A Shoebox Full of Dreams

A two-car train of PCCs near North Station in Boston August 31, 1976. The nearby Boston Garden has since been torn down and rebuilt.

A two-car train of PCCs near North Station in Boston August 31, 1976. The nearby Boston Garden has since been torn down and rebuilt.

One of my brothers called me recently from a garage sale, and asked if I had any interest in a shoebox full of train pictures. The cost was just $10. I figured it would have to be worth at least that much, so I said sure.

I went through the box when I got it, and discovered most of the pictures were faded color snapshots from the 1970s, probably taken with a Kodak Instamatic camera on size 126 film. Worse yet, nearly all the pictures have a textured surface.

However, it sure seems the photographer got around. He visited train museums all over the country. He went on steam train excursions. He took pictures of streetcars.

Eventually, I figured out who he was– Marvin C. Kruse.

Although, in looking up information on Mr. Kruse, I somehow got the mistaken idea he was deceased, his son wrote to me (see the Comments section below) and informs us that he is alive and well, aged 96! In fact, he has seen this post and enjoyed it. Nothing could make me happier.

When someone dies, or has to downsize, it is often up to their loved ones to go through their things and decide what to do with them. This can be a very traumatic process, for you feel as if you are dismantling someone’s life, piece by piece. And yet that is the way of the world, for life goes on. People’s belongings are often scattered to the four winds.

I decided to give an extra special effort to restore some of Mr. Kruse’s photos for the railfan community, to honor his efforts, and the sacrifices he made. I hope you like the results. They are mementos of someone’s life, from someone who should not be so easily forgotten.

-David Sadowski

PS- By the time you read this, we will have received a substantial shipment of our new book Chicago Trolleys (see below). It should only take us a short time to mail out books to all who have pre-ordered them, plus complementary copies for important contributors. We thank you all for your support. The book was completed on time and is now available for immediate shipment.

Picture caption: "1947 snow (2 ft.). This taken off Monongahela tracks just below our house. B&O yards across river."

Picture caption: “1947 snow (2 ft.). This taken off Monongahela tracks just below our house. B&O yards across river.”

Winter 1947-48. "Same as other, only vertical. Big building, left foreground, is Interstate Construction & Engineers... build coal tipples."

Winter 1947-48. “Same as other, only vertical. Big building, left foreground, is Interstate Construction & Engineers… build coal tipples.”

Photo caption: "New Have R. R. diesel passing Providence, RI engine house 12/21/47 with New York-bound train."

Photo caption: “New Have R. R. diesel passing Providence, RI engine house 12/21/47 with New York-bound train.”

A photo stop on a steam excursion, May 1961.

A photo stop on a steam excursion, May 1961.

South Shore Line "Little Joe" 801 in October 1960.

South Shore Line “Little Joe” 801 in October 1960.

South Shore Line electric locos 703 and 704 in October 1960.

South Shore Line electric locos 703 and 704 in October 1960.

This looks like Chicago Surface Lines red Pullman 144 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum (North Chicago) in June 1961.

This looks like Chicago Surface Lines red Pullman 144 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum (North Chicago) in June 1961.

Another scene from IERM in July 1961. At left is Milwaukee streetcar 966, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1927. At right is ex-CTA/CSL sweeper E223, which was purchased for the museum by Dick Lukin in 1956.

Another scene from IERM in July 1961. At left is Milwaukee streetcar 966, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1927. At right is ex-CTA/CSL sweeper E223, which was purchased for the museum by Dick Lukin in 1956.

Two 900-series South Shore Line freight locos in October 1960.

Two 900-series South Shore Line freight locos in October 1960.

Always remember...never step on any rails. Right? (Photo stop bedlam, September 1958.)

Always remember…never step on any rails. Right? (Photo stop bedlam, September 1958.)

If you've ever tried taking a picture at a photo stop on a fantrip, this is what happens. Invariably, someone runs right in front of you, oblivious to the fact you are trying to take a picture.

If you’ve ever tried taking a picture at a photo stop on a fantrip, this is what happens. Invariably, someone runs right in front of you, oblivious to the fact you are trying to take a picture.

People used to climb on just about anything, in their quest to take a picture.

People used to climb on just about anything, in their quest to take a picture.

This is the view from an engine cab... which makes sense, if you think about it, as the engine in front of you is massive.

This is the view from an engine cab… which makes sense, if you think about it, as the engine in front of you is massive.

I think what we are seeing here is new commuter rail bi-levels on display, probably the Milwaukee Road, in July 1961. The sign at left says, "Entrance," implying that they wanted you to walk through the cars in one direction only. At right are some vehicles from the Railway Express Agency (REA), which delivered small packages via the railway system between 1917 and the late 1960s. It was a national monopoly formed by the federal government during the First World War.

I think what we are seeing here is new commuter rail bi-levels on display, probably the Milwaukee Road, in July 1961. The sign at left says, “Entrance,” implying that they wanted you to walk through the cars in one direction only. At right are some vehicles from the Railway Express Agency (REA), which delivered small packages via the railway system between 1917 and the late 1960s. It was a national monopoly formed by the federal government during the First World War.

A Milwaukee Road commuter train in July 1961. This is about the time the railroad began introducing bi-levels, which the Chicago & North Western had been using for some years. I'd bet this is the same scene as in the previous picture, but from the other end. The train is on display at a station.

A Milwaukee Road commuter train in July 1961. This is about the time the railroad began introducing bi-levels, which the Chicago & North Western had been using for some years. I’d bet this is the same scene as in the previous picture, but from the other end. The train is on display at a station.

There wasn't much I could do about the scratches on this picture, but how often have you witnessed a steam locomotive on a turntable? (November 1958)

There wasn’t much I could do about the scratches on this picture, but how often have you witnessed a steam locomotive on a turntable? (November 1958)

Not sure of the location, but it's June 1958, and steam is still active here.

Not sure of the location, but it’s June 1958, and steam is still active here.

Several steam locos are on this property in June 1958, wherever it was.

Several steam locos are on this property in June 1958, wherever it was.

One thing about steam... as the song goes, smoke gets in your eyes. Note the small twin-lens reflex camera this shutterbug is holding. Perhaps a grey "Baby" Rolleiflex, which took size 127 film? (On the other hand, Carl Lantz thinks thinks he's holding a movie camera.)

One thing about steam… as the song goes, smoke gets in your eyes. Note the small twin-lens reflex camera this shutterbug is holding. Perhaps a grey “Baby” Rolleiflex, which took size 127 film? (On the other hand, Carl Lantz thinks thinks he’s holding a movie camera.)

More steam fantrip action.

More steam fantrip action.

There were many such excursions in the waning days of steam (late 1950s to early 1960s).

There were many such excursions in the waning days of steam (late 1950s to early 1960s).

Evidence of a Toronto trip in June 1959. This may be part of a PCC car.

Evidence of a Toronto trip in June 1959. This may be part of a PCC car.

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway still operates.

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway still operates.

CTA 6000s in Forest Park , December 22, 1976.

CTA 6000s in Forest Park , December 22, 1976.

The CTA DesPlaines Avenue yard in Forest Park, December 22, 1976. This was the 1959 configuration that was in use until the station was rebuilt circa 1980.

The CTA DesPlaines Avenue yard in Forest Park, December 22, 1976. This was the 1959 configuration that was in use until the station was rebuilt circa 1980.

CTA 6000s interior, December 22, 1976.

CTA 6000s interior, December 22, 1976.

Central City, Colorado, August 15, 1977.

Central City, Colorado, August 15, 1977.

What was a PCC doing in Golden, Colorado on July 8, 1976.

What was a PCC doing in Golden, Colorado on July 8, 1976.

My previous post did not mention the ill-fated Boston LRVs. But here is one of their SF Muni counterparts, being tested by the DOT at Pueblo on July 7, 1976.

My previous post did not mention the ill-fated Boston LRVs. But here is one of their SF Muni counterparts, being tested by the DOT at Pueblo on July 7, 1976.

North Shore Line car 160 at the Illinois Railway Museum in the mid-1970s.

North Shore Line car 160 at the Illinois Railway Museum in the mid-1970s.

Chicago red Pullman 144 at IRM, 1970s.

Chicago red Pullman 144 at IRM, 1970s.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 431 at IRM, August 8, 1976.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 431 at IRM, August 8, 1976.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

Chicago postwar PCC 4391 at IRM in September 1975.

San Francisco cable car 16(?) on May 27, 1974.

San Francisco cable car 16(?) on May 27, 1974.

Los Angeles streetcar 665 at Perris, California.

Los Angeles streetcar 665 at Perris, California.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM in September 1975.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

North Shore Line city streetcar 354 at IRM on August 8, 1976.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

SF cable car 4 on May 27, 1974.

BART on May 27, 1974.

BART on May 27, 1974.

When did they stop letting the passengers turn cable cars around in San Francisco? They were still doing it on May 27, 1974.

When did they stop letting the passengers turn cable cars around in San Francisco? They were still doing it on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

BART at Balboa Park on May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni trolley bus on Market Street, May 27, 1974. Looks like construction may already have been underway on the Muni Metro subway.

An SF Muni trolley bus on Market Street, May 27, 1974. Looks like construction may already have been underway on the Muni Metro subway.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

An SF Muni PCC on Market Street, May 27, 1974.

Don's Rail Photos: "717 was built by Brill Co in 1925. It was rebuilt in 1939 and rebuilt in 1951 as 5167. It became LAMTA 1815 in 1958, It was retired and restored as717 at OERM in March 1960." Here, we see it at Orange Empire on May 31, 1974. Was it ever used in service with this color scheme?

Don’s Rail Photos: “717 was built by Brill Co in 1925. It was rebuilt in 1939 and rebuilt in 1951 as 5167. It became LAMTA 1815 in 1958, It was retired and restored as717 at OERM in March 1960.” Here, we see it at Orange Empire on May 31, 1974. Was it ever used in service with this color scheme?

I'm wondering if the streetcar at right is Key System 987. The steam loco is Western Pacific 334, a 2-8-2 built in 1929 by American Locomotive. We see both at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1972.

I’m wondering if the streetcar at right is Key System 987. The steam loco is Western Pacific 334, a 2-8-2 built in 1929 by American Locomotive. We see both at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1972.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

A Toronto Peter Witt at Trolleyville USA, Olmstead Falls, Ohio, on August 23, 1975.

I assume this is probably an ex-PE car at the Orange Empire Railway Museum on May 31, 1974.

I assume this is probably an ex-PE car at the Orange Empire Railway Museum on May 31, 1974.

A Los Angeles streetcar at OERM, Perris, California on July 6, 1976.

A Los Angeles streetcar at OERM, Perris, California on July 6, 1976.

Here, we see Brooklyn car 4573 at the Branford Trolley Museum. It was built by the Laconia Car Company in 1906 and was acquired by the museum on 1947. Here is how it looked on August 31, 1976.

Here, we see Brooklyn car 4573 at the Branford Trolley Museum. It was built by the Laconia Car Company in 1906 and was acquired by the museum on 1947. Here is how it looked on August 31, 1976.

Marvin C. Kruse on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on May 24, 1974.

Marvin C. Kruse on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on May 24, 1974.

Marvin C. Kruse at the Andrews Raiders Memorial in the Chattanooga Military Cemetery on October 23, 1907. According to Find-a-Grave: :"Memorial erected by the State of Ohio to the Andrews Raiders. In early April, 1862, a band of Union soldiers lead by civilian James Andrews infiltrated south from the Union lines near Shelbyville, Tennessee and met at Big Shanty, Georgia (near Marietta). On the morning of April 12, 1862, 20 of them (2 raiders never arrived and 2 others overslept and missed the adventure) stole the passenger train "The General" during its morning breakfast stop. With the farms and factories of Georgia supplying the Confederate Army fighting further west, the Raiders' mission was to burn the railroad bridges between Atlanta and Chattanooga, thus isolating the Confederate Armies from their supply sources and enabling the Union Army to seize Chattanooga. Due primarily to the persistency of William Fuller, conductor of the stolen train, and, secondarily to the rainy weather and unlucky miscoordination with the Union Army to the west, the Raiders failed. All 22 at Big Shanty that morning were captured. Eight, including James Andrews, were tried and hanged by the Confederate Army in Atlanta. In 1866, after the war, they were reburied in a semi-circle at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. On the imposing granite monument, erected in 1891, are the names of 22 of the raiders. The memorial is topped by a bronze likeness of the "General"." This story inspired the classic 1927 Buster Keaton film The General.

Marvin C. Kruse at the Andrews Raiders Memorial in the Chattanooga Military Cemetery on October 23, 1907. According to Find-a-Grave: :”Memorial erected by the State of Ohio to the Andrews Raiders. In early April, 1862, a band of Union soldiers lead by civilian James Andrews infiltrated south from the Union lines near Shelbyville, Tennessee and met at Big Shanty, Georgia (near Marietta). On the morning of April 12, 1862, 20 of them (2 raiders never arrived and 2 others overslept and missed the adventure) stole the passenger train “The General” during its morning breakfast stop. With the farms and factories of Georgia supplying the Confederate Army fighting further west, the Raiders’ mission was to burn the railroad bridges between Atlanta and Chattanooga, thus isolating the Confederate Armies from their supply sources and enabling the Union Army to seize Chattanooga. Due primarily to the persistency of William Fuller, conductor of the stolen train, and, secondarily to the rainy weather and unlucky miscoordination with the Union Army to the west, the Raiders failed. All 22 at Big Shanty that morning were captured. Eight, including James Andrews, were tried and hanged by the Confederate Army in Atlanta. In 1866, after the war, they were reburied in a semi-circle at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. On the imposing granite monument, erected in 1891, are the names of 22 of the raiders. The memorial is topped by a bronze likeness of the “General”.” This story inspired the classic 1927 Buster Keaton film The General.

