Bill Hoffman’s Black-and-Whites

This is, for me, a very interesting photo. It shows construction of the new Halsted Street bridge that will eventually go over the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway under construction on May 20, 1951. As you can see, the bridges were built first, before the area around them was excavated. That way, traffic could be diverted around the construction site as it is here. There was a shoo-fly for streetcars and a temporary roadway for other traffic. The view looks north. The nearby "L" station remained in service until 1958, although two of the four tracks were removed. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This is, for me, a very interesting photo. It shows construction of the new Halsted Street bridge that will eventually go over the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway under construction on May 20, 1951. As you can see, the bridges were built first, before the area around them was excavated. That way, traffic could be diverted around the construction site as it is here. There was a shoo-fly for streetcars and a temporary roadway for other traffic. The view looks north. The nearby “L” station remained in service until 1958, although two of the four tracks were removed. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

For our last post of 2019, we thought we would “ring out the old” by featuring some classic black-and-white views of Chicago streetcars (plus a few others) taken by the late William C. Hoffman (1910-1988), or from his collection. All appear courtesy of the Jeff Wien and the Wien-Criss Archive.

Bill Hoffman usually shot color slides, but according to Jeff, he sometimes shot black-and-white, typically if the local store happened to be out of color film. Mr. Hoffman deserves a ton of credit for traveling around the city with his camera. He got many shots that others failed to document.

This is our 20th post this year, about the same as last year. We again achieved over 100,000 page views, for the fifth straight year, as we look forward to 2020 and celebrating the fifth anniversary of this blog on January 21st.

We thank all our readers and contributors for their help in making this another very successful year here at the Trolley Dodger. As always, if you have questions, comments, or have information to share on any of what you see here, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We have a very interesting batch of pictures this time, including some very rare shots.

Happy New Year!

-David Sadowski

From the Wien-Criss Archive:

CSL 9001 was an unpowered trailer, built by the Surface Lines in 1921. Photos showing such trailers in use are quite rare, as they were only in service during the 1920s. After this, they were used as storage sheds at various CSL locations. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 9001 was an unpowered trailer, built by the Surface Lines in 1921. Photos showing such trailers in use are quite rare, as they were only in service during the 1920s. After this, they were used as storage sheds at various CSL locations. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

Other cities have used two-car streetcar trains extensively, notably Boston, but such use was short-lived in Chicago. Here, we see multiple-unit CSL 3208, built by the Chicago Surface Lines in 1924, operating a two-car train on Milwaukee Avenue. With a severe drop in ridership during the Great Depression, such use was no longer necessary. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

Other cities have used two-car streetcar trains extensively, notably Boston, but such use was short-lived in Chicago. Here, we see multiple-unit CSL 3208, built by the Chicago Surface Lines in 1924, operating a two-car train on Milwaukee Avenue. With a severe drop in ridership during the Great Depression, such use was no longer necessary. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6116 on the Kedzie Avenue line. This car was built by Brill in July 1914. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6116 on the Kedzie Avenue line. This car was built by Brill in July 1914. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1774, signed for Ogden-Downtown. Don's Rail Photos notes, "1774 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1774, signed for Ogden-Downtown. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “1774 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Westbound CTA Pullman 132 is on Van Buren crossing Western Avenue on November 13, 1950. Streetcar service ended on this route in 1951, and the CTA used the south half of Van Buren as a temporary right-of-way for Garfield Park "L" cars between 1953 and 1958. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Westbound CTA Pullman 132 is on Van Buren crossing Western Avenue on November 13, 1950. Streetcar service ended on this route in 1951, and the CTA used the south half of Van Buren as a temporary right-of-way for Garfield Park “L” cars between 1953 and 1958. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 15, 1953 there was an old CSL 2501-2625 series car at the Clark-Schreiber car barn. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 15, 1953 there was an old CSL 2501-2625 series car at the Clark-Schreiber car barn. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA salt car AA91 is at the car barn at Clark and Schreiber on August 15, 1953. Dpn's Rail Photos adds, "AA91, salt car, was built by Chicago Rys in 1912 as 1545. It became CSL 1545 in 1914 and retired on November 19, 1947. It was rebuilt as salt car AA91 in 1948 and retired on September 8, 1955." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA salt car AA91 is at the car barn at Clark and Schreiber on August 15, 1953. Dpn’s Rail Photos adds, “AA91, salt car, was built by Chicago Rys in 1912 as 1545. It became CSL 1545 in 1914 and retired on November 19, 1947. It was rebuilt as salt car AA91 in 1948 and retired on September 8, 1955.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On June 25, 1951, CTA 6140 is heading southbound on Stony Island, while waiting for an Illinois Central Electric commuter train to pass, before crossing 71st Street. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On June 25, 1951, CTA 6140 is heading southbound on Stony Island, while waiting for an Illinois Central Electric commuter train to pass, before crossing 71st Street. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 5722, a single-ended "nearside" car, is crossing the Illinois Central tracks. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 5722, a single-ended “nearside” car, is crossing the Illinois Central tracks. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On October 15, 1948, the conductor of CTA 1643 (running on the Van Buren Street route) is holding a switch lever at the southwest corner of Van Buren and Clinton. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On October 15, 1948, the conductor of CTA 1643 (running on the Van Buren Street route) is holding a switch lever at the southwest corner of Van Buren and Clinton. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at State and Madison. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at State and Madison. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at Clark and Devon. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at Clark and Devon. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On November 13, 1950 a northbound Ashland Avenue car, running here on Paulina, crosses Van Buren. The view is from the nearby Marshfield "L" station. On September 20, 1953 the CTA put Garfield Park "L" trains onto temporary trackage in Van Buren for about 2 1/2 miles, while the Congress Expressway was being built. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On November 13, 1950 a northbound Ashland Avenue car, running here on Paulina, crosses Van Buren. The view is from the nearby Marshfield “L” station. On September 20, 1953 the CTA put Garfield Park “L” trains onto temporary trackage in Van Buren for about 2 1/2 miles, while the Congress Expressway was being built. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 542 is a Milwaukee Avenue car, at the north end of the line near Devon on March 25, 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 542 is a Milwaukee Avenue car, at the north end of the line near Devon on March 25, 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1721 is an eastbound Ogden Avenue car on Randolph Street in 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1721 is an eastbound Ogden Avenue car on Randolph Street in 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The view looking west across Halsted into Root Street terminal. Streetcar service on this line was abandoned two days after this picture was taken on August 7, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The view looking west across Halsted into Root Street terminal. Streetcar service on this line was abandoned two days after this picture was taken on August 7, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

What looks like a CTA car in the 1700-series is eastbound on Randolph on March 28, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

What looks like a CTA car in the 1700-series is eastbound on Randolph on March 28, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6261 is at the end of the line at Stony Island and 93rd on November 7, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6261 is at the end of the line at Stony Island and 93rd on November 7, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

In the 1920s, CSL experimented with an articulated streetcar, here numbered 4000, made from two other cars. The experiment did not catch on. Don's Rail Photos adds, "4000 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as Chicago Union Traction Co as 4633 and 4634. They were renumbered 1104 and 1105 in 1913 and became CSL 1104 and 1105 in 1914. They were renumbered 1101 and 1102 in 1925. They were rebuilt as an articulated train using a Cincinnatii Car steel vestibule drum between the bodies. It was completed on August 3, 1925, and scrapped on March 30, 1937." (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

In the 1920s, CSL experimented with an articulated streetcar, here numbered 4000, made from two other cars. The experiment did not catch on. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “4000 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as Chicago Union Traction Co as 4633 and 4634. They were renumbered 1104 and 1105 in 1913 and became CSL 1104 and 1105 in 1914. They were renumbered 1101 and 1102 in 1925. They were rebuilt as an articulated train using a Cincinnatii Car steel vestibule drum between the bodies. It was completed on August 3, 1925, and scrapped on March 30, 1937.” (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

This picture of CTA 4022 appears to show it set up for one-man service on 63rd Street, although this was not implemented, after two public hearings were held. These cars were instead used on Cottage Grove. Red streetcars were temporarily returned to 63rd, and then buses were substituted in 1953. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive) On the other hand, Tony Waller writes, "Hi, I have a few comments/corrections for the latest set of photos: Pic.736 shows a two-man pre-war PCC operating on 63rd St. In the middle of the car you can see two center doors, one was removed as part of the one-man conversion process. Also CTA would not be operating a one man car in the middle of an otherwise two-man route. In the recent CERA color-photo PCC book, as well as several of the Shore Line Interurban Society publications, there are photos of pre-war PCCs painted in the new Evergreen and Cream color scheme operating on 63rd St. The paint job was done as part of the advance work for the one-man process to keep the PCCs operating on 63rd as long as possible. The conversion process would require that the whole fleet to be removed from service; removing one of the center doors and the conductor’s station and replacing them with additional seats, relocating all door controls to the motorman’s position, removing Chicago’s unique hand operating controls and replacing them with the standard (i.e., nationwide) foot operating controls. The CTA’s new “big wings” around the headlight denoting front entrance, one-man operation would not affect a repainted car in temporary two-man service as the pre-war PCCs were always front entrance anyway. Those post-war PCCs converted to one-man and those “Sedans” so converted (but never used) also got the “big wings.”"

This picture of CTA 4022 appears to show it set up for one-man service on 63rd Street, although this was not implemented, after two public hearings were held. These cars were instead used on Cottage Grove. Red streetcars were temporarily returned to 63rd, and then buses were substituted in 1953. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive) On the other hand, Tony Waller writes, “Hi, I have a few comments/corrections for the latest set of photos: Pic.736 shows a two-man pre-war PCC operating on 63rd St. In the middle of the car you can see two center doors, one was removed as part of the one-man conversion process. Also CTA would not be operating a one man car in the middle of an otherwise two-man route. In the recent CERA color-photo PCC book, as well as several of the Shore Line Interurban Society publications, there are photos of pre-war PCCs painted in the new Evergreen and Cream color scheme operating on 63rd St. The paint job was done as part of the advance work for the one-man process to keep the PCCs operating on 63rd as long as possible. The conversion process would require that the whole fleet to be removed from service; removing one of the center doors and the conductor’s station and replacing them with additional seats, relocating all door controls to the motorman’s position, removing Chicago’s unique hand operating controls and replacing them with the standard (i.e., nationwide) foot operating controls. The CTA’s new “big wings” around the headlight denoting front entrance, one-man operation would not affect a repainted car in temporary two-man service as the pre-war PCCs were always front entrance anyway. Those post-war PCCs converted to one-man and those “Sedans” so converted (but never used) also got the “big wings.””

