Route 59 bus 5610 is at 59th and State on April 26, 1972.

CTA trolley bus 9392 is at the Montrose and Narragansett loop in 1965. This loop has since been removed.

CTA trolley bus 9392 is at the Montrose and Narragansett loop in 1965. This loop has since been removed.

A Metra train stops at the Mont Clare station on the former Milwaukee Road West Line on April 13, 1999. The original station at this location was demolished in 1964, and my father and I sifted through the rubble. We found several tickets, some dating back to the 1880s, which we donated to a local historical society. As far as I know, these are still on display at the Elmwood Park Public Library.

A Metra train stops at the Mont Clare station on the former Milwaukee Road West Line on April 13, 1999. The original station at this location was demolished in 1964, and my father and I sifted through the rubble. We found several tickets, some dating back to the 1880s, which we donated to a local historical society. As far as I know, these are still on display at the Elmwood Park Public Library.

Chicao, IL: looking south on Holden Court (under teh south side "L") toward grade-separated crossing with the St. Charles Air Line from 15th Street in March 2000. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Chicao, IL: looking south on Holden Court (under the south side “L”) toward grade-separated crossing with the St. Charles Air Line from 15th Street in March 2000. (William Shapotkin Photo)

The Roosevelt Road streetcar extension, crossing the Illinois Central on its way back from the Field Museum and Soldier Field. The date is unknown, but service ended in 1953.

The Roosevelt Road streetcar extension, crossing the Illinois Central on its way back from the Field Museum and Soldier Field. The date is unknown, but service ended in 1953.

CTA 518 at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. Streetcar service on Halsted ended three months later. (James J. Buckley Photo)

CTA 518 at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. Streetcar service on Halsted ended three months later. (James J. Buckley Photo)

CTA 652 and 678 pass each other at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. (James J. Buckley Photo)

CTA 652 and 678 pass each other at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. (James J. Buckley Photo)

CTA 6148 at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. (James J. Buckley Photo)

CTA 6148 at Halsted and 75th on February 22, 1954. (James J. Buckley Photo)

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 434 at the Seashore Trolley Museum in July 1963.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 434 at the Seashore Trolley Museum in July 1963.

A Chicago Aurora & Elgin freight train at National Street in Elgin. The style of Kodachrome slide mount dates this picture to between 1955 and 1959. (Although passenger service ended in 1957, freight continued for nearly two more years.)

A Chicago Aurora & Elgin freight train at National Street in Elgin. The style of Kodachrome slide mount dates this picture to between 1955 and 1959. (Although passenger service ended in 1957, freight continued for nearly two more years.)

CSL 5130. Bill Shapotkin adds, "This is an E/B 31st car, having just crossing under the South Side 'L'. View looks west (from Wabash)." We ran another picture of 5130 on the same route on our previous post Spring Forward (April 19, 2018).

CSL 5130. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This is an E/B 31st car, having just crossing under the South Side ‘L’. View looks west (from Wabash).” We ran another picture of 5130 on the same route on our previous post Spring Forward (April 19, 2018).

CSL 5154. Bill Shapotkin adds, "This is a W/B 31st car at State St (South Side "L" in background). View looks east." Again, we previously ran another picture of this same car on the same route in our post Spring Forward (April 19, 2018).

CSL 5154. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This is a W/B 31st car at State St (South Side “L” in background). View looks east.” Again, we previously ran another picture of this same car on the same route in our post Spring Forward (April 19, 2018).

CTA bus 2566 is at 119th and Western, running on Route 49A.

CTA bus 2566 is at 119th and Western, running on Route 49A.

CTA bus 5723 is at the Western and 79th loop, probably in the 1960s.

CTA bus 5723 is at the Western and 79th loop, probably in the 1960s.

CTA bus 6541 is at the Western and 79th loop in 1953. Meanwhile, a postwar PCC (built by the St. Louis Car Co.) goes around the loop. Streetcar service on Western ended in June 1956. Jeff Wien writes, "The caption states that it is 1953 in this photo. I would guess 1948 not long after the loop opened. There is virtually no landscaping anywhere and the sidewalks look like they were recently laid. Later pictures of this loop showed green grass and bushes which was typical of CTA loops until they decided to asphalt over everything (ie: Clark-Arthur loop)." Andre Kristopans: "Bus 6541 at 79th/Western is definitely soon after loop opened. After 79th was converted, this spot is where 79th buses loaded, and 49A’s loaded about three bus lengths back, on the left side of the driveway (see 2578 shot following for new location)."

CTA bus 6541 is at the Western and 79th loop in 1953. Meanwhile, a postwar PCC (built by the St. Louis Car Co.) goes around the loop. Streetcar service on Western ended in June 1956. Jeff Wien writes, “The caption states that it is 1953 in this photo. I would guess 1948 not long after the loop opened. There is virtually no landscaping anywhere and the sidewalks look like they were recently laid. Later pictures of this loop showed green grass and bushes which was typical of CTA loops until they decided to asphalt over everything (ie: Clark-Arthur loop).” Andre Kristopans: “Bus 6541 at 79th/Western is definitely soon after loop opened. After 79th was converted, this spot is where 79th buses loaded, and 49A’s loaded about three bus lengths back, on the left side of the driveway (see 2578 shot following for new location).”

CTA bus 2578, running on Route 49A, is at the Western and 79th loop. When PCCs were introduced to Western Avenue in 1948, buses were substituted on the north and south ends of the line, which were spun off into extensions of Route 49. New loops were built, this being the one on the south end of the line.

CTA bus 2578, running on Route 49A, is at the Western and 79th loop. When PCCs were introduced to Western Avenue in 1948, buses were substituted on the north and south ends of the line, which were spun off into extensions of Route 49. New loops were built, this being the one on the south end of the line.

CTA bus 5066 is turning north from Leland onto Western, running Route 49B in 1958. Here, riders could change to the Ravenswood "L", today's Brown Line. The station has since been rebuilt. Jeff Wien adds, "I believe that the photo of CTA 5066 at Western & Leland was taken in 1956 rather than 1958 as stated in the caption. Route 49 was converted to motor bus in June 1956. The photo shows the streetcar tracks still exposed as well as the overhead wires in place. I would imagine that the wires would have been removed by 1958, and I seem to recall that the City paved Western Avenue not long after the streetcars were removed. The City built the obnoxious overpass at Western and Belmont shortly after the streetcars were removed in 1956."

CTA bus 5066 is turning north from Leland onto Western, running Route 49B in 1958. Here, riders could change to the Ravenswood “L”, today’s Brown Line. The station has since been rebuilt. Jeff Wien adds, “I believe that the photo of CTA 5066 at Western & Leland was taken in 1956 rather than 1958 as stated in the caption. Route 49 was converted to motor bus in June 1956. The photo shows the streetcar tracks still exposed as well as the overhead wires in place. I would imagine that the wires would have been removed by 1958, and I seem to recall that the City paved Western Avenue not long after the streetcars were removed. The City built the obnoxious overpass at Western and Belmont shortly after the streetcars were removed in 1956.”

Passengers board CTA bus 5470 at the Western and Berwyn loop on Chicago's north side. Route 49B was the northern extension of the Western line.

Passengers board CTA bus 5470 at the Western and Berwyn loop on Chicago’s north side. Route 49B was the northern extension of the Western line.

CTA bus 3528 is on Route 54B (South Cicero) on Cicero at 26th, circa the late 1950s.

CTA bus 3528 is on Route 54B (South Cicero) on Cicero at 26th, circa the late 1950s.

CTA bus 2543 is heading east on 103rd Street at Longwood Drive on Route 103 (103rd-106th Streets) in the late 1950s. The building directly behind the bus is now occupied by a Starbucks. Our resident south side expert M. E. writes, "Not showing in this picture (because of the trees) is Chicago's only castle, on the northwest corner of 103rd and Longwood. (Longwood is at the bottom of the "hill". Did you know: The land atop the "hill" is geologically called Blue Island? It begins north of 87th St. where the Dan Ryan's Woods toboggan slide was.)" On the other hand, Stu Slaymaker says, "The shot of ACF-Brill bus that is labeled, 103rd and Longwood, was actually taken at 111th and Longwood. My old neighborhood. Out of the picture behind the photographer, is the R. I. Suburban Line Morgan Park-111th station. The used car lot on the right corner, was a Texaco station in the 1960s. The trees are so lush, you can't see the Walker Branch Library, at the top of the hill."

CTA bus 2543 is heading east on 103rd Street at Longwood Drive on Route 103 (103rd-106th Streets) in the late 1950s. The building directly behind the bus is now occupied by a Starbucks. Our resident south side expert M. E. writes, “Not showing in this picture (because of the trees) is Chicago’s only castle, on the northwest corner of 103rd and Longwood. (Longwood is at the bottom of the “hill”. Did you know: The land atop the “hill” is geologically called Blue Island? It begins north of 87th St. where the Dan Ryan’s Woods toboggan slide was.)” On the other hand, Stu Slaymaker says, “The shot of ACF-Brill bus that is labeled, 103rd and Longwood, was actually taken at 111th and Longwood. My old neighborhood. Out of the picture behind the photographer, is the R. I. Suburban Line Morgan Park-111th station. The used car lot on the right corner, was a Texaco station in the 1960s. The trees are so lush, you can’t see the Walker Branch Library, at the top of the hill.”

CTA 3449 is on Route 31 (31st Street). Not sure which cross street the streetcar is on.

CTA 3449 is on Route 31 (31st Street). Not sure which cross street the streetcar is on.

CSL 3425 is on Route 31 (31st Street) at Pitney Court. However, the date provided (1946) must be wrong, since this line was not converted to bus until February 29, 1948. (Thanks to Daniel Joseph for pointing that out.)

CSL 3425 is on Route 31 (31st Street) at Pitney Court. However, the date provided (1946) must be wrong, since this line was not converted to bus until February 29, 1948. (Thanks to Daniel Joseph for pointing that out.)

CTA 5493 is heading south from the Western and Berwyn loop, on Route 49B (North Western). This picture was taken after streetcar service ended in 1956, as the tracks appear to already be paved over and overhead wires removed.

CTA 5493 is heading south from the Western and Berwyn loop, on Route 49B (North Western). This picture was taken after streetcar service ended in 1956, as the tracks appear to already be paved over and overhead wires removed.

On August 9, 1953 CTA bus 5306 heads west on Route 6 - Van Buren Street at Racine, next to new temporary Garfield Park "L" trackage that went into service the following month. at right, you can see the existing "L" structure, which was torn down the following year.

On August 9, 1953 CTA bus 5306 heads west on Route 6 – Van Buren Street at Racine, next to new temporary Garfield Park “L” trackage that went into service the following month. at right, you can see the existing “L” structure, which was torn down the following year.

CTA bus 5499 is at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in Forest Park, running on Route 17 - Westchester, which replaced the Westchester "L" in 1951.

CTA bus 5499 is at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in Forest Park, running on Route 17 – Westchester, which replaced the Westchester “L” in 1951.

CTA 2365 is operating on Route 58 - Ogden at 26th and Cicero Avenue in the late 1950s.

CTA 2365 is operating on Route 58 – Ogden at 26th and Cicero Avenue in the late 1950s.

CTA 6814 is on 115th Street at Michigan Avenue on Route 115 in the 1960s. Bill Shapotkin adds, "This view (correctly identified as 115th/Michigan) looks east."

CTA 6814 is on 115th Street at Michigan Avenue on Route 115 in the 1960s. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This view (correctly identified as 115th/Michigan) looks east.”

CTA 2718 and 2734 at 74th and Damen.

CTA 2718 and 2734 at 74th and Damen.

CTA 3620 at 54th Avenue in Cicero, the end of the line for the Douglas Park "L" (now the Pink Line).

CTA 3620 at 54th Avenue in
CTA 3620 at 54th Avenue in Cicero, the end of the line for the Douglas Park “L” (now the Pink Line).

CTA 2603 at 119th and Western, the south end of Route 49A.

CTA 2603 at 119th and Western, the south end of Route 49A.

CTA 6532 at the Western and 79th loop, running on Route 79.

CTA 6532 at the Western and 79th loop, running on Route 79.

Chicago & West Towns 848 at the DesPlaines Avenue CTA terminal on August 7, 1980. The second overpass, behind the bus, was for the Chicago Great Western freight line. That bridge and tracks have since been removed. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

Chicago & West Towns 848 at the DesPlaines Avenue CTA terminal on August 7, 1980. The second overpass, behind the bus, was for the Chicago Great Western freight line. That bridge and tracks have since been removed. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

Westbound Rock Island train #113 at the 91st Street depot on April 5, 1970. Our resident south side epert M. E. adds, "The caption says this view is "at the 91st Street depot." Not quite. The view faces north. The train is curving from west (along 89th St.) to south. Notice the railroad crossing signals and gates in the background. That trackage joined with the CRI&P traffic to the east. On that trackage ran the B&O Capitol Limited on its way to Washington DC, as captured in https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/proofs288.jpg , although in that photo the Capitol Limited is inbound to Chicago."

Westbound Rock Island train #113 at the 91st Street depot on April 5, 1970. Our resident south side epert M. E. adds, “The caption says this view is “at the 91st Street depot.” Not quite. The view faces north. The train is curving from west (along 89th St.) to south. Notice the railroad crossing signals and gates in the background. That trackage joined with the CRI&P traffic to the east. On that trackage ran the B&O Capitol Limited on its way to Washington DC, as captured in https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/proofs288.jpg , although in that photo the Capitol Limited is inbound to Chicago.”

The interlocking levers at the 91st Street Rock Island Tower on July 3, 1969.

The interlocking levers at the 91st Street Rock Island Tower on July 3, 1969.

The lineup board at the Rock Island 91st Street Tower on July 3, 1969.

The lineup board at the Rock Island 91st Street Tower on July 3, 1969.

The interlocking levers at the Rock Island's 61st Street Tower on January 5, 1969.

The interlocking levers at the Rock Island’s 61st Street Tower on January 5, 1969.

Tower man Roy Bliss and Assistant Tower man Jack Poehron are flagging all trains by the burned-out Rock Island 61st Street Tower on April 20, 1967. The wooden tower had opened in 1898.

Tower man Roy Bliss and Assistant Tower man Jack Poehron are flagging all trains by the burned-out Rock Island 61st Street Tower on April 20, 1967. The wooden tower had opened in 1898.

Rock Island train #11 (with engine #621) passes the burned-out 61st Street Tower on April 20, 1967, the day after the fire. 61st was the end of the four-track section running from LaSalle Street Station in downtown Chicago.

Rock Island train #11 (with engine #621) passes the burned-out 61st Street Tower on April 20, 1967, the day after the fire. 61st was the end of the four-track section running from LaSalle Street Station in downtown Chicago.

Rock Island train #19, as seen from the 61st Street Tower.

Rock Island train #19, as seen from the 61st Street Tower.

Rock Island 61st Street Tower on December 8, 1968. (Looking north at movable point crossing- RI "in" (L), NYC "out" (R).

Rock Island 61st Street Tower on December 8, 1968. (Looking north at movable point crossing- RI “in” (L), NYC “out” (R).

The Rock Island 91st Street Tower on April 5, 1970.

The Rock Island 91st Street Tower on April 5, 1970.

The Rock Island's 91st Street Tower, where the railroad crossed the PRR "Panhandle" route, as it looked on August 17, 1974. As you can see, the tower has received a new coat of paint since the last picture.

The Rock Island’s 91st Street Tower, where the railroad crossed the PRR “Panhandle” route, as it looked on August 17, 1974. As you can see, the tower has received a new coat of paint since the last picture.

Baltimore & Ohio #5, the Capitol Limited, passing by the Beverly Junction Tower one hour and 50 minutes late, on April 5, 1970.

Baltimore & Ohio #5, the Capitol Limited, passing by the Beverly Junction Tower one hour and 50 minutes late, on April 5, 1970.

CTA bus 8829 is at Ashland and 95th in 1973. Daniel Joseph adds, "If the destination sign is reliable, I believe this bus is on the #45 Ashland Downtown and not on #9 Ashland."

CTA bus 8829 is at Ashland and 95th in 1973. Daniel Joseph adds, “If the destination sign is reliable, I believe this bus is on the #45 Ashland Downtown and not on #9 Ashland.”

CTA 2528 is at Ogden and Cermak on Route 58 on April 29, 1961. Bill Shapotkin adds, "Yes, this is indeed Cermak/Ogden -- the view looks west."

CTA 2528 is at Ogden and Cermak on Route 58 on April 29, 1961. Bill Shapotkin adds, “Yes, this is indeed Cermak/Ogden — the view looks west.”

