Bruce C. Nelson took this photo of CTA 5174, wrapped with the Chicago flag, on April 24, 2018 at Clinton just west of the Loop.
Here at the Trolley Dodger, we are always in search of new directions to take this blog to. While the great majority of photos we share are definitely “old,” they are new to us, and we hope, you as well.
There doesn’t have to be an overriding theme to these posts, but often one suggests itself. Often we simply collect pictures that interest us for various reasons, and once we have a sufficiency, they all go into a post.
But what is old now was once new, and at least some of today’s images did represent new directions at one time.
Two cases in point – Harper’s Weekly, from April 20, 1895, ran an in-depth report on the new Metropolitan West Side Elevated, which opened on May 6. That was 125 year ago now, but all this was brand new and very innovative. The Met was the very first of the “L”s to forgo steam power in favor of electricity, direct current carried by a third rail.
As the article makes clear, Chicago’s third “L” (after the South Side and Lake Street lines) drew inspiration from the Columbian Intramural Railway at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. And while in retrospect, it would have made a lot of sense to have the Logan Square and Humboldt Park branches continue downtown on a straight line along Milwaukee Avenue, there was no Loop in 1895 for it to connect with.
The Met started life as a very ambitious self-contained entity. There was no Loop elevated until 1897.
The other new direction we offer today is from 1913. Once established, the Loop “L” was a tremendous success, but success brought with it a host of new problems to solve. Not all trains ran on the Loop– some started and ended at the stub end terminals each of the four “L” companies had. But most of them did, and at first, all circled the Loop. The result was congestion and slower service.
Gradually, it became apparent that Chicago’s “L”s would be better off as a unified system. It was a gradual process.
By 1913, the four “L” companies were still separate entities, but came under unified management, controlled by Samuel Insull. Important changes and improvements were afoot.
Now, you could transfer between the various “L”s without paying another fare. Transfer bridges were added at Loop stations, and where the Met crossed over the Lake Street “L”.
Traffic on the Loop was changed to counter-clockwise, a system that lasted 56 years, until the Dan Ryan line opened in 1969. Prior to this, trains used left-hand running there, and operated bi-directionally. For over half a century now, the Loop has been bi-directional, with right-hand running.
We acquired a very nice 1913 brochure detailing the new changes.
In addition, we have many recent photo finds to share with you.
PS- We have shared literally thousands of images with you over the last five plus years. Not surprisingly, many of these photos end up on Facebook. There are lots of railfan groups on Facebook, and we belong to many of them ourselves. We are fine with you sharing our pictures there, but we do have a couple requests.
First, please do not crop out the Trolley Dodger watermark. It’s there for a purpose– to show everyone the source of the picture. Give credit where credit is due.
Second, please include the caption information. I have seen some pictures shared without the captions, leading to much guesswork and wondering about things that were actually answered in the original caption itself.
From Harper’s Weekly, April 20, 1895:
1913 “L” Brochure:
Chicago “L” operations were consolidated under one management by 1913, when this brochure was issued to explain service changes to the public.
In 1913, free transfers were instituted between the four “L” lines. To combat overcrowding, some north and south side trains were through-routed, meaning they only ran on half the Loop. Other trains continued to circle the Loop. The direction of trains in the Loop was changed to counter-clockwise, and the Northwestern and Lake Street “L”s changed to right-hand running outside of the Loop.
We spent some time cleaning up this 1913 map in Photoshop. Under the new scheme of things, the Loop ran counter-clockwise. Met trains continued to use the inner Loop tracks, and Northwestern trains the outer tracks, as before. Lake trains were rerouted onto the inner tracks, and South Side trains to the outer tracks. Now many trains could be through-routed between the north and south sides, although there were still trains that went around the Loop and served all the stations. It would also have been possible to through-route Lake and Met “L” trains, but this was not done. There was some equipment sharing between Northwestern and Lake, as both “L”s used overhead wire in places, but none of the Met cars were equipped with trolley poles until the 1926 Eucharistic Congress. M.E. writes, “I must compliment your excellent Photoshop work on the 1913 Rapid Transit System map. Did you notice that it mentions “electric” connections at 63rd and Stony Island and at 63rd Place and Halsted? The latter was the interurban to Kankakee, which quit sometime in the 1920s, although its trackage under the L lasted into at least the 1940s.”
