101 Dalmatians

CSL prewar PCC 4022 heads west on Madison Street in the late 1940s. It is signed for the Madison-Fifth branch line. Fifth Avenue is an angle street that heads southwest. Service on the branch line terminated at the Garfield Park

CSL prewar PCC 4022 heads west on Madison Street in the late 1940s. It is signed for the Madison-Fifth branch line. Fifth Avenue is an angle street that heads southwest. Service on the branch line terminated at the Garfield Park “L” station at Pulaski Road. Several parts of Fifth Avenue have been truncated since streetcars stopped running there in early 1954. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

It has been nearly two months since our last post, but we are back with a bevy of classic traction photos for your consideration.

Things have been quite busy of late, as we worked as an election judge for two recent elections (three in the last six months). Although you have not seen a new post for a while, work behind the scenes continued. We scanned hundreds of images, and many needed extra help in Photoshop.

When you see as post such as this, it is like the tip of an iceberg. For every image we share, there are others that, for whatever reason, do not make the grade, as well as others that are being stored up in an inventory of images, waiting for their moment in the sun.

Leopards, they say, never change their spots… but I assume you can identify certain breeds of dogs, such as Dalmatians, by the location of their spots. Spots factor into our images in any number of ways. Our readers often help us determine just which spot a picture was taken at. And we often have to do spot removal, a tedious practice, on old images.

Brian Wilson has his Pet Sounds, and we have our own pet images. Today’s batch are particular favorites, but each one is a different animal– a horse of a different color, you could say. You should have seen some of these pictures before we got hold of them and gave them triage. On second thought, just stick to the finished product you see here.

There are many, many hours of work that go into each post, and money too. When you see an image here, figure that it cost at least $10 on average to obtain it. We are fortunate that some of our readers have shared images from their extensive collections with us.

In particular, today’s post benefited tremendously from the generosity of both William Shapotkin and Jeffrey L. Wien, both of whom recently celebrated birthdays.

So, we are calling this post 101 Dalmatians, as we have at least that many new pictures here, and after working on them for so long, we are starting to see spots everywhere we look. We hope you will appreciate our modest efforts, and we will be back soon with more posts.

-David Sadowski

Our best wishes also go out to Ray DeGroote, the dean of Chicago railfans at age 88, who was recently injured in a fall. We wish him a speedy recovery. If anyone can do it at that age, Ray can.

Recent Finds

A bird's-eye view of the Wells Street Terminal used by the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin interurban on September 19, 1953. The following day, CA&E stopped running trains downtown, and their track connection with the CTA was severed forever in suburban Forest Park. There is a similar image, taken in 1960, showing the same terminal, or what was left after the CTA built a new track connection to the Loop elevated through it in 1955. You can find that in my book Building Chicago's Subways.

A bird’s-eye view of the Wells Street Terminal used by the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin interurban on September 19, 1953. The following day, CA&E stopped running trains downtown, and their track connection with the CTA was severed forever in suburban Forest Park. There is a similar image, taken in 1960, showing the same terminal, or what was left after the CTA built a new track connection to the Loop elevated through it in 1955. You can find that in my book Building Chicago’s Subways.

On July 27, 1962, a CTA Douglas Park “B” train pulls away from us at the Racine stop on the Congress rapid transit line., then only four years old. The train will go downtown through the Dearborn Subway, and then out to Logan Square via the Milwaukee Avenue tube.

On May 28, 1978, photographer William D. Lloyd caught this picture of CTA Historic cars 4271-4272 on the north side “L”. Now nearing the century mark, they are still on the property today. Here, they were only about five years out of regular service.

On January 26, 1964, approximately one year after the North Shore Line quit, the two Electroliners were rechristened as Liberty Liners on the Red Arrow's 13-mile line between Philadelphia and Norristown. In the distance, we see a pair of early 1930s Bullet cars, which had a storied history of their own.

On January 26, 1964, approximately one year after the North Shore Line quit, the two Electroliners were rechristened as Liberty Liners on the Red Arrow’s 13-mile line between Philadelphia and Norristown. In the distance, we see a pair of early 1930s Bullet cars, which had a storied history of their own.

MBTA (Boston) ex-Dallas double-end PCC 3336 at Mattapan yards on December 5, 1976. (Ed McKernan Photo)

MBTA (Boston) ex-Dallas double-end PCC 3336 at Mattapan yards on December 5, 1976. (Ed McKernan Photo)

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Two CRT Met cars at the Laramie Shops in 1947. (John Gibb Smith, Jr. Photo)

In the last couple years of red car service in Chicago, which ended in 1954, the CTA painted a few of the older streetcars green. It was not an attractive color for them. Here, we see inbound car 6172 jogging from one side of Lake Street to another via Pine Avenue. To this day, tracks are still visible under the viaduct. At this point, streetcars crossed the Lake Street

In the last couple years of red car service in Chicago, which ended in 1954, the CTA painted a few of the older streetcars green. It was not an attractive color for them. Here, we see inbound car 6172 jogging from one side of Lake Street to another via Pine Avenue. To this day, tracks are still visible under the viaduct. At this point, streetcars crossed the Lake Street “L”, which ran on the ground here until 1962.

CSL 1466 was used as a training car for the three river tunnels. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1466 was used as a training car for the three river tunnels. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 173X (full number not visible) is heading west on Madison Street in the 1930s. The Civic Opera House, built by Samuel Insull in 1929, is visible at rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 173X (full number not visible) is heading west on Madison Street in the 1930s. The Civic Opera House, built by Samuel Insull in 1929, is visible at rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

A maintenance of way car along the overhead section of the North Side “L”, exact date and location unknown. Jeff Wien adds that this is: “Wilson Avenue, freight connection to Buena Yards, probably in the early 50s.”

Laurel Line car 31 is at the Plains substation on August 3, 1952. Edward Skuchas writes: “I believe the locations of the two Laurel Line photos are incorrect. The top photo is Pittston. The lower photo may be the Plains sub-station. West Pittston is on the other side of the Susquehanna River, and the Laurel Line did not go there.”

Laurel Line car 39 is at the Plains sub-station on December 28, 1952, shortly before abandonment.

Laurel Line car 39 is at the Plains sub-station on December 28, 1952, shortly before abandonment.

The interior of Lehigh Valley Transit car 1007, showing its leather bucket seats, which were popular when this car was built for the Cincinnati and Lake Erie in the early 1930s.

The interior of Lehigh Valley Transit car 1007, showing its leather bucket seats, which were popular when this car was built for the Cincinnati and Lake Erie in the early 1930s.

Conductors on a Humboldt Park

Conductors on a Humboldt Park “L” train, circa 1907-15.

A Loop-bound Metropolitan

A Loop-bound Metropolitan “L” train, circa 1907-15.

The Chicago Surface Lines used trailers during the 1920s, as a way of dealing with increasing crowds of riders. But with the advent of the Great Depression, ridership fell sharply, and the trailers were no longer needed. Some thought was given to reviving them during World War II, but this did not happen. Here, 1756 pulls 8049. Don's Rail Photos notes,

The Chicago Surface Lines used trailers during the 1920s, as a way of dealing with increasing crowds of riders. But with the advent of the Great Depression, ridership fell sharply, and the trailers were no longer needed. Some thought was given to reviving them during World War II, but this did not happen. Here, 1756 pulls 8049. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “8056 was built by Brill in 1921, #21272. It became a shed at 77th and scrapped on July 17, 1957.” 1756 was a “169” or Broadway-State car. Again, Don Ross: “1756 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.”

CTA prewar PCC 7028 on private right-of-way at the south end of Route 4 - Cottage Grove, in June 1953.

CTA prewar PCC 7028 on private right-of-way at the south end of Route 4 – Cottage Grove, in June 1953.

CTA Sedan (aka Peter Witt) 3848 on priate right-of-way at the south end of Route 4 - Cottage Grove in June 1952. Here, the line ran parallel to the Illinois Central Electric suburban service, now the Metra Electric.

CTA Sedan (aka Peter Witt) 3848 on priate right-of-way at the south end of Route 4 – Cottage Grove in June 1952. Here, the line ran parallel to the Illinois Central Electric suburban service, now the Metra Electric.

After the Chicago Transit Authority retired the last of the wooden

After the Chicago Transit Authority retired the last of the wooden “L” cars in 1957, some were used for a few more years in work service. Here, a Met car has been renumbered as S-308 at Skokie Shops.

CTA single cat unit 23 is outbound on the Skokie Swift at Niles Center Road on August 20, 1970.

CTA single cat unit 23 is outbound on the Skokie Swift at Niles Center Road on August 20, 1970.

CTA single car unit 26 on the open-cut section of the Skokie Swift in August 1978.

CTA single car unit 26 on the open-cut section of the Skokie Swift in August 1978.

CTA postwar PCC 4337, built by Pullman, heads south on State Street in the early 1950s.

CTA postwar PCC 4337, built by Pullman, heads south on State Street in the early 1950s.

An outbound CTA Douglas Park train ascends the ramp that will take from the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway to the old

An outbound CTA Douglas Park train ascends the ramp that will take from the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway to the old “L” structure in the mid-1960s. This ramp is not used much now, as Douglas trains, now renamed the Pink Line, have been rerouted to the Lake Street “L” via the Paulina Connector. (Mark D. Meyer Photo)

I ought this Red Border Kodachrome slide, which dates to the early 1950s, thinking perhaps it might e the old Park Theater on Chicago’s west side (on Lake near Austin). But after studying the image for a while, I am inclined to think it’s somewhere else. While the facade looks similar to the actual Park Theater, it is not identical. There should be streetcar tracks visible– the movie theater closed in 1952, about two years before the streetcar quit. And the theater on Lake Street at Austin Boulevard did not have a streetlight such as the one seen at right. There was a light attached to a line pole that held the trolley wire– a line pole not visible in this picture. That, plus the rounded nature of the signage, which I have never seen in any other pictures of the Park, tell me that this is not it. But we have in the past posted several pictures of streetcars near the actual theater. If you type “park theater” or “lake austin” in the search window on our page, these various pictures will come up.

CSL 1039 at Wabash and Lake in June 1947. Signed for the Indiana-Lincoln through route #3, it is southbound, and headed to Indiana and 51st.

CSL 1039 at Wabash and Lake in June 1947. Signed for the Indiana-Lincoln through route #3, it is southbound, and headed to Indiana and 51st.

CSL 6284 on Wabash at Roosevelt Road on June 13, 1947. Although the car is full of people, for some reason the side sign says Not In Service.

CSL 6284 on Wabash at Roosevelt Road on June 13, 1947. Although the car is full of people, for some reason the side sign says Not In Service.

A two-car CTA train of 4000s at right, in Evanston shuttle service, heads southbound approaching Howard in the 1950s.

A two-car CTA train of 4000s at right, in Evanston shuttle service, heads southbound approaching Howard in the 1950s.

TMER&T 1121, on a December 4, 1949 fantrip on the North Shore Line.

TMER&T 1121, on a December 4, 1949 fantrip on the North Shore Line.

CTA historic cars 4271-4272 at McCormick Boulevard (Yellow Line aka Skokie Swift) on July 16, 1989. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

CTA historic cars 4271-4272 at McCormick Boulevard (Yellow Line aka Skokie Swift) on July 16, 1989. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

The CTA has a yard for the Green Line (formerly the Lake Street

The CTA has a yard for the Green Line (formerly the Lake Street “L”) just west of the Harlem Avenue terminal in suburban Forest Park. Here, various cars in the 2000-series are seen, along with a Metra commuter train on the adjacent Union Pacific West Line. This picture was most likely taken during the 1990s. (Bruce C. Nelson Photo)

CTA gate car 2318 is parked along the outer portion of the Douglas Park line in February 1950.

CTA gate car 2318 is parked along the outer portion of the Douglas Park line in February 1950.

Chicago Rapid Transit Company gate car 305 is seen on the Loop

Chicago Rapid Transit Company gate car 305 is seen on the Loop “L” in the 1940s, signed as a Wilson Avenue Local.

The presence of double track would seem to indicate that this picture of a South Shore Line train was taken in East Chicago, Indiana in the 1950s. The street running through the middle of town was replaced by a new section running parallel to the Indiana Toll Road in 1956.

The presence of double track would seem to indicate that this picture of a South Shore Line train was taken in East Chicago, Indiana in the 1950s. The street running through the middle of town was replaced by a new section running parallel to the Indiana Toll Road in 1956.

CTA Holiday Trains have become an annual tradition. Photographer Bruce C. Nelson captured this one on December 2, 2017.

CTA Holiday Trains have become an annual tradition. Photographer Bruce C. Nelson captured this one on December 2, 2017.

Chicago Surface Lines red Pullman 426 is most likely running on Route 65 - Grand, as it is signed to go to Grand and Armitage. Chances are, this photo was taken circa 1939-40, and shows temporary trackage for construction of Chicago's first subways.

Chicago Surface Lines red Pullman 426 is most likely running on Route 65 – Grand, as it is signed to go to Grand and Armitage. Chances are, this photo was taken circa 1939-40, and shows temporary trackage for construction of Chicago’s first subways.

October 27, 1962 was the last day of ground-level operation on the CTA Lake Street

October 27, 1962 was the last day of ground-level operation on the CTA Lake Street “L”. The following day, service was relocated to the adjacent Chicago & North Western embankment. Here, we see a pair of 4000s heading west on South Boulevard at Kenilworth.

After serving Chicago for many years, some of the original CTA

After serving Chicago for many years, some of the original CTA “flat door” 6000s had a second life on Philadelphia’s Norristown High-Speed Line. 6089-6090 are approaching Radnor on April 10, 1987.

Here is a view of the old Tower 18 on Chicago's Loop

Here is a view of the old Tower 18 on Chicago’s Loop “L”, when this was the world’s busiest railroad crossing. The old Loop ran both tracks in only one direction, but this changed in 1969, when the CTA wanted to connect the Lake Street “L” with the new Dan Ryan line. Therefore, the old tower had to go, as it was situated right where the new tracks had to go.

Both CTA and CA&E trains are visible in this July 8, 1953 photo taken at Laramie on the Garfield Park

Both CTA and CA&E trains are visible in this July 8, 1953 photo taken at Laramie on the Garfield Park “L”. Just a little over two months later, the CA&E interurban cut back service to Forest Park, a few miles west of here (and behind the photographer).

The Milwaukee Rapid Transit & Speedrail Company's car 60, seen here in 1950, was a Cincinnati curved-side car. The ill-fated attempt to keep electric transit service going in Milwaukee was doomed to failure, once a horrific head-on collision took the lives of several people.

The Milwaukee Rapid Transit & Speedrail Company’s car 60, seen here in 1950, was a Cincinnati curved-side car. The ill-fated attempt to keep electric transit service going in Milwaukee was doomed to failure, once a horrific head-on collision took the lives of several people.

CA&E 425 is passing over Union Station in this undated photo. Trains going more or less straight would end up at the Wells Street Terminal, while the tracks in the background leading off to the right connected to the Loop

CA&E 425 is passing over Union Station in this undated photo. Trains going more or less straight would end up at the Wells Street Terminal, while the tracks in the background leading off to the right connected to the Loop “L” Van Buren. When Lower Wacker Drive was being built, this necessitated tearing down this second connection to thee Loop, and building a new one through the second floor of Wells Terminal. The switchover between the two took place in 1955.

Riders at the old Laramie stop on the CTA's Garfield Park

Riders at the old Laramie stop on the CTA’s Garfield Park “L” in 1947. Met cars are seen in storage in the background. (John Gibb Smith, Jr. Photo)

A CRT gate car, running in service on the old Garfield Park

A CRT gate car, running in service on the old Garfield Park “L” in 1947. This is the Laramie stop. (Charles R. Griffin Photo)

This CTA brochure, dated July 1949, explains the changes that were coming from the CTA's plan to revise north-south

This CTA brochure, dated July 1949, explains the changes that were coming from the CTA’s plan to revise north-south “L” and subway service. This included A/B “skip stop” service and making the Evanston branch a shuttle.