CTA 5863 at the Ashland and 95th Street terminal, south end of Route 9, on June 20, 1973. (John Le Beau Photo)

CTA 5863 at the Ashland and 95th Street terminal, south end of Route 9, on June 20, 1973. (John Le Beau Photo)

Chicago & West Towns bus 777 at the CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal on March 17, 1974. The terminal has since been redone. The two sets of stairs on DesPlaines Avenue appear to provide a way for pedestrians to cross a busy street where there are no stoplights. (John Le Beau Photo)

Chicago & West Towns bus 777 at the CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal on March 17, 1974. The terminal has since been redone. The two sets of stairs on DesPlaines Avenue appear to provide a way for pedestrians to cross a busy street where there are no stoplights. (John Le Beau Photo)

CTA "New Look" bus 9441, running on Route 17 - Westchester, is at the DesPlaines terminal on June 28, 1977. Since the previous picture was taken, the set of stairs on the west side of DesPlaines Avenue has been removed. Since the other stair still appears to be in use, it seems as though the CTA decided to extend the walkway to the platform area, so that commuters would not need to go up and down so many stairs.

CTA “New Look” bus 9441, running on Route 17 – Westchester, is at the DesPlaines terminal on June 28, 1977. Since the previous picture was taken, the set of stairs on the west side of DesPlaines Avenue has been removed. Since the other stair still appears to be in use, it seems as though the CTA decided to extend the walkway to the platform area, so that commuters would not need to go up and down so many stairs.

CTA 9461 is at Catalpa and Broadway, operating on Route 84 - Peterson on September 1, 1980. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

CTA 9461 is at Catalpa and Broadway, operating on Route 84 – Peterson on September 1, 1980. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

CTA 8417 is on Route 17 - Westchester in June 1971. (John Le Beau Photo)

CTA 8417 is on Route 17 – Westchester in June 1971. (John Le Beau Photo)

PACE 6338 is heading south on Harlem Avenue on Route 305, having just gone under the CTA Green Line "L" in December 2012. (Mel Bernero Photo)

PACE 6338 is heading south on Harlem Avenue on Route 305, having just gone under the CTA Green Line “L” in December 2012. (Mel Bernero Photo)

PACE 6225 heads west on Route 309 - Lake Street at Harlem Avenue. To the left, just out of view, is the former Marshall Field's store in Oak Park, a local landmark. It later housed a Border's bookstore, now also gone. This photo must have been taken a few years ago, as you would see some new tall buildings if you took the same picture today. Unable to move outward, Oak Park is moving "up." (John Le Beau Photo)

PACE 6225 heads west on Route 309 – Lake Street at Harlem Avenue. To the left, just out of view, is the former Marshall Field’s store in Oak Park, a local landmark. It later housed a Border’s bookstore, now also gone. This photo must have been taken a few years ago, as you would see some new tall buildings if you took the same picture today. Unable to move outward, Oak Park is moving “up.” (John Le Beau Photo)

CTA 2527 is at 25th and Laramie in Cicero, the west end of Route 58 - Ogden. The date appears to be the late 1950s.

CTA 2527 is at 25th and Laramie in Cicero, the west end of Route 58 – Ogden. The date appears to be the late 1950s.

Chicago & West Towns buses 839 and 804 are laying over in the middle of the street at Cermak and 47th Street in January 1979. This is near the border between Cicero and Chicago, and also adjacent to the old Western Electric plant.

Chicago & West Towns buses 839 and 804 are laying over in the middle of the street at Cermak and 47th Street in January 1979. This is near the border between Cicero and Chicago, and also adjacent to the old Western Electric plant.

RTA bus 8107 at the West Towns bus garage in oak Park on April 12, 1981. (John Le Beau Photo)

RTA bus 8107 at the West Towns bus garage in oak Park on April 12, 1981. (John Le Beau Photo)

RTA 8049 at the West Towns garage in Oak Park on May 28, 1978. This is now the site of a Pete's Fresh Market. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

RTA 8049 at the West Towns garage in Oak Park on May 28, 1978. This is now the site of a Pete’s Fresh Market. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

PACE bus 2092 is exiting from the CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal in April 1992. Where the bus is, was once the approximate location of Chicago Great Western freight tracks, which spanned DesPlaines Avenue via a bridge and then connected with the Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal tracks. That portion of the old CGW right-of-way between here and First Avenue has been paved, and provides a connection to the Prairie Path, which starts at First Avenue.

PACE bus 2092 is exiting from the CTA DesPlaines Avenue terminal in April 1992. Where the bus is, was once the approximate location of Chicago Great Western freight tracks, which spanned DesPlaines Avenue via a bridge and then connected with the Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal tracks. That portion of the old CGW right-of-way between here and First Avenue has been paved, and provides a connection to the Prairie Path, which starts at First Avenue.

CTA 1806 is on Route 84 - Peterson at Western Avenue on April 21, 1957. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)

CTA 1806 is on Route 84 – Peterson at Western Avenue on April 21, 1957. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)

This slide was labeled "Oak Park," but actually, it's on the border between Elmwood Park and River Grove. PACE bus 22550 is heading west on Grand Avenue, going over the long crossing of the Metra Milwaukee District West Line on route 319 on May 8, 1993. There has een much talk over the years of grade-separating these tracks, where some accidents have occurred, but so far nothing has come of it. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

This slide was labeled “Oak Park,” but actually, it’s on the border between Elmwood Park and River Grove. PACE bus 22550 is heading west on Grand Avenue, going over the long crossing of the Metra Milwaukee District West Line on route 319 on May 8, 1993. There has een much talk over the years of grade-separating these tracks, where some accidents have occurred, but so far nothing has come of it. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

RTA bus 496 is at the Brookfield Zoo on December 11, 1977. Andre Kristopans adds, "Bus 496 is on an OSA (Omnibus Society of America) charter. Note the “9” covered with tape." (John Le Beau Photo)

RTA bus 496 is at the Brookfield Zoo on December 11, 1977. Andre Kristopans adds, “Bus 496 is on an OSA (Omnibus Society of America) charter. Note the “9” covered with tape.” (John Le Beau Photo)

RTA bus 8044 is at the old West Towns garage in Oak Park in March 1983.

RTA bus 8044 is at the old West Towns garage in Oak Park in March 1983.

CTA bus 4580 heads west on Harrison at Springfield on March 7, 1991.

CTA bus 4580 heads west on Harrison at Springfield on March 7, 1991.

CTA bus 1112 is at 115th and Perry in February 1983.

CTA bus 1112 is at 115th and Perry in February 1983.

South Suburban Safeway Lines bus 702 is northbound at 119th and Western, probably around 1970. Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, "South Suburban Safeway Lines went north on Western to 63rd, then east to Halsted, the heart of Englewood. Actually, east to Union, south to 63rd Place, and west to the L station at Halsted and 63rd Place, where it ended its northbound run. Southbound, it first took Halsted north to 63rd, then west to Western, etc. The other thing to notice in this picture is that Western Ave. was not as wide south of 119th. This is because the Chicago city limit is 119th, and south of that is Blue Island."

South Suburban Safeway Lines bus 702 is northbound at 119th and Western, probably around 1970. Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, “South Suburban Safeway Lines went north on Western to 63rd, then east to Halsted, the heart of Englewood. Actually, east to Union, south to 63rd Place, and west to the L station at Halsted and 63rd Place, where it ended its northbound run. Southbound, it first took Halsted north to 63rd, then west to Western, etc. The other thing to notice in this picture is that Western Ave. was not as wide south of 119th. This is because the Chicago city limit is 119th, and south of that is Blue Island.”

South Suburban Safeway Lines 714 on Western at 79th on October 4, 1975. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)

South Suburban Safeway Lines 714 on Western at 79th on October 4, 1975. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)

CTA 871, running on Route 49B North Western, is at the Western Avenue stop on the Ravenswood "L" in June 1973. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)

CTA 871, running on Route 49B North Western, is at the Western Avenue stop on the Ravenswood “L” in June 1973. (Michael N. Charnota Photo)

CTA 5567 is on Western near 63rd Street on April 20, 1972 (Route 49). Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, "Notice Cupid Candies on one corner and Fannie May Candies across the street." Jeff Weiner adds, "CTA 5567 appears to be at Western and 62nd, as the City maintained a traffic signal there for the Sears store. Until a closed-loop system was installed, the 62nd signal operated fixed-time during store hours, and went on yellow-red flash when the store was closed. After it was modernized, the operation was semiactuated, with coordination to the other signals on Western. Until it was modernized, the median signals were on concrete “blockbuster” foundations, replaced with mast arm signals afterwards."

CTA 5567 is on Western near 63rd Street on April 20, 1972 (Route 49). Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, “Notice Cupid Candies on one corner and Fannie May Candies across the street.” Jeff Weiner adds, “CTA 5567 appears to be at Western and 62nd, as the City maintained a traffic signal there for the Sears store. Until a closed-loop system was installed, the 62nd signal operated fixed-time during store hours, and went on yellow-red flash when the store was closed. After it was modernized, the operation was semiactuated, with coordination to the other signals on Western. Until it was modernized, the median signals were on concrete “blockbuster” foundations, replaced with mast arm signals afterwards.”

CTA 5978 is at the Western and 79th loop on June 20, 1973. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

CTA 5978 is at the Western and 79th loop on June 20, 1973. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo)

CTA Pullman 312 on Kedzie. Bill Shapotkin adds, "Car is working #52 -- Kedzie-California and is laying over in California at Roscoe. View looks north."

CTA Pullman 312 on Kedzie. Bill Shapotkin adds, “Car is working #52 — Kedzie-California and is laying over in California at Roscoe. View looks north.”

CTA Pullman 444 at Armitage and California in January 1950.

CTA Pullman 444 at Armitage and California in January 1950.

CTA one-man car 6184 at Lawrence and Luna in 1949.

CTA one-man car 6184 at Lawrence and Luna in 1949.

CTA 336, in June 1952, is on California Avenue at Augusta Boulevard.

CTA 336, in June 1952, is on California Avenue at Augusta Boulevard.

Chicago Surface Lines 474 is on Belmont at Clark in May 1947.

Chicago Surface Lines 474 is on Belmont at Clark in May 1947.

CSL 1644 is on Route 6 at Division and California in May 1942. The Divison and Van Buren car lines were through-routed starting in 1937.

CSL 1644 is on Route 6 at Division and California in May 1942. The Divison and Van Buren car lines were through-routed starting in 1937.

CTA 5574 at an unknown location. Jon Habermaas writes, "Photo appears to be on the Halsted route where the line is on private right of way along Vincennes Ave., paralleling the Rock Island mainline... in the background you can see the Washington Heights Rock Island depot and a cross buck along the Pennsy's Panhandle division, which crosses Vincennes Avenue and the Rock Island just south of 103rd Street. The car would be around 104th and Vincennes Ave." Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, "Mr. Habermaas's description is accurate. I will add that this private right of way started at 89th St., just south of the CRI&P Beverly branch viaduct, and ended around 107th St. where Vincennes veered farther west from the CRI&P main line. And more historically, this right-of-way originated for the Kankakee car, which had its barn at 88th and Vincennes and ran on Halsted as far north as Englewood." Andre Kristopans: "Car 5574 SB at 105th or so. You can just make out the 104th RI station in the back, and PRR crossbuck to the right in the distance." (Robert W. Gibson Photo)

CTA 5574 at an unknown location. Jon Habermaas writes, “Photo appears to be on the Halsted route where the line is on private right of way along Vincennes Ave., paralleling the Rock Island mainline… in the background you can see the Washington Heights Rock Island depot and a cross buck along the Pennsy’s Panhandle division, which crosses Vincennes Avenue and the Rock Island just south of 103rd Street. The car would be around 104th and Vincennes Ave.” Our resident south side expert M. E. adds, “Mr. Habermaas’s description is accurate. I will add that this private right of way started at 89th St., just south of the CRI&P Beverly branch viaduct, and ended around 107th St. where Vincennes veered farther west from the CRI&P main line. And more historically, this right-of-way originated for the Kankakee car, which had its barn at 88th and Vincennes and ran on Halsted as far north as Englewood.” Andre Kristopans: “Car 5574 SB at 105th or so. You can just make out the 104th RI station in the back, and PRR crossbuck to the right in the distance.” (Robert W. Gibson Photo)

CTA 1749, one of the few old streetcars repainted in green, is at Cermak and State in January 1954, running on Route 21. Note the steam engine in the background.

CTA 1749, one of the few old streetcars repainted in green, is at Cermak and State in January 1954, running on Route 21. Note the steam engine in the background.

CTA prewar PCC 4038 is eastbound on 63rd Street. PCCs ran on this line between 1948 and 1952. If the address on the building is any guide, this is probably 122 East 63rd Street.

CTA prewar PCC 4038 is eastbound on 63rd Street. PCCs ran on this line between 1948 and 1952. If the address on the building is any guide, this is probably 122 East 63rd Street.

Illinois Central Electric bi-level car 1514 at the Blue Island Yards on April 23, 1978.

Illinois Central Electric bi-level car 1514 at the Blue Island Yards on April 23, 1978.

CTA trolley bus 9553 is on its last run, a fan trip held on April 1, 1973. Here it is on Fullerton Avenue near the Milwaukee Road freight line. This was one week after trolley buses were taken out of service.

CTA trolley bus 9553 is on its last run, a fan trip held on April 1, 1973. Here it is on Fullerton Avenue near the Milwaukee Road freight line. This was one week after trolley buses were taken out of service.

CTA Marmon-Herrington trolley bus 535 at North and Cicero.

CTA Marmon-Herrington trolley bus 535 at North and Cicero.

Recent Site Addition

This photo was added to our previous post More Mystery Photos (July 29, 2016):

BEDT 0-6-0 #16 in Brooklyn, NY on October 9, 1982.

BEDT 0-6-0 #16 in Brooklyn, NY on October 9, 1982.

Chicago Subway Lecture

Samuel D. Polonetzky makes a point during his presentation at the Chicago Maritime Museum on July 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

Samuel D. Polonetzky makes a point during his presentation at the Chicago Maritime Museum on July 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

On July 25 2018, Samuel D. Polonetzky, P.E., B.Sc. gave a presentation before the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago, of which he is a member. The topic was “Crossing of the Chicago River by the State Street Subway.” He showed actual motion pictures of the construction of the Subway in 1938-40.

Mr. Polonetzky is a Civil Engineer who served the City of Chicago, Department of Streets & Sanitation for thirty five years, rising from Engineer-In-Training to Acting Chief Engineer. During this tenure he acquired a deep knowledge of Chicago’s public rights-of-way and the underground infrastructure. He is also an active member of the Illinois Railway Museum at Union IL and a Life Member of the American Public Works Association.

The Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago meets in the Chicago Maritime Museum located in the Bridgeport Arts Center, 3400 S. Racine Av. Chicago Ill. 60609.

The film shown is called Streamlining Chicago (1940), and you can watch it here:

Pre-Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There are three subway anniversaries this year in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)

To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!

Bibliographic information:

Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages

Chapter Titles:
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
06. Displaced
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960

Building Chicago’s Subways will be published on October 1, 2018. Order your copy today, and it will be shipped on or about that date. All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.

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

For Shipping to US Addresses:

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For Shipping Elsewhere:

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

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Recent Finds, 10-14-2017

You would be forgiven if you think this is CTA red Pullman 144 heading north on Wentworth Avenue at Cermak Road in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood. But it is actually car 225 with its number hidden by a piece of red oilcloth. This was a fantrip organized by the late Maury Klebolt in 1955. He had promised the fans that car 144 would be used. Car 225 was built in 1908 and was sold to Seashore Trolley Museum in 1957. I previously wrote a post about this fantrip in 2013.

You would be forgiven if you think this is CTA red Pullman 144 heading north on Wentworth Avenue at Cermak Road in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood. But it is actually car 225 with its number hidden by a piece of red oilcloth. This was a fantrip organized by the late Maury Klebolt in 1955. He had promised the fans that car 144 would be used. Car 225 was built in 1908 and was sold to Seashore Trolley Museum in 1957. I previously wrote a post about this fantrip in 2013.

This close-up of the previous picture shows how the "144" is on an oilcloth patch over the actual number 225.

This close-up of the previous picture shows how the “144” is on an oilcloth patch over the actual number 225.

Today, we are featuring many rare transit photographs that we recently collected. Most are from the Chicagoland area, but some are from Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

What they all have in common is I think they are interesting. I hope that you will agree.