This must have been a popular postcard, as it turns up a lot. This example was never mailed and is in excellent condition. It does show the bi-directional, left-hand running Loop, though, so it must date to before 1913. The Met car at left is heading north, away from us. The train at right is heading towards us. I suspect it is a Northwestern “L” car, about to head west on Van Buren. There were no transfer bridges at Loop stations until 1913. The view looks north at Wabash and Van Buren from Tower 12.
Postcards like this were based on black-and-white photos, although the finished product, since it is traced, ends up looking more like a drawing. Once the four “L” lines were put under consolidated management in 1913, free transfers between lines were permitted. Here, the Met “L” along Paulina crossed the Lake Street “L”, the only place on the entire system where two competing lines crossed, so Lake Street Transfer station was built. Met trains went downtown anyway, but it’s possible some riders might have been able to save a few minutes by switching to a Lake Street train. The view looks east.
We are looking west along the Van Buren leg of the Loop circa 1905. The train has a large “S” on it and is therefore a South Side “L” train, coming towards us as the Loop was left-hand running at the time, and is about to cross over to head south on the right-hand running Alley “L”.
An early 1900s postcard view of the Met “L” Logan Square Terminal.
Tower 12 at Wabash and Van Buren, looking north, in the early 900s. This is during the era when trains ran bi-directionally, left handed, prior to 1913. A Northwestern “L” train is turning behind Tower 12 and will head west. The train at left is heading north.
The date is not known, but this must be a photo stop along the North Shore Line’s Skokie Valley Route. We can only imagine how old the young boy at left is today, shown holding a pair of binoculars. This must be a siding of some sort. The original image was shot on size 127 Ektachrome film, a larger format that 35mm, but one that could still be mounted in a 2×2 mount– what people used to call a “superslide.” This term is also used to describe slides shot with size 828 film, which was slightly larger than 35mm.
A “superslide.” Since we are looking at the back of the slide, the image is reversed.
Red Arrow car 78 on the West Chester line on May 29, 1954, about a week before buses replaced trolleys. Much of the line was single track, side-of-the-road, with passing sidings. It fell victim to a road widening project along West Chester Pike. (James P. Shuman Photo)
Center door Red Arrow car 63 is at 69th Street Terminal on December 29, 1962.
Red Arrow car 63 at West Garrett Road on December 29, 1962. This car was built by Brill in the mid-1920s.
Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (aka Red Arrow) car 15 at the end of the Ardmore line in the early 1950s. Buses replaced trolleys in 1966.
Kansas City had an elevated railway line that started out as a cable car line and eventually became part of their streetcar system. It lasted into the 1950s. The last Kansas City PCC ran in 1957, but a new 2.2 mile long modern streetcar line opened in 2016. Kansas City Public Service car 776 was built by St. Louis Car Company in 1946.
A CTA Loop Shuttle train on the Wabash leg in 1974.
An eastbound two-car train of single car units, including car 8, are about to enter the Lotus Tunnel in March 1960. Construction of the Congress Expressway was well underway just to the north. The new highway opened in this area later that year.
Around 1940, the Chicago Surface Lines temporarily installed this door arrangement on prewar PCC 4051. It was later used on the 600 postwar PCCs.
CRT 3137 is part of a Lake Street Local train on the ground-level portion of that line. Don’s Rail Photos: “3136 and 3137 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as LSERR 84 and 85. They were rebuilt and renumbered 136 and 137 and later renumbered 3136 and 3137 in 1913. They became CRT 3136 and 3137 in 1923.”
A “Plushie” 4000-series “L” train on a late 1930s fantrip.
A Ravenswood Express with 4000s, including “Baldy” 4073, at the Merchandise Mart station circa 1940. From 1943-49, Ravenswood trains went downtown via the State Street Subway.
CRT 1101 heads up a southbound Evanston Shopper’s Special at the Merchandise Mart station circa 1940. Don’s Rail Photos: “1100 thru 1158 were built as trailers by Pullman in 1899 as NWERy 100 thru 158. They were renumbered 1100 thru 1158 in 1913 and became CRT 1100 thru 1158 in 1923.”
A Chicago & North Western RDC (Budd Rail Diesel Car) commuter train in Evanston on August 5, 1950.
CTA postwar PCC 4399 in the loop at 80th and Vincennes.
My “Spidey sense” tells me this picture of CA&E 412 was probably taken at Laramie Avenue. But it could not be any later than 1937, since that is when rail service to St. Charles ended. The view looks northwest and the train is headed west.