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From the Wien-Criss Archive:

One of the two North Shore Line Electroliners on Chicago's South Side

One of the two North Shore Line Electroliners on Chicago’s South Side “L” on February 17, 1962. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A North Shore Line Electroliner barrels through, having just crossed under the EJ&E, on January 12, 1963, a little over a week before the end of service. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A North Shore Line Electroliner barrels through, having just crossed under the EJ&E, on January 12, 1963, a little over a week before the end of service. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A North Shore Line Electroliner on June 1, 1962. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A North Shore Line Electroliner on June 1, 1962. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A North Shore Line Electroliner at Edison Court on February 17, 1962. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A North Shore Line Electroliner at Edison Court on February 17, 1962. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Chicago Surface Lines experimental pre-PCC car 7001 at 77th and Vincennes in October 1956. It is a shame that this historic car, which ran in Chicago from 1934 to 1944, was not saved. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Chicago Surface Lines experimental pre-PCC car 7001 at 77th and Vincennes in October 1956. It is a shame that this historic car, which ran in Chicago from 1934 to 1944, was not saved. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A Milwaukee streetcar, presumably on Route 10, in the 1950s. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A Milwaukee streetcar, presumably on Route 10, in the 1950s. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Interior shots were not easy for photographers on September 4, 1962, when Robert F. Collins took this picture of the North Shore Line's Milwaukee terminal. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Interior shots were not easy for photographers on September 4, 1962, when Robert F. Collins took this picture of the North Shore Line’s Milwaukee terminal. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Don's Rail Photos:

Don’s Rail Photos: “E223, sweeper, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1908 as CCRys E23. It was renumbered E223 in 1913 and became CSL E223 in 1914. It was sold to Illinois Railway Museum on August 29, 1958.” (Wien-Criss Archive)

On March 17, 1957 the late James J. Buckley caught this terrific 3/4 view of a Chicago, Aurora & Elgin freight train at Lakewood. (Wien-Criss Archive)

On March 17, 1957 the late James J. Buckley caught this terrific 3/4 view of a Chicago, Aurora & Elgin freight train at Lakewood. (Wien-Criss Archive)

It's June 1963, several months after the CTA elevated the Lake Street

It’s June 1963, several months after the CTA elevated the Lake Street “L” onto the Chicago & North Western embankment. A four-car train made up of “circus wagons,” the fan’s name for experimental high-speed cars, is making a rare appearance at Harlem Avenue, the end of the line. This view looks east. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA postwar PCC 7237 is running southbound on Clark Street in the late 1950s. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA postwar PCC 7237 is running southbound on Clark Street in the late 1950s. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA postwar PCC 7196 is at 81st and Halsted, the southern end of Route 22 - Clark-Wentworth. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA postwar PCC 7196 is at 81st and Halsted, the southern end of Route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7195 is southbound on Clark at Washington. (Heier Industrial Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7195 is southbound on Clark at Washington. (Heier Industrial Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA red Pullman 144, which is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA red Pullman 144, which is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA red Pullman 144, which is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA red Pullman 144, which is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7187 on Clark Street on September 6, 1957, the last day of street railway service on Chicago's north side. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7187 on Clark Street on September 6, 1957, the last day of street railway service on Chicago’s north side. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On September 6, 1957, CTA 4372 pulls into the turnaround loop at Clark and Howard. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On September 6, 1957, CTA 4372 pulls into the turnaround loop at Clark and Howard. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7189 is southbound at Clark and Ohio on September 6, 1957. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive) Daniel Joseph notes, "The Hotel Wacker was at Clark and Huron."

CTA 7189 is southbound at Clark and Ohio on September 6, 1957. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive) Daniel Joseph notes, “The Hotel Wacker was at Clark and Huron.”

On September 6, 1957, Charles H. Thorpe took this picture of CTA 7139, the last pull-out from Devon Station (car barn). (Wien-Criss Archive)

On September 6, 1957, Charles H. Thorpe took this picture of CTA 7139, the last pull-out from Devon Station (car barn). (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4379 is on north Clark Street on September 6, 1957. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive) Daniel Joseph adds, "This streetcar is traveling southbound to 81st & Halsted (as the destination sign states) somewhere near Clark and Glenlake." (This is, however, on the northern portion of Clark Street as we stated.)

CTA 4379 is on north Clark Street on September 6, 1957. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive) Daniel Joseph adds, “This streetcar is traveling southbound to 81st & Halsted (as the destination sign states) somewhere near Clark and Glenlake.” (This is, however, on the northern portion of Clark Street as we stated.)

CTA 7195 is on Halsted Street, near the south end of Route 22 - Clark-Wentworth. (Heier Industrial Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7195 is on Halsted Street, near the south end of Route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Heier Industrial Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Sedan (aka Peter Witt) 3360 is running Route 4 - Cottage Grove, circa 1951-52. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Sedan (aka Peter Witt) 3360 is running Route 4 – Cottage Grove, circa 1951-52. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7154 is near Limits Station (car barn), near 2700 N. Clark Street, on September 6, 1957. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7154 is near Limits Station (car barn), near 2700 N. Clark Street, on September 6, 1957. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA steeple cab S-343, a

CTA steeple cab S-343, a “yard shifter,” serving the rapid transit system, is at 64th and Prairie. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “S-343 was built by Chicago City Ry in 1909 as Chicago City Ry C50. It was renumbered L202 in 1913 and became CSL L202 in 1914. It was rebuilt as S-343 in 1959 and acquired by Railway Equipment Leasing & Investment Co in 1979. It was acquired by Fox River Trolley Museum in 1983 and restored as L202.” (Wien-Criss Archive)

Chicago Surface Lines crane car X-4 at the Illinois Railway Museum. Don's Rail Photos says,

Chicago Surface Lines crane car X-4 at the Illinois Railway Museum. Don’s Rail Photos says,”X4, derrick, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1910 as CRys 2. It was renumbered N2 in 1913 and became CSL N2 in 1914. It was rebuilt as X4 in 1947 and rebuilt as S344 in 1958. It was sold to Electric Railway Historical Society in 1963 and donated to Illinois Railway Museum in 1973.” (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA postwar PCC 7220, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, on Route 22. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA postwar PCC 7220, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, on Route 22. (Wien-Criss Archive)

From the William Shapotkin Collection:

CSL 5301 is at Lake and Ashland, running on Route 9, in April 1937. Streetcars were not permitted on boulevards, and the section of Ashland between Lake and Roosevelt was just such a boulevard. Therefore, in that stretch, Ashland streetcars jogged over the nearby Paulina. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CSL 5301 is at Lake and Ashland, running on Route 9, in April 1937. Streetcars were not permitted on boulevards, and the section of Ashland between Lake and Roosevelt was just such a boulevard. Therefore, in that stretch, Ashland streetcars jogged over the nearby Paulina. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This picture was taken on a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip on the Illinois Central Electric on April 24, 1966. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This picture was taken on a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip on the Illinois Central Electric on April 24, 1966. (William Shapotkin Collection)

The slide mount for this had the word

The slide mount for this had the word “junk” written on it, but I don’t agree. This is also from that same April 24, 1966 fantrip. (William Shapotkin Collection)

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A photo stop at Washington Park race track on the April 24, 1966 CERA fantrip on the IC. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Illinois Central Electric 1427 and 1186 on the Washington Park Branch on the April 24, 1966 CERA fantrip. Note that the motor unit in this pair faces north. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Illinois Central Electric 1427 and 1186 on the Washington Park Branch on the April 24, 1966 CERA fantrip. Note that the motor unit in this pair faces north. (William Shapotkin Collection)

The Illinois Central Electric at Blue Island in June 1978. (William Shapotkin Collection)

The Illinois Central Electric at Blue Island in June 1978. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This slide mount has George Strombeck written on it, but I am not sure whether that is the name of the photographer, or the man in the picture. Either way, this shows a Milwaukee Road commuter train in Downtown Chicago on April 21, 1973. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This slide mount has George Strombeck written on it, but I am not sure whether that is the name of the photographer, or the man in the picture. Either way, this shows a Milwaukee Road commuter train in Downtown Chicago on April 21, 1973. (William Shapotkin Collection)

The GM&O

The GM&O “Abe Lincoln” at 18th Street in Chicago on April 22, 1966. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Ryan Tower

Photos of Ryan Tower, where the North Shore Line crossed the Chicago & North Western, are scarce, as this was a somewhat remote location for fans. But thanks to the good offices of Bill Shapotkin, here are several such views, along with his usual contemporary photos showing what the area looks like today.

Milwaukee County, WI - A pair of CNS&M cars (the

Milwaukee County, WI – A pair of CNS&M cars (the “Silverliner” at left is on a fantrip) pass one another at Ryan Tower – crossing with the C&NW “New Line.” Note that the once-double-tracked C&NW is now ut a single-track line through here (the one-time westbound main has been removed). The view looks north. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Ryan Tower, WI - TM interurban #1121, in fantrip service, heads southbound on the CNS&M as it crosses over the C&NW

Ryan Tower, WI – TM interurban #1121, in fantrip service, heads southbound on the CNS&M as it crosses over the C&NW “New Line” at Ryan Tower on December 4, 1949. The view looks north. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Milwaukee County, WI - A southbound CNS&M

Milwaukee County, WI – A southbound CNS&M “Silverliner” (in fantrip service) is about to cross over the (now single-track) C&NW “New Line” at Ryan Tower. View looks north. (William Shapotkin Collection)

On the stretch between Milwaukee limits and Racine station, a North Shore train crosses North Western freight route at Ryan Road. (A. C. Kalmbach Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On the stretch between Milwaukee limits and Racine station, a North Shore train crosses North Western freight route at Ryan Road. (A. C. Kalmbach Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Milwaukee County, WI - In 1958, a southbound CNS&M passenger train approaches the crossing with C&NW

Milwaukee County, WI – In 1958, a southbound CNS&M passenger train approaches the crossing with C&NW “New Line” at Ryan Road (that’s Ryan Tower at left). The view looks north. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Near the Milwaukee County line, a North Shore car crosses the C&NW freight line at an acute angle. (A. C. Kalmbach Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Near the Milwaukee County line, a North Shore car crosses the C&NW freight line at an acute angle. (A. C. Kalmbach Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Milwaukee County, WI - Looking N/NW (timetable NB) on long-abandoned right-of-way of CNS&M from

Milwaukee County, WI – Looking N/NW (timetable NB) on long-abandoned right-of-way of CNS&M from “Old Ryan Road,” (formerly Ryan Road). The CNS&M once crossed the C&NW (now UP) “New Line” – visible at right at “Ryan Tower,” located behind the photographer on the south side of the road. Photo by William Shapotkin on September 20, 2003.

(William Shapotkin Photo)

(William Shapotkin Photo)

Milwaukee, WI - Looking SB on UP (ex-C&NW)

Milwaukee, WI – Looking SB on UP (ex-C&NW) “New Line” from “Old Ryan Road” (new Ryan Road is visible overhead in the distance). This once double-tracked line once crossed the long-abandoned CNS&M at “Ryan Tower,” located south of the Roadway. Photo by William Shapotkin on September 6, 2003.

C&WT 104 at the end of the line in LaGrange. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 104 at the end of the line in LaGrange. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 164 on Lake Street. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 164 on Lake Street. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 145 is westbound on Lake Street at Harlem Avenue. To the left is the Marshall Field & Company store, a local landmark. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 145 is westbound on Lake Street at Harlem Avenue. To the left is the Marshall Field & Company store, a local landmark. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This picture is not very sharp, but it does show a C&WT streetcar stopped at the south parking lot of Brookfield Zoo, sometime in the 1940s. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This picture is not very sharp, but it does show a C&WT streetcar stopped at the south parking lot of Brookfield Zoo, sometime in the 1940s. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 133 has changed ends at Madison and Austin, and is ready to head west. Across the street from Oak Park into Chicago, riders could change to a Chicago Surface Lines PCC for a fast ride into the city. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 133 has changed ends at Madison and Austin, and is ready to head west. Across the street from Oak Park into Chicago, riders could change to a Chicago Surface Lines PCC for a fast ride into the city. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This shows westbound C&WT car 108, signed Berwyn-Lyons, on Stanley having just passed Oak Park Avenue circa 1941. At right is the Berwyn stop on the Chicago Burlington & Quincy. Today, Pace bus route 302 runs here, and commuter train service is under the auspices of Metra. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This shows westbound C&WT car 108, signed Berwyn-Lyons, on Stanley having just passed Oak Park Avenue circa 1941. At right is the Berwyn stop on the Chicago Burlington & Quincy. Today, Pace bus route 302 runs here, and commuter train service is under the auspices of Metra. (William Shapotkin Collection)

I am not sure of where this C&WT photo was taken. (William Shapotkin Collection) Patrick Cunningham: “The unidentified C&WT photo looks like it was taken just east of the Stone Ave. station on the CB&Q in LaGrange. The view is east. If you look at the prior photo of the end of the C&WT in LaGrange (which was at Brainard Ave.), you’ll note that the line was single track. This appears to be a passing siding or layover point.” On the other hand. Michael Murray writes, “I believe the 7th C&WT picture is looking east at Harlem and Stanley Aves. Page 128 of the Buckley book shows the signal on the pole, the track alignment, the CBQ shelter, and the CBQ signal in a photo near where yours was taken. I originally thought the same about the C&WT picture, but it’s Berwyn, not La Grange. The Buckley book confirms the location. ” Charles R. Vlk: “The “I am not sure of where this C&WT photo was taken. (William Shapotkin Collection)” photo is looking East on Stanley Avenue where the single track line crossing the Burlington at Harlem Avenue goes to double track. Harlem Avenue is behind the camera to the West.”

C&WT 112 is eastbound at Stanley and Oak Park Avenue. The CB&Q Berwyn stop is at left. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 112 is eastbound at Stanley and Oak Park Avenue. The CB&Q Berwyn stop is at left. (William Shapotkin Collection)

We have seen this picture of C&WT 141 before (it is also in my book Chicago Trolleys), but why pass up another chance to see it again? This is the bridge where the LaGrange line crossed the DesPlaines River, and I believe we are looking the the southeast. (William Shapotkin Collection)

We have seen this picture of C&WT 141 before (it is also in my book Chicago Trolleys), but why pass up another chance to see it again? This is the bridge where the LaGrange line crossed the DesPlaines River, and I believe we are looking the the southeast. (William Shapotkin Collection)

I assume these are the C&WT tracks in LaGrange. (William Shapotkin Collection) Michael Murray: “I’m skeptical that photo 10 is on the La Grange line. There wasn’t any single track on the line similar to the one in the photo. My guess is perhaps the Berwyn-Lyons line? Ogden Ave. on the right, and this is the easternmost passing track, which, according to the Buckley book, was west of Harlem. Note that the line poles are only briefly wide of the main “march” of poles into the distance.”

A C&WT streetcar in LaGrange. (William Shapotkin Collection) Michael Murray: “Photo 11, which you have captioned as “A C&WT streetcar in LaGrange” is found on page 129 of the Buckley book, and is captioned: “Between Harlem Ave and the Des Plaines River, the Berwyn-Lyons streetcar line was built on private right-of-way on the south side of Ogden Ave. It was abandoned October 26, 1933 because the land was wanted to widen Ogden Ave. The railway here was single track with two passing sidings. Car 133 was photographed on the passing siding near the Des Plaines River in October 1933, a few days before abandonment.”

C&WT 111. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 111. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 105 on Cermak Road. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 105 on Cermak Road. (William Shapotkin Collection)

An unidentified C&WT car, probably in the 1930s. (William Shapotkin Collection)

An unidentified C&WT car, probably in the 1930s. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 107. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 107. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 165 is at Lake and Austin, the east end of the line, in suburban Oak Park. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 165 is at Lake and Austin, the east end of the line, in suburban Oak Park. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 158 in LaGrange. Not sure why this section of track is blocked off, except that perhaps it is due to the tracks being unstable, due to the nearby excavation going on. (William Shapotkin Collection) Patrick Cunningham adds, “C&WT 158 is just east of LaGrange Road. In the background, you can just make out the Jackson Moving and Storage sign on the building with the towers. The building is there, the towers are gone. Probably about here: https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8166104,-87.8687401,3a,75y,70.46h,80.48t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1st0yuoCYe7FXm6EGEmBkuQA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!5m1!1e1

From a high vantage point, here we see C&WT 112 has just turned from Ridgeland onto Stanley in suburban Berwyn, and is heading west, just north of the CB&Q, which it will cross at Harlem Avenue one mile west of here. (William Shapotkin Collection)

From a high vantage point, here we see C&WT 112 has just turned from Ridgeland onto Stanley in suburban Berwyn, and is heading west, just north of the CB&Q, which it will cross at Harlem Avenue one mile west of here. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 132 on Cermak Road in the late 1930s. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 132 on Cermak Road in the late 1930s. (William Shapotkin Collection)

C&WT 105 at the Harlem and Cermak car barn. (William Shapotkin Photo)

C&WT 105 at the Harlem and Cermak car barn. (William Shapotkin Photo)

C&WT 111 on Cermak Road. (William Shapotkin Photo)

C&WT 111 on Cermak Road. (William Shapotkin Photo)

The Trolley Dodger On the Air

We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago last November, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.

Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)

To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!

Bibliographic information:

Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages

Chapter Titles:
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
06. Displaced
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960

Building Chicago’s Subways is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.

The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.

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Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

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Recent Finds, 10-14-2017

You would be forgiven if you think this is CTA red Pullman 144 heading north on Wentworth Avenue at Cermak Road in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood. But it is actually car 225 with its number hidden by a piece of red oilcloth. This was a fantrip organized by the late Maury Klebolt in 1955. He had promised the fans that car 144 would be used. Car 225 was built in 1908 and was sold to Seashore Trolley Museum in 1957. I previously wrote a post about this fantrip in 2013.