CTA 7254 at Clark and Kinzie. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7254 at Clark and Kinzie. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4332 southbound at Clark and Wacker. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4332 southbound at Clark and Wacker. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On March 21, 1954, CTA PCC 4025 heads north on Cottage Grove at 98th. Here, streetcars were on open track west of the roadway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On March 21, 1954, CTA PCC 4025 heads north on Cottage Grove at 98th. Here, streetcars were on open track west of the roadway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman 661 is westbound at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue, returning from the Museum Loop built for the 1933-34 Century of Progress World's Fair. (William C. Hoffman Photo. Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman 661 is westbound at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue, returning from the Museum Loop built for the 1933-34 Century of Progress World’s Fair. (William C. Hoffman Photo. Wien-Criss Archive)

On May 1, 1953, PCC 4070 is westbound on Madison Street, looking west from Wacker Drive with the Civic Opera House at right. The streetcar is about to cross the Chicago River. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On May 1, 1953, PCC 4070 is westbound on Madison Street, looking west from Wacker Drive with the Civic Opera House at right. The streetcar is about to cross the Chicago River. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA electric locomotive L202, coupled to a railroad gondola in the 39th and Halsted yards. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA electric locomotive L202, coupled to a railroad gondola in the 39th and Halsted yards. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL prewar PCC 4017 at Madison and Austin, another favorite spot for railfan photographers in this era. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL prewar PCC 4017 at Madison and Austin, another favorite spot for railfan photographers in this era. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1308, built by St. Louis Car Company circa 1904, here shown in use as a salt car for Chicago's wintry weather. The 1374, now restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is an example of this type of car, now nicknamed a "Matchbox." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1308, built by St. Louis Car Company circa 1904, here shown in use as a salt car for Chicago’s wintry weather. The 1374, now restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is an example of this type of car, now nicknamed a “Matchbox.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 7002, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1936. This was part of a series of 83 cars that ran for just short of 20 years. Why 83 cars? I recall there was a concurrent order for 17 trolley buses. The overall order was for 100 new vehicles, with 5/6th being streetcars. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 7002, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1936. This was part of a series of 83 cars that ran for just short of 20 years. Why 83 cars? I recall there was a concurrent order for 17 trolley buses. The overall order was for 100 new vehicles, with 5/6th being streetcars. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1474 (built circa 1900 for Chicago Union Traction, rebuilt 1913). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1474 (built circa 1900 for Chicago Union Traction, rebuilt 1913). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A CTA Peter Witt, aka a "Sedan," in this case 3330, signed for Cottage Grove. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A CTA Peter Witt, aka a “Sedan,” in this case 3330, signed for Cottage Grove. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 5492, signed for 79th and Brandon. This car was built by Brill in 1907. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 5492, signed for 79th and Brandon. This car was built by Brill in 1907. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7228 is northbound on State at Roosevelt Road. This overpass was a favorite spot for photographers. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7228 is northbound on State at Roosevelt Road. This overpass was a favorite spot for photographers. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullmans at North and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullmans at North and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 783. Not sure of the location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 783. Not sure of the location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 459 and one other streetcar are on the Museum Loop, at around 13th Street near Lake Shore Drive. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 459 and one other streetcar are on the Museum Loop, at around 13th Street near Lake Shore Drive. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 235, a Pullman, heads west on Roosevelt Road. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 235, a Pullman, heads west on Roosevelt Road. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4302 is southbound on State at Roosevelt. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4302 is southbound on State at Roosevelt. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

One-man CTA streetcar 1737 enters the Washington Street tunnel from Franklin Street in 1950. As you can see, the bridge over the Chicago River is up. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

One-man CTA streetcar 1737 enters the Washington Street tunnel from Franklin Street in 1950. As you can see, the bridge over the Chicago River is up. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA snow plow D304, a former tank car. Don's Rail Photos adds, "D304, sprinkler, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1909, as C&SC CE-4. It was renumbered D304 in 1913 and became CSL D302 in 1914. It was converted as a snow plow and retired on March 19, 1956." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA snow plow D304, a former tank car. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “D304, sprinkler, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1909, as C&SC CE-4. It was renumbered D304 in 1913 and became CSL D302 in 1914. It was converted as a snow plow and retired on March 19, 1956.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 6158 is on temporary trackage at State and 13th around 1940, when construction of the State Street Subway was underway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 6158 is on temporary trackage at State and 13th around 1940, when construction of the State Street Subway was underway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Some old CSL streetcars, including mail car 6, are shown at 11th and State in 1948 as part of a parade. The mail car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Some old CSL streetcars, including mail car 6, are shown at 11th and State in 1948 as part of a parade. The mail car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This photo of CTA 1736, at the west end of Route 16 Lake Street at Austin Boulevard, must be circa 1952-54, as the nearby Park Theater appears to have permanently closed (I think the sign says "closed goodbye"). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This photo of CTA 1736, at the west end of Route 16 Lake Street at Austin Boulevard, must be circa 1952-54, as the nearby Park Theater appears to have permanently closed (I think the sign says “closed goodbye”). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The CSL car is promoting the Illinois Reserve Militia on State Street during World War II. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The CSL car is promoting the Illinois Reserve Militia on State Street during World War II. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1740 and 1731 are displaying what the photographer called "wartime ads" in September 1943 at Montrose and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1740 and 1731 are displaying what the photographer called “wartime ads” in September 1943 at Montrose and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On September 14, 1942, construction was well underway for Chicago's first subway at State and Washington (the tunnels were already finished, and here they were building the station using the cut-and-cover method). Work car W212 is being used to promote the patriotic film Wake Island. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On September 14, 1942, construction was well underway for Chicago’s first subway at State and Washington (the tunnels were already finished, and here they were building the station using the cut-and-cover method). Work car W212 is being used to promote the patriotic film Wake Island. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of car 6150, a Brill built circa 1914-15, as it appeared on August 3, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of car 6150, a Brill built circa 1914-15, as it appeared on August 3, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1821 on North Avenue. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1821 on North Avenue. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 279 on Roosevelt Road open track in 1952. The photographer noted that "vibration disintegrated the concrete." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 279 on Roosevelt Road open track in 1952. The photographer noted that “vibration disintegrated the concrete.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 2598 on 111th Street at Cottage Grove. Don's Rail Photos notes, "2598 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was retired on August 1, 1947." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 2598 on 111th Street at Cottage Grove. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “2598 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was retired on August 1, 1947.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 618 and 5543 meet at 111th and Western on July 11, 1948. Looks like some riders are changing from one line to the other. The view looks north. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 618 and 5543 meet at 111th and Western on July 11, 1948. Looks like some riders are changing from one line to the other. The view looks north. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The notes on this rather fuzzy photo say this is CTA 520 at the intersection of Milwaukee, Paulina, and Ogden. On the other hand, Daniel Joseph says that this is a "physical impossibility," and that this is actually Paulina, Ogden and Adams. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The notes on this rather fuzzy photo say this is CTA 520 at the intersection of Milwaukee, Paulina, and Ogden. On the other hand, Daniel Joseph says that this is a “physical impossibility,” and that this is actually Paulina, Ogden and Adams. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The operator of one-man car 2908 is changing ends on 39th Street on March 28, 1948. At the moment, both poles are up. Not sure of the exact location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The operator of one-man car 2908 is changing ends on 39th Street on March 28, 1948. At the moment, both poles are up. Not sure of the exact location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A view of the North and Cicero car barn (aka "station, in CSL parlance) , looking northwest from 1500 N. Cicero on March 28, 1948. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A view of the North and Cicero car barn (aka “station, in CSL parlance) , looking northwest from 1500 N. Cicero on March 28, 1948. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 119 on the transfer table at West Shops, June 1, 1947. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 119 on the transfer table at West Shops, June 1, 1947. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of a CTA 600-series Pullman on March 22, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of a CTA 600-series Pullman on March 22, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 3229 looks to be at that portion of the car barn at Devon and Clark that was once damaged by fire. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 3229 looks to be at that portion of the car barn at Devon and Clark that was once damaged by fire. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1783 is on Lake Street just east of Austin, probably circa 1950-52. Here, the Park theater is "closed temporarily." It would be permanently shuttered before the end of streetcar service in 1954, most likely a victim of television. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1783 is on Lake Street just east of Austin, probably circa 1950-52. Here, the Park theater is “closed temporarily.” It would be permanently shuttered before the end of streetcar service in 1954, most likely a victim of television. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman PCC 4240 is on State Street at 8th, operating on Route 36. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman PCC 4240 is on State Street at 8th, operating on Route 36. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Eastbound prewar PCC 4030, in "tiger stripes," crosses Western Avenue on 63rd Street on November 26, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Eastbound prewar PCC 4030, in “tiger stripes,” crosses Western Avenue on 63rd Street on November 26, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don's Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don’s Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don's Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don’s Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This is how the CTA work car coupled to a box car-- with a bar. March 11, 1951 at 39th and Halsted. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This is how the CTA work car coupled to a box car– with a bar. March 11, 1951 at 39th and Halsted. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The West End of Route 63

Between Central Avenue and Harlem, a distance of two miles, Chicago Surface Lines streetcars did not operate on 63rd Street, as they did further east. They ran instead on a private right-of-way in what was then a largely undeveloped area called Clearing, which is now a residential neighborhood.  This is now the location of 63rd Place.