October 17 is the 74th anniversary of the opening of Chicago’s first subway. We have included a few subway pictures to help commemorate that historic event.

-David Sadowski

PS- I will be making a personal appearance at 1:00 pm on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at The Museums at Lisle Station Park in Lisle, IL. This presentation is for my new book Chicago Trolleys, from Arcadia Publishing. You can purchase an autographed copy via our Online Store. We look forward to seeing you there.

Recent Finds

This is a very unusual picture. At first, I thought it might show the ramp at Sacramento on the Garfield Park "L", where the line descended to temporary trackage in Van Buren Street. Then, I noticed that this is single track. This makes it the loop at the west end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue, as it was configured in 1953 to allow the CA&E (not seen here) to pass underneath. There are lots of pictures showing this ramp taken from the ground. But to take this picture, the photographer either had to be in another railcar, or was standing on the walkway. At left, you can see the Altenhiem building, described in the next picture. The DesPlaines Avenue yard was reconfigured again in 1959 and this ramp was eliminated. We previously posted another picture of this crossover here.

This is a very unusual picture. At first, I thought it might show the ramp at Sacramento on the Garfield Park “L”, where the line descended to temporary trackage in Van Buren Street. Then, I noticed that this is single track. This makes it the loop at the west end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue, as it was configured in 1953 to allow the CA&E (not seen here) to pass underneath. There are lots of pictures showing this ramp taken from the ground. But to take this picture, the photographer either had to be in another railcar, or was standing on the walkway. At left, you can see the Altenhiem building, described in the next picture. The DesPlaines Avenue yard was reconfigured again in 1959 and this ramp was eliminated. We previously posted another picture of this crossover here.

Altenhiem, described here as an "old people's home," is still in business today.

Altenhiem, described here as an “old people’s home,” is still in business today.

Once CA&E trains were cut back to Forest Park in September 1953, joint timetables were issued for the benefit of passengers who wanted to continue to the Loop. These schedules were changed several times over the nearly four years before the CA&E abandoned passenger service. This is the 14th, and perhaps last such timetable. Over time, I assume there were fewer CA&E trains as ridership was declining. We previously posted timetable #7 here.

Once CA&E trains were cut back to Forest Park in September 1953, joint timetables were issued for the benefit of passengers who wanted to continue to the Loop. These schedules were changed several times over the nearly four years before the CA&E abandoned passenger service. This is the 14th, and perhaps last such timetable. Over time, I assume there were fewer CA&E trains as ridership was declining. We previously posted timetable #7 here.

WORK ON CHICAGO'S SUBWAY STARTED Chicago, Ill.: Above photo shows crowd on North State Street at Chicago Avenue during ceremonies marking the start of work on the new subway, which will run under State Street. Mayor Edward Kelly and Secy. of the Interior Harold Ickes used pneumatic spades to start the project. (Acme Press Photo, December 17, 1938)

WORK ON CHICAGO’S SUBWAY STARTED
Chicago, Ill.: Above photo shows crowd on North State Street at Chicago Avenue during ceremonies marking the start of work on the new subway, which will run under State Street. Mayor Edward Kelly and Secy. of the Interior Harold Ickes used pneumatic spades to start the project. (Acme Press Photo, December 17, 1938)

STREET CARS CRASH IN TUNNEL; 7 INJURED Chicago - Its brakes failing to hold as it attempted up-grade run in Chicago street car tunnel, trolley at left slid backward down incline, crashed into front end of following car. Seven passengers were taken to hospital, 100 others shaken up. (Acme Press Photo, November 6, 1941)

STREET CARS CRASH IN TUNNEL; 7 INJURED
Chicago – Its brakes failing to hold as it attempted up-grade run in Chicago street car tunnel, trolley at left slid backward down incline, crashed into front end of following car. Seven passengers were taken to hospital, 100 others shaken up. (Acme Press Photo, November 6, 1941)

AT LAST -- THE CHICAGO SUBWAY All-steel cars from the elevated lines enter the tubes on the north side near Armitage and Sheffield Avenues, about 2 1/2 miles north of the Loop. Overhead is the existing elevated structure still used by local trains. Hard rubber plates have been placed between the ties and the steel rails to cushion the subway ride. (Acme Press Photo, October 21, 1943)

AT LAST — THE CHICAGO SUBWAY
All-steel cars from the elevated lines enter the tubes on the north side near Armitage and Sheffield Avenues, about 2 1/2 miles north of the Loop. Overhead is the existing elevated structure still used by local trains. Hard rubber plates have been placed between the ties and the steel rails to cushion the subway ride. (Acme Press Photo, October 21, 1943)

NO AN ART GALLERY--BUT PART OF MOSCOW'S SUBWAY LINE Moscow, Russia-- Beautiful inverted bowls throw light to the paneled ceiling of this archway part of the lighting system of the Sokolniki station of Moscow's new subway. Indirect light is used in many parts of the system. The subway, thrown open to the public amidst scenes of great jubilation, is called the "Metro." All Moscow went joy riding on opening day. (Acme Press Photo, May 17, 1935) What interested me about his photo was how the general configuration looks a lot like the Chicago subway, which was built a few years later. Is it possible that the design was influenced by Moscow's?

NO AN ART GALLERY–BUT PART OF MOSCOW’S SUBWAY LINE
Moscow, Russia– Beautiful inverted bowls throw light to the paneled ceiling of this archway part of the lighting system of the Sokolniki station of Moscow’s new subway. Indirect light is used in many parts of the system. The subway, thrown open to the public amidst scenes of great jubilation, is called the “Metro.” All Moscow went joy riding on opening day. (Acme Press Photo, May 17, 1935) What interested me about his photo was how the general configuration looks a lot like the Chicago subway, which was built a few years later. Is it possible that the design was influenced by Moscow’s?

The interior of DC Transit car 766, during an October 8, 1961 fantrip just a few months before Washington's streetcar system was abandoned. This car is now preserved at the National Capital Trolley Museum as Capital Traction Company 27 (its original umber). We have an excellent CD featuring audio recordings of 766 in operation in Washington, DC in our Online Store.

The interior of DC Transit car 766, during an October 8, 1961 fantrip just a few months before Washington’s streetcar system was abandoned. This car is now preserved at the National Capital Trolley Museum as Capital Traction Company 27 (its original umber). We have an excellent CD featuring audio recordings of 766 in operation in Washington, DC in our Online Store.

This picture was taken on the Wells leg of Chicago's Loop on April 16, 1926. If this is Quincy and Wells, the scaffolding at left may be related to work being done on the nearby Wells Street Terminal, which started at this time. The terminal got a new facade and was expanded, reopening on August 27, 1927.

This picture was taken on the Wells leg of Chicago’s Loop on April 16, 1926. If this is Quincy and Wells, the scaffolding at left may be related to work being done on the nearby Wells Street Terminal, which started at this time. The terminal got a new facade and was expanded, reopening on August 27, 1927.

This picture shows the old Wells Street bridge, carrying the "L" across the Chicago River as it heads north-south in the early 1900s.

This picture shows the old Wells Street bridge, carrying the “L” across the Chicago River as it heads north-south in the early 1900s.

This is Racine Avenue on the Metropolitan "L" main line. The autos below the "L" would suggest this picture was taken in the 1940s.

This is Racine Avenue on the Metropolitan “L” main line. The autos below the “L” would suggest this picture was taken in the 1940s.

"L" trains at the north State Street subway portal, probably in the 1940s.

“L” trains at the north State Street subway portal, probably in the 1940s.

The view looking north from the Howard "L" station. We ran a very similar picture to this in a previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Eight (November 16, 2016), where George Trapp suggested in was taken in the late 1920s or 1930s. This photo is dated December 17, 1930.

The view looking north from the Howard “L” station. We ran a very similar picture to this in a previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Eight (November 16, 2016), where George Trapp suggested in was taken in the late 1920s or 1930s. This photo is dated December 17, 1930.

Michael Franklin has identified this picture as showing the Armour station on the Stock Yards branch. He notes, "(the) clue was a station on one side but not one on the other." See below for another view of the same station.

Michael Franklin has identified this picture as showing the Armour station on the Stock Yards branch. He notes, “(the) clue was a station on one side but not one on the other.” See below for another view of the same station.

The above image is from Graham Garfield’s excellent web site, and looks to the northeast. The original www.chicago-l.org caption reads:

Looking north on September 28, 1957, ex-Metropolitan Elevated car 2906 has left Armour station (seen at right) and it about to rejoin the Stock Yards main line to head east to its terminal at Indiana. The Sock Yards branch is only a week away from abandonment at this time. (Photo from the IRM Collection, courtesy of Peter Vesic)

This picture was taken on the Evanston branch of the "L", and the wooden "L" car is signed "Howard Only," which suggests this was taken during the CTA era. Previously, all Evanston trains continued south into the city. The nearby curve would indicate that this picture was taken just north of Howard, and may show the viaduct where the line crossed Chicago Avenue, which is a continuation of Clark Street.

This picture was taken on the Evanston branch of the “L”, and the wooden “L” car is signed “Howard Only,” which suggests this was taken during the CTA era. Previously, all Evanston trains continued south into the city. The nearby curve would indicate that this picture was taken just north of Howard, and may show the viaduct where the line crossed Chicago Avenue, which is a continuation of Clark Street.

This picture is identified as showing Chicago streetcar conductors and motormen, and probably dates to the early 1900s.

This picture is identified as showing Chicago streetcar conductors and motormen, and probably dates to the early 1900s.

Here, we have a westbound train of wooden Met cars at Laramie on the old Garfield Park line. This was replaced by the Congress line in 1958.

Here, we have a westbound train of wooden Met cars at Laramie on the old Garfield Park line. This was replaced by the Congress line in 1958.

Chicago Surface Lines 2779 at Cicero and Montrose in 1934. This was the north end of the Cicero Avenue line. This car is part of a series known as "Robertson Rebuilds," and was built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1903. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Chicago Surface Lines 2779 at Cicero and Montrose in 1934. This was the north end of the Cicero Avenue line. This car is part of a series known as “Robertson Rebuilds,” and was built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1903. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 970 on Waveland between Broadway and Halsted in 1936. This was the north end of the Halsted line. 970 was part of a series known as the "little" Pullmans, since they were slightly shorter than cars 101-750. It was built in 1910. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 970 on Waveland between Broadway and Halsted in 1936. This was the north end of the Halsted line. 970 was part of a series known as the “little” Pullmans, since they were slightly shorter than cars 101-750. It was built in 1910. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL experimental pre-PCC car 7001 is shown heading south on Clark Street at North Avenue, across the street from the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum). This picture was probably taken in the 1930s. 7001 went into service in 1934 and was repainted in 1941 before being retired around 1944. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL experimental pre-PCC car 7001 is shown heading south on Clark Street at North Avenue, across the street from the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum). This picture was probably taken in the 1930s. 7001 went into service in 1934 and was repainted in 1941 before being retired around 1944. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The view looking east at Lake Street and Ridgeland, when the Lake Street "L" ran on the ground. Many years ago, the Rapid Transit Company put advertisements on the steps leading into such ground-level stations. The "L" was relocated onto the nearby C&NW embankment in 1962. This picture may be circa 1930.

The view looking east at Lake Street and Ridgeland, when the Lake Street “L” ran on the ground. Many years ago, the Rapid Transit Company put advertisements on the steps leading into such ground-level stations. The “L” was relocated onto the nearby C&NW embankment in 1962. This picture may be circa 1930.

The north end of the Merchandise Mart "L" station. This has since been rebuilt and the curved area of the platform has been eliminated.

The north end of the Merchandise Mart “L” station. This has since been rebuilt and the curved area of the platform has been eliminated.

We are looking west along Harrison at Wabash on November 12, 1928. In 2003, the Chicago Transit Authority straightened out this jog with a section of new "L" structure, occupying the area where the building at left once was.

We are looking west along Harrison at Wabash on November 12, 1928. In 2003, the Chicago Transit Authority straightened out this jog with a section of new “L” structure, occupying the area where the building at left once was.

Oakton Street in Skokie on December 11, 1931. The tracks with overhead wire were used by the North Shore Line and the Chicago Rapid Transit Company's Niles Center branch. Both were running on the NSL's Skokie Valley Route, built in 1925. The other set of tracks belong to the Chicago & North Western and were used for freight.

Oakton Street in Skokie on December 11, 1931. The tracks with overhead wire were used by the North Shore Line and the Chicago Rapid Transit Company’s Niles Center branch. Both were running on the NSL’s Skokie Valley Route, built in 1925. The other set of tracks belong to the Chicago & North Western and were used for freight.

CSL 2601 was a Robertson Rebuild car built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. In this wintry scene, it is signed for the 111th Street route, presumably in the 1940s. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2601 was a Robertson Rebuild car built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. In this wintry scene, it is signed for the 111th Street route, presumably in the 1940s. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Here is an unusual view. This shows the ramp taking the Garfield Park "L" down to grade level between Cicero Avenue and Laramie. It must be an early picture, since the area around the "L" seems largely unbuilt. The Laramie Yard would be to the right just out of view. This "L" was torn down shortly after the CTA opened the Congress line in 1958.

Here is an unusual view. This shows the ramp taking the Garfield Park “L” down to grade level between Cicero Avenue and Laramie. It must be an early picture, since the area around the “L” seems largely unbuilt. The Laramie Yard would be to the right just out of view. This “L” was torn down shortly after the CTA opened the Congress line in 1958.

The old Cermak Road station on the south Side "L". Note there are three tracks here. This station was closed in 1977 and removed. A new station replaced it in 2015.

The old Cermak Road station on the south Side “L”. Note there are three tracks here. This station was closed in 1977 and removed. A new station replaced it in 2015.

Here. a wooden "L" car train descends the ramp near Laramie on the Lake Street "L". This must be an early photo, as it looks like Lake Street is unpaved. Streetcar service was extended west to Harlem Avenue here by the Cicero & Proviso in 1891. Chicago Railways took over the city portion in 1910. Service west of Austin Boulevard was provided by the West Towns Railways.

Here. a wooden “L” car train descends the ramp near Laramie on the Lake Street “L”. This must be an early photo, as it looks like Lake Street is unpaved. Streetcar service was extended west to Harlem Avenue here by the Cicero & Proviso in 1891. Chicago Railways took over the city portion in 1910. Service west of Austin Boulevard was provided by the West Towns Railways.

Wooden gate car 3105 and train in the Loop. This was originally built for the Lake Street "L". Don's Rail Photos says, "3103 thru 3118 were built by McGuire-Cummings in 1893 as LSERR 103 thru 118. In 1913 they were renumbered 3103 thru 3118 and became CRT 3103 thru 3118 in 1923."

Wooden gate car 3105 and train in the Loop. This was originally built for the Lake Street “L”. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3103 thru 3118 were built by McGuire-Cummings in 1893 as LSERR 103 thru 118. In 1913 they were renumbered 3103 thru 3118 and became CRT 3103 thru 3118 in 1923.”

The view looking west along the Douglas Park "L" at 49th Avenue in Cicero on February 4, 1944. The station we see in the background is 50th Avenue. After it closed in 1978, this station was moved to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, where it is used to board the museum's fleet of retired "L" cars.

The view looking west along the Douglas Park “L” at 49th Avenue in Cicero on February 4, 1944. The station we see in the background is 50th Avenue. After it closed in 1978, this station was moved to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, where it is used to board the museum’s fleet of retired “L” cars.

Here, we are looking south from Garfield (55th Street) on the South Side "L".

Here, we are looking south from Garfield (55th Street) on the South Side “L”.

61st Street on the South Side "L", looking north on November 13, 1944.

61st Street on the South Side “L”, looking north on November 13, 1944.

Photos of the old Humboldt Park "L" branch are quite rare. This photo looks west from Western Avenue on January 26, 1931. This branch closed in 1952, although portions of the structure remained into the early 1960s.

Photos of the old Humboldt Park “L” branch are quite rare. This photo looks west from Western Avenue on January 26, 1931. This branch closed in 1952, although portions of the structure remained into the early 1960s.

This picture looks south from Randolph and Wells on the Loop "L". The date is not known, but the construction of the building at right may provide a clue. Andre Kristopans writes, "The overhead shot on Wells showing platform construction is early 20’s, when platforms were extended to accommodate longer trains. For instance Randolph/Wells and Madison/Wells were once separate platforms, after the early 20’s they were a continuous platform. Also at that time, LaSalle/Van Buren and State/Van Buren were connected and the separate station at Dearborn/Van Buren became an auxiliary entrance to State, until a building next to it blew up in the very early 60’s and destroyed the Outer Loop side."

