One Good Turn

Here, we see one-man CTA 3150(?) and its operator at the east end of route 21 on Cermak and Prairie Avenue in June 1951. Prairie Avenue was also the location of the local Kodak processing plant, which handled Kodachrome until the early 1980s.

Here, we see one-man CTA 3150(?) and its operator at the east end of route 21 on Cermak and Prairie Avenue in June 1951. Prairie Avenue was also the location of the local Kodak processing plant, which handled Kodachrome until the early 1980s.

“One good turn deserves another.” Or at least, that is how the saying goes.

We started this blog on January 21, 2015, so this post (our 173rd) is the last one for our full second year. When we started, we had no clue what the reaction would be. But, we had to believe that some good would come from sharing our transit photos and information with you.

Our experience from the past two years has shown this very much to be the case. As we have shared our information, others have come forward to share theirs with us. We have reached an audience, and our continued growth demonstrates that railfan interest is growing, not shrinking.

Now, we are being contacted by more and more researchers, who are using us as a resource for their own work.

Another word that comes to mind is “sustainability.” I don’t consider this a commercial site, since everything here is free for all to enjoy. But it does take both time and resources to keep providing you with a steady stream of high-quality images.

We are happy to put in the time, but resources are always limited.  As a general rule, for each image you see here, it probably costs us $10 to bring that to you. That is the average cost of a print, negative, or slide, including the shipping. Some images cost more, some less.

When you have as many as 40 or 50 high-quality images in a single post, you can see how that can add up in a real hurry.  Every little bit we can raise helps.

Often there is one and only one opportunity to purchase these images. Collections come to market, often when the original photographer or collector has unfortunately died, and their images are sold off one at a time and scattered to the four winds. If you see something unique, and pass on the opportunity to acquire it, you may never see it again.

Such are opportunities are fleeting.

So there has always been a gap between the images that we get to share with you, and the ones that we could if we only had the resources. Our goal is to make this gap as small as possible.

Luckily, some people have shared images with us, and we appreciate it. But as much as we may try, soliciting donations and offering items for sale in our Online Store, this blog still runs a substantial deficit.

Now, it may come to pass that this will always be so, but it is our goal to make The Trolley Dodger a “sustainable” enterprise, for now and the future. That will give us the best chance to keep it going.

We are encouraged by the response to our last post, where we asked for donations to help pay our domain registration and web site upkeep costs for the coming year. We received more than enough money for the costs that come due on February 3rd. So we will be here for another year, and thank everyone who so generously contributed.

We used the additional funds we received to pay for some of the images you see in today’s post.

Meanwhile, we are quickly coming up on the deadline to finish our new book Chicago Trolleys. This will be our own modest contribution to the slim shelf of books about Chicago’s once-great streetcar system.

Some fantastic images have come up for sale recently, which would make tremendous additions to the book. Once finished, chances are it won’t get revised or updated again for a long time.

We want this book, which will include about 215 classic back-and-white pictures, to be the best that it can be. With the help of your donations and purchases, we can make this dream a reality.

Chicago Trolleys is expected to be published later this year.  We will keep you posted on our progress.

Meanwhile, here is another batch of classic images of Chicago streetcars. And, as always, we hope that this will be “one good turn” that “deserves another,” and not just “another fine mess.”

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- Our next post, the first for our third year, will feature all three great Chicago interurbans. Watch this space.

It's August 17, 1956, and southbound PCC 7192 is about to stop at a safety island at Clark and Armitage. (Joseph M. Canfield Photo)

It’s August 17, 1956, and southbound PCC 7192 is about to stop at a safety island at Clark and Armitage. (Joseph M. Canfield Photo)

On august 21, 1956, PCC 7215 turns from Broadway onto Devon, as a northbound route 36 car with the North Side "L" in the background. (Joseph M. Canfield Photo)

On August 21, 1956, PCC 7215 turns from Broadway onto Devon, as a northbound route 36 car with the North Side “L” in the background. (Joseph M. Canfield Photo)

The "Broadway Downtown" sign on this car, and the appearance of the autos in the background, would probably indicate that this picture was taken circa 1956. The south portion of the route 36 Broadway-State Through Route was bussed on December 3, 1955, and the remaining half on February 16, 1957.

The “Broadway Downtown” sign on this car, and the appearance of the autos in the background, would probably indicate that this picture was taken circa 1956. The south portion of the route 36 Broadway-State Through Route was bussed on December 3, 1955, and the remaining half on February 16, 1957.

Prewar PCC 4012 on Cottage Grove in 1952. Jack Fuller adds, "The Green Hornet view along Route 4, Cottage Grove is actually at 99th Street. This is the only opening under the Illinois Central tracks between 95th Street and 103rd Street." (C. R. Scholes Photo)

Prewar PCC 4012 on Cottage Grove in 1952. Jack Fuller adds, “The Green Hornet view along Route 4, Cottage Grove is actually at 99th Street. This is the only opening under the Illinois Central tracks between 95th Street and 103rd Street.” (C. R. Scholes Photo)

This birds-eye view of CTA 1744 was taken from the Pulaski Road "L" station on the Garfield Park branch in April 1950. However, what we are looking at may actually be a Madison-Fifth car at the west end of its route, ready to loop back via Pulaski and Harrison. Bill Shapotkin adds, "This image is looking E-N/E on Fifth Ave from the Garfield Pk 'L'...no question about it. The intersection behind the streetcar is Harrison."

This birds-eye view of CTA 1744 was taken from the Pulaski Road “L” station on the Garfield Park branch in April 1950. However, what we are looking at may actually be a Madison-Fifth car at the west end of its route, ready to loop back via Pulaski and Harrison. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This image is looking E-N/E on Fifth Ave from the Garfield Pk ‘L’…no question about it. The intersection behind the streetcar is Harrison.”

CTA one-man car 1778 heads west on Lake in May 1954, shorty before route 16 was bussed. Kevin Doerksen adds, "I believe that One-man car 1778 is actually looking East on Lake at Ogden/Loomis. The building on the right hand side is right at the corner of Loomis and Lake. It’s also under threat of demolition, I believe." Daniel Joseph: "I believe this photo is at Lake Street at Randolph at Justine. Ogden did not have car tracks north of Randolph but Randolph went northwest along Union Park with (car tracks) connecting with Lake."

CTA one-man car 1778 heads west on Lake in May 1954, shorty before route 16 was bussed. Kevin Doerksen adds, “I believe that One-man car 1778 is actually looking East on Lake at Ogden/Loomis. The building on the right hand side is right at the corner of Loomis and Lake. It’s also under threat of demolition, I believe.” Daniel Joseph: “I believe this photo is at Lake Street at Randolph at Justine. Ogden did not have car tracks north of Randolph but Randolph went northwest along Union Park with (car tracks) connecting with Lake.”

CTA one-man car 1760 on Cermak at the CB&Q (Burlington) tracks on March 21, 1954.

CTA one-man car 1760 on Cermak at the CB&Q (Burlington) tracks on March 21, 1954.

CTA 6141 at Navy Pier in June 1951. This was the location of the University of Illinois Chicago campus until it moved to its present home about 15 years later.

CTA 6141 at Navy Pier in June 1951. This was the location of the University of Illinois Chicago campus until it moved to its present home about 15 years later.

CTA 6177 at Cermak and Clark in March 1950 on route 21.

CTA 6177 at Cermak and Clark in March 1950 on route 21.

CTA 3178 on Cermak in April 1950. We sometimes get a late snow like this here in Chicago. The billboard advertises "squint-free, strain free" Hoffman TVs.

CTA 3178 on Cermak in April 1950. We sometimes get a late snow like this here in Chicago. The billboard advertises “squint-free, strain free” Hoffman TVs.

CTA 201 at the Lawndale Station (car barn) in May 1951. Later, this became the home for the CTA's collection of historic streetcars, until they were dispersed to museums in the mid-1980s. Jeff Weiner notes, "Ah, the Lawndale barn. It was inactive when I surveyed Ogden, Pulaski, and Cermak for signal modernization in the early 2000’s, and has since been torn down. The City put in sidewalks, curb and gutter, and you’d never know that a carbarn had been there."

CTA 201 at the Lawndale Station (car barn) in May 1951. Later, this became the home for the CTA’s collection of historic streetcars, until they were dispersed to museums in the mid-1980s. Jeff Weiner notes, “Ah, the Lawndale barn. It was inactive when I surveyed Ogden, Pulaski, and Cermak for signal modernization in the early 2000’s, and has since been torn down. The City put in sidewalks, curb and gutter, and you’d never know that a carbarn had been there.”

