Photos by John Engleman

Amtrak GG1 entering B&P Tunnel, Baltimore. (John Engleman Photo)

Amtrak GG1 entering B&P Tunnel, Baltimore. (John Engleman Photo)

We have recently been assisting John Engleman, an excellent photographer, by scanning 35mm color negatives he took, mainly in the Baltimore area, between 1968 and 1974. These include intercity trains, spanning the era before and after the 1971 Amtrak takeover, and much else.

This is our third post with photos by Mr. Engleman. You will find the others in our previous posts Christmas in July (July 27, 2021) and Chasing Sanborn (Our 275th Post) (August 30, 2021).

All the comments on these photos are by Mr. Engleman. We may yet have more of these to share in future posts.

-David Sadowski

Photos by John Engleman

B&O west end of Mt. Clare "A" Yard, Baltimore under Jackson's Bridge. By this time I had become a B&O Engineer and could stop and take pictures wherever I liked providing it was safe. I was always fond of the F7s and having two consecutively numbered ones was rare. By the Engineer's door of the GP30 propped open though, I was running from that end.

B&O west end of Mt. Clare “A” Yard, Baltimore under Jackson’s Bridge. By this time I had become a B&O Engineer and could stop and take pictures wherever I liked providing it was safe. I was always fond of the F7s and having two consecutively numbered ones was rare. By the Engineer’s door of the GP30 propped open though, I was running from that end.

Amtrak E60 with standard NY-Washington Amfleet train coming into Odenton, Md.

Amtrak E60 with standard NY-Washington Amfleet train coming into Odenton, Md.

Metroliner Northbound at Odenton

Metroliner Northbound at Odenton

Texas International DC-9 crossing Amtrak on approach to BWI airport

Texas International DC-9 crossing Amtrak on approach to BWI airport

Fire tower of some BWI tower (I don't know which) on the glide path to BWI at Stoney Run

Fire tower of some BWI tower (I don’t know which) on the glide path to BWI at Stoney Run

Southbound Metroliner at Stoney Run Road crossing

Southbound Metroliner at Stoney Run Road crossing

Amtrak GG1 4905 at Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station

Amtrak GG1 4905 at Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Station

Scenes taken from my switching engine at the east end of B&O's Bayview Yard.

Scenes taken from my switching engine at the east end of B&O’s Bayview Yard.

Scenes taken from my switching engine at the east end of B&O's Bayview Yard.

Scenes taken from my switching engine at the east end of B&O’s Bayview Yard.

Scenes taken from my switching engine at the east end of B&O's Bayview Yard.

Scenes taken from my switching engine at the east end of B&O’s Bayview Yard.

Northbound Amfleet train with the GG1 that wasn't, #4939 at Odenton, Md. This engine is now at IRM with it's correct number, 4927.

Northbound Amfleet train with the GG1 that wasn’t, #4939 at Odenton, Md. This engine is now at IRM with it’s correct number, 4927.

Same train going away

Same train going away

Conrail Pope's Creek coal train waiting to leave CR's Bayview Yard, Baltimore

Conrail Pope’s Creek coal train waiting to leave CR’s Bayview Yard, Baltimore

B&O's Bayview fire track

B&O’s Bayview fire track

B&O's Bayview fire track

B&O’s Bayview fire track

B&O caboose disappearing into the infamous Howard Street tunnel, Baltimore

B&O caboose disappearing into the infamous Howard Street tunnel, Baltimore

GG1 popping out of B&P tunnel

GG1 popping out of B&P tunnel

The Silver Star leaving Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station heading into the B&P tunnel

The Silver Star leaving Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Station heading into the B&P tunnel

Conrail E33s (Ex-New Haven, exx-Virginian locomotives) passing around Pennsylvania Station

Conrail E33s (Ex-New Haven, exx-Virginian locomotives) passing around Pennsylvania Station

Northern Central branch of Conrail (ex-Pennsy) passing Woodberry Station enroute to Harrisburg. This is now Baltimore's light rail line, and there is still a Woodberry station, although the handsome old one is no longer with us.

Northern Central branch of Conrail (ex-Pennsy) passing Woodberry Station enroute to Harrisburg. This is now Baltimore’s light rail line, and there is still a Woodberry station, although the handsome old one is no longer with us.