Philadelphia PCC 2278, in bicentennial garb, on Route 53, September 2, 1976.

Philadelphia PCC 2278, in bicentennial garb, on Route 53, September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow cars at 69th Street Terminal on September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow cars at 69th Street Terminal on September 2, 1976.

An Amtrak GG-1 in Baltimore on August 31, 1977.

An Amtrak GG-1 in Baltimore on August 31, 1977.

This is not a very good picture, but it does show a Liberty Liner (ex-North Shore Line Electroliner) on September 2, 1976.

This is not a very good picture, but it does show a Liberty Liner (ex-North Shore Line Electroliner) on September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow car 13, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1949, as it looked on September 2, 1976.

SEPTA Red Arrow car 13, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1949, as it looked on September 2, 1976.

Red Arrow car 18, also built in 1949. These double-ended interurban cars closely resembled PCCs but did not use PCC trucks.

Red Arrow car 18, also built in 1949. These double-ended interurban cars closely resembled PCCs but did not use PCC trucks.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A PCC car at the Roanoke, Virginia Transportation Museum on August 27, 1975.

A PCC car at the Roanoke, Virginia Transportation Museum on August 27, 1975.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

J. G. Brill built car 249 for Oporto, Portugal in 1904 and features maximum traction trucks. It was retired in 1972 and is shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

J. G. Brill built car 249 for Oporto, Portugal in 1904 and features maximum traction trucks. It was retired in 1972 and is shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A Washington, D.C. subway car at the Rhode Island Avenue station on September 1, 1977.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

A PCC car at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke on August 27, 1975. This is DC Transit 1470, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1945.

This is Sacramento Northern 62, a Birney car built in 1920 by American Car Company. We see it here at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

This is Sacramento Northern 62, a Birney car built in 1920 by American Car Company. We see it here at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

San Francisco Municipal Railway "Magic Carpet" carr 1003 was one of five experimental double-end cars built in 1939 by the St. Louis Car Company. This lone survivor is seen at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

San Francisco Municipal Railway “Magic Carpet” carr 1003 was one of five experimental double-end cars built in 1939 by the St. Louis Car Company. This lone survivor is seen at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

At left, we see Muni car 178, and next to it is "Magic Carpet" car 1003, at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

At left, we see Muni car 178, and next to it is “Magic Carpet” car 1003, at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974.

This open car was built by Brill in 1912 and was used in Rio De Janeiro. It's shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

This open car was built by Brill in 1912 and was used in Rio De Janeiro. It’s shown at the Rockhill Trolley Museum on August 24, 1975.

This looks like a Sacramento Northern electric freight loco (Western Railway Museum, May 26, 1974).

This looks like a Sacramento Northern electric freight loco (Western Railway Museum, May 26, 1974).

This San Francisco cable car was on display at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on May 26, 1973. Many children played on this car over the years. It was originally a California Street car using a side grip and was not updated when Muni took over the line. I read that in 2005 it was in storage, listed as being in poor condition with a broken frame. I am not sure if it still exists.

This San Francisco cable car was on display at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on May 26, 1973. Many children played on this car over the years. It was originally a California Street car using a side grip and was not updated when Muni took over the line. I read that in 2005 it was in storage, listed as being in poor condition with a broken frame. I am not sure if it still exists.

This equipment is at the Travel Town Museum at Griffith Park in Los Angeles on August 26, 1977.

This equipment is at the Travel Town Museum at Griffith Park in Los Angeles on August 26, 1977.

A Los Angeles streetcar and a Pacific electric "Blimp" interurban at Griffith Park on July 5, 1977.

A Los Angeles streetcar and a Pacific electric “Blimp” interurban at Griffith Park on July 5, 1977.

In the distance, we see a pair of Key System bridge units at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974. These ran in Oakland over the bay Bridge, and were retired in 1958.

In the distance, we see a pair of Key System bridge units at the Western Railway Museum on May 26, 1974. These ran in Oakland over the bay Bridge, and were retired in 1958.

Toronto PCC 4394 on October 25, 1973.

Toronto PCC 4394 on October 25, 1973.

North Shore Line car 757 at East Troy, Wisconsin on June 23, 1974. This car has since gone to the Illinois Railway Museum.

North Shore Line car 757 at East Troy, Wisconsin on June 23, 1974. This car has since gone to the Illinois Railway Museum.

The East Troy Trolley Museum, June 23, 1974.

The East Troy Trolley Museum, June 23, 1974.

A Chicago Transit Authority 4000-series "L" car in Louisville, Kentucky on June 3, 1974.

A Chicago Transit Authority 4000-series “L” car in Louisville, Kentucky on June 3, 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 2, 1974.

Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A New Orleans streetcar at Union Station in Chattanooga, June 2, 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

A pair of 700-series South Shore Line freight locos at the Gary, Indiana station in 1974.

Steam at Union, Illinois, August 8, 1976.

Steam at Union, Illinois, August 8, 1976.

The Burlington Zephyr at IRM, 1976.

The Burlington Zephyr at IRM, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

South Shore Line cars in storage at Michigan City, Indiana on July 17, 1977.

South Shore Line cars in storage at Michigan City, Indiana on July 17, 1977.

A "Little Joe" in Michigan City, July 17, 1977.

A “Little Joe” in Michigan City, July 17, 1977.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, July 1977.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, July 1977.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, June 23, 1974.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, June 23, 1974.

Illinois Terminal cars at IRM, June 23, 1974.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, September 1975.

IRM, September 1975.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, August 8, 1976.

IRM, September 1975.

IRM, September 1975.

Recent Finds

Boston MTA 3292, signed for Braves Field, is on a double-track loop with the ball park at the right. The Boston Braves played there last game here on September 21, 1952 (exactly 65 years ago today), after which the team was moved to Milwaukee. Following the 1965 season, they became the Atlanta Braves. A portion of Braves Field still exists as part of Boston College's Nickerson Field. We discussed streetcar service to Braves Field in our previous post More Mystery Photos (July 29, 2016).

Boston MTA 3292, signed for Braves Field, is on a double-track loop with the ball park at the right. The Boston Braves played there last game here on September 21, 1952 (exactly 65 years ago today), after which the team was moved to Milwaukee. Following the 1965 season, they became the Atlanta Braves. A portion of Braves Field still exists as part of Boston College’s Nickerson Field. We discussed streetcar service to Braves Field in our previous post More Mystery Photos (July 29, 2016).

Hammond, Whiting & East Chicago car 67 was built by American Car in 1917 and was converted to one-man operation in 1932. Streetcar service ended in 1940. Notice how similar this car is to some operated by the Chicago Surface Lines. For much of its history, the HW&EC was run by the Calumet & South Chicago Railway, which became part of CSL in 1914.

Hammond, Whiting & East Chicago car 67 was built by American Car in 1917 and was converted to one-man operation in 1932. Streetcar service ended in 1940. Notice how similar this car is to some operated by the Chicago Surface Lines. For much of its history, the HW&EC was run by the Calumet & South Chicago Railway, which became part of CSL in 1914.

Chicago Surface Lines crane X-3 at Dearborn and Washington in 1942. Tracks were being put back in the street after construction of the Dearborn Subway, which was 80% completed when work stopped due to wartime materials shortages. The subway did not open until 1951.

Chicago Surface Lines crane X-3 at Dearborn and Washington in 1942. Tracks were being put back in the street after construction of the Dearborn Subway, which was 80% completed when work stopped due to wartime materials shortages. The subway did not open until 1951.

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway "Birney" car 363 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. Streetcar service was abandoned on December 11th of that year. This car was formerly Penn-Ohio Power & Light 363 and was painted orange. (John A. Clark Photo)

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway “Birney” car 363 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. Streetcar service was abandoned on December 11th of that year. This car was formerly Penn-Ohio Power & Light 363 and was painted orange. (John A. Clark Photo)

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway "Birney" car 359 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. This car was ex=Penn-Ohio Power and Light 359, and was painted orange and cream. (John A. Clark Photo)

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Electric Street Railway “Birney” car 359 at Cascade Park loop on August 24, 1941. This car was ex=Penn-Ohio Power and Light 359, and was painted orange and cream. (John A. Clark Photo)

This odd, boxy streetcar is Black River Traction car #1 in Watertown, New York. This was a 1906 product of the Barber Car Co. Some consider this an ugly design, but apparently these cars were well-built. Apparently this line abandoned streetcar service on August 17, 1937, but this negative is dated June 20, 1938. The sign on the side of the car doesn't really solve this mystery-- there were two championship heavyweight bouts between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, and these took place on June 19, 1936 and June 22, 1938. For more information on the Barber Car Company, click here.

This odd, boxy streetcar is Black River Traction car #1 in Watertown, New York. This was a 1906 product of the Barber Car Co. Some consider this an ugly design, but apparently these cars were well-built. Apparently this line abandoned streetcar service on August 17, 1937, but this negative is dated June 20, 1938. The sign on the side of the car doesn’t really solve this mystery– there were two championship heavyweight bouts between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, and these took place on June 19, 1936 and June 22, 1938. For more information on the Barber Car Company, click here.

Black River Traction car 5, with a date given of June 20, 1938. Not sure whether this car was also built by the Barber Car Company.

Black River Traction car 5, with a date given of June 20, 1938. Not sure whether this car was also built by the Barber Car Company.

Recent Correspondence

Jack Bejna writes:

I recently came across this photo, and, after looking at it awhile I realized that this is an image of the CA&E crossing the Chicago River. It appears to have been taken from Franklin Street looking generally northeast. The train appears to be an eastbound train just entering the Wells Street Terminal. Look at the two cars and you’ll see Car 436 leading trailer 603. In addition, below the El structure there is the substation that provided the power for the terminal area. The picture was taken in 1939.

Jack continues:

I enjoyed your latest post about Boston’s great trolleys. Keep up the great work.

Here is the latest stuff, the CA&E and the CNS&M woodies. As usual, some of the images aren’t the best, but it’s all I could find in my continuing search for the best of the CA&E!

Increasing suburban traffic found the CA&E short of cars. In 1936, the CNS&M came to the rescue by making some of their older wooden cars available for lease.

In 1936, cars 129, 130, 133, 134, 137 (Jewett 1907), cars 138, 139, 140, 141, 144 (American 1910) and cars 142 and 143 (Jewett 1907) were leased for suburban service and returned to the CNS&M after World War II. These cars were later purchased in 1946 and finished their long careers in suburban work on the CA&E.

I know our readers appreciate your efforts in restoring and sharing these rare pictures with us. Thanks to you, they are looking better than ever.

After CA&E service was cut back to Forest Park in 1953, these cars were no longer needed and were soon scrapped. Interestingly, these old woods were the last passenger cars bought by the Aurora & Elgin.

CA&E 129.

CA&E 129.

CA&E 130.

CA&E 130.

CA&E 133.

CA&E 133.

CA&E 134.

CA&E 134.

CA&E 137.

CA&E 137.

CA&E 138.

CA&E 138.

CA&E 139.

CA&E 139.

CA&E 140.

CA&E 140.

CA&E 141 at Batavia Junction.

CA&E 141 at Batavia Junction.

CA&E 142 at the Wheaton Shops.

CA&E 142 at the Wheaton Shops.

CA&E 143.

CA&E 143.

CA&E 144.

CA&E 144.

Our New Book Chicago Trolleys— Now In Stock!

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 226 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.

The book costs just $21.99 plus shipping.

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

We appreciate your business!

For Shipping to US Addresses:

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NEW – Chicago Trolleys Postcard Collection

We are pleased to report that selected images from our upcoming book Chicago Trolleys will be available on September 25th in a pack of 15 postcards, all for just $7.99. This is part of a series put out by Arcadia Publishing. Dimensions: 6″ wide x 4.25″ tall

The Postcards of America Series

Here in the 21st century, when everyone who’s anyone seems to do most of their communicating via Facebook and Twitter, it’s only natural to wax a little nostalgic when it comes to days gone by. What happened to more personal means of communication like hand-written letters on nice stationery? Why don’t people still send postcards when they move someplace new or go away on vacation?

If that line of thinking sounds familiar, then Arcadia Publishing’s Postcards of America was launched with you in mind. Each beautiful volume features a different collection of real vintage postcards that you can mail to your friends and family.

Pre-Order your Chicago Trolleys Postcard Pack today!

For Shipping to US Addresses:

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street-railwayreview1895-002

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 195th 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 322,000 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.

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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.

CSL by the Numbers

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).

Here is Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 78, very similar to CSL equipment. It was built by American in 1919.

Here is Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago car 78, very similar to CSL equipment. It was built by American in 1919.