CTA 4084 at 81st and Wallace on March 24, 1954 on route 22. By this time, Pullman PCCs were fast disappearing as they were scrapped for parts recycling into new rapid transit cars. There is a picture of another car at this location on page 233 of CERA Bulletin 146.

CTA 4084 at 81st and Wallace on March 24, 1954 on route 22. By this time, Pullman PCCs were fast disappearing as they were scrapped for parts recycling into new rapid transit cars. There is a picture of another car at this location on page 233 of CERA Bulletin 146.

CTA 4063 at Cermak and Clark on April 11, 1954. There was a jog on route 22, where cars went between Clark and Wentworth.

CTA 4063 at Cermak and Clark on April 11, 1954. There was a jog on route 22, where cars went between Clark and Wentworth.

CTA 7266 on Clark at around 15th on Apri 11, 1954, about ready to go under the St. Charles Air Line.

CTA 7266 on Clark at around 15th on April 11, 1954, about ready to go under the St. Charles Air Line.

CTA 692 at the Museum Loop in May 1950. This extension of the Roosevelt Road line was built for the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair (A Century of Progress).

CTA 692 at the Museum Loop in May 1950. This extension of the Roosevelt Road line was built for the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair (A Century of Progress).

One-man car 1722 is on Washington at LaSalle in downtown Chicago, running route 58 (Ogden). George Foelschow: "Red car 1722 is westbound on Washington Street at LaSalle Street. The building on the left with arches and bay windows is genius starchitect Louis Sullivan’s Stock Exchange Building now, sadly, demolished. Photographer Richard Nickel was killed when documenting demolition and the floor above him collapsed. The stock trading room as well as the main entrance were saved and can be visited at the Art Institute." Kevin Doerksen: "One-man car 1722 is on Washington. The Chicago Eye, Ear Nose and Throat Hospital, pictured in the background, was located at 258 W Washington (at Franklin)."

One-man car 1722 is on Washington at LaSalle in downtown Chicago, running route 58 (Ogden). George Foelschow: “Red car 1722 is westbound on Washington Street at LaSalle Street. The building on the left with arches and bay windows is genius starchitect Louis Sullivan’s Stock Exchange Building now, sadly, demolished. Photographer Richard Nickel was killed when documenting demolition and the floor above him collapsed. The stock trading room as well as the main entrance were saved and can be visited at the Art Institute.” Kevin Doerksen: “One-man car 1722 is on Washington. The Chicago Eye, Ear Nose and Throat Hospital, pictured in the background, was located at 258 W Washington (at Franklin).”

CTA 1758, at the east end of route 16, has just turned from Lake onto Dearborn circa 1953, while a train of 6000s roars overhead.

CTA 1758, at the east end of route 16, has just turned from Lake onto Dearborn circa 1953, while a train of 6000s roars overhead.

Circa 1952, a CTA red Pullman passes a Pullman PCC on temporary trackage at Halsted and Congress, during expressway construction.

Circa 1952, a CTA red Pullman passes a Pullman PCC on temporary trackage at Halsted and Congress, during expressway construction.

CTA 225 is on Roosevelt near State in Apri1 1951. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

CTA 225 is on Roosevelt near State in Apri1 1951. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

CTA 1760 at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21, on March 21, 1954. This was the city limits. When the nearby Douglas Park "L" was cut back to 54th Avenue in 1952, CTA began running an "interurban" bus west of here. Bus route 21 now goes all the way to the North Riverside Mall, just west of Harlem Avenue.

CTA 1760 at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21, on March 21, 1954. This was the city limits. When the nearby Douglas Park “L” was cut back to 54th Avenue in 1952, CTA began running an “interurban” bus west of here. Bus route 21 now goes all the way to the North Riverside Mall, just west of Harlem Avenue.

CTA 3153 is turning from Pine onto Lake Street in January 1952, crossing ground-level tracks of the Lake Street "L". These were elevated onto the nearby embankment in 1962.

CTA 3153 is turning from Pine onto Lake Street in January 1952, crossing ground-level tracks of the Lake Street “L”. These were elevated onto the nearby embankment in 1962.

CTA 4317 on State Street near the Loop in March 1952.

CTA 4317 on State Street near the Loop in March 1952.

This is not a very sharp photograph, but CTA 4242, shown here in November 1950, may be on Halsted, having just crossed the Chicago River.

This is not a very sharp photograph, but CTA 4242, shown here in November 1950, may be on Halsted, having just crossed the Chicago River.

CTA 4392 is at the south end of route 36 on March 21, 1954, somewhere in the vicinity of 120th and Morgan. CTA had plans to build a new off-street loop for these cars at 115th and Michigan, which would have eliminated this portion of the route, but such was never built before streetcar service ended.

CTA 4392 is at the south end of route 36 on March 21, 1954, somewhere in the vicinity of 120th and Morgan. CTA had plans to build a new off-street loop for these cars at 115th and Michigan, which would have eliminated this portion of the route, but such was never built before streetcar service ended.

CTA 4067 at 120th and Halsted on March 21, 1954, near the south end of route 36.

CTA 4067 at 120th and Halsted on March 21, 1954, near the south end of route 36.

This was a tough one to figure out, but my best guess is we are on Halsted looking north just south of 119th. The route 36 PCC 7264 is turning east onto 119th on March 21, 1954, making a jog from 120th. Under the gas sign, you can just barely see a small part of the gateman's tower at this location. Route 8 Halsted PCCs ony ran as far south as 79th.

This was a tough one to figure out, but my best guess is we are on Halsted looking north just south of 119th. The route 36 PCC 7264 is turning east onto 119th on March 21, 1954, making a jog from 120th. Under the gas sign, you can just barely see a small part of the gateman’s tower at this location. Route 8 Halsted PCCs ony ran as far south as 79th.

The same location today.

The same location today.

This is the view on 119th looking east at Hasted. This is shown in the top picture on page 292 of CERA Bulletin 146. The building at left is the same as in that earlier picture.

This is the view on 119th looking east at Hasted. This is shown in the top picture on page 292 of CERA Bulletin 146. The building at left is the same as in that earlier picture.

This enlargement from the 1952 CTA supervisor's track map shows how route 36 streetcars turned around at 120th and Morgan and where they crossed various railroad tracks. The track at an angle was the old PRR "Panhandle" route that went between Chicago and Logansport, Indiana. It was abandoned in the Conrail days.

This enlargement from the 1952 CTA supervisor’s track map shows how route 36 streetcars turned around at 120th and Morgan and where they crossed various railroad tracks. The track at an angle was the old PRR “Panhandle” route that went between Chicago and Logansport, Indiana. It was abandoned in the Conrail days.

In the aftermath of the catastrophic collision between PCC 7078 and a gasoline truck on May 25, 1950, in which 33 people tragically lost their lives, we see one of the fortunate survivors, 14-year-old Beverly Clark. She was thrown to the floor by the collision, but managed to escape with relatively minor injuries. News reports indicated that 44 riders survived.

In the aftermath of the catastrophic collision between PCC 7078 and a gasoline truck on May 25, 1950, in which 33 people tragically lost their lives, we see one of the fortunate survivors, 14-year-old Beverly Clark. She was thrown to the floor by the collision, but managed to escape with relatively minor injuries. News reports indicated that 44 riders survived.

CSL 185 on the Roosevelt Road extension in 1946. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

CSL 185 on the Roosevelt Road extension in 1946. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

San Francisco cable car 524, shown here at the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1949, operated over a short section of track where the cable pulled it up an incline over a short distance. This made it the last cable car to operate in Chicago. 524 is back in San Francisco, and still operates there as far as I know.

San Francisco cable car 524, shown here at the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1949, operated over a short section of track where the cable pulled it up an incline over a short distance. This made it the last cable car to operate in Chicago. 524 is back in San Francisco, and still operates there as far as I know.

CTA Pullman 122, signed for route 53 Pulaski, on September 2, 1949.

CTA Pullman 122, signed for route 53 Pulaski, on September 2, 1949.

CTA salt car AA96 in the early 1950s. Formerly CSL 2844, this car had a scrap date of December 27, 1955.

CTA salt car AA96 in the early 1950s. Formerly CSL 2844, this car had a scrap date of December 27, 1955.

Here is an oddity. In this picture, CSL work car 106 has been decorated for Anti-Litter Week as part of a parade.

Here is an oddity. In this picture, CSL work car 106 has been decorated for Anti-Litter Week as part of a parade.

CSL Pullman 127 passes the old North Western Station on Madison on August 18, 1941, while a man in a straw hat wonders why anyone would want to take a picture of a streetcar.

CSL Pullman 127 passes the old North Western Station on Madison on August 18, 1941, while a man in a straw hat wonders why anyone would want to take a picture of a streetcar.

This July 1948 picture of CSL 161 shows it in the weeds at that portion of the Cermak line extended to the lakefront for the Chicago World's Fair.