B&O freight trains at NA (North Avenue) tower on the Baltimore Belt Line

B&O freight trains at NA (North Avenue) tower on the Baltimore Belt Line

A view across two railroads looking at Baltimore Streetcar Museum's car 1164

A view across two railroads looking at Baltimore Streetcar Museum’s car 1164

Metroliner going into B&P tunnel

Metroliner going into B&P tunnel

Same Metroliner coming out of Pennsylvania Station

Same Metroliner coming out of Pennsylvania Station

Sperry Rail Service Mack PCC railbus in the coach yard at Pennsylvania Station. 623 also shows a Baldwin switcher. At this time Baltimore still had a full time station switcher

Sperry Rail Service Mack PCC railbus in the coach yard at Pennsylvania Station. 623 also shows a Baldwin switcher. At this time Baltimore still had a full time station switcher

At left, a Baldwin switcher. At this time Baltimore still had a full time station switcher.

At left, a Baldwin switcher. At this time Baltimore still had a full time station switcher.

Amtrak 4905 waiting as a 'protect' engine

Amtrak 4905 waiting as a ‘protect’ engine

Conrail hump power, SD9, #6912. Engine was permanently assigned to Bayview

Conrail hump power, SD9, #6912. Engine was permanently assigned to Bayview

Southbound Amtrak passenger and CR coal train at Bayview, Baltimore.

Southbound Amtrak passenger and CR coal train at Bayview, Baltimore.

View of new rail pile at Baltimore Streetcar Museum looking towards Penn Central

View of new rail pile at Baltimore Streetcar Museum looking towards Penn Central

Interior of BSM car 1164

Interior of BSM car 1164

Two B&O trains passing at NA Tower, Baltimore

Two B&O trains passing at NA Tower, Baltimore

B&O train heading into Howard Street tunnel at Mt. Royal Station

B&O train heading into Howard Street tunnel at Mt. Royal Station

Eastbound B&O at NA, with much missed caboose trailing

Eastbound B&O at NA, with much missed caboose trailing

PRR (PC) MP54s arriving in Baltimore, way prior to today's frequent MARC service

PRR (PC) MP54s arriving in Baltimore, way prior to today’s frequent MARC service

Seaboard Coast Line Florida train (probably Silver Star) at Virginia Avenue Tower, Washington DC

Seaboard Coast Line Florida train (probably Silver Star) at Virginia Avenue Tower, Washington DC

Southern Ry. Southern Crescent passing Virginia Avenue Tower

Southern Ry. Southern Crescent passing Virginia Avenue Tower

SP freight somewhere in Texas or Arizona from the Sunset Limited

SP freight somewhere in Texas or Arizona from the Sunset Limited

SP Sunset Limited, location ? Update: Ken Briers says the SP shots in the most recent batch look like San Antonio. Makes sense to me, as the train would have laid over here long enough for me to get off and take photos. Ken usually knows what he is talking about.

SP Sunset Limited, location ? Update: Ken Briers says the SP shots in the most recent batch look like San Antonio. Makes sense to me, as the train would have laid over here long enough for me to get off and take photos. Ken usually knows what he is talking about.

Penn Central RPO cars in Baltimore. PC still had one or two Baltimore-NY set out mail cars in the late '60s, of various lineage

Penn Central RPO cars in Baltimore. PC still had one or two Baltimore-NY set out mail cars in the late ’60s, of various lineage

Remnants of a C&O train at Virginia Avenue Tower, DC

Remnants of a C&O train at Virginia Avenue Tower, DC

More RPOs in Baltimore

More RPOs in Baltimore

C&O streamlined 490 "Chessie" engine just after arrival at B&O Museum, 1968.

C&O streamlined 490 “Chessie” engine just after arrival at B&O Museum, 1968.

Penn Central freight from Potomac Yard passing Virginia Avenue Tower

Penn Central freight from Potomac Yard passing Virginia Avenue Tower

More C&O at Va. Avenue

More C&O at Va. Avenue

More RPOs

More RPOs

Southern Ry. Southern Crescent from B&P Tower, Baltimore with two coast to coast Pullman cars

Southern Ry. Southern Crescent from B&P Tower, Baltimore with two coast to coast Pullman cars

SP Sunset Limited enroute westbound, location ?

SP Sunset Limited enroute westbound, location ?

