Autumn Leaves

North Shore Line Silverliner 737 (at left) and "Greenliner" 767 (at right) prepare to leave the Milwaukee Terminal on May 24, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line Silverliner 737 (at left) and “Greenliner” 767 (at right) prepare to leave the Milwaukee Terminal on May 24, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

Seasons change and Fall is here. Today’s post features classic images from two excellent photographers, Robert A. Selle (1929-2013) and Charles L. Tauscher (1940-2017). Selle was a master of black-and-white photography, while Tauscher shot Kodachrome slides in his prime.

We spent a lot of time working these slides over in Photoshop, making them look their best for you. Some required a lot of cleaning.

Lastly, we have some interesting historical CTA documents to share. Going back to the original source can often shed light on past events.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski

New Book Update

FYI we recently turned in a second draft of our upcoming book The North Shore Line to Arcadia Publishing. I am pleased to report that the book has been expanded to 160 pages (from 128), a 25% increase. A publication date of February 20, 2023 has been announced, and we will begin our pre-sale on November 20 of this year.

PS- You might also like our Trolley Dodger Facebook auxiliary, a private group that now has 974 members.

Our friend Kenneth Gear now has a Facebook group for the Railroad Record Club. If you enjoy listening to audio recordings of classic railroad trains, whether steam, electric, or diesel, you might consider joining.

Indiana Railroad cars 446, 737, and 68 in Indianapolis, IN on June 3, 1938.

Indiana Railroad cars 446, 737, and 68 in Indianapolis, IN on June 3, 1938.

FYI, we are in the process of assisting with the creation of a new Facebook group called Hoosier Traction, which will be formally announced in the near future.

The Hoosier Traction Facebook Group will celebrate electric transit in Indiana and the Midwest, and also support the activities of the annual Hoosier Traction Meet in Dayton, OH (although not affiliated with the North American Transit Historical Society, which organizes that event).

The North Shore Line (nearly all by Robert A. Selle)

North Shore Line car 162 is at the rear of a northbound train at Chicago Avenue on June 30, 1958. This car is now the oldest survivor of the fleet, and recently arrived at East Troy, where it will be restored. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 162 is at the rear of a northbound train at Chicago Avenue on June 30, 1958. This car is now the oldest survivor of the fleet, and recently arrived at East Troy, where it will be restored. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line tool car 234 (a former Merchandise Despatch car) at Edison Court in Waukegan on August 2, 1958. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line tool car 234 (a former Merchandise Despatch car) at Edison Court in Waukegan on August 2, 1958. (Robert Selle Photo)

A view of the abandoned Shore Line Route and the crossover to the Chicago Hardware Foundry Company in North Chicago in April 1956. (Robert Selle Photo)

A view of the abandoned Shore Line Route and the crossover to the Chicago Hardware Foundry Company in North Chicago in April 1956. (Robert Selle Photo)

A view of the abandoned Shore Line Route in North Chicago in April 1956. (Robert Selle Photo)

A view of the abandoned Shore Line Route in North Chicago in April 1956. (Robert Selle Photo)

A view of the abandoned Shore Line Route in North Chicago in April 1956. (Robert Selle Photo)

A view of the abandoned Shore Line Route in North Chicago in April 1956. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line caboose 1005 at North Chicago in June, 1939. (Richard J. Anderson Photo)

North Shore Line caboose 1005 at North Chicago in June, 1939. (Richard J. Anderson Photo)

North Shore Line caboose 1004 at North Chicago on September 17, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line caboose 1004 at North Chicago on September 17, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

Former North Shore Line Merchandise Despatch car 213 at North Chicago (Chicago Hardware Foundry Company) on August 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

Former North Shore Line Merchandise Despatch car 213 at North Chicago (Chicago Hardware Foundry Company) on August 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

Newly painted North Shore Line caboose 1003 at North Chicago on January 19, 1957. (Robert Selle Photo)

Newly painted North Shore Line caboose 1003 at North Chicago on January 19, 1957. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line caboose 1002 at North Chicago on January 19, 1957. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line caboose 1002 at North Chicago on January 19, 1957. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 419 is at the Highwood Shops on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 419 is at the Highwood Shops on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 444 at the Highwood Shops on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 444 at the Highwood Shops on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 169 in Mundelein on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 169 in Mundelein on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 735 is at the Mundelein Yards on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 735 is at the Mundelein Yards on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 150 is on the rear end of a northbound train at Chicago Avenue on June 3, 1959. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 150 is on the rear end of a northbound train at Chicago Avenue on June 3, 1959. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line diner/lounge car 417 is at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line diner/lounge car 417 is at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line Silverliner 764 is on a side track at Edison Court in Waukegan on July 26, 1958. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line Silverliner 764 is on a side track at Edison Court in Waukegan on July 26, 1958. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 169 is on a side track at Edison Court in Waukegan on July 9, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 169 is on a side track at Edison Court in Waukegan on July 9, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 190, which had recently been damaged by fire, at the Highwood Shops on August 27, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line car 190, which had recently been damaged by fire, at the Highwood Shops on August 27, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line steeple cab loco 452 (with 453 at left) at Great Lakes Naval Station, on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line steeple cab loco 452 (with 453 at left) at Great Lakes Naval Station, on August 9, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line loco 459 at the Pettibone Shops in North Chicago on October 23, 1954. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line loco 459 at the Pettibone Shops in North Chicago on October 23, 1954. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line tool car 234 at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line tool car 234 at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line line car 606 at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line line car 606 at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line line car 604 at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

North Shore Line line car 604 at the Highwood Shops on February 20, 1955. (Robert Selle Photo)

Chicago Transit Authority Buses by Charles L. Tauscher

CTA trolley bus 9410 is westbound on Montrose Avenue in June 1961. Note the late 1940s Jeepster at left, and the mid-50s Chevy at right. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9410 is westbound on Montrose Avenue in June 1961. Note the late 1940s Jeepster at left, and the mid-50s Chevy at right. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9341 is southbound on Central Avenue at North Avenue in August 1965, at a time when a White Castle hamburger cost just 12 cents. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9341 is southbound on Central Avenue at North Avenue in August 1965, at a time when a White Castle hamburger cost just 12 cents. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

The same location in 2019. There is still a White Castle on the corner, off to the left, but the building in the previous photo has been replaced by a newer one just out of view.