You would be forgiven if you think this is CTA red Pullman 144 heading north on Wentworth Avenue at Cermak Road in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood. But it is actually car 225 with its number hidden by a piece of red oilcloth. This was a fantrip organized by the late Maury Klebolt in 1955. He had promised the fans that car 144 would be used. Car 225 was built in 1908 and was sold to Seashore Trolley Museum in 1957. I previously wrote a post about this fantrip in 2013.

This close-up of the previous picture shows how the "144" is on an oilcloth patch over the actual number 225.

This close-up of the previous picture shows how the “144” is on an oilcloth patch over the actual number 225.

Today, we are featuring many rare transit photographs that we recently collected. Most are from the Chicagoland area, but some are from Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

What they all have in common is I think they are interesting. I hope that you will agree.

October 17 is the 74th anniversary of the opening of Chicago’s first subway. We have included a few subway pictures to help commemorate that historic event.

-David Sadowski

PS- I will be making a personal appearance at 1:00 pm on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at The Museums at Lisle Station Park in Lisle, IL. This presentation is for my new book Chicago Trolleys, from Arcadia Publishing. You can purchase an autographed copy via our Online Store. We look forward to seeing you there.

Recent Finds

This is a very unusual picture. At first, I thought it might show the ramp at Sacramento on the Garfield Park "L", where the line descended to temporary trackage in Van Buren Street. Then, I noticed that this is single track. This makes it the loop at the west end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue, as it was configured in 1953 to allow the CA&E (not seen here) to pass underneath. There are lots of pictures showing this ramp taken from the ground. But to take this picture, the photographer either had to be in another railcar, or was standing on the walkway. At left, you can see the Altenhiem building, described in the next picture. The DesPlaines Avenue yard was reconfigured again in 1959 and this ramp was eliminated. We previously posted another picture of this crossover here.

This is a very unusual picture. At first, I thought it might show the ramp at Sacramento on the Garfield Park “L”, where the line descended to temporary trackage in Van Buren Street. Then, I noticed that this is single track. This makes it the loop at the west end of the line at DesPlaines Avenue, as it was configured in 1953 to allow the CA&E (not seen here) to pass underneath. There are lots of pictures showing this ramp taken from the ground. But to take this picture, the photographer either had to be in another railcar, or was standing on the walkway. At left, you can see the Altenhiem building, described in the next picture. The DesPlaines Avenue yard was reconfigured again in 1959 and this ramp was eliminated. We previously posted another picture of this crossover here.

Altenhiem, described here as an "old people's home," is still in business today.

Altenhiem, described here as an “old people’s home,” is still in business today.

Once CA&E trains were cut back to Forest Park in September 1953, joint timetables were issued for the benefit of passengers who wanted to continue to the Loop. These schedules were changed several times over the nearly four years before the CA&E abandoned passenger service. This is the 14th, and perhaps last such timetable. Over time, I assume there were fewer CA&E trains as ridership was declining. We previously posted timetable #7 here.

Once CA&E trains were cut back to Forest Park in September 1953, joint timetables were issued for the benefit of passengers who wanted to continue to the Loop. These schedules were changed several times over the nearly four years before the CA&E abandoned passenger service. This is the 14th, and perhaps last such timetable. Over time, I assume there were fewer CA&E trains as ridership was declining. We previously posted timetable #7 here.

WORK ON CHICAGO'S SUBWAY STARTED Chicago, Ill.: Above photo shows crowd on North State Street at Chicago Avenue during ceremonies marking the start of work on the new subway, which will run under State Street. Mayor Edward Kelly and Secy. of the Interior Harold Ickes used pneumatic spades to start the project. (Acme Press Photo, December 17, 1938)

WORK ON CHICAGO’S SUBWAY STARTED
Chicago, Ill.: Above photo shows crowd on North State Street at Chicago Avenue during ceremonies marking the start of work on the new subway, which will run under State Street. Mayor Edward Kelly and Secy. of the Interior Harold Ickes used pneumatic spades to start the project. (Acme Press Photo, December 17, 1938)

STREET CARS CRASH IN TUNNEL; 7 INJURED Chicago - Its brakes failing to hold as it attempted up-grade run in Chicago street car tunnel, trolley at left slid backward down incline, crashed into front end of following car. Seven passengers were taken to hospital, 100 others shaken up. (Acme Press Photo, November 6, 1941)

STREET CARS CRASH IN TUNNEL; 7 INJURED
Chicago – Its brakes failing to hold as it attempted up-grade run in Chicago street car tunnel, trolley at left slid backward down incline, crashed into front end of following car. Seven passengers were taken to hospital, 100 others shaken up. (Acme Press Photo, November 6, 1941)

AT LAST -- THE CHICAGO SUBWAY All-steel cars from the elevated lines enter the tubes on the north side near Armitage and Sheffield Avenues, about 2 1/2 miles north of the Loop. Overhead is the existing elevated structure still used by local trains. Hard rubber plates have been placed between the ties and the steel rails to cushion the subway ride. (Acme Press Photo, October 21, 1943)

AT LAST — THE CHICAGO SUBWAY
All-steel cars from the elevated lines enter the tubes on the north side near Armitage and Sheffield Avenues, about 2 1/2 miles north of the Loop. Overhead is the existing elevated structure still used by local trains. Hard rubber plates have been placed between the ties and the steel rails to cushion the subway ride. (Acme Press Photo, October 21, 1943)

NO AN ART GALLERY--BUT PART OF MOSCOW'S SUBWAY LINE Moscow, Russia-- Beautiful inverted bowls throw light to the paneled ceiling of this archway part of the lighting system of the Sokolniki station of Moscow's new subway. Indirect light is used in many parts of the system. The subway, thrown open to the public amidst scenes of great jubilation, is called the "Metro." All Moscow went joy riding on opening day. (Acme Press Photo, May 17, 1935) What interested me about his photo was how the general configuration looks a lot like the Chicago subway, which was built a few years later. Is it possible that the design was influenced by Moscow's?

NO AN ART GALLERY–BUT PART OF MOSCOW’S SUBWAY LINE
Moscow, Russia– Beautiful inverted bowls throw light to the paneled ceiling of this archway part of the lighting system of the Sokolniki station of Moscow’s new subway. Indirect light is used in many parts of the system. The subway, thrown open to the public amidst scenes of great jubilation, is called the “Metro.” All Moscow went joy riding on opening day. (Acme Press Photo, May 17, 1935) What interested me about his photo was how the general configuration looks a lot like the Chicago subway, which was built a few years later. Is it possible that the design was influenced by Moscow’s?

The interior of DC Transit car 766, during an October 8, 1961 fantrip just a few months before Washington's streetcar system was abandoned. This car is now preserved at the National Capital Trolley Museum as Capital Traction Company 27 (its original umber). We have an excellent CD featuring audio recordings of 766 in operation in Washington, DC in our Online Store.

The interior of DC Transit car 766, during an October 8, 1961 fantrip just a few months before Washington’s streetcar system was abandoned. This car is now preserved at the National Capital Trolley Museum as Capital Traction Company 27 (its original umber). We have an excellent CD featuring audio recordings of 766 in operation in Washington, DC in our Online Store.

This picture was taken on the Wells leg of Chicago's Loop on April 16, 1926. If this is Quincy and Wells, the scaffolding at left may be related to work being done on the nearby Wells Street Terminal, which started at this time. The terminal got a new facade and was expanded, reopening on August 27, 1927.

This picture was taken on the Wells leg of Chicago’s Loop on April 16, 1926. If this is Quincy and Wells, the scaffolding at left may be related to work being done on the nearby Wells Street Terminal, which started at this time. The terminal got a new facade and was expanded, reopening on August 27, 1927.

This picture shows the old Wells Street bridge, carrying the "L" across the Chicago River as it heads north-south in the early 1900s.

This picture shows the old Wells Street bridge, carrying the “L” across the Chicago River as it heads north-south in the early 1900s.

This is Racine Avenue on the Metropolitan "L" main line. The autos below the "L" would suggest this picture was taken in the 1940s.

This is Racine Avenue on the Metropolitan “L” main line. The autos below the “L” would suggest this picture was taken in the 1940s.

"L" trains at the north State Street subway portal, probably in the 1940s.

“L” trains at the north State Street subway portal, probably in the 1940s.

The view looking north from the Howard "L" station. We ran a very similar picture to this in a previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Eight (November 16, 2016), where George Trapp suggested in was taken in the late 1920s or 1930s. This photo is dated December 17, 1930.

The view looking north from the Howard “L” station. We ran a very similar picture to this in a previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Eight (November 16, 2016), where George Trapp suggested in was taken in the late 1920s or 1930s. This photo is dated December 17, 1930.

Michael Franklin has identified this picture as showing the Armour station on the Stock Yards branch. He notes, "(the) clue was a station on one side but not one on the other." See below for another view of the same station.

Michael Franklin has identified this picture as showing the Armour station on the Stock Yards branch. He notes, “(the) clue was a station on one side but not one on the other.” See below for another view of the same station.

The above image is from Graham Garfield’s excellent web site, and looks to the northeast. The original www.chicago-l.org caption reads:

Looking north on September 28, 1957, ex-Metropolitan Elevated car 2906 has left Armour station (seen at right) and it about to rejoin the Stock Yards main line to head east to its terminal at Indiana. The Sock Yards branch is only a week away from abandonment at this time. (Photo from the IRM Collection, courtesy of Peter Vesic)

This picture was taken on the Evanston branch of the "L", and the wooden "L" car is signed "Howard Only," which suggests this was taken during the CTA era. Previously, all Evanston trains continued south into the city. The nearby curve would indicate that this picture was taken just north of Howard, and may show the viaduct where the line crossed Chicago Avenue, which is a continuation of Clark Street.

This picture was taken on the Evanston branch of the “L”, and the wooden “L” car is signed “Howard Only,” which suggests this was taken during the CTA era. Previously, all Evanston trains continued south into the city. The nearby curve would indicate that this picture was taken just north of Howard, and may show the viaduct where the line crossed Chicago Avenue, which is a continuation of Clark Street.

This picture is identified as showing Chicago streetcar conductors and motormen, and probably dates to the early 1900s.

This picture is identified as showing Chicago streetcar conductors and motormen, and probably dates to the early 1900s.

Here, we have a westbound train of wooden Met cars at Laramie on the old Garfield Park line. This was replaced by the Congress line in 1958.

Here, we have a westbound train of wooden Met cars at Laramie on the old Garfield Park line. This was replaced by the Congress line in 1958.

Chicago Surface Lines 2779 at Cicero and Montrose in 1934. This was the north end of the Cicero Avenue line. This car is part of a series known as "Robertson Rebuilds," and was built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1903. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Chicago Surface Lines 2779 at Cicero and Montrose in 1934. This was the north end of the Cicero Avenue line. This car is part of a series known as “Robertson Rebuilds,” and was built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1903. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 970 on Waveland between Broadway and Halsted in 1936. This was the north end of the Halsted line. 970 was part of a series known as the "little" Pullmans, since they were slightly shorter than cars 101-750. It was built in 1910. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 970 on Waveland between Broadway and Halsted in 1936. This was the north end of the Halsted line. 970 was part of a series known as the “little” Pullmans, since they were slightly shorter than cars 101-750. It was built in 1910. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL experimental pre-PCC car 7001 is shown heading south on Clark Street at North Avenue, across the street from the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum). This picture was probably taken in the 1930s. 7001 went into service in 1934 and was repainted in 1941 before being retired around 1944. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL experimental pre-PCC car 7001 is shown heading south on Clark Street at North Avenue, across the street from the Chicago Historical Society (now the Chicago History Museum). This picture was probably taken in the 1930s. 7001 went into service in 1934 and was repainted in 1941 before being retired around 1944. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The view looking east at Lake Street and Ridgeland, when the Lake Street "L" ran on the ground. Many years ago, the Rapid Transit Company put advertisements on the steps leading into such ground-level stations. The "L" was relocated onto the nearby C&NW embankment in 1962. This picture may be circa 1930.

The view looking east at Lake Street and Ridgeland, when the Lake Street “L” ran on the ground. Many years ago, the Rapid Transit Company put advertisements on the steps leading into such ground-level stations. The “L” was relocated onto the nearby C&NW embankment in 1962. This picture may be circa 1930.

The north end of the Merchandise Mart "L" station. This has since been rebuilt and the curved area of the platform has been eliminated.

The north end of the Merchandise Mart “L” station. This has since been rebuilt and the curved area of the platform has been eliminated.

We are looking west along Harrison at Wabash on November 12, 1928. In 2003, the Chicago Transit Authority straightened out this jog with a section of new "L" structure, occupying the area where the building at left once was.

We are looking west along Harrison at Wabash on November 12, 1928. In 2003, the Chicago Transit Authority straightened out this jog with a section of new “L” structure, occupying the area where the building at left once was.

Oakton Street in Skokie on December 11, 1931. The tracks with overhead wire were used by the North Shore Line and the Chicago Rapid Transit Company's Niles Center branch. Both were running on the NSL's Skokie Valley Route, built in 1925. The other set of tracks belong to the Chicago & North Western and were used for freight.

Oakton Street in Skokie on December 11, 1931. The tracks with overhead wire were used by the North Shore Line and the Chicago Rapid Transit Company’s Niles Center branch. Both were running on the NSL’s Skokie Valley Route, built in 1925. The other set of tracks belong to the Chicago & North Western and were used for freight.

CSL 2601 was a Robertson Rebuild car built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. In this wintry scene, it is signed for the 111th Street route, presumably in the 1940s. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2601 was a Robertson Rebuild car built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. In this wintry scene, it is signed for the 111th Street route, presumably in the 1940s. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Here is an unusual view. This shows the ramp taking the Garfield Park "L" down to grade level between Cicero Avenue and Laramie. It must be an early picture, since the area around the "L" seems largely unbuilt. The Laramie Yard would be to the right just out of view. This "L" was torn down shortly after the CTA opened the Congress line in 1958.

Here is an unusual view. This shows the ramp taking the Garfield Park “L” down to grade level between Cicero Avenue and Laramie. It must be an early picture, since the area around the “L” seems largely unbuilt. The Laramie Yard would be to the right just out of view. This “L” was torn down shortly after the CTA opened the Congress line in 1958.

The old Cermak Road station on the south Side "L". Note there are three tracks here. This station was closed in 1977 and removed. A new station replaced it in 2015.

The old Cermak Road station on the south Side “L”. Note there are three tracks here. This station was closed in 1977 and removed. A new station replaced it in 2015.

Here. a wooden "L" car train descends the ramp near Laramie on the Lake Street "L". This must be an early photo, as it looks like Lake Street is unpaved. Streetcar service was extended west to Harlem Avenue here by the Cicero & Proviso in 1891. Chicago Railways took over the city portion in 1910. Service west of Austin Boulevard was provided by the West Towns Railways.

Here. a wooden “L” car train descends the ramp near Laramie on the Lake Street “L”. This must be an early photo, as it looks like Lake Street is unpaved. Streetcar service was extended west to Harlem Avenue here by the Cicero & Proviso in 1891. Chicago Railways took over the city portion in 1910. Service west of Austin Boulevard was provided by the West Towns Railways.

Wooden gate car 3105 and train in the Loop. This was originally built for the Lake Street "L". Don's Rail Photos says, "3103 thru 3118 were built by McGuire-Cummings in 1893 as LSERR 103 thru 118. In 1913 they were renumbered 3103 thru 3118 and became CRT 3103 thru 3118 in 1923."

Wooden gate car 3105 and train in the Loop. This was originally built for the Lake Street “L”. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3103 thru 3118 were built by McGuire-Cummings in 1893 as LSERR 103 thru 118. In 1913 they were renumbered 3103 thru 3118 and became CRT 3103 thru 3118 in 1923.”

The view looking west along the Douglas Park "L" at 49th Avenue in Cicero on February 4, 1944. The station we see in the background is 50th Avenue. After it closed in 1978, this station was moved to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, where it is used to board the museum's fleet of retired "L" cars.

The view looking west along the Douglas Park “L” at 49th Avenue in Cicero on February 4, 1944. The station we see in the background is 50th Avenue. After it closed in 1978, this station was moved to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, where it is used to board the museum’s fleet of retired “L” cars.

Here, we are looking south from Garfield (55th Street) on the South Side "L".

Here, we are looking south from Garfield (55th Street) on the South Side “L”.

61st Street on the South Side "L", looking north on November 13, 1944.

61st Street on the South Side “L”, looking north on November 13, 1944.

Photos of the old Humboldt Park "L" branch are quite rare. This photo looks west from Western Avenue on January 26, 1931. This branch closed in 1952, although portions of the structure remained into the early 1960s.

Photos of the old Humboldt Park “L” branch are quite rare. This photo looks west from Western Avenue on January 26, 1931. This branch closed in 1952, although portions of the structure remained into the early 1960s.