This July 1948 picture of CSL 161 shows it in the weeds at that portion of the Cermak line extended to the lakefront for the Chicago World’s Fair.

This picture is a bit of a mystery. Although CSL 1899 says it is destined for 63rd and State, that is not this location, since we see the "L" in the background. Sandy Terman: "The photo of flexible 1899 I believe was taken in the lower yard north of west shops just north of Lake street.The trains above I think were actually Lake Street. the 1899 may have been pulled out of service from the State-Lake route according to the destination sign." That's a pretty good theory, and backing it up, you can see trolley poles on some of the "L" cars in the picture. If Mr. Terman is right, those cars are being stored on a third track on the Lake line, which did not have a "proper" yard at the end of the line until after the 1962 elevation.

This picture is a bit of a mystery. Although CSL 1899 says it is destined for 63rd and State, that is not this location, since we see the “L” in the background. Sandy Terman: “The photo of flexible 1899 I believe was taken in the lower yard north of west shops just north of Lake street.The trains above I think were actually Lake Street. the 1899 may have been pulled out of service from the State-Lake route according to the destination sign.” That’s a pretty good theory, and backing it up, you can see trolley poles on some of the “L” cars in the picture. If Mr. Terman is right, those cars are being stored on a third track on the Lake line, which did not have a “proper” yard at the end of the line until after the 1962 elevation.

CTA 3226 at 71st and California in 1950.

CTA 3226 at 71st and California in 1950.

CTA work car W-204, described as a "two-cab flat," in May 1950.

CTA work car W-204, described as a “two-cab flat,” in May 1950.

CSL one-man car 3281 is at Division and Austin, west end of that line. Before there were off-street turnback loops, double-ended streetcars typically stopped right in the middle of the street before going back the other way. Across Austin, that's suburban Oak Park.

CSL one-man car 3281 is at Division and Austin, west end of that line. Before there were off-street turnback loops, double-ended streetcars typically stopped right in the middle of the street before going back the other way. Across Austin, that’s suburban Oak Park.

CSL 1964 is at Chicago and Austin, west end of line, at the city limits.

CSL 1964 is at Chicago and Austin, west end of line, at the city limits.

<img class="size-large wp-image-9206" src="https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/dave661.jpg?w=665" alt="We ran a similar picture as this in our most recent post, This one was taken shortly after that one, and shows CSL 3082 westbound on Randolph in the summer of 1938. Holiday, starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, is playing at one of the many movie palaces the Loop once had.” width=”665″ height=”486″ /> We ran a similar picture as this in our most recent post, This one was taken shortly after that one, and shows CSL 3082 westbound on Randolph in the summer of 1938. Holiday, starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, is playing at one of the many movie palaces the Loop once had.
CTA 3200 heads east on the Roosevelt road extension over the IC tracks, which ran to the Field Museum and Soldier Field. By this time, streetcar service on Roosevelt had been reduced to a shuttle operation between Wabash and the Museum Loop. This picture was taken in May 1952, and the shuttle was discontinued the following year.

CTA 3200 heads east on the Roosevelt road extension over the IC tracks, which ran to the Field Museum and Soldier Field. By this time, streetcar service on Roosevelt had been reduced to a shuttle operation between Wabash and the Museum Loop. This picture was taken in May 1952, and the shuttle was discontinued the following year.

CSL 4024 at the Madison-Austin loop on October 14, 1946. Note the modified trolley shroud on this car.

CSL 4024 at the Madison-Austin loop on October 14, 1946. Note the modified trolley shroud on this car.

CTA 7251 at State and Washington in August 1948. That's one of the iconic Marshall Field's clocks at left.

CTA 7251 at State and Washington in August 1948. That’s one of the iconic Marshall Field’s clocks at left.

Clybourn (left) and Halsted (right) in 1938. There are no streetcars present, but plenty of tracks. In the background, we see part of the Northside "L", generally called the "triple curve." The State Street subway had not yet been built when this picture was taken, but a station at North and Clybourn would eventually replace the one here on the "L". This section of line is still used today by Brown and Purple Line trains, and has not been straightened out.

Clybourn (left) and Halsted (right) in 1938. There are no streetcars present, but plenty of tracks. In the background, we see part of the Northside “L”, generally called the “triple curve.” The State Street subway had not yet been built when this picture was taken, but a station at North and Clybourn would eventually replace the one here on the “L”. This section of line is still used today by Brown and Purple Line trains, and has not been straightened out.

CTA Pullman 996 at the 69th and Ashland Station (car barn).

CTA Pullman 996 at the 69th and Ashland Station (car barn).

CTA 3196 at Wabash and Roosevelt in March 1953.

CTA 3196 at Wabash and Roosevelt in March 1953.

CTA PCC 4100, built by Pullman, is turning from Kinzie onto Clark in November 1953, with Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear.

CTA PCC 4100, built by Pullman, is turning from Kinzie onto Clark in November 1953, with Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear.

CSL 5408 is on Roosevelt at Ashland on January 15, 1937. Daniel Joseph: "I believe this photo is at Roosevelt at Ashland with Immanuel Lutheran Church in the background."

CSL 5408 is on Roosevelt at Ashland on January 15, 1937. Daniel Joseph: “I believe this photo is at Roosevelt at Ashland with Immanuel Lutheran Church in the background.”

CTA 7217 at 77th and Vincennes in February 1953. We have run this picture before (in More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Five, October 28, 2015), but now we own the original negative. One of our readers thinks that CTA 7217 is likely eastbound on 78th pulling off of Vincennes Avenue. They continue, "Since the sun is obviously in the east, this appears to be a route 22 pull-in after the AM rush." The date given for that other version of the picture was December 1953, and it was credited to Harold A. Smith.

CTA 7217 at 77th and Vincennes in February 1953. We have run this picture before (in More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Five, October 28, 2015), but now we own the original negative. One of our readers thinks that CTA 7217 is likely eastbound on 78th pulling off of Vincennes Avenue. They continue, “Since the sun is obviously in the east, this appears to be a route 22 pull-in after the AM rush.” The date given for that other version of the picture was December 1953, and it was credited to Harold A. Smith.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this photo of CSL Brill car 5986 was taken on State. In actuality, this is Lake and Austin, with the old Park Theater in the background. This was the west end of the line, at the city limits. This car was on the Lake-State through route 16. The through route was discontinued in 1946, and streetcar service on Lake in 1954. This picture dates to the 1930s.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this photo of CSL Brill car 5986 was taken on State. In actuality, this is Lake and Austin, with the old Park Theater in the background. This was the west end of the line, at the city limits. This car was on the Lake-State through route 16. The through route was discontinued in 1946, and streetcar service on Lake in 1954. This picture dates to the 1930s.

Riders wait to board the rear of CSL 3156 at Lake and Austin in the late 1930s. This car was on Through Route 16 (State-Lake). That is the Park Theater behind the car. It closed sometime around 1952.

Riders wait to board the rear of CSL 3156 at Lake and Austin in the late 1930s. This car was on Through Route 16 (State-Lake). That is the Park Theater behind the car. It closed sometime around 1952.

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 173rd 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 241,000 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 possible and are greatly appreciated.

Spring Cleaning

A couple of CA&E woods (including 308) head east, approaching the Des Plaines Avenue terminal in April 1957, a few months before abandonment of passenger service. Another CA&E train is in the terminal, while a train of CTA 4000s, including a "baldy" with the blocked-off center door, turns around on a wooden trestle. This arrangement began when the CA&E stopped running downtown in September 1953.

A couple of CA&E woods (including 308) head east, approaching the Des Plaines Avenue terminal in April 1957, a few months before abandonment of passenger service. Another CA&E train is in the terminal, while a train of CTA 4000s, including a “baldy” with the blocked-off center door, turns around on a wooden trestle. This arrangement began when the CA&E stopped running downtown in September 1953.

April showers have given way to May flowers, and it is high time here at Trolley Dodger HQ for a little spring cleaning.

A long time ago, railfans would put together dossiers on various subjects. Our own method, we confess, is to do something similar. We collect photographs and artifacts on various subjects, and after we have collected a sufficiency, that provides enough material for a blog post.

Inevitably, however, there are some odds and ends left over. So, this weekend we have cleaned out our closets, so to speak, and have rounded up some interesting classic images that we are adding to previous posts. People do look at our older posts, and when we can improve them, we do so. After all, we want this site to be an online resource for information that people will use as much in the future as they do today.

To this, we have added some recent correspondence and even a few interesting eBay items for your enjoyment. Add a few “mystery photos” to the mix, and you’ll have a complete feast for the eyes to rival anything put on a plate by the old Holloway House cafeteria.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

hollowayhouse


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 137th 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 157,000 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.