This is an unusual place to see an Electroliner, as we are on the South Side “L”. While the North Shore Line did run trains to the south side up to 1938, the Electrolners entered service in 1941. So, this must be a fantrip. Our resident south side expert M.E. writes, “This photo is an enigma. I cannot imagine the CNS&M would spare one of its two Electroliners for a fan trip. Maybe this was an introductory tour before service began in 1941. Also, your caption says the CNS&M ran to the south side until 1938. Then why do I remember seeing CNS&M cars on the Jackson Park L, rounding the curve at 63rd and Prairie, in the late 1940s? That CNS&M service ran to 63rd and Dorchester (1400 E.) to connect with Illinois Central passenger trains.” Miles Beitler: “I’m not sure, but RBK792 could be the 61st street station, photographed from a building in the adjacent yard. It’s hard to tell, but there appears to be a junction (the turnoff to the Englewood branch) just before the train in the far distance, which does appear to be a 6000.” Comparison with the following two photos proves (IMHO) that this is actually 61st Street, and that the picture was taken from the transfer bridge.
61st Street on the South side “L”. (George Trapp Collection)
61st Street on the South Side “L”. (George Trapp Collection)
The CA&E owned everything west of Laramie Avenue, including Lockwood Yard, shown here circa 1930 or so (by the looks of the auto at left). We are looking west and that’s Loretto Hospital in the distance, opened in 1923. Cars 418 and 431 are visible. Interestingly, the yard used overhead wire instead of third rail at this time. You can see a fence at the west end of the yard, and what appear to be a couple small bumper posts at track’s end. After the Garfield Park “L” was replaced by the CTA Congress median line, an alleyway was put in here, approximately where the two trains are. The house is still there, as you will see in the pictures that follow, and, it seems, one of the posts that supported trolley wire. However, the homes at left, on Flournoy Street (700 S.) are gone, replaced by expressway. This portion of yard and right-of-way is now occupied by light industry.
The same view today.
The fence to the right of this Chicago style brick bungalow shows just where Lockwood Yard ended. The yard was just north of the CA&E main line, which curved south just east of here and ran parallel to the B&OCT from here to Forest Park.
That certainly looks like one of the same poles in the earlier picture.
Chicago Aurora & Elgin wood car 16 at the end of the Batavia branch. Don’s Rail Photos: “16 was built by Niles Car in 1902. It was modernized in December 1939 and retired in 1959.”
An 1883 omnibus was part of the CTA Historical Collection at 77th and Vincennes on May 25, 1958. This and other historic vehicles were paraded out that day, during one of the final Chicago streetcar fantrips. PCCs, including 4409, are at left.
The view looking west from Racine on the Englewood “L” branch on November 3, 1955. The Loomis Terminal is in the distance.
Looking northeast from the Halsted station on the Met “L” main line on June 27, 1954, we see a two-car westbound Garfield Park train of flat-door 6000s.
A six-car train of wooden “L” cars heads west at California Avenue on the Lake Street line. We are looking west on March 17, 1954.
The CTA installed an escalator (called a “speed ramp”) at the Loomis Terminal on the Englewood branch. This photo was taken on February 19, 1957. This branch was extended two blocks west to Ashland in 1969, providing a more convenient transfer to buses. M.E. adds, “The L platform at Loomis Blvd. did not originally extend over the street. It was added to accommodate longer trains. The bus heading north on Loomis was probably serving route 110 Marquette Blvd., which ended at the L station. Until the early 1950s, bus service along Marquette and Loomis Blvds. was part of the Chicago Motor Coach system, and had double-decker buses that might not have fit under the L track (if it had been there).” Alan Follett adds, “As I recall, the “speed ramp” at Loomis wasn’t an escalator. It was a sort of gently-inclined conveyor belt.”
On February 19, 1957, we are looking west from the transfer bridge at Clark and Lake. A five-car Evanston Express train is at right, made up of wood cars in their final year of service.
The view looking west at 40th and Indiana Avenue on the South Side “L”. An 8-car Jackson Park train of 4000s is going to head north to Howard, and a train of southbound 6000s is off in the distance. The extra wide platform at right was extended in 1949, when the CTA turned the Kenwood branch into a shuttle operation. Riders could change here for that line and the Stock Yards branch. The date is April 13, 1954.
“L” car 1016 is part of an Evanston train at Madison and Wells.