More RPOs

More RPOs

More truncated C&O at Va. Avenue

More truncated C&O at Va. Avenue

From vestibule of Southern Crescent somewhere in the "south" (Georgia, Alabama, etc.). No other information remembered

From vestibule of Southern Crescent somewhere in the “south” (Georgia, Alabama, etc.). No other information remembered

More shots of C&O Chessie 490 at B&O Museum

More shots of C&O Chessie 490 at B&O Museum

SP westbound freight somewhere in Arizona from westbound Sunset Limited

SP westbound freight somewhere in Arizona from westbound Sunset Limited

Did Not Win

Try as we might, our resources for purchasing vintage images are limited. Here are two that are very much worth seeing, but still escaped our grasp:

FYI, this 35mm slide recently sold for $263.88. Pittsburgh Railways PCC Electric Streetcar #1470 Original Kodachrome Color Slide Processed by Kodak McKeesport, Pennsylvania 7 September 1959 Photographer Credit: William D. Volkmer Bob Sherwood writes, "This photo was taken during a Photo Stop during the NRHS Convention trip. My Dad, W. G. Sherwood, is on the sidewalk to the right walking toward the cameraman."

FYI, this 35mm slide recently sold for $263.88.
Pittsburgh Railways PCC Electric Streetcar #1470
Original Kodachrome Color Slide Processed by Kodak
McKeesport, Pennsylvania
7 September 1959
Photographer Credit: William D. Volkmer
Bob Sherwood writes, “This photo was taken during a Photo Stop during the NRHS Convention trip. My Dad, W. G. Sherwood, is on the sidewalk to the right walking toward the cameraman.”

FYI, this original slide recently fetched $100.99 on eBay. Chicago Aurora & Elgin 456 and 314 in Wheaton, sometime around 1952-55. We are looking west.

FYI, this original slide recently fetched $100.99 on eBay. Chicago Aurora & Elgin 456 and 314 in Wheaton, sometime around 1952-55. We are looking west.

Recent Correspondence

Our resident south side expert M. E. writes:

My brother sent me this video teaser of Chicago streetcars in 1950.

A bit more than half takes place along Lawrence Ave. But the rest is on the far south side, my turf.

Right near the beginning, you see a streetcar crossing railroad tracks. This is at 111th and Hale. The view looks northeast. The train tracks are the Rock Island suburban line (which still runs). The streetcar is heading westbound on Monterey Ave., crossing the tracks, then continuing westbound on 111th St. Notice the awning on the drugstore on the corner. You’ll see it again soon.

Now go past all the north side stuff, and come to what is obviously a streetcar going up a hill. This view is a little more than a block west of the rail crossing view. It shows a streetcar climbing the 111th St. “hill”. The awning I mentioned in the rail crossing scene is noticeable in the distance in this view.

One of my neighbors at that time was a boy who attended Morgan Park Military Academy, a few blocks west of the “hill” on 111th St. He told me once that, during a rain, he and other boys soaped the streetcar tracks to watch the streetcars struggle to get up the hill. Nasty!

At the bottom of the hill is a traffic signal for Longwood Drive. Longwood Drive runs north and south along the bottom of the geological Blue Island, which is atop the hill. The road runs from 91st St. (just west of a Rock Island suburban line station) all the way to 119th St. (the city limit) and into the city of Blue Island. Along Longwood Dr. on the hilly side are many huge houses, some maybe even considered mansions. One of those houses is a Frank Lloyd Wright house, between 99th and 100th Sts. on Longwood.

After the hill scene are a few more shots taken at 111th and Hale, showing that a conductor has to get off the streetcar, walk to the railroad tracks, look both ways, then signal the motorman to cross the tracks. Many of the streetcar lines on the south side, even those that carried few passengers, required conductors because there were so many ground-level railroad crossings along those streetcar lines.

The final set of shots is taken at the west terminal of the streetcar line, at 111th and Sacramento. There, on both sides of 111th, you see cemeteries. The cemeteries are the reason the streetcar line was built that far out. Just outside the view to the left is the main line of the Grand Trunk railroad, which crosses 111th. This streetcar line was the Halsted/Vincennes/111th St. line, which at that time was route 8.

My brother also sent me this video.

It is a thorough presentation of the North Shore line in 1945, back when movies were rare and expensive.

One nice touch was the system map from Howard St. to just north of Waukegan. And the video nicely explained all the traffic patterns around North Chicago.

I couldn’t help but notice how busy the northbound trains were. The video shows lots of people waiting at stations to board the train. But consider: This video was shot just when World War II ended. Not many people had cars then.

