The North Shore Line Milwaukee terminal in January 1963.
We’ve reached our one-year anniversary, and have successfully renewed our Internet domain for another year, thanks to your generous contributions. Over the past year, many people have made contributions here, and not always financial.
I like to think of The Trolley Dodger as a place where we can all share information, discuss various topics and learn things together. As I’ve said before, I learn a lot from our readers and the things they choose to share with us. Coming here is like taking a stroll through a curiosity shop, and today we have lots of curios to share with you.
With the 53rd anniversary of the abandonment of the North Shore Line coming up on Thursday (the 21st), we have included a few pictures from the final days of that great electric interurban railway that once ran between Chicago and Milwaukee.
If you can shed any light on some of today’s mysteries, we would love to hear from you. You can make a comment on this page or drop us a line directly at:
PS- We will continue our birthday celebration with another collection of great images in our next post, so watch this space.
Thanks to the generous donations from our readers, we have renewed our domain for another year. The various photos in today’s post are but tokens of our esteem.
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More Off-Street Loops
Andre Kristopans has a few additions to the very comprehensive list of Chicago’s off-street streetcar and bus turnaround loops he shared with us recently:
A few additions:
Roosevelt/Monitor – abandoned 09/28/08 when lease expired and renewal could not be negotiated
Madison/Springfield – 07/16/1890 out 12/13/53 originally for cable cars
118th/Burley – 4/8/45 to 7/1/47 – this was an odd situation. Both 118th and Burley were “dedicated streets”, but only Burley was paved. the “terminal” which had been a passing siding, was thus on open track. In addition, after 10/21/46, when Ewing-Brandon was bussed, only the South Chicago cars ended there, basically in the middle of nowhere, next to a tavern.
Canal between Harrison and Polk – 2/7/72 to 10/1/81 – an exclusive counterflow lane for Taylor/Sedgwick buses after the Polk St bridge was closed.
Cortland/Paulina – 9/1/47 to 4/17/59 – apron of old Noble Carhouse used by Southport buses until it was about to be torn down
Pulaski/21st – 4/26/04 to 6/16/08 – part of rebuilt Pulaski L station, not used after Ogden bus cut back to California
Blue Island/Leavitt 7/27/1893 to 7/20/06 – terminal for Blue Island cable cars adjacent to Blue Island carhouse
Corcoran/Menard – 10/26/27 to 5/19/47 – CMC is said to have had an off-street terminal here for Washington buses, but no good description has survived. 1938 aerial photo shows nothing obvious, so it might have involved wyeing by backing into a driveway.
Another subcategory– Counterflow lanes:
Madison between Desplaines and Michigan, Washington between Michigan and Jefferson 9/13/81 to 9/8/85
Adams between Jefferson and Michigan, Jackson between Michigan and Jefferson 8/31/80 to 4/20/86 (note – one block on Adams between Jefferson and Clinton not put into use until 2/1/81 account construction at the corner of Jefferson and Adams)
Canal between Randolph and Washington (NW Station) 6/22/64, extended to Lake St 7/20/81 to 8/5/87
Canal between Adams and Jackson (Union Station) 5/14/69, moved to NB exclusive lane on east side of Canal 8/31/80, returned to SB on west side of Canal 4/20/86. (note – replaced use of River Drive between Adams and Jackson which had been used since 6/22/64, however River Drive was actually a cab drive and therefore not an “off street terminal” in the strict sense, even though cars were not supposed to use it.
About that previous list, Daniel Joseph writes:
The only addition I can add to this complete list is the terminal on Sherman between Church and Davis inherited from Evanston Bus Company.
Don’t know much about it. Basically, EBC loaded along regular curb until city of Evanston “streetscaped” the street in late 60’s or so, leaving a short piece of original curb for buses to load while rest of street in the two blocks between Clark and Davis was substantially narrowed and sidewalks widened. Orrington was done at the same time, as were parts of Church and Davis. Last buses that could have used the cut-out would have been the N201. Sort of what was done much later to Benson between Church and Davis. The “bus lane” is the original right lane.
The North Shore Line in January 1963, shortly before the end.
North Shore Line freight loco 459 heads up a train in January 1963.
A Silverliner and an Electroliner at the North Shore Line’s Milwaukee terminal in January 1963.
An Electroliner on the Chicago “L” in July 1962. Not sure of the exact location, but I assume this is Roosevelt Road where the NSL had free reign between 1949 and 1963 (CTA trains ran through the nearby subway then).
CNS&M electric locos 458 and 455 in July 1962.
North Shore Line 712 at Roosevelt Road in July 1962.
Ad touting 349 new trolley coaches ordered for the Chicago Transit Authority, 1951.
An unusual Chicago Surface Lines supervisor’s badge just sold for $80 on eBay. I was not the buyer.
This 1886 trade magazine includes an article detailing how the LaSalle Street cable car tunnel under the Chicago River was being expanded and upgraded.