CTA streetcar 1069 is running westbound on Route 16 – Lake Street. Some passengers have just stepped off and are waiting for the gates to go up as a Lake Street “L” train passes. There was a stretch of a few blocks where the ground-level “L” and streetcars ran side-by-side. Here, the trolley is going to go under the nearby embankment to run for a few blocks on the north side of the Chicago & North Western. Streetcars were replaced by buses in 1954, and the “L” was elevated onto the embankment in 1962. The picture can’t have been taken before 1948, as the Lake train is a “B.” A/B skip-stop service began on the line that year.
The front car here is 3139 on this Lake Street “L” train at Quincy and Wells.
One of the two cars in this Lake Street “L” train is 1708. At Madison and Wells.
CRT 3121 is a Lake Street gate car at Madison and Wells.
CRT 1772 at the front of a train at Lake and Homan.
CTA 1745 is the lead car on a westbound Lake Street “L” train, going down the ramp at Lake and Laramie.
A westbound Douglas Park train at Halsted on the Lake Street “L”. Douglas trains were rerouted downtown via Lake from 1954 to 1958.
CTA 2963 is a Douglas Park train at Madison and Wells.
CTA 2772 heads up a westbound Douglas Park train rounding the Halsted curve on the Met “L” main line.
The caption on the back of this picture says this is 54th Avenue on the Douglas Park “L”, however, I’m not so sure. It looks as though this is a westbound train that has just crossed over at the end of the line, but it is signed as a local and not an A or B train. M.E. writes: “Your caption is 99.44% correct, this picture has to be a westbound Douglas Park L at 54th St. in Cicero, crossing over to enter the terminal. The 0.56% in error is that it could indeed have been an all-stop train; A & B service on all lines that had A & B service was not A & B service at all times of day. As I recall, south side A & B service ran til maybe 8:30 p.m., and never on Sunday. So I contend this picture was taken on a Sunday.” Kenneth Smith: “I saw this pic in your recent October Surprise post and immediately suspected that the correct location is the El Strip, north of Cermak Road, between Euclid and Wesley Avenues in Berwyn, Il. The Westbound train is approaching the end-of-line station at Oak Park Ave. Were the Westbound train really approaching 54th Avenue in Cicero, the Danly Machine Tool Company plant – not residences – would have been along the Northside of the El tracks. After a little sleuthing via Google maps found that the classic two-flats which appear on the Northside of the tracks are still there and intact. And the West facing building still features a straight roof line as shown in your photo.”
An eastbound Garfield Park train at the Marshfield station in the early 1950s. Construction is already underway for the Congress Expressway that caused the “L” to be replaced by an expressway median route.
A train of CTA 2800s at Van Buren and Paulina. This was the temporary route for part of the Garfield Park “L” from 1953 to 1958.
A train of CTA 6000s is westbound at Laramie Avenue on the Garfield Park line in the 1950s.
CTA 3131, a one-man car operating on Route 16 – Lake Street, stops in front of the Woods Theater, located at 54 W. Randolph Street. The film 12 O’Clock High dates the picture to 1949. The Woods closed in 1989.
CRT 1013 at Skokie Shops. Don’s Rail Photos: “1013 was built by Pullman in 1899 as NWERy 13. It was renumbered 1013 in 1913 and became CRT 1013 in 1923. It was retired on December 20, 1954.”
CRT 2704 at Skokie Shops.
CTA 3148 heads up a Lake Street train at Quincy and Wells.
CSL 6211 near the Eastside Theater, located at 10555 S. Ewing Avenue. It opened in 1922 and closed in 1951.
Bill Myers writes:
Here is (North Shore Line) 411 in Brooklyn on the South Brooklyn Railway in March 1963.
Thanks… could it really have been that soon after the abandonment? Or is a 1964 date more likely? (The second picture shows the same car being moved years later, 1970s at least.)
Miles Beitler writes:
Great photos as usual!
Regarding RBK792, it’s really hard to tell but could there be a 6000 in the distance? If so, it would date the photo to 1950 or later. As for North Shore trains running to the south side, as far as I know that practice ended in 1938 as you said. However, perhaps NSL ran occasional trains for special events such as the 1948-1949 Chicago Railroad Fair and the 1952 Republican and Democratic national conventions (which were both held at the International Amphitheatre).
Photo RBK817 is interesting as the side curtain of car 1013 shows “LOGAN SQ EXPRESS”. Were there really express runs on that route? The Logan Square line wasn’t very long compared to the other west side lines and it didn’t have as many stations. If there was an express, which stations were skipped?
Thanks for writing. That may be 6000s in the distance. There were some very creative fantrips on the North Shore Line prior to abandonment, and some these did indeed use one of the Electroliners. I am not aware of any special runs relating to the Railroad Fair or political conventions, however.