The question came up several month ago on the Chicagotransit Yahoo group (posed by Dennis McClendon) about why this was so. The answer was provided by our resident South Side expert M. E., who provided a link to a book that details this early history.

Basically, there were those who wanted to develop the area in the nearby suburb of Summit for industry, however, they needed a way to transport workers there. It was quicker and easier to simply lay tracks on private property than it would have been to do so in a public street such as 63rd Street, where the City ‘council would have had to weigh in on it. The streetcar companies had some responsibility for paving streets and plowing snow and such.

A factory was established in Summit in the early 1900s, making Argo corn starch. To this day, that portion of Summit is commonly known as Argo. Eventually, the trackage on what is now 63rd Place became part of the regular 63rd Street streetcar route. The portion west of Oak Park Avenue was operated as a shuttle until 1948, when PCC cars were introduced. At that point, a turnaround loop was built at Narragansett, and service west of there operated by bus.

Buses replaced streetcars on the rest of Route 63 in 1953, and service was then shifted to 63rd Street, although the same turnback loop was used. This loop was rather large and I believe in recent years it was made somewhat smaller to accommodate a new location for a Chicago Public Library branch.

As for the old Argo shuttle streetcar, subsequent research shows it went as far as 63rd and Archer (see the pictures below).

-David Sadowski

Looking east from Narragansett along the 63rd Place private right-of-way on May 19, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Looking east from Narragansett along the 63rd Place private right-of-way on May 19, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 10, 1947 we see the CSL terminal for 63rd Street cars at Oak Park Avenue and 63rd Place. An Argo shuttle car (5337) is on single track ahead. This would continue about another half-mile to Archer Avenue, in suburban Summit. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 10, 1947 we see the CSL terminal for 63rd Street cars at Oak Park Avenue and 63rd Place. An Argo shuttle car (5337) is on single track ahead. This would continue about another half-mile to Archer Avenue, in suburban Summit. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today, in Chicago's Clearing neighborhood.

The same location today, in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood.

On August 10, 1947, we are looking east along 63rd Place at Oak Park Avenue. A Chicago Surface Lines Pullman streetcar is switching onto single track at the west end of Route 63. There was a shuttle operation west of here, perhaps  a mile of single track, to Archer Avenue and the area of suburban Summit widely known as "Argo," although there is no such municipality. That is the name of a large factory there that makes Argo cornstarch. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 10, 1947, we are looking east along 63rd Place at Oak Park Avenue. A Chicago Surface Lines Pullman streetcar is switching onto single track at the west end of Route 63. There was a shuttle operation west of here, perhaps a mile of single track, to Archer Avenue and the area of suburban Summit widely known as “Argo,” although there is no such municipality. That is the name of a large factory there that makes Argo cornstarch. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Again on August 10, 1947, CSL 5337 is operating as the Argo shuttle car, and is shown here at the west end of the route at 63rd and Archer. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Again on August 10, 1947, CSL 5337 is operating as the Argo shuttle car, and is shown here at the west end of the route at 63rd and Archer. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The buildings here match the ones seen in the previous photo. The area where the Argo shuttle ended was practically in front of those, and is now a parking lot.

The buildings here match the ones seen in the previous photo. The area where the Argo shuttle ended was practically in front of those, and is now a parking lot.

Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes, "I thought some more about this photo. The Argo streetcar line had a single track. I think it had one track because of the crowded situation at the western terminal at Archer. The Argo car ran from Oak Park Ave. (6800 W.) to Archer Ave. (7700 W. at 63rd St.). Let's say the Argo car carried people who worked at Argo Starch. During rush hours, the bigger crowds may imply that the Chicago Surface Lines ran two cars on the Argo line. Now, let's say one of those cars was at Oak Park Ave., the other at Archer Ave., and they started at the same time. Where would they pass? Answer: Look at the shape of the raised area in the cited photo. This area looks suspiciously like a passing area for two streetcars on a single track. And it's at Harlem (7200 W.), roughly halfway between Oak Park Ave. and Archer Ave.  Voila!"

Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes, “I thought some more about this photo. The Argo streetcar line had a single track. I think it had one track because of the crowded situation at the western terminal at Archer. The Argo car ran from Oak Park Ave. (6800 W.) to Archer Ave. (7700 W. at 63rd St.). Let’s say the Argo car carried people who worked at Argo Starch. During rush hours, the bigger crowds may imply that the Chicago Surface Lines ran two cars on the Argo line. Now, let’s say one of those cars was at Oak Park Ave., the other at Archer Ave., and they started at the same time. Where would they pass? Answer: Look at the shape of the raised area in the cited photo. This area looks suspiciously like a passing area for two streetcars on a single track. And it’s at Harlem (7200 W.), roughly halfway between Oak Park Ave. and Archer Ave. Voila!”

There is a bus loop at 63rd Street and Archer, but not in the same location as where the streetcar ended.

There is a bus loop at 63rd Street and Archer, but not in the same location as where the streetcar ended.

CTA work car X-201 is heading west on 63rd Street on April 18, 1948, to take up rail from the Argo line, where streetcar service ended a week earlier. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car X-201 is heading west on 63rd Street on April 18, 1948, to take up rail from the Argo line, where streetcar service ended a week earlier. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett was built in 1948 to accomodate PCC cars, which were single-ended. But towards the end of streetcar service on Route 63, PCCs were removed and red cars were, for a short time, returned, as this May 19, 1953 view shows. Buses replaced streetcars five days later, and began running on 63rd Street between Narragansett and Central, instead of on 63rd Place, as streetcars had. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett was built in 1948 to accomodate PCC cars, which were single-ended. But towards the end of streetcar service on Route 63, PCCs were removed and red cars were, for a short time, returned, as this May 19, 1953 view shows. Buses replaced streetcars five days later, and began running on 63rd Street between Narragansett and Central, instead of on 63rd Place, as streetcars had. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The CTA turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett as it looks today, with the Clearing branch of the Chicago Public Library at rear.

The CTA turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett as it looks today, with the Clearing branch of the Chicago Public Library at rear.

The track arrangement on 63rd Place prior to 1948, taken from the 1941 CSL track map. There were two tracks to Oak Park Avenue, and single track west of there. Since the Argo shuttle had to cross a railroad, that means it had to have a two-man crew. It appears the shuttle crossed Harlem into nearby Summit (the area known as Argo) for its western terminal.

The track arrangement on 63rd Place prior to 1948, taken from the 1941 CSL track map. There were two tracks to Oak Park Avenue, and single track west of there. Since the Argo shuttle had to cross a railroad, that means it had to have a two-man crew. It appears the shuttle crossed Harlem into nearby Summit (the area known as Argo) for its western terminal.

The 1939 shows the locations of two crossovers on the 63rd Place section; one at Meade, and another just east of Austin.

The 1939 shows the locations of two crossovers on the 63rd Place section; one at Meade, and another just east of Austin.

This portion of the 1952 CTA track map shows the arrangement used between 1948 and 1953. The dotted line indicates the bus route used west of Narragansett.

This portion of the 1952 CTA track map shows the arrangement used between 1948 and 1953. The dotted line indicates the bus route used west of Narragansett.

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
[/caption]


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago in November 2018, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

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

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.
For Shipping to US Addresses:

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For Shipping Elsewhere:

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo) 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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Chicago in the 1950s

You would be forgiven for not recognizing this location, but that's the Western Avenue station on the Humboldt Park "L", just north of North Avenue. The station was closed in 1952, probably just a few months before this picture was taken. If the station was open, there would be a sign advertising this, similar to ones seen in some of the other pictures in this post. You can also see trolley bus wires, used on North Avenue. PCC 7151 is a two-man car, and passengers are boarding at the rear. This portion of the old Humboldt Park line was not demolished for another decade, and the story goes that it would have been used by Chicago Aurora & Elgin interurban trains as a midday storage area, if service on that line could have continued after 1957. A cropped version of this photo ran in one of our earlier posts, but this was scanned from the original negative. (Wien-Criss Archive)

You would be forgiven for not recognizing this location, but that’s the Western Avenue station on the Humboldt Park “L”, just north of North Avenue. The station was closed in 1952, probably just a few months before this picture was taken. If the station was open, there would be a sign advertising this, similar to ones seen in some of the other pictures in this post. You can also see trolley bus wires, used on North Avenue. PCC 7151 is a two-man car, and passengers are boarding at the rear. This portion of the old Humboldt Park line was not demolished for another decade, and the story goes that it would have been used by Chicago Aurora & Elgin interurban trains as a midday storage area, if service on that line could have continued after 1957. A cropped version of this photo ran in one of our earlier posts, but this was scanned from the original negative. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Today’s photos have two things in common. First, they were all taken in Chicago during the 1950s. Second, they were all shared with our readers by Jeffrey L. Wien of the Wien-Criss Archive.  We thank him for his generosity.

The color pictures were taken by the late Bill Hoffman. The photographer who took the black-and-whites is not known, but it seems possible it was someone who did not live in this area, but came to visit. They were not all taken at the same time, however. All those seem to date between 1952 and 1954.