This picture looks south from Randolph and Wells on the Loop "L". The date is not known, but the construction of the building at right may provide a clue. Andre Kristopans writes, "The overhead shot on Wells showing platform construction is early 20’s, when platforms were extended to accommodate longer trains. For instance Randolph/Wells and Madison/Wells were once separate platforms, after the early 20’s they were a continuous platform. Also at that time, LaSalle/Van Buren and State/Van Buren were connected and the separate station at Dearborn/Van Buren became an auxiliary entrance to State, until a building next to it blew up in the very early 60’s and destroyed the Outer Loop side."

This picture looks south from Randolph and Wells on the Loop “L”. The date is not known, but the construction of the building at right may provide a clue. Andre Kristopans writes, “The overhead shot on Wells showing platform construction is early 20’s, when platforms were extended to accommodate longer trains. For instance Randolph/Wells and Madison/Wells were once separate platforms, after the early 20’s they were a continuous platform. Also at that time, LaSalle/Van Buren and State/Van Buren were connected and the separate station at Dearborn/Van Buren became an auxiliary entrance to State, until a building next to it blew up in the very early 60’s and destroyed the Outer Loop side.”

North Shore Line 156 and several others at Waukegan in December 1962. Since there are about a dozen cars visible, they are being stored on a siding which you will note is outside the area of the catenary. (George Niles, Jr. Photo)

North Shore Line 156 and several others at Waukegan in December 1962. Since there are about a dozen cars visible, they are being stored on a siding which you will note is outside the area of the catenary. (George Niles, Jr. Photo)

This shows TMER&T 1121 running on a 1949 fantrip on the North Shore Line at the Kenosha station. We ran a similar picture in our previous post Traction in Milwaukee (September 16, 2015).

This shows TMER&T 1121 running on a 1949 fantrip on the North Shore Line at the Kenosha station. We ran a similar picture in our previous post Traction in Milwaukee (September 16, 2015).

Speedrail car 60 at the Waukesha Quarry, date unknown but circa 1949-51.

Speedrail car 60 at the Waukesha Quarry, date unknown but circa 1949-51.


Larry Sakar
writes:

The photo of Speedrail car 60 in your latest postings at the Waukesha Gravel pit was taken on 10-16-49. The occasion was the inaugural fan trip using a 60-series curved side car. It was sponsored by the short lived Milwaukee Division of the Electric Railroaders Association and was run by Milwaukeean James P. Harper who authored CERA Bulletin 97, “The Electric Railways of Wisconsin” published in 1952.

At the start of the private right-of-way at 8th St., the motors on the rear truck began having problems. At Waukesha, the car pulled onto one of the 2 side tracks leading back into the gravel pit. George Krambles accessed the rear trucks via a panel in the floor and disconnected the motor leads to the troublesome rear trucks. From that point forward the car ran on only 2 motors for the remainder of the fan trip. Car 65 had been the car originally intended to do the trip, but it was down with mechanical problems of its own. This caused the trip to be postponed for a week and the substitution of car 60.

When the car pulled into gravel pit siding one of the fans on board remarked, “Wow, look at this. They’ve got it in the scrap line already!”.

In addition to George Krambles, Al Kalmbach was on the trip, as was well-known railfan and photographer Barney Neuberger. He can be seen siting in about the 4th row of the car on the left side wearing a pork pie hat.

I’ve attached a few items related to that fan trip including a photo of Jay Maeder walking alongside car 60. This was taken at the first photo stop which was 44th St. where Milwaukee County Stadium would be built starting a year later. Car 60 was doing a photo run-by by backing down the line. The fans formed a photo line facing the car.

Philadelphia Stories

Philadelphia Peter Witt 8534 in July 1996. Don's Rail Photos: "8534 was built by Brill Car in 1926, #22353." It is part of the Electric City Trolley Museum collection in Scranton, PA. Here, it is shown in Philadelphia, during the time it was leased to SEPTA for trolley tours.

Philadelphia Peter Witt 8534 in July 1996. Don’s Rail Photos: “8534 was built by Brill Car in 1926, #22353.” It is part of the Electric City Trolley Museum collection in Scranton, PA. Here, it is shown in Philadelphia, during the time it was leased to SEPTA for trolley tours.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 on a fantrip in August 1996. Apparently 8534 has broken down and is being towed.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 on a fantrip in August 1996. Apparently 8534 has broken down and is being towed.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 in August 1996.

SEPTA 2750 and 8534 in August 1996.

Three generations of Philadelphia streetcars in May 1999.

Three generations of Philadelphia streetcars in May 1999.

2785 in November 2002.

2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002, with a commuter train nearby. Kenneth Achtert writes, "The shot of SEPTA #2785 with the commuter train that you presumed to be in Chestnut Hill is actually approaching 11th and Susquehanna,southbound, a cut-back location for which the car is signed in the picture. The commuter train would be inbound toward Center City."

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002, with a commuter train nearby. Kenneth Achtert writes, “The shot of SEPTA #2785 with the commuter train that you presumed to be in Chestnut Hill is actually approaching 11th and Susquehanna,southbound, a cut-back location for which the car is signed in the picture. The commuter train would be inbound toward Center City.”

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA 2785 in November 2002.

SEPTA PCC 2785 on the truncated route 23 in November 2002.

SEPTA PCC 2785 on the truncated route 23 in November 2002.

8534 in August 1996. Kenneth Achtert: "The view of #8534 being “manually switched” three photos later shows 8534 being coupled to its leader (2750) after apparently becoming disabled. Several of your other photos show the subsequent towing operation."

8534 in August 1996. Kenneth Achtert: “The view of #8534 being “manually switched” three photos later shows 8534 being coupled to its leader (2750) after apparently becoming disabled. Several of your other photos show the subsequent towing operation.”

The fantrip train is having trouble clearing this auto in August 1996.

The fantrip train is having trouble clearing this auto in August 1996.

Looks like an attempt was made to move the offending car out of the way. August 1996.

Looks like an attempt was made to move the offending car out of the way. August 1996.

Recent Correspondence

Kenneth Gear writes:

Look who is in the new HISTORIC RAIL & ROADS catalog!

Thanks!

In case you missed it, here is Kenneth Gear’s review of the book:

I just finished reading your book and I enjoyed it very much. Good, clear, concise, and informative writing.

I must compliment you on the choice and presentation of the photographs. It is obvious that you spent much time and effort to present these wonderful photos as perfectly restored as possible.

So many times the authors of books that are primarily “picture books” seem to have a complete disregard for the condition of the photos reproduced. I’ve often seen photos that are yellowed with age, water stained, ripped, folded, and scratched. Other times a book might contain photos that are not properly exposed, are crooked, out of focus, or the composition could have been easily corrected with a little cropping.

The photos in your book are absolutely fantastic! They are pristine, sharp, and have absolutely no blemishes at all. You also packed a lot of information into the captions as well. It’s a fine book and you should be proud, as I’m sure you are, to have your name on the cover.

Another reader writes:

Your book arrived and it is JUST AWESOME. I am completely taken by some of the imagery, and of course enjoy the way you seem to simplify historical writing. VERY nice work!! THANK YOU!!!

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Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Six

This could be an "as new" photo showing Metropolitan West Side "L" car 876. Don's Rail Photos: "2873 thru 2887 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 873 thru 887. In 1913 they were renumbered 2873 thru 2887 and in 1923 they became CRT 2873 thru 2987." (George Trapp Collection)

This could be an “as new” photo showing Metropolitan West Side “L” car 876. Don’s Rail Photos: “2873 thru 2887 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 873 thru 887. In 1913 they were renumbered 2873 thru 2887 and in 1923 they became CRT 2873 thru 2987.” (George Trapp Collection)

Our latest post features another generous selection of Chicago rapid transit photos from the collections of George Trapp. We thank him again for sharing these with our readers.

There will be additional installments in this series. Today, we go back to the west side for some classic shots of the Lake Street and Metropolitan “L” branches, forerunners of today’s CTA Green, Blue and Pink Lines.

As always, if you have anything interesting to add to the discussion, you can either leave a comment here on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- To find earlier posts in our series, just type “Chicago rapid transit” in the search window at the top of the page.


The Metropolitan “L”:

This picture was taken at Wells and Van Buren, and shows the old connection between the Met lines and the Loop. The Insurance Exchange building is at right. In 1955, this connection was replaced by one that went right through the old Wells Street Terminal, last used by CA&E trains in 1953 (and CTA in 1951). The terminal can be seen in this picture on the left hand side, where there is a walkway connecting it to the Quincy and Wells station. Once the Congress median line opened in 1958, no such connections were needed, and they were removed by 1964. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This picture was taken at Wells and Van Buren, and shows the old connection between the Met lines and the Loop. The Insurance Exchange building is at right. In 1955, this connection was replaced by one that went right through the old Wells Street Terminal, last used by CA&E trains in 1953 (and CTA in 1951). The terminal can be seen in this picture on the left hand side, where there is a walkway connecting it to the Quincy and Wells station. Once the Congress median line opened in 1958, no such connections were needed, and they were removed by 1964. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

I've zoomed in to show the old Wells Street Terminal.

I’ve zoomed in to show the old Wells Street Terminal.

This photo is rather curious, as a blow-up on the section behind CTA 6097-6098 (a Douglas Park train) appears to show tracks leading off to the right. That could possibly be the track connection, used from 1955-58, that ran through the old location of Wells Street Terminal. On the other hand, Myron Moyano says, "the shot was taken from the LaSalle and Van Buren platform, looking west towards the junction at Wells and Van Buren. The platform furthest away after the junction was Franklin Street." George Trapp adds, "6097-6098, photo is at LaSalle and Van Buren, Insurance Exchange Building is above car 6097 and rear half of 6098. Junction is with Wells Street leg of Loop "L" and station in distance is Franklin and Van Buren used by Met trains." He guesses the photo dates to about 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

This photo is rather curious, as a blow-up on the section behind CTA 6097-6098 (a Douglas Park train) appears to show tracks leading off to the right. That could possibly be the track connection, used from 1955-58, that ran through the old location of Wells Street Terminal. On the other hand, Myron Moyano says, “the shot was taken from the LaSalle and Van Buren platform, looking west towards the junction at Wells and Van Buren. The platform furthest away after the junction was Franklin Street.” George Trapp adds, “6097-6098, photo is at LaSalle and Van Buren, Insurance Exchange Building is above car 6097 and rear half of 6098. Junction is with Wells Street leg of Loop “L” and station in distance is Franklin and Van Buren used by Met trains.” He guesses the photo dates to about 1952. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture.  Are those tracks leading off to the right?  Apparently they are, but just the ones leading to the Wells leg of the "L".  The station further in the distance is part of the Met main line.

A close-up of the previous picture. Are those tracks leading off to the right? Apparently they are, but just the ones leading to the Wells leg of the “L”. The station further in the distance is part of the Met main line.

CTA 6113-6114, signed for Douglas, on the Loop "L". If I had to guess, I would say this might be the Van Buren leg, but I'm not 100% sure about that. George Trapp: "6113-6114 at same location and probably same day (as photo with 6097-6098, which is on the Van Buren leg), further east closer to Clark Street. My guess is photo probably dates to 1952." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6113-6114, signed for Douglas, on the Loop “L”. If I had to guess, I would say this might be the Van Buren leg, but I’m not 100% sure about that. George Trapp: “6113-6114 at same location and probably same day (as photo with 6097-6098, which is on the Van Buren leg), further east closer to Clark Street. My guess is photo probably dates to 1952.” (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4102 and its "plus one" are heading west, just after having crossed the Chicago River on the four-track Met main line. They are serving both Logan Square and Humboldt Park, meaning this two-car train will be split at Damen and North. The station is Canal, which also had walkways connecting directly to Union Station. It closed in June 1958 when the Congress median line opened. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4102 and its “plus one” are heading west, just after having crossed the Chicago River on the four-track Met main line. They are serving both Logan Square and Humboldt Park, meaning this two-car train will be split at Damen and North. The station is Canal, which also had walkways connecting directly to Union Station. It closed in June 1958 when the Congress median line opened. (George Trapp Collection)

The four-track Met bridge over the Chicago River (actually, two two-track bridges).

The four-track Met bridge over the Chicago River (actually, two two-track bridges).

This certainly has the appearance of a Met station. Looking at this photo under magnification shows the bridge in the background, and some of the buildings, match up with the old station at Madison and Paulina. The presence of 6000s here would date the picture to late 1950 or early 1951, before the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway went into service. We are looking north. We posted another photo taken towards the north end of this station in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016). (George Trapp Collection)

This certainly has the appearance of a Met station. Looking at this photo under magnification shows the bridge in the background, and some of the buildings, match up with the old station at Madison and Paulina. The presence of 6000s here would date the picture to late 1950 or early 1951, before the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway went into service. We are looking north. We posted another photo taken towards the north end of this station in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016). (George Trapp Collection)

A close-up of the previous picture. Note how there is something covering over the coupler. George Trapp: "6000's at Madison-Paulina, cars fitted with gloves over couplers like Illinois Terminal's PCC's to protect electrical contacts. By the time 6131-6200 series delivered, hinged covers were fitted."

A close-up of the previous picture. Note how there is something covering over the coupler. George Trapp: “6000’s at Madison-Paulina, cars fitted with gloves over couplers like Illinois Terminal’s PCC’s to protect electrical contacts. By the time 6131-6200 series delivered, hinged covers were fitted.”

Don's Rail Photos: "2756 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSERy 756. In 1913 it was renumbered 756. It became CRT 2756 in 1923. At an unknown date it was rebuilt as a medical car. It was primarily used for physical exams for employees, and occasionally even made it to Milwaukee on the CNS&M." This picture would seem to show it in funeral car configuration. (George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos: “2756 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSERy 756. In 1913 it was renumbered 756. It became CRT 2756 in 1923. At an unknown date it was rebuilt as a medical car. It was primarily used for physical exams for employees, and occasionally even made it to Milwaukee on the CNS&M.” This picture would seem to show it in funeral car configuration. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos says, "2281 was built by Pullman in 1900 as M-WSER 281. It was rebuilt in 1912 and in 1913 it was renumbered 2281. It became CRT 2281 in 1923." The car is signed for 5th Avenue. This was the original name of Wells Street until 1916. So it is that 5th Avenue and not one of the stops used by Westchester Branch trains from 1926 to 1951 on the CA&E main line. Therefore, the picture dates to between 1913 and 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

Don’s Rail Photos says, “2281 was built by Pullman in 1900 as M-WSER 281. It was rebuilt in 1912 and in 1913 it was renumbered 2281. It became CRT 2281 in 1923.” The car is signed for 5th Avenue. This was the original name of Wells Street until 1916. So it is that 5th Avenue and not one of the stops used by Westchester Branch trains from 1926 to 1951 on the CA&E main line. Therefore, the picture dates to between 1913 and 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2705, signed for Wells Street, so we know the photo is from 1916 or later. This picture was probably taken at Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don's Rail Photos: "2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756." (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2705, signed for Wells Street, so we know the photo is from 1916 or later. This picture was probably taken at Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don’s Rail Photos: “2701 thru 2756 were built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as M-WSER 701 thru 756. In 1913 they were renumbered 2701 thru 2756 and in 1923 they became CRT 2701 thru 2756.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Met car 2730, again signed for 5th Avenue, which limits this photo to 1916 or earlier. This time we are at the Logan Square yard. (George Trapp Collection)

Met car 2730, again signed for 5th Avenue, which limits this photo to 1916 or earlier. This time we are at the Logan Square yard. (George Trapp Collection)

CRTR 2866, most likely t Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don's Rail Photos says, "2859 thru 2871 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 859 thru 871. In 1913 they were renumbered 2859 thru 2871 and in 1923 they became CRT 2859 thru 2871." (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRTR 2866, most likely t Laramie Yard in the 1940s. Don’s Rail Photos says, “2859 thru 2871 were built by Pullman in 1906 as M-WSER 859 thru 871. In 1913 they were renumbered 2859 thru 2871 and in 1923 they became CRT 2859 thru 2871.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2802, signed for 5th Avenue, which would date this picture to no later than 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 2802, signed for 5th Avenue, which would date this picture to no later than 1916. (George Trapp Collection)

Don's Rail Photos says, "2721 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as Metropolitan-West Side Elevated Ry 721. In 1913 it was renumbered 721. In 1919 it was rebuilt as a merchandise dispatch car to be leased to the North Shore line. After a short time it was replaced by new and similar MD cars built for the North Shore. It was then returned to the CRT and used in work service. It became CRT 2721 in 1923." The location is likely Laramie Yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection) We ran a different picture of 2721 in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016).

Don’s Rail Photos says, “2721 was built by Barney & Smith in 1895 as Metropolitan-West Side Elevated Ry 721. In 1913 it was renumbered 721. In 1919 it was rebuilt as a merchandise dispatch car to be leased to the North Shore line. After a short time it was replaced by new and similar MD cars built for the North Shore. It was then returned to the CRT and used in work service. It became CRT 2721 in 1923.” The location is likely Laramie Yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection) We ran a different picture of 2721 in our post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Four (September 20, 2016).