The same location in 2019. There is still a White Castle on the corner, off to the left, but the building in the previous photo has been replaced by a newer one just out of view.

CTA trolley bus 9287 is turning from North Avenue onto Narragansett Avenue in September 1962, so it can go into the off-street loop. It's possible that the man on the corner looking down may be the late William C. Hoffman. The Terminal Grill is long gone, but this loop is still used by CTA buses. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9287 is turning from North Avenue onto Narragansett Avenue in September 1962, so it can go into the off-street loop. It’s possible that the man on the corner looking down may be the late William C. Hoffman. The Terminal Grill is long gone, but this loop is still used by CTA buses.
(Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

The same location in 2021. A Dunkin Donuts has replaced the diner grill. Midas Muffler is still there, down the street at the corner of North Avenue and Ridgeland Avenue in Oak Park. The off-street loop is in Chicago.

The same location in 2021. A Dunkin Donuts has replaced the diner grill. Midas Muffler is still there, down the street at the corner of North Avenue and Ridgeland Avenue in Oak Park. The off-street loop is in Chicago.

CTA 9746 at an unidentified location in April 1963. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: "9746 is on Giddings east of Austin facing west."

CTA 9746 at an unidentified location in April 1963. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: “9746 is on Giddings east of Austin facing west.”

CTA trolley bus 9502 is southbound on Central Avenue at Bloomingdale (1800 N.) in 1969. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9502 is southbound on Central Avenue at Bloomingdale (1800 N.) in 1969. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

The same location today. The bridge has been replaced since the previous photo.

The same location today. The bridge has been replaced since the previous photo.

This is most likely CTA trolley bus 9631 on the April 1, 1973 Omnibus Society of America fantrip that closed out trolley bus service in Chicago. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

This is most likely CTA trolley bus 9631 on the April 1, 1973 Omnibus Society of America fantrip that closed out trolley bus service in Chicago. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9761 in 1973. This may be on a fantrip. The location is at Belmont and Kimball, but the side sign says Montrose. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9761 in 1973. This may be on a fantrip. The location is at Belmont and Kimball, but the side sign says Montrose. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

The same location in 2019.

The same location in 2019.

CTA trolley bus 9761 on a 1973 fantrip. Can this be somewhere along Belmont Avenue? (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: "9761 shots at Belmont and Nagle wye."

CTA trolley bus 9761 on a 1973 fantrip. Can this be somewhere along Belmont Avenue? (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: “9761 shots at Belmont and Nagle wye.”

CTA trolley bus 9761 at an unidentified location on a 1973 fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: "9761 shots at Belmont and Nagle wye."

CTA trolley bus 9761 at an unidentified location on a 1973 fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: “9761 shots at Belmont and Nagle wye.”

CTA trolley buses in dead storage some time after the end of service in 1973. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley buses in dead storage some time after the end of service in 1973. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9325 is westbound on Irving Park Road in September 1968. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9325 is westbound on Irving Park Road in September 1968. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9708 at an unidentified location in August 1965. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: "9708 wyeing in 1965 is most likely at Central and West End. There were not many head-in, back-out wyes in the trolley bus network, and this is only one where buildings would look like this." The wye was located on the east side of Central Avenue. On September 20, 2022, a gas explosion destroyed the top floor of an apartment building on the west side of Central at West End.

CTA trolley bus 9708 at an unidentified location in August 1965. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: “9708 wyeing in 1965 is most likely at Central and West End. There were not many head-in, back-out wyes in the trolley bus network, and this is only one where buildings would look like this.” The wye was located on the east side of Central Avenue. On September 20, 2022, a gas explosion destroyed the top floor of an apartment building on the west side of Central at West End.

CTA trolley bus 9708 at an unidentified location in August 1965. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: "9708 wyeing in 1965 is most likely at Central and West End. There were not many head-in, back-out wyes in the trolley bus network, and this is only one where buildings would look like this."

CTA trolley bus 9708 at an unidentified location in August 1965. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: “9708 wyeing in 1965 is most likely at Central and West End. There were not many head-in, back-out wyes in the trolley bus network, and this is only one where buildings would look like this.”

CTA 9761 is signed for Route 80 - Irving Park Road in 1969, but the actual location seems to be Central Avenue not far south from Fullerton, so this may be a fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9761 is signed for Route 80 – Irving Park Road in 1969, but the actual location seems to be Central Avenue not far south from Fullerton, so this may be a fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9545 is signed for 47th Street in August 1965. Not sure of the actual location, however. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Mike Tuggle adds, "The actual location of this photo is the southeast corner of 48th Street and Lake Park Avenue in the Kenwood area, just north of Hyde Park. I know because I was living about 2 blocks south of that area in August 1965. I was 10 years old at the time. The building at the right is long gone, and to the right of the photo is the old Sam Bell Shell filling station. Today, it is a strip mall. The land on which this trolley stood is occupied by townhomes and condos. The building, partially seen over the trolley was the Lakeridge Hotel, which is has since been renovated into apartments. Thank you. I always look forward to the next issue, though I would like to see more photos in this area as well as Hyde Park, South Shore, Woodlawn and Chatham." Andre Kristopans: "9545 certainly is 47th, specifically at the gas station terminal between Harper and Lake Park south of 47th."

CTA 9545 is signed for 47th Street in August 1965. Not sure of the actual location, however. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Mike Tuggle adds, “The actual location of this photo is the southeast corner of 48th Street and Lake Park Avenue in the Kenwood area, just north of Hyde Park. I know because I was living about 2 blocks south of that area in August 1965. I was 10 years old at the time. The building at the right is long gone, and to the right of the photo is the old Sam Bell Shell filling station. Today, it is a strip mall. The land on which this trolley stood is occupied by townhomes and condos. The building, partially seen over the trolley was the Lakeridge Hotel, which is has since been renovated into apartments. Thank you. I always look forward to the next issue, though I would like to see more photos in this area as well as Hyde Park, South Shore, Woodlawn and Chatham.” Andre Kristopans: “9545 certainly is 47th, specifically at the gas station terminal between Harper and Lake Park south of 47th.”