This picture looks south from Randolph and Wells on the Loop “L”. The date is not known, but the construction of the building at right may provide a clue. Andre Kristopans writes, “The overhead shot on Wells showing platform construction is early 20’s, when platforms were extended to accommodate longer trains. For instance Randolph/Wells and Madison/Wells were once separate platforms, after the early 20’s they were a continuous platform. Also at that time, LaSalle/Van Buren and State/Van Buren were connected and the separate station at Dearborn/Van Buren became an auxiliary entrance to State, until a building next to it blew up in the very early 60’s and destroyed the Outer Loop side.”

North Shore Line 156 and several others at Waukegan in December 1962. Since there are about a dozen cars visible, they are being stored on a siding which you will note is outside the area of the catenary. (George Niles, Jr. Photo)

North Shore Line 156 and several others at Waukegan in December 1962. Since there are about a dozen cars visible, they are being stored on a siding which you will note is outside the area of the catenary. (George Niles, Jr. Photo)

This shows TMER&T 1121 running on a 1949 fantrip on the North Shore Line at the Kenosha station. We ran a similar picture in our previous post Traction in Milwaukee (September 16, 2015).

This shows TMER&T 1121 running on a 1949 fantrip on the North Shore Line at the Kenosha station. We ran a similar picture in our previous post Traction in Milwaukee (September 16, 2015).

Speedrail car 60 at the Waukesha Quarry, date unknown but circa 1949-51.

Speedrail car 60 at the Waukesha Quarry, date unknown but circa 1949-51.


Larry Sakar
writes:

The photo of Speedrail car 60 in your latest postings at the Waukesha Gravel pit was taken on 10-16-49. The occasion was the inaugural fan trip using a 60-series curved side car. It was sponsored by the short lived Milwaukee Division of the Electric Railroaders Association and was run by Milwaukeean James P. Harper who authored CERA Bulletin 97, “The Electric Railways of Wisconsin” published in 1952.

At the start of the private right-of-way at 8th St., the motors on the rear truck began having problems. At Waukesha, the car pulled onto one of the 2 side tracks leading back into the gravel pit. George Krambles accessed the rear trucks via a panel in the floor and disconnected the motor leads to the troublesome rear trucks. From that point forward the car ran on only 2 motors for the remainder of the fan trip. Car 65 had been the car originally intended to do the trip, but it was down with mechanical problems of its own. This caused the trip to be postponed for a week and the substitution of car 60.

When the car pulled into gravel pit siding one of the fans on board remarked, “Wow, look at this. They’ve got it in the scrap line already!”.

In addition to George Krambles, Al Kalmbach was on the trip, as was well-known railfan and photographer Barney Neuberger. He can be seen siting in about the 4th row of the car on the left side wearing a pork pie hat.

I’ve attached a few items related to that fan trip including a photo of Jay Maeder walking alongside car 60. This was taken at the first photo stop which was 44th St. where Milwaukee County Stadium would be built starting a year later. Car 60 was doing a photo run-by by backing down the line. The fans formed a photo line facing the car.

Philadelphia Stories

Philadelphia Peter Witt 8534 in July 1996. Don's Rail Photos: "8534 was built by Brill Car in 1926, #22353." It is part of the Electric City Trolley Museum collection in Scranton, PA. Here, it is shown in Philadelphia, during the time it was leased to SEPTA for trolley tours.

Philadelphia Peter Witt 8534 in July 1996. Don’s Rail Photos: “8534 was built by Brill Car in 1926, #22353.” It is part of the Electric City Trolley Museum collection in Scranton, PA. Here, it is shown in Philadelphia, during the time it was leased to SEPTA for trolley tours.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 on a fantrip in August 1996. Apparently 8534 has broken down and is being towed.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 on a fantrip in August 1996. Apparently 8534 has broken down and is being towed.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 in August 1996.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 in August 1996.

Three generations of Philadelphia streetcars in May 1999.

Three generations of Philadelphia streetcars in May 1999.

2785 in November 2002.

2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002, with a commuter train nearby. Kenneth Achtert writes, "The shot of SEPTA #2785 with the commuter train that you presumed to be in Chestnut Hill is actually approaching 11th and Susquehanna,southbound, a cut-back location for which the car is signed in the picture. The commuter train would be inbound toward Center City."

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002, with a commuter train nearby. Kenneth Achtert writes, “The shot of SEPTA #2785 with the commuter train that you presumed to be in Chestnut Hill is actually approaching 11th and Susquehanna,southbound, a cut-back location for which the car is signed in the picture. The commuter train would be inbound toward Center City.”

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA PCC 2785 on the truncated route 23 in November 2002.

SEPTA PCC 2785 on the truncated route 23 in November 2002.

8534 in August 1996. Kenneth Achtert: "The view of #8534 being “manually switched” three photos later shows 8534 being coupled to its leader (2750) after apparently becoming disabled. Several of your other photos show the subsequent towing operation."

8534 in August 1996. Kenneth Achtert: “The view of #8534 being “manually switched” three photos later shows 8534 being coupled to its leader (2750) after apparently becoming disabled. Several of your other photos show the subsequent towing operation.”

The fantrip train is having trouble clearing this auto in August 1996.

The fantrip train is having trouble clearing this auto in August 1996.

Looks like an attempt was made to move the offending car out of the way. August 1996.

Looks like an attempt was made to move the offending car out of the way. August 1996.

Recent Correspondence

Kenneth Gear writes:

Look who is in the new HISTORIC RAIL & ROADS catalog!

Thanks!

In case you missed it, here is Kenneth Gear’s review of the book:

I just finished reading your book and I enjoyed it very much. Good, clear, concise, and informative writing.

I must compliment you on the choice and presentation of the photographs. It is obvious that you spent much time and effort to present these wonderful photos as perfectly restored as possible.

So many times the authors of books that are primarily “picture books” seem to have a complete disregard for the condition of the photos reproduced. I’ve often seen photos that are yellowed with age, water stained, ripped, folded, and scratched. Other times a book might contain photos that are not properly exposed, are crooked, out of focus, or the composition could have been easily corrected with a little cropping.

The photos in your book are absolutely fantastic! They are pristine, sharp, and have absolutely no blemishes at all. You also packed a lot of information into the captions as well. It’s a fine book and you should be proud, as I’m sure you are, to have your name on the cover.

Another reader writes:

Your book arrived and it is JUST AWESOME. I am completely taken by some of the imagery, and of course enjoy the way you seem to simplify historical writing. VERY nice work!! THANK YOU!!!

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Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Six

This could be an "as new" photo showing Metropolitan West Side "L" car 876. Don's Rail Photos: "2873 thru 2887 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 873 thru 887. In 1913 they were renumbered 2873 thru 2887 and in 1923 they became CRT 2873 thru 2987." (George Trapp Collection)

This could be an “as new” photo showing Metropolitan West Side “L” car 876. Don’s Rail Photos: “2873 thru 2887 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 873 thru 887. In 1913 they were renumbered 2873 thru 2887 and in 1923 they became CRT 2873 thru 2987.” (George Trapp Collection)

Our latest post features another generous selection of Chicago rapid transit photos from the collections of George Trapp. We thank him again for sharing these with our readers.

There will be additional installments in this series. Today, we go back to the west side for some classic shots of the Lake Street and Metropolitan “L” branches, forerunners of today’s CTA Green, Blue and Pink Lines.

As always, if you have anything interesting to add to the discussion, you can either leave a comment here on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page.


The Metropolitan “L”:

This picture was taken at Wells and Van Buren, and shows the old connection between the Met lines and the Loop. The Insurance Exchange building is at right. In 1955, this connection was replaced by one that went right through the old Wells Street Terminal, last used by CA&E trains in 1953 (and CTA in 1951). The terminal can be seen in this picture on the left hand side, where there is a walkway connecting it to the Quincy and Wells station. Once the Congress median line opened in 1958, no such connections were needed, and they were removed by 1964. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This picture was taken at Wells and Van Buren, and shows the old connection between the Met lines and the Loop. The Insurance Exchange building is at right. In 1955, this connection was replaced by one that went right through the old Wells Street Terminal, last used by CA&E trains in 1953 (and CTA in 1951). The terminal can be seen in this picture on the left hand side, where there is a walkway connecting it to the Quincy and Wells station. Once the Congress median line opened in 1958, no such connections were needed, and they were removed by 1964. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

I've zoomed in to show the old Wells Street Terminal.

I’ve zoomed in to show the old Wells Street Terminal.

This photo is rather curious, as a blow-up on the section behind CTA 6097-6098 (a Douglas Park train) appears to show tracks leading off to the right. That could possibly be the track connection, used from 1955-58, that ran through the old location of Wells Street Terminal. On the other hand, Myron Moyano says, "the shot was taken from the LaSalle and Van Buren platform, looking west towards the junction at Wells and Van Buren. The platform furthest away after the junction was Franklin Street." George Trapp adds, "6097-6098, photo is at LaSalle and Van Buren, Insurance Exchange Building is above car 6097 and rear half of 6098. Junction is with Wells Street leg of Loop "L" and station in distance is Franklin and Van Buren used by Met trains." He guesses the photo dates to about 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This photo is rather curious, as a blow-up on the section behind CTA 6097-6098 (a Douglas Park train) appears to show tracks leading off to the right. That could possibly be the track connection, used from 1955-58, that ran through the old location of Wells Street Terminal. On the other hand, Myron Moyano says, “the shot was taken from the LaSalle and Van Buren platform, looking west towards the junction at Wells and Van Buren. The platform furthest away after the junction was Franklin Street.” George Trapp adds, “6097-6098, photo is at LaSalle and Van Buren, Insurance Exchange Building is above car 6097 and rear half of 6098. Junction is with Wells Street leg of Loop “L” and station in distance is Franklin and Van Buren used by Met trains.” He guesses the photo dates to about 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture.  Are those tracks leading off to the right?  Apparently they are, but just the ones leading to the Wells leg of the "L".  The station further in the distance is part of the Met main line.

A close-up of the previous picture. Are those tracks leading off to the right? Apparently they are, but just the ones leading to the Wells leg of the “L”. The station further in the distance is part of the Met main line.

CTA 6113-6114, signed for Douglas, on the Loop "L". If I had to guess, I would say this might be the Van Buren leg, but I'm not 100% sure about that. George Trapp: "6113-6114 at same location and probably same day (as photo with 6097-6098, which is on the Van Buren leg), further east closer to Clark Street. My guess is photo probably dates to 1952." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6113-6114, signed for Douglas, on the Loop “L”. If I had to guess, I would say this might be the Van Buren leg, but I’m not 100% sure about that. George Trapp: “6113-6114 at same location and probably same day (as photo with 6097-6098, which is on the Van Buren leg), further east closer to Clark Street. My guess is photo probably dates to 1952.” (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4102 and its "plus one" are heading west, just after having crossed the Chicago River on the four-track Met main line. They are serving both Logan Square and Humboldt Park, meaning this two-car train will be split at Damen and North. The station is Canal, which also had walkways connecting directly to Union Station. It closed in June 1958 when the Congress median line opened. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4102 and its “plus one” are heading west, just after having crossed the Chicago River on the four-track Met main line. They are serving both Logan Square and Humboldt Park, meaning this two-car train will be split at Damen and North. The station is Canal, which also had walkways connecting directly to Union Station. It closed in June 1958 when the Congress median line opened. (George Trapp Collection)

The four-track Met bridge over the Chicago River (actually, two two-track bridges).

The four-track Met bridge over the Chicago River (actually, two two-track bridges).

This certainly has the appearance of a Met station. Looking at this photo under magnification shows the bridge in the background, and some of the buildings, match up with the old station at Madison and Paulina. The presence of 6000s here would date the picture to late 1950 or early 1951, before the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway went into service. We are looking north. We posted another photo taken towards the north end of this station in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016). (George Trapp Collection)

This certainly has the appearance of a Met station. Looking at this photo under magnification shows the bridge in the background, and some of the buildings, match up with the old station at Madison and Paulina. The presence of 6000s here would date the picture to late 1950 or early 1951, before the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway went into service. We are looking north. We posted another photo taken towards the north end of this station in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016). (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture. Note how there is something covering over the coupler. George Trapp: "6000's at Madison-Paulina, cars fitted with gloves over couplers like Illinois Terminal's PCC's to protect electrical contacts. By the time 6131-6200 series delivered, hinged covers were fitted."

A close-up of the previous picture. Note how there is something covering over the coupler. George Trapp: “6000’s at Madison-Paulina, cars fitted with gloves over couplers like Illinois Terminal’s PCC’s to protect electrical contacts. By the time 6131-6200 series delivered, hinged covers were fitted.”

Don's Rail Photos: "2756 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSERy 756. In 1913 it was renumbered 756. It became CRT 2756 in 1923. At an unknown date it was rebuilt as a medical car. It was primarily used for physical exams for employees, and occasionally even made it to Milwaukee on the CNS&M." This picture would seem to show it in funeral car configuration. (George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos: “2756 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSERy 756. In 1913 it was renumbered 756. It became CRT 2756 in 1923. At an unknown date it was rebuilt as a medical car. It was primarily used for physical exams for employees, and occasionally even made it to Milwaukee on the CNS&M.” This picture would seem to show it in funeral car configuration. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos says, "2281 was built by Pullman in 1900 as M-WSER 281. It was rebuilt in 1912 and in 1913 it was renumbered 2281. It became CRT 2281 in 1923." The car is signed for 5th Avenue. This was the original name of Wells Street until 1916. So it is that 5th Avenue and not one of the stops used by Westchester Branch trains from 1926 to 1951 on the CA&E main line. Therefore, the picture dates to between 1913 and 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “2281 was built by Pullman in 1900 as M-WSER 281. It was rebuilt in 1912 and in 1913 it was renumbered 2281. It became CRT 2281 in 1923.” The car is signed for 5th Avenue. This was the original name of Wells Street until 1916. So it is that 5th Avenue and not one of the stops used by Westchester Branch trains from 1926 to 1951 on the CA&E main line. Therefore, the picture dates to between 1913 and 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2705, signed for Wells Street, so we know the photo is from 1916 or later. This picture was probably taken at Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don's Rail Photos: "2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756." (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2705, signed for Wells Street, so we know the photo is from 1916 or later. This picture was probably taken at Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don’s Rail Photos: “2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Met car 2730, again signed for 5th Avenue, which limits this photo to 1916 or earlier. This time we are at the Logan Square yard. (George Trapp Collection)

Met car 2730, again signed for 5th Avenue, which limits this photo to 1916 or earlier. This time we are at the Logan Square yard. (George Trapp Collection)

CRTR 2866, most likely t Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don's Rail Photos says, "2859 thru 2871 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 859 thru 871. In 1913 they were renumbered 2859 thru 2871 and in 1923 they became CRT 2859 thru 2871." (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRTR 2866, most likely t Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don’s Rail Photos says, “2859 thru 2871 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 859 thru 871. In 1913 they were renumbered 2859 thru 2871 and in 1923 they became CRT 2859 thru 2871.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2802, signed for 5th Avenue, which would date this picture to no later than 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2802, signed for 5th Avenue, which would date this picture to no later than 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos says, "2721 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as Metropolitan-West Side Elevated Ry 721. In 1913 it was renumbered 721. In 1919 it was rebuilt as a merchandise dispatch car to be leased to the North Shore line. After a short time it was replaced by new and similar MD cars built for the North Shore. It was then returned to the CRT and used in work service. It became CRT 2721 in 1923." The location is likely Laramie Yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection) We ran a different picture of 2721 in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016).

Don’s Rail Photos says, “2721 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as Metropolitan-West Side Elevated Ry 721. In 1913 it was renumbered 721. In 1919 it was rebuilt as a merchandise dispatch car to be leased to the North Shore line. After a short time it was replaced by new and similar MD cars built for the North Shore. It was then returned to the CRT and used in work service. It became CRT 2721 in 1923.” The location is likely Laramie Yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection) We ran a different picture of 2721 in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016).