As always, if you have any information to share about these pictures, or simply have a question or comment, do not hesitate to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

-David Sadowski

Black-and-White:

CTA PCC 4144 is southbound on Halsted. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4144 is southbound on Halsted. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4208 is southbound on State Street at 64th, just a few blocks south of where car 7078 was involved in a horrific crash with a truck on May 25, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4208 is southbound on State Street at 64th, just a few blocks south of where car 7078 was involved in a horrific crash with a truck on May 25, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA 4096 is westbound on Madison, crossing over the Chicago River. The Civic Opera House is to the left. The sign indicates that this bridge is going to be converted to "one man operation," meaning that it will be operated from only one tower instead of two. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4096 is westbound on Madison, crossing over the Chicago River. The Civic Opera House is to the left. The sign indicates that this bridge is going to be converted to “one man operation,” meaning that it will be operated from only one tower instead of two. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA 4238 is southbound on Wabash, crossing the Chicago River. But this must be a reroute, since it is definitely after 1949 (the car has advertising on the side) and it's running Route 36 - Broadway-State. Perhaps there was a parade on State Street that day (between 1939 and 1949 there was no State Street bridge, and this would have been the regular route for 36 then). (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4238 is southbound on Wabash, crossing the Chicago River. But this must be a reroute, since it is definitely after 1949 (the car has advertising on the side) and it’s running Route 36 – Broadway-State. Perhaps there was a parade on State Street that day (between 1939 and 1949 there was no State Street bridge, and this would have been the regular route for 36 then). (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4227 is on the turnback loop at Clark and Howard, the north end of Route 22. This is now the outdoor seating area for a restaurant. Buses terminate at the nearby Howard "L" station. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4227 is on the turnback loop at Clark and Howard, the north end of Route 22. This is now the outdoor seating area for a restaurant. Buses terminate at the nearby Howard “L” station. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA PCC 7057, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, is at Waveland and Halsted, the north end of Route 8. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7057, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, is at Waveland and Halsted, the north end of Route 8. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4008 is at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of Route 4. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4008 is at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of Route 4. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA 4060 is southbound at Wabash and Wacker, running on Route 4 - Cottage Grove. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4060 is southbound at Wabash and Wacker, running on Route 4 – Cottage Grove. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA 4102, a Pullman PCC, is heading west at about 500 W. Madison, operating on the Madison-Fifth branch of Route 20. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4102, a Pullman PCC, is heading west at about 500 W. Madison, operating on the Madison-Fifth branch of Route 20. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4389 is southbound on Western near Leland Avenue, having just passed under the Ravenswood "L" (today's Brown Line), where a train of wooden cars are in the station. Note the dark areas where some touch-up painting has been done on the PCC. The light green paint originally used on these cars faded badly and was hard to match. This is one reason why the CTA began repainting these cars with a darker green around 1951-52. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4389 is southbound on Western near Leland Avenue, having just passed under the Ravenswood “L” (today’s Brown Line), where a train of wooden cars are in the station. Note the dark areas where some touch-up painting has been done on the PCC. The light green paint originally used on these cars faded badly and was hard to match. This is one reason why the CTA began repainting these cars with a darker green around 1951-52. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4108 is northbound at Kinzie Street. This was later the end of the line for the Wentworth half of the line, between 1957 and 1958, when buses replaced streetcars north of here. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4108 is northbound at Kinzie Street. This was later the end of the line for the Wentworth half of the line, between 1957 and 1958, when buses replaced streetcars north of here. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The date at which this photo of CTA PCC 4421 could have been taken, southbound on Clark at Van Buren, is a bit of a mystery. It appears that the street has already been made a one-way, which did not happen until November 16, 1953. But by then, the Pullman PCCs were systematically being retired and shipped to St. Louis, where they were scrapped and parts were reused in rapid transit cars. In my book Chicago Trolleys (page 107) there is a picture of track work being done at this location on July 17, 1954. So, my best guess is this picture was taken during the summer of 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The date at which this photo of CTA PCC 4421 could have been taken, southbound on Clark at Van Buren, is a bit of a mystery. It appears that the street has already been made a one-way, which did not happen until November 16, 1953. But by then, the Pullman PCCs were systematically being retired and shipped to St. Louis, where they were scrapped and parts were reused in rapid transit cars. In my book Chicago Trolleys (page 107) there is a picture of track work being done at this location on July 17, 1954. So, my best guess is this picture was taken during the summer of 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA PCCs 4103 and 4076 pass each other while crossing the Chicago River on Madison Street. Note the difference in fonts used for the numbers. Nowadays, transit agencies have style manuals, used to maintain consistency, but such was not the case in the early 1950s. Note the circa 1953 Cadillac at left. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCCs 4103 and 4076 pass each other while crossing the Chicago River on Madison Street. Note the difference in fonts used for the numbers. Nowadays, transit agencies have style manuals, used to maintain consistency, but such was not the case in the early 1950s. Note the circa 1953 Cadillac at left. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4008 is southbound on Wabash at about 900 South. The YMCA Hotel, seen in the background, opened in 1916 and closed in 1979. It was converted to apartments in 1985. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4008 is southbound on Wabash at about 900 South. The YMCA Hotel, seen in the background, opened in 1916 and closed in 1979. It was converted to apartments in 1985. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4201, operating on Route 36 - Broadway-State, has apparently been diverted from State Street, possibly due to a parade, and is northbound on Dearborn at Lake Street. The car at right has a 1953 Illinois license plate, but when this picture was taken, Dearborn was still a two-way street, meaning it is prior to November 16. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4201, operating on Route 36 – Broadway-State, has apparently been diverted from State Street, possibly due to a parade, and is northbound on Dearborn at Lake Street. The car at right has a 1953 Illinois license plate, but when this picture was taken, Dearborn was still a two-way street, meaning it is prior to November 16. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4108 is westbound on Madison at the Chicago River, running on the Madison-Fifth branch of Route 20. The cars have 1953 license plates. PCCs were taken off Madison on December 13, 1953. For a few months, Madison-Fifth continued as a shuttle operation between Madison and Pulaski, using older red streetcars. The rest of Madison was bussed. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4108 is westbound on Madison at the Chicago River, running on the Madison-Fifth branch of Route 20. The cars have 1953 license plates. PCCs were taken off Madison on December 13, 1953. For a few months, Madison-Fifth continued as a shuttle operation between Madison and Pulaski, using older red streetcars. The rest of Madison was bussed. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4101 is westbound on Madison, but where did it cross the Chicago & North Western? Andre Kristopans says it is "Crossing under CNW and PRR at Rockwell. The big building on other side is the old Madison carbarn. Burned in 1980's and in what was a real mindblower, the reporter on scene actually called it an "old CTA facility". Not quite - CSL sold it in 1920s, but amazingly close!" Rockwell is 2600 West. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4101 is westbound on Madison, but where did it cross the Chicago & North Western? Andre Kristopans says it is “Crossing under CNW and PRR at Rockwell. The big building on other side is the old Madison carbarn. Burned in 1980’s and in what was a real mindblower, the reporter on scene actually called it an “old CTA facility”. Not quite – CSL sold it in 1920s, but amazingly close!” Rockwell is 2600 West. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4262 is on 77th, by the car barn at 77th and Vincennes. The PCC is going to go northbound on Route 22 - Clark-Wentworth. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4262 is on 77th, by the car barn at 77th and Vincennes. The PCC is going to go northbound on Route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4039 is at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of Route 4. To the left, is an embankment where Illinois Central commuter trains (now Metra Electric) ran. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4039 is at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of Route 4. To the left, is an embankment where Illinois Central commuter trains (now Metra Electric) ran. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7271 is northbound on Clark at Roosevelt. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7271 is northbound on Clark at Roosevelt. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Here, a CTA Pullman PCC is northbound on Clark at Roosevelt Road. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Here, a CTA Pullman PCC is northbound on Clark at Roosevelt Road. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4154 is at Waveland and Halsted, the north end of Route 8. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 4154 is at Waveland and Halsted, the north end of Route 8. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Color:

CTA 601 at Halsted, Grand, and Milwaukee on May 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 601 at Halsted, Grand, and Milwaukee on May 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 5248 at Vincennes and 105th on November 27, 1949. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 5248 at Vincennes and 105th on November 27, 1949. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6154 is southbound at Halsted and Congress on October 5, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6154 is southbound at Halsted and Congress on October 5, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 153 is northbound at Halsted and Congress on October 5, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 153 is northbound at Halsted and Congress on October 5, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6142 at Clark and Archer on November 9, 1953, running Route 42 - Halsted Downtown. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6142 at Clark and Archer on November 9, 1953, running Route 42 – Halsted Downtown. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 453 and 190 are on Halsted at 63rd Place on May 21, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 453 and 190 are on Halsted at 63rd Place on May 21, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

An unidentified CTA red car is on Halsted at 63rd Street on September 16, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

An unidentified CTA red car is on Halsted at 63rd Street on September 16, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 640 is running under the "L" on Halsted at 63rd Place on May 25, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 640 is running under the “L” on Halsted at 63rd Place on May 25, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 687 is at Division and Larrabee on May 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 687 is at Division and Larrabee on May 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 248 is at Crosby and Larrabee on May 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 248 is at Crosby and Larrabee on May 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A CTA prewar PCC is on Western at Congress on June 11, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A CTA prewar PCC is on Western at Congress on June 11, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7044 is on Western at Leland on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7044 is on Western at Leland on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7253 is on Western at Leland (by the Ravenswood "L", now the Brown Line) on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7253 is on Western at Leland (by the Ravenswood “L”, now the Brown Line) on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7243 is on Western at the Chicago River on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7243 is on Western at the Chicago River on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7037 is on Western at the Chicago River on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7037 is on Western at the Chicago River on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4060 is southbound on Western at 66th on October 9, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4060 is southbound on Western at 66th on October 9, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7118 is southbound on Western at Van Buren on November 3, 1954, with a train of wooden "L" cars about to cross Western on the temporary right of way for the Garfield Park "L" during expressway construction. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7118 is southbound on Western at Van Buren on November 3, 1954, with a train of wooden “L” cars about to cross Western on the temporary right of way for the Garfield Park “L” during expressway construction. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The Western and Berwyn loop on June 10, 1956. Those canopies were short-lived after the end of streetcar service, as buses eventually ran into them. Streetcars were on rails, so they could maintain such clearances. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The Western and Berwyn loop on June 10, 1956. Those canopies were short-lived after the end of streetcar service, as buses eventually ran into them. Streetcars were on rails, so they could maintain such clearances. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4053 at Western and Leland on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4053 at Western and Leland on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4060 is on Western at the Logan Square "L" on June 8, 1956. In the background, you can see the viaduct which is now part of the 606 Trail. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4060 is on Western at the Logan Square “L” on June 8, 1956. In the background, you can see the viaduct which is now part of the 606 Trail. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4027 (at left) passes a postwar car on Western at 24th on June 7, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA prewar PCC 4027 (at left) passes a postwar car on Western at 24th on June 7, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4004 is on Western at 26th on June 7, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4004 is on Western at 26th on June 7, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7160, viewed from the Douglas Park "L" (today's Pink Line), is operating on Western at 21st on June 15, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7160, viewed from the Douglas Park “L” (today’s Pink Line), is operating on Western at 21st on June 15, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7284 is on Western at the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on October 8, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7284 is on Western at the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on October 8, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7156, sporting unusual yellow numbers, is on Western at Van Buren on August 13, 1954. A wooden Garfield Park "L" train is nearby, on temporary trackage. At this stage, it appears the Western Avenue bridge over the Congress Expressway was not yet finished, as the streetcar (and auto traffic) are using a shoo-fly. (Wein-Criss Archive)