Chicago once had the largest street railway system in the world, and, as such, you would expect it to have a complicated roster. This is certainly true, but there is an additional complicating factor, in that the Chicago Surface Lines was an operating entity or association, a “brand” that functioned as the public face of several smaller constituent companies.

According to the Wikipedia:

Four companies formed the CSL: the Chicago Railways Company, Chicago City Railway, Calumet and South Chicago Railway, and Southern Street Railway. (The Chicago City Railway had a subsidiary, the Chicago & Western Railway, and 95% of the stock of the City Railway and all of the stock of the Southern, Calumet, and Western were in a collateral trust, to secure certain bonds.)

Of these, Chicago Railways and Chicago City Railway were by far the most important. Rolling stock was about 60% CRYs and 40% CCRY. As far as the public was concerned, however, everything was CSL.

In anticipation of the creation of CSL in 1914, the various rosters of its underlying companies were rationalized, and in many cases, cars were renumbered so as to avoid duplication. It also seems as though blocks of car numbers were reserved for the four firms.

New cars ordered after 1914 were, generally speaking, split 60-40 between CRYs and CCRY. This often meant that there were at least two sets of numbers assigned to one type of car, as was the case with the 1929 Sedans and 1936 prewar PCCs.

The same car order might be split between different builders. The 100 Sedans were divided up three ways, between J. G. Brill, the Cummings Car Company, and CSL itself.  The groups of car “types” used by CSL did not always imply one particular builder, although they often did.

Things got even more complicated with the 600 postwar PCCs. The 310 Pullmans were technically owned by CRYs, while the 290 St. Louis Car Company cars were split into three different number groups. In part, this was due to CRYs having 60% of the order (360) and CCRY 40% (240), meaning that the St. Louies had to be split between the two companies.

I used to think that perhaps the fans had sorted out the all-time CSL roster into various car types, with nicknames for each. Interestingly, the CSL roster in Central Electric Railfans’ Association bulletin 27, issued in 1941 at the peak of the streetcar system, did not use any of these group names.

Turns out the nicknames originated within CSL, and appear on lists of car assignments used over the years.  This includes the “Odd 17,” which lumped together a few small batches of cars that did not fit easily into other categories.

Even then, there were “oddball” series that weren’t even put into the Odd 17 (which actually turns out to have been 19 cars for some reason).  1424-1428, five cars built by Brill but with St. Louis Car Company trucks, are not in the Odd 17, and neither were 5701-5702.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it in his essay on Self-Reliance:

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

With that in mind, we have put together a short guide, that can be used to identify CSL car types by number. Since the numbers were, to some extent, related to the underlying ownership, we have also included the company names.

A few things are worth noting. There were no regular cars numbered 1-99. This was probably due to the joint operation of the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago service between Chicago and Indiana.

As Don Ross writes:

HW&EC was formed in 1892 in Hammond where 2 miles of track were built. It was then extended through East Chicago and Whiting to the state line and a connection to the South Chicago City Railway. It came under SCCRy control and service was extended to 63rd and Stony Island. In 1901 a fire destroyed the Hammond Packing Co which caused such a financial impact that all but 12 cars were sold. In 1908 the SCCRy merged with the Calumet Electric Street Ry as the Calumet & South Chicago Ry which retained control of the HW&EC. Joint service was maintained using cars of both companies. After World War I the line was plagued by private auto and jitney competition and finally filed for abandonment in 1929. A new company, Calumet Railways was formed, but it failed and was replaced by C&CDT. The Indiana Harbor line was abandoned in 1934 and the remainder of the system on June 9, 1940.

The Calumet & South Chicago, which controlled the HW&EC, was one of the constituent companies of CSL and therefore, it seems an effort was made to avoid car number duplication between the HW&EC, which had cars numbered between 46 and 80, and CSL.

Here’s how the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago cars break out by manufacturer:

hwec

These cars were very much like Chicago Surface Lines equipment, which caused some consternation among our readers a while back, when trying to figure out a couple of “mystery photos” showing HW&EC cars in action.

Still, there are various anomalies. Even in a small batch of cars, such as the 10 single-truck Birneys CSL had, there were variations. CERA B-27 says that 2000-2005 were Birney safety cars, 2006 was “modified” (but does not say how), and 2900-2903 were “similar” to Birneys, but does not call them such, even though they were part of the same order. The 2006 was built by Chicago Surface Lines, while the other nine cars in the series were built by Brill.

Here is what Dr. Harold E. Cox wrote about them in his classic work The Birney Car (copyright 1966):

screen-shot-09-10-16-at-02-14-pm-png

What about something like CSL mail car 6? This operated as a streetcar RPO (railway post office) for about a year into the CSL era. The car itself has been preserved and is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, Illinois. Where does that fit into the CSL numbering system?

Well, the work cars had their own number sequences, preceded by a letter. So, for example, you could have car S-201, a supply car, and also have Big Pullman 201. There were many instances where work cars had the same number, but they were preceded by different letter designations, as they were in different classes.

As we have recently discussed in the Comments section of our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven (September 2, 2016), CSL had a habit of storing unused cars around, often for decades. (When new equipment arrived, such as the 83 prewar PCCs, the City of Chicago mandated that an “equal value” of older equipment be scrapped.)

In some cases, this means there were cars in storage well into the CSL era that still had their old, pre-CSL numbers.  We have included a picture of just one such example here, taken nearly 20 years after the creation of CSL.

In at least one other case, parts of the numbers actually fell off a car, giving the impression that it had a different number than was actually the case.

Car 2859 is another oddity. This was a replacement car, built by CSL in 1924. It was owned by the Calumet and South Chicago Railway, yet it was a “169” or Broadway-State car. Curious indeed!

Don’s Rail Photos has an excellent page for CSL car information. This has a lot more information than can be presented here, and often includes details about individual cars. Although naturally there are going to be typographical errors on such a huge and complex web site, I hope you will join me in saluting Don Ross for creating such an invaluable resource.

Here is my own modest contribution to the subject. If there are any errors, or if you can think of some way to improve this chart, please let us know. Consider this a “finding aid” for CSL car types. If you can see the car number in a photo, you can easily look up which type it is using this chart.

To create this, we have consulted not only Don’s Rail Photos, but CERA bulletins 27 (1941) and 146 (2015), The Birney Car by Dr. Harold E. Cox (1966), and Electric Railway Historical Society bulletin 8, The Hammond Whiting and East Chicago Ry. by James J. Buckley (1953).

You can even extrapolate a few things from this exercise. If more postwar PCCs had been ordered, as was originally planned, the first new Chicago Railways car would have been 4412, and 7275 for the Chicago City Railway.

Likewise, there is a large unused block of numbers after the Chicago Railways Birneys. Does this mean there were hopes to order more Birneys, which were not realized, since they proved too small for such a big city?

I guess, when there are so many factors involved, it’s too much to expect that you can make all the numbers add up, all the time. This way lies madness.

To paraphrase Emerson, since the Surface Lines was perhaps the greatest streetcar system of all time, it can also be the most misunderstood.  I hope that we have made that a little easier.

-David Sadowski

cslroster

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." Note that 2169 is an unassigned CSL roster number.

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.” Note that 2169 is an unassigned CSL roster number.

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, "Base Ball." (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection) Note that 2144 is not an assigned CSL number.

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, “Base Ball.” (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection) Note that 2144 is not an assigned CSL number.

Is Chicago City Railway 2503 the same car as CSL 2503? Andre Kristopans says yes. (See the Comments section of this post.)

Is Chicago City Railway 2503 the same car as CSL 2503? Andre Kristopans says yes. (See the Comments section of this post.)

Chicago Union Traction streetcar 5801, definitely not the same as CSL "Nearside" 5801.

Chicago Union Traction streetcar 5801, definitely not the same as CSL “Nearside” 5801.

Trailer 8000 being used as a shed. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Trailer 8000 being used as a shed. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

West Chicago Street Railway #4 was pulled out for pictures on May 25, 1958, the occasion of the final fantrip on Chicago's streetcar system. That is not a CSL assigned number.

West Chicago Street Railway #4 was pulled out for pictures on May 25, 1958, the occasion of the final fantrip on Chicago’s streetcar system. That is not a CSL assigned number.

Former Chicago Surface Lines mail car 6, built in 1891, as it looked on May 25, 1958. This car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. You can see a black-and-white photo of this car, taken at the same time as this one, in our previous post Throwback Thursday (January 7, 2016). To see a picture of West Chicago Street Railway car 4, also taken the same day, there's one in our post Chicago Streetcars In Color (February 22, 2015).

Former Chicago Surface Lines mail car 6, built in 1891, as it looked on May 25, 1958. This car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. You can see a black-and-white photo of this car, taken at the same time as this one, in our previous post Throwback Thursday (January 7, 2016). To see a picture of West Chicago Street Railway car 4, also taken the same day, there’s one in our post Chicago Streetcars In Color (February 22, 2015).

Don's Rail Photos says the "Sunbeam" was built by Pullman in 1891. It was used as a party car, later for storage. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) This car doesn't even have a number!

Don’s Rail Photos says the “Sunbeam” was built by Pullman in 1891. It was used as a party car, later for storage. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) This car doesn’t even have a number!

This old Chicago Daily News photo is identified as being at the end of a cable car route, where horses were used to move the cars around. However, the Chicago Auto Show is being advertised, which would help date this photo. This car is #1325.

This old Chicago Daily News photo is identified as being at the end of a cable car route, where horses were used to move the cars around. However, the Chicago Auto Show is being advertised, which would help date this photo. This car is #1325.

Chicago City Railway cable trailer 209 in October 1938. Supposedly built around 1892, it appears to be a replica built by CSL in 1934 using some original parts. It is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Alfred Seibel Photo)

Chicago City Railway cable trailer 209 in October 1938. Supposedly built around 1892, it appears to be a replica built by CSL in 1934 using some original parts. It is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Alfred Seibel Photo)

North Chicago Street Railroad horse car 8 on January 2, 1925. The occasion was the opening of the new Cicero Avenue extension. This car, built in 1859 by the John Stephenson Car Company, is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

North Chicago Street Railroad horse car 8 on January 2, 1925. The occasion was the opening of the new Cicero Avenue extension. This car, built in 1859 by the John Stephenson Car Company, is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

It's August 28, 1936 on north Ashland Avenue, and time for a parade. One week earlier, streetcar service had been extended north of Cortland in one of the final extensions under CSL. Prior to this time, this portion of the route had run on Southport, two blocks to the east. North Chicago Street Railroad "Bombay roof" horsecar 8 is ahead of the experimental 1934 Brill pre-PCC car 7001. Ironically, the older car survives at the Illinois Railway Museum, while 7001 was scrapped in 1959.

It’s August 28, 1936 on north Ashland Avenue, and time for a parade. One week earlier, streetcar service had been extended north of Cortland in one of the final extensions under CSL. Prior to this time, this portion of the route had run on Southport, two blocks to the east. North Chicago Street Railroad “Bombay roof” horsecar 8 is ahead of the experimental 1934 Brill pre-PCC car 7001. Ironically, the older car survives at the Illinois Railway Museum, while 7001 was scrapped in 1959.

This supposed Chicago City Railway horse car #10 was actually a 1930s replica. It was also used at the Chicago Railroad Fair. This picture was taken by Charles Cushman (1896-1972) in 1949. (Charles W. Cushman Collection, University Archives, at Indiana University, Bloomington.)

This supposed Chicago City Railway horse car #10 was actually a 1930s replica. It was also used at the Chicago Railroad Fair. This picture was taken by Charles Cushman (1896-1972) in 1949. (Charles W. Cushman Collection, University Archives, at Indiana University, Bloomington.)


Recent Correspondence

scranton409

Tony Zadjura writes:

In need of a little advice. I am the Chairman of the Jefferson Township Historical Society, Lackawanna County PA.  Our area includes Moosic Lake, which at one time had trolley service to the lake and amusement park (Gateway to the Clouds).  We have recently been given a photograph of # 409 which shows Moosic Lake as its destination. A question has been raised as to whether the Moosic Lake destination sign has been added.

The trolley service to Moosic Lake terminated in 1926.

Is it possible to give a date of this car being built or first being available for use by STC in service. I am enclosing the photo in question, cropped to show the front of the car a little better. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Thanks for writing. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “409 was built by Osgood-Bradley Co. in 1925” for the Scranton Transit Company.

So, it is possible that this car could have operated to Moosic Lake, but not for very long.

Hope this helps.

Tony Zadjura replies:

Thanks for the quick reply. According to accounts, the trolley ride over the Moosic mountain must have been a thrill!

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. You can reach us at: thetrolleydodger@gmail.com or leave a Comment on this post.

-David Sadowski


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 156th 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 196,000 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.