Shore Line stations were much busier than Skokie Valley stations. It was sad that the CNS&M had to stop its Shore Line service in 1955. That was a very picturesque and interesting route. And, along the Skokie Valley route, there was no outdoor entertainment park at Ravinia at that time.

With all the shots of the Electroliners, it would be easy to think that there were a lot more than just two of them.

One observation: At every station there were signs indicating how far to Chicago and how far to Milwaukee. Along the Skokie Valley route, those signs were aligned properly — I mean, the Milwaukee distance was on the north side of the sign and the Chicago distance was on the south side of the sign. But along the Shore Line route, Chicago was north, Milwaukee was south. Tsk tsk.

Thanks very much! The 1945 video was shot by the late Charles Keevil. His nephew Walter worked for the CTA for many years and he has also been active in various railfan organizations.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski

Dr. Harold E. Cox – In Memoriam

Sad news… prolific author and historian Dr. Harold E. Cox has passed away, aged 90. He was the author of PCC Cars of North America (1963) and The Fairmount Park Trolley: A Unique Philadelphia Experiment (1970), among many others.

Former Wilkes U. history professor Harold Cox dead at 90

Post Script

M. E. adds:

Comment about your Engleman posting:

See
https://ggwash.org/view/2733/washingtons-rails-part-1-the-network
which contains a nice map at this link:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/39017545@N02/3866497418/sizes/l/in/set-72157621837169293/ .
This article and map give you everything you ever wanted to know about the rail network in Washington DC. (The article also has a similar map of Baltimore.)

There is no electrification south of Washington DC Union Station, so through passenger trains had to switch between electric and diesel engines at the station.

But freight trains changed engines in Virginia. Pennsy electrification crossed the Potomac River into Virginia. Alongside US 1 through what is now Crystal City and south from there another few miles, there was a long freight yard called Potomac Yard. That is where the engine switch took place. Consequently, one could see GG1s in Potomac Yard.

I’ll bet not a whole lot of people know that GG1s ran south of the Potomac River
into Virginia.

Also, the Pennsylvania Railroad reached almost to Norfolk, in southeastern Virginia, via a route south from Wilmington, Delaware, through Delaware, eastern Maryland and the eastern shore of Virginia. If I remember correctly, the train cars were put on ferries to reach Norfolk. (Question: Which railroad’s engines handled the train cars at the Norfolk end?)

M E

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 277th 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 805,000 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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Chasing Sanborn (Our 275th Post)

This 1953 view looks to the northwest and shows the old Canal Street station on the Metropolitan

This 1953 view looks to the northwest and shows the old Canal Street station on the Metropolitan “L”, which was near Union Station. They were connected by a walkway nicknamed “Frustration Walk,” since many people would miss their train in the time it took to make the journey. The “L” here closed in 1958 and was demolished soon after. (Jon R. Roma Collection)

This is our 275th Trolley Dodger blog post, so we thought we would make this one extra special for you.

Recently, Jon R. Roma sent us some Sanborn insurance maps that were made in 1906 and 1917, mainly to show sections of the old Garfield Park “L” in greater detail. This was in response to some of our previous posts, where we discussed just where it used to run, before it was replaced by the Congress rapid transit line in 1958.

Learning from history is a process, and as historians, we are continually reaching out to the past, studying the historical record, looking for clues that will inform us today and further our understanding. Photographs, of course, are invaluable, but so are the kind of detailed maps that were made for insurance purposes long ago. They detail pretty much every structure and many of the businesses that once existed.

As an example of what you can learn from these maps, consider the one below showing the layout of old West Side Park, where the Chicago Cubs played through the 1915 season.

A story has gone around in recent years, that supposedly the expression “from out of left field” originated at West Side Park. Cook County Hospital was just north of the park, and the story goes that mental patients there would yell things out during Cubs games, which gave birth to the expression, which has taken on a meaning of something completely unexpected.

Unfortunately, there is no record of “from out of left field” being used in print with this meaning prior to the 1940s, by which time the Cubs had been in Wrigley Field for 25 years. But if you look at the Sanborn map of West Side Park, there was apparently an open area just north of the grandstands, so the hospital would have been some further distance away. I am not sure how much of the field would have been visible from the hospital anyway, so after looking at the map, the story seems unlikely.

