Our New Book: Chicago Trolleys

On the Cover: Car 1747 was built between 1885 and 1893 by the Chicago City Railway, which operated lines on the South Side starting in April 1859. This is a single-truck (one set of wheels) open electric car; most likely a cable car, retrofitted with a trolley and traction motor. The man at right is conductor William Stevely Atchison (1861-1921), and this image came from his granddaughter. (Courtesy of Debbie Becker.)

On the Cover: Car 1747 was built between 1885 and 1893 by the Chicago City Railway, which operated lines on the South Side starting in April 1859. This is a single-truck (one set of wheels) open electric car; most likely a cable car, retrofitted with a trolley and traction motor. The man at right is conductor William Stevely Atchison (1861-1921), and this image came from his granddaughter. (Courtesy of Debbie Becker.)

We are pleased to report that our new book Chicago Trolleys will be released on September 25th by Arcadia Publishing. You can pre-order an autographed copy through us today (see below). Chicago Trolleys will also be available wherever Arcadia books are sold.

Overview

Chicago’s extensive transit system first started in 1859, when horsecars ran on rails in city streets. Cable cars and electric streetcars came next. Where new trolley car lines were built, people, businesses, and neighborhoods followed. Chicago quickly became a world-class city. At its peak, Chicago had over 3,000 streetcars and 1,000 miles of track—the largest such system in the world. By the 1930s, there were also streamlined trolleys and trolley buses on rubber tires. Some parts of Chicago’s famous “L” system also used trolley wire instead of a third rail. Trolley cars once took people from the Loop to such faraway places as Aurora, Elgin, Milwaukee, and South Bend. A few still run today.

The book features 221 classic black-and-white images, each with detailed captions, in 10 chapters:

1. Early Traction
2. Consolidation and Growth
3. Trolleys to the Suburbs
4. Trolleys on the “L”
5. Interurbans under Wire
6. The Streamlined Era
7. The War Years
8. Unification and Change
9. Trolley Buses
10. Preserving History

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467126816
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 09/25/2017
Series: Images of Rail
Pages: 128

Meet the Author

David Sadowski has been interested in streetcars ever since his father took him for a ride on one of the last remaining lines in 1958. He grew up riding trolley buses and “L” trains all over Chicago. He coauthored Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936–1958, and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog. Come along for the ride as we travel from one side of the city to the other and see how trolley cars and buses moved Chicago’s millions of hardworking, diverse people.

Images of Rail

The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar, and subway transportation across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the people, places, and events that helped revolutionize transportation and commerce in 19th- and 20th-century America. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

How Chicago Trolleys Came To Be

Arcadia Publishing contacted us several months ago, after becoming aware of the work we do on this blog, and asked if we would be interested in authoring a book about Chicago streetcars. This being an exciting prospect, we responded very much in the affirmative.

This would be, by any stretch of the imagination, a very different book than our last project, the color Chicago PCC book. For one thing, with color photographs, you are largely limited to the era from 1940 on. A black-and-white book can cover a much larger time-frame. Great black-and-white photograph have a timeless appeal.

It is possible, although certainly not easy, to tell a cohesive and coherent story largely through pictures and their accompanying text. With Chicago Trolleys, we believe we have succeeded in this, and have created a book that will appeal both to railfans and the general public.

We decided to broaden the scope of our book to include more than simply Chicago streetcars. This gives the book greater variety, but also allows for a more thorough overview of the subject, in the context of local history and development.

Thus, it seemed natural to include the horsecars and cable cars that preceded trolleys, the important suburban streetcar lines, the interurbans that used overhead wire, and even those portions of the Chicago “L” that did the same.

Since the last Chicago streetcar ran in 1958, you would have to be “of a certain age” to remember them. But there are many more people who still fondly recall Chicago’s trolley buses, whose singing wire was an important part of everyday life until 1973. Trolley buses fit in our overall theme of Chicago trolleys, and we have therefore included them.

Our concluding chapter takes a look at ongoing efforts to preserve past transit history, for the benefit of future generations.

When we were putting this book together, our challenge was not what to include, but what to leave out. There are so many great Chicago-area photographs that the process of distilling them down to an acceptable number was quite difficult.

While there may be some subjects where finding enough photographs of good quality is difficult, the opposite is true for Chicago traction. There is an embarrassment of riches.

We had, as a starting point, our own extensive collections of images. We reviewed thousands of images for possible inclusion, creating detailed lists of potential candidates, which we pored over, debated and rearranged for months.

Gradually, all the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle began to fall into place. The narrative gradually found its own form, just as a river finds its own course.  This “winnowing-down” process helped distill our narrative into a potent brew.

We are especially proud of the chapter on how the various transit agencies did their patriotic duty, and supported the war effort during World War II.

We are indebted to other collectors and photographers for sharing their images with us. They say that “no man is an island,” and that is certainly true when putting together a book such as this.

The text for the introduction and captions went through several revisions, including a “peer review.” We are fortunate to have an excellent editor, whose assistance has greatly improved the book in various ways.

Not wanting to duplicate the work of previous publications, we went out of our way to avoid, if at all possible, using images that have already appeared in other books. The great majority of images in the book are appearing between covers for the first time.

In addition, a large number of pictures were sourced from original camera negative or slides in our possession. Many of these are larger than 35mm and hence of greater sharpness and clarity.

Chicago Trolleys represents an investment of several thousand dollars in original research. There is no guarantee, of course, that we can recoup this investment, but we hope to do so, if only for the sake of funding research for future books. We have an idea for our next book, but naturally much depends on the success of this one.

Chicago Trolleys is now available for pre-order. Other booksellers are already doing the same. Since we have a responsibility to help promote the book, we might as well join in.

Books will be shipped on or about September 25th. Each copy will be signed by the author, unless otherwise specified by the buyer at the time of purchase. We are offering free shipping on copies sent to US addresses. Books will be shipped in the order they are purchased, so why not reserve your copy today.

We hope that you will enjoy it.

-David Sadowski

Pre-Order Chicago Trolleys

The book costs just $21.99 plus shipping. Shipping within the US is included in the price. Shipping to Canada is just $5 additional, or $10 elsewhere.

Please note that Illinois residents must pay 10.00% sales tax on their purchases.

We appreciate your business!

For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

street-railwayreview1895-002

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 186th 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 295,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

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

We thank you for your support.

DONATIONS

In order to continue giving you the kinds of historic railroad images that you have come to expect from The Trolley Dodger, we need your help and support. It costs money to maintain this website, and to do the sort of historic research that is our specialty.

Your financial contributions help make this web site better, and are greatly appreciated.

The Great Chicago Interurbans – Part Two (CNS&M)

This remarkable very early color picture shows NSL Birney car 332 and a variety of interurban cars in Milwaukee. In back, that’s car 300 in fantrip service. It was used by CERA as a club car circa 1939-42, which helps date the photo. Don’s Rail Photos: “332 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625. It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948… 300 thru 302 were built by Jewett in 1909 as mainline coaches. As the steel cars arrived, they were downgraded to local and school tripper service. In 1936 they became sleet cutters. In 1939 300 was turned over to the Central Electric Railfans’ Association as a private car. The ownership remained with the CNS&M, but the maintenance was taken over by CERA. During the war, with many members in service, CERA relinquished control, and the car was scrapped in 1947. 301 and 302 were retired in 1939 and scrapped in 1940.” CERA bulletins of the time say that fantrips, being non-essential travel were not allowed for much of the war, starting in 1942. By the time the war ended, car 300 had been stripped of some parts in order to keep other wood cars running. Several were sold to the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin in 1946. The North Shore Line had decided it no longer wanted to run wood cars in passenger service. Then, the 300 was vandalized and some windows were smashed. It was scrapped by CNS&M.

Today, we continue our look at the great Chicago interurbans* by featuring the North Shore Line. The Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee last ran on January 21, 1963, just over 54 years ago.

This is widely considered the end of the Interurban Era.

But wait, there’s much more on offer in this, our 175th post. All of today’s black-and-white photos are scanned from the original negatives. This includes an original medium format neg taken by Edward Frank, Jr., which he traded with another collector. I don’t know what became of the rest of his negatives.

-David Sadowski

See our last post (January 28, 2017) for part one.

North Shore Line

<img class="size-large wp-image-9191" src="https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/dave588.jpg?w=665" alt="On a June 17, 1962 CERA fantrip, we see NSL car 744 posing for pictures on a section of track that was once part of the old Shore Line Route, abandoned in 1955. Don's Rail Photos: "744 was built by Pullman in 1928. It was modernized in 1940." We previously featured another picture taken at this location in our post More Color Restorations (August 9, 2016).” width=”665″ height=”407″ /> On a June 17, 1962 CERA fantrip, we see NSL car 744 posing for pictures on a section of track that was once part of the old Shore Line Route, abandoned in 1955. Don’s Rail Photos: “744 was built by Pullman in 1928. It was modernized in 1940.” We previously featured another picture taken at this location in our post More Color Restorations (August 9, 2016).

CNS&M wooden interurban car 303 in its days as a sleet cutter. Don’s Rail Photos: “303 thru 305 were built by American Car in 1910 and were almost identical. In 1939 they became sleet cutters and were retired and scrapped in 1940.”

CNS&M 704 getting washed at the Milwaukee terminal. Don’s Rail Photos: “704 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in May 1923, #2635.” (Walter Broschart Photo)

The information I received with this negative says that CNS&M 169 is a Special on the Shore Line Route in Wilmette in 1954. On the other hand, one of our long-time readers says this is actually Mundelein terminal on that branch line. Since this is apparently a fantrip car, the Shore Line Route sign may be incorrect. Don’s Rail Photos: “169 was built by Jewett in 1917.”