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Eleven

In this scene at Kedzie station (car house), we have CSL prewar PCC 7019, along with cars 3376, 3381, 3355, 6076, 3007, and 6072, with another PCC behind it. PCC service on busy route 20 - Madison was supplemented with some of the 1929 Sedans since the 83 cars purchased in 1936 were not enough for the line, which needed about 100 cars total in the late 1930s. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

In this scene at Kedzie station (car house), we have CSL prewar PCC 7019, along with cars 3376, 3381, 3355, 6076, 3007, and 6072, with another PCC behind it. PCC service on busy route 20 – Madison was supplemented with some of the 1929 Sedans since the 83 cars purchased in 1936 were not enough for the line, which needed about 100 cars total in the late 1930s. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

For today’s post, we offer another ample selection 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, most notably the late Edward Frank, Jr. and Joe Diaz, who tirelessly roamed the streets of Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s to document what was then the largest streetcar system in the world. In addition, we should also thank Fred J. Borchert, who took similar photos going back to the 1910s and 1920s, Robert V. Mehlenbeck, and George Krambles, who got a very early start as a railfan, as you can see in some of these pictures.

Unfortunately, all five of these individuals are gone from the scene, but fortunately, we can still benefit from all their hard work in taking these wonderful old photographs. Let us never forget that we are, as Sir Issac Newton said, “standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Since Monday is Labor Day, we have been sure to include some photos of CSL work cars too.

-David Sadowski


CSL 1767 on Broadway-State. One of our regular readers writes, "On Broadway SB near Surf Street (my best guess) post 1937." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 1767 on Broadway-State. One of our regular readers writes, “On Broadway SB near Surf Street (my best guess) post 1937.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

This sure looks like the same building as in the previous picture. It's around 2883 N. Broadway, which is just north of Surf.

This sure looks like the same building as in the previous picture. It’s around 2883 N. Broadway, which is just north of Surf.

CSL 6211 on the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago (Indiana) route, which was jointly operated as a through-route with, logically enough, the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago Railway. As the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society notes, "Common ownership with the South Chicago City Railway Company brought through operation into Chicago as early as 1896. Similarly, Chicago cars ran to Hammond and East Chicago. However, each company advertised the service on its side of the state line as a local route, retaining the fares from that portion." Service ended in 1940. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 6211 on the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago (Indiana) route, which was jointly operated as a through-route with, logically enough, the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago Railway. As the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society notes, “Common ownership with the South Chicago City Railway Company brought through operation into Chicago as early as 1896. Similarly, Chicago cars ran to Hammond and East Chicago. However, each company advertised the service on its side of the state line as a local route, retaining the fares from that portion.” Service ended in 1940. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The presence of Chicago's famous Como Inn restaurant (which closed in 2001, after being in business for 77 years) helps identify this location as the "six corners" intersection of Halsted, Milwaukee and Grand. Andre Kristopans: "The street you are looking down is Milwaukee, cars could be Milwaukee, Elston, or Division routes. The 1900 on the left in the first photo is on Grand, and Halsted crosses both left to right." Scott writes, "The photographer is looking northwest up Milwaukee Avenue; the “turtleback” car at the left in the first picture is on Grand. The block in the background (with the corner bar and Schlitz billboard) was recently torn down for new construction; the buildings had all been painted a bluish-gray and left to deteriorate for years." We posted a later photo showing a PCC car at this location in our post Chicago PCC Updates (August 30, 2015). (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The presence of Chicago’s famous Como Inn restaurant (which closed in 2001, after being in business for 77 years) helps identify this location as the “six corners” intersection of Halsted, Milwaukee and Grand. Andre Kristopans: “The street you are looking down is Milwaukee, cars could be Milwaukee, Elston, or Division routes. The 1900 on the left in the first photo is on Grand, and Halsted crosses both left to right.” Scott writes, “The photographer is looking northwest up Milwaukee Avenue; the “turtleback” car at the left in the first picture is on Grand. The block in the background (with the corner bar and Schlitz billboard) was recently torn down for new construction; the buildings had all been painted a bluish-gray and left to deteriorate for years.” We posted a later photo showing a PCC car at this location in our post Chicago PCC Updates (August 30, 2015). (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 3058 passes car 687 on Milwaukee at the intersection with Grand and Halsted. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 3058 passes car 687 on Milwaukee at the intersection with Grand and Halsted. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The same location today. Grand is on the left, Milwaukee on the right.

The same location today. Grand is on the left, Milwaukee on the right.

CSL 6259 at the Imlay loop, the north end of the Milwaukee Avenue route. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 6259 at the Imlay loop, the north end of the Milwaukee Avenue route. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route. Andre Kristopans: "Sedan 3367 is turning west to north at 95th and Cottage Grove." M. E. writes, "The photo titled “CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route” must have been taken at 95th and Cottage Grove, because the streetcar is turning from one road to another. At 95th St. there were actually two Cottage Grove Aves.– one heading north along the west side of the Illinois Central main line, the other heading south along the east side of the IC main line. To connect from one Cottage Grove to the other (whether north- or southbound), the streetcars turned left onto 95th St., went under the IC, then turned right on the other Cottage Grove. As for which side of the IC this picture depicts, I believe it is the west side, because I recall a wall along the south side of 95th St. Ergo, this view is west on 95th and the streetcar is heading north." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route. Andre Kristopans: “Sedan 3367 is turning west to north at 95th and Cottage Grove.” M. E. writes, “The photo titled “CSL Sedan (Peter Witt) 3367 in service on the Cottage Grove route” must have been taken at 95th and Cottage Grove, because the streetcar is turning from one road to another. At 95th St. there were actually two Cottage Grove Aves.– one heading north along the west side of the Illinois Central main line, the other heading south along the east side of the IC main line. To connect from one Cottage Grove to the other (whether north- or southbound), the streetcars turned left onto 95th St., went under the IC, then turned right on the other Cottage Grove. As for which side of the IC this picture depicts, I believe it is the west side, because I recall a wall along the south side of 95th St. Ergo, this view is west on 95th and the streetcar is heading north.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The same location today. We are looking west along 95th, and Cottage Grove is to the right.

The same location today. We are looking west along 95th, and Cottage Grove is to the right.

CSL 3113 on the Ashland route. Andre Kristopans: "3113 is at Ashland and Irving Park, on the NORTH ASHLAND shuttle route between Irving Park and Fullerton. It was made part of the main route in the 1930’s when the Ashland bridge over the North Branch was built." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 3113 on the Ashland route. Andre Kristopans: “3113 is at Ashland and Irving Park, on the NORTH ASHLAND shuttle route between Irving Park and Fullerton. It was made part of the main route in the 1930’s when the Ashland bridge over the North Branch was built.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

Ashland and Irving Park today. We are looking east.

Ashland and Irving Park today. We are looking east.

CSL 1260 on Montrose. Andre Kristopans: "1260 on Montrose might be at Knox. Does not appear to be at Milwaukee, but that was a 1930 extension, and this is likely before then." (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 1260 on Montrose. Andre Kristopans: “1260 on Montrose might be at Knox. Does not appear to be at Milwaukee, but that was a 1930 extension, and this is likely before then.” (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

One of our regular readers says that CSL Pullman 184 is in the Clark-Arthur Loop, across the street from Devon Station. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

One of our regular readers says that CSL Pullman 184 is in the Clark-Arthur Loop, across the street from Devon Station. (Robert V. Mehlenbeck Photo, Joe L. Diaz Collection)

Motion blur makes it hard to read the car number, but this is a Pullman in the (natch) "Pullman green" color scheme prior to the adoption of red in the 1920s. One of our regular readers writes, "Chicago Railways Pullman No. 191. Note the Chicago Railways logo on the side of the car. The CRys logo was very similar to the CSL logo. This photo was probably taken between 1908 and 1914 when CSL started operations. The cars were not painted red and cream until the early 1920s when CSL adopted that color scheme." (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Motion blur makes it hard to read the car number, but this is a Pullman in the (natch) “Pullman green” color scheme prior to the adoption of red in the 1920s. One of our regular readers writes, “Chicago Railways Pullman No. 191. Note the Chicago Railways logo on the side of the car. The CRys logo was very similar to the CSL logo. This photo was probably taken between 1908 and 1914 when CSL started operations. The cars were not painted red and cream until the early 1920s when CSL adopted that color scheme.” (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

This is a circa 1940 view taken by Edward Frank, Jr. showing the old Edgewater car house. We previously posted a Fred J. Borchert photo showing a street railway post office car at this location, in Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part One (November 3, 2015). Such services ended in 1915. According to www.chicagorailfan.com: CHICAGO NORTH SHORE STREET RAILWAY EDGEWATER 5847 N. Broadway (near Ardmore Ave.) Opened in 1893 Replaced by Devon car house in 1901 Used as Ardmore bus garage 1937-1950 Building remains standing, abandoned except for CTA substation within northwest corner. Chicago North Shore Street Railway Co. was sold in 1894 to North Chicago Electric Railway Co., and merged in 1899 into Chicago Consolidated Traction Co.

This is a circa 1940 view taken by Edward Frank, Jr. showing the old Edgewater car house. We previously posted a Fred J. Borchert photo showing a street railway post office car at this location, in Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part One (November 3, 2015). Such services ended in 1915. According to www.chicagorailfan.com:

CHICAGO NORTH SHORE STREET RAILWAY
EDGEWATER
5847 N. Broadway (near Ardmore Ave.)
Opened in 1893
Replaced by Devon car house in 1901
Used as Ardmore bus garage 1937-1950
Building remains standing, abandoned except for CTA substation within northwest corner.
Chicago North Shore Street Railway Co. was sold in 1894 to North Chicago Electric Railway Co., and merged in 1899 into Chicago Consolidated Traction Co.

 

5847 N. Broadway today.

5847 N. Broadway today.

I'm not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago's lakefront. Is this Navy Pier? Oak Street beach? Or somewhere else entirely? Andre Kristopans: "The lakefront shot is indeed Oak St, the Chicago Ave loop which was on the NORTH side of Grand about where the entrance to the water filtration plant now is." George Foelschow: "The lakefront picture features the Furniture Mart at Lake Shore Drive at Erie Street, built in 1926 and the largest building in Chicago for a time. The tiny beach would be at Ohio Street. The Chicago Avenue line approached Navy Pier until the drive was “improved”, though I believe its tracks were separate from the Grand Avenue line." M. E. writes, "The photo titled “I’m not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago’s lakefront” is probably, as you surmise, at Navy Pier. There was a huge building on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, which I think was the Furniture Mart. That would have been only a block north of Grand Ave., where Navy Pier is. There were no streetcars anywhere near the Oak St. beach."

I’m not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago’s lakefront. Is this Navy Pier? Oak Street beach? Or somewhere else entirely? Andre Kristopans: “The lakefront shot is indeed Oak St, the Chicago Ave loop which was on the NORTH side of Grand about where the entrance to the water filtration plant now is.” George Foelschow: “The lakefront picture features the Furniture Mart at Lake Shore Drive at Erie Street, built in 1926 and the largest building in Chicago for a time. The tiny beach would be at Ohio Street. The Chicago Avenue line approached Navy Pier until the drive was “improved”, though I believe its tracks were separate from the Grand Avenue line.” M. E. writes, “The photo titled “I’m not sure of the exact location of this car at Chicago’s lakefront” is probably, as you surmise, at Navy Pier. There was a huge building on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, which I think was the Furniture Mart. That would have been only a block north of Grand Ave., where Navy Pier is. There were no streetcars anywhere near the Oak St. beach.”

The number on this car at Navy Pier looks like 3010, which would make it a Brill. Andre Kristopans: "3010 at Navy Pier is probably working Stony Island-Wabash. This was the “short loop” roughly in the middle of Navy Pier Park, surrounded by Streeter Drive. Grand cars turned back next to the ramp on the left, which had once had streetcar track going to the upper level of the pier, but by this point was for truck access. The short loop was paved for trolley bus use in 1951, and by 1955 or so replaced by a new TT loop which was accessed from Streeter & Illinois, which lasted until the complete rebuilding of the area in the 1990’s." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The number on this car at Navy Pier looks like 3010, which would make it a Brill. Andre Kristopans: “3010 at Navy Pier is probably working Stony Island-Wabash. This was the “short loop” roughly in the middle of Navy Pier Park, surrounded by Streeter Drive. Grand cars turned back next to the ramp on the left, which had once had streetcar track going to the upper level of the pier, but by this point was for truck access. The short loop was paved for trolley bus use in 1951, and by 1955 or so replaced by a new TT loop which was accessed from Streeter & Illinois, which lasted until the complete rebuilding of the area in the 1990’s.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

This is the old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, seen here north of Randolph. The tunnel was in use from 1871 until 1939, when it became an access point for construction of the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

This is the old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, seen here north of Randolph. The tunnel was in use from 1871 until 1939, when it became an access point for construction of the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

The old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, north of Randolph. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

The old LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel, north of Randolph. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Perhaps one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: "The first bridge photo is Kedzie across the Sanitary & Ship Canal. The IC bridge in the background is still there, the Kedzie bridge was replaced mid-1960’s, which caused the conversion of the Kedzie-California trolley bus route to motor buses, because CTA did not want to put wires on the shoo-fly." Bill Shapotkin adds, "This is the Kedzie Ave bridge over the river south of 31st St. View looks E-N/E. Note the still-in-service IC bridge in background (which I did ride over under Amtrak)." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Perhaps one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: “The first bridge photo is Kedzie across the Sanitary & Ship Canal. The IC bridge in the background is still there, the Kedzie bridge was replaced mid-1960’s, which caused the conversion of the Kedzie-California trolley bus route to motor buses, because CTA did not want to put wires on the shoo-fly.” Bill Shapotkin adds, “This is the Kedzie Ave bridge over the river south of 31st St. View looks E-N/E. Note the still-in-service IC bridge in background (which I did ride over under Amtrak).” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Again, maybe one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: "The second bridge photo is much harder to ID. However, notice that while the bridge is for lanes, the streetcar is on the “wrong side”, as both tracks are on the near half of the bridge!" Perhaps the bridge was expanded at some point, and the car tracks were left on the one side only. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Again, maybe one of our readers can help identify this bridge. Andre Kristopans: “The second bridge photo is much harder to ID. However, notice that while the bridge is for lanes, the streetcar is on the “wrong side”, as both tracks are on the near half of the bridge!” Perhaps the bridge was expanded at some point, and the car tracks were left on the one side only. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Eric Bronsky writes:

This photo shows a car operating northbound on South Western Ave. Bridge over the Chicago Drainage Canal (known today as the Sanitary & Ship Canal), probably in the 1930s. This center pier swing bridge was built in 1906 and removed in 1939. Actually this bridge carried two separate thoroughfares – S. Western Ave. and S. Western Blvd., the latter being a component of Chicago’s historic boulevard system with limited access to local streets between 31st Blvd. and 54th St. Then as now, both thoroughfares were bi-directional. The car tracks were on the avenue (westernmost) side of the bridge.