What is more likely is how the expression could have evolved just generally from baseball lore. Occasionally, the left fielder will make a throw all the way to home plate during a game. Such a throw, coming “from out of left field,” tends to be unexpected, and it may be that over time, it took on this other meaning colloquially.

In addition, we have more electric traction, steam, and diesel photos taken around 1970 by John Engleman, some recent new photo finds of our own, and correspondence with Larry Sakar.

I guess we will always be “chasing Sanborn,” and other things like it.

We are very grateful to all our contributors. Sanborn fire insurance maps provided courtesy of the Map Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

PS- If you enjoy reading these posts, you might consider joining our Trolley Dodger Facebook Group as well. We currently have 429 members.

Sanborn Maps from 1917:

The area covered by this volume.

The area covered by this volume.

This includes the Met

This includes the Met “L” line heading to Humboldt Park and Logan Square. There was a station at Madison Street, opened in 1895, which is not delineated on this 1917 map. It closed in 1951. This section of “L” has since been rebuilt, and is now part of the CTA Pink Line.

The Met

The Met “L” branch leading to Humboldt Park and Logan Square made a bit of a jog near Ogden Avenue, an angle street. This is the section just north of Marshfield Junction.

This section of map shows the Garfield Park

This section of map shows the Garfield Park “L” and includes the station at Western Avenue, which was open from 1895 to 1953. When Western was widened in the 1930s, the front of the station was removed and a new Art Deco front replaced it. The same thing was done to three other “L” stations on Western. This station closed in September 1953, due to construction of the Congress Expressway, and we have featured pictures of its quick demolition in previous posts.

A close-up of the Western Avenue

A close-up of the Western Avenue “L” station. I suppose the area marked “iron” refers to the station canopy.

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park “L”.

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park

This map includes a section of the Garfield Park “L”, including part of the station at Hoyne Avenue, which was open from 1895 to 1953. The area between Van Buren and Congress is now occupied by the Eisenhower expressway. The CTA Blue Line tracks are in approximately the same location as the former Garfield Park “L”, but in the depressed highway.

This map shows part of the Garfield Park

This map shows part of the Garfield Park “L”, including the station at Hoyne Avenue.

This includes the old Garfield Park

This includes the old Garfield Park “L”.

This includes the Garfield Park

This includes the Garfield Park “L”, including the station at Ogden Avenue, which was open between 1895 and 1953.

A close-up of the Garfield Park

A close-up of the Garfield Park “L” station at Ogden Avenue.

The map shows the section of the Met

The map shows the section of the Met “L” lines just west of Marshfield Junction, where all the various branch lines came together.

The Met

The Met “L” branches ran over a building that housed the Dreamland roller skating rink. When the Congress Expressway was built, a new section of “L” was built running north-south to connect the Douglas Park “L” to the tracks formerly used by the Humboldt Park and Logan Square lines prior to 1951. This became part of a new routing for Douglas that brought its trains to the Loop via the Lake Street “L”, where another new connection was built. This is the path that the CTA Pink Line follows today. Douglas trains were connected to the new Congress rapid transit line via a ramp that followed the old Douglas path starting in 1958.

The same location today.

The same location today.

This map shows Marshfield Junction on the Garfield Park

This map shows Marshfield Junction on the Garfield Park “L”, where all the Met lines came together.

A close-up of the Marshfield Junction track arrangement and station layout. Notice that the Aurora, Elgin & Chicago (later the CA&E) had its own platform here. This station was in use from 1895 to 1954. From September 1953 to April 1954, it was only used by Douglas Park trains, as Garfield trains were re-routed to ground level tracks here in Van Buren Street.

A close-up of the Marshfield Junction track arrangement and station layout. Notice that the Aurora, Elgin & Chicago (later the CA&E) had its own platform here. This station was in use from 1895 to 1954. From September 1953 to April 1954, it was only used by Douglas Park trains, as Garfield trains were re-routed to ground level tracks here in Van Buren Street.

This map includes the Laflin

This map includes the Laflin “L” station on the Garfield Park main line.

The Metropolitan

The Metropolitan “L” main line included a station at Laflin Avenue, which originally had two island platforms. Between 1896 and 1914, it was reconfigured with three platforms so the tracks did not have to make sharp curves around the ends of the platforms. This station was open from 1895 to 1951. Notice the complex track arrangement west of the station, which gave the Met maximum flexibility for routing their trains going downtown.

The Met

The Met “L” main line between Loomis and Laflin.