CRT 4383 is signed as going to Maywood and Westchester via the Garfield Park "L". It is coupled to an older gate car. We are at one of the ground-level stations. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4383 is signed as going to Maywood and Westchester via the Garfield Park “L”. It is coupled to an older gate car. We are at one of the ground-level stations. (George Trapp Collection)

The Douglas Park Yards at 54th Avenue in the 1950s. (George Trapp Collection)

The Douglas Park Yards at 54th Avenue in the 1950s. (George Trapp Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 "doodlebugs" and a Met car at Logan Square along with a work car. George Trapp: "One of the Pullman built doodlebugs, 5001-5002 at Logan Square appears to be coupled to the Met's original steel dreadnought #2717. Odd for doodlebug to be at Logan Square at this time, 6000's in background with cream roofs date photo to 1950-51. Doodlebugs had been assigned to Evanston for over a year by this time." Coupling modern equipment to 2717, and the timeframe, may provide an answer. Perhaps these cars were being used for testing in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway, which opened in February 1951. Wood cars were banned from the subway by city ordinance, due to fire safety concerns, but this did not apply to 2717, as it was an early experiment with an all-steel car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 “doodlebugs” and a Met car at Logan Square along with a work car. George Trapp: “One of the Pullman built doodlebugs, 5001-5002 at Logan Square appears to be coupled to the Met’s original steel dreadnought #2717. Odd for doodlebug to be at Logan Square at this time, 6000’s in background with cream roofs date photo to 1950-51. Doodlebugs had been assigned to Evanston for over a year by this time.” Coupling modern equipment to 2717, and the timeframe, may provide an answer. Perhaps these cars were being used for testing in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway, which opened in February 1951. Wood cars were banned from the subway by city ordinance, due to fire safety concerns, but this did not apply to 2717, as it was an early experiment with an all-steel car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA "flat door" cars 6003-6004 at Logan Square in the 1950s. Note the slightly different paint scheme compared to later cars in this series. George Trapp: "6003-6004 at Logan Square, in addition to the different paint scheme from 6005-6130, notice extra metal sheets riveted to large window posts between 1st and 2nd windows from each end. Only 6001-6004 had them." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA “flat door” cars 6003-6004 at Logan Square in the 1950s. Note the slightly different paint scheme compared to later cars in this series. George Trapp: “6003-6004 at Logan Square, in addition to the different paint scheme from 6005-6130, notice extra metal sheets riveted to large window posts between 1st and 2nd windows from each end. Only 6001-6004 had them.” (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6007-6008. Note how the ends of these cars were painted differently than 6001-6004. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6007-6008. Note how the ends of these cars were painted differently than 6001-6004. (George Trapp Collection)

We have restored these four badly faded color prints as best we could. This one shows CTA single car unit 41 in 1959, as new, at Logan Square. Note it has not yet been fitted with trolley poles, which this car used when put into service in Evanston in 1961. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

We have restored these four badly faded color prints as best we could. This one shows CTA single car unit 41 in 1959, as new, at Logan Square. Note it has not yet been fitted with trolley poles, which this car used when put into service in Evanston in 1961. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A lineup of 6000s at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A lineup of 6000s at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6151-6152, 17, and 18 at the Logan Square bumper post in 1959. The greenish blob in the lower left corner of the picture is lens flare caused by the sun, essentially internal reflections of the glass elements of the lens that occur when you shoot into the light. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6151-6152, 17, and 18 at the Logan Square bumper post in 1959. The greenish blob in the lower left corner of the picture is lens flare caused by the sun, essentially internal reflections of the glass elements of the lens that occur when you shoot into the light. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA single car unit 18 at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA single car unit 18 at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)


The Lake Street “L”:

CRT 3042 was a Lake Street car. According to Don's Rail Photos, "3001 thru 3100 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as Lake Street Elevated RR 1 thru 100. In 1913 they were renumbered 3001 thru 3100 and became Chicago Rapid Transit 3001 thru 3100 in 1923." (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 3042 was a Lake Street car. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “3001 thru 3100 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as Lake Street Elevated RR 1 thru 100. In 1913 they were renumbered 3001 thru 3100 and became Chicago Rapid Transit 3001 thru 3100 in 1923.” (George Trapp Collection)

A two-car Lake Street "A" train (one car is numbered 1708) on the Loop "L". Not sure of the exact location, but as you can see in back, this is an area where there was a continuous platform connection stations. This allowed for more trains to stop at the same time, and was likely the inspiration for the continuous platforms in Chicago's downtown subways. Myron Moyano adds, "Car 1708 under the Lake Street section is at Madison and Wells." (George Trapp Collection)

A two-car Lake Street “A” train (one car is numbered 1708) on the Loop “L”. Not sure of the exact location, but as you can see in back, this is an area where there was a continuous platform connection stations. This allowed for more trains to stop at the same time, and was likely the inspiration for the continuous platforms in Chicago’s downtown subways. Myron Moyano adds, “Car 1708 under the Lake Street section is at Madison and Wells.” (George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA cars 2003-2004 (paired with 2001-2002) in demonstration service at Randolph and Wabash in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

Brand new CTA cars 2003-2004 (paired with 2001-2002) in demonstration service at Randolph and Wabash in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 2003-4 and 2001-2 on demonstration runs on the Wabash leg of the Loop "L" in 1964. This was the first series of rapid transit cars to come with air conditioning as standard equipment, something we take for granted today. Unfortunately, the AC was underpowered for the job it had to do, and the ceiling-mounted units tended to drip water on people. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 2003-4 and 2001-2 on demonstration runs on the Wabash leg of the Loop “L” in 1964. This was the first series of rapid transit cars to come with air conditioning as standard equipment, something we take for granted today. Unfortunately, the AC was underpowered for the job it had to do, and the ceiling-mounted units tended to drip water on people. (George Trapp Photo)

An ancient view of Lake and Market, showing where the Market Street stub branched off. (George Trapp Collection)

An ancient view of Lake and Market, showing where the Market Street stub branched off. (George Trapp Collection)

A rare photo of the old Market Street stub terminal, where some Lake Street "L" trains terminated in the days before A/B "skip stop" service. It was torn down in the late 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

A rare photo of the old Market Street stub terminal, where some Lake Street “L” trains terminated in the days before A/B “skip stop” service. It was torn down in the late 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

The old Lake Street "L" bridge over the Chicago River. (George Trapp Collection)

The old Lake Street “L” bridge over the Chicago River. (George Trapp Collection)

A pair of shiny new 5000s (first pair is 5001-5002) on the Lake Street "L" bridge over the Chicago River, circa 1947-48. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A pair of shiny new 5000s (first pair is 5001-5002) on the Lake Street “L” bridge over the Chicago River, circa 1947-48. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here is the Lake Street view of Lake Transfer, with two woods in the station. Riders could change here for the Met "L" Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains. (George Trapp Collection)

Here is the Lake Street view of Lake Transfer, with two woods in the station. Riders could change here for the Met “L” Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4338 heads up a Lake Street Local train somewhere on the west side. This photo is probably no later than 1943, since all the 4000s were shifted to the State Street subway then. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4338 heads up a Lake Street Local train somewhere on the west side. This photo is probably no later than 1943, since all the 4000s were shifted to the State Street subway then. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT S-200 in the Lake and Hamlin yard. Don's Rail Photos says, "S-200 was built by Barney & Smith in 1901 at M-WSER 783. It was renumbered in 1913 as 2783. In 1916 it was rebuilt as a work motor and numbered S-200. It became CRT S-200 in 1923." In this photo, it looks like it is being used to string trolley wire. You can see the ramp leading up to the "L" at right. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT S-200 in the Lake and Hamlin yard. Don’s Rail Photos says, “S-200 was built by Barney & Smith in 1901 at M-WSER 783. It was renumbered in 1913 as 2783. In 1916 it was rebuilt as a work motor and numbered S-200. It became CRT S-200 in 1923.” In this photo, it looks like it is being used to string trolley wire. You can see the ramp leading up to the “L” at right. (George Trapp Collection)

There was a short stretch, less than half a mile actually, where Lake Street trains ran parallel under wire right next to streetcars, as you can see here. The trolley is heading west, while the train of wood cars is going east, and just starting to head up the ramp. Route 16 streetcars crossed the "L" and turned north a block east of Central Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

There was a short stretch, less than half a mile actually, where Lake Street trains ran parallel under wire right next to streetcars, as you can see here. The trolley is heading west, while the train of wood cars is going east, and just starting to head up the ramp. Route 16 streetcars crossed the “L” and turned north a block east of Central Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

Editor’s note: Lake and Pine is perhaps the only place left in Chicago where streetcar tracks are still visible. Here are four pictures that I took there on July 7, 2016. The view is looking south:

p1070069

p1070068

p1070064

p1070063

Here's an interesting streetscape that could not be duplicated today. According to the back of the picture, it shows the view looking east from South Boulevard and Austin, on the eastern edge of Oak Park. The Lake Street "L", where it ran on the ground, had a very narrow right-of-way that the 6000s, with their bulging sides, could not fit in. So, looking for a place to build space for CRT/CTA employee use, there was nowhere to go but up. Not sure which bus routes are there in back, but this was the Chicago side of the street, which would argue against West Towns. It must be Chicago, since Oak Park was "dry" at the time and liquor is being sold. Bill Shapotkin adds: "If this is indeed at Austin (and I believe it is), the street is still called Lake (NOT South Blvd -- as I understand that is strictly an Oak Park name). There were de facto two Lake Streets at this point-- one north of the C&NW and one south of the C&NW. The name "Corcoran" (again as I understand it) did not come along until possibly the time the 'L' was rerouted onto the C&NW embankment). As for the bus -- probably a W/B E16 -- Lake. The bus looped via W/B Lake-N/B Austin-E/B Lake-S/B Mayfield-E/B Lake. That said, there appears to be a bus heading E/B as well -- and that I cannot explain." George Trapp adds, "Lake Street photo at South Blvd. and Austin, buses are Chicago Motor Coach TD-4502's at terminal of Route 31 Washington Blvd. Buses are in their original 1940 paint jobs so photo dates to 1940's." (George Trapp Collection)

Here’s an interesting streetscape that could not be duplicated today. According to the back of the picture, it shows the view looking east from South Boulevard and Austin, on the eastern edge of Oak Park. The Lake Street “L”, where it ran on the ground, had a very narrow right-of-way that the 6000s, with their bulging sides, could not fit in. So, looking for a place to build space for CRT/CTA employee use, there was nowhere to go but up. Not sure which bus routes are there in back, but this was the Chicago side of the street, which would argue against West Towns. It must be Chicago, since Oak Park was “dry” at the time and liquor is being sold. Bill Shapotkin adds: “If this is indeed at Austin (and I believe it is), the street is still called Lake (NOT South Blvd — as I understand that is strictly an Oak Park name). There were de facto two Lake Streets at this point– one north of the C&NW and one south of the C&NW. The name “Corcoran” (again as I understand it) did not come along until possibly the time the ‘L’ was rerouted onto the C&NW embankment). As for the bus — probably a W/B E16 — Lake. The bus looped via W/B Lake-N/B Austin-E/B Lake-S/B Mayfield-E/B Lake. That said, there appears to be a bus heading E/B as well — and that I cannot explain.” George Trapp adds, “Lake Street photo at South Blvd. and Austin, buses are Chicago Motor Coach TD-4502’s at terminal of Route 31 Washington Blvd. Buses are in their original 1940 paint jobs so photo dates to 1940’s.” (George Trapp Collection)

In this current map, it appears that Lake Street crosses over from south of the UP embankment to the north at Pine, where the CSL/CTA route 16 streetcar did. West of Pine, the street on the south side of the embankment is called Corcoran Place. (West of Austin, in suburban Oak Park, this is South Boulevard.) However, there is some question as to when the name was changed to Corcoran Place (see the next map).

In this current map, it appears that Lake Street crosses over from south of the UP embankment to the north at Pine, where the CSL/CTA route 16 streetcar did. West of Pine, the street on the south side of the embankment is called Corcoran Place. (West of Austin, in suburban Oak Park, this is South Boulevard.) However, there is some question as to when the name was changed to Corcoran Place (see the next map).

In this early 1940s Chicago street map, the street south of the embankment is labelled as Lake all the way to Austin Boulevard, where it apparently crosses over to the north of the embankment in Oak park. There is no sign of any Corcoran Place. The solid line, shown crossing over from north to the south of the tracks at Pine Street, is the route of the route 16 - Lake streetcar. However, the map does not really make it clear whether, technically, the street to the north of the tracks was called Lake in this section, or was a continuation of Kinzie, as it was east of Pine. Were there in fact two Lake Streets in this section? There wouldn't have been duplicate street numbers, since in this area, each half would've only had buildings on one side of the street. Perhaps a map expert can clarify all this.

In this early 1940s Chicago street map, the street south of the embankment is labelled as Lake all the way to Austin Boulevard, where it apparently crosses over to the north of the embankment in Oak park. There is no sign of any Corcoran Place. The solid line, shown crossing over from north to the south of the tracks at Pine Street, is the route of the route 16 – Lake streetcar. However, the map does not really make it clear whether, technically, the street to the north of the tracks was called Lake in this section, or was a continuation of Kinzie, as it was east of Pine. Were there in fact two Lake Streets in this section? There wouldn’t have been duplicate street numbers, since in this area, each half would’ve only had buildings on one side of the street. Perhaps a map expert can clarify all this.

The same view today.

The same view today.

This is a Lake Street local train, heading west on the ground level section, which was elevated in 1962. Since this photo predates A/B "skip stop" service, it must date to before April 5, 1948. (George Trapp Collection)

This is a Lake Street local train, heading west on the ground level section, which was elevated in 1962. Since this photo predates A/B “skip stop” service, it must date to before April 5, 1948. (George Trapp Collection)

A westbound Lake "A" train in 1950s Oak Park. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A westbound Lake “A” train in 1950s Oak Park. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

An inbound Lake Street Local somewhere in Oak Park prior to the adoption of A/B service in 1948. The outer portion of the line, from about Oak Park Avenue west, did not have fencing. There were numerous manually operated grade crossings along the 2 1/2 miles where trains ran on the ground. (George Trapp Collection)

An inbound Lake Street Local somewhere in Oak Park prior to the adoption of A/B service in 1948. The outer portion of the line, from about Oak Park Avenue west, did not have fencing. There were numerous manually operated grade crossings along the 2 1/2 miles where trains ran on the ground. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, we see some Met cars in service on the Lake Street "L". In the days when the outer portion ran on the ground, there was a short stretch just west of Harlem Avenue, which is what we see here. There was actually a station just west of Harlem, which was not used very much, compared to the one at Harlem and Marion. Wood cars last ran on Lake on July 5, 1954. In 1962, the nearby embankment was expanded by CTA to create a new yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here, we see some Met cars in service on the Lake Street “L”. In the days when the outer portion ran on the ground, there was a short stretch just west of Harlem Avenue, which is what we see here. There was actually a station just west of Harlem, which was not used very much, compared to the one at Harlem and Marion. Wood cars last ran on Lake on July 5, 1954. In 1962, the nearby embankment was expanded by CTA to create a new yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)


Bonus Photo:

This picture is not from George Trapp, but we thought you might find it interesting anyway:

In this 1950s photo, CTA bus 5602 is on route 6. Meanwhile, we see trains of 4000s and 6000s on the "L" at Wabash and Lake. From 1913 to 1969, trains on both tracks ran in a counterclockwise direction. George Trapp: "Bus 5602 is on route 6, Garfield Blvd not Van Buren. The 5500 series propane buses didn't start to arrive until late 1953. Garfield route was one of the first routes transferred away from a former CMC garage, 52nd to Ashland-69th. Propane 5500's were a downgrade from CMC Diesels which were faster, easier to see out of and had more comfortable mohair plush seats."

In this 1950s photo, CTA bus 5602 is on route 6. Meanwhile, we see trains of 4000s and 6000s on the “L” at Wabash and Lake. From 1913 to 1969, trains on both tracks ran in a counterclockwise direction. George Trapp: “Bus 5602 is on route 6, Garfield Blvd not Van Buren. The 5500 series propane buses didn’t start to arrive until late 1953. Garfield route was one of the first routes transferred away from a former CMC garage, 52nd to Ashland-69th. Propane 5500’s were a downgrade from CMC Diesels which were faster, easier to see out of and had more comfortable mohair plush seats.”


Recent Additions:

Here’s one more that we added to our previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Five (September 26, 2016):

CRT/CTA 1757, signed as an Evanston local. Don's Rail Photos: "1756 thru 1768 were built by Jewett Car in 1903 as NWERy 756 thru 768. They were renumbered 1756 thru 1768 in 1913 and became CRT 1756 thru 1768 in 1923." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT/CTA 1757, signed as an Evanston local. Don’s Rail Photos: “1756 thru 1768 were built by Jewett Car in 1903 as NWERy 756 thru 768. They were renumbered 1756 thru 1768 in 1913 and became CRT 1756 thru 1768 in 1923.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)


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Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four

CRT/CTA Met car 2865, a Douglas Park local on the Loop "L". (George Trapp Collection)

CRT/CTA Met car 2865, a Douglas Park local on the Loop “L”. (George Trapp Collection)

Today, we offer a generous selection of Chicago rapid transit photos, mainly from the collections of George Trapp. We thank him for his continued generosity in sharing these with our readers.