CRT 4383 is signed as going to Maywood and Westchester via the Garfield Park "L". It is coupled to an older gate car. We are at one of the ground-level stations. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4383 is signed as going to Maywood and Westchester via the Garfield Park “L”. It is coupled to an older gate car. We are at one of the ground-level stations. (George Trapp Collection)

The Douglas Park Yards at 54th Avenue in the 1950s. (George Trapp Collection)

The Douglas Park Yards at 54th Avenue in the 1950s. (George Trapp Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 "doodlebugs" and a Met car at Logan Square along with a work car. George Trapp: "One of the Pullman built doodlebugs, 5001-5002 at Logan Square appears to be coupled to the Met's original steel dreadnought #2717. Odd for doodlebug to be at Logan Square at this time, 6000's in background with cream roofs date photo to 1950-51. Doodlebugs had been assigned to Evanston for over a year by this time." Coupling modern equipment to 2717, and the timeframe, may provide an answer. Perhaps these cars were being used for testing in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway, which opened in February 1951. Wood cars were banned from the subway by city ordinance, due to fire safety concerns, but this did not apply to 2717, as it was an early experiment with an all-steel car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

One of the 5001-5004 “doodlebugs” and a Met car at Logan Square along with a work car. George Trapp: “One of the Pullman built doodlebugs, 5001-5002 at Logan Square appears to be coupled to the Met’s original steel dreadnought #2717. Odd for doodlebug to be at Logan Square at this time, 6000’s in background with cream roofs date photo to 1950-51. Doodlebugs had been assigned to Evanston for over a year by this time.” Coupling modern equipment to 2717, and the timeframe, may provide an answer. Perhaps these cars were being used for testing in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway, which opened in February 1951. Wood cars were banned from the subway by city ordinance, due to fire safety concerns, but this did not apply to 2717, as it was an early experiment with an all-steel car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA "flat door" cars 6003-6004 at Logan Square in the 1950s. Note the slightly different paint scheme compared to later cars in this series. George Trapp: "6003-6004 at Logan Square, in addition to the different paint scheme from 6005-6130, notice extra metal sheets riveted to large window posts between 1st and 2nd windows from each end. Only 6001-6004 had them." (George Trapp Collection)

CTA “flat door” cars 6003-6004 at Logan Square in the 1950s. Note the slightly different paint scheme compared to later cars in this series. George Trapp: “6003-6004 at Logan Square, in addition to the different paint scheme from 6005-6130, notice extra metal sheets riveted to large window posts between 1st and 2nd windows from each end. Only 6001-6004 had them.” (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6007-6008. Note how the ends of these cars were painted differently than 6001-6004. (George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6007-6008. Note how the ends of these cars were painted differently than 6001-6004. (George Trapp Collection)

We have restored these four badly faded color prints as best we could. This one shows CTA single car unit 41 in 1959, as new, at Logan Square. Note it has not yet been fitted with trolley poles, which this car used when put into service in Evanston in 1961. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

We have restored these four badly faded color prints as best we could. This one shows CTA single car unit 41 in 1959, as new, at Logan Square. Note it has not yet been fitted with trolley poles, which this car used when put into service in Evanston in 1961. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A lineup of 6000s at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A lineup of 6000s at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6151-6152, 17, and 18 at the Logan Square bumper post in 1959. The greenish blob in the lower left corner of the picture is lens flare caused by the sun, essentially internal reflections of the glass elements of the lens that occur when you shoot into the light. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CTA 6151-6152, 17, and 18 at the Logan Square bumper post in 1959. The greenish blob in the lower left corner of the picture is lens flare caused by the sun, essentially internal reflections of the glass elements of the lens that occur when you shoot into the light. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA single car unit 18 at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA single car unit 18 at Logan Square in 1959. (Robert Geis Photo, George Trapp Collection)


The Lake Street “L”:

CRT 3042 was a Lake Street car. According to Don's Rail Photos, "3001 thru 3100 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as Lake Street Elevated RR 1 thru 100. In 1913 they were renumbered 3001 thru 3100 and became Chicago Rapid Transit 3001 thru 3100 in 1923." (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 3042 was a Lake Street car. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “3001 thru 3100 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as Lake Street Elevated RR 1 thru 100. In 1913 they were renumbered 3001 thru 3100 and became Chicago Rapid Transit 3001 thru 3100 in 1923.” (George Trapp Collection)

A two-car Lake Street "A" train (one car is numbered 1708) on the Loop "L". Not sure of the exact location, but as you can see in back, this is an area where there was a continuous platform connection stations. This allowed for more trains to stop at the same time, and was likely the inspiration for the continuous platforms in Chicago's downtown subways. Myron Moyano adds, "Car 1708 under the Lake Street section is at Madison and Wells." (George Trapp Collection)

A two-car Lake Street “A” train (one car is numbered 1708) on the Loop “L”. Not sure of the exact location, but as you can see in back, this is an area where there was a continuous platform connection stations. This allowed for more trains to stop at the same time, and was likely the inspiration for the continuous platforms in Chicago’s downtown subways. Myron Moyano adds, “Car 1708 under the Lake Street section is at Madison and Wells.” (George Trapp Collection)

Brand new CTA cars 2003-2004 (paired with 2001-2002) in demonstration service at Randolph and Wabash in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

Brand new CTA cars 2003-2004 (paired with 2001-2002) in demonstration service at Randolph and Wabash in 1964. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 2003-4 and 2001-2 on demonstration runs on the Wabash leg of the Loop "L" in 1964. This was the first series of rapid transit cars to come with air conditioning as standard equipment, something we take for granted today. Unfortunately, the AC was underpowered for the job it had to do, and the ceiling-mounted units tended to drip water on people. (George Trapp Photo)

CTA 2003-4 and 2001-2 on demonstration runs on the Wabash leg of the Loop “L” in 1964. This was the first series of rapid transit cars to come with air conditioning as standard equipment, something we take for granted today. Unfortunately, the AC was underpowered for the job it had to do, and the ceiling-mounted units tended to drip water on people. (George Trapp Photo)

An ancient view of Lake and Market, showing where the Market Street stub branched off. (George Trapp Collection)

An ancient view of Lake and Market, showing where the Market Street stub branched off. (George Trapp Collection)

A rare photo of the old Market Street stub terminal, where some Lake Street "L" trains terminated in the days before A/B "skip stop" service. It was torn down in the late 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

A rare photo of the old Market Street stub terminal, where some Lake Street “L” trains terminated in the days before A/B “skip stop” service. It was torn down in the late 1940s. (George Trapp Collection)

The old Lake Street "L" bridge over the Chicago River. (George Trapp Collection)

The old Lake Street “L” bridge over the Chicago River. (George Trapp Collection)

A pair of shiny new 5000s (first pair is 5001-5002) on the Lake Street "L" bridge over the Chicago River, circa 1947-48. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A pair of shiny new 5000s (first pair is 5001-5002) on the Lake Street “L” bridge over the Chicago River, circa 1947-48. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here is the Lake Street view of Lake Transfer, with two woods in the station. Riders could change here for the Met "L" Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains. (George Trapp Collection)

Here is the Lake Street view of Lake Transfer, with two woods in the station. Riders could change here for the Met “L” Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4338 heads up a Lake Street Local train somewhere on the west side. This photo is probably no later than 1943, since all the 4000s were shifted to the State Street subway then. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT 4338 heads up a Lake Street Local train somewhere on the west side. This photo is probably no later than 1943, since all the 4000s were shifted to the State Street subway then. (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT S-200 in the Lake and Hamlin yard. Don's Rail Photos says, "S-200 was built by Barney & Smith in 1901 at M-WSER 783. It was renumbered in 1913 as 2783. In 1916 it was rebuilt as a work motor and numbered S-200. It became CRT S-200 in 1923." In this photo, it looks like it is being used to string trolley wire. You can see the ramp leading up to the "L" at right. (George Trapp Collection)

CRT S-200 in the Lake and Hamlin yard. Don’s Rail Photos says, “S-200 was built by Barney & Smith in 1901 at M-WSER 783. It was renumbered in 1913 as 2783. In 1916 it was rebuilt as a work motor and numbered S-200. It became CRT S-200 in 1923.” In this photo, it looks like it is being used to string trolley wire. You can see the ramp leading up to the “L” at right. (George Trapp Collection)

There was a short stretch, less than half a mile actually, where Lake Street trains ran parallel under wire right next to streetcars, as you can see here. The trolley is heading west, while the train of wood cars is going east, and just starting to head up the ramp. Route 16 streetcars crossed the "L" and turned north a block east of Central Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

There was a short stretch, less than half a mile actually, where Lake Street trains ran parallel under wire right next to streetcars, as you can see here. The trolley is heading west, while the train of wood cars is going east, and just starting to head up the ramp. Route 16 streetcars crossed the “L” and turned north a block east of Central Avenue. (George Trapp Collection)

Editor’s note: Lake and Pine is perhaps the only place left in Chicago where streetcar tracks are still visible. Here are four pictures that I took there on July 7, 2016. The view is looking south:

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Here's an interesting streetscape that could not be duplicated today. According to the back of the picture, it shows the view looking east from South Boulevard and Austin, on the eastern edge of Oak Park. The Lake Street "L", where it ran on the ground, had a very narrow right-of-way that the 6000s, with their bulging sides, could not fit in. So, looking for a place to build space for CRT/CTA employee use, there was nowhere to go but up. Not sure which bus routes are there in back, but this was the Chicago side of the street, which would argue against West Towns. It must be Chicago, since Oak Park was "dry" at the time and liquor is being sold. Bill Shapotkin adds: "If this is indeed at Austin (and I believe it is), the street is still called Lake (NOT South Blvd -- as I understand that is strictly an Oak Park name). There were de facto two Lake Streets at this point-- one north of the C&NW and one south of the C&NW. The name "Corcoran" (again as I understand it) did not come along until possibly the time the 'L' was rerouted onto the C&NW embankment). As for the bus -- probably a W/B E16 -- Lake. The bus looped via W/B Lake-N/B Austin-E/B Lake-S/B Mayfield-E/B Lake. That said, there appears to be a bus heading E/B as well -- and that I cannot explain." George Trapp adds, "Lake Street photo at South Blvd. and Austin, buses are Chicago Motor Coach TD-4502's at terminal of Route 31 Washington Blvd. Buses are in their original 1940 paint jobs so photo dates to 1940's." (George Trapp Collection)

Here’s an interesting streetscape that could not be duplicated today. According to the back of the picture, it shows the view looking east from South Boulevard and Austin, on the eastern edge of Oak Park. The Lake Street “L”, where it ran on the ground, had a very narrow right-of-way that the 6000s, with their bulging sides, could not fit in. So, looking for a place to build space for CRT/CTA employee use, there was nowhere to go but up. Not sure which bus routes are there in back, but this was the Chicago side of the street, which would argue against West Towns. It must be Chicago, since Oak Park was “dry” at the time and liquor is being sold. Bill Shapotkin adds: “If this is indeed at Austin (and I believe it is), the street is still called Lake (NOT South Blvd — as I understand that is strictly an Oak Park name). There were de facto two Lake Streets at this point– one north of the C&NW and one south of the C&NW. The name “Corcoran” (again as I understand it) did not come along until possibly the time the ‘L’ was rerouted onto the C&NW embankment). As for the bus — probably a W/B E16 — Lake. The bus looped via W/B Lake-N/B Austin-E/B Lake-S/B Mayfield-E/B Lake. That said, there appears to be a bus heading E/B as well — and that I cannot explain.” George Trapp adds, “Lake Street photo at South Blvd. and Austin, buses are Chicago Motor Coach TD-4502’s at terminal of Route 31 Washington Blvd. Buses are in their original 1940 paint jobs so photo dates to 1940’s.” (George Trapp Collection)

In this current map, it appears that Lake Street crosses over from south of the UP embankment to the north at Pine, where the CSL/CTA route 16 streetcar did. West of Pine, the street on the south side of the embankment is called Corcoran Place. (West of Austin, in suburban Oak Park, this is South Boulevard.) However, there is some question as to when the name was changed to Corcoran Place (see the next map).

In this current map, it appears that Lake Street crosses over from south of the UP embankment to the north at Pine, where the CSL/CTA route 16 streetcar did. West of Pine, the street on the south side of the embankment is called Corcoran Place. (West of Austin, in suburban Oak Park, this is South Boulevard.) However, there is some question as to when the name was changed to Corcoran Place (see the next map).

In this early 1940s Chicago street map, the street south of the embankment is labelled as Lake all the way to Austin Boulevard, where it apparently crosses over to the north of the embankment in Oak park. There is no sign of any Corcoran Place. The solid line, shown crossing over from north to the south of the tracks at Pine Street, is the route of the route 16 - Lake streetcar. However, the map does not really make it clear whether, technically, the street to the north of the tracks was called Lake in this section, or was a continuation of Kinzie, as it was east of Pine. Were there in fact two Lake Streets in this section? There wouldn't have been duplicate street numbers, since in this area, each half would've only had buildings on one side of the street. Perhaps a map expert can clarify all this.

In this early 1940s Chicago street map, the street south of the embankment is labelled as Lake all the way to Austin Boulevard, where it apparently crosses over to the north of the embankment in Oak park. There is no sign of any Corcoran Place. The solid line, shown crossing over from north to the south of the tracks at Pine Street, is the route of the route 16 – Lake streetcar. However, the map does not really make it clear whether, technically, the street to the north of the tracks was called Lake in this section, or was a continuation of Kinzie, as it was east of Pine. Were there in fact two Lake Streets in this section? There wouldn’t have been duplicate street numbers, since in this area, each half would’ve only had buildings on one side of the street. Perhaps a map expert can clarify all this.

The same view today.

The same view today.

This is a Lake Street local train, heading west on the ground level section, which was elevated in 1962. Since this photo predates A/B "skip stop" service, it must date to before April 5, 1948. (George Trapp Collection)

This is a Lake Street local train, heading west on the ground level section, which was elevated in 1962. Since this photo predates A/B “skip stop” service, it must date to before April 5, 1948. (George Trapp Collection)

A westbound Lake "A" train in 1950s Oak Park. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

A westbound Lake “A” train in 1950s Oak Park. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

An inbound Lake Street Local somewhere in Oak Park prior to the adoption of A/B service in 1948. The outer portion of the line, from about Oak Park Avenue west, did not have fencing. There were numerous manually operated grade crossings along the 2 1/2 miles where trains ran on the ground. (George Trapp Collection)

An inbound Lake Street Local somewhere in Oak Park prior to the adoption of A/B service in 1948. The outer portion of the line, from about Oak Park Avenue west, did not have fencing. There were numerous manually operated grade crossings along the 2 1/2 miles where trains ran on the ground. (George Trapp Collection)

Here, we see some Met cars in service on the Lake Street "L". In the days when the outer portion ran on the ground, there was a short stretch just west of Harlem Avenue, which is what we see here. There was actually a station just west of Harlem, which was not used very much, compared to the one at Harlem and Marion. Wood cars last ran on Lake on July 5, 1954. In 1962, the nearby embankment was expanded by CTA to create a new yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)

Here, we see some Met cars in service on the Lake Street “L”. In the days when the outer portion ran on the ground, there was a short stretch just west of Harlem Avenue, which is what we see here. There was actually a station just west of Harlem, which was not used very much, compared to the one at Harlem and Marion. Wood cars last ran on Lake on July 5, 1954. In 1962, the nearby embankment was expanded by CTA to create a new yard. (Joe L. Diaz Photo, George Trapp Collection)


Bonus Photo:

This picture is not from George Trapp, but we thought you might find it interesting anyway:

In this 1950s photo, CTA bus 5602 is on route 6. Meanwhile, we see trains of 4000s and 6000s on the "L" at Wabash and Lake. From 1913 to 1969, trains on both tracks ran in a counterclockwise direction. George Trapp: "Bus 5602 is on route 6, Garfield Blvd not Van Buren. The 5500 series propane buses didn't start to arrive until late 1953. Garfield route was one of the first routes transferred away from a former CMC garage, 52nd to Ashland-69th. Propane 5500's were a downgrade from CMC Diesels which were faster, easier to see out of and had more comfortable mohair plush seats."

In this 1950s photo, CTA bus 5602 is on route 6. Meanwhile, we see trains of 4000s and 6000s on the “L” at Wabash and Lake. From 1913 to 1969, trains on both tracks ran in a counterclockwise direction. George Trapp: “Bus 5602 is on route 6, Garfield Blvd not Van Buren. The 5500 series propane buses didn’t start to arrive until late 1953. Garfield route was one of the first routes transferred away from a former CMC garage, 52nd to Ashland-69th. Propane 5500’s were a downgrade from CMC Diesels which were faster, easier to see out of and had more comfortable mohair plush seats.”