The main problems with the old swing bridge were its low clearance and the center pier obstructing river traffic. The current bridge, originally completed in 1940 as a fixed span, was soon converted to a vertical lift bridge to accommodate WWII traffic from a shipyard along the canal. It was later converted back to a fixed span.

I have attached a photo which you may use in the blog. Dated Sept. 8, 1938, it looks north. Evidently S. Western Ave. was widened at some point after the bridge was built, but the car tracks were not relocated to the center of the rebuilt roadway, which would explain the offset on the curved approach to the bridge. Please credit Eric Bronsky Collection.

Thanks very much, Eric. There were other places along Western Avenue where the streetcar tracks ended up being offset after the street was widened. You can see such pictures, and a variety of pictures showing the 1940 replacement bridge, in Central Electric Railfans’ Association Bulletin 146, Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958.

S Western Ave Br Over S&S Canal lkg N 9-8-039

According to the caption on this Chicago Historical Society photo, we are looking east at Devon station on September 23, 1923. This is a new repair bay at teh west end of the new pit, after much of the building here was destroyed by fire in early 1922.

According to the caption on this Chicago Historical Society photo, we are looking east at Devon station on September 23, 1923. This is a new repair bay at teh west end of the new pit, after much of the building here was destroyed by fire in early 1922.

Looking east at Clark and north of Schreiber, this February 10, 1922 Chicago Historical Society photo shows the aftermath of the fire that burned down half of Devon station (car house).

Looking east at Clark and north of Schreiber, this February 10, 1922 Chicago Historical Society photo shows the aftermath of the fire that burned down half of Devon station (car house).

One of our regular readers thinks this photo shows Evanston Avenue (now Broadway) between Devon and Lawrence. "I believe that the streetcar is a Chicago Union Traction car, but it is too far away in the photo to identify. I believe that the view is looking north somewhere in Edgewater."

One of our regular readers thinks this photo shows Evanston Avenue (now Broadway) between Devon and Lawrence. “I believe that the streetcar is a Chicago Union Traction car, but it is too far away in the photo to identify. I believe that the view is looking north somewhere in Edgewater.”

CSL Snow Plow F28. Don's Rail Photos says, "F28, plow, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924. It was retired on December 14, 1956." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Snow Plow F28. Don’s Rail Photos says, “F28, plow, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1924. It was retired on December 14, 1956.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don's Rail Photos says, "E57, sweeper, was built by Russell in 1930. It was retired on March 11, 1959." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “E57, sweeper, was built by Russell in 1930. It was retired on March 11, 1959.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

This, and the series of photos that follow, were taken between 1930 and 1932 by George Krambles at the Devon car house, where a lot of very old equipment (including single-truck streetcars) was stored. Since GK was born in 1915, he would have been in high school at this time. CSL often kept obsolete equipment for decades. Some of these cars were used for work service. Another reason for keeping them was their potential sale as assets, in case transit unification came to pass. The young man at left is unidentified. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

This, and the series of photos that follow, were taken between 1930 and 1932 by George Krambles at the Devon car house, where a lot of very old equipment (including single-truck streetcars) was stored. Since GK was born in 1915, he would have been in high school at this time. CSL often kept obsolete equipment for decades. Some of these cars were used for work service. Another reason for keeping them was their potential sale as assets, in case transit unification came to pass. The young man at left is unidentified. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL Sand Car R4 at Clark and Devon, circa 1930-32. Don's Rail Photos says, "R4, sand car, was rebuilt by Chicago Rys in 1913 as M4. It came from 5569, passenger car. It was renumbered R4 in 1913 and became CSL R4 in 1914. It was retired in 1942." (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL Sand Car R4 at Clark and Devon, circa 1930-32. Don’s Rail Photos says, “R4, sand car, was rebuilt by Chicago Rys in 1913 as M4. It came from 5569, passenger car. It was renumbered R4 in 1913 and became CSL R4 in 1914. It was retired in 1942.” (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, "Base Ball." (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Ancient CSL car 2144 at Clark and Devon, c1930-32. The side sign reads, “Base Ball.” (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 1142 at Devon car house. Many cars in this series were sold in 1946 for use as temporary housing. I am not sure if this picture was taken around 1930-32 like the few that precede it. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 1142 at Devon car house. Many cars in this series were sold in 1946 for use as temporary housing. I am not sure if this picture was taken around 1930-32 like the few that precede it. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL Supply Car S201. Don's Rail Photos: "S201, supply car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1908 as CCRy C45. It was renumbered S201 in 1913 and became CSL S201 in 1914. It was retired on September 27, 1956." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Supply Car S201. Don’s Rail Photos: “S201, supply car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1908 as CCRy C45. It was renumbered S201 in 1913 and became CSL S201 in 1914. It was retired on September 27, 1956.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1465 was called a "Bowling Alley" car due to its sideways seating. Don's Rail Photos says, "1465 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4514. It was rebuilt as 1465 in 1911 and became CSL 1465 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA71 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 2, 1951." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1465 was called a “Bowling Alley” car due to its sideways seating. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1465 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4514. It was rebuilt as 1465 in 1911 and became CSL 1465 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA71 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 2, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

As we near the end of summer here in Chicago, we will leave you with this wintry scene of CSL 1455. Don's Rail Photos says, "1455 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4504. It was rebuilt as 1455 in 1911 and became CSL 1455 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA67 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 17, 1951." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

As we near the end of summer here in Chicago, we will leave you with this wintry scene of CSL 1455. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1455 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4504. It was rebuilt as 1455 in 1911 and became CSL 1455 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA67 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on August 17, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)


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This is our 154th 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 193,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

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Love for Selle

Chicago & North Western loco 608, a 4-6-2, heads an eastbound commuter train at Oak Park Avenue on March 23, 1955. This shows how the wide C&NW embankment made it possible, within a few years, to elevate the outer end of CTA's Lake Street "L". In the process, several close-in C&NW stations were closed. (Bob Selle Photo)

Chicago & North Western loco 608, a 4-6-2, heads an eastbound commuter train at Oak Park Avenue on March 23, 1955. This shows how the wide C&NW embankment made it possible, within a few years, to elevate the outer end of CTA’s Lake Street “L”. In the process, several close-in C&NW stations were closed. (Bob Selle Photo)

The building shown in the previous picture still stands on North Boulevard, just east of Oak Park Avenue, in Oak Park.

The building shown in the previous picture still stands on North Boulevard, just east of Oak Park Avenue, in Oak Park.

The late Robert A. Selle (1929-2013) was a notable railfan photographer who seems to have worked exclusively in black-and-white throughout his career. After his passing, his photo collection was sold, and recently some of his original negatives have hit the open market, where we have been fortunate enough to buy a few of them.

I know there are many people who are only interested in color photography, but personally, I appreciate great black-and-white work every bit as much. If you want to see pictures that date to before the 1940s or 1950s, that pretty much eliminates color. Even then, the early versions of Kodachrome were much more limited in how they could be used– after all, the original film speed was ISO 10.

By comparison, black-and-white films were “high speed” with ratings like 32, 64, or even 100. By the late 1950s, Kodak put out Super-XX which had a film speed of perhaps 200, depending on who you talk to.

We ran a couple of Bob Selle photos in older posts, which we are including here along with the others. We also posted a few some time back on the CERA Members Blog. To find those, just type “Selle” in the search window at the top of the page and the posts that include them will come up.

Anyhow, while I did not know the man personally, all the Bob Selle photos that I have seen have been pretty great, and I hope you think so too. Along with our tribute to Bob Selle, I am including some of our other recent photo finds that you may find interesting.

As always, if you have additional questions, comments, or other information you can add regarding what you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know. You can either leave a Comment on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

In addition to his shutterbug work, Bob Selle was also one of the founding members of the Electric Railway Historical Society, which published 49 important historical publications and preserved several electric railcars that are now at the Illinois Railway Museum. In 2014 I helped put together The Complete ERHS Collection, an E-book that includes all 49 publications. It is available from Central Electric Railfans Assocation.*

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski

PS- While in a sense it is a shame that when many railfan photographers pass on, their collections get scattered to the four winds, or determined by the highest bidder, that also presents us with an opportunity to try and collect some of these great images and pass them on to you. How many pictures we can save this way, and the quality of the ones we do present, is largely determined by the amount of financial support we can get from our readers.

*Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 140th 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 167,000 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.

In the twilight days of steam, C&NW locomotive 532, a 4-6-2, heads a commuter train in February 1956. Although this negative is marked as having been taken at Euclid Avenue in Oak Park, where UP freight and Metra commuter trains now share space with the CTA's Green Line rapid transit, this certainly looks like it was taken somewhere else at ground level. (Bob Selle Photo) Andre Kristopans: "The CNW “Euclid Ave” shot most likely is about where Kilpatrick Av now crosses the tracks. If one blows up the photo, you see a railroad overpass in the background that certainly looks like the BRC bridge at Kenton. Box cars on right would be on one of the tracks at 40th St Yard, while the lower-level track in foreground would be an industrial lead. Train would be EB."

In the twilight days of steam, C&NW locomotive 532, a 4-6-2, heads a commuter train in February 1956. Although this negative is marked as having been taken at Euclid Avenue in Oak Park, where UP freight and Metra commuter trains now share space with the CTA’s Green Line rapid transit, this certainly looks like it was taken somewhere else at ground level. (Bob Selle Photo) Andre Kristopans: “The CNW “Euclid Ave” shot most likely is about where Kilpatrick Av now crosses the tracks. If one blows up the photo, you see a railroad overpass in the background that certainly looks like the BRC bridge at Kenton. Box cars on right would be on one of the tracks at 40th St Yard, while the lower-level track in foreground would be an industrial lead. Train would be EB.”

CTA salt spreader AA98 was former "Interstate" car 2846, shown here being operated for probably the last time ever on May 25, 1958 at CTA's South Shops. The occasion was a CERA fantrip on the last remaining Chicago streetcar line, so everything old that could run was trotted out for pictures. This car was soon purchased by the Electric Railway Historical Society, and eventually made its way to the Illinois Railway Museum, where it is preserved. (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA salt spreader AA98 was former “Interstate” car 2846, shown here being operated for probably the last time ever on May 25, 1958 at CTA’s South Shops. The occasion was a CERA fantrip on the last remaining Chicago streetcar line, so everything old that could run was trotted out for pictures. This car was soon purchased by the Electric Railway Historical Society, and eventually made its way to the Illinois Railway Museum, where it is preserved. (Bob Selle Photo)

There are a lot of pictures like this, showing CTA PCC 7142 and locomotive L-201 at South Shops on May 25, 1958. This was the occasion of one of the final fantrips on Chicago's last remaining streetcar line, organized by the Central Electric Railfans' Association, which was abandoned less than one month later. 7142 was on its way down to the St. Louis Car Company for scrapping so that parts could be reused in Chicago rapid transit cars. (Bob Selle Photo)

There are a lot of pictures like this, showing CTA PCC 7142 and locomotive L-201 at South Shops on May 25, 1958. This was the occasion of one of the final fantrips on Chicago’s last remaining streetcar line, organized by the Central Electric Railfans’ Association, which was abandoned less than one month later. 7142 was on its way down to the St. Louis Car Company for scrapping so that parts could be reused in Chicago rapid transit cars. (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA two-man arch roof 6141 coing off the south end of the Halsted Street bridge over the Milwaukee Road on November 16, 1953. This car was known as one of the "Odd 17" (actually 19), probably because it did not fit into some other series. Don's Rail Photos says, "6141 was built by American Car Co in February 1918, #1079." (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA two-man arch roof 6141 coing off the south end of the Halsted Street bridge over the Milwaukee Road on November 16, 1953. This car was known as one of the “Odd 17” (actually 19), probably because it did not fit into some other series. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6141 was built by American Car Co in February 1918, #1079.” (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA "Big Pullman" 511 at Lake and Paulina Streets on the Ashland Avenue line on August 26, 1953. (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA “Big Pullman” 511 at Lake and Paulina Streets on the Ashland Avenue line on August 26, 1953. (Bob Selle Photo)

It's the evening rush hour on June 3rd, 1959, and North Shore Line car 161 is on the tail end of a northbound train at Chicago Avenue on the "L". (Bob Selle Photo)

It’s the evening rush hour on June 3rd, 1959, and North Shore Line car 161 is on the tail end of a northbound train at Chicago Avenue on the “L”. (Bob Selle Photo)

The experimental pre-PCC car 4001 ended its days on CTA property as a storage shed. It is shown here at South Shops on December 18, 1955. The body shell of 4001 is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Bob Selle Photo)

The experimental pre-PCC car 4001 ended its days on CTA property as a storage shed. It is shown here at South Shops on December 18, 1955. The body shell of 4001 is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Bob Selle Photo)

The late Bob Selle took this great shot of an outbound Milwaukee Road commuter train leaving Union Station in Chicago on August 8, 1958. These were some of the consists I saw as a child, since I lived very close to what is now the Metra Milwaukee District West Line. Ridership was nothing compared to what it is today, and I believe bi-levels were not introduced here until around 1961-62. That's the Merchandise Mart across the Chicago River. This picture was taken from the Lake Street overpass. That looks like a 1957 Oldsmobile convertible at left.

The late Bob Selle took this great shot of an outbound Milwaukee Road commuter train leaving Union Station in Chicago on August 8, 1958. These were some of the consists I saw as a child, since I lived very close to what is now the Metra Milwaukee District West Line. Ridership was nothing compared to what it is today, and I believe bi-levels were not introduced here until around 1961-62. That’s the Merchandise Mart across the Chicago River. This picture was taken from the Lake Street overpass. That looks like a 1957 Oldsmobile convertible at left.

According to Don's Rail Photos, Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 213 "was built by Cincinnati in March 1920, #2445, as a merchandise dispatch car. In 1940 it was rebuilt as a disc harrow ice cutter. It was retired in 1955 and sold to CHF as their 242. It was donated to Illinois Railway Museum in 1964." This photo by the late Bob Selle shows it newly delivered to the Chicago Hardware Foundry in North Chicago on August 7, 1955.

According to Don’s Rail Photos, Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 213 “was built by Cincinnati in March 1920, #2445, as a merchandise dispatch car. In 1940 it was rebuilt as a disc harrow ice cutter. It was retired in 1955 and sold to CHF as their 242. It was donated to Illinois Railway Museum in 1964.” This photo by the late Bob Selle shows it newly delivered to the Chicago Hardware Foundry in North Chicago on August 7, 1955.

Caption: "3 cars on North Shore Line northbound at Kenilworth (714 on rear of train), July 13, 1955. This was shortly before the end of service on the Shore Line Route. (Bob Selle Photo) Don's Rail Photos: "714 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1926, #2890. It is modernized in 1939 and preserved in 1963 by the Illinois Railway Museum."

Caption: “3 cars on North Shore Line northbound at Kenilworth (714 on rear of train), July 13, 1955. This was shortly before the end of service on the Shore Line Route. (Bob Selle Photo) Don’s Rail Photos: “714 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1926, #2890. It is modernized in 1939 and preserved in 1963 by the Illinois Railway Museum.”

This looks like a 1952 Chevrolet 4-door Fleetline fastback to me, which would be a somewhat rare model with only a few thousand produced. The fastback, which had enjoyed a brief vogue starting around 1941, was dropped for the 1953 model year.

This looks like a 1952 Chevrolet 4-door Fleetline fastback to me, which would be a somewhat rare model with only a few thousand produced. The fastback, which had enjoyed a brief vogue starting around 1941, was dropped for the 1953 model year.

It's May 30, 1958 and Chicago Surface Lines car 1467 (former CTA salt car AA72) is at the Electric Railway Historical Society site on Plainfield Road in Downer's Grove. Don's Rail Photos says this "Bowling Alley" car "was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4516. It was rebuilt as 1467 in 1911 and became CSL 1467 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA72 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on February 28, 1958. It was sold to Electric Railway Historical Society in 1959 and went to Illinois Railway Museum in 1973." Actually it must have been sold earlier, as the negative envelope has written on it "owned now by ERHS!" (Bob Selle Photo)

It’s May 30, 1958 and Chicago Surface Lines car 1467 (former CTA salt car AA72) is at the Electric Railway Historical Society site on Plainfield Road in Downer’s Grove. Don’s Rail Photos says this “Bowling Alley” car “was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4516. It was rebuilt as 1467 in 1911 and became CSL 1467 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA72 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on February 28, 1958. It was sold to Electric Railway Historical Society in 1959 and went to Illinois Railway Museum in 1973.” Actually it must have been sold earlier, as the negative envelope has written on it “owned now by ERHS!” (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA 3025 is running inbound on Elston on June 30, 1949. (Bob Selle Photo) Neil Arsenty adds, "Although this is the Elston Avenue line, this is actually taken at Milwaukee and Kinzie going southeast. The building behind the streetcar still stands at the Northwest corner."

CTA 3025 is running inbound on Elston on June 30, 1949. (Bob Selle Photo) Neil Arsenty adds, “Although this is the Elston Avenue line, this is actually taken at Milwaukee and Kinzie going southeast. The building behind the streetcar still stands at the Northwest corner.”

Milwaukee and Kinzie today.

Milwaukee and Kinzie today.

CTA Pullman 144 is heading southwest on Archer approaching Wentworth on June 15, 1958. This was four years after red cars were retired from active service, and less than a week before the end of all Chicago streetcars. The occasion was a fantrip sponsored by the Electric Railway Historical Society (ERHS). (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA Pullman 144 is heading southwest on Archer approaching Wentworth on June 15, 1958. This was four years after red cars were retired from active service, and less than a week before the end of all Chicago streetcars. The occasion was a fantrip sponsored by the Electric Railway Historical Society (ERHS). (Bob Selle Photo)

On Sunday, September 13, 1953, CTA one-man shuttle car 3175 is on Fifth Avenue at Pulaski (Crawford), the west end of the Fifth Avenue line. This had been a branch line from route 20 - Madison. From this point, the cars looped via Pulaski and Harrison before going back NE on Fifth. The photographer was on the Garfield Park "L" at Pulaski. The "L" was heading east and west at this point, just south of where the Eisenhower expressway is today. This "L" station remained in use until June 1958. Streetcar service on Fifth Avenue continued into early 1954. (Bob Selle Photo)

On Sunday, September 13, 1953, CTA one-man shuttle car 3175 is on Fifth Avenue at Pulaski (Crawford), the west end of the Fifth Avenue line. This had been a branch line from route 20 – Madison. From this point, the cars looped via Pulaski and Harrison before going back NE on Fifth. The photographer was on the Garfield Park “L” at Pulaski. The “L” was heading east and west at this point, just south of where the Eisenhower expressway is today. This “L” station remained in use until June 1958. Streetcar service on Fifth Avenue continued into early 1954. (Bob Selle Photo)

An overview of the Fifth-Pulaski-Harrison area as it appears today. When the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway was built, Fifth Avenue was cut off at this point just out of the right of the picture. The Garfield Park "L", which ran east and west at this point, was replaced by the Congress median rapid transit line in 1958.

An overview of the Fifth-Pulaski-Harrison area as it appears today. When the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway was built, Fifth Avenue was cut off at this point just out of the right of the picture. The Garfield Park “L”, which ran east and west at this point, was replaced by the Congress median rapid transit line in 1958.

On August 9, 1955 CTA wooden "L" car 345 is at the front of a northbound Ravenswood "A" train at Chicago Avenue. (Bob Selle Photo)

On August 9, 1955 CTA wooden “L” car 345 is at the front of a northbound Ravenswood “A” train at Chicago Avenue. (Bob Selle Photo)

Here, we see the lineup at 71st and Ashland on May 23, 1953. From left to rigth, we have CTA 572, sprinklers D-210, D-212, D-203 and 504. (Bob Selle Photo)

Here, we see the lineup at 71st and Ashland on May 23, 1953. From left to rigth, we have CTA 572, sprinklers D-210, D-212, D-203 and 504. (Bob Selle Photo)


Recent Photo Finds

CTA 7095 heads south on State Street on route 36 Broadway-State on August 18, 1954. You can see the Mandel Brothers department store in the background. We discussed this retailer in our previous post Lifting the Lid in the Loop (April 12, 2016), which makes Madison the cross street. Mandel Brothers was bought out by Wieboldt's in 1960, and their store occupied this site into the 1980s. This image was taken on size 828 film, which was meant to be Kodak's answer to 35mm starting in the late 1930s. It offered 8 pictures on a roll, with an image area nearly 30% bigger than 35mm, and had notches in the film so that cameras could use an automatic frame counter/spacer, potentially eliminating the troublesome little red window on the back of the camera. Although Kodak promoted this format in the stylish Art Deco Bantam series of cameras, it did not catch on and 828 film was discontinued by Kodak in 1985. However, the technology behind 828 was later used in the very much more successful 126 cartridge format starting in 1963. It is actually still possible to get 828 film today that has been respooled and cut to size from larger formats.

CTA 7095 heads south on State Street on route 36 Broadway-State on August 18, 1954. You can see the Mandel Brothers department store in the background. We discussed this retailer in our previous post Lifting the Lid in the Loop (April 12, 2016), which makes Madison the cross street. Mandel Brothers was bought out by Wieboldt’s in 1960, and their store occupied this site into the 1980s. This image was taken on size 828 film, which was meant to be Kodak’s answer to 35mm starting in the late 1930s. It offered 8 pictures on a roll, with an image area nearly 30% bigger than 35mm, and had notches in the film so that cameras could use an automatic frame counter/spacer, potentially eliminating the troublesome little red window on the back of the camera. Although Kodak promoted this format in the stylish Art Deco Bantam series of cameras, it did not catch on and 828 film was discontinued by Kodak in 1985. However, the technology behind 828 was later used in the very much more successful 126 cartridge format starting in 1963. It is actually still possible to get 828 film today that has been respooled and cut to size from larger formats.

A comparison of a standard 35mm Kodachrome slide with a "superslide" in 828 film format. At 28x40mm as opposed to 24x36mm, the superslide has a nearly 30% larger surface area. Despite the different style of these two slide mounts, these pictures were taken only about one year apart (left 1956, right 1955). There were also 40x40mm superslides using size 127 roll film, taking up nearly the entire area of a standard 2x2" slide mount, but as far as I know Kodachrome was never made in that format, although Ektachrome certainly was. So, the term superslide can refer to either size 828 or 127 transparencies.

A comparison of a standard 35mm Kodachrome slide with a “superslide” in 828 film format. At 28x40mm as opposed to 24x36mm, the superslide has a nearly 30% larger surface area. Despite the different style of these two slide mounts, these pictures were taken only about one year apart (left 1956, right 1955). There were also 40x40mm superslides using size 127 roll film, taking up nearly the entire area of a standard 2×2″ slide mount, but as far as I know Kodachrome was never made in that format, although Ektachrome certainly was. So, the term superslide can refer to either size 828 or 127 transparencies.

CTA postwar PCC 7236 is shown northbound at Clark and Armitage on Sunday, December 18, 1955 in fantrip service. It was preferable in this period to run fantrips on weekends, since regular service on these lines was now being operated by buses, such as the ones shown in the background. We have run three other photos from this same fantrip in previous posts. Red car 225 was used ahead of this car. Since the trip organizers had advertised that car 144 would be used, they put a piece of oilcloth with that number on it over the Pullman's actual number. I also wrote about this same trip in the post The Old Math (144 = 225) March 13, 2013 on the CERA Members Blog. At that time, I thought the date of the trip was 1956, but a variety of sources since then say it was actually 1955. George Foelschow adds, "The tan building directly behind the car is the North Park Hotel, the apex of the Old Town Triangle, site of the Chandelier Room, where I cast my first vote in 1960, since I lived just south of there on Lincoln Avenue. Sadly, the streetcars and trolley wires were gone by then, and only the tracks remained for a time."

CTA postwar PCC 7236 is shown northbound at Clark and Armitage on Sunday, December 18, 1955 in fantrip service. It was preferable in this period to run fantrips on weekends, since regular service on these lines was now being operated by buses, such as the ones shown in the background. We have run three other photos from this same fantrip in previous posts. Red car 225 was used ahead of this car. Since the trip organizers had advertised that car 144 would be used, they put a piece of oilcloth with that number on it over the Pullman’s actual number. I also wrote about this same trip in the post The Old Math (144 = 225) March 13, 2013 on the CERA Members Blog. At that time, I thought the date of the trip was 1956, but a variety of sources since then say it was actually 1955. George Foelschow adds, “The tan building directly behind the car is the North Park Hotel, the apex of the Old Town Triangle, site of the Chandelier Room, where I cast my first vote in 1960, since I lived just south of there on Lincoln Avenue. Sadly, the streetcars and trolley wires were gone by then, and only the tracks remained for a time.”

CTA one-man prewar PCC 4032 is shown southbound on route 4 - Cottage Grove in the early 1950s, where the line ran parallel to the Illinois Central's electric suburban commuter service.

CTA one-man prewar PCC 4032 is shown southbound on route 4 – Cottage Grove in the early 1950s, where the line ran parallel to the Illinois Central’s electric suburban commuter service.

CTA 7012 at the Narragansett Loop on the west end of route 63. Tony Waller adds, "In image 257, the pre-war PCC must have been photographed in December 1951. All pre-war PCCs were removed from 63rd St. in Spring 1952 and rebuilt for one man operations (with elimination of one of the center doors). They were then assigned to Cottage Grove."

CTA 7012 at the Narragansett Loop on the west end of route 63. Tony Waller adds, “In image 257, the pre-war PCC must have been photographed in December 1951. All pre-war PCCs were removed from 63rd St. in Spring 1952 and rebuilt for one man operations (with elimination of one of the center doors). They were then assigned to Cottage Grove.”

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 318 under wire on a July 4, 1949 fantrip. The index card with this negative reads: Monitor roof double end steel interurban. Builder: Jewett 1909; Weight 100,000 lbs.; Motors 4 GE 66 HP 500; Seats 52; Length 54' Width 8' 8" Height 13' 6". On the same day, the New York-based Electric Railroader's Association held a Chicago fantrip on south side streetcar lines that were soon to be abandoned. You can see a picture from that trip in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Five.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 318 under wire on a July 4, 1949 fantrip. The index card with this negative reads: Monitor roof double end steel interurban. Builder: Jewett 1909; Weight 100,000 lbs.; Motors 4 GE 66 HP 500; Seats 52; Length 54′ Width 8′ 8″ Height 13′ 6″. On the same day, the New York-based Electric Railroader’s Association held a Chicago fantrip on south side streetcar lines that were soon to be abandoned. You can see a picture from that trip in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Five.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 319 heads west, having just left the CTA's Wells Street Terminal, sometime prior to the end of CA&E service downtown in September 1953. This was a stub-end terminal, and the tracks at right curved around to Van Buren and connected to the southwest corner of the Loop "L". In 1955, that connecting track was removed as part of the construction of lower Wacker Drive. A new connection to the Loop was made by extending two tracks through the old Wells Street Terminal, which was by then no longer in use. The CTA's Garfield Park trains continued to use this connection until June 1958, when the Congress median line opened. Parts of the old "L" structure here were not demolished until the early 1960s.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 319 heads west, having just left the CTA’s Wells Street Terminal, sometime prior to the end of CA&E service downtown in September 1953. This was a stub-end terminal, and the tracks at right curved around to Van Buren and connected to the southwest corner of the Loop “L”. In 1955, that connecting track was removed as part of the construction of lower Wacker Drive. A new connection to the Loop was made by extending two tracks through the old Wells Street Terminal, which was by then no longer in use. The CTA’s Garfield Park trains continued to use this connection until June 1958, when the Congress median line opened. Parts of the old “L” structure here were not demolished until the early 1960s.

"Congress St. expressway under construction with rapid transit tracks in center strip, October 8, 1955." The Garfield Park "L" tracks, whether temporary or existing, are not visible in this picture. The first tracks in the median line were laid on July 28, 1955 at Pulaski Road, with Mayor Richard J. Daley driving the first spike. Matt Cajda adds, "In the Congress Expressway photo, the elevated Garfield Park tracks look visible to me just above the two bridges over the expressway. This would indicate that the photo could possibly be taken from the Homan Ave. or Kedzie Ave. bridge." Andre Kristopans: "The Congress construction is looking east at Kostner. Remember, Kostner station came later." (Yes, the short-lived Kostner station, built on a curve, opened in 1962 as the result of lobbying by three local aldermen whose wards were nearby. It closed in 1973.)

“Congress St. expressway under construction with rapid transit tracks in center strip, October 8, 1955.” The Garfield Park “L” tracks, whether temporary or existing, are not visible in this picture. The first tracks in the median line were laid on July 28, 1955 at Pulaski Road, with Mayor Richard J. Daley driving the first spike. Matt Cajda adds, “In the Congress Expressway photo, the elevated Garfield Park tracks look visible to me just above the two bridges over the expressway. This would indicate that the photo could possibly be taken from the Homan Ave. or Kedzie Ave. bridge.” Andre Kristopans: “The Congress construction is looking east at Kostner. Remember, Kostner station came later.” (Yes, the short-lived Kostner station, built on a curve, opened in 1962 as the result of lobbying by three local aldermen whose wards were nearby. It closed in 1973.)

This photo was marked as being taken in April 1951. Unfortunately, what the picture shows makes that date impossible. The buildings behind the ground level "L" show that this is Western Avenue at Van Buren, during the 1953-58 rerouting of part of the Garfield Park "L". Red car 473 is on a curve because the tracks are on a shoo-fly while the bridge that would go over the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway was under construction to the left of this view, which looks north. This phase of construction, and the presence of car 473, would imply that this picture actually dates to May 16, 1954, when this car and 479 were used on a CERA "farewell to red cars" fantrip on Chicago's streetcar system. Meanwhile, a two-car train of flat door 6000-series "L" cars (6049-6050), with numbers painted on their roofs, proceeds on the ponderously slow 2.5 mile temporary trackage.

This photo was marked as being taken in April 1951. Unfortunately, what the picture shows makes that date impossible. The buildings behind the ground level “L” show that this is Western Avenue at Van Buren, during the 1953-58 rerouting of part of the Garfield Park “L”. Red car 473 is on a curve because the tracks are on a shoo-fly while the bridge that would go over the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway was under construction to the left of this view, which looks north. This phase of construction, and the presence of car 473, would imply that this picture actually dates to May 16, 1954, when this car and 479 were used on a CERA “farewell to red cars” fantrip on Chicago’s streetcar system. Meanwhile, a two-car train of flat door 6000-series “L” cars (6049-6050), with numbers painted on their roofs, proceeds on the ponderously slow 2.5 mile temporary trackage.

Although CTA postwar PCC 4400 is not front and center in this September 1, 1955 press photograph, taken at Clark and Leland, looking northeast, that is actually part of its charm. This was part of a series showing neighborhood life in Uptown, during a time when streetcars were still a part of everyday life in Chicago. (Ralph Arvidson Photo)

Although CTA postwar PCC 4400 is not front and center in this September 1, 1955 press photograph, taken at Clark and Leland, looking northeast, that is actually part of its charm. This was part of a series showing neighborhood life in Uptown, during a time when streetcars were still a part of everyday life in Chicago. (Ralph Arvidson Photo)

The same location today. Leland is a block south of Lawrence.

The same location today. Leland is a block south of Lawrence.

Chicago Surface Lines "Sedan" (Peter Witt) 6281, southbound on route 22 - Clark-Wentworth, most likely in the late 1930s.

Chicago Surface Lines “Sedan” (Peter Witt) 6281, southbound on route 22 – Clark-Wentworth, most likely in the late 1930s.

CTA 4026 is eastbound on private right-of-way at the west end of route 63.

CTA 4026 is eastbound on private right-of-way at the west end of route 63.

Chicago Surface Lines Brill car 6072 at Kedzie Station on January 28, 1942. (John F. Bromley Collection) I believe this car was built in 1914. You can see part of a Sedan in the background. These were used for fill-in service on Madison along with the prewar PCCs.

Chicago Surface Lines Brill car 6072 at Kedzie Station on January 28, 1942. (John F. Bromley Collection) I believe this car was built in 1914. You can see part of a Sedan in the background. These were used for fill-in service on Madison along with the prewar PCCs.

The interior of CSL Pullman 616 during Surface Lines days. (Joe L. Diaz Collection)

The interior of CSL Pullman 616 during Surface Lines days. (Joe L. Diaz Collection)

CSL 2779 in a wintry scene, probably in the 1940s. The location is unknown, as the roll sign on the car simply reads "Downtown." According to Don's Rail Photos, this car was part of a series known as Robertson Rebuilds, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1903. Don Ross: "These cars were similar to 2501-2625 but were longer and heavier. They were built with McGuire 10-A trucks but were replaced with Brill 51-E-1 trucks in 1918. An additional 20 cars were ordered, 2781-2800, but they were delivered to St Louis & Suburban Ry as 600-619. It replaced most of their cars in a carbarn fire that destroyed most of their equipment." (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Michael Franklin: "Headed south on Damen Ave with Roscoe St. in the distance."

CSL 2779 in a wintry scene, probably in the 1940s. The location is unknown, as the roll sign on the car simply reads “Downtown.” According to Don’s Rail Photos, this car was part of a series known as Robertson Rebuilds, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1903. Don Ross: “These cars were similar to 2501-2625 but were longer and heavier. They were built with McGuire 10-A trucks but were replaced with Brill 51-E-1 trucks in 1918. An additional 20 cars were ordered, 2781-2800, but they were delivered to St Louis & Suburban Ry as 600-619. It replaced most of their cars in a carbarn fire that destroyed most of their equipment.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Michael Franklin: “Headed south on Damen Ave with Roscoe St. in the distance.”

I believe this is CSL car 2811 on the Riverdale line. If so, this car is part of a series (2801-2815) built by St. Louis Car Company in 1901. Don's Rail Photos says, "These cars were built for Chicago City Ry and sold to Calumet & South Chicago Railway in 1908. 2811 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901 as CCRy 2586. It was sold as C&CS 711 in 1908 and renumbered 2811 in 1913. It became CSL 2811 in 1914." (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Michael Franklin: "Northbound on Indiana Ave turning west on 134th St."

I believe this is CSL car 2811 on the Riverdale line. If so, this car is part of a series (2801-2815) built by St. Louis Car Company in 1901. Don’s Rail Photos says, “These cars were built for Chicago City Ry and sold to Calumet & South Chicago Railway in 1908. 2811 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901 as CCRy 2586. It was sold as C&CS 711 in 1908 and renumbered 2811 in 1913. It became CSL 2811 in 1914.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Michael Franklin: “Northbound on Indiana Ave turning west on 134th St.”

This photo is supposed to show the traction motor in CTA trolley bus 370. If so, it was built by St. Louis Car Company in 1948. This bus would have been renumbered to 9370 in 1952, to avoid duplication with bus numbers from the Chicago Motor Coach Company, which CTA purchased that year. A while back I asked our readers whether the North Shore Line Electroliner was fitted with trolley bus motors. I don't think I got a definitive answer, although in some sense, a traction motor is a traction motor.

This photo is supposed to show the traction motor in CTA trolley bus 370. If so, it was built by St. Louis Car Company in 1948. This bus would have been renumbered to 9370 in 1952, to avoid duplication with bus numbers from the Chicago Motor Coach Company, which CTA purchased that year. A while back I asked our readers whether the North Shore Line Electroliner was fitted with trolley bus motors. I don’t think I got a definitive answer, although in some sense, a traction motor is a traction motor.

CTA 384, a Pullman, sits at the west end of route 66 at Chicago Avenue and Austin Boulevard. That looks like a West Towns bus across the way in suburban Oak Park in the background.

CTA 384, a Pullman, sits at the west end of route 66 at Chicago Avenue and Austin Boulevard. That looks like a West Towns bus across the way in suburban Oak Park in the background.


Updates

It’s conclusively been shown that the following two “mystery” photos below show the Hammond, Whiting & East Chicago Railway, which operated a through service to Chicago with the Chicago Surface Lines. In its final years, the Indiana half of this operation was under the management of Chicago & Calumet District Transit. Chicago cars ran into Indiana, and Indiana cars ran into Illinois, up until the cessation of streetcar service in 1940. Operators were changed at the state line, and each car had two sets of fare boxes.

According to Don’s Rail Photos:

HW&EC was formed in 1892 in Hammond where 2 miles of track were built. It was then extended through East Chicago and Whiting to the state line and a connection to the South Chicago City Railway. It came under SCCRy control and service was extended to 63rd and Stony Island. In 1901 a fire destroyed the Hammond Packing Co which caused such a financial impact that all but 12 cars were sold. In 1908 the SCCRy merged with the Calumet Electric Street Ry as the Calumet & South Chicago Ry which retained control of the HW&EC. Joint service was maintained using cars of both companies. After World War I the line was plagued by private auto and jitney competition and finally filed for abandonment in 1929. A new company, Calumet Railways was formed, but it failed and was replaced by C&CDT. The Indiana Harbor line was abandoned in 1934 and the remainder of the system on June 9, 1940.

PS- Coincidentally, Frank Hicks has just posted an article called THE INTERSTATE: CSL 2846 and the Streetcar Service to Indiana on the excellent Hicks Car Works blog. It’s well worth reading, and we contributed a couple of pictures as well.

This is a higher-res version of a photo that originally appeared in our post The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016). Bob Lalich writes, "The location of photo csl127 is East Chicago, IN. The road is Indianapolis Blvd and the bridge spans the west leg of the Indiana Harbor Canal. The car is SB."

This is a higher-res version of a photo that originally appeared in our post The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016). Bob Lalich writes, “The location of photo csl127 is East Chicago, IN. The road is Indianapolis Blvd and the bridge spans the west leg of the Indiana Harbor Canal. The car is SB.”

A close-up of the previous photo. This appears to be Chicago and Calumet District car 78, built by American in 1919.

A close-up of the previous photo. This appears to be Chicago and Calumet District car 78, built by American in 1919.