CTA 7156, sporting unusual yellow numbers, is on Western at Van Buren on August 13, 1954. A wooden Garfield Park “L” train is nearby, on temporary trackage. At this stage, it appears the Western Avenue bridge over the Congress Expressway was not yet finished, as the streetcar (and auto traffic) are using a shoo-fly. (Wein-Criss Archive)

Northbound CTA PCC 7206 is on Western Avenue, passing a two-car train of PCC rapid transit cars on the Garfield Park temporary trackage in Van Buren Street. The date is June 16, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Northbound CTA PCC 7206 is on Western Avenue, passing a two-car train of PCC rapid transit cars on the Garfield Park temporary trackage in Van Buren Street. The date is June 16, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7240 is at 69th and Morgan on October 25, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7240 is at 69th and Morgan on October 25, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7039 is at Western and 71st on August 12, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7039 is at Western and 71st on August 12, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4037 is on Western at the Chicago River on June 10, 1956-- just one week before the end of streetcar service on Route 49. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4037 is on Western at the Chicago River on June 10, 1956– just one week before the end of streetcar service on Route 49. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4375 is at 69th and Hamilton on November 5, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4375 is at 69th and Hamilton on November 5, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7236 is at Archer and Western on November 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7236 is at Archer and Western on November 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The "Streetcar Waiting Room" at Archer and Western on November 15, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The “Streetcar Waiting Room” at Archer and Western on November 15, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7157 is northbound on Western at 67th on June 15, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7157 is northbound on Western at 67th on June 15, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7208 is on Western near 34th on September 3, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7208 is on Western near 34th on September 3, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4393 is on Western at 21st on July 6, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4393 is on Western at 21st on July 6, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7213, the last streetcar to operate in Chicago, is on Western at 21st on July 16, 1951. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7213, the last streetcar to operate in Chicago, is on Western at 21st on July 16, 1951. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7123 on Western at 66th on July 9, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7123 on Western at 66th on July 9, 1950. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7123 at Western and 69th on January 28, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7123 at Western and 69th on January 28, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4408 on Western at 66th on July 16, 1951. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4408 on Western at 66th on July 16, 1951. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4373 and others at the Western and 79th loop on November 23, 1952. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4373 and others at the Western and 79th loop on November 23, 1952. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Passengers are getting off northbound CTA 7192 at Western and Van Buren on October 10, 1952. At this time, the temporary Van Buren trackage was still under construction, and this picture was taken from the Garfield Park "L" station, then still in use. There is no shoo-fly yet, meaning construction had not yet started on the Western Avenue bridge that would eventually go over the Congress Expressway. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Passengers are getting off northbound CTA 7192 at Western and Van Buren on October 10, 1952. At this time, the temporary Van Buren trackage was still under construction, and this picture was taken from the Garfield Park “L” station, then still in use. There is no shoo-fly yet, meaning construction had not yet started on the Western Avenue bridge that would eventually go over the Congress Expressway. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7193 has three followers at Western and 69th on October 13, 1953. You can compare the different CTA paint schemes on the first two cars. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7193 has three followers at Western and 69th on October 13, 1953. You can compare the different CTA paint schemes on the first two cars. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7113 is in an area where tracks are being worked on, and is crossing over from one track to another using a temporary switch. The date is June 17, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7113 is in an area where tracks are being worked on, and is crossing over from one track to another using a temporary switch. The date is June 17, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7042, in the distance, is about to clear a temporary switch so that the car on the right can cross over to that side during track work. This picture was taken on June 17, 1955 at Western and 71st. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7042, in the distance, is about to clear a temporary switch so that the car on the right can cross over to that side during track work. This picture was taken on June 17, 1955 at Western and 71st. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The conductor of CTA 7156 is throwing a track switch at Western and Archer on November 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The conductor of CTA 7156 is throwing a track switch at Western and Archer on November 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7189 is passing through an area where tracks are being worked on at Western and Cermak on October 15, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7189 is passing through an area where tracks are being worked on at Western and Cermak on October 15, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7227 is on Western at Bross on October 15, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7227 is on Western at Bross on October 15, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7238 is southbound on Western at the Douglas Park "L" on April 22, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7238 is southbound on Western at the Douglas Park “L” on April 22, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4028 is on Western at 27th on November 20, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4028 is on Western at 27th on November 20, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4059 on Western at 28th on November 20, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4059 on Western at 28th on November 20, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4008 is on Western at 65th on October 2, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4008 is on Western at 65th on October 2, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

PCC meets PCC in this famous Bill Hoffman photo, showing CTA PCC streetcar 4373 on Western Avenue, while a Garfield Park "L" train crosses on Van Buren temporary trackage. The date is June 16, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

PCC meets PCC in this famous Bill Hoffman photo, showing CTA PCC streetcar 4373 on Western Avenue, while a Garfield Park “L” train crosses on Van Buren temporary trackage. The date is June 16, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4373 is on Western near the Douglas Park "L" on October 5, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4373 is on Western near the Douglas Park “L” on October 5, 1953. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4020 on Western at 73rd during track work on June 26, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4020 on Western at 73rd during track work on June 26, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4044 is on Western at the Douglas Park "L" on June 22, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4044 is on Western at the Douglas Park “L” on June 22, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Riverview Park at Western and Roscoe on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Riverview Park at Western and Roscoe on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7012 at Western and Congress, crossing over the new expressway, on June 11, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7012 at Western and Congress, crossing over the new expressway, on June 11, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7038 is on Western at Van Buren on June 11, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7038 is on Western at Van Buren on June 11, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7239 is on Western at the Douglas Park "L" on November 11, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7239 is on Western at the Douglas Park “L” on November 11, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4050 is southbound on Western at the Douglas Park "L" on November 11, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4050 is southbound on Western at the Douglas Park “L” on November 11, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The Western-Berwyn loop on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The Western-Berwyn loop on June 10, 1956. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4402 on Western at 21st on June 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4402 on Western at 21st on June 17, 1954. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4053 on Western and 66th on July 31, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4053 on Western and 66th on July 31, 1955. (Wien-Criss Archive)

Recent Correspondence

Our resident South side history expert M. E. writes:

I have a lot of comments about your latest post #241. Where to begin?

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic512.jpg
Your caption says this streetcar is on 77th St. No, it is on Vincennes Ave., in front of the 77th St. barn, heading north.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic530.jpg
First, a nit: I think this picture is at 107th rather than 105th. The streetcar is running on the Halsted/Vincennes/111th St. line, heading northeast on Vincennes. What makes this picture so interesting is the road sign, “Keep left of tracks.” That’s because, precisely at this spot, the streetcar tracks moved off the street and onto private right-of-way between Vincennes Ave. and the main line of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad. This pattern ran from 107th St. north to the Rock Island suburban line viaduct at 89th St., at which point the streetcar tracks rejoined Vincennes Ave. to go under the viaduct.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic534.jpg
This picture was taken from the eastbound platform of the Englewood L station spanning Halsted St. At that time, Halsted was still a very busy business district; in fact, I read somewhere that Englewood was the busiest business district outside the Loop. Notice the Yellow cabs waiting for L passengers.
Beneath this L platform, along 63rd Place, were streetcar tracks for Halsted cars that ended at 63rd St., as well as curb space for the two suburban bus companies, South Suburban Safeway Lines and Suburban Transit System.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic535.jpg
This picture is the reverse direction, looking north from the westbound platform of the Englewood L at Halsted. The cross street is 63rd St. The stores from left to right are: S S Kresge, on the southwest corner; The Ace department store on the northwest corner; and Sears Roebuck, the huge building on the northeast corner (with a Hillman’s grocery in the basement). The southeast corner building was nondescript, although at one point it was a Stineway drug store. Notice
the streetcar tracks turning between Halsted and 63rd. Some southbound
Halsted cars ended their runs at 63rd. They turned east on 63rd to Union Ave. (700 W.), then south to 63rd Place, then west to alongside (south of) the Halsted L station, then back north on Halsted.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic544.jpg
Two things in this picture:
(1) The red-and-white bus in the background belonged to the South Suburban Safeway Lines. In those days, the fastest way from the south side to the Loop was the Englewood L, which ended at 63rd Place and Loomis (1400 W.) And of course the Englewood business district was very prosperous. So the suburban bus line went as far as 63rd Place and Halsted (next to the L station). The suburban bus company had two routes into Englewood — one north along Western, then east on 63rd (this was the Harvey bus), the other north along Halsted St. from the south (this was the Chicago Heights bus). The other bus company running from the south suburbs into Englewood was the Suburban Transit System, which ran primarily east and west along 95th St. out to Oak Lawn and beyond. To reach Englewood, this bus line ran east on 95th to Vincennes, north to 87th, west to Morgan, north to 63rd, then east to the Englewood L.
(2) As can be seen from each side of the street in this photo, Western Ave. was auto dealer row for a mile or so to either side of 63rd St.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic555.jpg
and
https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic558.jpg
The streetcars shown here were Western Ave. cars, running east on 69th St. to get to the Vincennes / 77th St. barn. Western Ave. cars had used the carbarn at 69th and Ashland until it closed. After that, the streetcars had to use the 77th and Vincennes barn. The only way to get there (still with usable tracks and live trolley wires) was along 69th St. to Wentworth (200 W.), south to 73rd St. at Vincennes, then southwest on Vincennes to the barn at 77th.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic556.jpg
This view is looking south along Western at 71st St. The tracks going to the right were for the 67th/69th/71st line, which used Western to travel between 69th and 71st.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic566.jpg
And this photo is at 69th and Western, showing a northbound Western car turning east on 69th to head to the 77th St. barn. I see no turning track from southbound Western to eastbound 69th. The lack of such a track indicates that any Western car ending its run and heading to the 77th and Vincennes barn had to start at the 79th and Western terminal, go north on Western, then turn east on 69th.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/pic568.jpg
Two CTA bus routes served the 79th and Western station: West 79th (to almost Cicero Ave.) and South Western (to 119th St.) The buses shown were manufactured by ACF Brill, probably in the 1940s, because they had stick shifts. (Really!)