There will be additional installments in this series. Here, we have concentrated on the Garfield Park and Westchester branches. We have supplemented George Trapp’s photos with a few from our own collections.

As always, if you have anything interesting to add to the discussion, you can either leave a comment here on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page. We featured many additional pictures of the Westchester branch in a previous post.


Here, we have the old four-track Canal Street station on the Met "L" main line, which served Union Station. We are looking east. The tracks took a jog slightly to the north at this point. Behind the station, tracks continued straight east to the old Wells Street terminal, with a separate connection to the Loop "L". This station continued in use until June 22, 1958 and therefore was not affected by expressway construction. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here, we have the old four-track Canal Street station on the Met “L” main line, which served Union Station. We are looking east. The tracks took a jog slightly to the north at this point. Behind the station, tracks continued straight east to the old Wells Street terminal, with a separate connection to the Loop “L”. This station continued in use until June 22, 1958 and therefore was not affected by expressway construction. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

We are at the east end of the Van Buren trackage, which connected to the old "L" structure at Aberdeen (1100 W.). That is the Racine station at left. Service on a portion of the old "L" would have continued until the Spring 1954, until a new connection was built to allow Douglas Park trains to access the Loop via the Lake Street "L". We are looking west. This area is now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

We are at the east end of the Van Buren trackage, which connected to the old “L” structure at Aberdeen (1100 W.). That is the Racine station at left. Service on a portion of the old “L” would have continued until the Spring 1954, until a new connection was built to allow Douglas Park trains to access the Loop via the Lake Street “L”. We are looking west. This area is now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A mid-1950s view of the CTA's Van Buren Street temporary alignment. We are facing west, most likely at Racine (1200 W.). The signals at each intersection made trains come to a complete stop before crossing. That may be a 1956 Chevrolet at right. (George Trapp Collection)

A mid-1950s view of the CTA’s Van Buren Street temporary alignment. We are facing west, most likely at Racine (1200 W.). The signals at each intersection made trains come to a complete stop before crossing. That may be a 1956 Chevrolet at right. (George Trapp Collection)

In the mid-1950s, a two-car train of flat door 6000s heads west at Paulina (1700 W.), about to cross under tracks now used by the CTA's Pink Line. The building with the tower is located at 333 S. Ashland. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

In the mid-1950s, a two-car train of flat door 6000s heads west at Paulina (1700 W.), about to cross under tracks now used by the CTA’s Pink Line. The building with the tower is located at 333 S. Ashland. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Workers United Hall at 333 S. Ashland Avenue, was built in 1928, and designed by Walter Ahlschlager. Home of the Chicago Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which became part of a growing group of other labor organizations who established offices in the neighborhood, known as Union Row.

Workers United Hall at 333 S. Ashland Avenue, was built in 1928, and designed by Walter Ahlschlager. Home of the Chicago Joint Board of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which became part of a growing group of other labor organizations who established offices in the neighborhood, known as Union Row.  The building became, and remained, the most prominent union hall structure in the area, which grew to include over 30 labor unions and locals by the 1950s.

Marshfield Junction, looking east. The Logan Square/Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park branches converged here onto the Met main line. (George Trapp Collection)

Marshfield Junction, looking east. The Logan Square/Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park branches converged here onto the Met main line. (George Trapp Collection)

This is a Logan Square branch station along Paulina Street, looking north. It cannot be Marshfield, since the tracks went off from that point via a curve. In the background, we see the bridge over the Milwaukee Road and Chicago & North Western tracks. This bridge is still there, used for signals. The old Lake Transfer station is just south of the bridge. Therefore, by a process of elimination, I'd say this is most likely the old Madison Street station. There is no station at this location now (although some would like to see one built, to serve the nearby United Center), but the tracks are still in place for use by the CTA Pink Line. (George Trapp Collection)

This is a Logan Square branch station along Paulina Street, looking north. It cannot be Marshfield, since the tracks went off from that point via a curve. In the background, we see the bridge over the Milwaukee Road and Chicago & North Western tracks. This bridge is still there, used for signals. The old Lake Transfer station is just south of the bridge. Therefore, by a process of elimination, I’d say this is most likely the old Madison Street station. There is no station at this location now (although some would like to see one built, to serve the nearby United Center), but the tracks are still in place for use by the CTA Pink Line. (George Trapp Collection)

A blow-up of the previous picture shows Lake Transfer station in the distance. This is where the Met "L" along Paulina crossed over the Lake Street line, before continuing north over the bridge shown in the background. The tracks north of Lake were removed in 1964, but the bridge was kept in place for use by signals on the Milwaukee Road and C&NW tracks below. (George Trapp Collection)

A blow-up of the previous picture shows Lake Transfer station in the distance. This is where the Met “L” along Paulina crossed over the Lake Street line, before continuing north over the bridge shown in the background. The tracks north of Lake were removed in 1964, but the bridge was kept in place for use by signals on the Milwaukee Road and C&NW tracks below. (George Trapp Collection)

The same bridge today.

The same bridge today.

This map shows how the Douglas Park "L" was rerouted as of April 4, 1954. The old routing brought trains into the Loop via the Mat main line (Garfield branch on this map). In September 1953, the Garfield trains themselves were using a 2.5m temporary right-of-way in the south half of Van Buren Street. In order to facilitate the removal of that portion of "L" structure that remained between Paulina and Racine, a new north-south span was built crossing the expressway footprint (there should be a straight line on this map, but there isn't), allowing Douglas trains to continue north along Paulina, to a new connection with the Lake Street "L". That was a connection which had not previously existed, since previously the only service on these tracks (Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains, which stopped using these tracks in February 1951) crossed over the Lake Street "L". As it turns out, this is the same route now followed by today's CTA Pink Line (which replaced Douglas) after a hiatus of more than 50 years.

This map shows how the Douglas Park “L” was rerouted as of April 4, 1954. The old routing brought trains into the Loop via the Mat main line (Garfield branch on this map). In September 1953, the Garfield trains themselves were using a 2.5m temporary right-of-way in the south half of Van Buren Street. In order to facilitate the removal of that portion of “L” structure that remained between Paulina and Racine, a new north-south span was built crossing the expressway footprint (there should be a straight line on this map, but there isn’t), allowing Douglas trains to continue north along Paulina, to a new connection with the Lake Street “L”. That was a connection which had not previously existed, since previously the only service on these tracks (Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains, which stopped using these tracks in February 1951) crossed over the Lake Street “L”. As it turns out, this is the same route now followed by today’s CTA Pink Line (which replaced Douglas) after a hiatus of more than 50 years.

This 1954 picture, taken from Marshfield Junction, shows the Douglas Park "L" in transition. The 6000s in the foreground are on the old Met "L" alignment, while the train in the background is on a new portion of structure, allowing a direct connection to the Logan Square portion to the north. In turn, a new connection was built allowing Douglas trains to proceed downtown over the Lake Street "L", which is the alignment now used once again by today's CTA Pink Line. Andre Kristopans: "In the shot of old and new at Marshfield Jct, the 6000 is a regular Douglas train, while the woods on the connector are a work train. There was never service simultaneously on both routings."

This 1954 picture, taken from Marshfield Junction, shows the Douglas Park “L” in transition. The 6000s in the foreground are on the old Met “L” alignment, while the train in the background is on a new portion of structure, allowing a direct connection to the Logan Square portion to the north. In turn, a new connection was built allowing Douglas trains to proceed downtown over the Lake Street “L”, which is the alignment now used once again by today’s CTA Pink Line. Andre Kristopans: “In the shot of old and new at Marshfield Jct, the 6000 is a regular Douglas train, while the woods on the connector are a work train. There was never service simultaneously on both routings.”

A Douglas Park train crosses the Van Buren right-of-way near Paulina (1700 W.). We are facing east. This may be circa 1954, as the old "L" structure is still in place east of here. It could not be torn down as long as Douglas Park trains needed it to access the Loop. Notice how one of the Garfield tracks makes a dog-leg around the "L" supports. Sean Hunnicutt adds, "this is 6001-6002."

A Douglas Park train crosses the Van Buren right-of-way near Paulina (1700 W.). We are facing east. This may be circa 1954, as the old “L” structure is still in place east of here. It could not be torn down as long as Douglas Park trains needed it to access the Loop. Notice how one of the Garfield tracks makes a dog-leg around the “L” supports. Sean Hunnicutt adds, “this is 6001-6002.”

A current view. The Paulina Connector has been rebuilt and is now part of today's Pink Line.

A current view. The Paulina Connector has been rebuilt and is now part of today’s Pink Line.

Here is an example where even the CTA got it wrong with this caption, taken from a 1950s employee publication. This is not the center median strip for the Congress Expressway. It actually shows the CTA temporary right-of-way on Van Buren under construction circa 1952. The grade level had to be lowered at this point in order to clear the C&NW/PRR tracks, and this was done in the middle of the street, leaving only a small lane for other traffic to the north. There was also a small lane to the south, presumably to provide easy access to the construction site on both sides of the tracks. The railroad bridge was retained and is still in use today, but new supports were built under the south portion, as you will see in contemporary pictures. The actual expressway median at this point is located where the Garfield Park "L" structure is at left. That is why it was necessary to build a temporary alignment for about 2.5 miles of the route. We are looking west.

Here is an example where even the CTA got it wrong with this caption, taken from a 1950s employee publication. This is not the center median strip for the Congress Expressway. It actually shows the CTA temporary right-of-way on Van Buren under construction circa 1952. The grade level had to be lowered at this point in order to clear the C&NW/PRR tracks, and this was done in the middle of the street, leaving only a small lane for other traffic to the north. There was also a small lane to the south, presumably to provide easy access to the construction site on both sides of the tracks. The railroad bridge was retained and is still in use today, but new supports were built under the south portion, as you will see in contemporary pictures. The actual expressway median at this point is located where the Garfield Park “L” structure is at left. That is why it was necessary to build a temporary alignment for about 2.5 miles of the route. We are looking west.

The Van Buren trackage at Rockwell, showing the underpass trains used to clear the C&NW/PRR trackage. Notice how here, the CTA tracks are in the middle of Van Buren, instead of simply taking up the south half. This permitted a narrow lane on each side of the "L". To the south, this allowed construction workers access to both sides of the railroad embankment. We are looking east. (George Trapp Collection)

The Van Buren trackage at Rockwell, showing the underpass trains used to clear the C&NW/PRR trackage. Notice how here, the CTA tracks are in the middle of Van Buren, instead of simply taking up the south half. This permitted a narrow lane on each side of the “L”. To the south, this allowed construction workers access to both sides of the railroad embankment. We are looking east. (George Trapp Collection)

The same location today.

The same location today.

A close-up of the railroad bridge at about 2600 W. Van Buren, showing how the supports on one side had to be replaced.

A close-up of the railroad bridge at about 2600 W. Van Buren, showing how the supports on one side had to be replaced.

This September 1953 view of the new Van Buren trackage looks east from (I think) California Avenue (2800 W.). The photo caption reads, "CTA Elevated tracks on surface (due to) construction (of the) Congress St. expressway. At time of photo trains still using El structure at right of picture."

This September 1953 view of the new Van Buren trackage looks east from (I think) California Avenue (2800 W.). The photo caption reads, “CTA Elevated tracks on surface (due to) construction (of the) Congress St. expressway. At time of photo trains still using El structure at right of picture.”

I am not sure why the motorman of this 1951 train of CA&E woods is gesturing. Perhaps he is waving at the photographers below. My guess is this picture was taken at the Sacramento curve. If this was the Halsted curve, I would expect the buildings to be larger.

I am not sure why the motorman of this 1951 train of CA&E woods is gesturing. Perhaps he is waving at the photographers below. My guess is this picture was taken at the Sacramento curve. If this was the Halsted curve, I would expect the buildings to be larger.

In this late 1950s photo, we see the Garfield Park "L" crossing the Congress Expressway at Sacramento. We are looking to the south. The "L" continued to use the old alignment in those places where it was not directly in the expressway footprint. Between Sacramento (3000 W.) and Kostner (4400 W.), the "L" actually ran to the south of the expressway. At Kostner, the "L" again crossed the highway, this time at an angle, taking it to the north. North of this picture location would have been the Sacramento curve and a ramp connection to the Van Buren trackage. Andre Kristopans adds, "The shot at Sacramento also shows how different things were then. Note there are pilings holding up the L structure BETWEEN expressway lanes. You couldn’t imagine doing that today, but in the 1950’s there was much more of a tendency to say if you weren’t watching and hit something, it was your fault, not the fault of what you hit." (George Trapp Collection)

In this late 1950s photo, we see the Garfield Park “L” crossing the Congress Expressway at Sacramento. We are looking to the south. The “L” continued to use the old alignment in those places where it was not directly in the expressway footprint. Between Sacramento (3000 W.) and Kostner (4400 W.), the “L” actually ran to the south of the expressway. At Kostner, the “L” again crossed the highway, this time at an angle, taking it to the north. North of this picture location would have been the Sacramento curve and a ramp connection to the Van Buren trackage. Andre Kristopans adds, “The shot at Sacramento also shows how different things were then. Note there are pilings holding up the L structure BETWEEN expressway lanes. You couldn’t imagine doing that today, but in the 1950’s there was much more of a tendency to say if you weren’t watching and hit something, it was your fault, not the fault of what you hit.” (George Trapp Collection)

No, these two cars are not going downhill. But if you level out the picture, you can't see the sign identifying this as the Pulaski Road station on the Garfield Park "L". Based on the sign on this car, I would say the train is heading west. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

No, these two cars are not going downhill. But if you level out the picture, you can’t see the sign identifying this as the Pulaski Road station on the Garfield Park “L”. Based on the sign on this car, I would say the train is heading west. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Now we are on the level. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Now we are on the level. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

I don't know the exact location of this westbound Garfield Park train. But my gut instinct is this was taken at the same general location as the previous photo, which would make it the east end of the Pulaski station. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

I don’t know the exact location of this westbound Garfield Park train. But my gut instinct is this was taken at the same general location as the previous photo, which would make it the east end of the Pulaski station. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4318 and 2190, running in express service along the Garfield Park "L". Not sure which station this is. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4318 and 2190, running in express service along the Garfield Park “L”. Not sure which station this is. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A view of the Laramie Yard, looking east from the walkway that allowed you to cross over between platforms. Much of this area is now occupied by Michelle Clark Magnet High School, and the area to the right of the picture is taken up by the Eisenhower (formerly Congress) Expressway. Note one of the four "Doodlebugs" in the yard. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

A view of the Laramie Yard, looking east from the walkway that allowed you to cross over between platforms. Much of this area is now occupied by Michelle Clark Magnet High School, and the area to the right of the picture is taken up by the Eisenhower (formerly Congress) Expressway. Note one of the four “Doodlebugs” in the yard. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

You hardly ever see any pictures of the ramp that brought the Garfield line from grade level to the "L" structure between Laramie and Cicero. This is an enlargement of the previous picture. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

You hardly ever see any pictures of the ramp that brought the Garfield line from grade level to the “L” structure between Laramie and Cicero. This is an enlargement of the previous picture. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Ciollection)

The old ground-level Laramie station on the Garfield Park "L". The woman on the platform may be using the scale (shown in another picture taken at this station) to weigh herself. These generally cost a penny. On some of these, if you could successfully guess your weight, you got your penny back. We are looking east. The "L" went up a ramp from here to reach the Cicero station. The water tank at right shows up in a lot of these pictures, and is often useful in telling which way we are facing. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The old ground-level Laramie station on the Garfield Park “L”. The woman on the platform may be using the scale (shown in another picture taken at this station) to weigh herself. These generally cost a penny. On some of these, if you could successfully guess your weight, you got your penny back. We are looking east. The “L” went up a ramp from here to reach the Cicero station. The water tank at right shows up in a lot of these pictures, and is often useful in telling which way we are facing. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

An enlargement of the previous photo. Is this the same penny scale shown on the platform in the next picture?

An enlargement of the previous photo. Is this the same penny scale shown on the platform in the next picture?