This is a higher-res version of a photo that originally appeared in our post The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016). Bob Lalich writes, "After studying photo csl26 several more times and the HW&EC map in James Buckley’s book I am convinced the location is Schrage Ave near Steiber St in Whiting. The car is SB and the crossing track is the IHB branch which connected to the B&OCT Whiting Branch, seen in the background. Everything fits."

This is a higher-res version of a photo that originally appeared in our post The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016). Bob Lalich writes, “After studying photo csl26 several more times and the HW&EC map in James Buckley’s book I am convinced the location is Schrage Ave near Steiber St in Whiting. The car is SB and the crossing track is the IHB branch which connected to the B&OCT Whiting Branch, seen in the background. Everything fits.”

A close-up of the previous photo. This appears to be Chicago and Calumet District car 78, built by American in 1919.

A close-up of the previous photo. This appears to be Chicago and Calumet District car 78, built by American in 1919.

We previously ran another version of this photograph in our post Chicago Streetcars in Black-and-White, Part 3 (March 29, 2015), although that version was cropped somewhat. There, the caption read as follows: CSL 6200 by Hammond Station (car house), 1939. According to Andre Kristopans, this street is called Gostlin. (M.D. McCarter Collection)

We previously ran another version of this photograph in our post Chicago Streetcars in Black-and-White, Part 3 (March 29, 2015), although that version was cropped somewhat. There, the caption read as follows: CSL 6200 by Hammond Station (car house), 1939. According to Andre Kristopans, this street is called Gostlin. (M.D. McCarter Collection)

This is a higher-res version of a photo that originally appeared in our post The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016). It shows Chicago Surface Lines prewar PCC 4003 at the Madison-Austin Loop.

This is a higher-res version of a photo that originally appeared in our post The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016). It shows Chicago Surface Lines prewar PCC 4003 at the Madison-Austin Loop.

We now have a nearly complete set of hi-res scans of the CTA Transit News, an employee publication, covering the years from 1947 to 1973. That's an amazing 282 issues in all, on average 24 pages per copy. It's a wealth of information, covering several thousand pages of material, added to our E-Book The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, available through our Online Store.

We now have a nearly complete set of hi-res scans of the CTA Transit News, an employee publication, covering the years from 1947 to 1973. That’s an amazing 282 issues in all, on average 24 pages per copy. It’s a wealth of information, covering several thousand pages of material, added to our E-Book The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, available through our Online Store.

These issues of the CTA Transit News are full of interesting tidbits of information contained in theses publications, some of which are not to be found anywhere else.

The June 1956 issue, published 60 years ago, is no exception.

On page 20 of the June 1956 issue, we find the following:

On the preceding day, Sunday, June 17, the Western avenue one-man streetcar line was converted to bus operation… The conversion from streetcars to buses on Western was necessary to clear the way for the City of Chicago to proceed with its program of building vehicular traffic grade separations in heavily used intersections.

That was written 60 years ago, and the grade separation project they refer to was the flyover at Western, Belmont and Clybourn, which opened on November 22, 1961. This was mainly built due to traffic congestion from nearby Riverview amusement park, but that closed after the 1967 season. The flyover has long outlived its usefulness and was recently demolished.

On page 3, we find:

GARFIELD PARK TRACKS RELOCATED AGAIN– HERE’S WHY

In order to speed up construction work on the Congress street expressway, the section of CTA tracks on the Garfield Park line of the rapid transit system from east of Central avenue to Austin boulevard that was relocated last year has again been relocated and will be cut into service sometime in June.

This speed-up program will permit the highway building agencies to prepare simultaneously the permanent right-of-way and necessary facilities for CTA and B & O CT and the Chicago Great Western R. R. operations in this area. Originally the highway building agencies had planned to construct these permanent facilities in two stages, one after the other. This would have consumed considerably more time than the revised plan will require, even though this seems to duplicate the temporary work that was done a year ago.

Both of the temporary routings for CTA operations, as well as CTA permanent right-of-way and station facilities, are being paid for by the public agencies that are constructing the Congress street expressway.

The second relocation project involved the laying of two additional tracks approximately 40 feet to the north between Central avenue and Austin boulevard, It also involved the construction of a new station at Central avenue and alterations to the Austin boulevard station.

Work has already been completed on all operating facilities required for this relocation. The actual cutting in of service is contingent upon completion of new water main facilities through Oak Park and Forest Park.

After CTA service has been diverted to the temporary tracks, the existing CTA tracks will be taken over and used by the other two railroads in accomplishing their temporary relocation.

On page 7, some CTA employees were asked about their plans for the summer. Edward T. Mizerocki, a repairman at Wilson shops, replied:

Since I’m a rail fan, I will devote much of my spare time at the Illinois Electrical (sic) Railway Museum in North Chicago taking a lot of pictures. Another of my aims will be to help restore and preserve old streetcars and other electric railway equipment.

Ed Mizerocki is mentioned a couple of times in the June 2013 issue of Rail and Wire, the magazine of the Illinois Railway Museum, which you can read here.

We salute all those who helped to preserve transit history over the years, whether we know their names or not.

-David Sadowski

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Bonus Feature:

The Bantamweight Division

A compendium of Kodak Bantam cameras and the size 828 roll film they used.

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A Window to the World of Streetcars

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Ask Geoffrey: A Look Back at Chicago’s Streetcar Era

Andy Warhol once said that in the future, everyone will be “famous for 15 minutes.” Last night’s “Ask Geoffery” segment on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight news magazine program only lasted about 8 minutes, but I found it pretty memorable nonetheless.

After all, the segment was entirely devoted to Chicago streetcars, and a book I co-authored (Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936-1958, published by Central Electric Railfans’ Association as their 146th Bulletin) was prominently featured. At one point WTTW’s Geoffrey Baer held the book aloft and talked about all the great pictures that are in there, not only of Chicago streetcars, but the places they ran through.

If you want to know what Chicago really looked like back in the 1940s and 1950s, this book is a good place to start.

If you’re reading this message, there’s a chance you already have your copy of B-146. But if not, I think it is an excellent book and urge you to purchase one directly from CERA or their dealers.* Of course, as one of the authors, I am a bit prejudiced.

If that was my only connection to last night’s broadcast, I would be chuffed. However, while I played no part in the creation of this segment, my fingerprints were also there on other parts of it.

Some of the other pictures featured were things I posted to The Trolley Dodger, or to the CERA Members’ Blog. In particular, a few pictures were used from our post West Towns Streetcars in Color (February 10, 2015). Also in the West Towns segment of this piece, were several photos that I took in 2014 at the dedication of C&WT car 141 at the Illinois Railway Museum. These originally appeared in the post IRM Dedicates Chicago & West Towns Car 141 (CERA Members Blog, June 2, 2014). Those weren’t the only such photos that were used.

None of this should be too surprising. Whoever researched this piece likely did some Google searches, and this is what came up. When researching things myself, I frequently find my own posts coming up to the top of Internet searches on a variety of subjects. There were, of course, many other sources that WTTW used, including video of the last Chicago streetcar on June 21, 1958, posted by the Chicago Transit Authority.

My favorite picture from last night, that I was not connected with, is reproduced above. It shows Chicago streetcars and buses at Navy Pier, during the time when it was the temporary home of the University of Illinois.

It has always been my intention for create an accessible archive of information about transit history that people will find useful.  Last month, we had more than 12,000 page views on this blog, even though there were only three new posts.  So, a lot of people are actually looking at the older posts, which is quite gratifying.

As a short history lesson, the Chicago Tonight segment was excellent, but I do have a couple of minor caveats. They mentioned how streetcar ridership declined in the 1920s, leading to the development of the PCC car. However, streetcar ridership in Chicago actually went up in the ’20s, leading to use of trailers.

In this episode, the demise of Chicago streetcars was put on the shoulders of Walter J. McCarter, CTA’s first general manager, and dated to 1947. However, some streetcar lines were bussed before this (some as early as 1941) and the beginnings of their demise can be traced back even further than that.

The Surface Lines introduced several new routes on Chicago’s northwest side in 1930 using trolley buses, and within a short period of a few years, CSL had become a leading exponent of this form of transit. While it was stated at the time that eventually, CSL would convert these lines to streetcar as ridership increased, none were so changed.

In 1937, the City of Chicago produced a so-called “Green Book” plan for comprehensive transit improvements.** According to this plan, the City expected to replace half of Chicago’s streetcars with buses, and possibly all of them if bus technology would prove itself.

The leading author of this plan, Philip Harrington, later became the first chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority, and undoubtedly carried over these views to the CTA. While I am sure that Walter J. McCarter was an ardent foe of streetcars, a 1947 Chicago Tribune article indicated he was hired because of his success in “rubberizing” the Cleveland streetcar system.

Of course, there is no way to get into these sorts of nuances of history in an 8 minute segment.

You can read more about last night’s Ask Geoffrey segment here. You can also watch the video of the 8 minute segment there. The entire hour-long program can also be seen here.

Interestingly, last night they used a photo I took of Frank Sirinek piloting Chicago & West Towns car 141.  CERA B-146 also has a photo of Mr. Sirinek in it that I took, this time a picture from the 1980s showing him at the helm of CTA 4391, the last surviving postwar Chicago streetcar.

-David Sadowski

This photo of streetcars and buses at Navy Pier, which dates to the early CTA era, appeared on Chicago Tonight. It was sourced from the Internet. According to Andre Kristopans, the date this photo could have been taken is either April, May, or June 1951 (see Comments section).

This photo of streetcars and buses at Navy Pier, which dates to the early CTA era, appeared on Chicago Tonight. It was sourced from the Internet. According to Andre Kristopans, the date this photo could have been taken is either April, May, or June 1951 (see Comments section).

A CSL trolley coach, from a 1935 brochure.  This image, originally posted here, appeared in the Chicago Tonight segment.

A CSL trolley coach, from a 1935 brochure. This image, originally posted here, appeared in the Chicago Tonight segment.

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*Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

**The Green Book plan is discussed in detail in my E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available from our Online Store.


Recent Correspondence

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Regarding some “mystery” photographs in recent posts, Chuck Bencik from San Diego, life member of San Diego Electric Railway Association, writes:

These cars are definitely from Lucerne Valley, PA, as the caption below, and extract from material about Nanticoke history seem to prove. Also, as a 23 year resident of Chicago, (1938 to 1961), during which streetcars in Chicago operated, I can assure you that Chicago Surface Lines never had letters for their route designations, like “N”, and the colors of their livery following World War II were not the same as the one photograph which is in color says to me. Also, the 13th and 14th photos from the top are not Chicago Surface Lines streetcars.

These rails of the WB Traction Company survived the war and were in use when the last trolley car rolled into Nanticoke in 1950.” [Source: http://www.nanticokehistoryonline.org/site2/stories/2013/March/WWII.html ]

These rails of the WB Traction Company survived the war and were in use when the last trolley car rolled into Nanticoke in 1950.” [Source: http://www.nanticokehistoryonline.org/site2/stories/2013/March/WWII.html ]

“The Wilkes-Barre & Wyoming Valley Traction Company (W-B&WVT) was more fortunate than most properties. The fact that Luzerne County’s population was widely scattered in mine patches and supporting villages meant that there was a regular source of residential and business traffic along most of its lines. The main amusement park was Sans Souci, roughly midway on the line from Wilkes-Barre to Nanticoke.” [Source: http://harveyslake.org/text/story_lakeline_02.html ]

Following photo is from Dave’s New Rail pix, Wilkes Barre Railway:

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Nope; not Chicago’s. Has no numbers, and the railroad crossing sign uses a font style that was never seen on the grade crossing signs of Chicago, during the streetcar era. Similarly for the photo below. Nice Brill cars; but their livery is a dark color for window frames and doors, and something lighter in color for the large areas of flat sheet metal, like the dashers. The next photo after that, the streetcar crossing a street bascule bridge which seems to be only partly closed/opened? Not a Chicago streetcar photo, either.

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Thanks for writing. There were actually several other people who correctly identified the Wilkes-Barre trolleys in our post Spring Cleaning (May 16, 2016), and you can find their thoughts in the Comments section.

The additional two photos from The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016) have already been identified as the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago. Although this was an Indiana operation, some of these cars actually did operate into Chicago, offering through service to 63rd and Stony Island in conjunction with the South Chicago City Railway. The HW&EC frequently leased streetcars from Chicago.

I apologize for the lo-res images (we will soon have better versions of these) but the cars actually did have numbers on the front, just not very visible here. Not sure if that is due to these pictures possibly having been taken with Orthochromiatic film, or if there simply wasn’t sufficient contrast in black-and-white to make them out.

Apparently for most of their life these cars were painted green, and in fact locals knew it as the “Green Line,” but from 1932-40, their final years, they were painted yellow as they were operated by the Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company.

That these cars would so closely resemble those of the Chicago Surface Lines should not be a surprise, as this operator was jointly owned at one time by one of the CSL constituent companies and there was some shuffling of equipment.

The story of the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago Railway was told in Electric Railway Historical Society Bulletin #8 by James J. Buckley, published in 1953. This, and the other 48 ERHS publications, are contained in The Complete ERHS Collection, an E-book I edited for Central Electric Railfans’ Association, available through them and their dealers.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski


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