M. E.

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
[/caption]


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



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.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

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

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.
For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

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

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 241st 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 559,000 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.

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IRM Showcase

This is Museum Showcase Weekend at the Illinois Railway Museum. It had been some time since our last visit, and this seemed like an opportune time to renew our acquaintance.

The weather couldn’t have been better, with temps in the upper 70s and ample sunshine with very few clouds. There were lots of people there, including many families. Naturally, we took lots of pictures, and even a few videos, which we hope will give you some of the flavor of the event.

If you have not been to the museum, which is located in Union, we encourage you to make the trip. IRM has a fantastic collection, and there were lots of things running, with occasional swaps between sets of equipment in the course of the day.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

The museum ticket booth has been moved close to the new gift shop.

The museum ticket booth has been moved close to the new gift shop.

And the gift shop carries my books, among others.

And the gift shop carries my books, among others.

An old diesel switching engine.

An old diesel switching engine.

Chicago elevated car 1754 was built in 1906 for the Northwestern "L". It was the last wooden motor car used by the CTA and was retired in 1970.

Chicago elevated car 1754 was built in 1906 for the Northwestern “L”. It was the last wooden motor car used by the CTA and was retired in 1970.

IRM's North Shore Line Electroliner is in the process of being restored.

IRM’s North Shore Line Electroliner is in the process of being restored.

The lion sleeps tonight. Actually, this decorative figure came off the old LaSalle Street train station in downtown Chicago. (Thanks to Jeff Wien for sharing that tidbit of information.)

The lion sleeps tonight. Actually, this decorative figure came off the old LaSalle Street train station in downtown Chicago. (Thanks to Jeff Wien for sharing that tidbit of information.)

A three car wooden "L" train, made up of Chicago cars 1268, 1797, and newly restored 24 (formerly 1024).

A three car wooden “L” train, made up of Chicago cars 1268, 1797, and newly restored 24 (formerly 1024).

I assume this is the original sign that was used when fantrips were held using cars such as this on the Chicago "L" system in the 1950s. IERM was the original name of the Illinois Railway Museum, when it was located in North Chicago. It moved to Union in 1964.

I assume this is the original sign that was used when fantrips were held using cars such as this on the Chicago “L” system in the 1950s. IERM was the original name of the Illinois Railway Museum, when it was located in North Chicago. It moved to Union in 1964.

Northwestern "L" car 24 is the only surviving gate car from the Chicago system, and is IRM's latest restoration. I don't have a picture of it, but it has sideways seating, somewhat like the CTA's 5000-series cars. It was built in 1898, and is the museum's oldest operating piece of equipment.

Northwestern “L” car 24 is the only surviving gate car from the Chicago system, and is IRM’s latest restoration. I don’t have a picture of it, but it has sideways seating, somewhat like the CTA’s 5000-series cars. It was built in 1898, and is the museum’s oldest operating piece of equipment.

There was a train made up of cabooses for people to ride, powered by a steam engine that is out of this shot. (Is cabooses the plural of caboose? or is it cabeese?)

There was a train made up of cabooses for people to ride, powered by a steam engine that is out of this shot. (Is cabooses the plural of caboose? or is it cabeese?)

At right, the tail end of the Nebraska Zephyr.

At right, the tail end of the Nebraska Zephyr.

This is Veracruz, Mexico open car 19. It was acquired in 2009 from what had been the Trolleyville USA collection.

This is Veracruz, Mexico open car 19. It was acquired in 2009 from what had been the Trolleyville USA collection.

This classic South Shore Line sign came from the Gary station.

This classic South Shore Line sign came from the Gary station.

Chicago Rapid Transit car 1754 was eventually brought out of the barn.

Chicago Rapid Transit car 1754 was eventually brought out of the barn.

Chicago Surface Lines streetcar 3142 is part of a series known as "169" or Broadway-State cars. Don's Rail Photos adds, "3142 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." The white stripe indicated that it was a one-man car, and therefore riders should board at the front, instead of the rear as on a two-man car.

Chicago Surface Lines streetcar 3142 is part of a series known as “169” or Broadway-State cars. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “3142 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” The white stripe indicated that it was a one-man car, and therefore riders should board at the front, instead of the rear as on a two-man car.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin wood cars 309 and 319.

Chicago Aurora & Elgin wood cars 309 and 319.

The interior of 319.

The interior of 319.

Shay steam engine #5, from the J. Neils Lumber Company, was designed to haul heavy freight trains up hills.

Shay steam engine #5, from the J. Neils Lumber Company, was designed to haul heavy freight trains up hills.

Frisco 1630 steam engine at left, and a Burlington Zephyr diesel at right.

Frisco 1630 steam engine at left, and a Burlington Zephyr diesel at right.

The interior of CA&E 319.

The interior of CA&E 319.

The 319 has a "coffee grinder" style controller.

The 319 has a “coffee grinder” style controller.

The CA&E was known as the Sunset Lines, due to its generally east-west path. In the afternoon rush hour, the sun would shine on the front of each westbound car.

The CA&E was known as the Sunset Lines, due to its generally east-west path. In the afternoon rush hour, the sun would shine on the front of each westbound car.

Chicago Transit Authority trolley bus 9553 was built by Marmon-Herrington in 1951 and operated until 1973. IRM is one of the few museums that can operate a trolley bus.

Chicago Transit Authority trolley bus 9553 was built by Marmon-Herrington in 1951 and operated until 1973. IRM is one of the few museums that can operate a trolley bus.

The interior of CTA PCC streetcar 4391, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1948. It ran on the streets of Chicago until 1958.

The interior of CTA PCC streetcar 4391, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1948. It ran on the streets of Chicago until 1958.

If these PCC streetcar seats look familiar, it is because they were some of the parts recycled onto 570 CTA rapid transit cars in the 1950s.

If these PCC streetcar seats look familiar, it is because they were some of the parts recycled onto 570 CTA rapid transit cars in the 1950s.

4391 was built as a two-man car, with a conductor at the rear entrance. Riders exited through the front.

4391 was built as a two-man car, with a conductor at the rear entrance. Riders exited through the front.

A strange juxtaposition of transit ads... smoke Pall malls, then get a chest x-ray.

A strange juxtaposition of transit ads… smoke Pall malls, then get a chest x-ray.

The interior of the 50th Avenue (Cicero) "L" station, which was moved from the Douglas Park (today's Pink Line) branch to IRM.

The interior of the 50th Avenue (Cicero) “L” station, which was moved from the Douglas Park (today’s Pink Line) branch to IRM.

Three CTA 4000-series "L" cars, lined up at the 50th Avenue platform.

Three CTA 4000-series “L” cars, lined up at the 50th Avenue platform.

We bid farewell to another beautiful day at the Illinois Railway Museum with one last shot of 3142.

We bid farewell to another beautiful day at the Illinois Railway Museum with one last shot of 3142.

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
[/caption]


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



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.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

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

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.
For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

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

CTA 3141 at Franklin and Lake on October 19, 1952.

CTA 3141 at Franklin and Lake on October 19, 1952.

Friday the 13th may be your lucky day, as today’s post features Chicago streetcar pictures taken by the late Bill Hoffman, kindly shared by Jeffrey L. Wien and the Wien-Criss Archive. Mr. Hoffman was an avid photographer, and captured many unique scenes that other photographers missed.

These pictures, nearly all from the early 1950s, reflect a time when streetcars were fast disappearing from Chicago’s streets. We hope that you will enjoy them.

While in many cases, it is not possible to know what sort of equipment photographers used 60 or more years ago, I do know that Bill Hoffman used a 1950s Leica IIIg camera, which used screw-mount lenses. By happenstance, I briefly ended up with the camera after his unfortunate passing in the 1980s.

Bob Selle used Ansco black-and-white size 616 roll film for the shots featured today. This was a Kodak adaptation of 116, where the film was the same size, but the spool was different. That suggests he was using a Kodak folding camera. These are rather large negatives, at least 4x larger than 35mm, which is one reason they are very sharp and detailed.

We also have some previously unpublished North Shore Line photos taken in January 1963 by Robert Ness, and some recent finds of our own. We thank all our contributors.

-David Sadowski

PS- As always, if you have useful information to add, regarding any of these photographs, don’t hesitate to write us. You can contact us directly, using the e-mail address given at the end of this post, or by leaving us a Comment. When referencing individual photos, use the image number, which can be found by hovering your mouse over the picture. For example, the first image in this post is called pic167. We look forward to hearing from you.

Hoffman Photos From the Wien-Criss Archive:

Jeff Wien notes, “Most if not all of these slides were taken by Bill.”

CTA 531 at Clinton and Lake, October 17, 1950.

CTA 531 at Clinton and Lake, October 17, 1950.

CTA one-man car 6217 at 71st and Western on May 28, 1950.

CTA one-man car 6217 at 71st and Western on May 28, 1950.

CTA one-man car 3318 at 71st and California on May 28, 1950.

CTA one-man car 3318 at 71st and California on May 28, 1950.

CTA 7271 at 63rd and Linder on November 7, 1952.

CTA 7271 at 63rd and Linder on November 7, 1952.

CTA 7010 and bus 3677 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on July 1, 1951.

CTA 7010 and bus 3677 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on July 1, 1951.