Recent Additions:

Here’s one more that we added to our previous post Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Five (September 26, 2016):

CRT/CTA 1757, signed as an Evanston local. Don's Rail Photos: "1756 thru 1768 were built by Jewett Car in 1903 as NWERy 756 thru 768. They were renumbered 1756 thru 1768 in 1913 and became CRT 1756 thru 1768 in 1923." (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)

CRT/CTA 1757, signed as an Evanston local. Don’s Rail Photos: “1756 thru 1768 were built by Jewett Car in 1903 as NWERy 756 thru 768. They were renumbered 1756 thru 1768 in 1913 and became CRT 1756 thru 1768 in 1923.” (Allen T. Zagel Photo, George Trapp Collection)


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This is our 160th 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 203,000 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.

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Chicago Rapid Transit Photos, Part Three

CTA articulated "Doodlebug" 5003 southbound at Main Street in Evanston. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

CTA articulated “Doodlebug” 5003 southbound at Main Street in Evanston. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

An aerial view, showing where the picture of 5003 was taken near Main and Chicago. There is a gap between the CTA Evanston branch and the Metra UP-North Line (formerly, the Chicago & North Western), large enough for a short paved road, now mainly used for parking.

An aerial view, showing where the picture of 5003 was taken near Main and Chicago. There is a gap between the CTA Evanston branch and the Metra UP-North Line (formerly, the Chicago & North Western), large enough for a short paved road, now mainly used for parking.

Today, we have another batch of classic Chicago rapid transit photos to share with you. These are not easy to come by, and as far as I can tell, this is only the third time we have devoted an entire post to them.

The two previous articles were Chicago Rapid Transit Mystery Photos – Solved (April 28, 2015) and More Chicago Rapid Transit Photos (September 21, 2015), although of course we have sprinkled plenty of other rapid transit photos into other postings.

We have some great pictures of the experimental articulated “Doodlebugs” ordered by the Chicago Rapid Transit Company, which were delivered in 1947-48. These were the first new Chicago rapid transit cars in nearly 25 years, and were inspired by the similar “Bluebird” compartment cars purchased by New York’s Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit in 1939-40.*

Chicago’s Loop “L” is famous world-wide. What is perhaps less known is how a few other cities had short stretches of elevateds, and we have included a couple pictures of those as well. In addition to Baltimore and Boston, shown here, there were also “els” of some sort in Kansas City and Hoboken, New Jersey. To this day, there is more elevated trackage in New York than in Chicago.

Some of today’s pictures were taken at much the same times and places as pictures in those two earlier posts. Sometimes we have been able to identify the times and places when these pictures could have been taken, other times not. As always, if you can help provide any information that might shed light on what’s going on here, we would definitely appreciate it.

You can either leave a comment on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- These images are being added to our E-book The New Look in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, available through our Online Store.


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 129th 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 139,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

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

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

We thank you for your support.


*Here are some films of the Bluebirds in action circa 1954, shortly before they were retired:

CTA 5001 at Laramie on September 27, 1948. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

CTA 5001 at Laramie on September 27, 1948. (Stephen D. Maguire Photo)

CTA 5003 on the Met "L" near Throop Street Shops in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

CTA 5003 on the Met “L” near Throop Street Shops in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

Brand-new CTA 5003 on C&NW flatcars in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

Brand-new CTA 5003 on C&NW flatcars in 1948. (St. Louis Car Company Photo)

CTA "L" car 3115 at West Shops in April 1949. This was one of the few places where CTA rapid transit cars and streetcars could operate on the same tracks, the other being at 63rd Street Lower Yard. The location is approximately 3900 W. Lake Street. There was a ramp, a rather steep grade in fact, connecting with the Lake Street "L", which lasted until 1987. Can that be a streetcar at right?

CTA “L” car 3115 at West Shops in April 1949. This was one of the few places where CTA rapid transit cars and streetcars could operate on the same tracks, the other being at 63rd Street Lower Yard. The location is approximately 3900 W. Lake Street. There was a ramp, a rather steep grade in fact, connecting with the Lake Street “L”, which lasted until 1987. Can that be a streetcar at right?

The approximate location of the previous picture. Since that photo was taken, CTA has built a substation here for the Lake Street "L".

The approximate location of the previous picture. Since that photo was taken, CTA has built a substation here for the Lake Street “L”.

Streetcar tracks are still visible today at CTA's West Shops, which was built by the West Chicago Street Railroad, which became part of Chicago Surface Lines in 1914. CTA used West Shops for rapid transit car work for a few years into the early 1950s, before such work was consolidated elsewhere. The tracks crossing Lake Street itself were only removed a couple years ago.

Streetcar tracks are still visible today at CTA’s West Shops, which was built by the West Chicago Street Railroad, which became part of Chicago Surface Lines in 1914. CTA used West Shops for rapid transit car work for a few years into the early 1950s, before such work was consolidated elsewhere. The tracks crossing Lake Street itself were only removed a couple years ago.

The first train of new 6000s on display at the North Water Street terminal on August 17, 1950. This terminal provided a convenient place to display a train without interfering with regular service.

The first train of new 6000s on display at the North Water Street terminal on August 17, 1950. This terminal provided a convenient place to display a train without interfering with regular service.

A rare CTA three-car train of singe car units on the Ravenswood (Brown Line) "L" on May 28, 1978. In general, three-car trains resulted from one of the cars in a four-car train being taken out of service. This picture was taken at Chicago Avenue. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo) It's been pointed out to me that this picture was taken on a Sunday, during a time when the Ravenswood did not run on Sundays. So, this was a fantrip train that would have had the run of the Ravenswood south of Belmont. This picture looks like it was taken at track level. Now the Brown Line runs downtown seven days a week. Gordon Earl Lloyd (1924-2006) was a well-known railfan author and photographer.

A rare CTA three-car train of singe car units on the Ravenswood (Brown Line) “L” on May 28, 1978. In general, three-car trains resulted from one of the cars in a four-car train being taken out of service. This picture was taken at Chicago Avenue. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo) It’s been pointed out to me that this picture was taken on a Sunday, during a time when the Ravenswood did not run on Sundays. So, this was a fantrip train that would have had the run of the Ravenswood south of Belmont. This picture looks like it was taken at track level. Now the Brown Line runs downtown seven days a week. Gordon Earl Lloyd (1924-2006) was a well-known railfan author and photographer.

The Guiford Avenue el in Baltimore, circa 1949. (Lester K. Wismer Photo)

The Guiford Avenue el in Baltimore, circa 1949. (Lester K. Wismer Photo)

A Boston Elevated Railway train of 0300-class cars , near Rowes Wharf station on the last day of the Atlantic Avenue el, September 28, 1938. (Robert Stanley Collection)

A Boston Elevated Railway train of 0300-class cars , near Rowes Wharf station on the last day of the Atlantic Avenue el, September 28, 1938. (Robert Stanley Collection)

The mount on this Kodachrome slide helps narrow down the time frame on this photo to 1955-57. We are at the Indiana Avenue station on the South Side "L", looking west. We posted a picture showing the view looking east at this station in a previous post. That picture shows a Kenwood shuttle train, but the wood cars in the distance here are very likely Stock Yards cars. Wooden "L" cars would not have been running on the Howard-Jackson Park-Englewood line, as that went through the State Street subway. According to Graham Garfield's excellent web site, Stock Yards shuttle cars would have stopped at the south platform (to the left in this picture) via a single track. Presumably, the two-car wood train in this picture is heading west, and the mainline train of 6000s is heading east. Running parallel to the "L" at this point, just to the north, is the Chicago Junction Railway, which built and owned the Kenwood branch of the "L." This part of the CJ was abandoned in the 1960s after the Union Stock Yards had dwindled down to next to nothing.

The mount on this Kodachrome slide helps narrow down the time frame on this photo to 1955-57. We are at the Indiana Avenue station on the South Side “L”, looking west. We posted a picture showing the view looking east at this station in a previous post. That picture shows a Kenwood shuttle train, but the wood cars in the distance here are very likely Stock Yards cars. Wooden “L” cars would not have been running on the Howard-Jackson Park-Englewood line, as that went through the State Street subway. According to Graham Garfield’s excellent web site, Stock Yards shuttle cars would have stopped at the south platform (to the left in this picture) via a single track. Presumably, the two-car wood train in this picture is heading west, and the mainline train of 6000s is heading east. Running parallel to the “L” at this point, just to the north, is the Chicago Junction Railway, which built and owned the Kenwood branch of the “L.” This part of the CJ was abandoned in the 1960s after the Union Stock Yards had dwindled down to next to nothing.

A close-up view of the previous scene.

A close-up view of the previous scene.

An early 1940s map of the Stock Yards branch of the "L". Indiana station is just to the right of the green line. You can see how the Chicago Junction ran parallel to the "L" just to the north. The Stock Yards branch was abandoned in 1957, shortly before Kenwood.

An early 1940s map of the Stock Yards branch of the “L”. Indiana station is just to the right of the green line. You can see how the Chicago Junction ran parallel to the “L” just to the north. The Stock Yards branch was abandoned in 1957, shortly before Kenwood.

An early 1940s map of the Kenwood branch of the "L", which was abandoned in 1957.

An early 1940s map of the Kenwood branch of the “L”, which was abandoned in 1957.

CTA 4357 at South Boulevard and Maple in October 1952, at the west end of the Lake Street "L" when it ran on the ground.

CTA 4357 at South Boulevard and Maple in October 1952, at the west end of the Lake Street “L” when it ran on the ground.

South Boulevard and Maple in Oak Park today. The Lake Street "L", today's Green Lin, was relocated to the Chicago & North Western embankment in 1962. That's the Harlem station at left, which has its main entrance at Marion Street.

South Boulevard and Maple in Oak Park today. The Lake Street “L”, today’s Green Lin, was relocated to the Chicago & North Western embankment in 1962. That’s the Harlem station at left, which has its main entrance at Marion Street.

There was only a brief period when this May 1969 photo could have been taken. What we see is the west end of the Englewood "L" yard near Loomis. The yard itself was renovated in the early 1960s, as evidenced by the concrete supports. We are standing on a newly built section of "L", soon to be connected to the rest of the structure, that extended this line to Ashland, a more practical terminus that provides a better place for bus transfers. We are looking east.

There was only a brief period when this May 1969 photo could have been taken. What we see is the west end of the Englewood “L” yard near Loomis. The yard itself was renovated in the early 1960s, as evidenced by the concrete supports. We are standing on a newly built section of “L”, soon to be connected to the rest of the structure, that extended this line to Ashland, a more practical terminus that provides a better place for bus transfers. We are looking east.

CTA Met car 2888 heads up a Garfield Park train on the Loop "L" circa 1950.

CTA Met car 2888 heads up a Garfield Park train on the Loop “L” circa 1950.

A Douglas Park local at the west end of the line at Oak Park Avenue in Berwyn, circa 1950. This is before A/B "skip stop" service began on this route, which was soon cut back to 54th Avenue, its present terminus.

A Douglas Park local at the west end of the line at Oak Park Avenue in Berwyn, circa 1950. This is before A/B “skip stop” service began on this route, which was soon cut back to 54th Avenue, its present terminus.

A CTA single car unit running under wire at the Linden terminal in Wilmette in 1964. We are looking south. The Evanston branch was changed over to third rail along with the retirement of 4000-series "L" cars in 1973.

A CTA single car unit running under wire at the Linden terminal in Wilmette in 1964. We are looking south. The Evanston branch was changed over to third rail along with the retirement of 4000-series “L” cars in 1973.

A woman on CTA "baldy" car 4031 notices her picture is being taken at an unidentified location. As you can see, these 1913 "L" cars featured sideways seating.

A woman on CTA “baldy” car 4031 notices her picture is being taken at an unidentified location. As you can see, these 1913 “L” cars featured sideways seating.

We previously ran a very similar picture in an earlier post. In fact, it seems likely both pictures were taken at much the same time, although they are not identical. In any case, the previous caption information will do just as well here: According to Andre Kristopans, it shows a “Normal Park shuttle between Harvard Englewood and Stewart Jct – appears inbound.” Edward Maurath notes that car “223 was made by Jewett in 1902 for the South Side Line, then known as the ”alley L’.”

We previously ran a very similar picture in an earlier post. In fact, it seems likely both pictures were taken at much the same time, although they are not identical. In any case, the previous caption information will do just as well here: According to Andre Kristopans, it shows a “Normal Park shuttle between Harvard Englewood and Stewart Jct – appears inbound.” Edward Maurath notes that car “223 was made by Jewett in 1902 for the South Side Line, then known as the ”alley L’.”

A Douglas Park "L" train, signed to go to Lawndale, at Randolph and Wabash. CTA had a small storage yard at Kenton, which was abandoned in the early 1950s.

A Douglas Park “L” train, signed to go to Lawndale, at Randolph and Wabash. CTA had a small storage yard at Kenton, which was abandoned in the early 1950s.

The same location as the last picture, and another Douglas Park train going to Lanwdale only, but this is a different car (2821) and run number (316 vs. 315). Interesting that consecutive runs would only be going that far. There must not have been much demand for outbound service when this picture was taken.

The same location as the last picture, and another Douglas Park train going to Lanwdale only, but this is a different car (2821) and run number (316 vs. 315). Interesting that consecutive runs would only be going that far. There must not have been much demand for outbound service when this picture was taken.

This is the old Clark and Lake "L" station and we are looking east. An outbound Ravenswood "A" train is stopped at the station. The signs at right are advertising a stage version of Mister Roberts at the Erlanger Theatre. A/B "skip stop" service was instituted on the Ravenswood on August 1, 1949, which is probably around the time this picture was taken. Prior to this, most Ravenswood service was operated by 4000s running via the subway. By Spring of 1951, base service on the Rave was being operated by new 6000s.

This is the old Clark and Lake “L” station and we are looking east. An outbound Ravenswood “A” train is stopped at the station. The signs at right are advertising a stage version of Mister Roberts at the Erlanger Theatre. A/B “skip stop” service was instituted on the Ravenswood on August 1, 1949, which is probably around the time this picture was taken. Prior to this, most Ravenswood service was operated by 4000s running via the subway. By Spring of 1951, base service on the Rave was being operated by new 6000s.

Where this picture could have been taken was somewhat of a mystery, but the one place that seems a good fit is the old Lawndale terminal on the Humboldt Park "L". There, only one track served the platform, while there were two tracks for storage. Gate cars such as these were used during the CTA era, and the "L" itself was shoehorned between buildings such as the one at left. There was a tower at the end of the platform, such as the one seen here. In that scenario, the "M" may simply stand for Metropolitan, as Humboldt Park was part of the Met "L".

Where this picture could have been taken was somewhat of a mystery, but the one place that seems a good fit is the old Lawndale terminal on the Humboldt Park “L”. There, only one track served the platform, while there were two tracks for storage. Gate cars such as these were used during the CTA era, and the “L” itself was shoehorned between buildings such as the one at left. There was a tower at the end of the platform, such as the one seen here. In that scenario, the “M” may simply stand for Metropolitan, as Humboldt Park was part of the Met “L”.

For the sake of comparison, Graham Garfield’s excellent web site shows a picture taken at Lawndale, but looking in the opposite direction (east):

The building shown in the last picture, as it looks today on Lawndale just north of North Avenue. The buildings to the west of here have been torn down (there is a car wash on that site today), but note the similarity in construction to the building shown in our mystery photo.

The building shown in the last picture, as it looks today on Lawndale just north of North Avenue. The buildings to the west of here have been torn down (there is a car wash on that site today), but note the similarity in construction to the building shown in our mystery photo.

Highlights from The “New Look,” Part 2

The Forest Park CTA terminal in June 1959. CA&E had stopped running here nearly two years earlier, which facilitated expressway construction (it opened here in 1960). If CA&E had resumed it would have used the track and platform at the left of the CTA property, begging the question of why a temporary track wasn’t instead built using one of the nearby CGW tracks.

The Forest Park CTA terminal in June 1959. CA&E had stopped running here nearly two years earlier, which facilitated expressway construction (it opened here in 1960). If CA&E had resumed it would have used the track and platform at the left of the CTA property, begging the question of why a temporary track wasn’t instead built using one of the nearby CGW tracks.

In the second of two posts, our last for this year, we again feature highlights from our recent E-book collection, The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973. Today’s highlights are from the CTA Transit News and mainly cover the period 1958-61. You will find the first installment here.

There is a tremendous amount of useful information in the Transit News, and there are thousands of pages of material on this DVD data disc we are offering.

FYI, all current orders for The “New Look” have now shipped.

DVD03CoverA.PNG

The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973
Edited by David Sadowski

Over a period of 35 years, between 1938 and 1973, Chicago’s transit system was radically transformed, for better or for worse.

This transformation included the creation of the Chicago Transit Authority in 1945 by act of the state legislature. CTA represented public ownership and unification of Chicago’s mass transit system. The Chicago Rapid Transit Company, Chicago Surface Lines, and (later) Chicago Motor Coach Company were all merged.