CTA 9308 has just crossed over the Chicago River on North Avenue on May 15, 1962. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9308 has just crossed over the Chicago River on North Avenue on May 15, 1962. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 2583 is westbound on 103rd Street at Vincennes Avenue in May 1960. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 2583 is westbound on 103rd Street at Vincennes Avenue in May 1960. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9300 is southbound on Central Avenue in July 1969. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA trolley bus 9300 is southbound on Central Avenue in July 1969. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

We can infer from this July 1968 photo that CTA trolley bus 9537 could not go through the northbound side of the viaduct under the Chicago and North Western tracks on Central Avenue at Lake Street. There must have been some sort of obstruction. The bus is being pushed so that it can get back to the northbound side of the street where it can be re-wired. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

We can infer from this July 1968 photo that CTA trolley bus 9537 could not go through the northbound side of the viaduct under the Chicago and North Western tracks on Central Avenue at Lake Street. There must have been some sort of obstruction. The bus is being pushed so that it can get back to the northbound side of the street where it can be re-wired. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9761 is northbound at Central Avenue at North Avenue on a 1973 fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9761 is northbound at Central Avenue at North Avenue on a 1973 fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9761 is northbound at Central Avenue at North Avenue on a 1973 fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9761 is northbound at Central Avenue at North Avenue on a 1973 fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 9670 and 3534 are at an unidentified location in June 1961. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: "9670/3534 at Cicero and Pensacola."

CTA 9670 and 3534 are at an unidentified location in June 1961. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: “9670/3534 at Cicero and Pensacola.”

CTA 9670 and 3534 are at an unidentified location in June 1961. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: "9670/3534 at Cicero and Pensacola."

CTA 9670 and 3534 are at an unidentified location in June 1961. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo) Andre Kristopans: “9670/3534 at Cicero and Pensacola.”

CTA 3534 and 9389 are at Irving Park Road and Neenah in June 1961. This off-street loop was as far west as trolley buses went on Irving Park. This loop was later decommissioned and part of it is now used as a private driveway. 3534 is on a fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 3534 and 9389 are at Irving Park Road and Neenah in June 1961. This off-street loop was as far west as trolley buses went on Irving Park. This loop was later decommissioned and part of it is now used as a private driveway. 3534 is on a fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 3534 and 9389 are at Irving Park Road and Neenah in June 1961. This off-street loop was as far west as trolley buses went on Irving Park. This loop was later decommissioned and part of it is now used as a private driveway. 3534 is on a fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

CTA 3534 and 9389 are at Irving Park Road and Neenah in June 1961. This off-street loop was as far west as trolley buses went on Irving Park. This loop was later decommissioned and part of it is now used as a private driveway. 3534 is on a fantrip. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

Historical CTA Documents

Who can say why some things are kept, while others are destroyed? These historical documents form a paper trail that helps inform our understanding of the past.

Mystery CERA Document

In 2014, I compiled a data disc made up of the first 76 Central Electric Railfans’ Association Bulletins from 1938-47. I recently came across an early document that I had not seen before. Curiously, it is not one of the numbered bulletins, but is called “Circular 115.” Which gives rise to the question, were there really 114 previous circulars issued in the three years prior to this one? And if so, where are they and what happened to them?

Please note that the Trolley Dodger is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

New Compact Disc, Now Available:

CTA-1
The Last Chicago Streetcars 1958
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Until now, it seemed as though audio recordings of Chicago streetcars were practically non-existent. For whatever reason, the late William A. Steventon does not appear to have made any for his Railroad Record Club, even though he did make other recordings in the Chicago area in 1956.

Now, audio recordings of the last runs of Chicago streetcars have been found, in the collections of the late Jeffrey L. Wien (who was one of the riders on that last car). We do not know who made these recordings, but this must have been done using a portable reel-to-reel machine.

These important recordings will finally fill a gap in transit history. The last Chicago Transit Authority streetcar finished its run in the early hours of June 21, 1958. Now you can experience these events just as Chicagoans did.

As a bonus, we have included Keeping Pace, a 1939 Chicago Surface Lines employee training program. This was digitally transferred from an original 16” transcription disc. These recordings were unheard for 80 years.

Total time – 74:38

Chicago’s Lost “L”s Online Presentation

We recently gave an online presentation about our book Chicago’s Lost “L”s for the Chicago Public Library, as part of their One Book, One Chicago series. You can watch it online by following this link.

The Trolley Dodger On the Air

We appeared on the Dave Plier Show on WGN radio on July 16, 2021, 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:

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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Legends and Legacies

All in all, I would have to say this is an amazing photograph. It shows Five Mile Beach Electric Railway car 22 on June 30, 1943, in the middle of World War II, and just two years before streetcars were abandoned in this coastal town (Wildwood) in New Jersey. From what I have read, the war and the resulting nightly blackouts negatively affected tourism and contributed to the demise of the streetcars here. With such an early abandonment, color photos of this operation are very rare, indeed, and the colors on this Red Border Kodachrome have held up quite well. A sign on the car advertises Marty Bohn and His Floor Show at the "Nut Club." The blackouts were not without reason, as German submarines were just offshore, and sometimes crew members would sneak ashore.

All in all, I would have to say this is an amazing photograph. It shows Five Mile Beach Electric Railway car 22 on June 30, 1943, in the middle of World War II, and just two years before streetcars were abandoned in this coastal town (Wildwood) in New Jersey. From what I have read, the war and the resulting nightly blackouts negatively affected tourism and contributed to the demise of the streetcars here. With such an early abandonment, color photos of this operation are very rare, indeed, and the colors on this Red Border Kodachrome have held up quite well. A sign on the car advertises Marty Bohn and His Floor Show at the “Nut Club.” The blackouts were not without reason, as German submarines were just offshore, and sometimes crew members would sneak ashore.

I am both humbled and grateful beyond measure that my late friend Jeffrey Wien made me the beneficiary of his extensive photographic collection (except for his motion picture films, which he donated to the Chicago Film Archives).

Naturally, I would rather that he still be around to enjoy his collection, comment on my posts, and point out where I got something wrong, or help identify some locations. But unfortunately, we don’t get to choose in these matters.

I think the best way I can honor his memory is to keep up the work of historic preservation and education that meant so much to him.

While this post may not have an overall theme, it is full of legends and legacies. It is thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of many people, Jeff included, that anything at all has been saved from the electric railways of the past. Some of the photos here were taken after the North Shore Line quit, and show various railcars sitting around, waiting to be saved or scrapped. There are also pictures of the fledgling and somewhat ramshackle early days of the Illinois Electric Railway Museum, at its original and temporary home in North Chicago.

You if had told one of the founders of what is now IRM back then all the progress that has been made since at Union, they hardly could have believed it possible. Institutions like IRM are saving this history and preserving it for future generations, while also making it possible to have some of the same experiences riding the equipment in the collection, that people enjoyed in the past.

If we can maintain the same spirit, all this important history will be our legacy to those who come after us. I am intent on doing my part.

-David Sadowski

PS- We thank Jack Bejna, Andre Kristopans, William Shapotkin, and Colin Wisner for contributing to this post.

We also have a Facebook auxiliary for The Trolley Dodger where you can participate further. It is a private group, so unfortunately you won’t be able to see the content unless you join. It is free. As of this writing, we have 183 members.

From Jeff Wien’s Collection

The North Shore Line ticket cabinet from the Dempster Street station in Skokie. It still has the tickets in it.

The North Shore Line ticket cabinet from the Dempster Street station in Skokie. It still has the tickets in it.

I will have to straighten this out, as the tickets were jostled when the cabinet was moved. The balls were apparently placed behind the tickets.

I will have to straighten this out, as the tickets were jostled when the cabinet was moved. The balls were apparently placed behind the tickets.

This metal route sign hung on the side of a wooden Metropolitan "L" car, and was of a type in use for a half-century prior to the opening of the Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway in 1951. Remarkably, it has survived for 70 years since it last could have been used in service. The sign was reversible, and the other side says Humboldt Park.

This metal route sign hung on the side of a wooden Metropolitan “L” car, and was of a type in use for a half-century prior to the opening of the Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway in 1951. Remarkably, it has survived for 70 years since it last could have been used in service. The sign was reversible, and the other side says Humboldt Park.

A fare counter from a Chicago streetcar. There was a Chicago streetcar 3351, a Peter Witt that was scrapped around 1952, but I am not certain that these didn't have their own numbers.

A fare counter from a Chicago streetcar. There was a Chicago streetcar 3351, a Peter Witt that was scrapped around 1952, but I am not certain that these didn’t have their own numbers.

This metal sign appears to show the original version of the CTA's "Metropolitan Transit" logo, first introduced in 1958. By then, the agency wanted the public to know that it served more than just Chicago.

This metal sign appears to show the original version of the CTA’s “Metropolitan Transit” logo, first introduced in 1958. By then, the agency wanted the public to know that it served more than just Chicago.

The North Shore Line eventually joined the Insull Empire that, by the mid-1920s, included all three major Chicago interurbans and the "L". So it should not be too much of a surprise that the North Shore had its own rider publication for a few years, with leaflet holders presumably made by the same firm as the "L"s. The North Shore Line version is said to be rare, as many were melted down for scrap during WWII.

The North Shore Line eventually joined the Insull Empire that, by the mid-1920s, included all three major Chicago interurbans and the “L”. So it should not be too much of a surprise that the North Shore had its own rider publication for a few years, with leaflet holders presumably made by the same firm as the “L”s. The North Shore Line version is said to be rare, as many were melted down for scrap during WWII.

Leaflet holders from 4000-series "L" cars. The Elevated News was published by the Chicago Elevated Railways Collateral Trust, formed in 1913 as a voluntary association by the four independent (or at least they started that way) "L" firms. The 4000-series, which eventually ran to 455 cars, was the first designed for use on all the various "L" lines. The title of their rider publication was changed to Rapid Transit News in 1924, coincident with the formation of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company. The Chicago Transit Authority had its own publication, the Rider's Reader, for a few years starting in 1948.

Leaflet holders from 4000-series “L” cars. The Elevated News was published by the Chicago Elevated Railways Collateral Trust, formed in 1913 as a voluntary association by the four independent (or at least they started that way) “L” firms. The 4000-series, which eventually ran to 455 cars, was the first designed for use on all the various “L” lines. The title of their rider publication was changed to Rapid Transit News in 1924, coincident with the formation of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company. The Chicago Transit Authority had its own publication, the Rider’s Reader, for a few years starting in 1948.

This leaflet holder is marked as having come from CTA PCC 7213, the last Chicago streetcar that ran on June 21, 1958.

This leaflet holder is marked as having come from CTA PCC 7213, the last Chicago streetcar that ran on June 21, 1958.

Although Chicago had a total of 600 postwar PCC streetcars, this was too much for a single manufacturer to produce in the immediate postwar era, so the order was divided between Pullman (310) and St. Louis Car Company (290). The "Read As You Ride" leaflet holder at left came from a St. Louis PCC (7213), while the one at right may have come from a Pullman. Their interiors were painted different colors.

Although Chicago had a total of 600 postwar PCC streetcars, this was too much for a single manufacturer to produce in the immediate postwar era, so the order was divided between Pullman (310) and St. Louis Car Company (290). The “Read As You Ride” leaflet holder at left came from a St. Louis PCC (7213), while the one at right may have come from a Pullman. Their interiors were painted different colors.

Jeff's collection included a leaflet holder from another city. Several cities had "Public Service" in their streetcar operator's names, so offhand, I am not sure which city this came from. (Frank J. Flörianz Jr. says it is from New Jersey.)

Jeff’s collection included a leaflet holder from another city. Several cities had “Public Service” in their streetcar operator’s names, so offhand, I am not sure which city this came from. (Frank J. Flörianz Jr. says it is from New Jersey.)

I found this clipping that Jeff cut out of the Chicago Tribune in 1978 inside the "Read As You Ride" leaflet holder from PCC 7213, the last Chicago streetcar.

I found this clipping that Jeff cut out of the Chicago Tribune in 1978 inside the “Read As You Ride” leaflet holder from PCC 7213, the last Chicago streetcar.

Recent Finds

There were a few cities besides New York, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia to have some sort of elevated electric railways, and Kansas City was among them. Here, Kansas City Public Service car 785 is descending from the 8th Street "L" at Baltimore Avenue on September 3, 1952. I was fortunate to win this original Red Border Kodachrome slide, because I had lost an auction for it once before when someone sold it. Kansas City abandoned streetcars in 1957, but has since reopened a modern streetcar line. (Edward S. Miller Photo)

There were a few cities besides New York, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia to have some sort of elevated electric railways, and Kansas City was among them. Here, Kansas City Public Service car 785 is descending from the 8th Street “L” at Baltimore Avenue on September 3, 1952. I was fortunate to win this original Red Border Kodachrome slide, because I had lost an auction for it once before when someone sold it. Kansas City abandoned streetcars in 1957, but has since reopened a modern streetcar line. (Edward S. Miller Photo)

A single CRT wooden "L" car is at the Dempster Street terminal in Skokie, probably in the 1940s. This "L" branch was replaced by buses in 1948, but returned in 1964 in the form of the Skokie Swift (today's Yellow Line), a year after the North Shore Line (who owned these tracks) ended all service.

A single CRT wooden “L” car is at the Dempster Street terminal in Skokie, probably in the 1940s. This “L” branch was replaced by buses in 1948, but returned in 1964 in the form of the Skokie Swift (today’s Yellow Line), a year after the North Shore Line (who owned these tracks) ended all service.

This is one of the experimental "Bluebird" articulated compartment car trains (probably the prototype) being tested on the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit system circa 1939. BMT ordered 50 of these units from the Clark Equipment Company, intended to be "fast locals" to mix with slower express trains on El lines. But when the City of New York purchased BMT in 1940, they cancelled the order, except for five units that had already been built. They lived out the rest of their days as oddball equipment before being scrapped in 1956. But the Bluebirds were the first rapid transit cars to use PCC technology, and were a major influence on the four articulated 5000s that CRT ordered at the end of World War II.

This is one of the experimental “Bluebird” articulated compartment car trains (probably the prototype) being tested on the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit system circa 1939. BMT ordered 50 of these units from the Clark Equipment Company, intended to be “fast locals” to mix with slower express trains on El lines. But when the City of New York purchased BMT in 1940, they cancelled the order, except for five units that had already been built. They lived out the rest of their days as oddball equipment before being scrapped in 1956. But the Bluebirds were the first rapid transit cars to use PCC technology, and were a major influence on the four articulated 5000s that CRT ordered at the end of World War II.

The former Chicago Aurora & Elgin station in Villa Park still exists and is a local landmark. But here we see it under construction in 1929. The Ovaltine plant at left has since been converted to residential.

The former Chicago Aurora & Elgin station in Villa Park still exists and is a local landmark. But here we see it under construction in 1929. The Ovaltine plant at left has since been converted to residential.

I spent some time cleaning up this image, which was part of a stereo pair meant to be viewed in 3-D using a handheld device called a "stereopticon." It shows Chicago's Loop "L" circa 1905, and this is the original left-hand running, bi-directional configuration, before it was changed in 1913. So the train at right is moving towards us, while the train at left is moving away from us. The view looks west along Van Buren Street, and that is the old Tower 12 at left. A Metropolitan "L" train is on the inner Loop, while a Lake Street train trails a Northwestern "L" train on the outer Loop. At this stage, only the Lake trains would have needed trolley poles. The station at Van Buren and State is visible in the distance.

I spent some time cleaning up this image, which was part of a stereo pair meant to be viewed in 3-D using a handheld device called a “stereopticon.” It shows Chicago’s Loop “L” circa 1905, and this is the original left-hand running, bi-directional configuration, before it was changed in 1913. So the train at right is moving towards us, while the train at left is moving away from us. The view looks west along Van Buren Street, and that is the old Tower 12 at left. A Metropolitan “L” train is on the inner Loop, while a Lake Street train trails a Northwestern “L” train on the outer Loop. At this stage, only the Lake trains would have needed trolley poles. The station at Van Buren and State is visible in the distance.

A Stereopticon viewer.

A Stereopticon viewer.

Chicago Surface Lines car 2802 is on a charter trip on June 12, 1940. This was apparently a fan favorite, as we have previously published a photo of the same car on a 1941 fantrip.

Chicago Surface Lines car 2802 is on a charter trip on June 12, 1940. This was apparently a fan favorite, as we have previously published a photo of the same car on a 1941 fantrip.

North Shore Line car 709 at the Branford Trolley Museum in Connecticut in October 30, 1966, just three and a half years after the interurban quit. The location given is Farm River Road. Don's Rail Photos: "709 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1924, #2725. It was sold to Branford Trolley Museum in 1963."

North Shore Line car 709 at the Branford Trolley Museum in Connecticut in October 30, 1966, just three and a half years after the interurban quit. The location given is Farm River Road. Don’s Rail Photos: “709 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in 1924, #2725. It was sold to Branford Trolley Museum in 1963.”

This is another remarkable photograph, showing Monongahela West Penn car 320 at night in June 1946. Such night shots were very difficult to achieve back then, due to the slow film speed of the time (this is Kodachrome 10, as in ASA/ISO 10). About the only way to take such a picture would have been with a very long exposure, with the camera resting on a tripod. (Dr. H. Blackbunn Photo)

This is another remarkable photograph, showing Monongahela West Penn car 320 at night in June 1946. Such night shots were very difficult to achieve back then, due to the slow film speed of the time (this is Kodachrome 10, as in ASA/ISO 10). About the only way to take such a picture would have been with a very long exposure, with the camera resting on a tripod. (Dr. H. Blackbunn Photo)

South Shore Line cars 105 and 1 in April 1963.

South Shore Line cars 105 and 1 in April 1963.

Another great night shot, this time it's Illinois Terminal 473 on the line that ran from St. Louis to Granite City in the 1950s. This was IT's final passenger line and was abandoned in June 1958, on the same weekend that the last Chicago streetcar ran.

Another great night shot, this time it’s Illinois Terminal 473 on the line that ran from St. Louis to Granite City in the 1950s. This was IT’s final passenger line and was abandoned in June 1958, on the same weekend that the last Chicago streetcar ran.

CTA PCC 4406, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, at Clark and Archer in April 1954. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA PCC 4406, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, at Clark and Archer in April 1954. (William Shapotkin Collection)

This is DesPlaines Avenue in Forest Park, the end of the CTA Congress rapid transit line. The license plates would indicate a date of 1961, perhaps in the Fall since that is a 1962 Chevy in the parking lot. The various signs on the Leyden Motor Coach bus might confuse you, but on the side, it is marked "OSA" meaning this is a fantrip. (William Shapotkin Collection) Bill Shapotkin writes: "Unable to read the bus number, bus OSA operated trips on 06/17/61 (trip #2) using Leyden bus #95 and on 03/18/62 (trip #10) using Leyden buses #90, 157 and 164. If you can identify the fleet number, that would cement down the details." This is bus #90, so that makes the date March 18, 1962.

This is DesPlaines Avenue in Forest Park, the end of the CTA Congress rapid transit line. The license plates would indicate a date of 1961, perhaps in the Fall since that is a 1962 Chevy in the parking lot. The various signs on the Leyden Motor Coach bus might confuse you, but on the side, it is marked “OSA” meaning this is a fantrip. (William Shapotkin Collection) Bill Shapotkin writes: “Unable to read the bus number, bus OSA operated trips on 06/17/61 (trip #2) using Leyden bus #95 and on 03/18/62 (trip #10) using Leyden buses #90, 157 and 164. If you can identify the fleet number, that would cement down the details.” This is bus #90, so that makes the date March 18, 1962.

CTA 6053 is at the rear of a northbound Ravenswood All-Stop train approaching Armitage in August 1986. The two center tracks lead down to the State Street Subway. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA 6053 is at the rear of a northbound Ravenswood All-Stop train approaching Armitage in August 1986. The two center tracks lead down to the State Street Subway. (William Shapotkin Collection)

A southbound CTA Englewood train (lead car: 2033) has met a northbound Howard train at Armitage station in April 1985, and is descending into the State Street Subway. (William Shapotkin Collection)

A southbound CTA Englewood train (lead car: 2033) has met a northbound Howard train at Armitage station in April 1985, and is descending into the State Street Subway. (William Shapotkin Collection)

North Shore Line former merchandise dispatch car 215 at the Harrison Shops in Milwaukee on July 7, 1953. Don's Rail Photos: "215 was built by Cincinnati Car in October 1922, #2605. The loading doors (were moved) from the ends to the center. It was demotorized and used as a tool car."

North Shore Line former merchandise dispatch car 215 at the Harrison Shops in Milwaukee on July 7, 1953. Don’s Rail Photos: “215 was built by Cincinnati Car in October 1922, #2605. The loading doors (were moved) from the ends to the center. It was demotorized and used as a tool car.”

On May 22, 1944, Illinois Governor Dwight H. Green (1897-1958) poses with officials from the Illinois State Militia, next to a 1700-series Chicago Surface Lines car promoting that branch of the military during World War II. Green served two terms as governor from 1941-49 before his defeat by Democrat Adlai Stevenson.

On May 22, 1944, Illinois Governor Dwight H. Green (1897-1958) poses with officials from the Illinois State Militia, next to a 1700-series Chicago Surface Lines car promoting that branch of the military during World War II. Green served two terms as governor from 1941-49 before his defeat by Democrat Adlai Stevenson.

While I don't have the negative that goes with this Chicago Sun photo file slip, it does at least identify some of the notables in the negative I do have. The Chicago Sun was a morning newspaper, started in 1941 by the Field family. It bought the Chicago Times in 1948 and the paper has been the Chicago Sun-Times ever since (although no longer owned by Field Enterprises).

While I don’t have the negative that goes with this Chicago Sun photo file slip, it does at least identify some of the notables in the negative I do have. The Chicago Sun was a morning newspaper, started in 1941 by the Field family. It bought the Chicago Times in 1948 and the paper has been the Chicago Sun-Times ever since (although no longer owned by Field Enterprises).

North Shore Line cars 192 and 187 at Highwood in September 1963, looking much worse the wear, nine months after abandonment. But in actuality, these cars had been retired some years earlier. Don's Rail Photos: "187 was built by Cincinnati Car in August 1920, (order) #2450. It was retired on December 31, 1955. It was scrapped at Rondout on January 29, 1964. 192 was built by Cincinnati Car in August 1920, #2450. It was retired on December 31, 1955. It was scrapped at Rondout on January 29, 1964." Apparently these cars were considered surplus after the abandonment of the Shore Line Route in 1955.

North Shore Line cars 192 and 187 at Highwood in September 1963, looking much worse the wear, nine months after abandonment. But in actuality, these cars had been retired some years earlier. Don’s Rail Photos: “187 was built by Cincinnati Car in August 1920, (order) #2450. It was retired on December 31, 1955. It was scrapped at Rondout on January 29, 1964. 192 was built by Cincinnati Car in August 1920, #2450. It was retired on December 31, 1955. It was scrapped at Rondout on January 29, 1964.” Apparently these cars were considered surplus after the abandonment of the Shore Line Route in 1955.

This photo is a bit of a mystery. It is dated September 1963, which means these are probably North Shore Line cars in dead storage at Highwood, awaiting disposition. However, that doesn't explain the Shore Line Route sign, as that portion of the Interurban had been abandoned in 1955. And after the 1963 abandonment, a lot of these signs were scarfed up by fans and were missing from the trains that were scrapped. Don's Rail Photos: "(Combine) 256 was built by Jewett in 1917. It seems to be the only one which retained its original configuration." It did not survive. The fate of the Silverliner at right is not known.

This photo is a bit of a mystery. It is dated September 1963, which means these are probably North Shore Line cars in dead storage at Highwood, awaiting disposition. However, that doesn’t explain the Shore Line Route sign, as that portion of the Interurban had been abandoned in 1955. And after the 1963 abandonment, a lot of these signs were scarfed up by fans and were missing from the trains that were scrapped. Don’s Rail Photos: “(Combine) 256 was built by Jewett in 1917. It seems to be the only one which retained its original configuration.” It did not survive. The fate of the Silverliner at right is not known.

On June 16, 1962, the late Maury Klebolt talks to the North Shore Line train crew during a fantrip at Harrison Street in Milwaukee. This must have been an Illini Railroad Club excursion. There were many such trips during the last year of the interurban's existence. (Richard H. Young Photo)

On June 16, 1962, the late Maury Klebolt talks to the North Shore Line train crew during a fantrip at Harrison Street in Milwaukee. This must have been an Illini Railroad Club excursion. There were many such trips during the last year of the interurban’s existence. (Richard H. Young Photo)

A close-up of Maury Klebolt (1930-1988). Not sure who is at left.

A close-up of Maury Klebolt (1930-1988). Not sure who is at left.

CTA Pullman PCC 4077 heads southbound at 2600 N. Clark Street in the early 1950s. It may be running on either Route 22 or 36. The Pullmans had almost entirely disappeared from service by the end of 1954, for the so-called "PCC Conversion Program."

CTA Pullman PCC 4077 heads southbound at 2600 N. Clark Street in the early 1950s. It may be running on either Route 22 or 36. The Pullmans had almost entirely disappeared from service by the end of 1954, for the so-called “PCC Conversion Program.”

The same location today.

The same location today.

The Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago in September 1963, shortly before the collection was moved to its permanent location in Union. From left to right, we see Milwaukee streetcar 966, a Milwaukee Electric interurban car (either 1129 or 1135), and Indiana Railroad car 65.

The Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago in September 1963, shortly before the collection was moved to its permanent location in Union. From left to right, we see Milwaukee streetcar 966, a Milwaukee Electric interurban car (either 1129 or 1135), and Indiana Railroad car 65.

This September 1963 (or at least, that's when the film was processed) view of the Illinois Electric Railway Museum is not the sharpest, but it does show, from left to right, CTA snow sweeper E223, Illinois Terminal 101, one of the Chicago Aurora & Elgin interurbans, and a Milwaukee Electric car.

This September 1963 (or at least, that’s when the film was processed) view of the Illinois Electric Railway Museum is not the sharpest, but it does show, from left to right, CTA snow sweeper E223, Illinois Terminal 101, one of the Chicago Aurora & Elgin interurbans, and a Milwaukee Electric car.

North Shore Line Silverliner 409 at Roosevelt Road on august 4, 1956. Don's Rail Photos: "409 was built by Cincinnati Car in May 1923, #2465, as a dining car motor. In 1942 it was rebuilt as a coach and rebuilt as a Silverliner on March 30, 1955. Since it had no bulkhead between smoking and non-smoking sections, it was our favorite car to be used for meetings of the Milwaukee Division of the Electric Railroaders Association in Milwaukee. The North Shore was very cooperative in making sure that the car was in the location shown on meeting nights." The 409 is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (C. G. Parsons Photo)

North Shore Line Silverliner 409 at Roosevelt Road on august 4, 1956. Don’s Rail Photos: “409 was built by Cincinnati Car in May 1923, #2465, as a dining car motor. In 1942 it was rebuilt as a coach and rebuilt as a Silverliner on March 30, 1955. Since it had no bulkhead between smoking and non-smoking sections, it was our favorite car to be used for meetings of the Milwaukee Division of the Electric Railroaders Association in Milwaukee. The North Shore was very cooperative in making sure that the car was in the location shown on meeting nights.” The 409 is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (C. G. Parsons Photo)

This amazing real photo postcard sold on eBay for $77.89. I unfortunately was not aware of the auction. It shows the Ridgeland "L" station on South Boulevard in Oak Park. The postcard was mailed in 1909 and hence can't be any later than that. Work is already underway to elevate the Chicago & North Western tracks at left. The Lake Street "L" itself would join it on the embankment in 1962.

This amazing real photo postcard sold on eBay for $77.89. I unfortunately was not aware of the auction. It shows the Ridgeland “L” station on South Boulevard in Oak Park. The postcard was mailed in 1909 and hence can’t be any later than that. Work is already underway to elevate the Chicago & North Western tracks at left. The Lake Street “L” itself would join it on the embankment in 1962.

NYCTA Brooklyn PCC 1049 is running on the 72 Smith Line to the Brooklyn Bridge in this undated photo, taken between 1946 and 1956. According to the information on the half frame slide mount, this is on 10th Avenue at 17th Street, at the 9th Avenue Depot. Half frame had a brief vogue in the early 1950s, as a way to double the number of pictures on a 35mm roll, while still maintaining some level of quality. But most photographers back then didn't need twice as many pictures on a roll. In the long run, it Kodak downsized their film over time, from sizes 126 to 110 and Disc, in order to make bigger profits. But sharpness was reduced in turn, and full-frame 25mm is still with us today. These 1950s Brooklyn PCCs appear to have had about as many dents as their Chicago cousins. (R. Fillman Photo)

NYCTA Brooklyn PCC 1049 is running on the 72 Smith Line to the Brooklyn Bridge in this undated photo, taken between 1946 and 1956. According to the information on the half frame slide mount, this is on 10th Avenue at 17th Street, at the 9th Avenue Depot. Half frame had a brief vogue in the early 1950s, as a way to double the number of pictures on a 35mm roll, while still maintaining some level of quality. But most photographers back then didn’t need twice as many pictures on a roll. In the long run, it Kodak downsized their film over time, from sizes 126 to 110 and Disc, in order to make bigger profits. But sharpness was reduced in turn, and full-frame 25mm is still with us today. These 1950s Brooklyn PCCs appear to have had about as many dents as their Chicago cousins. (R. Fillman Photo)

The Magic of Clark Frazier

Clark Frazier is an excellent photographer who has been active since around 1956. Among the first 35mm slides that I took home from Jeff’s collection were over 100 that he had purchased from Mr. Frazier over the last few years. Even better, Mr. Frazier did a lot of traveling, so his work covers many different cities. In his retired years, Jeff loved purchasing excellent slides that not only reflected his own type of shooting, but filled in gaps in his collection– views that he was unable to capture himself, or places he couldn’t get to before something ceased operating. For example, in this representative sampling, I am not certain that Jeff was able to visit Washington D.C. prior to the abandonment of streetcars there in 1962, and I don’t think he could get to San Francisco in time to ride the “Iron Monsters” before they were all taken out of service around 1957. So here they are.

All the photos in this section are © by Clark Frazier.

DC Transit 1572 on Route 70 at Georgia and Alaska on February 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1572 on Route 70 at Georgia and Alaska on February 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1566 inbound on Route 82 at Riverdale on September 1, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1566 inbound on Route 82 at Riverdale on September 1, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 77 turn back meets 130 on Geary Boulevard in 1956. Hope that dog made it across the street safely. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 77 turn back meets 130 on Geary Boulevard in 1956. Hope that dog made it across the street safely. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1322 at the Department of the Interior on Route 82, on September 2, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1322 at the Department of the Interior on Route 82, on September 2, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1567 on Route 82 on Rhode Island Avenue, September 1, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1567 on Route 82 on Rhode Island Avenue, September 1, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3311 and 3305 are stuck in the snow at Riverside after a "Noreaster" on March 4, 1960. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3311 and 3305 are stuck in the snow at Riverside after a “Noreaster” on March 4, 1960. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 139 turns left from Geary onto 33rd Avenue in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 139 turns left from Geary onto 33rd Avenue in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

St. Louis Public Service PCC 1628 arrives at South Broadway carhouse on August 23, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

St. Louis Public Service PCC 1628 arrives at South Broadway carhouse on August 23, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1555 from Cabin John in Brookmont on June 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1555 from Cabin John in Brookmont on June 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 195 on the C Line at Geary and Van Ness in January 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 195 on the C Line at Geary and Van Ness in January 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 205 and 1014 at the end of the N Line in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 205 and 1014 at the end of the N Line in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 176 outbound on the N Line to the beach in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 176 outbound on the N Line to the beach in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1469 is on Rhode Island Avenue (Route 82) in Maryland, August 11, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1469 is on Rhode Island Avenue (Route 82) in Maryland, August 11, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 199 at 46th and Vicente on the L line on September 9, 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 199 at 46th and Vicente on the L line on September 9, 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

El Paso 1500 backs up at the Cotton Street Carbarn on June 12, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

El Paso 1500 backs up at the Cotton Street Carbarn on June 12, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1321 at the Soldier's Home end of Route 74 on February 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1321 at the Soldier’s Home end of Route 74 on February 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 156 is an inbound J Line car at Market and Duboce in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 156 is an inbound J Line car at Market and Duboce in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 178 is heading to the beach on Carl Street (N Line) in 1957. Don's Rail Photos: "178, K Type, was built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co in 1923." From wrm.org: "The Bay Area Electric Railway Association purchased the 178 from the Muni in February of 1959, and moved it to Marysville, California, for storage on a Sacramento Northern spur for occasional operation on the electrified trackage in the Marysville-Yuba City area. It was moved to Rio Vista Junction in August, 1964 to join the rest of the BAERA collection. 178 returned to San Francisco in 1982 to be part of the Trolley Festival on Market Street while the City rebuilt it’s cable cars lines. In 1983 the 178 returned to the Western Railway Museum and still operates today." (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 178 is heading to the beach on Carl Street (N Line) in 1957. Don’s Rail Photos: “178, K Type, was built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co in 1923.” From wrm.org: “The Bay Area Electric Railway Association purchased the 178 from the Muni in February of 1959, and moved it to Marysville, California, for storage on a Sacramento Northern spur for occasional operation on the electrified trackage in the Marysville-Yuba City area. It was moved to Rio Vista Junction in August, 1964 to join the rest of the BAERA collection. 178 returned to San Francisco in 1982 to be part of the Trolley Festival on Market Street while the City rebuilt it’s cable cars lines. In 1983 the 178 returned to the Western Railway Museum and still operates today.” (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 105 on the B (Geary) Line at Leavenworth Street in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 105 on the B (Geary) Line at Leavenworth Street in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit (ex-Capital Traction) 303 at the Mt. Rainier Loop on September 1, 1958. Don's Rail Photos: "303 was built by American Car Co in 1898 as Capital Traction Co 303. It is now at the Smithsonian (National Museum of American History)." The 303 was retired from regular service in 1913 but was kept for charter use until the end of DC streetcar service in 1962. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit (ex-Capital Traction) 303 at the Mt. Rainier Loop on September 1, 1958. Don’s Rail Photos: “303 was built by American Car Co in 1898 as Capital Traction Co 303. It is now at the Smithsonian (National Museum of American History).” The 303 was retired from regular service in 1913 but was kept for charter use until the end of DC streetcar service in 1962. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 206 is on the C Line at 2nd Avenue and Cornwall in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 206 is on the C Line at 2nd Avenue and Cornwall in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 188 is running on the K Line on Market Street between 5th and 6th in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 188 is running on the K Line on Market Street between 5th and 6th in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1399 on Route 90, at Pennsylvania Avenue SE, on June 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1399 on Route 90, at Pennsylvania Avenue SE, on June 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1288 at Friendship Heights, running on Route 30, on June 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1288 at Friendship Heights, running on Route 30, on June 7, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Chicago Rapid Transit Route Descriptions

“L” operations were rather complex prior to the October 1, 1947 takeover by the Chicago Transit Authority, so much so that Chicago Rapid Transit Company maps typically made no attempt to explain them. There were pocket guides published over the years by third parties that included explanations, but often these were considerably out of date by the time of publication.

Here, courtesy of Andre Kristopans, are the various CRT route descriptions that describe the service in place at the time when CTA assumed control. The dates vary from 1940 to 1946 because service hadn’t been altered on those lines by October 1, 1947.

“L” service “grew like Topsy” in the early years, as the saying goes, reflecting its origins as four separate companies, operating independently. There were expresses and locals, and by 1913, some trains through-routed from the north and south sides, some trains ending or originating at the four downtown stub-end terminals, and the several branch lines. Trains were split at some locations, with one part going one way, the other part a different way.