The eBay Beat

berwynexpress1

berwynexpress2

This old metal sign dates to the 1940s or early 50s and was used on Douglas Park “L” trains prior to the introduction of A/B “skip stop” service, which started in December 1951. It’s remarkable that this sign, obsolete for more than 64 years, still exists. It was recently offered for sale on eBay, but the seller was asking about $500 for it and it did not sell.

You can see pictures of similar signs in use in our earlier post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Three (March 23, 2016). In practice, a train that was not an express would simply flip the sign over and become a local, unless it was a “short turn” going to Lawndale only, to be put into storage, which involved a different sign.

The seller says:

The sign is made by the Chicago Veribrite sign company that was very well know in sign making and went out of business in 1965. Sign measures about 19.5 x 11 in size.

I found a list of sign manufacturers online that says the Veribrite Sign Company was in business from 1915 to 1965.

There were other signs used that were not metal. Some paper signs were used to identify Garfield Park trains in the 1950s, and a few of these have also survived.

Mystery Photos

The three photos below are listed for sale on eBay as being from Chicago, but this is obviously in error. Perhaps some of our keen-eyed readers can tell us where they actually do come from. If we can determine the real locations, we will contact the seller so they can update their listings accordingly. (See the Comments section for the answers.)

mystery1

mystery2

mystery3

Englewood “L” Extension

Prior to the construction of the CTA Orange Line, which opened in 1993, the City of Chicago and CTA seemed more interested in tearing down elevated lines than in building them. However, the 1969 two-block extension of the Englewood branch of the South Side “L” (part of today’s Green Line) was an exception to this. It was even thought there might be further extensions of this branch all the way to Midway airport, but that is now served by the Orange Line. There was only a brief period of time when these construction pictures could have been taken. According to Graham Garfield’s excellent web site, the extension opened on May 6, 1969. At this time the new Ashland station, with more convenient interchange with buses, replaced the old Loomis terminal.

FYI, we posted another photo of the Englewood extension construction in our previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Three (March 23, 2016).

pic171

pic172

pic173

pic174

pic175


Farewell to Red Cars Fantrip

This picture has been added to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Five (December 11, 2015), which featured another photo taken at the same location, on the same fantrip:

CTA regular service car 3167, painted green, is at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21. Red cars 479 and 473, at the rear, are on the famous CERA "farewell to red cars" fantrip. The date is May 16, 1954, two weeks before the end of red car service in Chicago.

CTA regular service car 3167, painted green, is at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21. Red cars 479 and 473, at the rear, are on the famous CERA “farewell to red cars” fantrip. The date is May 16, 1954, two weeks before the end of red car service in Chicago.


LVT on the P&W

We’ve added another photo showing Lehigh Valley Transit freight operations on the Philadelphia and Western after (passenger service there was abandoned) to our post Alphabet Soup (March 15, 2016), which already had a similar picture:

LVT freight motor C-17 approaches Norristown terminal ion the Philadelphia and Western in January 1951. Although the Liberty Bell Limited cars stopped running on the P&W in 1949, freight operations continued right up to the time of the September 1951 abandonment.

LVT freight motor C-17 approaches Norristown terminal ion the Philadelphia and Western in January 1951. Although the Liberty Bell Limited cars stopped running on the P&W in 1949, freight operations continued right up to the time of the September 1951 abandonment.


More CA&E Action

The Chicago, Aurora & Elgin picture at the top of this page, plus these two others, have been added to our previous post More CA&E Jewels (February 9, 2016).

This undated 1950s photo shows a westbound Chicago, Aurora & Elgin train (cars 406 and 41x) at the Villa Park station. According to the Great Third Rail web site, "The station was rebuilt again in 1929. During this reconstruction, the eastbound platform was moved to the west side of Villa Avenue with the construction of an expansive Tudor Revival station designed by Samuel Insull’s staff architect, Arthur U. Gerber. The westbound platform remained in place and was outfitted with a flat roofed wooden passenger shelter. Villa Park was one of a few stations to survive the demise of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin. Both it and Ardmore (the next station west) were purchased by the village of Villa Park and refurbished with an official dedication by the Villa Park Bicentennial Commission on July 5, 1976. It is now home to the Villa Park Historical Society which hosts an annual ice cream social on July 3, the anniversary of the day the CA&E ended passenger service."

This undated 1950s photo shows a westbound Chicago, Aurora & Elgin train (cars 406 and 41x) at the Villa Park station. According to the Great Third Rail web site, “The station was rebuilt again in 1929. During this reconstruction, the eastbound platform was moved to the west side of Villa Avenue with the construction of an expansive Tudor Revival station designed by Samuel Insull’s staff architect, Arthur U. Gerber. The westbound platform remained in place and was outfitted with a flat roofed wooden passenger shelter. Villa Park was one of a few stations to survive the demise of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin. Both it and Ardmore (the next station west) were purchased by the village of Villa Park and refurbished with an official dedication by the Villa Park Bicentennial Commission on July 5, 1976. It is now home to the Villa Park Historical Society which hosts an annual ice cream social on July 3, the anniversary of the day the CA&E ended passenger service.”

I believe this photo shows CA&E freight loco 4006 on the Mt. Carmel branch.

I believe this photo shows CA&E freight loco 4006 on the Mt. Carmel branch.

Here is Lackawana & Wyoming Valley 31 as it appeared on August 3, 1952. Passenger service ended on this third-rail line at the end of that year. Some have wondered if the LL rolling stock could have benefited the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, but the general consensus is these cars would have been too long to navigate the tight curves on the Loop "L", although perhaps they could have been used west of Forest Park. As it was, there were no takers and all were scrapped. Ironically, some thought was later given by a museum of adapting a CA&E curved-side car into an ersatz Laurel Line replica, but this idea was dropped.

Here is Lackawana & Wyoming Valley 31 as it appeared on August 3, 1952. Passenger service ended on this third-rail line at the end of that year. Some have wondered if the LL rolling stock could have benefited the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, but the general consensus is these cars would have been too long to navigate the tight curves on the Loop “L”, although perhaps they could have been used west of Forest Park. As it was, there were no takers and all were scrapped. Ironically, some thought was later given by a museum of adapting a CA&E curved-side car into an ersatz Laurel Line replica, but this idea was dropped.

The next photo has been added to our post The Mass Transit Special (February 4, 2016):

pic209


North Shore Line Action

These Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee photos have been added to our post A North Shore Line Potpourri, Part Two (August 22, 2015):

A northbound CNS&M Shore Line Route train, headed up by 413, at the downtown Wilmette station in June 1954. The Shore Line was abandoned not much more than one year later. We are looking to the southeast.

A northbound CNS&M Shore Line Route train, headed up by 413, at the downtown Wilmette station in June 1954. The Shore Line was abandoned not much more than one year later. We are looking to the southeast.

A current view of where the North Shore Line station in downtown Wilmette was once located. We are at the corner of Wilmette Avenue and Poplar Drive, looking to the southeast. The station was located in what is now the parking lot of a strip mall. The storefronts at rear are on Greenleaf Avenue, where the CNS&M Shore Line Route turned east for some slow street running before connecting up with the CRT/CTA at Linden Avenue.

A current view of where the North Shore Line station in downtown Wilmette was once located. We are at the corner of Wilmette Avenue and Poplar Drive, looking to the southeast. The station was located in what is now the parking lot of a strip mall. The storefronts at rear are on Greenleaf Avenue, where the CNS&M Shore Line Route turned east for some slow street running before connecting up with the CRT/CTA at Linden Avenue.

CNS&M line car 606 on October 12, 1961. Don's Rail Photos says, "606 was built by Cincinnati in January 1923, #2620. In 1963 it became Chicago Transit Authority S-606 and burned in 1978. The remains were sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum." Joseph Hazinski writes, "The picture of North Shore Line car 606 is Northbound at Harrison Avenue on the mainline just before entering S. 5th Street. After adjustments are made to the overhead 606 will continue its patrol to the downtown Milwaukee terminal and lunch before returning south to Highwood."

CNS&M line car 606 on October 12, 1961. Don’s Rail Photos says, “606 was built by Cincinnati in January 1923, #2620. In 1963 it became Chicago Transit Authority S-606 and burned in 1978. The remains were sold to the Indiana Transportation Museum.” Joseph Hazinski writes, “The picture of North Shore Line car 606 is Northbound at Harrison Avenue on the mainline just before entering S. 5th Street. After adjustments are made to the overhead 606 will continue its patrol to the downtown Milwaukee terminal and lunch before returning south to Highwood.”

The North Shore Line's Silverliners, when freshly painted and seen in bright sunlight, positively gleamed.