The Met

The Met “L” facilities shown here represent somewhat of a mystery. There is a general repair shop on Laflin, including maintenance of way, and “batteries” on Loomis.

When the Met

When the Met “L” was built in the 1890s, they had to generate their own electric power, which they did via this massive power plant between Loomis and Throop. This map indicates that by 1917, the facility was co-owned by what is now Commonwealth Edison.

A close-up of the previous map. Note the Met had a

A close-up of the previous map. Note the Met had a “store house” east of the 1894 power plant.

The Met's Throop Street Shops. The Met's

The Met’s Throop Street Shops. The Met’s “L” station at Racine is also shown.

The Met's Throop Street Shops are at left, and the Racine

The Met’s Throop Street Shops are at left, and the Racine “L” station at right. Like Laflin and Halsted, it originally had two island platforms, and was reconfigured to the four side platforms you see here, in order to straighten out the tracks. This station was open from 1895 to 1954. It remained in use until Douglas Park “L” trains could be re-routed downtown via the Lake Street “L”.

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, when the Garfield Park

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, when the Garfield Park “L” ran on temporary trackage in part of Van Buren Street, it reconnected with the existing structure via a ramp near Aberdeen. The tracks you see here would have been at the very north end of the expressway footprint.

This section of the Met Main Line was not directly in the way of the Congress Expressway, although it was reduced from four tracks to two during the construction period. The two tracks to the south were removed. The

This section of the Met Main Line was not directly in the way of the Congress Expressway, although it was reduced from four tracks to two during the construction period. The two tracks to the south were removed. The “L” was very close to the highway at this point, though.

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, the Garfield Park

The Met Main Line. From 1953-58, the Garfield Park “L” ran on ground-level trackage in Van Buren Street. Douglas Park trains used the old Met structure until April 1954.

The Met Main Line had four tracks in this area, which were reduced down to two during the period from 1953-58. The Halsted

The Met Main Line had four tracks in this area, which were reduced down to two during the period from 1953-58. The Halsted “L” station was open from 1895 to 1958, when the new Congress rapid transit line opened in the adjacent expressway median. Many great photos were taken from the east end of the Halsted station, where you had a great view of a double curve.

Like Racine and Laflin, the Met's Halsted

Like Racine and Laflin, the Met’s Halsted “L” station originally had two island platforms, which meant there were sharp curves in the track at the ends of those platforms. This slowed down operations, so over a period of time leading up to 1914, those three stations were reconfigured. Halsted then had three platforms and the tracks were straightened. During the construction of the adjacent Congress Expressway in the mid-1950s, the two tracks to the south here were removed along with one of the three platforms. It was that close to the highway. However, the station itself remained in use by Garfield trains until the Congress line opened in 1958.

This map shows the Met's Douglas Park branch heading south, and includes the Polk Street

This map shows the Met’s Douglas Park branch heading south, and includes the Polk Street “L” station.

The Polk Street

The Polk Street “L” station on the Douglas Park branch opened in 1896 and remains in use today by the CTA Pink Line. It was rebuilt in 1983.

This is the second West Side Park, home of the Chicago National League Ballclub from 1893 through 1915. They were not officially called the Cubs until the 1907 season. Starting in 1916, the Cubs vacated West Side Park in favor of what had been Weegham Park, which had been home to the Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League, now known as Wrigley Field. West Side Park was torn down in 1920. Home plate was located at the northwest corner, and it was 560 feet to center field, where there was a club house, somewhat in the manner of New York's Polo Grounds and other early stadiums. Oftentimes, in those years, if there was a large crowd, fans stood in part of the outfield, as there were no seats there.

This is the second West Side Park, home of the Chicago National League Ballclub from 1893 through 1915. They were not officially called the Cubs until the 1907 season. Starting in 1916, the Cubs vacated West Side Park in favor of what had been Weegham Park, which had been home to the Chicago Whales of the short-lived Federal League, now known as Wrigley Field. West Side Park was torn down in 1920. Home plate was located at the northwest corner, and it was 560 feet to center field, where there was a club house, somewhat in the manner of New York’s Polo Grounds and other early stadiums. Oftentimes, in those years, if there was a large crowd, fans stood in part of the outfield, as there were no seats there.

The Met's Douglas Park

The Met’s Douglas Park “L” ran through this area, and is now the CTA Pink Line.

The Met's Douglas Park

The Met’s Douglas Park “L” branch and the Roosevelt Road (formerly 12th Street) station.