The venerable Loop “L” was supplemented by two new subways, under State and Dearborn streets. Several “L” lines and dozens of stations were abandoned. New rapid transit lines were built in three different expressways.

Streetcars and trolley buses were eliminated, as were many grade crossings. Two of Chicago’s three major interurbans expired.

High-speed rapid transit cars were developed by the Chicago Transit Authority, and put into use on the new Skokie Swift service and, eventually, throughout the system. Air conditioning became standard on rapid transit cars.

By the early 1960s, the CTA began calling it a “New Look” in transit.

Now, to examine this transformation, we have collected many original CTA source documents from this revolution together in one place, as our third DVD data disc release, The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, edited by David Sadowski.

Since our previous release Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story covered surface system changes, this new collection’s primary focus is rapid transit. Naturally, there is some overlap between the two E-books, but The “New Look” includes over 1000 pages of new material, including:

An introductory essay by transit historian David Sadowski, which puts the era into perspective

Special commemorative publications put out by the City of Chicago in 1943 and 1951, when the State Street and Dearborn subways opened

43 entire issues of CTA Transit News in hi-res (an employee publication, primarily covering the important transition period from 1958 through 1961), plus additional scans from 1964-65, 1967-68, and 1969-70

High-resolution scans of the 1958 and 1961 CTA Annual Reports (all reports from 1945-76 are also included in lower-res scans)

Rapid transit system track maps

A short book, The Story of the Chicago Rapid Transit Lines (circa 1938)

Numerous CTA pamphlets, covering A/B “skip stop” service, Rider’s Reader, opening of the Congress rapid transit line, “New Look” (aka “Fishbowl”) buses, bus overhaul shops, and the elevation of the outer end of the Lake Street “L”.

In addition, we have included a variety of CTA technical publications, including the operation of various old interlockings, signal systems, and troubleshooting manuals for the 4000-series rapid transit cars.

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.95


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

This is our 108th post this year, 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 107,500 page views from 30,500 individuals.

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

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

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PS- As we approach our one-year anniversary next month, the deadline for renewing our premium WordPress account comes due in less than 30 days. This includes out Internet domain www.thetrolleydodger.com, much of the storage space we use for the thousands of files posted here, and helps keep this an ads-free experience for our readers. Your contributions towards this goal are greatly appreciated, in any amount.


It's an uphill climb, keeping this thing going.  But we can do it with your help.

It’s an uphill climb, keeping this thing going. But we can do it with your help.

Space- The Final Frontier

One of our readers writes:

None of the pictures on this ‘thread’ are enlargeable, with the sole exception of the cover graphic piece. I don’t think it’s my PC as all the others readily enlarge.

We’ve just about run out of our 13 GB allotment of storage space for images. As a short-term fix, I started another free WordPress blog, which gives us an additional 3 GB. However, it seems that as a result, the pictures are not enlargeable.

This may be because they are links that are not pointed to the storage space for this blog, even though it’s just another WordPress blog. I’ll have to find out if there is a way to get around this issue, at least until more funds are available and we can purchase additional storage space from WordPress, thanks. Your contributions will help solve this issue, and we appreciate them.

2015 In Review

This blog started on January 21, 2015. During the year, we made 108 posts, which included a few thousand high quality images. For our first 107 posts, we have reached more than 107,000 page views, and average of more than 1000 per post, and this figure is gradually increasing.

This means that over time, we are building up a following. More people are looking at the new posts, and more people are in turn looking at the old posts. We welcome all of our visitors as guests to our virtual home and thank you for stopping by.

We also released nearly 30 new products, three important Ebook collections, and more than two dozen CD collections featuring the sounds of vintage streetcars, interurbans, and steam engines.

For 2016, we hope to finally complete our efforts to make the entire Railroad Record Club catalog available once again. We also hope to issue new recordings in the spirit of the RRC. Watch this space for further details.

1957 SF Muni PCC Leasing

FYI, we recently came across an interesting 1957 document from San Francisco’s Municipal Railway (Muni). The last new PCC streetcar built in America was made for Muni in 1952 (car #1040, and they still have it).

Anyhow, five years later they wanted to lease PCCs from other cities that still had them and no longer wanted them. While I know they eventually bought PCCs from other cities, I do not know whether they did on fact lease any.

However, the document is interesting because it specifies what Muni wanted in a standard PCC car. They had to be postwar cars and meet certain specifications made by the Transit Research Corporation. (TRC was the successor to the ERPCC, the Electric Railway Presidents’ Conference Committee, holder of the various PCC patents.)

This was the period where the CTA was finishing up dismantling the Chicago streetcar system. While 570 of the 600 postwar Chicago PCCs were scrapped for parts recycling, there were about two dozen cars that CTA tried to sell at the end of service.

A middleman purchased nearly all of them, with the idea of selling them to another city, such as Mexico City. Ultimately, no other city could be found that could use them, because they had non-standard dimensions.

Chicago had what you might call “Super PCCs.” These were longer than standard cars, had a unique third set of rear doors, and were designed for two-man operation, although some were eventually converted to one-man operation.

Although in the short run, this made it harder to sell the cars to another city, it was a prescient design. Since the 1950s, there has been a trend towards longer and longer streetcars, and the Flexitys now being delivered to Toronto dwarf even the Super PCCs that Chicago had.

We have added this 1957 document to our E-book collection Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store.

You can read it here.

Happy New Year! See you in 2016.

-David Sadowski


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CTA found creative ways for recycling many of the wooden “L” cars that were retired in the 1950s. A few dozen of such cars were lined up at Skokie Shops and used for storage, until a new building was built on the property.

CTA found creative ways for recycling many of the wooden “L” cars that were retired in the 1950s. A few dozen of such cars were lined up at Skokie Shops and used for storage, until a new building was built on the property.

This Transit News article offers a logical explanation of why the 51st-55th trolley bus route was converted to motor buses in 1959, almost exactly one year after the last streetcar ran in Chicago. The City turned part of a street over to developers, and rather than reroute the trolley bus line, which would have involved an expense, CTA at first wanted to cut service back. They soon decided it would be better to separate 51st and 55th into two separate motor bus routes instead. Similar considerations were involved previously when route 4 Cottage Grove streetcar line was converted to bus in 1955. For a while, Cottage Grove PCCs ran through a no man’s land of a street closed off to car traffic, where all nearby buildings had been torn down. The City Council granted this operation reprieves six months at a time until abandonment. Similarly, the timing of bus conversion on route 49 – Western was influenced by the City’s desire to build a flyover on Western at Belmont, near Riverview. If the CTA had been committed to electric surface transit, of course, they would have found a way to make these investments. Instead, all three examples were part of a gradual phase-out.

This Transit News article offers a logical explanation of why the 51st-55th trolley bus route was converted to motor buses in 1959, almost exactly one year after the last streetcar ran in Chicago. The City turned part of a street over to developers, and rather than reroute the trolley bus line, which would have involved an expense, CTA at first wanted to cut service back. They soon decided it would be better to separate 51st and 55th into two separate motor bus routes instead.
Similar considerations were involved previously when route 4 Cottage Grove streetcar line was converted to bus in 1955. For a while, Cottage Grove PCCs ran through a no man’s land of a street closed off to car traffic, where all nearby buildings had been torn down. The City Council granted this operation reprieves six months at a time until abandonment.
Similarly, the timing of bus conversion on route 49 – Western was influenced by the City’s desire to build a flyover on Western at Belmont, near Riverview.
If the CTA had been committed to electric surface transit, of course, they would have found a way to make these investments. Instead, all three examples were part of a gradual phase-out.

It’s unthinkable today, of course, to simply burn rail vehicles as a means of disposing of them, but air pollution was not such a concern in 1959 when this picture was taken. Neither was historic preservation—on some occasions railfans threw the matches and started the fires.

It’s unthinkable today, of course, to simply burn rail vehicles as a means of disposing of them, but air pollution was not such a concern in 1959 when this picture was taken. Neither was historic preservation—on some occasions railfans threw the matches and started the fires.

To this day, CTA trains on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line use this bridge to cross over DesPlaines Avenue. But when the bridge was built, there was a crossing at grade behind the bridge. Typically, expressway bridges were dug out and built first, and the rest of the highway followed.

To this day, CTA trains on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line use this bridge to cross over DesPlaines Avenue. But when the bridge was built, there was a crossing at grade behind the bridge. Typically, expressway bridges were dug out and built first, and the rest of the highway followed.

In 1959, CTA had fanciful ideas of operating a multiple unit bus train, and in fact there were other experiments with these concepts on the east coast that did not pan out. The Red Arrow Lines hoped such a vehicle would allow them to operate buses over tracks where their franchise required rail. Perhaps CTA hoped to operate such a service in the median of the Stevenson expressway, which never did receive a transit line.

In 1959, CTA had fanciful ideas of operating a multiple unit bus train, and in fact there were other experiments with these concepts on the east coast that did not pan out. The Red Arrow Lines hoped such a vehicle would allow them to operate buses over tracks where their franchise required rail. Perhaps CTA hoped to operate such a service in the median of the Stevenson expressway, which never did receive a transit line.

Another view of that 1959 wooden “L” car bonfire.

Another view of that 1959 wooden “L” car bonfire.

These terminal facilities, primitive by today’s standards, remained in use until the present DesPlaines Blue Line terminal was built in the 1980s.

These terminal facilities, primitive by today’s standards, remained in use until the present DesPlaines Blue Line terminal was built in the 1980s.

Throughout 1959, the old Garfield Park “L” structure was gradually being dismantled. This picture dates to around October. Meanwhile, the CTA finished working on the Congress line as far west as Central. This means that any connections that still remained with the old Laramie Yard were cut, which was necessary for the extension of the expressway at this point. Such tracks would have crossed the highway. If not for the DesPlaines terminal, an expensive permanent track connection, either via a subway or flyover, would have been needed between the Congress line and Laramie Yard.

Throughout 1959, the old Garfield Park “L” structure was gradually being dismantled. This picture dates to around October. Meanwhile, the CTA finished working on the Congress line as far west as Central. This means that any connections that still remained with the old Laramie Yard were cut, which was necessary for the extension of the expressway at this point. Such tracks would have crossed the highway. If not for the DesPlaines terminal, an expensive permanent track connection, either via a subway or flyover, would have been needed between the Congress line and Laramie Yard.

The view looking east from about 612 S. Kilpatrick today. If the location in the previous picture is correct, it looks like the old Garfield Park "L" structure occupied the space just to the right of the alley.

The view looking east from about 612 S. Kilpatrick today. If the location in the previous picture is correct, it looks like the old Garfield Park “L” structure occupied the space just to the right of the alley.

Use of concrete support columns here foreshadowed their later use for other latter-day CTA “L”s.

Use of concrete support columns here foreshadowed their later use for other latter-day CTA “L”s.

Work on elevating the outer portion of Lake, planned for several years, got underway early in 1960.

Work on elevating the outer portion of Lake, planned for several years, got underway early in 1960.

These experimental high-speed rapid transit cars were termed “circus wagons” by the fans, but they eventually formed the backbone of service on the Skokie Swift for many years and paved the way for the various series of cars that have followed.

These experimental high-speed rapid transit cars were termed “circus wagons” by the fans, but they eventually formed the backbone of service on the Skokie Swift for many years and paved the way for the various series of cars that have followed.

This is one of the very first CTA trains to use the permanent routing into the DesPlaines terminal on March 20, 1960. This bridge, originally designed for three tracks, is still in use. But with expressway construction far from finished, note the grade crossing right behind the bridge. That implies that the bridge was built first and then the area around it was later cleared out for the highway. Cars today go underneath the “L”. Behind the train, you can see a handsome 1939 field house, still in use today in a nearby park.

This is one of the very first CTA trains to use the permanent routing into the DesPlaines terminal on March 20, 1960. This bridge, originally designed for three tracks, is still in use. But with expressway construction far from finished, note the grade crossing right behind the bridge. That implies that the bridge was built first and then the area around it was later cleared out for the highway. Cars today go underneath the “L”. Behind the train, you can see a handsome 1939 field house, still in use today in a nearby park.

The temporary tracks veered off to the left at this point and seem to have continued at ground level. Meanwhile, the structures that carry the B&OCT over the CTA are at rear. Previously the two lines crossed at grade.

The temporary tracks veered off to the left at this point and seem to have continued at ground level. Meanwhile, the structures that carry the B&OCT over the CTA are at rear. Previously the two lines crossed at grade.

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Removing the old temporary CTA tracks.

Removing the old temporary CTA tracks.

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The CTA completed its project to have four tracks through the Wilson area around April, 1961.

The CTA completed its project to have four tracks through the Wilson area around April, 1961.

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What this blurb does not answer is why a two-block section of the old Humboldt Park “L” was even kept at all after the branch line was abandoned in the early 1950s. Rumor has it that a portion was kept in case it could be used for mid-day storage of trains from the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin in case it had resumed service. In that event, CA&E steel cars would have operated through the subway and deadheaded to North Avenue and storage tracks on this small portion of Humboldt. Alas, it was not to be. This picture was taken around September 1961, by which time the interurban was liquidating. By the following month, the Humboldt remnant was gone too.

What this blurb does not answer is why a two-block section of the old Humboldt Park “L” was even kept at all after the branch line was abandoned in the early 1950s. Rumor has it that a portion was kept in case it could be used for mid-day storage of trains from the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin in case it had resumed service. In that event, CA&E steel cars would have operated through the subway and deadheaded to North Avenue and storage tracks on this small portion of Humboldt. Alas, it was not to be. This picture was taken around September 1961, by which time the interurban was liquidating. By the following month, the Humboldt remnant was gone too.

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During the 1960-62 work to put the west end of Lake onto the C&NW embankment, we have a transitional view, showing the new ramp onto the embankment at right, and the reworked ramp down to street level at left.

During the 1960-62 work to put the west end of Lake onto the C&NW embankment, we have a transitional view, showing the new ramp onto the embankment at right, and the reworked ramp down to street level at left.

More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Two

CTA 7100, as repainted. George Trapp notes, 7100 “may be (the) first painted in the ugly Everglade Green and Cream.” If so, this picture was probably taken in 1951. CTA chose a darker color green for repainting, since they were having difficulty matching the lighter Mercury Green paint, which had a tendency to fade over time. There were some variations in the roof treatment on some cars, and you can see examples of that in CERA Bulletin 146. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Today we offer a third installment of pictures from the collections of George Trapp. You can find Part One of the Chicago PCC series here, and we also posted many photos of historic Chicago buses here.

Thanks to Mr. Trapp’s generosity, we now have close to another 150 additional images of Chicago PCC streetcars. Nearly all of these are previously unknown to me. Mr. Trapp has been collecting these type of pictures for nearly the last 50 years, and has let us borrow some of them so that we might feature them here and add them to our electronic book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store.

Mr. Trapps’ photos are an embarrassment of riches. Since there are too many to post all at once, check this space in coming days from further installments in this series.

This time out, a few of the pictures are in color, and we have done some restoration work on them. When older color prints have faded or have developed a color cast, sometimes we can correct for this using today’s computer technology.

Of course, the deluxe hardcover book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era 1936-1958, published in June by Central Electric Railfans’ Association, is the premier volume covering the rise and fall of the modern streetcar in the Windy City. That book contains hundreds of great color photos and is a must-have for anyone who is interested in the subject, or even anyone who is interested in knowing what Chicago’s disparate neighborhoods looked like in a bygone era. While I am proud to be a co-author of that work, B-146 is available directly from the publisher. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with CERA.

In my humble opinion, B-146 is a fantastic bargain and a great value for the money, and I urge you to get a copy if you have not already done so.

My more recent E-book, available on a data disc in PDF format, is intended as a very unofficial supplement and companion to that noble work. One advantage that an electronic book has over a printed one is that more information can be added to it as things become available. We have already added numerous photos, maps, etc. to it, and the material from the Trapp Collection is a tremendous addition, which we are very grateful to have.

On top of that, we are adding another section of photographs to the book covering Chicago’s rapid transit system as it appeared early in the CTA era. That will give the reader a very clear idea of how badly the system was in need of improvement and modernization, a factor in the process by which CTA ultimately decided to eliminate streetcars.

With the E-book, we are not attempting to duplicate anything covered in B-146, which mainly showcases color photography. But there are still lots of great black-and-white photos that deserve to be seen, and lots of other information which could not be included even in a 448-page book. Chicago once had the largest streetcar system in the world, and chances are it will be a long time, if ever, before anyone has the “last word” about it.

If you have already purchased our E-book, and wish to get an updated copy with the additional information, this can be done at little or no cost to you. We always intended that it would be improved over time and offer an upgrade service to our purchasers on an ongoing basis.

As always, clicking on each photo with your mouse should bring up a larger version of the picture in your browser. You may be able to magnify this if you then see a “+” on your screen.

Chicago’s postwar PCCs were built by Pullman-Standard (310 cars) and the St. Louis Car Company (290 cars). You can readily tell which ones are which, since the Pullmans are more squarish in appearance, especially the windows, and the St. Louies have more curved lines.