The North Shore Line’s Silverliners, when freshly painted and seen in bright sunlight, positively gleamed.


More South Shore Line Action

These Chicago, South Shore and South Bend interurban photos have been added to our post Tokens of Our Esteem (January 20, 2016):

CSS&SB 106 heads up a two-car train going east from the South Shore's old South Bend terminal. This street running was eliminated in 1970 when the line was cut back to Bendix at the outskirts of town. Since then, it has been extended to the local airport.

CSS&SB 106 heads up a two-car train going east from the South Shore’s old South Bend terminal. This street running was eliminated in 1970 when the line was cut back to Bendix at the outskirts of town. Since then, it has been extended to the local airport.

George Foelschow: "The latest Trolley Dodger installment, which included a photo of a South Shore Line train on East LaSalle Avenue in South Bend, reminded me of a watercolor painting I acquired before moving from Chicago in 1978. The artist is David Tutwiler and the painting is dated (19)77. It depicts a similar scene. I thought you may want to share it with Trolley Dodger readers." Thanks, George!

George Foelschow: “The latest Trolley Dodger installment, which included a photo of a South Shore Line train on East LaSalle Avenue in South Bend, reminded me of a watercolor painting I acquired before moving from Chicago in 1978. The artist is David Tutwiler and the painting is dated (19)77. It depicts a similar scene. I thought you may want to share it with Trolley Dodger readers.” Thanks, George!

The same location today.

The same location today.

South Shore Line cars 28 and 19 at the Randolph Street station in downtown Chicago in March 1978. By then, these cars were more than 50 years old and had but a few more years to run. That's the Prudential Building in the background. Since then, this station has been rebuilt and is now underneath Millennium Park.

South Shore Line cars 28 and 19 at the Randolph Street station in downtown Chicago in March 1978. By then, these cars were more than 50 years old and had but a few more years to run. That’s the Prudential Building in the background. Since then, this station has been rebuilt and is now underneath Millennium Park.


Whither Watertown

On my first trip to Boston in 1967 I rode all the lines, including the Watertown trolley which briefly was designated as the A line (although I don’t recall ever seeing any photos of that designation on roll signs. I’ve read that officially, Watertown was “temporarily” bussed in 1969 due to a shortage of PCCs for the other lines. The tracks and wire were retained until about 1994 for access to Watertown Yard, where some maintenance work was done.

Recently, I found a blog post that offers perhaps the best explanation of why the Watertown trolley was replaced by buses. Starting in 1964, a choke point got added to the Watertown trackage in the form of an on ramp for the Mass Pike highway, which was one way. So, streetcars had not only to fight massive traffic congestion at this one point, but going against the regular traffic flow as well. Therefore, the MBTA decided to replace the Watertown trolley with buses (the 57) that were re-routed around this choke point.

Here are some pictures showing a 1988 fantrip on the Watertown line, which had by then not seen regular revenue service with streetcars in nearly 20 years. How I wish I was on that trip.

Three generations of Boston streetcars on a June 12, 1988 Watertown fantrip. That's a Type 5 car (5734) behind PCC 3295, with Boeing-Vertol LRV 3404 behind it. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Three generations of Boston streetcars on a June 12, 1988 Watertown fantrip. That’s a Type 5 car (5734) behind PCC 3295, with Boeing-Vertol LRV 3404 behind it. (Clark Frazier Photo)

MBTA LRV 3404, signed as an instruction car (probably so regular passengers would not try to board it) on a June 12, 1988 fantrip on Boston's former Watertown line. (Clark Frazier Photo)

MBTA LRV 3404, signed as an instruction car (probably so regular passengers would not try to board it) on a June 12, 1988 fantrip on Boston’s former Watertown line. (Clark Frazier Photo)


Recent Correspondence

Railroad Record Club Audition Records

rrcauditionlabel

Kenneth Gear writes:

Hi David. Recently there was an auction on eBay for 4 RRC LPs. Interestingly each of the album jackets have a rubber stamping on them. It reads: THIS IS AN AUDITION SET RECORD AND IS THE PROPERTY OF THE RAILROAD RECORD CLUB HAWKINS, WI 54530.

The person selling these LPs offered no explanation but I can only conclude that these records were (or were planned to be) played on the radio or sent to a railroad or audiophile magazine for review. If they were played on air, wouldn’t it be great to know where and when. Perhaps the broadcast included an interview with Mr. Steventon. Have you ever seen a review of a RRC record in any magazine or newspaper archive?

I saw that too, thanks. One possibility is that these were demonstration records to be played in booths at record stores. Or perhaps they were used to try and drum up orders from people who had no idea what a railroad record was like?

Maybe the radio station idea is best… in any event, these must have been at least at one time owned by Steventon. Perhaps one of our readers might have a better idea what such audition records were used for.

We have written about the Railroad Record Club several times before. Don’t forget that we offer more than 80% of their entire output on CDs, attractively priced and digitally remastered, in our Online Store.


Farnham Third Rail System

Charlie Vlk writes:

Does anyone know the origin/disposition of the experimental interurban car used by Farnham in his demonstration of the Farnham Third Rail System? A section of side track at Hawthorne on the CB&Q was modified with Farnham’s third rail which was an under-running system that was only energized when the car was collecting power in a segment. Variations of this system were used by the NYC and other railroads. The trial took place in 1897 and he car looks similar to, but not identical, to Suburban Railroad (West Towns) equipment but had different trucks and slightly different window spacing.

Let’s hope there is someone out there who will have an answer for you, thanks.


St. Louis PCC Will Run Again

Steve Binning writes:

Hi, just thought that you might like to know about the PCC restoration at Museum of Transportation in St. Louis.

On May 21, 50 years to the day from the last streetcar operation in St. Louis, the Museum will present to the public a restored and operational PCC. We will be giving rides all day long. This car will be added to the other 3 cars operating at the Museum.

StL PS 1743


Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster

greenhornetcrash1950

greenhornetcrash1950a

Finally, there was some interesting correspondence regarding the Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster, which we wrote about on May 19, 2015.

Jeff Wilson writes:

The driver of the gasoline truck, Melvin (Mel) Wilson was my paternal grandfather who left behind a wife and four young boys.

It was a horrible tragedy that should never be forgotten.

Craig Cleve, author of The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster added:

Jeff,

I regret not being able to find more information about your grandfather when I wrote my book about the accident. Obviously, you didn’t know him. But what can you tell us about him?

Jeff Wilson replied:

Like you said, I never met him. My father told me stories and I’ve seen many pictures of Mel. After Pearl Harbor Mel enlisted in the Navy and served during WWII. He died on my father’s 8th grade graduation night. My Dad had asked Mel to stay at home that evening to attend his graduation ceremony. Mel knowing he had 4 boys to support decided that he would drive that evening and earn some extra money to buy his boy’s new shoes. They never saw him alive again.

I am gratified that we are helping to make these personal connections. It is important that the personal stories behind this tragedy be told.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

Following Up

This building, located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, is home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab Association, a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. View looks west across Wabash Avenue. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This building, located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, is home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab Association, a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. View looks west across Wabash Avenue. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Today, we are following up on three stories from previous Trolley Dodger posts.

First, guest contributor William Shapotkin shares some additional information with us about the former Chicago City Railway building we wrote about in Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 3-20-2016.

The “switch stand” mentioned also figured prominently in the May 25, 1950 catastrophic crash between Chicago PCC 7078 and a gasoline truck, which we wrote about here.  The collision occurred because the operator of 7078 thought he had been cleared to go straight, while the switch was set to divert streetcars into the loop to avoid a flooded viaduct.

CCRy Wreck Wagon Barn

Dave:

It has taken me some time to get around to writing you on this. Believe I can help with answering your questions about the CSL building at 6242 (although my slides indicate the building to be 6238) S. Wabash Ave.

The building, as I understand it, was constructed as a wagon barn — although it was unclear if it was for wreck wagons or those involved in overhead wire work. David Stanley and I visited the building on Oct 18, 2003. At the time, the structure housed vans of the “Jitney Taxicab Association.” We were allowed into the building. An inspection of the interior revealed that there were no rails in the floor and no signs of any overhead installation. The CSL call (telephone) box was still mounted on the outside of the building south of the doorways.

Rails of the one-time streetcar terminal (two tracks, extending east from State almost to Wabash) were still in-place on the north side of the building. Additionally, the rails leading into/out of the former streetcar loop at 62nd/State were still in-place thru the sidewalk along the east side of State St. The switch stand (perhaps not the correct term) for entry off of S/B State St into the 62nd/State loop (I believe) remains in-place under the pavement in State St. David Stanley photographed the switch stand in the 1970s and I recall seeing it in the 1980s.