A not too sharp picture of a southbound train on the Shore Line Route at Wilmette.

A not too sharp picture of a southbound train on the Shore Line Route at Wilmette.

Richard H. Young took this picture on June 2, 1960 from the back of a moving North Shore car somewhere near Mundelein. We see a line car at work on the other track. One of our regular readers says that we are looking east toward South Upton tower, with Rt. 176 at left (north).

Richard H. Young took this picture on June 2, 1960 from the back of a moving North Shore car somewhere near Mundelein. We see a line car at work on the other track. One of our regular readers says that we are looking east toward South Upton tower, with Rt. 176 at left (north).

A close-up of the line car. Not sure whether this is the 604 or the 606.

A close-up of the line car. Not sure whether this is the 604 or the 606.

The same location today.

The same location today.

CNS&M 774 at the Milwaukee terminal. Don’s Rail Photos: “774 was built by Standard Steel Car Co in 1930, It was rebuilt as (a) Silverliner on May 9, 1950.” This photo appears to predate that.

CNS&M 761 at the Milwaukee terminal on May 29, 1950. Don’s Rail Photos: “761 was built by Standard Steel Car Co in 1930. It was modernized in 1949 and rebuilt as Silverliner in October 11, 1957.”

One of the two Electroliners passes a train of older cars in this wintry scene. Not sure of the exact location. The Electroliners entered service in 1941. Don Ross: “The Electroliner in the snow was at North Chicago. I have one similar from a different angle and no snow.” Jerry Wiatrowski: “The picture of the Southbound Electroliner is entering the curve to North Chicago Junction. The photographer is looking Northwest from North Chicago Junction. The bypass line continues South to the left.”

The same location today. We are looking north at about 2225 Commonwealth Avenue in North Chicago, IL. The cross-street, which was 22nd Street, is now Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.

The same location today. We are looking north at about 2225 Commonwealth Avenue in North Chicago, IL. The cross-street, which was 22nd Street, is now Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.

North Shore steeple cab 459 looks like it is backing up to connect with a couple of stalled cars. The information I got with this negative says this is Cudahy, Wisconsin in April 1954. That is just south of Milwaukee. However, it’s been pointed out to me that this municipality was a couple miles west of the right-of-way and the station in the picture looks more like Waukegan. Don’s Rail Photos: “459 was built by the SP&S in August 1941 as OERy 51. It was purchased by the North Shore in December 1947 and was completed as 459 on November 22, 1948.”

North Shore Birney car 335 in July 1947. Don’s Rail Photos: “335 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625. It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.” The car is signed for Oklahoma Avenue in Milwaukee.

Car 409 on an early CERA fantrip, which may have been on June 4, 1939. It appears to be coupled to 716. The car at left may be 168. Car 255 is also supposed to have been used on that 1939 fantrip, but at that time, it was a full-length baggage car that had no seats and was often used to move musician’s instruments to and from Ravinia Park. The seats were not put in again until 1942. Don’s Rail Photos: “409 was built by Cincinnati Car in May 1923, #2465, as a dining car motor. In 1942 it was rebuilt as a coach and rebuilt as a Silverliner on March 30, 1955. Since it had no bulkhead between smoking and non-smoking sections, it was our favorite car to be used for meetings of the Milwaukee Division of the Electric Railroaders Association in Milwaukee. The North Shore was very cooperative in making sure that the car was in the location shown on meeting nights.”

I received no information with this negative, but this may show a bunch of North Shore Line cars in dead storage after the 1963 abandonment. Notice the destination sign is missing from combine 254. This car was not saved. Don’s Rail Photos: “254 was built by Jewett in 1917. The seating was changed to 28 on August 26, 1955.”

CNS&M 759 and train at South Upton on June 15, 1947. Don’s Rail Photos: “759 was built by Standard Steel Car Co in 1930. It was modernized in 1949.”

CNS&M 737 at Highwood in 1950. Don’s Rail Photos: “737 was built by Pullman in 1928. It was modernized in 1940 and rebuilt as Silverliner on June 30, 1950.” (Richard S. Short Photo)

CNS&M 739 near Glencoe. The date given is June 21, 1941; however, there was a CERA fantrip the following day, so the date may actually be June 22. The car is signed for charter service on the Shore Line Route. June 22, 1941 was also the day that Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Don’s Rail Photos: “739 was built by Pullman in 1928. It was modernized in 1940 and rebuilt as (a) Silverliner on August 31, 1950.”

CNS&M 155 is a Skokie Valley Route Special at North Chicago on April 17, 1952. Don’s Rail Photos: “155 was built by Brill in 1915, #19605. It was damaged by fire at Highwood on August 11, 1955, and scrapped. One end from it was used to repair 735.”

South Shore Line

The other great Chicago interurban, of course, is the South Shore Line, which continues to operate between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. We have just a couple vintage photos to show you today, but are sure to have more soon.

CSS&SB car 1 heads up a train at Randolph Street in downtown Chicago in 1946. Don’s Rail Photos: “1 was built by Pullman in 1926. It was later air-conditioned. It went to National Park Service in 1983 and (was) loaned to (the) Southern Michigan RR.” Spence Ziegler says, “The photo of CSS&SB #1 was more likely 1950-52; I have a slide from the Interurbans Slide set from 1983 showing #1 leaving Kensington in 1949 (on the rear of a train) still with the destination sign and train number sign on it’s end, though both were disused. Bill Wasik: “The CSS&SB car 1 at Randolph Street in downtown Chicago photo dated 1946 instead likely was taken between July 1952, when the giant Pabst sign on Randolph was dismantled, and mid-1953, when steel going up for the Prudential Building would have been visible in this view.”

CSS&SB freight motor 903 at Michigan City on July 17, 1956. Don’s Rail Photos: “903 was built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in September 1929, #61047, as IC 10001. It became CSS&SB 903 in July 1941.”

Chicago & West Towns Railways

The Chicago & West Towns Railways operated streetcars in Chicago’s western suburbs. But a 1942 Chicago guidebook referred to it as an “interurban,” probably referring to its longest and busiest line, which ran from Cicero to LaGrange and had sections of private right-of-way. Starting in 1934, it went to the Brookfield Zoo.

C&WT 163 at the Oak Park car barn on April 23, 1939. There was a CERA fantrip on the West Towns on this date. 163 was built by the Cummings Car Company in 1927. (LaMar M. Kelley Photo)

C&WT 163 at the Oak Park car barn on April 23, 1939. There was a CERA fantrip on the West Towns on this date. 163 was built by the Cummings Car Company in 1927. (LaMar M. Kelley Photo)

C&WT line car 15 at the Harlem and Cermak car barn. Don’s Rail Photos: “15 was built by Pullman Car in 1897 as Suburban RR 512. It was renumbered 515 and rebuilt as 15 in 1927. It was rebuilt in 1940 and scrapped in 1948.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Edward Frank, Jr.'s famous bicycle, which appears in many of his pictures.

Edward Frank, Jr.’s famous bicycle, which appears in many of his pictures.

C&WT 146 at Lake and Austin, east end of the line. Riders could change across the street for a Chicago car. The Park Theater, at right, was showing Sutter's Gold, starring Edward Arnold. That film was released in 1936, which may be the date of this photo. This car was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924.

C&WT 146 at Lake and Austin, east end of the line. Riders could change across the street for a Chicago car. The Park Theater, at right, was showing Sutter’s Gold, starring Edward Arnold. That film was released in 1936, which may be the date of this photo. This car was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924.

C&WT 105, described as being tan in color, in front of the North Riverside car barn on April 28, 1939. (However, if the date was actually the 23rd, there was a CERA fantrip.) Don’s Rail Photos: “105 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1915.” (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo) Gordon E. Lloyd grew up in the Chicago area and would have been 14 years old at the time. He later became a well-known railfan photographer and authored some books. He died aged 81 in 2006. Pretty good picture for a teenager!

C&WT 105 at Cermak and Kenton, probably in the late 1930s. This was the east end of the long LaGrange line and this car is signed for the Brookfield Zoo. Note the CSL car at rear. Riders could change here to go east on route 21 – Cermak. Don’s Rail Photos: “105 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1915.”

Angel’s Flight

The Angel’s Flight Railway is a narrow gauge funicular in the Bunker Hill neighborhood in Los Angeles. A funicular is somewhat like an elevator that goes up the side of a hill; when one car goes up, the other goes down. I’ve been on three of these myself– two in Pittsburgh and one in Dubuque, Iowa.

Most of these have operated for over a century without major incidents, but Angel’s Flight has been plagued by bad luck for a long time. First, starting in the early 1960s, the area around it was slated for redevelopment, and the surrounding buildings were torn down. The hill it was on was partly leveled.

Fortunately, Angel’s Flight was disassembled after it stopped running in 1969, and put into storage. It was moved a half block south and reopened in 1996.

Unfortunately, there were some problems with how the thing was engineered as reconstructed, which led to some accidents. While Angel’s Flight has not run for a few years, these safety concerns have been addressed one by one, and now all that stands in the way of its reopening is the installation of an emergency walkway in case the thing breaks down on its 298-foot journey. Meanwhile, the not-for-profit group that operates it has to pay thousands of dollars each month for insurance.

Still, Angel’s Flight is an LA landmark and we hope that it will operate once again, and safely.

In the meantime, I was surprised to find it featured in a brief scene in the film La La Land. The two leads (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone) are shown riding and kissing on the funicular.

Although Angel’s Flight is closed to the public, the operators thought it would be OK to use it in a film, and I’m sure they benefit a great deal from the publicity. But while they have been reprimanded (right now, no one is supposed to ride except employees), I am glad it appears in the film.

Angel’s Flight has been appearing in movies for nearly 100 years now. You can read an article about this here.

af1

af2

af3

Angel's Flight at its original location (3rd and Hill Streets) on July 5, 1962, before nearby buildings were torn down. (Leo Callos Photo)

Angel’s Flight at its original location (3rd and Hill Streets) on July 5, 1962, before nearby buildings were torn down. (Leo Callos Photo)

A view of Angel's Flight in 1964, showing the building at left demolished.

A view of Angel’s Flight in 1964, showing the building at left demolished.

A side view of Angel's Flight in 1964, after nearby buildings were being demolished. (Leo Callos Photo)

A side view of Angel’s Flight in 1964, after nearby buildings were being demolished. (Leo Callos Photo)

The Angel's Flight funicular on June 13, 1961. (George Basch Photo)

The Angel’s Flight funicular on June 13, 1961. (George Basch Photo)

Recent Correspondence

Jack Bejna writes:

I enjoy the Trolley Dodger immensely, especially anything CA&E! I grew up in Broadview and walked to Proviso High School every day along the CA&E right of way from 9th avenue to 5th Avenue. This month’s CA&E images are some that I haven’t seen before and are great, especially since they’re medium format images. I have a request….I would like to see a good image of the old dispatcher’s office (before it was repainted and the upper windows covered over. I’m sure someone took pictures of the office but I’ve never seen one.

Thanks for all you do; it sure makes my day!

I post these images practically as soon as I can buy them, but I can put this request in my next post, in hopes that someone might be able to help.

Glad you enjoy the blog.

Thanks David, I’ll be looking and hoping for a good shot. Again, thanks for all you do for us CA&E fanatics!

Bill Shapotkin writes:

Dave — in your January 2015 posting, this photo was included:

CTA 78 is shown at the east end of the Madison-Fifth shuttle in February, 1954. But wait-- wouldn't car 78 be on the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago? According to Alan R. Lind's CSL book, the CTA renumbered car 1780 to 78 in the waning days of red car service, in order to free up numbers in the 1780s for some buses. This was the only time a CSL streetcar was given a two-digit number, except for work cars. That's one school of thought. On the other hand, the number on the side of this car looks like 1781, and according to Andre Kristopans, it was still 1781 when scrapped. It may in fact not be a renumbering at all, just a case where either the car's paint got touched up and obscured part of the number, or part of the number fell off and did not get replaced, since red car service was ending in a few months anyway. At left in the background you can see Fohrman Motors, a Chicago car dealer from 1912 to 1979. Three people were killed at the dealership by a disgruntled customer on January 7, 1966. The neighborhood, not far from the construction site for the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway, is already showing signs of urban decay. We discuss this in our post Some Thoughts on “Displaced” (August 30, 2016).

CTA 78 is shown at the east end of the Madison-Fifth shuttle in February, 1954. But wait– wouldn’t car 78 be on the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago? According to Alan R. Lind’s CSL book, the CTA renumbered car 1780 to 78 in the waning days of red car service, in order to free up numbers in the 1780s for some buses. This was the only time a CSL streetcar was given a two-digit number, except for work cars.
That’s one school of thought. On the other hand, the number on the side of this car looks like 1781, and according to Andre Kristopans, it was still 1781 when scrapped. It may in fact not be a renumbering at all, just a case where either the car’s paint got touched up and obscured part of the number, or part of the number fell off and did not get replaced, since red car service was ending in a few months anyway.
At left in the background you can see Fohrman Motors, a Chicago car dealer from 1912 to 1979. Three people were killed at the dealership by a disgruntled customer on January 7, 1966. The neighborhood, not far from the construction site for the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway, is already showing signs of urban decay. We discuss this in our post Some Thoughts on “Displaced” (August 30, 2016).

Your caption read (in part):

“CTA 78 is shown at the east end of the Madison-Fifth shuttle in February, 1954. But wait– wouldn’t car 78 be on the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago? In actuality, I think this is car 1781. Perhaps part of the number has fallen off”

Well, I have an explanation (courtesy of Roy Benedict — who seems to recall that he heard this from Glen Anderson). It JUST SO HAPPENED, both car #1781 AND bus #1781 were assigned to Kedzie station at the time. To avoid confusion, the decals for the digit”1″ were removed off the streetcar — thus avoiding any confusion. Roy had ridden car #78 on the Fifth Ave Shuttle on at least two occasions (and noticed the strange two-digit car number) — only to find out years later (again, he recalls that it was via Glen) as to the reason.

That’s great to know, thanks. I recently bought another copy of the Lind book, and while it does mention the renumbering, offers no explanation. (I have owned several copies of Chicago Surface Lines, An Illustrated History over the years, but have given some of them away, and other copies are in storage.)

The only thing that would need to be double-checked is whether there really was a bus 1781 working out of the Kedzie car house. I suppose Andre would know that.

Andre Kristopans writes:

There was a bus 1781 in 1954, but not at Kedzie. 1700’s at the time were at North Av, North Park, and Limits. Best explanation I can give is that when 1781 was last repainted, they didn’t have any “1” decals, and so out it went as “78”, and the problem was never corrected. Note it does appear the side number is 78 also! However, CTA’s streetcar retirements documentation show 1781, both in the AFR and the scrap ledger.

Gina Sammis wrote us a while back, looking for information on Gustav Johnson, a longtime Chicago Surface Lines employee (born June 23, 1855 – died November 23, 1946). He retired around 1925, after having worked on streetcars for 35 years.

As it happens, I recently purchased a copy of the December 1946 Surface Service, the CSL employee magazine. These do not often come up for sale, in comparison with the later CTA Transit News.

Mr. Johnson is mentioned in two places. There is the one you already know about on page 15, in a section titled In Memoriam.

But there are also reports from individual car houses (barns), and on page 8 it says,”Retired Motorman Gus Johnson passed away November 24.”

So, at least that tells you that he was driving the streetcars, and not just the conductor taking fares.

I took the liberty of writing to George Trapp, in order to find out just what streetcar lines would have been operating out of Devon Station (car house) in the early 1900s. Here is his reply:

I would guess the Evanston cars before 1913 or so before the barn on Central Street in Evanston was built and after 1901 when the Devon barn was built. The North Shore & Western dinkey may also have been stored there in the Winter when the golf club was closed. The Devon shuttle and the Lawrence Avenue lines as well and possibly the North Western line before being through routed with Western which also used the barn for part of the service from sometime in the 1930’s and half the service in the PCC era.

His answer needs a bit of further explaining.  I did some additional research,  From 1901, when the Devon car house opened, until 1913, Evanston streetcars would have used the facility. After that, they had their own barn.

You need to consider that this area was just getting built up around this time. So, there were a lot of changes. In general, the dates of the changes will give you a clue to about when development was happening.

Here is what the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society says about the North Shore and Western Railway:

The North Shore & Western Railway Company was formed and owned by the members of the Glen View Club in Golf, Illinois. It comprised two pieces of equipment, one streetcar and a snow plow. There were two employees, a motorman and conductor. The hours of operation were set for the convenience of the members of the golf club.

It operated from the golf club through a portion of Harms Woods crossing the North Branch of the Chicago River in the woods and ran straight east on what is now known as Old Orchard Road to Evanston, where the street becomes Harrison Street. It was nicknamed the Toonerville Trolley and a piece of a rail is on display at the Skokie Historical Society.

The membership tired of the trolley’s ownership and sold the line to the Evanston Railway Company.

George Trapp refers to their sole streetcar as a “dinky,” meaning it was small.

The “Devon Avenue Shuttle” would have run east-west. According to Alan R. Lind on page 254 of Chicago Surface Lines, An Illustrated History (Third Edition):

This short North Side shuttle started operation May 20, 1917 from Clark to Western. One-man cars took over the service March 13, 1921. A west extension opened December 14, 1925 from Western to Kedzie, and an east extension opened from Clark to Magnolia January 30, 1928. When Broadway cars began to run to Devon and Kedzie on July 10, 1932, the Devon shuttle car was discontinued.”

North Western Avenue is covered in the same book on page 312:

This extension of the regular Western route began October 18, 1915 between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr. Extensions brought the line to Devon on December 11, 1915, and to Howard on December 16, 1916. The line was through-routed with Western on May 1, 1923.

The busiest route working out of Devon station would have always been Clark, which started running downtown (from Howard) on October 21, 1906. It was through-routed with the south side Wentworth line on March 17, 1908.

Here is what Lind says about the Broadway route on page 231:

In 1906 this North Side trunk route ran from Clark and Howard at the city limits to a loop in downtown Chicago via Cark, Devon, Broadway, Clark, Randolph, LaSalle, Monroe, Dearborn, and Randolph. At this time streetcars to north suburban Evanston also ran on the Broadway route from the old Limits carbarn at Drummond and Clark to Central and Bennett in Evanston. The route was the same as the Broadway cars to Howard, then via Chicago, Dempster, Sherman, and Central to Bennett.

On July 24, 1907 the Evanston line was extended west from Bennett to Lincolnwood Dr. On the same day a single track extension line known as the North Shore & Western Railway began service via Lincolnwood and Harrison to the Glenview Golf Club west of the Chicago River.

The local Broadway cars and the Evanston service to Lincolnwood Dr. were operated by the Chicago Union Traction Company, a Yerkes property. The track north of Irving Park was owned by the Chicago Consolidated Traction Company. (The North Shore & Western was owned by some men with a stake in the golf club.) On February 25, 1908 CUT was reorganized as Chicago Railways Company. On December 27, 1910 Chicago Railways sold its suburban lines to the County Traction Company. At midnight on that date the track connection between the Broadway line, still under CRYs, and the Evanston line was cut at Clark and Howard. Through passengers had to walk across a 30-foot gap in the track from the Evanston cars, now in local Evanston service only under County Traction, to the Broadway cars, still under Chicago Railways.

Because of a franchise requirement of one of the underlying companies,, free transfers from Evanston to Broadway cars were issued starting December 31, 1910. County Traction was split into two companies on August 5, 1913: Evanston Traction and Chicago & West Towns Railway Co. Evanston Traction became (the Evanston Railways Company and in 1936) Evanston Bus Company.

In sum, if your relative worked at Devon station in the early 1900s, chances are most of his work would have been on the Clark and Broadway lines. On my blog, if you do a search on the words Clark or Broadway, you will turn up lots of photos showing service on those lines.

Gina replied:

You have been so helpful and I am very appreciative. Thank you David.

We have added a complete scan of the December 1946 Surface Service to our E-book Chicago's PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available in our Online Store.

We have added a complete scan of the December 1946 Surface Service to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available in our Online Store.

dave763

dave771

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. But better yet, why not write us at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

street-railwayreview1895-002

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 175th 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 248,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

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

We thank you for your support.

DONATIONS

In order to continue giving you the kinds of historic railroad images that you have come to expect from The Trolley Dodger, we need your help and support. It costs money to maintain this website, and to do the sort of historic research that is our specialty.

As we mentioned in a previous post, we also are on a tight deadline to finish our new book Chicago Trolleys. Your financial contributions will help make this book better, and are greatly appreciated.

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Twelve

CSL 6149, an Odd 17 car built by CSL in 1919, is on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway), which ran from 1912 until October 7, 1946. The bicycle at right is very likely the photographer's. Ed Frank rode his bike all over the city instead of taking the streetcar, so he could save money to buy film. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6149, an Odd 17 car built by CSL in 1919, is on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway), which ran from 1912 until October 7, 1946. The bicycle at right is very likely the photographer’s. Ed Frank rode his bike all over the city instead of taking the streetcar, so he could save money to buy film. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Today’s post features the final batch of Chicago Surface Lines photos from the George Trapp collection. To find earlier posts in this series, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page.

As always, if you can help us with locations and other tidbits of information about what you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can update the captions and share the information with our readers. You can comment on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

We are very grateful for the generosity of George Trapp in sharing these great classic images with us. We also wish to thank the original photographers who took these pictures.

The good news is that George Trapp is going to share his extensive collection of Chicago rapid transit photos with us. Watch this space.

-David Sadowski


CSL 1457. Don's Rail Photos: "1457 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4505. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA68 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on December 17, 1958." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1457. Don’s Rail Photos: “1457 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4505. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA68 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on December 17, 1958.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL/CTA Calt Car AA17. Don's Rail Photos: "AA17, salt car, was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4523. It was rebuilt as 1475 in 1911 and became CSL 1475 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA17 on October 1, 1941. It was retired on October 30, 1951." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL/CTA Calt Car AA17. Don’s Rail Photos: “AA17, salt car, was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4523. It was rebuilt as 1475 in 1911 and became CSL 1475 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA17 on October 1, 1941. It was retired on October 30, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2605, a Robertson Rebuild car. Don's Rail Photos: "2605 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was stored at Devon Barn in 1948 and scrapped there in 1954." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2605, a Robertson Rebuild car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2605 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was stored at Devon Barn in 1948 and scrapped there in 1954.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

An early photo of CSL 1494 in charter service. This was called a "Bowling Alley" car due to the sideways seating. Don's Rail Photos: "1494 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4543. It was rebuilt as 1494 n 1911 and became CSL 1494 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA83 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on October 7, 1954."

An early photo of CSL 1494 in charter service. This was called a “Bowling Alley” car due to the sideways seating. Don’s Rail Photos: “1494 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4543. It was rebuilt as 1494 n 1911 and became CSL 1494 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA83 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on October 7, 1954.”

CSL Pullman 362 on the trestle over the Illinois Central at Roosevelt Road, heading to the Museum Loop.

CSL Pullman 362 on the trestle over the Illinois Central at Roosevelt Road, heading to the Museum Loop.

A 1910 builder's photo of Chicago Railways Pullman 751. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A 1910 builder’s photo of Chicago Railways Pullman 751. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A close-up of the Chicago Railways logo.

A close-up of the Chicago Railways logo.

CSL Pullman 870 is at Devon and Western. One of our keen-eyed readers notes, "I believe that this photo was actually taken in the Summer of 1948, rather than 1946 as stated in your caption. The reason that I say that is because the ACF-Brill bus seen at the curb on the left hand side of the photo was most likely operating on route 36A which was a shuttle on Devon from Kedzie to Broadway and Ardmore Loop. It was started on 12/15/1947 when route 36 - Broadway-State was cutback to Devon-Ravenswood when PCCs were instituted. PCCs were introduced on Western Avenue on August 1, 1948 which explains why Small Pullmans are shown running on Western Avenue in the photo. The car is heading west on Devon. In the distance, you can see the slight rise to Ridge Avenue near Misericordia." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Pullman 870 is at Devon and Western. One of our keen-eyed readers notes, “I believe that this photo was actually taken in the Summer of 1948, rather than 1946 as stated in your caption. The reason that I say that is because the ACF-Brill bus seen at the curb on the left hand side of the photo was most likely operating on route 36A which was a shuttle on Devon from Kedzie to Broadway and Ardmore Loop. It was started on 12/15/1947 when route 36 – Broadway-State was cutback to Devon-Ravenswood when PCCs were instituted. PCCs were introduced on Western Avenue on August 1, 1948 which explains why Small Pullmans are shown running on Western Avenue in the photo. The car is heading west on Devon. In the distance, you can see the slight rise to Ridge Avenue near Misericordia.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 903 at the same location as the last photo, probably taken at the same time. Another factor, weighing in favor of a 1948 date, is the CTA recruitment poster on the front of the car. In its early days, the agency had quite a labor shortage. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 903 at the same location as the last photo, probably taken at the same time. Another factor, weighing in favor of a 1948 date, is the CTA recruitment poster on the front of the car. In its early days, the agency had quite a labor shortage. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Although not identical, here is a similar sign on another Western Avenue streetcar, in a photo taken on May 22, 1948. That is probably not much different than when the previous two pictures were taken. The CTA had a lot of different signs like this, and many were variations on the same theme. To see the original picture, go to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015).

Although not identical, here is a similar sign on another Western Avenue streetcar, in a photo taken on May 22, 1948. That is probably not much different than when the previous two pictures were taken. The CTA had a lot of different signs like this, and many were variations on the same theme. To see the original picture, go to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015).

CSL Small St. Louis 1412. Andre Kristopans says it is at Noble Station (car house). Don's Rail Photos: "These cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1903 and 1906 for Chicago Union Traction Co. They are similar to the Robertson design without the small windows. Cars of this series were converted to one man operation in later years and have a wide horizontal stripe on the front to denote this. Two were used for an experimental articulated train. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers." The 1374, which has been restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is part of this same series. Here is what www.chicagorailfan.com says about Noble Station: NOBLE 1901 N. Hermitage Ave. (at Cortland Ave.) Opened before 1908 Capacity in 1911: 18 cars inside/60 cars outside Capacity in 1943: 17 cars inside/103 cars outside Closed August 31, 1947 Building demolished (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Small St. Louis 1412. Andre Kristopans says it is at Noble Station (car house). Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1903 and 1906 for Chicago Union Traction Co. They are similar to the Robertson design without the small windows. Cars of this series were converted to one man operation in later years and have a wide horizontal stripe on the front to denote this. Two were used for an experimental articulated train. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers.” The 1374, which has been restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is part of this same series. Here is what http://www.chicagorailfan.com says about Noble Station:
NOBLE
1901 N. Hermitage Ave. (at Cortland Ave.)
Opened before 1908
Capacity in 1911: 18 cars inside/60 cars outside
Capacity in 1943: 17 cars inside/103 cars outside
Closed August 31, 1947
Building demolished
(Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1353, shown on the 14th-16th Street route, was part of this same series. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1353, shown on the 14th-16th Street route, was part of this same series. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1422, also a Small St. Louis car, signed for 14-Canal-Fulton.

CSL 1422, also a Small St. Louis car, signed for 14-Canal-Fulton.

CSL 1348, again part of the same series as the "Matchbox" at IRM.

CSL 1348, again part of the same series as the “Matchbox” at IRM.

CSL 1427. Frank Hicks: "Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL." It was retired on April 30, 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1427. Frank Hicks: “Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL.” It was retired on April 30, 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1428 was retired on May 10, 1937. See the caption for the previous picture for a description of this series. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1428 was retired on May 10, 1937. See the caption for the previous picture for a description of this series. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 2816 was a Calumet Electric Railway car. Don's Rail Photos: "2816 was built by Brill Car Co in 1902, #12109, as Calumet Electric Ry 110. It became Calumet & Street Chicago Ry 801 in 1908 and rebuilt from single end to double end in 1910. It was renumbered 2816 in 1913. It became CSL 2816 in 1914 and scrapped in 1946."

CSL 2816 was a Calumet Electric Railway car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2816 was built by Brill Car Co in 1902, #12109, as Calumet Electric Ry 110. It became Calumet & Street Chicago Ry 801 in 1908 and rebuilt from single end to double end in 1910. It was renumbered 2816 in 1913. It became CSL 2816 in 1914 and scrapped in 1946.”

CSL 1584 was a Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Don's Rail Photos: "These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier." It's odd that the car body would appear so light. It would have been dark green originally, then red starting in the early 1920s. Even if orthochromatic film had been used, this would have rendered the red darker than usual, not lighter. Perhaps it is just a "trick of the light."

CSL 1584 was a Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier.” It’s odd that the car body would appear so light. It would have been dark green originally, then red starting in the early 1920s. Even if orthochromatic film had been used, this would have rendered the red darker than usual, not lighter. Perhaps it is just a “trick of the light.”

CSL 1592 was another Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Andre Kristopans says 1592 is "on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1592 was another Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Andre Kristopans says 1592 is “on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 5704 was a Nearside or Muzzleloader car. Don's Rail Photos:" 5704 was built by Brill Car Co. in 1912, #18322. It was rebuilt as one man/two man service in 1933."

CSL 5704 was a Nearside or Muzzleloader car. Don’s Rail Photos: “5704 was built by Brill Car Co. in 1912, #18322. It was rebuilt as one man/two man service in 1933.”

CSL 5983 at Broadway and Wilson. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 5983 at Broadway and Wilson. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 3091, signed for Elston, was called an "Odd 17" car, although there were actually 19. It was built by CSL in 1919.

CSL 3091, signed for Elston, was called an “Odd 17” car, although there were actually 19. It was built by CSL in 1919.

CSL 6152, an Odd 17 car, on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. This picture was taken at the same location as another we previously posted, which George Trapp identified as Devon and Glenwood (1400 W). The car is heading westbound. You can find that photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten (May 6, 2016). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6152, an Odd 17 car, on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. This picture was taken at the same location as another we previously posted, which George Trapp identified as Devon and Glenwood (1400 W). The car is heading westbound. You can find that photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten (May 6, 2016). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The two buildings in the previous picture are still there today.

The two buildings in the previous picture are still there today.

CSL 6153, another Odd 17 car, circa 1933-34. Our regular reader M. E. has identified the location as being Devon, just west of Western. He adds, "route 1 ran to Devon and Kedzie starting in 1932." So, this car is heading east on Devon, which explains why it is signed for Lake Park and 55th. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6153, another Odd 17 car, circa 1933-34. Our regular reader M. E. has identified the location as being Devon, just west of Western. He adds, “route 1 ran to Devon and Kedzie starting in 1932.” So, this car is heading east on Devon, which explains why it is signed for Lake Park and 55th. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CSL 6148, another Odd 17 car, is sporting an NRA (National Recovery Administration) sticker, which dates it to 1933-1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6148, another Odd 17 car, is sporting an NRA (National Recovery Administration) sticker, which dates it to 1933-1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3092 was known as a "Sewing Machine" or Safety car. Don's Rail Photos: "3092 was built by CSL in 1921. It was scrapped in 1946." The lower part of this car, which is probably red, may appear darker due to the use of orthochromatic film. This may show the car as new. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3092 was known as a “Sewing Machine” or Safety car. Don’s Rail Photos: “3092 was built by CSL in 1921. It was scrapped in 1946.” The lower part of this car, which is probably red, may appear darker due to the use of orthochromatic film. This may show the car as new. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

We featured previously featured Birney cars in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016). Birneys were not very successful in large cities such as Chicago, but had a long life in some smaller cities like Ft. Collins, Colorado. Don's Rail Photos does not list information on CSL 2000, but like the other Birneys he mentions, it was "built by Brill Car Co in October 1920, #21211. It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in March 1937." Since it looks in pretty good shape in this photo, this photo probably dates to 1932 or earlier. Andre Kristopans: "2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!"

We featured previously featured Birney cars in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016). Birneys were not very successful in large cities such as Chicago, but had a long life in some smaller cities like Ft. Collins, Colorado. Don’s Rail Photos does not list information on CSL 2000, but like the other Birneys he mentions, it was “built by Brill Car Co in October 1920, #21211. It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in March 1937.” Since it looks in pretty good shape in this photo, this photo probably dates to 1932 or earlier. Andre Kristopans: “2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!”

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Clark and Devon. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). Not sure what those sheets are doing hanging in the windows. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). Not sure what those sheets are doing hanging in the windows. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

An Evanston Railways car on Dempster Street, with the "L" in the background. We are looking west from the corner of Dempster and Chicago. Evanston Railways pictures are as scarce as hen's teeth. The "L" was elevated between 1908 and 1910. This picture was taken sometime between 1913, when ER got these cars, and 1935, when streetcars were replaced by buses.

An Evanston Railways car on Dempster Street, with the “L” in the background. We are looking west from the corner of Dempster and Chicago. Evanston Railways pictures are as scarce as hen’s teeth. The “L” was elevated between 1908 and 1910. This picture was taken sometime between 1913, when ER got these cars, and 1935, when streetcars were replaced by buses.

The same location today.

The same location today.


Recent Additions

An improved scan of this photo has been added to our post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 2-28-2016:

In 1957, CTA PCC 7271 and 7215 pass on Clark Street, just north of North Avenue. The old Plaza Hotel, located at 59 W. North Avenue, is in the background. A Hasty Tasty restaurant was located in the building, with a Pixley and Ehler's across the street. These were "greasy spoon" chains that were known for offering cheap eats. Local mobsters were known to hang out at the Plaza. The Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, would be just to the left, out of view in this picture. The Moody Bible Institute would be out of view on the right. (Russel Kriete Photo)

In 1957, CTA PCC 7271 and 7215 pass on Clark Street, just north of North Avenue. The old Plaza Hotel, located at 59 W. North Avenue, is in the background. A Hasty Tasty restaurant was located in the building, with a Pixley and Ehler’s across the street. These were “greasy spoon” chains that were known for offering cheap eats. Local mobsters were known to hang out at the Plaza. The Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, would be just to the left, out of view in this picture. The Moody Bible Institute would be out of view on the right. (Russel Kriete Photo)

In this close-up, that looks like 7215 at right. Photographer Russel A. Kreite (1923-2015), of Downers Grove, Illinois, was a member of the Photographic Society of America and had many of his photos published in books and magazines.

In this close-up, that looks like 7215 at right. Photographer Russel A. Kreite (1923-2015), of Downers Grove, Illinois, was a member of the Photographic Society of America and had many of his photos published in books and magazines.


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 155th 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 195,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

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

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

We thank you for your support.

Around Town

Here is CSL 2802 on a July 13, 1941 CERA fantrip alongside the South Chicago branch of the Illinois Central Electric suburban service. That nattily dressed man has been identified as none other than George Krambles (1915-1998). We ran another picture from this trip in an earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Six (February 22, 2016). Known as a Robertson Rebuild, Don's Rail Photos says, "2802 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901 as CCRy 2554. It was sold as C&CS 702 in 1908 and renumbered 2802 in 1913. It became CSL 2802 in 1914." A circa-1940 Packard prepares to go around the car. (Hochner Photo)

Here is CSL 2802 on a July 13, 1941 CERA fantrip alongside the South Chicago branch of the Illinois Central Electric suburban service. That nattily dressed man has been identified as none other than George Krambles (1915-1998). We ran another picture from this trip in an earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Six (February 22, 2016). Known as a Robertson Rebuild, Don’s Rail Photos says, “2802 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901 as CCRy 2554. It was sold as C&CS 702 in 1908 and renumbered 2802 in 1913. It became CSL 2802 in 1914.” A circa-1940 Packard prepares to go around the car. (Hochner Photo)

Today, we’ve assembled some of our recent photo finds into this post, which takes us north, south, east, and west around the Chicago area. As always, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to share regarding these pictures, don’t hesitate to either leave a Comment on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

GK.

GK.

CSL/CTA Sedan 3327 is shown in the late 1940s at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of route 4. The Illinois Central Electric suburban service is at left on an embankment.

CSL/CTA Sedan 3327 is shown in the late 1940s at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of route 4. The Illinois Central Electric suburban service is at left on an embankment.

CSL 5197 was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. Don's Rail Photos notes, "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." This photo was taken at 31st and Lake Park. On the back of this photo, it notes, "Abandoned 2/28/48." That's when route 31 was "bustituted."

CSL 5197 was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “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.” This photo was taken at 31st and Lake Park. On the back of this photo, it notes, “Abandoned 2/28/48.” That’s when route 31 was “bustituted.”

CSL Sedan 3332 is southbound at Lincoln Park on the Clark-Wentworth line, where they ran from 1929 until 1946, when they were replaced by PCCs. As this is a Tom Desnoyers photo, it is probably from the 1940s.

CSL Sedan 3332 is southbound at Lincoln Park on the Clark-Wentworth line, where they ran from 1929 until 1946, when they were replaced by PCCs. As this is a Tom Desnoyers photo, it is probably from the 1940s.

Evanston Railways car #5 after abandonment. Although this picture is undated, streetcar service was replaced by buses in 1935, so chances are this is the late 1930s. To the best of my knowledge, this was part of an order for 12 cars placed with the St. Louis Car Company in late 1913. The late James J. Buckley wrote a short (40 pages) book The Evanston Railway Company, published in 1958 as Bulletin #28 of the Electric Railway Historical Society. This has been long out-of-print, but it is now available as part of The Complete ERHS Collection, an E-book put out by the Central Electric Railfans' Association in 2014 (which I edited). The Diner Grill (at 1635 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago) is said to be built around the bodies of two Evanston streetcars.

Evanston Railways car #5 after abandonment. Although this picture is undated, streetcar service was replaced by buses in 1935, so chances are this is the late 1930s. To the best of my knowledge, this was part of an order for 12 cars placed with the St. Louis Car Company in late 1913. The late James J. Buckley wrote a short (40 pages) book The Evanston Railway Company, published in 1958 as Bulletin #28 of the Electric Railway Historical Society. This has been long out-of-print, but it is now available as part of The Complete ERHS Collection, an E-book put out by the Central Electric Railfans’ Association in 2014 (which I edited). The Diner Grill (at 1635 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago) is said to be built around the bodies of two Evanston streetcars.

dinergrill

CSL/CTA Pullman 441 on Roosevelt Road, west of the Illinois Central station, circa the 1940s. Not sure what the bus is at rear.

CSL/CTA Pullman 441 on Roosevelt Road, west of the Illinois Central station, circa the 1940s. Not sure what the bus is at rear.

CSL/CTA 5357 at 63rd Place and Oak Park Avenue. As www.chicagrailfan.com notes, "The 63rd St. and the Argo streetcar routes were split at Oak Park Ave. And when the Argo streetcar route was replaced with the West 63rd bus route, the split point was relocated east to Narragansett Ave. Narragansett Ave. remained the split point after the main 63rd St. route was converted to buses. After opening of rapid transit line to Midway Airport, 63rd St. service restructured to terminate at Midway Airport terminal, with new route 63W operating west of Cicero Ave." Therefore, this picture cannot date later than April 11, 1948, when the Argo streetcar route was replaced by the route 63A bus. (Charles Able Photo)

CSL/CTA 5357 at 63rd Place and Oak Park Avenue. As http://www.chicagrailfan.com notes, “The 63rd St. and the Argo streetcar routes were split at Oak Park Ave. And when the Argo streetcar route was replaced with the West 63rd bus route, the split point was relocated east to Narragansett Ave. Narragansett Ave. remained the split point after the main 63rd St. route was converted to buses. After opening of rapid transit line to Midway Airport, 63rd St. service restructured to terminate at Midway Airport terminal, with new route 63W operating west of Cicero Ave.” Therefore, this picture cannot date later than April 11, 1948, when the Argo streetcar route was replaced by the route 63A bus. (Charles Able Photo)

This photo shows CSL work car N5 on December 27, 1940. (Max Miller Photo)

This photo shows CSL work car N5 on December 27, 1940. (Max Miller Photo)

On November 29, 1949 it was reported: "At least 14 persons were reported injured, one critically, when two streetcars crashed at a busy intersection on the south side this afternoon. Several pedestrians were among the injured." You can just barely see a CTA wrecker in the lower right corner of the picture. M. E. writes: "The smashup dated 29 November 1949 is at 63rd and Halsted, looking northwest at the Ace department store. About that store, I remember it was rather dowdy and had no air conditioning. It had lots of ceiling fans instead. So it was hot in summer. On the southwest corner was an SS Kresge dime store. In the window was a doughnut-making machine, which was probably 15 feet long, most of which was a chute in which the donuts took shape. The price was 3 cents per doughnut. Kresge was predecessor to K-Mart. On the southeast corner were small stores, the largest of which was a Stineway drug store. Notice the spelling: Stineway rather than Steinway as in pianos. On the northeast corner was a big Sears department store, with a Hillman's grocery in the basement. I think I heard once that this Sears was the largest in Chicago other than the downtown Sears at State and Van Buren."

On November 29, 1949 it was reported: “At least 14 persons were reported injured, one critically, when two streetcars crashed at a busy intersection on the south side this afternoon. Several pedestrians were among the injured.” You can just barely see a CTA wrecker in the lower right corner of the picture.
M. E. writes: “The smashup dated 29 November 1949 is at 63rd and Halsted, looking northwest at the Ace department store. About that store, I remember it was rather dowdy and had no air conditioning. It had lots of ceiling fans instead. So it was hot in summer. On the southwest corner was an SS Kresge dime store. In the window was a doughnut-making machine, which was probably 15 feet long, most of which was a chute in which the donuts took shape. The price was 3 cents per doughnut. Kresge was predecessor to K-Mart. On the southeast corner were small stores, the largest of which was a Stineway drug store. Notice the spelling: Stineway rather than Steinway as in pianos. On the northeast corner was a big Sears department store, with a Hillman’s grocery in the basement. I think I heard once that this Sears was the largest in Chicago other than the downtown Sears at State and Van Buren.”

This looks like an even more serious accident. The caption from this November 15, 1954 photo reads, "One person was killed and about 30 others injured here when this streetcar collided with a furniture truck on south Western Avenue. Dead man identified as James K. Siegler, 2534 W. 68th Street, a CTA bus driver who was a passenger in the streetcar." I do not know which car this was, or whether it was ever repaired.

This looks like an even more serious accident. The caption from this November 15, 1954 photo reads, “One person was killed and about 30 others injured here when this streetcar collided with a furniture truck on south Western Avenue. Dead man identified as James K. Siegler, 2534 W. 68th Street, a CTA bus driver who was a passenger in the streetcar.” I do not know which car this was, or whether it was ever repaired.

I have seen similar publicity photos taken in 1948 for the Chicago & West Towns Railways. On the back of this print, it was dated Spring 1954, but one of our regular readers thinks otherwise: "Starting in 1950, CTA only purchased propane buses, most of which were built by Fageol Twin Coach or Flxible Twin Coach. 50 were built by ACF-Brill in 1951 and another 100 by Mack in 1957. The old look GM bus on the right is number 6618 which was built by GM in 1948. It was part of a group of diesel buses ordered by CSL and delivered to the CTA. They were used on the lighter CTA bus lines like 115th, 111th. The photo appears to be at South Shops and the year would seem to be 1948, not 1954." (Library of Congress Photo) (Editor's note- 111th and 115th were converted to bus as of 9/23/45.)

I have seen similar publicity photos taken in 1948 for the Chicago & West Towns Railways. On the back of this print, it was dated Spring 1954, but one of our regular readers thinks otherwise: “Starting in 1950, CTA only purchased propane buses, most of which were built by Fageol Twin Coach or Flxible Twin Coach. 50 were built by ACF-Brill in 1951 and another 100 by Mack in 1957. The old look GM bus on the right is number 6618 which was built by GM in 1948. It was part of a group of diesel buses ordered by CSL and delivered to the CTA. They were used on the lighter CTA bus lines like 115th, 111th. The photo appears to be at South Shops and the year would seem to be 1948, not 1954.” (Library of Congress Photo) (Editor’s note- 111th and 115th were converted to bus as of 9/23/45.)

CTA 5259 is at Waveland and Broadway, northern end of route 8 - Halsted. This was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. Don's Rail Photos says, "5251 thru 5300 were built by Brill in 1906, #15365, for CCRy. They were brought up to higher standards in 1909." This photo was likely taken just prior to PCCs replacing older cars on Halsted. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CTA 5259 is at Waveland and Broadway, northern end of route 8 – Halsted. This was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. Don’s Rail Photos says, “5251 thru 5300 were built by Brill in 1906, #15365, for CCRy. They were brought up to higher standards in 1909.” This photo was likely taken just prior to PCCs replacing older cars on Halsted. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Pullman 335 at Jefferson and 14th, probably in the mid-1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Pullman 335 at Jefferson and 14th, probably in the mid-1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Before experimental CSL car 4001, there was this articulated "duplex" car 4000. Don's Rail Photos says, "4000 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as Chicago Union Traction Co as 4633 and 4634. They were renumbered 1104 and 1105 in 1913 and became CSL 1104 and 1105 in 1914. They were renumbered 1101 and 1102 in 1925. They were rebuilt as an articulated train using a Cincinnati Car steel vestibule drum between the bodies. It was completed on August 3, 1925, and scrapped on March 30, 1937." (CSL Photo, car shown on Cicero Avenue.)

Before experimental CSL car 4001, there was this articulated “duplex” car 4000. Don’s Rail Photos says, “4000 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as Chicago Union Traction Co as 4633 and 4634. They were renumbered 1104 and 1105 in 1913 and became CSL 1104 and 1105 in 1914. They were renumbered 1101 and 1102 in 1925. They were rebuilt as an articulated train using a Cincinnatii Car steel vestibule drum between the bodies. It was completed on August 3, 1925, and scrapped on March 30, 1937.” (CSL Photo, car shown on Cicero Avenue.)

CSL/CTA 1142, a Small St. Louis car, as it appeared on April 7, 1946. Don's Rail Photos adds, "1142 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as CUT 4671. It was renumbered 1142 in 1913 and became CSL 1145 in 1914. It was rebuilt as a salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA27 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on May 17, 1958." This was a sister car to 1137, which was recently rediscovered after having been converted to housing in Wisconsin. We wrote about that in our post Lost and Found: Chicago Streetcar #1137 (June 3, 2015). (Meyer Photo)

CSL/CTA 1142, a Small St. Louis car, as it appeared on April 7, 1946. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “1142 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as CUT 4671. It was renumbered 1142 in 1913 and became CSL 1145 in 1914. It was rebuilt as a salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA27 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on May 17, 1958.” This was a sister car to 1137, which was recently rediscovered after having been converted to housing in Wisconsin. We wrote about that in our post Lost and Found: Chicago Streetcar #1137 (June 3, 2015). (Meyer Photo)

The old Lake Transfer station was unique in that one "L" branch crossed over another. Here, a Met train is at top, passing over the Lake Street "L", in this circa 1914 postcard view.

The old Lake Transfer station was unique in that one “L” branch crossed over another. Here, a Met train is at top, passing over the Lake Street “L”, in this circa 1914 postcard view.

Marshfield Junction looking east, from a circa 1909 postcard. Three Metropolitan "L" branches converged here-- from left to right, the Logan Square/Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park branches. Although an expressway now occupies this site, depressed in an open cut, there is still a track connection here (via a ramp) between the former Douglas branch (today's Pink Line) and the Blue Line.

Marshfield Junction looking east, from a circa 1909 postcard. Three Metropolitan “L” branches converged here– from left to right, the Logan Square/Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park branches. Although an expressway now occupies this site, depressed in an open cut, there is still a track connection here (via a ramp) between the former Douglas branch (today’s Pink Line) and the Blue Line.

Gate car 2705 is signed for both Douglas Park and the old Wells Street terminal, where Chicago, Aurora & Elgin service terminated. That would seem to date this picture to before December 9, 1951, when CTA trains stopped using the Wells terminal, which continued to be used by CA&E until September 1953. Of this class of rapid transit car, Don's Rail Photos notes, "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)

Gate car 2705 is signed for both Douglas Park and the old Wells Street terminal, where Chicago, Aurora & Elgin service terminated. That would seem to date this picture to before December 9, 1951, when CTA trains stopped using the Wells terminal, which continued to be used by CA&E until September 1953. Of this class of rapid transit car, Don’s Rail Photos notes, “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)

Wooden "L" cars are still in use on the Lake Street "L" in this July 1951 view. The outer 2.5 miles of line ran on the ground, alongside auto traffic next to the Chicago & North Western embankment, where the tracks were relocated in 1962. The last woods ran on this line circa 1955. The distinctive old fashioned street lights and the Brooks Laundry and Dry Cleaning company peg this as Oak Park, but not all the right-of-way through the village was fenced off as we see here. Overhead wire was used. (Subsequent research shows that the Brooks Laundry was located at the corner of North Boulevard and East Avenue, so we are a block or two west of there along South Boulevard.)

Wooden “L” cars are still in use on the Lake Street “L” in this July 1951 view. The outer 2.5 miles of line ran on the ground, alongside auto traffic next to the Chicago & North Western embankment, where the tracks were relocated in 1962. The last woods ran on this line circa 1955. The distinctive old fashioned street lights and the Brooks Laundry and Dry Cleaning company peg this as Oak Park, but not all the right-of-way through the village was fenced off as we see here. Overhead wire was used. (Subsequent research shows that the Brooks Laundry was located at the corner of North Boulevard and East Avenue, so we are a block or two west of there along South Boulevard.)

Here is a contemporary view, looking east along South Boulevard, just east of Euclid. Note the relative position of the tree at right (quite close to the sidewalk) and compare that to the 1951 picture. Could be the same tree.

Here is a contemporary view, looking east along South Boulevard, just east of Euclid. Note the relative position of the tree at right (quite close to the sidewalk) and compare that to the 1951 picture. Could be the same tree.

Oak Park in Vintage Postcards, by Douglas Deuchler, says: "Designed in 1903, the Vogue Shirt Factory, 600 North Boulevard at East Avenue, cost $18,000 to construct and was one of Oak Park's few industrial ventures. Later occupied by Brooks Laundry, the E. E. Roberts building was demolished in the 1950s." The same author, speaking of the early 1900s, "One popular option was sending clothes out to "power laundries," such as the Brooks Laundry on North Boulevard at East Avenue. Their delivery wagons would pick up your laundry for you. Brooks charged a nickel a pound. Their ads indicated that since the "average family washing weighs 7 pounds, your laundry will cost you but 35 cents.""

Oak Park in Vintage Postcards, by Douglas Deuchler, says: “Designed in 1903, the Vogue Shirt Factory, 600 North Boulevard at East Avenue, cost $18,000 to construct and was one of Oak Park’s few industrial ventures. Later occupied by Brooks Laundry, the E. E. Roberts building was demolished in the 1950s.” The same author, speaking of the early 1900s, “One popular option was sending clothes out to “power laundries,” such as the Brooks Laundry on North Boulevard at East Avenue. Their delivery wagons would pick up your laundry for you. Brooks charged a nickel a pound. Their ads indicated that since the “average family washing weighs 7 pounds, your laundry will cost you but 35 cents.””

A wood CA&E car in the 140-series heads west of the Loop on the four-track section of the Met "L" in the early 1950s. Below the "L", you see the Union Station train sheds where the Burlington Northern commuter trains run.

A wood CA&E car in the 140-series heads west of the Loop on the four-track section of the Met “L” in the early 1950s. Below the “L”, you see the Union Station train sheds where the Burlington Northern commuter trains run.

Here is a very interesting photograph that could only have been taken in a limited time period. It shows the 4-track Met "L" right-of-way looking east from Marshfield, with a train of newish flat-door 6000s assigned to Douglas. The street at left is Van Buren, and while the area has been cleared out for construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway (I290), work has not yet begun on the temporary right-of-way that would replace the "L" structure in this area starting in September 1953. I believe this work began in late 1951, shortly after streetcar service on Van Buren was replaced by buses. The first 6000s assigned to Douglas were sent there between September and December 1951. Since this is a wintry scene, chances are the date of this photo is circa December 1951. The building protruding at the center is the old Throop Street Shops.

Here is a very interesting photograph that could only have been taken in a limited time period. It shows the 4-track Met “L” right-of-way looking east from Marshfield, with a train of newish flat-door 6000s assigned to Douglas. The street at left is Van Buren, and while the area has been cleared out for construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway (I290), work has not yet begun on the temporary right-of-way that would replace the “L” structure in this area starting in September 1953. I believe this work began in late 1951, shortly after streetcar service on Van Buren was replaced by buses. The first 6000s assigned to Douglas were sent there between September and December 1951. Since this is a wintry scene, chances are the date of this photo is circa December 1951. The building protruding at the center is the old Throop Street Shops.

There is only a limited time when this picture could have been shot. It shows the temporary Harlem station on today's CTA Blue Line in suburban Oak Park, during construction of what is now I290. These are the permanent tracks, still in use today, but the new Harlem station was still under construction, so this temporary one, on the east side of Harlem, was used from March 19 to July 29, 1960. The freight tracks to the right of the CTA belong to the B&OCT. Incredibly, the highway opened in this area on October 12, 1960, just months after this picture was taken. The single car units making up the two-car train were first put in service in 1959, and have provisions for trolley poles. These were intended for use on the Evanston branch, although they did not run there until 1961. The temporary station was built on top of a crossover, which cannot be seen in this view.

There is only a limited time when this picture could have been shot. It shows the temporary Harlem station on today’s CTA Blue Line in suburban Oak Park, during construction of what is now I290. These are the permanent tracks, still in use today, but the new Harlem station was still under construction, so this temporary one, on the east side of Harlem, was used from March 19 to July 29, 1960. The freight tracks to the right of the CTA belong to the B&OCT. Incredibly, the highway opened in this area on October 12, 1960, just months after this picture was taken. The single car units making up the two-car train were first put in service in 1959, and have provisions for trolley poles. These were intended for use on the Evanston branch, although they did not run there until 1961. The temporary station was built on top of a crossover, which cannot be seen in this view.

This composite photograph shows I290 under construction just east of Oak Park Avenue, circa 1959-60. The permanent CTA station at left does not appear to be in service yet. It opened on March 19, 1960.

This composite photograph shows I290 under construction just east of Oak Park Avenue, circa 1959-60. The permanent CTA station at left does not appear to be in service yet. It opened on March 19, 1960.

A four-car CA&E train gives a nice reflection in the Fox River at the Elgin terminal in the 1950s.

A four-car CA&E train gives a nice reflection in the Fox River at the Elgin terminal in the 1950s.

The CA&E yard in Wheaton in the early 1900s, when the railroad was still called the AE&C.

The CA&E yard in Wheaton in the early 1900s, when the railroad was still called the AE&C.


The Chicago & West Towns Railways:

Chicago & West Towns Railways line car #15. I believe this is crossing the DesPlaines River, possibly on a 1948 fantrip just prior to abandonment, and the buildings shown are on the east bank. Don Ross: "15 was built by Pullman Car in 1897 as Suburban RR 512. It was renumbered 515 and rebuilt as 15 in 1927. It was rebuilt in 1940 and scrapped in 1948." (Charles Able Photo)

Chicago & West Towns Railways line car #15. I believe this is crossing the DesPlaines River, possibly on a 1948 fantrip just prior to abandonment, and the buildings shown are on the east bank. Don Ross: “15 was built by Pullman Car in 1897 as Suburban RR 512. It was renumbered 515 and rebuilt as 15 in 1927. It was rebuilt in 1940 and scrapped in 1948.” (Charles Able Photo)

C&WT 101 on the Madison line. Don Ross: "101 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1917. It was scrapped in 1948." Our reader mdfranklinnascar writes: "This is looking north on 19th St across the C&NW tracks in Melrose Park, IL."

C&WT 101 on the Madison line. Don Ross: “101 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1917. It was scrapped in 1948.” Our reader mdfranklinnascar writes: “This is looking north on 19th St across the C&NW tracks in Melrose Park, IL.”

C&WT 106, signed for the Brookfield Zoo. Don Ross: "106 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1915. It was dismantled in 1943."

C&WT 106, signed for the Brookfield Zoo. Don Ross: “106 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1915. It was dismantled in 1943.”

C&WT 111 at the Harlem and 22nd car barn. Don Ross: "111 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1912. It was scrapped in 1948."

C&WT 111 at the Harlem and 22nd car barn. Don Ross: “111 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1912. It was scrapped in 1948.”

C&WT 157 was built by Cummings Car Co. in 1927 and I assume it was scrapped in 1948. It is shown here on the LaGrange line.

C&WT 157 was built by Cummings Car Co. in 1927 and I assume it was scrapped in 1948. It is shown here on the LaGrange line.

C&WT 106 again, at the same location.

C&WT 106 again, at the same location.


Recent Additions:

FYI, this photo has been added to Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016), joining two other pictures of the same car:

Here is Johnstown 311 on June 30, 1957.

Here is Johnstown 311 on June 30, 1957.


A Fare Exchange

We had some recent discussion about Chicago Surface Lines (and Chicago Transit Authority) fares recently on the Chicagotransit Yahoo discussion group. I’ll reproduce some of that here. It also prompted some reminiscences from one of our regular readers.

I wrote:

Someone has written me, regarding how her aged mother, who can no longer answer such questions, would have used transit in Chicago in 1932. I still don’t know where she lived, or where she was going.

But how much was the CSL fare back then? Was it a nickel? And how much for a transfer?

(The transfer would only have worked on the Surface Lines, since transfers to the “L” only began in 1935. I think the date was even later if you include the Chicago Motor Coach company.)

robyer2000:

I have a question too. When did the L stop using fare tickets?

I replied:

The only fare tickets I have seen pictures of were from the World War I era…

robyer2000:

I know there were CRT‎ tickets because I saw images of them in the L book that came out several years ago and I know they used tickets at Howard street because it operated with open platforms, perhaps into the CTA era. I have a duplex ticket of unknown vintage but issued by cRT, one coupon valid In the inner zone and the other valid in the outer zone. I believe the company was already in receivership when the form was printed.

Dennis McClendon:

Surface Lines fare was 7 cents from 1919 to 1942. See Bill Vandervoort’s website http://www.chicagorailfan.com/fares.html

A more detailed history of CTA transit fares was on Andre Kristopans’s now-defunct WebTV website. Luckily, it is preserved at
http://utahrails.net/ajkristopans/CHICAGOTRANSIT.php

I replied:

Thanks… there are still some things missing in the information provided on these two comprehensive sites.

For example, when did reduced fares for students begin? I am sure they would have started in the CSL era.

(Those proponents of privatized transit ought to know that the private operators were often bitterly opposed to such things as reduced fares for students.)

Transfer regulations are also not fully sketched out. I get the impression that at one time, by reading these articles, that at one time CSL transfers did not cost anything? Andre mentions that they cost a nickel starting in 1961. Nothing before that?

When I was growing up, a paper transfer could be used twice within two hours, and each time it would be punched by the operator on the new vehicle. Reverse riding was prohibited, meaning you generally had to pay a second full fare for your return trip, unless there was a creative way of doing it.

For example, someone could head south to downtown on route 22 (Clark) and head north on 36 (Broadway), since as long as you were going only as far as Diversey, they were going over much the same route. This you could do with a paper transfer.

There was also a thing called a “Supertransfer” for a while, that allowed unlimited rides (but cost more money).

Reverse riding on the same route is permitted today under transfer regulations.

Andre’s article does not mention that at some point in the early CTA era, when they were trying to put pressure on the Chicago Motor Coach company, you had to pay a fare differential when transferring from CMC to the CTA.

I think the CMC fare was 15c, CTA 20c. So if you went from CMC to CTA, you had to pay an additional 5c. (CTA and CMC sued each other over stuff like this, and both lawsuits were dropped when CMC sold out.)

This went away, of course, as of 10-1-1952, when CTA purchased the CMC assets (but not the name, which is why there is a different Chicago Motor Coach bus operation today). At that point, all former CMC routes began charging CTA fares, which must have been quite a jolt for regular riders.

CTA had tried to soften the blow by selling tokens in packs of 10 at a discount.

robyer2000:

Before 1961 transfers were free. I don’t know about transfers to the CRT from CSL where there was a fare differential as that was before my time on this earth.

Me:

I would think that CSL-CRT transfers (which started in 1935) were free. This was a step in the City of Chicago’s path towards transit unification. To some extent, the two systems competed with each other, and it was realized that eventually, they were going to be joined and would have to operate in a more rational and cooperative fashion.

Transfers to CMC came later (1943?).

George Foelschow:

In the late CSL/CRT and into the CTA era, the principle followed was “one city – one fare”. I don’t recall a maximum number of rides on one transfer. You could go from the far Northwest Side at the border with Park Ridge to the Indiana state line on one fare. A trip starting on the surface (white paper) permitted more than one ride, punched each time, a transfer to rapid transit, changing routes if needed within the paid area, and transfer back to surface lines for one or more rides, punching the time when leaving the rapid transit system. A trip starting on rapid transit (blue paper) was valid for the surface after a time punch, and back to rapid transit, but not again on the surface.

I would do this by boarding a Garfield Park train at Desplaines after a CA&E ride from Elgin, transfer to a trolley bus on Central, Cicero, Pulaski, or Kedzie, and board a Lake Street train for the Loop, avoiding the slow trip on VanBuren Street, in the same amount of time. I remember passengers form a Central Avenue bus literally throwing pennies at the “L” agent and running for the train.

Reverse riding could be successful with advance planning. I recall taking the Milwaukee Avenue subway from downtown to Division and transferring to a eastbound 70-Division bus for the return trip downtown.

M. E. adds:

Regarding your recent discussion on Yahoo groups about CSL and CRT, and some of the replies:

I confirm that a free CSL transfer could be used on three conveyances maximum. That includes either three CSL lines; or CSL + CRT + another CSL. Using free connections on the CRT, it was indeed possible to go from the northwest corner of Chicago to the Indiana state line on a single transfer. I think, though, there were extra fares on the CRT Evanston and Niles Center lines because they entered suburbs. I don’t know whether there were extra fares outside Chicago on the Lake St., Garfield Park or Douglas Park CRT lines.

CRT transfers were also free, issued at the start of a trip. But as I recall, they were not blue, they were dark green. Sorry, I don’t remember whether a station agent had to punch a CRT transfer before issuing it.

To transfer from CRT to CSL, the user had to insert the left side of a CRT transfer into a time validation machine at the conclusion of the CRT trip. The validation machine was located at ground level just before exiting the pay area. I’m not certain whether in the three-conveyance scenario (CSL then CRT then CSL), the CSL transfer had to be time-stamped before exiting the CRT. I don’t recall seeing any space for a time validation on a CSL transfer. The left side of a CSL transfer was where a clock was printed; the CSL bus driver or streetcar conductor punched that clock before issuing the transfer at the start of the first CSL trip.

I never did a trip CRT then CSL then CRT, so I don’t know how the CRT transfers worked in that situation. Your other responders who did this kind of trip may know.

In the early 1950s, I wasn’t yet age 12, so I traveled using kids’ fares. I think the kids’ fare on the CRT was 10 cents cash, but 8 cents with a ticket. I distinctly remember buying five tickets for 40 cents. The tickets were orange, with black print.

As for reverse-direction travel on a single fare, the L system made it easy. oarding at 63rd and Halsted, I could travel either to Lawrence and Kimball, cross the platform, and board the next departure south; or I could travel as far north as Jarvis, cross the platform, and return. During my lifetime, the Englewood L first ran to Ravenswood, while the Jackson Park L ran to Howard. Later, both the Englewood and Jackson Park ran to Howard.

Off-topic somewhat: BART in San Francisco told people they could board at one
station, travel the system, and return to the original station for a fixed price. It wasn’t cheap. But, where stations were close together, it was much cheaper to board at one station, travel the system, and return to a station close to, but not, the original. The fare software calculated all this travel as just a short trip between the original and final stations. This was a long time ago. Maybe by now BART has caught on and eliminated this possibility.

Another off-topic: Using Wikipedia, I see that the date was January 1, 1952 when the Post Office raised the price of postcards 100%, from 1 to 2 cents. People used postcards a lot back then. Compounding the price increase, the Post Office began charging $1.10 for 50 postcards pre-wrapped. People quickly caught on and asked for 49. The Post Office didn’t take long to rescind the premium charge.

Me:

Thanks! Since you mention the 1950s, I assume you are writing about the Chicago Transit Authority, even though you refer to CSL and CRT.

Andre Kristopans adds:

Child fares (7-11 years old) apparently date back to at least 1908. Rate was 3 cents, two kids for 5 cents. High school students were added to the half-fare rate September 1956.

CMC-CSL transfers started 10/1/43. CSL to CMC were salmon, CMC to CSL were green. I believe CMC-CRT started at the same time.

Supertransfers were indeed Sundays (and holidays) only. Started June 1974. Ended about 1996.

Transfers were free until 7/23/61, then a 5 cent rate was started. Increased to 10 cents 7/8/70.

Paper transfers as we knew them were replaced by magnetic transfer cards 6-15-97, when magnetic fare cards went into general use.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-The Editor


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 152nd 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 188,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

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

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

We thank you for your support.