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:

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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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