Bill Shapotkin

Looking north on the east sidewalk if State Street from a point north of what would be 62nd Place. The rails are the northbound exit out of the 62nd Place streetcar loop-- used by PCCs in the post-World War II period. Amazingly, it's been sixty years since streetcars operated down this part of State Street. These rails still survive! (William Shapotkin Photo)

Looking north on the east sidewalk if State Street from a point north of what would be 62nd Place. The rails are the northbound exit out of the 62nd Place streetcar loop– used by PCCs in the post-World War II period. Amazingly, it’s been sixty years since streetcars operated down this part of State Street. These rails still survive! (William Shapotkin Photo)

Looking west across the east sidewalk of State, from a point north of what would be 62nd Place. The rails here are the northbound route out of the 62nd Place streetcar loop. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Looking west across the east sidewalk of State, from a point north of what would be 62nd Place. The rails here are the northbound route out of the 62nd Place streetcar loop. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Looking southeast across an empty lot between State and Wabash from a point south of 62nd Street. The CSL/CTA had a streetcar loop here (installed post-World War II). Prior to installation of the loop, the terminal consisted of a two-track stub facility located just north of the brick building with the smoke stack (center), which had originally been constructed as a Chicago City Railway wreck wagon barn. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Looking southeast across an empty lot between State and Wabash from a point south of 62nd Street. The CSL/CTA had a streetcar loop here (installed post-World War II). Prior to installation of the loop, the terminal consisted of a two-track stub facility located just north of the brick building with the smoke stack (center), which had originally been constructed as a Chicago City Railway wreck wagon barn. (William Shapotkin Photo)

Showing through the pavement in this 1970s view is a switch stand odd southbound State Street leading to the one-time 62nd Street streetcar loop. View looks south on State Street. (David S. Stanley Photo)

Showing through the pavement in this 1970s view is a switch stand odd southbound State Street leading to the one-time 62nd Street streetcar loop. View looks south on State Street. (David S. Stanley Photo)

CTA PCC car 7144, workign route 36 - Broadway-State, is seen heading southbound on State Street at the 62nd Place Loop in the 1950s. View looks north. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC car 7144, workign route 36 – Broadway-State, is seen heading southbound on State Street at the 62nd Place Loop in the 1950s. View looks north. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC car 7143, working route 36 - Broadway-State, is seen heading southbound on State Street as it passes the 62nd Place Loop in the 1950s. View looks north. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC car 7143, working route 36 – Broadway-State, is seen heading southbound on State Street as it passes the 62nd Place Loop in the 1950s. View looks north. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA bus #6425, working route 29 - State, is seen heading southbound on State Street past one-time site of the infamous streetcar/gasoline truck collision of May 25, 1950. View looks north. (William Shapotkin Photo)

CTA bus #6425, working route 29 – State, is seen heading southbound on State Street past one-time site of the infamous streetcar/gasoline truck collision of May 25, 1950. View looks north. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This CSL call box is still standing on the south side of the east end of the building located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, now (2003) home to the Jitney Taxicab Association. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. View looks west. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This CSL call box is still standing on the south side of the east end of the building located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, now (2003) home to the Jitney Taxicab Association. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. View looks west. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This disturbed portion of the east sidewalk of State Street near what would be 62nd Street represents the entrance to the 62nd Place streetcar loop. View looks northwest. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This disturbed portion of the east sidewalk of State Street near what would be 62nd Street represents the entrance to the 62nd Place streetcar loop. View looks northwest. (William Shapotkin Photo)

In this 1970s view, we see the switch stand for the turnout into the 62nd Place and State Loop off the southbound track in State Street. View looks east. (David S. Stanley Photo)

In this 1970s view, we see the switch stand for the turnout into the 62nd Place and State Loop off the southbound track in State Street. View looks east. (David S. Stanley Photo)

This building, located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, is home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab association-- a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. The one-time 6nd Place streetcar terminal had been located immediately south of the building at right-- in fact, both tracks of that terminal are still intact and surrounded by brick pavement. View looks southwest across Wabash Avenue. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This building, located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, is home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab association– a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. The one-time 6nd Place streetcar terminal had been located immediately south of the building at right– in fact, both tracks of that terminal are still intact and surrounded by brick pavement. View looks southwest across Wabash Avenue. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This is the west end of the building located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, now home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab Association-- a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Co. View looks east/southeast. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This is the west end of the building located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, now home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab Association– a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Co. View looks east/southeast. (William Shapotkin Photo)

These rails, located between State Street and Wabash Avenue and north of the building at 6238 S. Wabash (the one-time CCRY Co. wreck wagon barn) had been the 62nd Street streetcar terminal. View looks northwest. (William Shapotkin Photo)

These rails, located between State Street and Wabash Avenue and north of the building at 6238 S. Wabash (the one-time CCRY Co. wreck wagon barn) had been the 62nd Street streetcar terminal. View looks northwest. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This building, located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, is home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab Association, a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. View looks west across Wabash Avenue. (William Shapotkin Photo)

This building, located at 6238 S. Wabash Avenue, is home (2003) to the Jitney Taxicab Association, a limousine service. The building was originally constructed as a wreck wagon barn for the Chicago City Railway Company. View looks west across Wabash Avenue. (William Shapotkin Photo)


Next, we have happy news to report on the fate of Chicago Surface Lines car 1137, which was found last year in Wisconsin. We wrote about that car in our posts Lost and Found: Chicago Streetcar #1137 (June 5, 2015) and The Latest Thing in Houses (1946) (June 10, 2015).

CSL 1137 Is Saved

Frank Sirinek (left) and Jay Drouillard watch as preparations continue for moving the trolley out of Sharon and Bill Krapil's backyard in Weyauwega. (Angie Landsverk Photo)

Frank Sirinek (left) and Jay Drouillard watch as preparations continue for moving the trolley out of Sharon and Bill Krapil’s backyard in Weyauwega. (Angie Landsverk Photo)

From the Waupaca County News:

New home for Wega’s trolley

First acquisition for new museum

By Angie Landsverk

The trolley discovered almost a year ago in a Weyauwega backyard is the first acquisition for a museum being developed in a Michigan community.

“I’m so glad it went to something like this. To have something preserved that’s about 110 years old is amazing. I could not see it being destroyed,” said Sharon Krapil.

Last June 2, Krapil and her husband, Bill, watched as the walls of the brown shack in their backyard were removed, revealing a former Chicago electric streetcar behind them.

The couple bought the home at 300 W. South St. in April 2014 and wanted more space in their backyard.

That is why they hired a construction crew to dismantle the shack.

On March 29, they watched as a semi pulled the trolley, covered in shrink wrap as it sat on a trailer, out of their backyard and onto the street for its eight-hour drive to Grass Lake, Michigan.

The trolley, which the Chicago Surface Lines operated around 1905, is now being refurbished for the Lost Railway Museum.

Interurban railway

“The interurban (railway system) was part of the fabric of the country back then,” said Jay Drouillard, who is involved in Grass Lake’s Lost Railway Museum organization.

The system ran within and between cities and villages in the early 1900s.

“They didn’t have automobiles. If they could jump on an interuban car and ride to their destination, that was pretty good,” he said.

This year, a group of people in this Michigan community decided to open such a museum in a historic building in the community, he said.

“We acquired a building and will start transforming it into a museum later this year,” Drouillard said. “This is the first acquisition for the museum.”

The trolley, donated to the organization from the Krapils for $1, is a Chicago trolley car and never was used as an interurban, he said.

The Lost Railway Museum organization does have photographs of a trolley being used as an interurban to go to a nearby casino, Drouillard said.

“The photograph shows a car that was just like this. It is a sister car, part of a series,” he said. “We’re not going to pawn it (the Weyauwega trolley) off as an interurban. It’s a sister car. The only reason it still exists is because a structure was built around it.”

Most of those involved in the development of the new museum are retired, including Drouillard.

The group learned of the trolley and the Krapil’s desire to donate it to someone from Frank Sirinek, who for more than 50 years has been a volunteer at the Illinois Railway Museum, outside of Chicago.

That museum has a restored and operational trolley from the same series as the Krapil’s former trolley.

Trolley history

According to Sirinek, this type of car was the St. Louis Car Company’s first attempt, at the turn of the century, to manufacture a rubber stamp streetcar.

After 1908, other streetcar companies custom produced them on demand as cities ordered them.

The Chicago Surface Lines operated the electric streetcar from the 1100 series until about 1946, which is when cars like it became too small and slow for moving a lot of people, Sirinek said.

After World War II, the trolleys were sold to those wanting a place to live or stay, which is how they ended up throughout the Midwest, including in Weyauwega.

Sirinek became aware of the local trolley about 20 years ago, traveled to Weyauwega and took pictures of the structure built around it.