CTA 141 is at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 141 is at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 653 and 685 pass at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 653 and 685 pass at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 7011 at 63rd and Western on June 4, 1950.

CTA 7011 at 63rd and Western on June 4, 1950.

CTA 452 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on May 19, 1953.

CTA 452 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on May 19, 1953.

CTA 4023 on 64th and Stony Island on July 1, 1951.

CTA 4023 on 64th and Stony Island on July 1, 1951.

CTA 7016 on 63rd at Maplewood on May 6, 1951.

CTA 7016 on 63rd at Maplewood on May 6, 1951.

CTA 7012 is westbound on private right of way on 63rd Place and Mobile on August 13, 1950.

CTA 7012 is westbound on private right of way on 63rd Place and Mobile on August 13, 1950.

CTA 4021 is at 63rd and Linder on May 6, 1951. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

CTA 4021 is at 63rd and Linder on May 6, 1951. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

CTA trolley bus 234 is at 51st and Campbell on June 12, 1950, where it appears streetcar tracks are being removed from the pavement.

CTA trolley bus 234 is at 51st and Campbell on June 12, 1950, where it appears streetcar tracks are being removed from the pavement.

CTA trolley bus 225 at 51st and Calumet on July 3, 1950, on the 51st-55th line.

CTA trolley bus 225 at 51st and Calumet on July 3, 1950, on the 51st-55th line.

CTA 795 at 47th and Halsted on October 31, 1950.

CTA 795 at 47th and Halsted on October 31, 1950.

CTA 695 is eastbound on Roosevelt at State on October 29, 1950.

CTA 695 is eastbound on Roosevelt at State on October 29, 1950.

CTA 337 on the Museum Loop on May 30, 1951. This was an extension of the Roosevelt Road streetcar line, built for the 1933-34 World's Fair, and served the Field Museum and Soldier Field.

CTA 337 on the Museum Loop on May 30, 1951. This was an extension of the Roosevelt Road streetcar line, built for the 1933-34 World’s Fair, and served the Field Museum and Soldier Field.

CTA 187 at Roosevelt and Clinton on May 30, 1950. Note the safety island.

CTA 187 at Roosevelt and Clinton on May 30, 1950. Note the safety island.

CTA one-man car 3200 on the Museum Loop on October 26, 1952.

CTA one-man car 3200 on the Museum Loop on October 26, 1952.

CTA 436 is on Roosevelt east of Wabash on October 29, 1950.

CTA 436 is on Roosevelt east of Wabash on October 29, 1950.

CTA 1724 is on Ogden at Ashland Boulevard on October 29, 1950.

CTA 1724 is on Ogden at Ashland Boulevard on October 29, 1950.

CTA 1743 is descending into the Washington Street tunnel under the Chicago River on June 27, 1950.

CTA 1743 is descending into the Washington Street tunnel under the Chicago River on June 27, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1767 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1767 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1746 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1746 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CSL 949 is southbound, coming out of the LaSalle Street tunnel under the Chicago River on September 6, 1939.

CSL 949 is southbound, coming out of the LaSalle Street tunnel under the Chicago River on September 6, 1939.

The Washington Street river tunnel at Wacker on May 21, 1951.

The Washington Street river tunnel at Wacker on May 21, 1951.

CTA 532 on the Madison Street bridge, on Route 56 - Milwaukee Avenue.

CTA 532 on the Madison Street bridge, on Route 56 – Milwaukee Avenue.

CTA 786 at Clinton and Van Buren in April 1952.

CTA 786 at Clinton and Van Buren in April 1952.

CTA 567 at Milwaukee and Armitage on October 18, 1950.

CTA 567 at Milwaukee and Armitage on October 18, 1950.

Washington and Wells on October 17, 1950.

Washington and Wells on October 17, 1950.

CTA one-man car 3175 at Randolph and Franklin on October 19, 1952.

CTA one-man car 3175 at Randolph and Franklin on October 19, 1952.

CTA 3163 at Lake and Pine (on the north side of the Chicago & North Western viaduct) on May 9, 1954. My understanding is the tracks are finally being removed under this viaduct, 65 years after the end of streetcar service.

CTA 3163 at Lake and Pine (on the north side of the Chicago & North Western viaduct) on May 9, 1954. My understanding is the tracks are finally being removed under this viaduct, 65 years after the end of streetcar service.

CTA 1627 at Randolph and Franklin on June 30, 1949.

CTA 1627 at Randolph and Franklin on June 30, 1949.

CTA one-man car 1759 at Randolph and Franklin on June 14, 1953.

CTA one-man car 1759 at Randolph and Franklin on June 14, 1953.

CTA 3163 on Lake Street just west of Laramie May 9, 1954. Nearby, the Lake Street "L" descended a ramp, and then ran at ground level all the way to the end of the line in Forest Park, just west of Harlem Avenue.

CTA 3163 on Lake Street just west of Laramie May 9, 1954. Nearby, the Lake Street “L” descended a ramp, and then ran at ground level all the way to the end of the line in Forest Park, just west of Harlem Avenue.

CTA 1724 on Lake Street at Ashland on October 20, 1953, running under the Lake Street "L".

CTA 1724 on Lake Street at Ashland on October 20, 1953, running under the Lake Street “L”.

CTA 422 at Kedzie and 47th on May 13, 1954.

CTA 422 at Kedzie and 47th on May 13, 1954.

CTA 118 on Kedzie at 34th on May 8, 1953, while some track work was being done.

CTA 118 on Kedzie at 34th on May 8, 1953, while some track work was being done.

CTA 205 at Kedzie and Van Buren on May 24, 1954.

CTA 205 at Kedzie and Van Buren on May 24, 1954.

Kedzie and 34th on May 14, 1950.

Kedzie and 34th on May 14, 1950.

CTA 1735 on Kedzie near the Douglas Park "L" (just north of Cermak Road) on May 28, 1954.

CTA 1735 on Kedzie near the Douglas Park “L” (just north of Cermak Road) on May 28, 1954.

CTA 207 is at Kedzie and Jackson on April 19, 1951.

CTA 207 is at Kedzie and Jackson on April 19, 1951.

CTA 128 is on Kedzie at the Garfield Park "L" on August 2, 1953. A couple of trolley buses are also visible.

CTA 128 is on Kedzie at the Garfield Park “L” on August 2, 1953. A couple of trolley buses are also visible.

CTA 330 and others are at the Kedzie and Van Buren car barn (station) on March 13, 1951.

CTA 330 and others are at the Kedzie and Van Buren car barn (station) on March 13, 1951.

CTA 446 at Kedzie and 34th on March 13, 1951.

CTA 446 at Kedzie and 34th on March 13, 1951.

CTA 445 at Kedzie and 35th on June 13, 1950.

CTA 445 at Kedzie and 35th on June 13, 1950.

CTA 397 at Kedzie and 66th Place on May 13, 1954.

CTA 397 at Kedzie and 66th Place on May 13, 1954.

CTA 362 at Kedzie and 34th on October 2, 1953.

CTA 362 at Kedzie and 34th on October 2, 1953.

CTA 876 at Indiana Avenue and 51st Street on September 4, 1950.

CTA 876 at Indiana Avenue and 51st Street on September 4, 1950.

CTA 1001 at Wells and Hubbard on May 14, 1950.

CTA 1001 at Wells and Hubbard on May 14, 1950.

CTA 277 at State and Wacker in March 1951.

CTA 277 at State and Wacker in March 1951.

CTA 1711 at State and Wacker on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1711 at State and Wacker on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1674 on Van Buren at Des Plaines on May 14, 1950.

CTA 1674 on Van Buren at Des Plaines on May 14, 1950.

CTA 338 on the State Street bridge, then just a year old, on November 6, 1950.

CTA 338 on the State Street bridge, then just a year old, on November 6, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1773 on Cermak and Lumber on May 9, 1954.

CTA one-man car 1773 on Cermak and Lumber on May 9, 1954.

CTA 1765 at Cermak and Loomis on May 9, 1954.

CTA 1765 at Cermak and Loomis on May 9, 1954.

CTA 1771 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CTA 1771 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CSL 473 at Burnham Park and the Lakefront, east end of Route 21 - Cermak, some time prior to 1948.

CSL 473 at Burnham Park and the Lakefront, east end of Route 21 – Cermak, some time prior to 1948.

CTA 1755 on Cermak at the Belt Railway on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1755 on Cermak at the Belt Railway on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1740 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CTA 1740 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CTA 709 at 26th, Blue Island, and Western on May 16, 1950.

CTA 709 at 26th, Blue Island, and Western on May 16, 1950.

CTA 723 at Clinton and Harrison on July 11, 1950.

CTA 723 at Clinton and Harrison on July 11, 1950.

CTA 720 at Blue Island and Harrison on May 16, 1950.

CTA 720 at Blue Island and Harrison on May 16, 1950.

A Leica IIIg camera,. The last Leica to use screw-mount lenses, this model was introduced in 1957.

A Leica IIIg camera,. The last Leica to use screw-mount lenses, this model was introduced in 1957.

1963 North Shore Line Fantrip

Robert Ness writes:

I took these pictures as a 15 year old on the last North Shore CERA fantrip on Jan 13, 1963, which covered the main line to Milwaukee and the Mundelein branch. The fare was $7.50 which was steep for a teenager. I grew up in Skokie three blocks from the old Oakton Street Rapid Transit station, and spent many hours riding my bike up to Dempster station for the traction action there. I also witnessed many freight movements of coal interchanged from the C&NW Mayfair branch at Oakton Street.

The North Shore Line has always been my favorite railroad and of course, in retrospect, I wish I had taken more pictures.

We thank Mr. Ness for sharing these pictures with our readers. By happenstance, we also found a copy of the itinerary for that trip.

My attempt at a panned shot.

My attempt at a panned shot.

Siding near Northbrook, waiting for a scheduled train.

Siding near Northbrook, waiting for a scheduled train.

Mundelein branch north of the Illinois Tollway.

Mundelein branch north of the Illinois Tollway.

Mundelein station.

Mundelein station.

Lake Forest.