Finally, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to share about the photos you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know, either by making a comment on this post, or by dropping us a line to:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

Thanks to the generosity of George Trapp, all of the photos in today's post are being added to our E-book Chicago's PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story.

Thanks to the generosity of George Trapp, all of the photos in today’s post are being added to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story.

CSL 7100 when newly delivered. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 7100 when newly delivered. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 7108, southbound on route 22. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 7108, southbound on route 22. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 7108 at 81st and Halsted on August 15, 1947. (James J. Buckley Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 7108 at 81st and Halsted on August 15, 1947. (James J. Buckley Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Glare on the front of the car makes the number more difficult to see, but it's 4054 at 81st and Halsted. Since the cars are all signed for CSL, this photo probably dates to 1947.

Glare on the front of the car makes the number more difficult to see, but it’s 4054 at 81st and Halsted. Since the cars are all signed for CSL, this photo probably dates to 1947.

CTA 4052 southbound on Western just north of North Avenue (see the 1607 address at right), making that the old Humboldt Park “L” at the rear. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 4060, probably in 1947. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 4060, probably in 1947. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

PCC 4061, a St. Louis product, southbound on Halsted. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

PCC 4061, a St. Louis product, southbound on Halsted. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 4061 southbound on route 22, probably in 1947. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 4061 southbound on route 22, probably in 1947. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

A builder's photo of Pullman PCC 4172's interior.

A builder’s photo of Pullman PCC 4172’s interior.

A builder's photo of Pullman PCC 4172 as new.

A builder’s photo of Pullman PCC 4172 as new.

Another builder's photo of Pullman PCC 4172's interior.

Another builder’s photo of Pullman PCC 4172’s interior.

A builder's photo of Pullman PCC 4172 as new.

A builder’s photo of Pullman PCC 4172 as new.

An early color photo of CSL 4179.

An early color photo of CSL 4179.

The boxiness of the Pullmans, compared to the St. Louis version, is clearly evident in this side view of CSL 4179.

The boxiness of the Pullmans, compared to the St. Louis version, is clearly evident in this side view of CSL 4179.

4306 up in the air at the Pullman plant.

4306 up in the air at the Pullman plant.

4346 is southbound on Clark at Lunt in this 1948 view. A banner on the front of the car heralds “Another New CTA Streetcar.” This one was delivered on December 29, 1947. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

This Pullman PCC is northbound on route 36 Broadway-State. Andre Kristopans adds, “on State, between Pershing and 40th. The building is the old cable powerhouse and carbarn. Note in background the two-level bridge. Bottom is CR&I from the IC to Stock Yards, top is the Stock Yards L.” (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

State between Pershing and 40th as it appears today. The building at left is the Dawson Technical Institute, part of the City Colleges of Chicago. It was established in 1968.

State between Pershing and 40th as it appears today. The building at left is the Dawson Technical Institute, part of the City Colleges of Chicago. It was established in 1968.

Remnants of the the two-level bridge Andre refers to. The lower level took the Chicago & Rock Island from the Illinois Central to the Stock Yards, on top was the old Stock Yards "L", which closed in 1957.

Remnants of the the two-level bridge Andre refers to. The lower level took the Chicago & Rock Island from the Illinois Central to the Stock Yards, on top was the old Stock Yards “L”, which closed in 1957.

Is 4233 coming or going? I guess a case could be made either way. The car doesn't seem to have any dents, and there isn't a logo. Yet it's not shiny, either, although that could simply be due to the weather. That decides it- this car was scrapped on 8/20/53 and delivered on 3/6/48, so this must be its arrival. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Is 4233 coming or going? I guess a case could be made either way. The car doesn’t seem to have any dents, and there isn’t a logo. Yet it’s not shiny, either, although that could simply be due to the weather. That decides it- this car was scrapped on 8/20/53 and delivered on 3/6/48, so this must be its arrival. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Pullman PCC 4259 is turning from diversion trackage on Chicago Avenue onto southbound Halsted on July 30, 1952. This would be due to the bridge carrying Halsted over the Chicago River being out of service. The landmark Montgomery Wards complex is at rear. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Pullman PCC 4259 is turning from diversion trackage on Chicago Avenue onto southbound Halsted on July 30, 1952. This would be due to the bridge carrying Halsted over the Chicago River being out of service. The landmark Montgomery Wards complex is at rear. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

PCC 4232 is northbound on Clark at Armitage (on route 22) in this June 1948 view. Note the lack of either a CSL or CTA logo on the side of this car. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

PCC 4232 is northbound on Clark at Armitage (on route 22) in this June 1948 view. Note the lack of either a CSL or CTA logo on the side of this car. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

It's May 1951, and CTA 4248, newly repainted in Everglade Green and Cream, is at 119th and Morgan on the south end of route 36 - Broadway-State. There is an ad for Gibson refrigerators on the side of the car-- not the same company that makes guitars. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

It’s May 1951, and CTA 4248, newly repainted in Everglade Green and Cream, is at 119th and Morgan on the south end of route 36 – Broadway-State. There is an ad for Gibson refrigerators on the side of the car– not the same company that makes guitars. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The interior of a PCC on the St. Louis Car Company assembly line. Car 7227 is ahead, which means this is probably either 7226 or 7228. All were delivered to CTA on March 29, 1948.

The interior of a PCC on the St. Louis Car Company assembly line. Car 7227 is ahead, which means this is probably either 7226 or 7228. All were delivered to CTA on March 29, 1948.

This picture of CTA 7129 has the appearance of a posed shot. The woman at right is apparently a “Bobby Soxer.” According to the wikipedia, “A bobby sock is a type of sock that was especially fashionable in the 1940s and 1950s. Bobby socks had thick uppers that were turned down to form a thick cuff at ankle height. They were sometimes worn by girls as part of a school uniform. They were popular to wear with saddle shoes, loafers, or Oxfords.” My mother was a Bobby Soxer. 7129, delivered on January 20, 1948, is labelled as “Another New CTA Streetcar.” (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

St. Louis-built 7155 is on Ravenswood Avenue with the Chicago & North Western embankment in the background. The side sign advertises AM radio station WGN, which still offers news and sports, but very little music nowadays. (CTA Photo)

St. Louis-built 7155 is on Ravenswood Avenue with the Chicago & North Western embankment in the background. The side sign advertises AM radio station WGN, which still offers news and sports, but very little music nowadays. (CTA Photo)

CTA 7142, “Another New CTA streetcar,” is southbound at Wentworth and 24th. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

7178 and 7199 at Devon Station (car barn) circa 1954. George Trapp says you can tell this is Devon since they had wooden beams near the front, not steel. (Charlie Preston Photo)

7178 and 7199 at Devon Station (car barn) circa 1954. George Trapp says you can tell this is Devon since they had wooden beams near the front, not steel. (Charlie Preston Photo)

PCC 7179 in front of red car 5096. From the destination sign you would think we are southbound on Western Avenue. Not sure what route the older car is on. Don's Rail Photos says, "5001 thru 5200 were built by Brill in 1905, #14318, for the Chicago City Ry. where they carried the same numbers. They were rebuilt in 1908 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars." George Trapp adds, "car 5096 could be on way from Archer car barn to 77th shops for scrapping as these cars were taken out of service in 1948 after Archer was converted to bus. Car 7179 may be in service on Western before official date of PCC service on Western as photo looks to be in Summer of 1948, 7179 has no logo." Andre Kristopans writes, "I would bet at Western and 71st SB. The 5000 would have been on 67th-69th going to 71st & California. It looks like they are changing crews as the conductor is walking towards the car." On the other hand, George Trapp says, " Andris Kristopans mentions that he thinks it was taken near 71st St. because 5096 was on the 67th-69th-71st Route. I don't believe this to be the case as that route used one man MU cars. Also, if you enlarge the photo, car 5096 is missing its side route sign box, there's no glass in the upper sash window opening, the front destination sign seems to be missing as well. Perhaps the conductor of car 7179 just finished throwing the switch so it could go into the 79th loop and had to wait for it to pass so he could throw it back to the straight route for 5096 to continue south to 79th Street to go East. Car 7179 looks very pristine and is missing a CTA logo so this has to be right around the Aug. 1st official debut of PCC's on Western or possibly earlier. The run number indicates a car from Devon Depot." (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

PCC 7179 in front of red car 5096. From the destination sign you would think we are southbound on Western Avenue. Not sure what route the older car is on. Don’s Rail Photos says, “5001 thru 5200 were built by Brill in 1905, #14318, for the Chicago City Ry. where they carried the same numbers. They were rebuilt in 1908 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars.” George Trapp adds, “car 5096 could be on way from Archer car barn to 77th shops for scrapping as these cars were taken out of service in 1948 after Archer was converted to bus. Car 7179 may be in service on Western before official date of PCC service on Western as photo looks to be in Summer of 1948, 7179 has no logo.” Andre Kristopans writes, “I would bet at Western and 71st SB. The 5000 would have been on 67th-69th going to 71st & California. It looks like they are changing crews as the conductor is walking towards the car.” On the other hand, George Trapp says, ” Andris Kristopans mentions that he thinks it was taken near 71st St. because 5096 was on the 67th-69th-71st Route. I don’t believe this to be the case as that route used one man MU cars. Also, if you enlarge the photo, car 5096 is missing its side route sign box, there’s no glass in the upper sash window opening, the front destination sign seems to be missing as well. Perhaps the conductor of car 7179 just finished throwing the switch so it could go into the 79th loop and had to wait for it to pass so he could throw it back to the straight route for 5096 to continue south to 79th Street to go East. Car 7179 looks very pristine and is missing a CTA logo so this has to be right around the Aug. 1st official debut of PCC’s on Western or possibly earlier. The run number indicates a car from Devon Depot.” (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

This photo of PCC 7195 was probably taken by the CTA and the car is heading south on Clark Street opposite Lincoln Park. The ad is for TV station WBKB, which was originally called W9XBK and was Chicago's first television station starting in 1940. The B and K in WBKB stood for the owners, the Balaban and Katz chain of movie palaces. It was eventually a CBS affiliate on channel 4 and became WBBM-TV channel 2 when the FCC reassigned frequencies. There was a second WBKB then on channel 7, now WLS-TV, and there is yet a third WBKB nowadays in Alpena, Michigan, a CBS affiliate that airs on channel 11.

This photo of PCC 7195 was probably taken by the CTA and the car is heading south on Clark Street opposite Lincoln Park. The ad is for TV station WBKB, which was originally called W9XBK and was Chicago’s first television station starting in 1940. The B and K in WBKB stood for the owners, the Balaban and Katz chain of movie palaces. It was eventually a CBS affiliate on channel 4 and became WBBM-TV channel 2 when the FCC reassigned frequencies. There was a second WBKB then on channel 7, now WLS-TV, and there is yet a third WBKB nowadays in Alpena, Michigan, a CBS affiliate that airs on channel 11.

I believe this iconic picture of CTA 7213, leaving Clark and Kinzie on the last Chicago streetcar run in the early morning hours of June 21, 1958, is a CTA photo.

I believe this iconic picture of CTA 7213, leaving Clark and Kinzie on the last Chicago streetcar run in the early morning hours of June 21, 1958, is a CTA photo.

CTA 7218 is heading north on shoofly trackage at Hasted and Congress circa 1952, while the bridge that would take Halsted over the Congress (later Eisenhower) expressway was being built. There was a photo taken near this location, facing west, in our first post of PCC photos from the Trapp Collection. (Originally from the collections of Joe L. Diaz)

CTA 7218 is heading north on shoofly trackage at Hasted and Congress circa 1952, while the bridge that would take Halsted over the Congress (later Eisenhower) expressway was being built. There was a photo taken near this location, facing west, in our first post of PCC photos from the Trapp Collection. (Originally from the collections of Joe L. Diaz)

CTA 7254, southbound on Clark and Wacker on April 6, 1950, having just crossed over the Chicago River. (Traction Chicago Photo)

CTA 7254, southbound on Clark and Wacker on April 6, 1950, having just crossed over the Chicago River. (Traction Chicago Photo)

George Trapp writes, “7244 is westbound on Devon at Ravenswood, (the) car is getting ready to turn north on Ravenswood , then will turn East on Schreiber and lay over just west of Clark before making it’s run to 119th-Morgan.” Jeff Wien adds, “Car 7244 is a Broadway-State car on Devon at Ravenswood heading west. The conductor was throwing the switch so that the car would head north on Ravenswood to Schreiber. With the 36 119-Morgan destination sign, I would gather that the car was going to make a run to the south end of the line.” (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

PCC 4390, “Another New CTA Streetcar,” is heading eastbound on Roosevelt between Paulina and Ashland in 1948. Route 9 – Ashland cars ran on Paulina between Lake and Roosevelt, since streetcars were not allowed on boulevards, but Ashland never had PCCs and this car is not in service. In the background at left we see the marquee of the Broadway Strand Theatre. According to http://www.cinematreasures.org, “The Broadway Strand Theatre opened on November 10, 1917 on Roosevelt Road (then still called 12th Street) at Ashland Avenue on the Near West Side (close to what is today the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center). In its prime, this theatre had a 2/8 Kimball theater organ.
The Broadway Strand Theatre was demolished in 1998 after a long period of disuse.” A Chicago Motor Coach bus is at right, and a route 12 – Roosevelt Road red car behind the PCC. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

PCC 7267, “Another New CTA Streetcar,” stopped at a safety island southbound on route 49 – Western. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo)

CTA 4402 at the Western and 79th terminal, ready to head back north. (Traction Chicago Photo)

CTA 4402 at the Western and 79th terminal, ready to head back north. (Traction Chicago Photo)

The curved lines of St. Louis-built PCC 4404 are evident in this view. The car is signed for Western and Devon on route 49, meaning we are heading northbound. Likely, this picture was taken prior to the opening of the CTA loop at Western and Berwyn on August 1, 1948. George Trapp adds that this photo was probably taken "between Aug. 10th, 1948 when the car was delivered and Dec. 12th, 1948 when Berwyn became the official North terminal. Before Dec. 12th, 1948 the Schreiber Loop at the Devon Depot was the North terminal when PCC's were put on Western and the route was cut back from Howard on the North and 111th on the South." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The curved lines of St. Louis-built PCC 4404 are evident in this view. The car is signed for Western and Devon on route 49, meaning we are heading northbound. Likely, this picture was taken prior to the opening of the CTA loop at Western and Berwyn on August 1, 1948. George Trapp adds that this photo was probably taken “between Aug. 10th, 1948 when the car was delivered and Dec. 12th, 1948 when Berwyn became the official North terminal. Before Dec. 12th, 1948 the Schreiber Loop at the Devon Depot was the North terminal when PCC’s were put on Western and the route was cut back from Howard on the North and 111th on the South.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

It would appear that CTA L-201 is taking PCC 7142 off to be scrapped in this scene from 77th and Vincennes. The scrap date for 7142 was May 23, 1958, which is probably about when this picture was taken. (J. Schmidt Photo)

It would appear that CTA L-201 is taking PCC 7142 off to be scrapped in this scene from 77th and Vincennes. The scrap date for 7142 was May 23, 1958, which is probably about when this picture was taken. (J. Schmidt Photo)

CTA 4384 is apparently southbound on Western in the mid-1950s. and signed to go only as far as 69th, making this a pull-in.

CTA 4384 is apparently southbound on Western in the mid-1950s. and signed to go only as far as 69th, making this a pull-in.

A PCC passes the historic Pui Tak Center Building in Chinatown while heading south on route 22. The building is at 2216 South Wentworth Avenue, just south of Cermak Road. The car at left is a 1957 Buick. There is a similar (better, actually) picture taken at this location by Charles L. Tauscher on page 211 of CERA Bulletin 146.

A PCC passes the historic Pui Tak Center Building in Chinatown while heading south on route 22. The building is at 2216 South Wentworth Avenue, just south of Cermak Road. The car at left is a 1957 Buick.
There is a similar (better, actually) picture taken at this location by Charles L. Tauscher on page 211 of CERA Bulletin 146.

An undated view of PCC 4391 at the Illinois Railway Museum, probably in the 1980s.

An undated view of PCC 4391 at the Illinois Railway Museum, probably in the 1980s.

An undated view of PCC 4391 at the Illinois Railway Museum, probably in the 1980s.

An undated view of PCC 4391 at the Illinois Railway Museum, probably in the 1980s.

CTA 4248 is heading north on Halsted at Root on the south side in this July 21, 1952 view. The occasion was the Democratic Convention, held at the nearby International Amphitheatre, which took place from July 21 to the 26th. The Republican Convention was held there as well between July 7th and the 11th. The Dems nominated Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson for president, and the GOP General Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 4248 is heading north on Halsted at Root on the south side in this July 21, 1952 view. The occasion was the Democratic Convention, held at the nearby International Amphitheatre, which took place from July 21 to the 26th. The Republican Convention was held there as well between July 7th and the 11th. The Dems nominated Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson for president, and the GOP General Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)