CRT 2896 is westbound at Laramie. You can plainly see the penny scale on the platform. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2896 is westbound at Laramie. You can plainly see the penny scale on the platform. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2721was a tool car, shown here at the Laramie Yards on the Garfield Park branch. According to Don's Rail Photos, "2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756. 2721 was rebuilt in 1921." (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2721was a tool car, shown here at the Laramie Yards on the Garfield Park branch. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756. 2721 was rebuilt in 1921.” (George Trapp Collection)

At first, I had difficulty determining this location, but soon figured out that the station at rear is Laramie on the old Garfield Park "L". I believe we are looking east from Lockwood, where there was a grade crossing. The bulk of the yard was to the east of Laramie, although there were storage tracks for some cars west of Laramie, such as a small area that was once used for mid-day storage of CA&E trains. On the left of the picture, we see CTA buses along Harrison, and the gas station was located at the intersection of Harrison and Laramie. The Eisenhower Expressway is now to the right of this picture. The growth along some of these tracks would seem to indicate they were not being used much for storage by the time this picture was taken in the 1950s. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

At first, I had difficulty determining this location, but soon figured out that the station at rear is Laramie on the old Garfield Park “L”. I believe we are looking east from Lockwood, where there was a grade crossing. The bulk of the yard was to the east of Laramie, although there were storage tracks for some cars west of Laramie, such as a small area that was once used for mid-day storage of CA&E trains. On the left of the picture, we see CTA buses along Harrison, and the gas station was located at the intersection of Harrison and Laramie. The Eisenhower Expressway is now to the right of this picture. The growth along some of these tracks would seem to indicate they were not being used much for storage by the time this picture was taken in the 1950s. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the intersection of Laramie and Harrison. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the intersection of Laramie and Harrison. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Laramie and Harrison today. We are looking north.

Laramie and Harrison today. We are looking north.

I believe this photo shows the view looking west from Oak Park Avenue along the old Garfield Park "L". The B&OCT tracks were to the south of the "L", and we can even see a steam locomotive on a siding in the distance, serving businesses to the south. The eastbound and westbound "L" platforms here were on different sides of Oak Park Avenue. In the distance, we can see the next station west at Home Avenue. This is now the location of the Eisenhower Expressway, and all these tracks are now on the south side of the highway at this location, in an open cut. The only freight siding still in use along here is the Ferrara Pan Candy Company in Forest Park, about a mile west of here. (George Trapp Collection)

I believe this photo shows the view looking west from Oak Park Avenue along the old Garfield Park “L”. The B&OCT tracks were to the south of the “L”, and we can even see a steam locomotive on a siding in the distance, serving businesses to the south. The eastbound and westbound “L” platforms here were on different sides of Oak Park Avenue. In the distance, we can see the next station west at Home Avenue. This is now the location of the Eisenhower Expressway, and all these tracks are now on the south side of the highway at this location, in an open cut. The only freight siding still in use along here is the Ferrara Pan Candy Company in Forest Park, about a mile west of here. (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing a steam locomotive coming off a siding on the B&OCT. (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture, showing a steam locomotive coming off a siding on the B&OCT. (George Trapp Collection)

There isn't a lot of freight traffic on the B&OCT these days, but I did catch this short train near the Oak Park CTA station on June 30, 2016.

There isn’t a lot of freight traffic on the B&OCT these days, but I did catch this short train near the Oak Park CTA station on June 30, 2016.

(Photo by David Sadowski)

(Photo by David Sadowski)

The CTA's Garfield Park "L" trains crossed the B&OCT freight tracks at grade between Harlem Avenue and DesPlaines in Forest Park. We are looking west, and the large "gas holder" tank at left was a local landmark for many years. Now, these tracks are grade separated along the Eisenhower Expressway right-of-way. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection) Sean Hunnicutt adds, "Cars 6227-6228."

The CTA’s Garfield Park “L” trains crossed the B&OCT freight tracks at grade between Harlem Avenue and DesPlaines in Forest Park. We are looking west, and the large “gas holder” tank at left was a local landmark for many years. Now, these tracks are grade separated along the Eisenhower Expressway right-of-way. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection) Sean Hunnicutt adds, “Cars 6227-6228.”

The CTA Blue Line and B&OCT cross each other today at more or less the same location they did before the expressway was built, but their tracks are grade separated. The CTA goes under the freight line, then up a ramp to cross over the highway and DesPlaines Avenue before reaching the terminal.

The CTA Blue Line and B&OCT cross each other today at more or less the same location they did before the expressway was built, but their tracks are grade separated. The CTA goes under the freight line, then up a ramp to cross over the highway and DesPlaines Avenue before reaching the terminal.

This photo shows an eastbound two-car Met "L" train at the old DesPlaines Avenue station, which was actually owned by the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin. The station was on the east side of the street, in an area now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (George Trapp Collection)

This photo shows an eastbound two-car Met “L” train at the old DesPlaines Avenue station, which was actually owned by the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin. The station was on the east side of the street, in an area now occupied by the Eisenhower Expressway. (George Trapp Collection)

More or less the same location today. The old DesPlaines station would be somewhere in today's highway, off to the right. Today's Blue Line crosses the highway and goes off a bit to the north to its present-day terminal. West of here, the expressway crosses over the DesPlaines River using an expanded version of the old Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban right-of-way. As part of construction, the CA&E trackage was moved slightly to the north, and work was completed by 1959 but the new tracks were never used.

More or less the same location today. The old DesPlaines station would be somewhere in today’s highway, off to the right. Today’s Blue Line crosses the highway and goes off a bit to the north to its present-day terminal. West of here, the expressway crosses over the DesPlaines River using an expanded version of the old Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban right-of-way. As part of construction, the CA&E trackage was moved slightly to the north, and work was completed by 1959 but the new tracks were never used.

This picture may show where the Westchester branch diverged from the CA&E main line (here running parallel to the CGW) in Bellwood. If so, we are looking east. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This picture may show where the Westchester branch diverged from the CA&E main line (here running parallel to the CGW) in Bellwood. If so, we are looking east. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

mdfranklinnascar writes: "The white house in the background is still there at 3510 St Paul Ave, Bellwood."

mdfranklinnascar writes: “The white house in the background is still there at 3510 St Paul Ave, Bellwood.”

The CRT Westchester branch at Roosevelt Road, circa 1929-1930. Service along this line opened in 1926, and when the line was extended, local officials insisted that tracks not cross Roosevelt at grade, thereby necessitating this grade separation project. The platform at left was later moved into the open cut, although the original station house was retained. Service to Mannheim began in 1930. The line was abandoned in 1951. We are looking north. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The CRT Westchester branch at Roosevelt Road, circa 1929-1930. Service along this line opened in 1926, and when the line was extended, local officials insisted that tracks not cross Roosevelt at grade, thereby necessitating this grade separation project. The platform at left was later moved into the open cut, although the original station house was retained. Service to Mannheim began in 1930. The line was abandoned in 1951. We are looking north. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

In this April 28, 1929 view, a steam shovel is digging out an underpass for Westchester trains at the Roosevelt Road station. We are looking north. (George Trapp Collection)

In this April 28, 1929 view, a steam shovel is digging out an underpass for Westchester trains at the Roosevelt Road station. We are looking north. (George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains in storage at the Roosevelt end of the line, circa 1929. (George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains in storage at the Roosevelt end of the line, circa 1929. (George Trapp Collection)

The CRT Westchester branch, just south of the Roosevelt Road underpass. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

The CRT Westchester branch, just south of the Roosevelt Road underpass. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This appears to show the CRT Westchester right of way, looking south from Roosevelt Road, where the line extension to Mannheim and 22nd was single track. (George Trapp Collection)

This appears to show the CRT Westchester right of way, looking south from Roosevelt Road, where the line extension to Mannheim and 22nd was single track. (George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains changing ends south of the Roosevelt Road station. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Westchester trains changing ends south of the Roosevelt Road station. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Since this two-car train of 4000s is using overhead wire and not third rail, this appears to be a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip along the CA&E's Mt. Carmel Branch on February 12, 1939. If so, one of the two cars used was 4317. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Since this two-car train of 4000s is using overhead wire and not third rail, this appears to be a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip along the CA&E’s Mt. Carmel Branch on February 12, 1939. If so, one of the two cars used was 4317. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA experimental high-speed cars 6129-6130 in the "Morgan middle" tracks on the Congress line circa 1960. Fans referred to the cars in this paint scheme as "circus wagons." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA experimental high-speed cars 6129-6130 in the “Morgan middle” tracks on the Congress line circa 1960. Fans referred to the cars in this paint scheme as “circus wagons.” (George Trapp Collection)

CTA high-speed cars 1-3 and 6129-6130 on a test run along the Congress line, in the early 1960s. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA high-speed cars 1-3 and 6129-6130 on a test run along the Congress line, in the early 1960s. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. The track at right, where an old wooden "L" car is being used as an office, was originally intended for use by CA&E trains, if service could have resumed in 1959. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. The track at right, where an old wooden “L” car is being used as an office, was originally intended for use by CA&E trains, if service could have resumed in 1959. (George Trapp Photo)

DesPlaines Avenue in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

DesPlaines Avenue in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6698 at DesPlaines Avenue terminal in June 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single-car unit 8 at Logan Square terminal in the Fall of 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA single-car unit 8 at Logan Square terminal in the Fall of 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

In this 1963 view at Logan Square, we see cars in the 6551-6600 series at left, in fresh paint, next to others from the 6601-6670 series at right in their original paint. (George Trapp Photo)

In this 1963 view at Logan Square, we see cars in the 6551-6600 series at left, in fresh paint, next to others from the 6601-6670 series at right in their original paint. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6705-6706 at Logan Square in 1963. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 6705-6706 at Logan Square in 1963. (George Trapp Photo)


Bonus Photo:

This picture is not from the George Trapp Collection, but we thought it would fit in well with the others here nonetheless:

A two-car Met "L" train crosses the Chicago River just west of the Loop in July 1951.

A two-car Met “L” train crosses the Chicago River just west of the Loop in July 1951.


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Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Three

CTA articulated "Doodlebug" 5003 southbound at Main Street in Evanston. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA articulated “Doodlebug” 5003 southbound at Main Street in Evanston. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

An aerial view, showing where the picture of 5003 was taken near Main and Chicago. There is a gap between the CTA Evanston branch and the Metra UP-North Line (formerly, the Chicago & North Western), large enough for a short paved road, now mainly used for parking.

An aerial view, showing where the picture of 5003 was taken near Main and Chicago. There is a gap between the CTA Evanston branch and the Metra UP-North Line (formerly, the Chicago & North Western), large enough for a short paved road, now mainly used for parking.

Today, we have another batch of classic Chicago rapid transit photos to share with you. These are not easy to come by, and as far as I can tell, this is only the third time we have devoted an entire post to them.

The two previous articles were Chicago Rapid Transit Mystery Photos – Solved (April 28, 2015) and More Chicago Rapid Transit Photos (September 21, 2015), although of course we have sprinkled plenty of other rapid transit photos into other postings.

We have some great pictures of the experimental articulated “Doodlebugs” ordered by the Chicago Rapid Transit Company, which were delivered in 1947-48. These were the first new Chicago rapid transit cars in nearly 25 years, and were inspired by the similar “Bluebird” compartment cars purchased by New York’s Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit in 1939-40.*

Chicago’s Loop “L” is famous world-wide. What is perhaps less known is how a few other cities had short stretches of elevateds, and we have included a couple pictures of those as well. In addition to Baltimore and Boston, shown here, there were also “els” of some sort in Kansas City and Hoboken, New Jersey. To this day, there is more elevated trackage in New York than in Chicago.

Some of today’s pictures were taken at much the same times and places as pictures in those two earlier posts. Sometimes we have been able to identify the times and places when these pictures could have been taken, other times not. As always, if you can help provide any information that might shed light on what’s going on here, we would definitely appreciate it.

You can either leave a comment on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- These images are being added to our E-book The New Look in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, available through our Online Store.


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This is our 129th 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 139,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a donation there as well.

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

We thank you for your support.


*Here are some films of the Bluebirds in action circa 1954, shortly before they were retired:

CTA 5001 at Laramie on September 27, 1948. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

CTA 5001 at Laramie on September 27, 1948. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

CTA 5003 on the Met "L" near Throop Street Shops in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

CTA 5003 on the Met “L” near Throop Street Shops in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

Brand-new CTA 5003 on C&NW flatcars in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

Brand-new CTA 5003 on C&NW flatcars in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

CTA "L" car 3115 at West Shops in April 1949. This was one of the few places where CTA rapid transit cars and streetcars could operate on the same tracks, the other being at 63rd Street Lower Yard. The location is approximately 3900 W. Lake Street. There was a ramp, a rather steep grade in fact, connecting with the Lake Street "L", which lasted until 1987. Can that be a streetcar at right?

CTA “L” car 3115 at West Shops in April 1949. This was one of the few places where CTA rapid transit cars and streetcars could operate on the same tracks, the other being at 63rd Street Lower Yard. The location is approximately 3900 W. Lake Street. There was a ramp, a rather steep grade in fact, connecting with the Lake Street “L”, which lasted until 1987. Can that be a streetcar at right?

The approximate location of the previous picture. Since that photo was taken, CTA has built a substation here for the Lake Street "L".

The approximate location of the previous picture. Since that photo was taken, CTA has built a substation here for the Lake Street “L”.

Streetcar tracks are still visible today at CTA's West Shops, which was built by the West Chicago Street Railroad, which became part of Chicago Surface Lines in 1914. CTA used West Shops for rapid transit car work for a few years into the early 1950s, before such work was consolidated elsewhere. The tracks crossing Lake Street itself were only removed a couple years ago.

Streetcar tracks are still visible today at CTA’s West Shops, which was built by the West Chicago Street Railroad, which became part of Chicago Surface Lines in 1914. CTA used West Shops for rapid transit car work for a few years into the early 1950s, before such work was consolidated elsewhere. The tracks crossing Lake Street itself were only removed a couple years ago.

The first train of new 6000s on display at the North Water Street terminal on August 17, 1950. This terminal provided a convenient place to display a train without interfering with regular service.

The first train of new 6000s on display at the North Water Street terminal on August 17, 1950. This terminal provided a convenient place to display a train without interfering with regular service.

A rare CTA three-car train of singe car units on the Ravenswood (Brown Line) "L" on May 28, 1978. In general, three-car trains resulted from one of the cars in a four-car train being taken out of service. This picture was taken at Chicago Avenue. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo) It's been pointed out to me that this picture was taken on a Sunday, during a time when the Ravenswood did not run on Sundays. So, this was a fantrip train that would have had the run of the Ravenswood south of Belmont. This picture looks like it was taken at track level. Now the Brown Line runs downtown seven days a week. Gordon Earl Lloyd (1924-2006) was a well-known railfan author and photographer.

A rare CTA three-car train of singe car units on the Ravenswood (Brown Line) “L” on May 28, 1978. In general, three-car trains resulted from one of the cars in a four-car train being taken out of service. This picture was taken at Chicago Avenue. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo) It’s been pointed out to me that this picture was taken on a Sunday, during a time when the Ravenswood did not run on Sundays. So, this was a fantrip train that would have had the run of the Ravenswood south of Belmont. This picture looks like it was taken at track level. Now the Brown Line runs downtown seven days a week. Gordon Earl Lloyd (1924-2006) was a well-known railfan author and photographer.

The Guiford Avenue el in Baltimore, circa 1949. (Lester K. Wismer Photo)

The Guiford Avenue el in Baltimore, circa 1949. (Lester K. Wismer Photo)

A Boston Elevated Railway train of 0300-class cars , near Rowes Wharf station on the last day of the Atlantic Avenue el, September 28, 1938. (Robert Stanley Collection)

A Boston Elevated Railway train of 0300-class cars , near Rowes Wharf station on the last day of the Atlantic Avenue el, September 28, 1938. (Robert Stanley Collection)

The mount on this Kodachrome slide helps narrow down the time frame on this photo to 1955-57. We are at the Indiana Avenue station on the South Side "L", looking west. We posted a picture showing the view looking east at this station in a previous post. That picture shows a Kenwood shuttle train, but the wood cars in the distance here are very likely Stock Yards cars. Wooden "L" cars would not have been running on the Howard-Jackson Park-Englewood line, as that went through the State Street subway. According to Graham Garfield's excellent web site, Stock Yards shuttle cars would have stopped at the south platform (to the left in this picture) via a single track. Presumably, the two-car wood train in this picture is heading west, and the mainline train of 6000s is heading east. Running parallel to the "L" at this point, just to the north, is the Chicago Junction Railway, which built and owned the Kenwood branch of the "L." This part of the CJ was abandoned in the 1960s after the Union Stock Yards had dwindled down to next to nothing.