Regarding where a Logan Square Express train would have stopped, and what stations would have been skipped, I do not know. Perhaps one of our readers can help.
Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!
New Steam Audio CD:
FYI, we have digitally remastered another classic steam railroad audio LP to Compact Disc. Many additional titles, including the complete output of the Railroad Record Club, in our Online Store.
RGTS Rio Grande to Silverton: A Sound Portrait of Mountain Railroading Price: $14.99
These are vintage 1960 narrow gauge steam train recordings, in true stereo, and originally released on LP in 1961. It is long out of print.
01. Riding The Train To Silverton
02. Photo Run At Elk Park
03. Arriving At Silverton
04. Train Time At La Jara
05. Illini Special At Cumbres Pass
06. Doubleheader Starting At Monero
07. Eastbound Freight
08. Arriving At Chama
09. Whistles At Coxo
10. Freight With Pusher At Coxo
Gone are the nostalgic sounds of steam echoes and thundering exhausts, but the memory is immortal. May they live on in the locomotive lexicon, as a monument to the era when trains were pulled by STEAM POWER.
As with all of our recordings, this CD comes with the complete, original liner notes.
Total time – 45:49
The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago in November 2018, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways
There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 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!
Title Building Chicago’s Subways Images of America
Author David Sadowski
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 is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! 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: For Shipping to Canada: 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)
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CSL Sedan 6317 at 10559 South Ewing. That bus at right is on the 103rd Street route. That’s the old Eastside Theater behind the streetcar. According to Cinema Treasures, “The Eastside Theater opened in 1922, at Ewing Avenue between 105th Street and 106th Street, in the East Side neighborhood of Chicago, not far from the Illinois-Indiana border. The Eastside Theater closed in 1951. Today, a bank is located on the site of the Eastside Theater, in a building dating from the late-1970’s.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
The same location today.
Here is another generous helping of classic Chicago streetcar photos from the latter part of the CSL era as well as the early days of its successor, the Chicago Transit Authority.
As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:
FYI, there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space. To see previous posts, use the search window on this page.
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 123rd post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 129,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.
You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a donation there as well.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
We thank you for your support.
New From Trolley Dodger Press:
American Streetcar R.P.O.s: 1893-1929
Mainline Railway Post Offices were in use in the United States from 1862 to 1978 (with the final year being operated by boat instead of on rails), but for a much briefer era, cable cars and streetcars were also used for mail handling in the following 15 cities*:
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New York City
Rochester, New York
*As noted by some of our readers, this list does not include interurban RPOs.
Our latest E-book American Streetcar R.P.O.s collects 12 books on this subject (over 1000 pages in all) onto a DVD data disc that can be read on any computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free software. All have been out of print for decades and are hard to find. In addition, there is an introductory essay by David Sadowski.
The rolling stock, routes, operations, and cancellation markings of the various American street railway post office systems are covered in detail. The era of the streetcar R.P.O. was relatively brief, covering 1893 to 1929, but it represented an improvement in mail handling over what came before, and it moved a lot of mail. In many places, it was possible to deposit a letter into a mail slot on a streetcar or cable car and have it delivered across town within a short number of hours.
These operations present a very interesting history, but are not well-known to railfans. We feel they deserve greater scrutiny, and therefore we are donating $1 from each sale of this item to the Mobile Post Office Society, in support of their efforts.
# of Discs – 1 Price: $19.95
CSL 702, shown here in 1951, was built by the Pressed Steel Car Company in 1909. The photo caption describes this as being the last car left in the 701-750 series. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) Andre Kristopans: “750 is at South Shops, on what would be 78th St just east of Vincennes.”
Westbound car 3109 crosses the 18th Street bridge. This CSL Safety Car, also known as a Sewing Machine(?), was built by CSL in 1922. It was scrapped in 1948. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
Blue Island car 3111 on the 18th Street line, at about 1738 West. (Joe L. Diaz Collection) Andre Kristopans: “3111 is on 18th Street WB, just west of Halsted where 18th had a major jog to the south. Leavitt/Blue Island was the west end of the 18th line.”
CSL Sedan 6281 at South Shops,probably when new (1929). (Chicago Surface Lines Photo)
CSL 6237 at 51st and State. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
51st and State today. The school in the background is now called the Crispus Attucks Community Academy.
CSL 1533, signed for 16th and Kenton, on September 27, 1947, just a few days before the CTA takeover.
CSL 6139 on the 35th Street route on April 27, 1951. This was one of the “Odd 17” cars (actually 19) in the two series 3090-3091 and 6138-6154. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “6139 was built by American Car Co in February 1918, (job) #1079.”
CSL 5068 on the Wallace-Racine route, circa 1948-49, near the Santa Fe Hotel. This was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “5001 thru 5200 were built by Brill in 1905, #14318, for the Chicago City Ry. where they carried the same numbers. They were rebuilt in 1908 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars.” George Foelschow: “I believe car 5068 is on Polk Street just west of State Street downtown, on the Wallace-Racine line. The Santa Fe was a modestly-appointed hotel in the South Loop and the restaurant carries a “10” on its awning. I don’t believe South Side Brills ever saw Webster Street on the North Side.”
CTA 1599 at Van Buren and Damen on September 24, 1949. This car was built by Chicago Railways in 1912. Don’s Rail Photos says, “These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier.” We are looking to the east, and the Paulina “L” is visible at rear. During construction of the Congress expressway, half of Van Buren in this area was used for ground-level rapid transit service between 1953 and 1958.
Van Buren and Damen today.
CTA Pullman 199, signed for Baltimore and 93rd.
CSL 6021 at Archer and Pitney Court on September 6, 1947. To paraphrase Don’s Rail Photos, It was “built by Brill Car Co in July 1914, (job) #19450. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1945 and restored as two-man in 1946.”
CTA 6070 on the California shuttle on December 31, 1948. Andre Kristopans: “6070 is at California and Belmont SB. The building to the left still stands, the old “Immel State Bank”, now a banquet hall.”
California and Belmont today. We are looking north.
CTA 5565 on September 10, 1949. This was known as a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. M. E. writes, “Methinks this photo is at Root St. (4130 South) and Halsted. Under that assumption, the view faces north, the L is the Stock Yards L, and the streetcar is on the 44 Wallace-Racine line, heading from westbound on Root to southbound on Halsted.”
CTA 3105 at Leavitt and Cermak on April 9, 1948. This is another Safety Car, aka a “Sewing Machine.”
Leavitt and Cermak today.
CSL 1382. To paraphrase Don’s Rail Photos, “1382 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906 as CUT 4911. It became CSL 1382 in 1914.”
CSL 6162 on the Broadway-State line. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6162 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was part of a group known as “169” or Broadway-State cars.
1537 and 1559 on the Taylor Street shuttle, after the mid-section of this line had been abandoned. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 2514 crossing the Rock Island at Givins station. According to http://www.chicagorailfan.com, the “earlier station was located on the north side of 111th St. west of Laflin Ave., on the east side of the tracks. A later station was constructed south of 111th St. on the west side of Marshfield Ave., on the east side of the tracks, discontinued in 1984. Construction of Interstate Highway 57 may have affected the station location.” This was part of a series called “Robertson” Rebuild Cars, built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Andre Kristopans adds, “RI Givins station at the end was a small (maybe 10×20) cinder block structure south of 111th. It hung around for many years after no more trains stopped there until being demolished circa 2000.”
Where the Rock Island crosses 111th today, just west of I-57.
CSL 5649 at Division and Western. This was another Brill-American-Kuhlman car. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL 3189 at Cottage Grove and 38th. This was known as a “Sun Parlor” car and was built by CSL in 1923.
CTA Pressed Steel car 730. It was built in 1909 to the same specs as the Pullmans.
CSL’s Navy tribute car during World War II. (Seth Bramson Collection)
CSL’s War Bond car during World War II. This picture was probably taken around 1942 on State Street while the streetcar tracks were being redone as part of the subway construction project.
CSL 922, probably circa 1915. This was known as a “Little” Pullman and was built in 1910. (Seth Bramson Collection) Andre Kristopans: “922 – very early shot indeed. Note car is still in all green, not red and cream. Also note a date that looks like “3-22-15”? date painted on panel under front door. I imagine this is a paint date. Also note car has no side route signs. It is sitting at West Shops.”
CSL Pullman 677 on the outer end of Milwaukee Avenue on March 4, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection) Andre Kristopans: “677 – Most likely on Milwaukee north of Central where many cars turned back. Originally turnback point was Gale St, right where Jefferson Park terminal now is, but later was moved to Central.”
CSL Pullman 696 at the Museum Loop in Grant Park in April 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)
CSL Pullman 431 on Cicero Avenue, February 22, 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)