Lake Forest.

North Chicago.

North Chicago.

North of Racine.

North of Racine.

North of Racine.

North of Racine.

5th Street in Milwaukee.

5th Street in Milwaukee.

Between 5th and 6th Streets in Milwaukee.

Between 5th and 6th Streets in Milwaukee.

Recent Finds

We have run various other pictures showing the construction of the bridge at Halsted over what is now the Eisenhower (formerly Congress) Expressway, but not this one. It shows a Pullman-uilt CTA PCC, operating on Route 8, using the shoo-fly around the bridge construction site. The bridge was finished by 1953, so my guess would be this picture is circa 1952. The view looks to the southeast from the nearby Garfield Park "L" station, which was not directly in the expressway footprint, and remained open until 1958.

We have run various other pictures showing the construction of the bridge at Halsted over what is now the Eisenhower (formerly Congress) Expressway, but not this one. It shows a Pullman-uilt CTA PCC, operating on Route 8, using the shoo-fly around the bridge construction site. The bridge was finished by 1953, so my guess would be this picture is circa 1952. The view looks to the southeast from the nearby Garfield Park “L” station, which was not directly in the expressway footprint, and remained open until 1958.

The caption I received with this North Shore Line negative reads, "Single car Skokie (Valley) inbound 1950s Chicago Limited, at a platform on embankment looking up."

The caption I received with this North Shore Line negative reads, “Single car Skokie (Valley) inbound 1950s Chicago Limited, at a platform on embankment looking up.”

The caption on this Bob Selle negative reads, "CERA trip, Sunday morning August 8, 1954. Front view-- Chicago Aurora & Elgin special #310. Secong photo stop on Mt. Carmel branch."

The caption on this Bob Selle negative reads, “CERA trip, Sunday morning August 8, 1954. Front view– Chicago Aurora & Elgin special #310. Secong photo stop on Mt. Carmel branch.”

For this negative, photographer Bob Selle wrote, "CERA fan trip, Sunday afternoon, august 8, 1954. Chicago Aurora & Elgin cars 406 and 418, Aurora, Illinois. (#406 our special.)" The off-street terminal here was put into service at the end of 1939, and was therefore only used for about 18 years.

For this negative, photographer Bob Selle wrote, “CERA fan trip, Sunday afternoon, august 8, 1954. Chicago Aurora & Elgin cars 406 and 418, Aurora, Illinois. (#406 our special.)” The off-street terminal here was put into service at the end of 1939, and was therefore only used for about 18 years.

There were many photos taken over the years at this location, 81st and Halsted, the south end of CTA Route 22 - Clark-Wentworth. What's special about this Bob Selle shot is the date-- January 2, 1954. There are not many pictures of Pullman PCCs from 1954, as they were the first casualties of the so-called PCC Conversion Program, whereby a total of 570 out of 600 Chicago PCCs were sent to the St. Louis Car Company, scrapped, and some of their parts were reused on a like number of "L" cars. Oddly enough, all the cars on this heavy line had to make a backup move in traffic. I am not sure why it couldn't have been advantageous to figure out a different arrangement, such as an off-street loop like other lines had.

There were many photos taken over the years at this location, 81st and Halsted, the south end of CTA Route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. What’s special about this Bob Selle shot is the date– January 2, 1954. There are not many pictures of Pullman PCCs from 1954, as they were the first casualties of the so-called PCC Conversion Program, whereby a total of 570 out of 600 Chicago PCCs were sent to the St. Louis Car Company, scrapped, and some of their parts were reused on a like number of “L” cars. Oddly enough, all the cars on this heavy line had to make a backup move in traffic. I am not sure why it couldn’t have been advantageous to figure out a different arrangement, such as an off-street loop like other lines had.

This is the Garfield Park "L" in the late 1950s, at the western end where it ran on the ground. The presence of streetcar tracks tells us that this picture was taken at Des Plaines Avenue in Forest Park, and that auto dates the picture to around 1957-58. But I am not sure if we are looking east or west.

This is the Garfield Park “L” in the late 1950s, at the western end where it ran on the ground. The presence of streetcar tracks tells us that this picture was taken at Des Plaines Avenue in Forest Park, and that auto dates the picture to around 1957-58. But I am not sure if we are looking east or west.

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
[/caption]


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



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.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

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

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.
For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

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

Chicago Aurora and Elgin car 453, which will soon find a new home at the Illinois Railway Museum. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Chicago Aurora and Elgin car 453, which will soon find a new home at the Illinois Railway Museum. (William Shapotkin Collection)

It is a shame that only four out of ten postwar interurban cars built in 1945 for the Chicago Aurora & Elgin were saved, after that railroad ceased operations in the late 1950s.

Having only been in service for a dozen years or so, these cars could have been a nice addition to the North Shore Line, but that interurban ceased operations in 1963. There was also an unrealized plan to use them on an extension of the Cleveland rapid transit line to the local airport. The extension was delayed for several years, and ultimately new cars were ordered.

That any of the ten were saved is due to Gerald E. Brookens, who bought them in 1962 for his Trolleyville U.S.A. operation in Ohio. They were cars that could be put into service right away, with minimal effort, on his new line serving a trailer park, where operations began in 1963. There they remained until the Brookens family decided to sell the trailer park. An attempt to use the collection, or parts of it, in Cleveland did not pan out, and the collection was put up for sale in 2009, ultimately dispersed among a consortium of railway museums.

Cars 451 and 460 went to the Illinois Railway Museum. 458 was purchased by the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin. The fourth car (453) traveled to Pennsylvania and the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton. They originally planned to restore it as an ersatz Laurel Line interurban, since no cars from that line were saved after it quit in 1952.

Fortunately for us, the folks in Scranton changed their minds, and recently put the 453 up for sale instead. Thanks to a quick fundraiser, it will now be coming to the Illinois Railway Museum. All four surviving cars in the 451-460 series will be back in Illinois for the first time since 1962, with three of the four at IRM.

As the Hicks Car Works blog reported:

We are overjoyed to announce that the fund-raising drive has been successful in raising the money needed to purchase, transport, and store car 453! It will be coming soon to a museum near you!

A large number of people contributed to make this possible, and we thank you all. Two donors in particular gave substantial amounts. One of them came from a long-time member, who wishes to remain anonymous, in celebration of his 45th year since joining the Museum in 1974. The other came from Jeffrey L. Wien. Jeff comments: “I felt that I was playing the role of a White Knight in making my donation…. I donated to the 453 fund because the 450 class were the last interurbans built in the U.S. and to me were very aesthetically attractive. Now we will have 75% of the surviving 450 class! It should also be mentioned that as a former North Shore Line employee, that I have always favored North Shore equipment, but this time I wanted to make sure that a rare piece of CA&E history is preserved. Julie Johnson would be pleased.”

It has often been stated that the ten curved-sided CA&E cars were the “last” interurbans built in the United States. To accept this, some caveats come into play.

First of all, what constitutes an interurban? Depending on how you define this, why wouldn’t the PATCO Speedline, which runs between Philadelphia and Camden County, New Jersey qualify as an “interurban,” even though it did not begin service until 1969?

What about the double-ended cars built by St. Louis Car Company for the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. (aka Red Arrow) in 1949? They ran on the line between Philadelphia and West Chester, which is generally considered an interurban. But they resembled PCC cars, although they had conventional motors and were not “offically” considered PCCs.

Actual PCC cars were used in interurban service by Pittsburgh Railways, to Charleroi and Washington, PA until 1953.  Some of these cars were built in 1949.

The Norristown High-Speed Line in suburban Philadelphia has also at times been considered an interurban.  So when rapid transit cars from the Chicago Transit Authority were used there, in the 1980s and 90s, did they become interurban cars?

Perhaps it is fair to say that the CA&E cars were the last classic or conventional interurban cars built in the United States. There have been other interurban cars built since 1945 outside of the US, such as the cars operated on the South Shore Line.

An interurban is as much a sociological concept as anything, and has come to represent a particular era in American history. Pacific Electric ran an interurban between Los Angeles and Long Beach until 1961. But when service between those two cities was restored in 1990, via the Blue Line Metro, it was called light rail, even though much of the line runs in the same alignment that Pacific Electric used.

For that matter, is the South Shore Line, the so-called “last” interurban that survived, still an interurban?  Or would most of its riders today think of it as commuter rail?

To celebrate the return of car 453, we present many classic black-and-white views of the Chicago Aurora and Elgin from the collections of William Shapotkin, and as always, we thank him for his generosity in sharing them with our readers. These were scanned from small prints of the type once sold by the late Barney Neuberger and others, most of which did not have any information along with them.

There are a few things we can do know, however. The two pictures of crossings on the ground-level tracks west of Laramie, at Oak Park Avenue and Ridgeland in suburban Oak Park, were taken in 1935. The pictures of street running are most likely in Aurora. In 1939, the Aurora terminal was relocated to off-street trackage. The pictures of two wood cars while it is snowing were most likely taken during the final passenger fantrip in December 1958.

There are a couple wreck pictures. We don’t know the circumstances, or even if they are from the same incident. Someone on Facebook was recently wondering if the CA&E had any fatal accidents. We know that the employees were very conscientious, and had an admirable safety record, but I am sure there were some.

There was only a brief period of time (1953) when the picture showing CA&E cars on the Met main line at Halsted, next to the newly completed bridge over the Congress Expressway construction site, could have been taken.

When we scanned these prints, there were a few duplicates. If we did not weed out all of these, we hope you will forgive us.

If you do have useful information to add, you can make a Comment on this post. Be sure to refer to the pictures by their file names, which can be found by hovering your mouse over the image. For example, the fist picture in this post is img989. That will be more helpful to us than just saying, “the third picture down,” or some such.

As you enjoy your Labor Day holiday weekend, we hope you will appreciate all the labor that has gone into preserving the memory of the Sunset Lines, as the CA&E was once fondly named.  Thanks to the work of many dedicated volunteers, we hope the sun will never truly set on the Sunset Lines.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

From the Collections of William Shapotkin: