CTA’s New 7000s

CTA 7009-7010 at Dempster.

CTA 7009-7010 at Dempster.

Cooler weather returned to the Chicago area last Friday, after a string of hot and muggy days. We took this opportunity to take pictures on the Chicago Transit Authority.

We rode the new 7000-series cars for the first time on the Yellow Line (formerly the Skokie Swift), where they were being tested last week. Our luck was good, as our ride from Dempster to Howard turned out to be the last trip of the day for these new cars, which are being tested extensively on the CTA system.

My impression of these new “L” cars was very favorable. While in many respects they are similar to the existing fleet, the 7000s are instantly recognizable, due to their blue end caps. They are smooth and quiet in operation, and offer improved seating, with fewer sideways seats, which did not prove to be very popular on the 5000s. The 7000s will replace the 2600-series cars, some of which are now 40 years old.

We also took some pictures of the Belmont Flyover construction progress, which is part of the RPM (Red and Purple Modernization) project. The flyover will keep Red, Purple, and Brown Line trains from having to cross in front of each other, and will therefore add capacity to these routes once it opens this November.

In addition, we have more classic traction pictures to share, both our own, and from our contributors Larry Sakar, Bob Bresse-Rodenkirk, and Jack Bejna.

-David Sadowski

PS- If you enjoy reading these posts, you might consider joining our Trolley Dodger Facebook Group as well. We currently have 419 members.

CTA Yellow Line

CTA 7009-7010 has arrived at Dempster in Skokie.

CTA 7009-7010 has arrived at Dempster in Skokie.

Our 7000s train pulls up to the platform at Dempster.

Our 7000s train pulls up to the platform at Dempster.

The 7000s interior. There is less sideways seating than on the 5000s, which should prove popular with riders.

The 7000s interior. There is less sideways seating than on the 5000s, which should prove popular with riders.

Skokie Shops.

Skokie Shops.

Skokie Shops. You can see 6711-6712 and 6101-6102, part of CTA's Historic Fleet.

Skokie Shops. You can see 6711-6712 and 6101-6102, part of CTA’s Historic Fleet.

There are some 2400s at Howard Yard, for use in work service.

There are some 2400s at Howard Yard, for use in work service.

7009-7010 after arriving at Howard. Unfortunately, there was no return trip on these cars.

7009-7010 after arriving at Howard. Unfortunately, there was no return trip on these cars.

From the side, you can hardly tell the 7000s from other "L" cars.

From the side, you can hardly tell the 7000s from other “L” cars.

The new 7000s have distinctive blue caps on the ends.

The new 7000s have distinctive blue caps on the ends.

A northbound Red Line train at Howard.

A northbound Red Line train at Howard.

CTA 7009-7010 at Howard.

CTA 7009-7010 at Howard.

The 7000s were done for the day and about to be put back in the yard.

The 7000s were done for the day and about to be put back in the yard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

5519-5520 at Howard.

Howard Yard.

Howard Yard.

Flatcars at Skokie Shops.

Flatcars at Skokie Shops.

The CTA's historic 6000s at Skokie Shops.

The CTA’s historic 6000s at Skokie Shops.

Skokie Shops. Note the 7000-series car present.

Skokie Shops. Note the 7000-series car present.

East Prairie Road.

East Prairie Road.

This portion of platform is a remnant of the old Crawford-East Prairie station on the Niles Center route.

This portion of platform is a remnant of the old Crawford-East Prairie station on the Niles Center route.

Kostner.

Kostner.

Oakton curve.

Oakton curve.

Although the Skokie Swift has been renamed the Yellow Line, the CTA still uses this distinctive logo. I believe it was designed by the late George Krambles.

Although the Skokie Swift has been renamed the Yellow Line, the CTA still uses this distinctive logo. I believe it was designed by the late George Krambles.

CTA 5519-5520 at the Dempster terminal.

CTA 5519-5520 at the Dempster terminal.

The bus turnaround area has a shelter that is stylistically in keeping with the Dempster Street Terminal.

The bus turnaround area has a shelter that is stylistically in keeping with the Dempster Street Terminal.

This is the back end of the historic Dempster Street Terminal, originally built for the North Shore Line and designed by Arthur U. Gerber. The station was moved a bit from its original location to create a bus turnaround area.

This is the back end of the historic Dempster Street Terminal, originally built for the North Shore Line and designed by Arthur U. Gerber. The station was moved a bit from its original location to create a bus turnaround area.

From 1925 to 1948, Dempster was the terminal of the CRT's Niles Center branch.

From 1925 to 1948, Dempster was the terminal of the CRT’s Niles Center branch.

Belmont Flyover

The Belmont Flyover is massive and work is proceeding rapidly. It may be put into service as soon as this November.

The Belmont Flyover is massive and work is proceeding rapidly. It may be put into service as soon as this November.

This welder wanted me to take his picture with his mask on and the flame lit.

This welder wanted me to take his picture with his mask on and the flame lit.

Thumbs up.

Thumbs up.

The three-story Vautravers Building at 947 West Newport Avenue was recently moved 30 feet to the west by the CTA as part of the flyover project, so a curve could be straightened out.

The three-story Vautravers Building at 947 West Newport Avenue was recently moved 30 feet to the west by the CTA as part of the flyover project, so a curve could be straightened out.

There is more to the RPM project than just the Belmont Flyover. Parts of the century-old "L" embankment north of Wilson Avenue are being replaced. The Lawrence Avenue station is currently closed, and there is a temporary station at Argyle (shown here).

There is more to the RPM project than just the Belmont Flyover. Parts of the century-old “L” embankment north of Wilson Avenue are being replaced. The Lawrence Avenue station is currently closed, and there is a temporary station at Argyle (shown here).

Recent Finds

Red Arrow car 27, from a late 1950s red border Kodachrome slide. It was built by Brill in 1918. Sister car 25 was retired in 1964.

Red Arrow car 27, from a late 1950s red border Kodachrome slide. It was built by Brill in 1918. Sister car 25 was retired in 1964.

Red Arrow car 68 in the late 1950s, from a red border Kodachrome. We ran a different picture taken at this location in a previous post, so I can tell the location is Sheldon and Spring Avenues on the Ardmore line, which was converted to buses at the end of 1966.

Red Arrow car 68 in the late 1950s, from a red border Kodachrome. We ran a different picture taken at this location in a previous post, so I can tell the location is Sheldon and Spring Avenues on the Ardmore line, which was converted to buses at the end of 1966.

On June 6, 1954, William C. Hoffman took this picture looking to the northwest at Congress and Bishop Streets (1432 W.), showing the demolition of main line of the Metropolitan "L".

On June 6, 1954, William C. Hoffman took this picture looking to the northwest at Congress and Bishop Streets (1432 W.), showing the demolition of main line of the Metropolitan “L”.

The view looking west from Congress and Racine Avenue (1200 W.), showing the old Metropolitan "L"'s Throop Street Shops and power plant in the process of being torn down to make way for the Congress Expressway on June 6, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking west from Congress and Racine Avenue (1200 W.), showing the old Metropolitan “L”‘s Throop Street Shops and power plant in the process of being torn down to make way for the Congress Expressway on June 6, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Again, looking northwest from Congress and Racine, but this time on July 25, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Again, looking northwest from Congress and Racine, but this time on July 25, 1954. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Photographer Bruce C. Nelson took this picture of CTA 5695-5696 on February 19, 2017, when these cars (and two others), decorated to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908, were used on a fantrip sponsored by the Central Electric Railfans' Association (and made possible by a substantial donation by the late Jeffrey L. Wien).

Photographer Bruce C. Nelson took this picture of CTA 5695-5696 on February 19, 2017, when these cars (and two others), decorated to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908, were used on a fantrip sponsored by the Central Electric Railfans’ Association (and made possible by a substantial donation by the late Jeffrey L. Wien).

This shows why I am fully in favor of the recent plan to replace the State and Lake station on the Loop "L" with something new and modern. There was little left of the original station anyway, due to previous renovations and a fire. Clark Frazier took this picture looking north from State Street on April 21, 1980.

This shows why I am fully in favor of the recent plan to replace the State and Lake station on the Loop “L” with something new and modern. There was little left of the original station anyway, due to previous renovations and a fire. Clark Frazier took this picture looking north from State Street on April 21, 1980.

This picture of North Shore Line car 254 on the "L" in August 1962 generated a lot of discussion on the Facebook Trolley Dodger group. First of all, where is it? Jon Habermaas has identified it as the Harrison Curve at Harrison and Wabash. He also says that the train is northbound, turning onto Wabash, as the location of the combine as the lead car shows.

This picture of North Shore Line car 254 on the “L” in August 1962 generated a lot of discussion on the Facebook Trolley Dodger group. First of all, where is it? Jon Habermaas has identified it as the Harrison Curve at Harrison and Wabash. He also says that the train is northbound, turning onto Wabash, as the location of the combine as the lead car shows.

Jon Habermaas also posted this picture, taken at the same location.

Jon Habermaas also posted this picture, taken at the same location.

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a four-car train of 4000s at 43rd Street on October 13, 1952... with three cars in the old paint scheme and one in the new.

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a four-car train of 4000s at 43rd Street on October 13, 1952… with three cars in the old paint scheme and one in the new.

The view looking north at the 43rd Street station on October 13, 1952 found a train of flat-door 6000s. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking north at the 43rd Street station on October 13, 1952 found a train of flat-door 6000s. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a southbound train of CTA 6000s at 43rd Street on March 13, 1955.

William C. Hoffman took this picture of a southbound train of CTA 6000s at 43rd Street on March 13, 1955.

The view looking northwest from Congress and Ashland (1600 W.) on October 29, 1950. The one car train is a Douglas Park, and the two-car train of brand new 6000s is from Logan Square. This was a few months before the new Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway opened. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking northwest from Congress and Ashland (1600 W.) on October 29, 1950. The one car train is a Douglas Park, and the two-car train of brand new 6000s is from Logan Square. This was a few months before the new Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway opened. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

A Lake Street "L" A train prepares to head east from the Harlem terminal in September 1966. These cars were two years old then, and the line had only been elevated here four years earlier.

A Lake Street “L” A train prepares to head east from the Harlem terminal in September 1966. These cars were two years old then, and the line had only been elevated here four years earlier.

The location of this 1950s Loop photo was a mystery. But Graham Garfield writes, "It’s Wells Street looking north at Monroe St. The 200 on the building in the background isn’t 200N, it’s 200W. Everything in this view is gone now, except the “L” and the building on the near left (the SW corner of Wells/Monroe)."

The location of this 1950s Loop photo was a mystery. But Graham Garfield writes, “It’s Wells Street looking north at Monroe St. The 200 on the building in the background isn’t 200N, it’s 200W. Everything in this view is gone now, except the “L” and the building on the near left (the SW corner of Wells/Monroe).”

Halsted looking south from 63rd Street. This picture was taken some time between 1907 and 1910. This station on the Englewood "L" has been rebuilt twice since then and is still in use today as part of the CTA Green Line.

Halsted looking south from 63rd Street. This picture was taken some time between 1907 and 1910. This station on the Englewood “L” has been rebuilt twice since then and is still in use today as part of the CTA Green Line.

A close-up of the previous picture.

A close-up of the previous picture.

This was a slide that was recently sold on eBay that I did not win. North Shore Line car 157 is apparently on a fantrip at the Milwaukee Terminal in the early 1960s, with the Milwaukee Road's train shed in the background.

This was a slide that was recently sold on eBay that I did not win. North Shore Line car 157 is apparently on a fantrip at the Milwaukee Terminal in the early 1960s, with the Milwaukee Road’s train shed in the background.

There were six original slides on auction recently, all taken in Chicago on January 10, 1956. I assume the photographer, who is as of yet unknown, may have simply been in town for a short time. I did win three of these, and will post improved scans once I receive them, but I thought they were interesting as an entire set:

A nice view of a gateman's shanty on the ground level portion of the Lake Street "L" in Oak Park. All 22 grade crossings here were manually operated.

A nice view of a gateman’s shanty on the ground level portion of the Lake Street “L” in Oak Park. All 22 grade crossings here were manually operated.

This is either the Kedzie or Homan station on the Lake Street "L" (today's Green Line). There was a third track on a portion of the line, originally used for express trains. In the CTA era, it was used for midday car storage.

This is either the Kedzie or Homan station on the Lake Street “L” (today’s Green Line). There was a third track on a portion of the line, originally used for express trains. In the CTA era, it was used for midday car storage.

Graham Garfield thinks this is the "L" station at Quincy and Wells, looking north.

Graham Garfield thinks this is the “L” station at Quincy and Wells, looking north.

Wentworth on the Englewood branch. Much of what you see here was cleared away within a few years to build the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Wentworth on the Englewood branch. Much of what you see here was cleared away within a few years to build the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Racine on the Englewood branch.

Here's a 1950s view of the shuttle train that went to the Polo Grounds, where the New York Giants played, before decamping to San Francisco after the 1957 season. It was located in Manhattan, within view of Yankee Stadium (which was across the river in the Bronx). This was apparently the last vestige of the 6th and 9th Avenue Els in Manhattan. The expansion New York Mets played their 1962 and 1963 seasons at the Polo Grounds, while Shea Stadium was being built, after which it was torn down.

Here’s a 1950s view of the shuttle train that went to the Polo Grounds, where the New York Giants played, before decamping to San Francisco after the 1957 season. It was located in Manhattan, within view of Yankee Stadium (which was across the river in the Bronx). This was apparently the last vestige of the 6th and 9th Avenue Els in Manhattan. The expansion New York Mets played their 1962 and 1963 seasons at the Polo Grounds, while Shea Stadium was being built, after which it was torn down.

Ebbets Field

I recently bought seven original red border Kodachrome slides, taken at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn during a World Series game between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. (They cost me just $7.50 apiece.)

The Dodgers were originally called the Trolley Dodgers in the early part of the 20th century, so I hope you won’t mind seeing these pictures here, even though they do not have a transit connection per se.

It is not often that old photos can be dated, but there are enough clues here that the actual date of this one can be figured out. The advertising signs match other pictures from the 1949 WS, where the Yankees beat the Dodgers, 4 games to 1. Games 3, 4, and 5 were played in Brooklyn, and the first two of those had a 1 pm start. Game 5 started at 2 pm since it was a Sunday.

Since the clock here says it is just after 2, and the game hasn’t started yet, this is Sunday, October 9, 1949. By studying one slide, you can see it was taken during the National Anthem. At the base of the scoreboard, there’s the iconic sign for Abe Stark’s clothing store (“Hit sign, win suit”).

Two blimps were flying overhead, one advertising R&H Beer, the other Tydol Gasoline.

The Yankees defeated the Dodgers that day 10-6 in the deciding game of the Series. Ebbets Field was not a large ballpark, and this game was attended by a crowd of 33,711 (several thousand less than the modern capacity of Fenway Park or Wrigley Field).

Ebbets Field had lights installed in 1938. This game was also historic, since the lights were turned on during the 9th inning, the first time this had been done in a WS game. (All WS games were played in the daytime until 1971.)

When games were over, fans were able to walk on part of the left field grass to exit by the center field gate.

The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season (and their rivals, the New York Giants, went to San Francisco), leaving the Yankees as the sole New York team until the expansion team Mets joined them in 1962. Ebbets Field, which opened in 1913, was torn down in 1960 and replaced by apartments.

"Hit sign, win suit."

“Hit sign, win suit.”

Recent Correspondence

This is one of the North Shore Line stations designed by Arthur U. Gerber. But which one? My guess is Kenosha. The original slide, from November 1987, was so underexposed that it almost looked opaque, but I did what I could with it.

This is one of the North Shore Line stations designed by Arthur U. Gerber. But which one? My guess is Kenosha. The original slide, from November 1987, was so underexposed that it almost looked opaque, but I did what I could with it.  (William Shapotkin Collection)

Larry Sakar writes:

As regards photo 2021/07/bills228 your guess that this is the Kenosha, WI. NSL station is 100% correct.

The giveaway is the entrance. This is the north end of the station. Sometime in the ’80’a or ’90’s when It was Spaghetti Station and then just “The Station,” the owners decided to add a banquet room to the north end of the building. It completely ruined its historical appearance. No attempt was made to make it look anything like the existing building and that big, square addition looked totally out of place with Arthur Gerber’s original design. They also ended up building across from one platform to the other forever ruining that part as well.

I went there in April or May of 1972. There was no bus service in Kenosha at the time, so I had to walk from the location of the TM station (8th Avenue & 55th St.) to the NSL station at 27th Avenue and 63rd St. When I got there I found the building completely enclosed by a picket fence. Luckily, the gate or whatever was open and I walked in and began snapping photos. In those days I was using an Ansco box camera and 620 b&w film with 8 shots to the roll. Talk about primitive!

Just then a gentleman came out of the station which was open on the south end. I explained that I was a traction fan and the North Shore line which had built this station is one of my areas of study. I thought I was going to get kicked off the property, but the man was quite flattered that I was interested in the building.

Did he know about the NSL and the history of the building? He never said. He said I was welcome to take as many pictures as I wished, and said he’d invite me inside but he had just finished washing the floor and it was slippery.

It was just as well because I’d lost the flash attachment to that camera years earlier. Remember the days of flash attachments and flashbulbs? I was also limited in how much time I could spend there. I’d come down from Milwaukee on the Wisconsin Coach Lines bus, which let you off in the downtown Kenosha area. I was really going to have to hustle if I was going to make the next bus back to Milwaukee. Luckily, I did.

I still have the prints that I shot that day and will send them to you should you wish to use them.

NSL Kenosha Station, north end of the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, north end of the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, looking south from the former track area, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, looking south from the former track area, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, southbound platform from the northbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, southbound platform from the northbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, waiting room on the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

NSL Kenosha Station, waiting room on the southbound platform, April 5, 1972. (Larry Sakar Photo)

Bob Bresse-Rodenkirk sent in three recent photos, taken at the Shore Line Trolley Museum, in East Haven, CT:

“The Chicago Boys in proper North Shore uniform. Stephen B. Rudolph and Bob Bresse-Rodenkirk. Photos by Alan Zelazo.”

Bob adds, “I am the motorman there and Steve Rudolph is conductor.” Chicagoans may remember Bob from WBBM radio, under his professional name, Bob Roberts.

Finally, Jack Bejna sent us this photo of Chicago Surface Lines 4001:

An "as built" photo of experimental Chicago Surface Lines car 4001 in 1934. It was built by Pullman-Standard, and its body shell is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Jack Bejna Collection)

An “as built” photo of experimental Chicago Surface Lines car 4001 in 1934. It was built by Pullman-Standard, and its body shell is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Jack Bejna Collection)

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

-David Sadowski

The Trolley Dodger On the Air

I recently appeared on the Dave Plier Show on WGN radio, to discuss Chicago’s Lost “L”s. You can hear that discussion here.

Our Latest Book, Now Available:

Chicago’s Lost “L”s

From the back cover:

Chicago’s system of elevated railways, known locally as the “L,” has run continuously since 1892 and, like the city, has never stood still. It helped neighborhoods grow, brought their increasingly diverse populations together, and gave the famous Loop its name. But today’s system has changed radically over the years. Chicago’s Lost “L”s tells the story of former lines such as Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Stockyards, Normal Park, Westchester, and Niles Center. It was once possible to take high-speed trains on the L directly to Aurora, Elgin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The L started out as four different companies, two starting out using steam engines instead of electricity. Eventually, all four came together via the Union Loop. The L is more than a way of getting around. Its trains are a place where people meet and interact. Some say the best way to experience the city is via the L, with its second-story view. Chicago’s Lost “L”s is virtually a “secret history” of Chicago, and this is your ticket. David Sadowski grew up riding the L all over the city. He is the author of Chicago Trolleys and Building Chicago’s Subways and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

Title Chicago’s Lost “L”s
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2021
ISBN 1467100007, 9781467100007
Length 128 pages

Chapters:
01. The South Side “L”
02. The Lake Street “L”
03. The Metropolitan “L”
04. The Northwestern “L”
05. The Union Loop
06. Lost Equipment
07. Lost Interurbans
08. Lost Terminals
09. Lost… and Found

Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus facsimile of a 1926 Chicago Rapid Transit Company map, with interesting facts about the “L” on the reverse side.

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

For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

NEW DVD:

A Tribute to the North Shore Line

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the demise of the fabled North Shore Line interurban in January 2013, Jeffrey L. Wien and Bradley Criss made a very thorough and professional video presentation, covering the entire route between Chicago and Milwaukee and then some. Sadly, both men are gone now, but their work remains, making this video a tribute to them, as much as it is a tribute to the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee.

Jeff drew on his own vast collections of movie films, both his own and others such as the late William C. Hoffman, wrote and gave the narration. Bradley acted as video editor, and added authentic sound effects from archival recordings of the North Shore Line.

It was always Jeff’s intention to make this video available to the public, but unfortunately, this did not happen in his lifetime. Now, as the caretakers of Jeff’s railfan legacy, we are proud to offer this excellent two-hour program to you for the first time.  The result is a fitting tribute to what Jeff called his “Perpetual Adoration,” which was the name of a stop on the interurban.

Jeff was a wholehearted supporter of our activities, and the proceeds from the sale of this disc will help defray some of the expenses of keeping the Trolley Dodger web site going.

Total time – 121:22

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.99 (Includes shipping within the United States)

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

This is our 274th 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 792,000 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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Your financial contributions help make this web site better, and are greatly appreciated.


May Showers

On October 10, 1952, an eastbound five-car Garfield Park "L" train approaches Western Avenue, where photographer William C. Hoffman was standing. The temporary trackage on Van Buren Street, visible at right, was then under construction.

On October 10, 1952, an eastbound five-car Garfield Park “L” train approaches Western Avenue, where photographer William C. Hoffman was standing. The temporary trackage on Van Buren Street, visible at right, was then under construction.

April showers, as they say, bring May flowers. That kind of fits today’s post, since there is always a lot of preliminary work involved in what we do. In fact, you could say we have been working on this one for a month.

It’s finally taken root, and now you can stop and smell the roses! We have about 100 classic traction photos for you to enjoy.  Most are our own, and some are from the collections of our friend William Shapotkin.

We also have two new products available. You can pre-order our new book Chicago’s Lost “L”s, and also purchase A Tribute to the North Shore Line, a two-hour DVD presentation put together in 2013 by the late Jeffrey L. Wien and Bradley Criss.

-David Sadowski

PS- FYI, we have a Facebook auxiliary for the Trolley Dodger here, which currently has 320 members.

Our Latest Book, Now Available for Pre-Order:

Chicago’s Lost “L”s

Arcadia Publishing will release our new book Chicago’s Lost “L”s on July 12, 2021. Reserve your copy today!

From the back cover:

Chicago’s system of elevated railways, known locally as the “L,” has run continuously since 1892 and, like the city, has never stood still. It helped neighborhoods grow, brought their increasingly diverse populations together, and gave the famous Loop its name. But today’s system has changed radically over the years. Chicago’s Lost “L”s tells the story of former lines such as Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Stockyards, Normal Park, Westchester, and Niles Center. It was once possible to take high-speed trains on the L directly to Aurora, Elgin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The L started out as four different companies, two starting out using steam engines instead of electricity. Eventually, all four came together via the Union Loop. The L is more than a way of getting around. Its trains are a place where people meet and interact. Some say the best way to experience the city is via the L, with its second-story view. Chicago’s Lost “L”s is virtually a “secret history” of Chicago, and this is your ticket. David Sadowski grew up riding the L all over the city. He is the author of Chicago Trolleys and Building Chicago’s Subways and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

Title Chicago’s Lost “L”s
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2021
ISBN 1467100007, 9781467100007
Length 128 pages

Chapters:
01. The South Side “L”
02. The Lake Street “L”
03. The Metropolitan “L”
04. The Northwestern “L”
05. The Union Loop
06. Lost Equipment
07. Lost Interurbans
08. Lost Terminals
09. Lost… and Found

Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus facsimile of a 1926 Chicago Rapid Transit Company map, with interesting facts about the “L” on the reverse side.

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

For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

NEW DVD:

A Tribute to the North Shore Line

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the demise of the fabled North Shore Line interurban in January 2013, Jeffrey L. Wien and Bradley Criss made a very thorough and professional video presentation, covering the entire route between Chicago and Milwaukee and then some. Sadly, both men are gone now, but their work remains, making this video a tribute to them, as much as it is a tribute to the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee.

Jeff drew on his own vast collections of movie films, both his own and others such as the late William C. Hoffman, wrote and gave the narration. Bradley acted as video editor, and added authentic sound effects from archival recordings of the North Shore Line.

It was always Jeff’s intention to make this video available to the public, but unfortunately, this did not happen in his lifetime. Now, as the caretakers of Jeff’s railfan legacy, we are proud to offer this excellent two-hour program to you for the first time.  The result is a fitting tribute to what Jeff called his “Perpetual Adoration,” which was the name of a stop on the interurban.

Jeff was a wholehearted supporter of our activities, and the proceeds from the sale of this disc will help defray some of the expenses of keeping the Trolley Dodger web site going.

Total time – 121:22

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.99 (Includes shipping within the United States)

Recent Finds

The LaSalle Street tunnel under the Chicago River, shown prior to when it was rebuilt for use by cable cars in the 1880s. It had opened on July 4, 1871. This is one-half of a stereo photo.

The LaSalle Street tunnel under the Chicago River, shown prior to when it was rebuilt for use by cable cars in the 1880s. It had opened on July 4, 1871. This is one-half of a stereo photo.

A northbound Jackson Park-Howard "B: train descends into the State Street Subway sometime in the 1970s. A Lake-Dan Ryan train, made up of 2000s and 2200s, is on the nearby "L" structure.

A northbound Jackson Park-Howard “B: train descends into the State Street Subway sometime in the 1970s. A Lake-Dan Ryan train, made up of 2000s and 2200s, is on the nearby “L” structure.

An Englewood-Howard "A" train of 6000s in the State Street Subway in the 1970s.

An Englewood-Howard “A” train of 6000s in the State Street Subway in the 1970s.

This photo, showing a South Shore Line train running in the street in East Chicago, Indiana, must have been taken just prior to the relocation of these tracks in 1956. Since then, they have run next to the Indiana Toll Road. The location is on Chicago Street at Magoun Avenue, less than a mile east of the Indiana Toll Road. The train appears to be heading east. That's a 1955 or '56 Buick at left across the street.

This photo, showing a South Shore Line train running in the street in East Chicago, Indiana, must have been taken just prior to the relocation of these tracks in 1956. Since then, they have run next to the Indiana Toll Road. The location is on Chicago Street at Magoun Avenue, less than a mile east of the Indiana Toll Road. The train appears to be heading east. That’s a 1955 or ’56 Buick at left across the street.

The same location today.

The same location today.

J. W. Vigrass took this photo along the Red Arrow's West Chester line on May 29, 1954, just about a week before buses replaced trolleys. This long side-of-the-road interurban fell victim to a project that widened West Chester Pike.

J. W. Vigrass took this photo along the Red Arrow’s West Chester line on May 29, 1954, just about a week before buses replaced trolleys. This long side-of-the-road interurban fell victim to a project that widened West Chester Pike.

This may not be the sharpest picture, but it is an original Ektachrome slide shot by the late George Krambles. It shows North Shore Line 181 approaching Libertyville along the Mundelein branch on February 11, 1962.

This may not be the sharpest picture, but it is an original Ektachrome slide shot by the late George Krambles. It shows North Shore Line 181 approaching Libertyville along the Mundelein branch on February 11, 1962.

A North Shore Line train in North Chicago, sometime in the 1950s. This was an Ektachrome slide that had shifted to red, and I was fortunate to be able to color correct it in Photoshop. (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

A North Shore Line train in North Chicago, sometime in the 1950s. This was an Ektachrome slide that had shifted to red, and I was fortunate to be able to color correct it in Photoshop. (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

This photo did not come with any information, but it is a fantrip held on the Red Arrow's West Chester trolley line on June 6, 1954, when the line was replaced by buses. We previously posted a color image taken at this photo stop, where the location was given as either Milltown or Mill Farm, the handwriting was difficult to make out. Apparently one of the three cars shown here broke down and had to be towed by one of the others.

This photo did not come with any information, but it is a fantrip held on the Red Arrow’s West Chester trolley line on June 6, 1954, when the line was replaced by buses. We previously posted a color image taken at this photo stop, where the location was given as either Milltown or Mill Farm, the handwriting was difficult to make out. Apparently one of the three cars shown here broke down and had to be towed by one of the others.

Another photo of the South Shore Line in East Chicago in 1956. My guess is, this is the same location as the other photo, just looking the other way.

Another photo of the South Shore Line in East Chicago in 1956. My guess is, this is the same location as the other photo, just looking the other way.

We recently posted a color image, similar to this and taken at the same location, shot in 1955 by William C. Hoffman. This is most likely from the same general time period, as prewar PCC 7003 is running on Western Avenue. The prewar cars ran here from 1955-56 after they had been on the Cottage Grove line, converted to one-man operation. The "L" train is running on the Garfield Park temporary trackage in Van Buren Street, which was used from 1953-58.

We recently posted a color image, similar to this and taken at the same location, shot in 1955 by William C. Hoffman. This is most likely from the same general time period, as prewar PCC 7003 is running on Western Avenue. The prewar cars ran here from 1955-56 after they had been on the Cottage Grove line, converted to one-man operation. The “L” train is running on the Garfield Park temporary trackage in Van Buren Street, which was used from 1953-58.

A view looking west along the Lake Street "L" sometime during the 1950s. The "L" ran in one direction then (counter-clockwise), so both the "L" train and North Shore Line train are heading west, away from the photographer. That's Tower 18 behind the train of 4000s, before it was replaced in 1969.

A view looking west along the Lake Street “L” sometime during the 1950s. The “L” ran in one direction then (counter-clockwise), so both the “L” train and North Shore Line train are heading west, away from the photographer. That’s Tower 18 behind the train of 4000s, before it was replaced in 1969.

Another photo taken at the same location in East Chicago in 1956. Here, we see a westbound train on Chicago Street at Magoun Avenue.

Another photo taken at the same location in East Chicago in 1956. Here, we see a westbound train on Chicago Street at Magoun Avenue.

The view looking west along Lake Street from the front window of a North Shore Line train in July 1960. This was during the period when the Loop "L" ran in one direction, so the train we see near Tower 18 was also heading west. Soon, this North Shore Line train would turn north. (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

The view looking west along Lake Street from the front window of a North Shore Line train in July 1960. This was during the period when the Loop “L” ran in one direction, so the train we see near Tower 18 was also heading west. Soon, this North Shore Line train would turn north. (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

J. W. Vigrass took this picture looking out the front window of a northbound North Shore Line train approaching Armitage in July 1960, near the north portal to the State Street Subway.

J. W. Vigrass took this picture looking out the front window of a northbound North Shore Line train approaching Armitage in July 1960, near the north portal to the State Street Subway.

J. W. Vigrass shot this photo of the Red Arrow operating along West Chester Pike on May 29, 1954. Much of the line was single track, and here we are at a passing siding.

J. W. Vigrass shot this photo of the Red Arrow operating along West Chester Pike on May 29, 1954. Much of the line was single track, and here we are at a passing siding.

On August 4, 1955, a westbound Garfield Park "L" train of 4000s ascends the ramp up to the "L" near Van Buren and Mozart (just west of California Avenue). East of here, the Garfield Park temporary trackage ran in the south half of Van Buren. Here, you can see the streetcar tracks in Van Buren, last used in 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On August 4, 1955, a westbound Garfield Park “L” train of 4000s ascends the ramp up to the “L” near Van Buren and Mozart (just west of California Avenue). East of here, the Garfield Park temporary trackage ran in the south half of Van Buren. Here, you can see the streetcar tracks in Van Buren, last used in 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The same location today.

The same location today.

This started out as an Anscocolor slide, but there was so little color left in it that I had no choice but to convert it to black-and-white. This is the view looking west from the Racine "L" station, on the Met main line, on February 26, 1954, showing a three-point switch leading to the Throop Street Shops, which would be demolished within a few months. While Garfield Park trains no longer took this path, Douglas Park trains still did, until April 1954, when that line was re-routed downtown via the Lake Street "L". (William C. Hoffman Photo)

This started out as an Anscocolor slide, but there was so little color left in it that I had no choice but to convert it to black-and-white. This is the view looking west from the Racine “L” station, on the Met main line, on February 26, 1954, showing a three-point switch leading to the Throop Street Shops, which would be demolished within a few months. While Garfield Park trains no longer took this path, Douglas Park trains still did, until April 1954, when that line was re-routed downtown via the Lake Street “L”. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

William C. Hoffman took this photo of what was then a new illuminated sign in the State Street Subway on March 6, 1955.

William C. Hoffman took this photo of what was then a new illuminated sign in the State Street Subway on March 6, 1955.

This Clark Frazier photo of San Francisco Muni "Iron Monster" 207 was processed in March 1958, which is about when Kodak started date-stamping slide mounts. This is surely among the last photos of this car in service. 207 has just changed ends in a then-new wye at the end of the M line.

This Clark Frazier photo of San Francisco Muni “Iron Monster” 207 was processed in March 1958, which is about when Kodak started date-stamping slide mounts. This is surely among the last photos of this car in service. 207 has just changed ends in a then-new wye at the end of the M line.

A two-car CTA Garfield Park "L" train stops at Tripp Avenue on March 11, 1956. This was one of the stations that was not in the way of expressway construction, and continued in service until June 21, 1958, when the new Congress rapid transit line opened. These cars were part of the first group of 4000s built by the Cincinnati Car Company circa 1915. The center doors were never used in service and were blocked off. The head car is 4238. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

A two-car CTA Garfield Park “L” train stops at Tripp Avenue on March 11, 1956. This was one of the stations that was not in the way of expressway construction, and continued in service until June 21, 1958, when the new Congress rapid transit line opened. These cars were part of the first group of 4000s built by the Cincinnati Car Company circa 1915. The center doors were never used in service and were blocked off. The head car is 4238. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

A Chicago Surface Lines bus stop sign in Chicago's Loop on July 18, 1951. Interestingly, the late Jeff Wien had just such a sign in his collection. Not sure if it is an original or a copy, though.

A Chicago Surface Lines bus stop sign in Chicago’s Loop on July 18, 1951. Interestingly, the late Jeff Wien had just such a sign in his collection. Not sure if it is an original or a copy, though.

I assume this is Altoona & Logan Valley car 62 in the early 1950s. Not sure what the two former railroad coaches are at left, repurposed after their retirement.

I assume this is Altoona & Logan Valley car 62 in the early 1950s. Not sure what the two former railroad coaches are at left, repurposed after their retirement.

Again, I assume this is Altoona & Logan Valley. Cars 70 and 72 meet, and both are Osgood Bradley "Electromobiles" from 1930. Hardly any of these types of cars have survived.

Again, I assume this is Altoona & Logan Valley. Cars 70 and 72 meet, and both are Osgood Bradley “Electromobiles” from 1930. Hardly any of these types of cars have survived.

Altoona & Logan Valley 72 at an unknown location.

Altoona & Logan Valley 72 at an unknown location.

Here, CTA 4000s are heading west on Van Buren Street temporary trackage on April 14, 1957. We are looking to the northwest, and the photographer was riding in a Douglas Park "L" train along Paulina. Douglas trains ran here from 1954-58, and do so now, as part of the rechristened CTA Pink Line.

Here, CTA 4000s are heading west on Van Buren Street temporary trackage on April 14, 1957. We are looking to the northwest, and the photographer was riding in a Douglas Park “L” train along Paulina. Douglas trains ran here from 1954-58, and do so now, as part of the rechristened CTA Pink Line.

While not the sharpest picture, this does show one of the two Liberty Liners (former North Shore Line Electroliners) on the Norristown line on January 26, 1964, their debut just one year after the demise of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee. The bridge crosses the Schuylkill River.

While not the sharpest picture, this does show one of the two Liberty Liners (former North Shore Line Electroliners) on the Norristown line on January 26, 1964, their debut just one year after the demise of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee. The bridge crosses the Schuylkill River.

Another Red Arrow photo along West Chester Pike, taken on May 29, 1954 by J. W. Vigrass.

Another Red Arrow photo along West Chester Pike, taken on May 29, 1954 by J. W. Vigrass.

A southbound Bullet car at Bryn Mawr station in August 1961, on the Norristown line. (G. H. Landau Photo)

A southbound Bullet car at Bryn Mawr station in August 1961, on the Norristown line. (G. H. Landau Photo)

The entrance to the high point of the Angel's Flight Railway, a funicular on the side of a hill in Los Angeles, prior to when this operation was closed in 1969, dismantled, and put into storage for many years. It has since been relocated and reopened. This hill was a victim of a redevelopment project.

The entrance to the high point of the Angel’s Flight Railway, a funicular on the side of a hill in Los Angeles, prior to when this operation was closed in 1969, dismantled, and put into storage for many years. It has since been relocated and reopened. This hill was a victim of a redevelopment project.

This undated photo of North Shore Line train 172 in Waukegan must have been taken prior to this line's abandonment in July 1955.

This undated photo of North Shore Line train 172 in Waukegan must have been taken prior to this line’s abandonment in July 1955.

The view looking west from the Western Avenue "L" station on the Garfield Park "L" on August 19, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking west from the Western Avenue “L” station on the Garfield Park “L” on August 19, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On August 19, 1953, an eastbound five-car Garfield Park "L" train approaches the Western Avenue station, just out of view to the right. The area had been cleared for construction of the Congress Expressway. The excavated area has filled up with rain. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On August 19, 1953, an eastbound five-car Garfield Park “L” train approaches the Western Avenue station, just out of view to the right. The area had been cleared for construction of the Congress Expressway. The excavated area has filled up with rain. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On July 2, 1950, a westbound single-car Garfield Park "L" train is near California Avenue. Soon this entire area would be cleared out to make way for the Congress Expressway. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On July 2, 1950, a westbound single-car Garfield Park “L” train is near California Avenue. Soon this entire area would be cleared out to make way for the Congress Expressway. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

It's October 20, 1953, and we are looking west from the Marshfield station on the Metropolitan main line. The Garfield Park "L" tracks west of here are out of service and the tracks have already been removed. The platform at right had been used by the Chicago Aurora & Elgin interurban, and the sign advertising that has been covered up. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

It’s October 20, 1953, and we are looking west from the Marshfield station on the Metropolitan main line. The Garfield Park “L” tracks west of here are out of service and the tracks have already been removed. The platform at right had been used by the Chicago Aurora & Elgin interurban, and the sign advertising that has been covered up. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On November 10, 1953, this is the view looking west from Marshfield. The Garfield Park "L" structure has already been removed to some extent west of here, due to construction of the Congress Expressway. The Douglas Park "L" was still using the old structure east of here, and would continue to do so until April 1954, when a new connection to the Lake Street "L" was finished. The Douglas Park "L" tracks here go off to the left. The new connection, going north-south, spans the width of the highway and connects to the "L" structure that had been used by Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains until 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On November 10, 1953, this is the view looking west from Marshfield. The Garfield Park “L” structure has already been removed to some extent west of here, due to construction of the Congress Expressway. The Douglas Park “L” was still using the old structure east of here, and would continue to do so until April 1954, when a new connection to the Lake Street “L” was finished. The Douglas Park “L” tracks here go off to the left. The new connection, going north-south, spans the width of the highway and connects to the “L” structure that had been used by Logan Square and Humboldt Park trains until 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking west from the former Western Avenue station on the Garfield Park "L" on October 16, 1953. The "L" tracks have already been removed and demolition of the station would follow shortly. The last train ran on this structure (in one direction) on September 27. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking west from the former Western Avenue station on the Garfield Park “L” on October 16, 1953. The “L” tracks have already been removed and demolition of the station would follow shortly. The last train ran on this structure (in one direction) on September 27. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

A North Shore Line fantrip train on February 19, 1961. Not sure of the location, or who the conductor is at left.

A North Shore Line fantrip train on February 19, 1961. Not sure of the location, or who the conductor is at left.

This undated photo by the late Mel Bernero was taken at the old CTA Logan Square terminal, looking east.

This undated photo by the late Mel Bernero was taken at the old CTA Logan Square terminal, looking east.

This shows the Garfield Park "L" station at Oak Park Avenue, before the construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway. The view looks to the northeast. The buildings just to the north are still there.

This shows the Garfield Park “L” station at Oak Park Avenue, before the construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway. The view looks to the northeast. The buildings just to the north are still there.

I found a description of this photo online: "This real photograph postcard was taken on July 4, 1910, near the Methodist Church on Franklin Avenue in Valparaiso, Indiana. This public gathering commemorated the first run of the Valparaiso & Northern Railway interurban on the new line running from Valparaiso northward to Flint Lake. The first interurban left Valparaiso at 9:00 am in charge of Conductor C. C. Metsker. Valparaiso Mayor William F. Spooner, Valparaiso City Clerk Clem Helm, and other local notables were passengers on the inaugural sixteen minute, three mile trip to Flint Lake. An engine operated by Frank Chowdrey, hooked to two flat cars with seats and decked out in flags and bunting, followed the interurban to Flint Lake. A total of 3,500 passengers were transported to Flint Lake that inaugural day for the festivities. Incorporated in August 1908, the Valparaiso & Northern Railway construction was financed by citizens of Valparaiso and outside investors; the railway was to become one of the feeder lines the the Chicago-New York Electric Air Line Railroad. A section between Chesterton and Goodrum, located just north of Woodville, was completed and put into service on February 18, 1911. The section between Flint Lake and Woodville was completed on October 7, 1911; between February and October of 1911, a bus was used to transport passengers between Goodrum and Flint Lake. Complete interurban through service between Chesterton, Valparaiso, and LaPorte was possible after a bridge was constructed over the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad on February 17, 1912. Interurban service to Valparaiso ceased on October 23, 1938, largely due to the increasing use of automobiles, an improved highway system, and the financial depression."

I found a description of this photo online: “This real photograph postcard was taken on July 4, 1910, near the Methodist Church on Franklin Avenue in Valparaiso, Indiana. This public gathering commemorated the first run of the Valparaiso & Northern Railway interurban on the new line running from Valparaiso northward to Flint Lake. The first interurban left Valparaiso at 9:00 am in charge of Conductor C. C. Metsker. Valparaiso Mayor William F. Spooner, Valparaiso City Clerk Clem Helm, and other local notables were passengers on the inaugural sixteen minute, three mile trip to Flint Lake. An engine operated by Frank Chowdrey, hooked to two flat cars with seats and decked out in flags and bunting, followed the interurban to Flint Lake. A total of 3,500 passengers were transported to Flint Lake that inaugural day for the festivities. Incorporated in August 1908, the Valparaiso & Northern Railway construction was financed by citizens of Valparaiso and outside investors; the railway was to become one of the feeder lines the the Chicago-New York Electric Air Line Railroad. A section between Chesterton and Goodrum, located just north of Woodville, was completed and put into service on February 18, 1911. The section between Flint Lake and Woodville was completed on October 7, 1911; between February and October of 1911, a bus was used to transport passengers between Goodrum and Flint Lake. Complete interurban through service between Chesterton, Valparaiso, and LaPorte was possible after a bridge was constructed over the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad on February 17, 1912. Interurban service to Valparaiso ceased on October 23, 1938, largely due to the increasing use of automobiles, an improved highway system, and the financial depression.”

This is a nice picture of the South Shore illustration that became a rallying cry in the mid-to-late 1970s, when the interurban was threatened with extinction.

This is a nice picture of the South Shore illustration that became a rallying cry in the mid-to-late 1970s, when the interurban was threatened with extinction.

I think this slide, taken in October 1953, is misidentified. It shows car 2851 at the head of a Garfield Park “L” train, but identifies the location as Laramie. There was no such wooden or steel “L” structure there. What seems more likely is, this is an eastbound train going down the ramp just west of California Avenue, approaching the temporary ground-level trackage that Garfield used from 1953-58. There is no expressway at left because it hadn’t been built yet.

CTA 6574-6573 at the DesPlaines Avenue terminal in Forest Park on August 14, 1964. The tracks are in the same location today, but the terminal was replaced in the 1980s and the area around it was dug out. We are looking to the northwest. Those silos at rear are long gone.

CTA 6574-6573 at the DesPlaines Avenue terminal in Forest Park on August 14, 1964. The tracks are in the same location today, but the terminal was replaced in the 1980s and the area around it was dug out. We are looking to the northwest. Those silos at rear are long gone.

SEPTA car 18, signed for Media, is at the 69th Street Terminal on a snowy night in February 1973.

SEPTA car 18, signed for Media, is at the 69th Street Terminal on a snowy night in February 1973.