At that time, no one was living in it.

From about 1946 to 1948, the late Robert and Amanda (Mandy) Husberg lived in it with their three children – Amanda, Bob and William – before moving to Chicago.

News about the trolley being found behind the walls of the structure traveled to Brooklyn, New York, where Amanda saw a story about it on her local ABC newscast.

She recognized the brown siding and knew it was the trolley where she once lived after learning that it was found in the backyard of a small community in Wisconsin.

Last September, she stopped to see it on her way to visit family in the Plover area.

Both she and Krapil hoped a new home would be found for the trolley in Weyauwega, followed by its restoration.

“Weyauwega had a chance, but the city didn’t have the money,” Krapil said. “I was looking for any way to preserve it.”

Several others also expressed interest in it.

“In mid-March, we were contacted by the (Lost Railway) Museum. They said they wanted to come up and look at it,” she said.

Another person who had expressed interested in the trolley told the Krapils if someone wanted it, to give it away.

When representatives from the newly formed museum said they wanted the trolley, Krapil said she expected the move to take place in the summer.

“Then we got the call that they would be here March 28 to 29,” she said.

Sirinek also made the trip back to Weyauwega to watch the process.

A company that specializes in moving heavy items across the country accompanied members of the Lost Railway Museum organization.

“We’re going to restore it. We have a fantastic group of people involved,” Drouillard said. “The museum will be open by mid-year next year. This car will not be done by then.”

He said it will be restored for a static display.

“I’m so happy she’s going to be there with people who will respect her and take care of her,” Krapil said.

The Krapils look forward to visiting the museum in the future.

They have an open invitation to go there, as well as to the Illinois Railway Museum.

The couple plans to go to the Illinois museum this summer, where Sirinek told Krapil she “can even drive the trolley” and they will receive a personal tour.

Krapil said she is happy the trolley has a new home but also a bit sad.

When she looks out her kitchen window, she says, “It’s gone.”

However, she thinks about the many people she met because of the experience.

“They did a wonderful job,” she said.

Those involved in moving the trolley leveled off the backyard as best as they could and left grass seed for the Krapils to plant this spring.

Krapil called the trolley her “Grand Lady,” and said the story ended with a happy ending.

“It was an incredible journey with the trolley car, and I’ll treasure it for the rest of my life,” she said.

They wanted the trolley to be saved, appreciated and enjoyed by many.

“She’s gone to the right place, where she’ll get all of that and more,” she said.

The trolley is just about ready to be moved from Weyauwega to its new home in Grass Lake, Michigan. (Rosie Rowe Photo)

The trolley is just about ready to be moved from Weyauwega to its new home in Grass Lake, Michigan. (Rosie Rowe Photo)

This refurbished trolley from the same series as the one found in a Weyauwega backyard may be seen at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Photo courtesy of Frank Sirinek)

This refurbished trolley from the same series as the one found in a Weyauwega backyard may be seen at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Photo courtesy of Frank Sirinek)


bowen1

bowen2

bowen3

World’s Fair Buses

Finally, much new material regarding 1930s World’s Fair buses has been added to Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 3-27-2016. At this point, it is not entirely certain whether the buses used at A Century of Progress here in Chicago eventually made their way to Texas or not. Similar buses were used at the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. It’s possible that these were the Chicago buses, repainted and with the additional of some sheet metal. Or, they could just have been similar buses made for the Dallas fair.

-David Sadowski

World’s Fair Memorabilia Show

FYI, the 22nd Annual World’s Fair Memorabilia Show takes place on Sunday, April 17, 2016. The hours are 10am to 4pm and is being held at the Elk Grove Holiday Inn, 1000 Busse Road (Rt. 83 and Landmeier Rd.) in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Admission is $6, $5 for seniors 65+. Early preview admission at 9am is available for $20. Tables are available for $100. ($110 after Feb. 1st) Please e-mail me if you would like a contract for a table.

There will be a special display of 1933 World’s Fair memorabilia. Collectors and dealers will meet to buy, sell and trade items related to World’s Fairs from 1876 to the present. The main focus will be on the 1933 & 1934 Chicago World’s Fair. There will also be items from the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition and other Chicago-related ephemera. There will be some items from other World’s Fairs including: 1904 St. Louis, 1939-40 New York, 1962 Seattle, 1964-65 New York, Expo ’67, etc. There will be over 20 tables of World’s Fair items for sale!

There will be continuous showings of home movies and newsreels on video from the 1933/34 Chicago A Century of Progress. World’s Fair collectors and fans of the fair are invited to come celebrate the 1933-34 Century of Progress and relive one of the brightest moments in Chicago’s history. (Two of the stars on Chicago’s flag commemorate the 1893 and 1933/34 Fairs!)


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 132nd 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 145,000 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 possible and are greatly appreciated.


Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 3-20-2016

The building in question at about 6242 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago.

The building in question at about 6242 S. Wabash Ave. in Chicago.

Old Chicago City Railway Building

Marcin Sienkiel writes:

I’m from Poland and I interested a streetcar in Chicago. I have question about old bulding on S Wabash Str., near E 63rd Str. Is it old horse streetcar barn? On portal is wrote C.C.Ry.C – Does it mean: Chicago City Railway Company?
https://www.google.pl/maps/@41.7807066,-87.6236948,3a,26.4y,268.49h,89.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sykVd2dGms0KaYSbC-MfF8Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=pl

And I have question to Mr. Sadowski:
Are you speak Polish (your name is very Polish;)? Because my English is very bad and easier when I will be writing in Polish.

Thank you and have nice day.

My grandparents on my father’s side came to America from Poland in the early 1900s. Their children were forbidden from speaking Polish at home. My dad only knew a few words. My aunt could understand it, but couldn’t speak it.

While I don’t know any Polish, I do see that this building, whatever it was, is not listed as a car barn on this useful web site:

http://www.chicagorailfan.com/rosctaxi.html

Fortunately, members of the Chicagotransit Yahoo discussion group came up with a lot of useful information:

George Foelschow:

Interesting question. Marcin must have very sharp eyes to note the portal inscription. It would seem the streetcar loop on the east side of State Street north of 63rd (site of the 1950 PCC disaster) would be behind this facility. 63rd Street was not a cable car line, so it may well date from the horse car era .The door dimensions may well be a clue, since horse cars were generally smaller than electric cars. Fire insurance maps, not at my finger tips, would be useful. (Chicago’s horse car system represents a book that hasn’t been written yet.)

Perhaps a few clues can be found in the dates when transit service began in the vicinity of this building, which is located just north of 63rd Street on Wabash, which is near State.

63rd Street did not have horse car service in this area. But according to http://www.chicagorailfan.com:

1898 – electric streetcar service introduced State St. to Halsted
1899 – electric streetcar service introduced State St. to Cottage Grove

As for State Street, horse car service was extended south to 63rd in 1882, and then converted to cable car operation in 1887. North of 63rd, cable cars remained in service until July 22, 1906.

Electric streetcar service was introduced between 63rd St. and 71st St. in 1898. As of July 1, 1901, this service was extended south to 81st Street, replacing a battery operated streetcar.

According to Cable Railways of Chicago by George W. Hilton (ERHS bulletin 10, page 5)* cable car service south of 39th was run from a powerhouse at 52nd and State. The Chicago City Railway’s main car house for the cable operation on State was located at 39th Street. There was another car barn at 61st and State.

So, it’s possible the building in question was used by CCR’s horse car operation between 1882 and 1887.

However, it’s possible that it may also have been used for trolleys starting in 1898. Some of the first Chicago streetcars were actually cable trailers that were electrified.

This is at least possible because the building would be strategically located to serve both 63rd and State. However, once cable service ended in 1906, it might have been necessary to use other car barns (“stations”) instead.

Interesting that this building is still standing after all these years.

*Available in The Complete ERHS Collection, an E-book published by Central Electric Railfans’ Association. Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

Dennis McClendon:

The 1926 fire insurance map shows the building as Chicago Surface Lines Wrecking Wagon House.

The 1895 fire insurance map shows the property on Wabash without a building, but has a small structure at 6235 State, labeled as Conductor’s Room. This was the end of track for the State Street cable car line.

Chicago’s Street Railways in 1890

An adjacent building and all other buildings on State are labeled S, for Store. The few facing Wabash are marked D, for Dwelling.

My 1906 CSL track map shows a building there, identified only as Company Property.

Screenshot 2016-03-19 13.38.30

Another reader adds:

Several years ago Dave Diamond of IRM showed me some photos that he had taken of the building located near Wabash and 63rd that had a CCRys entablature on it. He said that his research found that the building had been used for horsecar supplies and later was used by CSL as a storage facility. I do not know whether it still exists. I doubt that it is owned by the CTA at this time.

So, there you have it. There are two possibilities here. On the one hand, if the building actually dates back to horse car days, it would have been built around 1882 and used for this purpose until 1887. That would not explain why there is no building shown on an 1895 map.

Another theory would be that the building was built around 1898 and was used in some fashion when streetcar service was instituted on both State and 63rd in this area. If it was in fact used as a car barn, this was short-lived since the rapid expansion of electric streetcar service would have rendered this inadequate by 1906. Some of the first streetcars used here were actually retrofitted cable trailers.

In 1914, the Chicago City Railway Company became a part of Chicago Surface Lines, which was like an umbrella agency. CSL continued to use the building for various purposes. Chances are, it was then owned by the successor Chicago Transit Authority starting in 1947. With the rapid consolidation of CTA facilities, it would not surprise me if the building was sold during the 1950s.

This was also the general vicinity of the horrific May 25, 1950 crash between a PCC streetcar and a gasoline truck, the subject of an earlier post.

-David Sadowski

PS- We have added videos to three previous posts:

Traction in Milwaukee

More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Seven

Alphabet Soup

Screen Shot 03-20-16 at 05.13 AM.PNG

Screen Shot 03-20-16 at 05.14 AM.PNG

Screen Shot 03-20-16 at 04.52 AM.PNG

A close-up of the area from a 1941 CSL track map, which can be found in our E-book Chicago's PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available from our Online Store. It looks like there were tracks leading to this building.

A close-up of the area from a 1941 CSL track map, which can be found in our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available from our Online Store. It looks like there were tracks leading to this building.

From a previous post, here is a picture showing one of those retrofitted cable trailers in streetcar service:

Chicago City Railway car 2169 on the 75th Street route. According to Central Electric Railfans' Association bulletin 27 (July 1941), this car was part of an order of 69 closed cable trailer cars (with double door in bulkheads) built by Wells-French in 1896. These cars were electrified in 1908, and most were renumbered. My guess is we are at 75th and South Chicago. This picture would have been taken between 1908 and 1914, when CCR became part of the Chicago Surface Lines. If I am reading B-27 correctly, this car would originally have been numbered 2129. It was scrapped after CSL was formed. Bob Lalich adds, "I agree, Chicago City Railway car 2169 is at 75th and South Chicago Ave. It appears that the Grand Crossing grade separation project was underway, judging by the construction shacks."

Chicago City Railway car 2169 on the 75th Street route. According to Central Electric Railfans’ Association bulletin 27 (July 1941), this car was part of an order of 69 closed cable trailer cars (with double door in bulkheads) built by Wells-French in 1896. These cars were electrified in 1908, and most were renumbered. My guess is we are at 75th and South Chicago. This picture would have been taken between 1908 and 1914, when CCR became part of the Chicago Surface Lines. If I am reading B-27 correctly, this car would originally have been numbered 2129. It was scrapped after CSL was formed. Bob Lalich adds, “I agree, Chicago City Railway car 2169 is at 75th and South Chicago Ave. It appears that the Grand Crossing grade separation project was underway, judging by the construction shacks.”


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

gh1

This is our 128th 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 137,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

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

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

We thank you for your support.


New From Trolley Dodger Records

Screen Shot 03-16-16 at 06.58 PM.PNG Screen Shot 03-17-16 at 12.44 AM.PNG

Red Arrow Lines 1967: Straffords and Bullets
# of Discs – 1
Price: $14.95

This disc features rare, long out-of-print audio recordings of two 1967 round trips on the Philadelphia & Western (aka “Red Arrow Lines”) interurban between Philadelphia and Norristown, the famous third rail High-Speed Line. One trip is by a Strafford car and the other by one of the beloved streamlined Bullets. The line, about 13 miles long and still in operation today under SEPTA, bears many similarities to another former interurban line, the Chicago Transit Authority‘s Yellow Line (aka the “Skokie Swift”). As a bonus feature, we have included audio of an entire ride along that five mile route, which was once part of the North Shore Line.

Total time – 53:08


P1060550

AFR
Steam Sounds of America’s First Railroad
(Baltimore & Ohio)
# of Discs – 1
Price: $14.95

This set represents the only professionally produced audio recordings of a large assortment of Baltimore and Ohio steam locomotives. Every type of steam power operated by the B&O in the 1950s is included. This release is for the serious railfan and railroad historian who want to accurately hear regular revenue steam motive power operations. No excursion or railfan trips have been included. All recordings are from 1952-1955.

Total time – 66:54


P1060549 P1060551

RRC #21 and SIC
Duluth and Northeastern
Steam in Colorado
# of Discs – 1
Price: $14.95

Railroad Record Club #21:
The Duluth and Northeastern Railroad, as of 1961 when this recording was made, was an all steam short line operating from Cloquet to Saginaw, Minnesota, a distance of approximately 11.5 miles. Its primary industry was the Northwest Paper Company mill at Cloquet where it handled loads to and from the interchange at Saginaw with the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. It also connected with the N. P., G. N. and C. M. ST. P & P., at Cloquet. We hear from locomotives No. 27 (2-8-0) and 29 (0-8-0).

Record #SIC:
Steam in Colorado (1958) presents five great railroads, depicting the passing of an era. Roads represented are the Union Pacific, Burlington, Colorado & Southern, Rio Grande and Great Western. Steam in Colorado portrays the daily tasks of the “Iron Horse” in high country and each track has been carefully selected for the listener’s enjoyment. All aboard!

Total time – 61:55


The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster

81+DHtI-gpL

This Friday’s (May 23rd) Central Electric Railfans’ Association program features author Craig Allen Cleve, who will discuss his book The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster.  The following Monday is the 65th anniversary of that tragic accident, where a Chicago Transit Authority PCC car derailed and ran headlong into a gasoline truck.

Cleve’s book is described as follows:

As rush hour came to a close on the evening of May 25, 1950, one of Chicago’s new fast, colorful, streamlined streetcars—known as a Green Hornet—slammed into a gas truck at State Street and 62nd Place. The Hornet’s motorman allegedly failed to heed the warnings of a flagger attempting to route it around a flooded underpass, and the trolley, packed with commuters on their way home, barreled into eight thousand gallons of gasoline. The gas erupted into flames, poured onto State Street, and quickly engulfed the Hornet, shooting flames two hundred and fifty feet into the air. More than half of the passengers escaped the inferno through the rear window, but thirty-three others perished, trapped in front of the streetcar’s back door, which failed to stay open in the ensuing panic. It was Chicago’s worst traffic accident ever—and the worst two-vehicle traffic accident in U.S. history.

Unearthing a forgotten chapter in Chicago lore, The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster tells the riveting tale of this calamity. Combing through newspaper accounts as well as the Chicago Transit Authority’s official archives, Craig Cleve vividly brings to life this horrific catastrophe. Going beyond the historical record, he tracks down individuals who were present on that fateful day on State and 62nd: eyewitnesses, journalists, even survivors whose lives were forever changed by the accident. Weaving these sources together, Cleve reveals the remarkable combination of natural events, human error, and mechanical failure that led to the disaster, and this moving history recounts them—as well as the conflagration’s human drama—in gripping detail.

You can read more about the accident here.

I realize that discussion of crashes and wrecks is always going to be controversial and not to everyone’s liking.

Ultimately, at least some good did come this horrific accident. Now, emergency exit doors that open outward are installed on transit vehicles all across the country.

In that sense, the 1950 disaster was every bit as important and historic as the 1903 Iroquois Theatre fire, which resulted in numerous safety improvements in theaters– but not in transit vehicles.

However, it seems that not all lessons from 1950 were learned right away. When the CTA began converting some of their PCC streetcars to one-man operation in 1951, their initial design did not include a rear door. It was only when the City of Chicago insisted on a rear door for emergency exit that one was added.

It does not appear as though the 1950 accident had any effect on CTA’s decision to eliminate streetcars and replace them with buses. That change in policy had already been put into effect with the hiring of general manager Walter J. McCarter in 1947.

I commend CERA for courageously scheduling this program. After all, they say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

-David Sadowski

PS- We will follow up this post with two more this week featuring many classic photos of Chicago’s PCC streetcars in action.

The grand jury announces their findings after holding an inquest into the 1950 streetcar disaster.

The grand jury announces their findings after holding an inquest into the 1950 streetcar disaster.

Several nearby buildings burned to the ground in the aftermath to the accident.

Several nearby buildings burned to the ground in the aftermath to the accident.

CTA 7080 at State and 62nd in June 1950, near the site of the tragic collision between car 7078 and a gasoline truck, which took place on May 25.

CTA 7080 at State and 62nd in June 1950, near the site of the tragic collision between car 7078 and a gasoline truck, which took place on May 25.