San Francisco cable car 524 at the Chicago Railroad Fair on June 21, 1949. (Jeff Marinoff Collection) One of our readers notes, “Most of the gentlemen shown in transit uniforms appear to be wearing caps that have the Chicago Surface Lines cap badge on them in spite of the fact that according to the date on the photo the CTA had been in existence for almost two years. The guy with the coin changer might be wearing a CTA cap badge of the period.” Interesting. Guess things didn’t get replaced immediately. “They were also slow to slap the CTA decals on some of the streetcars too.”
A Marion (Indiana) Birney car circa 1940.
South Shore Line #15 in an unusual paint scheme on a 1954 fantrip.
CSS&SB 106 heads up a two-car train going east from the South Shore’s old South Bend terminal. This street running was eliminated in 1970 when the line was cut back to Bendix at the outskirts of town. Since then, it has been extended to the local airport.
George Foelschow: “The latest Trolley Dodger installment, which included a photo of a South Shore Line train on East LaSalle Avenue in South Bend, reminded me of a watercolor painting I acquired before moving from Chicago in 1978. The artist is David Tutwiler and the painting is dated (19)77. It depicts a similar scene. I thought you may want to share it with Trolley Dodger readers.” Thanks, George!
The same location today.
South Shore Line cars 28 and 19 at the Randolph Street station in downtown Chicago in March 1978. By then, these cars were more than 50 years old and had but a few more years to run. That’s the Prudential Building in the background. Since then, this station has been rebuilt and is now underneath Millennium Park.
This is where the Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell Limited interurban cars went up a ramp to an elevated connection with the Philadelphia & Western in Norristown. This photo of car 710 is from 1944. The ramp, a few blocks long, was torn down in 1954. The interurban quit in 1951, which made it superfluous.
As you can see from this current photo of Swede Street in Norristown, the elevated section in the previous picture continued a few blocks from the present terminus of the former P&W, running all the way to the domed building at rear. Once the LVT interurban quit in 1951, it was no longer needed and was torn down a few years later.
An interesting and unusual fate for a Philadelphia PCC– being turned into an ice cream stand. This picture was taken in 2002. Jeff Marinoff adds, “The Philadelphia PCC car is still at the Trolley Car Diner on Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy. The car is not a diner, however. The car is an ice cream stand. You don’t sit on the car, you walk up to a window and get your order.”
Gwen Deanne writes: “My mother wearing the most fabulous shoes ever, and my brother exercising his “open carry” rights as a youngster bringing a BB gun on the train. This is 100% Chicago, but which station, I don’t now. Perhaps you can figure it out. They lived on North Talman at the time, but Nana lived in Wicker Park. They could have been going anywhere. Taken by my Dad. The next brother was born, and not pictured. He may be with Nana, or Auntie Olga.” Mike Murray: ” That’s the Ardmore station of the Chicago, Aurora, & Elgin Railroad, facing east in Villa Park. The station is still there, but the railroad quit passenger service on July 3, 1957. Much of the route is now the Prairie Path. The silver water tower in the distance is the Ovaltine Factory.” Here is another picture of the same station:
http://www.greatthirdrail.org/stations/main/ardmore.html (Photo from the Gwen Deanne Collection, used by permission)
This 1955 photo’s a bit of a mystery. Could this be Wheaton? William Barber: “Yes, this is Wheaton at the grade crossing immediately east of the depot.” Bill Shapotkin: “This pic is Cross St, Wheaton. View looks east.”
CA&E freight and passenger trains in Elmhurst in this November 5, 1949 view. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo) Bill Shapotkin: “This pic is just east of Mannhiem Rd. The frt locos are on the CA&E/IHB interchange. While technically near Butterfield Rd, it is nowhere near Roosevelt Rd.” (Roosevelt and Butterfield was written on the back of the photo, apparently in error. This was not uncommon when the photographer was from out of town.)
The CA&E Wheaton Yard. This photo was dated as the 1950s but looks to be earlier.
The CA&E Elgin terminal.
The same location as the previous photo, early 1950s.
CA&E 405 at Spring Road in Elmhurst. Dig that phone booth.
CA&E 406, in this 1957 picture, is identified as being at Fifth Avenue in Maywood. Perhaps one of our keen-eyed readers can confirm this. This is either late afternoon or early morning light, which explains why the sky is blue but most everything in the picture is yellow. That’s one reason why the CA&E was known as the “Sunset Lines.” Bill Shapotkin: “This pic NOT anywhere near Maywood. It is WEST of Hill Ave (aka Glen Oak Rd) in Glen Ellyn. Beyond the bridge is the Glen Oak station. View looks east.”
A CA&E pocket map made by Roy G. Benedict in 1958, when the “Roarin’ Elgin” had already abandoned passenger service (except for charters) but was still running freight. Roy mimeographed these and sold them to aspiring railfans. He has made many additional maps since, and has had a successful career in the publishing industry. The Forest Park loop shown at the bottom of this page is where the next picture in this post was taken.
CA&E 409 and 414 on the turnback loop in Forest Park in 1957.