The mount on this Kodachrome slide helps narrow down the time frame on this photo to 1955-57. We are at the Indiana Avenue station on the South Side “L”, looking west. We posted a picture showing the view looking east at this station in a previous post. That picture shows a Kenwood shuttle train, but the wood cars in the distance here are very likely Stock Yards cars. Wooden “L” cars would not have been running on the Howard-Jackson Park-Englewood line, as that went through the State Street subway. According to Graham Garfield’s excellent web site, Stock Yards shuttle cars would have stopped at the south platform (to the left in this picture) via a single track. Presumably, the two-car wood train in this picture is heading west, and the mainline train of 6000s is heading east. Running parallel to the “L” at this point, just to the north, is the Chicago Junction Railway, which built and owned the Kenwood branch of the “L.” This part of the CJ was abandoned in the 1960s after the Union Stock Yards had dwindled down to next to nothing.

A close-up view of the previous scene.

A close-up view of the previous scene.

An early 1940s map of the Stock Yards branch of the "L". Indiana station is just to the right of the green line. You can see how the Chicago Junction ran parallel to the "L" just to the north. The Stock Yards branch was abandoned in 1957, shortly before Kenwood.

An early 1940s map of the Stock Yards branch of the “L”. Indiana station is just to the right of the green line. You can see how the Chicago Junction ran parallel to the “L” just to the north. The Stock Yards branch was abandoned in 1957, shortly before Kenwood.

An early 1940s map of the Kenwood branch of the "L", which was abandoned in 1957.

An early 1940s map of the Kenwood branch of the “L”, which was abandoned in 1957.

CTA 4357 at South Boulevard and Maple in October 1952, at the west end of the Lake Street "L" when it ran on the ground.

CTA 4357 at South Boulevard and Maple in October 1952, at the west end of the Lake Street “L” when it ran on the ground.

South Boulevard and Maple in Oak Park today. The Lake Street "L", today's Green Lin, was relocated to the Chicago & North Western embankment in 1962. That's the Harlem station at left, which has its main entrance at Marion Street.

South Boulevard and Maple in Oak Park today. The Lake Street “L”, today’s Green Lin, was relocated to the Chicago & North Western embankment in 1962. That’s the Harlem station at left, which has its main entrance at Marion Street.

There was only a brief period when this May 1969 photo could have been taken. What we see is the west end of the Englewood "L" yard near Loomis. The yard itself was renovated in the early 1960s, as evidenced by the concrete supports. We are standing on a newly built section of "L", soon to be connected to the rest of the structure, that extended this line to Ashland, a more practical terminus that provides a better place for bus transfers. We are looking east.

There was only a brief period when this May 1969 photo could have been taken. What we see is the west end of the Englewood “L” yard near Loomis. The yard itself was renovated in the early 1960s, as evidenced by the concrete supports. We are standing on a newly built section of “L”, soon to be connected to the rest of the structure, that extended this line to Ashland, a more practical terminus that provides a better place for bus transfers. We are looking east.

CTA Met car 2888 heads up a Garfield Park train on the Loop "L" circa 1950.

CTA Met car 2888 heads up a Garfield Park train on the Loop “L” circa 1950.

A Douglas Park local at the west end of the line at Oak Park Avenue in Berwyn, circa 1950. This is before A/B "skip stop" service began on this route, which was soon cut back to 54th Avenue, its present terminus.

A Douglas Park local at the west end of the line at Oak Park Avenue in Berwyn, circa 1950. This is before A/B “skip stop” service began on this route, which was soon cut back to 54th Avenue, its present terminus.

A CTA single car unit running under wire at the Linden terminal in Wilmette in 1964. We are looking south. The Evanston branch was changed over to third rail along with the retirement of 4000-series "L" cars in 1973.

A CTA single car unit running under wire at the Linden terminal in Wilmette in 1964. We are looking south. The Evanston branch was changed over to third rail along with the retirement of 4000-series “L” cars in 1973.

A woman on CTA "baldy" car 4031 notices her picture is being taken at an unidentified location. As you can see, these 1913 "L" cars featured sideways seating.

A woman on CTA “baldy” car 4031 notices her picture is being taken at an unidentified location. As you can see, these 1913 “L” cars featured sideways seating.

We previously ran a very similar picture in an earlier post. In fact, it seems likely both pictures were taken at much the same time, although they are not identical. In any case, the previous caption information will do just as well here: According to Andre Kristopans, it shows a “Normal Park shuttle between Harvard Englewood and Stewart Jct – appears inbound.” Edward Maurath notes that car “223 was made by Jewett in 1902 for the South Side Line, then known as the ”alley L’.”

We previously ran a very similar picture in an earlier post. In fact, it seems likely both pictures were taken at much the same time, although they are not identical. In any case, the previous caption information will do just as well here: According to Andre Kristopans, it shows a “Normal Park shuttle between Harvard Englewood and Stewart Jct – appears inbound.” Edward Maurath notes that car “223 was made by Jewett in 1902 for the South Side Line, then known as the ”alley L’.”

A Douglas Park "L" train, signed to go to Lawndale, at Randolph and Wabash. CTA had a small storage yard at Kenton, which was abandoned in the early 1950s.

A Douglas Park “L” train, signed to go to Lawndale, at Randolph and Wabash. CTA had a small storage yard at Kenton, which was abandoned in the early 1950s.

The same location as the last picture, and another Douglas Park train going to Lanwdale only, but this is a different car (2821) and run number (316 vs. 315). Interesting that consecutive runs would only be going that far. There must not have been much demand for outbound service when this picture was taken.

The same location as the last picture, and another Douglas Park train going to Lanwdale only, but this is a different car (2821) and run number (316 vs. 315). Interesting that consecutive runs would only be going that far. There must not have been much demand for outbound service when this picture was taken.

This is the old Clark and Lake "L" station and we are looking east. An outbound Ravenswood "A" train is stopped at the station. The signs at right are advertising a stage version of Mister Roberts at the Erlanger Theatre. A/B "skip stop" service was instituted on the Ravenswood on August 1, 1949, which is probably around the time this picture was taken. Prior to this, most Ravenswood service was operated by 4000s running via the subway. By Spring of 1951, base service on the Rave was being operated by new 6000s.

This is the old Clark and Lake “L” station and we are looking east. An outbound Ravenswood “A” train is stopped at the station. The signs at right are advertising a stage version of Mister Roberts at the Erlanger Theatre. A/B “skip stop” service was instituted on the Ravenswood on August 1, 1949, which is probably around the time this picture was taken. Prior to this, most Ravenswood service was operated by 4000s running via the subway. By Spring of 1951, base service on the Rave was being operated by new 6000s.

Where this picture could have been taken was somewhat of a mystery, but the one place that seems a good fit is the old Lawndale terminal on the Humboldt Park "L". There, only one track served the platform, while there were two tracks for storage. Gate cars such as these were used during the CTA era, and the "L" itself was shoehorned between buildings such as the one at left. There was a tower at the end of the platform, such as the one seen here. In that scenario, the "M" may simply stand for Metropolitan, as Humboldt Park was part of the Met "L".

Where this picture could have been taken was somewhat of a mystery, but the one place that seems a good fit is the old Lawndale terminal on the Humboldt Park “L”. There, only one track served the platform, while there were two tracks for storage. Gate cars such as these were used during the CTA era, and the “L” itself was shoehorned between buildings such as the one at left. There was a tower at the end of the platform, such as the one seen here. In that scenario, the “M” may simply stand for Metropolitan, as Humboldt Park was part of the Met “L”.

For the sake of comparison, Graham Garfield’s excellent web site shows a picture taken at Lawndale, but looking in the opposite direction (east):

The building shown in the last picture, as it looks today on Lawndale just north of North Avenue. The buildings to the west of here have been torn down (there is a car wash on that site today), but note the similarity in construction to the building shown in our mystery photo.

The building shown in the last picture, as it looks today on Lawndale just north of North Avenue. The buildings to the west of here have been torn down (there is a car wash on that site today), but note the similarity in construction to the building shown in our mystery photo.

More Chicago Rapid Transit Photos

A two-car Garfield Park train, including car 2848, on the Loop “L”. (George Snyder Photo)

Our last major post on Chicago’s rapid transit lines was on April 28, so we figure it’s time for another look. In newspaper parlance, -30- means “the end,” (there was even a 1959 film by that title directed by Jack Webb) but here, we present 30 classic Chicago “L” photos that we think are the living end.

While we have some information for these pictures, if you can share something interesting about them that we might have missed, do not hesitate to contact us. You can leave a comment to this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

-David Sadowski

A Ravenswood Local made up of “Baldy” 4000s (including car 4200) on the Loop “L”. (George Snyder Photo)

A Douglas Park Cicero-Berwyn Express on the Loop “L”. This picture must date to before December 9, 1951, when A/B service began on Douglas. (George Snyder Photo)

Articulated “Doodlebug” 5001 at Laramie Yard on the Garfield Park “L”, when this car was new (late 1940s). (George Snyder Photo)

The location of this photo would be hard to identify, if not for the presence of overhead wire instead of third rail. That makes it Isabella on the Evanston line. This station closed on July 16, 1973.

The location of this photo would be hard to identify, if not for the presence of overhead wire instead of third rail. That makes it Isabella on the Evanston line. This station closed on July 16, 1973.

Niles Center train 1045 in the pocket at the Dempster station, with North Shore Line track in the foreground. The Skokie Swift never used this terminal arrangement.

Niles Center train 1045 in the pocket at the Dempster station, with North Shore Line track in the foreground. The Skokie Swift never used this terminal arrangement.

A rare shot of the lower Wilson Avenue station on the north side “L”. This was once the terminal before the “L” was extended north. This station opened on March 5, 1907. The intent was to alleviate crowding at the upper Wilson station, already in use. Lower Wilson closed on August 1, 1949, early in the CTA era.

Skokie Shops, date unknown. Probably early in the CTA era.

Skokie Shops, date unknown. Probably early in the CTA era.

A single car Niles Center train in the open cut in Evanston.

A single car Niles Center train in the open cut in Evanston.

A six-car CRT “L” train on the Niles Center branch. Service on this line quit on March 26, 1948. This was part of the North Shore Line’s Skokie Valley Route. After the interurban quit in 1963, the CTA bought the line to Dempster and the Skokie Swift (today’s Yellow Line) was born. Service did not generally warrant the use of a six-car train in the 1940s when this picture was taken, but sometimes CRT trains were used on the North Shore Line to haul the military.

A two car CRT "L" train in December 1935. The location is given as Austin, but the photo does not indicate whether this is the Douglas Park branch or Garfield. Bill Shapotkin writes: "I can't tell you where this pic was actually taken, but I can tell you where is was NOT taken. This photo is NOT on Garfield Pk/Westchester. If it were anywhere on that line, the third rail chairs would be the CA&E's wooden third rail chairs -- the chairs shown in this photo are rapid transit third rail chairs. Additionally, if it were "Austin" (on Garfield Pk), we should see the B&OCT next door (and it is not). Now, as for where I think this photo was taken -- there appears to be an interlocking nearby (notice the piping next to outside rail). Thus, I believe the train is WB on DOUGLAS approaching Oak Park Ave (where, if I recall correctly) there was an interlocking. Therefore we would be looking east. At least that is my best guess."

A two car CRT “L” train in December 1935. The location is given as Austin, but the photo does not indicate whether this is the Douglas Park branch or Garfield.
Bill Shapotkin writes: “I can’t tell you where this pic was actually taken, but I can tell you where is was NOT taken. This photo is NOT on Garfield Pk/Westchester. If it were anywhere on that line, the third rail chairs would be the CA&E’s wooden third rail chairs — the chairs shown in this photo are rapid transit third rail chairs. Additionally, if it were “Austin” (on Garfield Pk), we should see the B&OCT next door (and it is not).
Now, as for where I think this photo was taken — there appears to be an interlocking nearby (notice the piping next to outside rail). Thus, I believe the train is WB on DOUGLAS approaching Oak Park Ave (where, if I recall correctly) there was an interlocking. Therefore we would be looking east. At least that is my best guess.”

The east end of the CTA’s Jackson Park “L” in July 1959. The “L” has been truncated west of here since and no longer crosses the Illinois Central (now Metra) Electric.

The DesPlaines Avenue terminal at the west end of the CTA Congress line in November 1959. Wooden “L” cars were no longer being used for passenger service by time, and the three cars were probably being used here for offices as the station was being somewhat reconfigured. Note the lack of a canopy.

A Kenwood shuttle car at 42nd Place terminal on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. Andre Kristopans notes, "The Kenwood car at Indiana is actually laid up and not in service. The old NB track was where a spare car would be put away." (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

A Kenwood shuttle car at 42nd Place terminal on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. Andre Kristopans notes, “The Kenwood car at Indiana is actually laid up and not in service. The old NB track was where a spare car would be put away.” (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

A downtown-bound train at the old Logan Square “L” station on May 10, 1958, about 6 weeks before service on the Milwaukee-Dearborn subway was connected up with the Congress and Douglas branches. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

Six old wooden “L” cars, including 1784, in the Linden Avenue yard in Wilmette on June 12, 1957. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

The view looking south from the platform at the Linden Avenue station in Wilmette on June 12, 1957, showing two old wooden “L” cars in the yard, including 1793 and 3156(?). In the distance, we can see one of the four articulated 5001-5004 series cars. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

The arcade at the old Logan Square “L” terminal on May 10, 1958. About a dozen years later, this station was replaced by a subway as part of the extension of this line to Jefferson Park. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

Kedzie and Linden, the site of the old Logan Square "L" terminal, as it looks today. Andre Kristopans says,"The old Logan square station is still under there under the new façade. There is a substantial gap between the inside ceiling and roof of this building because of the supports for the shop above the north half of the building were part of the structure and were not removed, and for aesthetic reasons the high walls were extended all the way around."

Kedzie and Linden, the site of the old Logan Square “L” terminal, as it looks today. Andre Kristopans says,”The old Logan square station is still under there under the new façade. There is a substantial gap between the inside ceiling and roof of this building because of the supports for the shop above the north half of the building were part of the structure and were not removed, and for aesthetic reasons the high walls were extended all the way around.”

The view looking north at the Linden Avenue terminal in Wilmette, showing wooden “L” cars (including 1770 and 1736). A poster at right advertises Waterman fountain pens. The date is June 12, 1957. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

A view looking east towards the Marion Street station on the Lake Street “L” on June 7, 1957. (Laurence H. Boehuring Photo)

A Kenwood shuttle car at the Indiana Avenue station on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

A Kenwood shuttle car at the Indiana Avenue station on June 12, 1957. November 30 was the last day of service on this branch. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

This picture was taken at the Oak Park Avenue terminal along the outer end of the Douglas Park “L”, looking west. The apartment building at right is still standing. The line was cut back to 54th Avenue 1952. The train is a Cicero-Berwyn Express, ready to head downtown. It must be before December 9, 1951, when A/B skip-stop service was instituted. Note the Burma Shave sign at right.

CRT/CTA snow plow S220 at Laramie on the Garfield Park "L" in 1948.

CRT/CTA snow plow S220 at Laramie on the Garfield Park “L” in 1948.

A CTA Met “L” train crosses the Chicago River in 1950, on the double Scherzer rolling lift bridge that was there at the time. Now, just south of here, the CTA Blue Line passes underneath the river.

CTA 2703-2753 at the east side of Skokie Shops on May 1, 1955. This was a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip that included a shops tour.

CTA 2703-2753 at the east side of Skokie Shops on May 1, 1955. This was a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip that included a shops tour.

An open platform/vestibule two-car Douglas Park train at Van Buren and Wells in September 1949. One of the cars is 2775. Contrast this with the later photo taken at this same location, after the removal of the “L” structure west of here for the construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

The same location as the last photo, but no earlier than 1955. The “L” structure and tower west of here have been removed. The Garfield Park “L’ connection to the Loop was moved slightly north of here via a new connection through the old Wells Street Terminal. The sign on the train says that the last stop is Clinton. The Insurance Exchange building is at right.

The Pulaski station on the Douglas Park “L” on May 10, 1958. There was a yard there at the time. (Lawrence H. Boehuring Photo)

Laramie Yard on the Garfield Park “L”, looking east. A few blocks back, the “L” went up a ramp onto steel structure. Today, the Eisenhower expressway would be somewhere off to the right.

CTA Met car 2819, signed for Garfield Park, at Laramie Yard in August, 1954.

CTA Met car 2819, signed for Garfield Park, at Laramie Yard in August, 1954.

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