The Roosevelt Road (formerly 12th Street)

The Roosevelt Road (formerly 12th Street) “L” station on the Metropolitan’s Douglas Park branch opened in 1896 and closed in 1952. In December 1951, the CTA turned it into a “partial service” station, where there was no ticket agent. You could enter the station by placing a token into a turnstyle. This experiment was short-lived, and the station was closed in May 1952.

This shows the Douglas Park

This shows the Douglas Park “L”, today’s CTA Pink Line.

Sanborn Maps from 1906:

A key to the areas covered by this 1906 set of maps.

A key to the areas covered by this 1906 set of maps.

This map shows the Halsted station on the Lake Street

This map shows the Halsted station on the Lake Street “L”. It was open from 1893 until 1994. It closed during the two-year rehabilitation project for what is now the CTA Green Line and was eventually replaced by a new station at Morgan Street, which opened in 2012.

A close-up of the Halsted

A close-up of the Halsted “L” station on the Lake Street line.

The Lake Street

The Lake Street “L”.

The Lake Street “L”.

The Lake Street “L”.

The Lake Street

The Lake Street “L” station at Canal. The “L” crosses the Chicago River here, and in 1906, there was a swing bridge which was eventually replaced. Swing bridges were a hazard to navigation.

The Canal Street

The Canal Street “L” station on the Lake Street line opened in 1893 and was replaced by the Clinton station one block west in 1909.

The Lake Street

The Lake Street “L” station at Canal.

North is to the left on this map, which shows a curve on the old Metropolitan

North is to the left on this map, which shows a curve on the old Metropolitan “L” main line west of the Chicago River. This was part of a double curve east of Halsted Street.

The Met

The Met “L” Main Line.

The Met

The Met “L” Main Line near Clinton Street. Chicago renumbered many streets after this map was made in 1906. In 1911, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad built its headquarters at 547 W. Jackson, just to the north of the “L”. While the “L” here closed in 1958 and was removed soon after, that building remains and its shape was partially determined by the “L”. Note the Chicago Union Traction cable power house.

The Met

The Met “L” station at Canal Street. A new Union Station was built nearby and opened in 1925. The “L” station had a direct enclosed walkway to it, which was used by thousands of people each day.

The Met

The Met “L” station at Canal Street opened in 1895 and was rebuilt after a fire in 1922. The platform configuration remained the same, but a new headhouse was built, designed by Arthur U. Gerber. This station closed in 1958 when the new Congress rapid transit line opened nearby, which connected to the Milwaukee-Dearborn-Congress Subway.

The Met

The Met “L” crossed the tracks leading to Union Station at an angle, and also crossed the Chicago River this way.

North is to the left on this map, which shows the Met

North is to the left on this map, which shows the Met “L” curving a bit towards the north, just east of the Halsted station. Once the buildings surrounding the “L” were cleared away in the early 1950s, for construction of what is now the Kennedy Expressway, this became a favorite site for photographers looking to the east from the “L” station.

Recent Finds

For a minute, I thought this might be Chicago, but apparently not. There was a streetcar #6093 in Chicago, but not until 1914 and the beginnings of the CSL era. That's not a CSL logo on the side of the car. And Route 9 here was Ashland, not something going to Exchange Depot, whatever that was. It might possibly be Philadelphia, as they had cars like these in a 6000-series (later converted to Peter Witts with the addition of a center door), and they were an early adopter of numbered routes. But there is also a strange logo on the side of the car that I do not recognize. Frank Hicks: "This is International Railway Company in Buffalo. It's part of a series of 200 Nearside cars built for them by Kuhlman in 1912, a follow-on to their original order for Nearside cars from Brill in 1911."

For a minute, I thought this might be Chicago, but apparently not. There was a streetcar #6093 in Chicago, but not until 1914 and the beginnings of the CSL era. That’s not a CSL logo on the side of the car. And Route 9 here was Ashland, not something going to Exchange Depot, whatever that was. It might possibly be Philadelphia, as they had cars like these in a 6000-series (later converted to Peter Witts with the addition of a center door), and they were an early adopter of numbered routes. But there is also a strange logo on the side of the car that I do not recognize. Frank Hicks: “This is International Railway Company in Buffalo. It’s part of a series of 200 Nearside cars built for them by Kuhlman in 1912, a follow-on to their original order for Nearside cars from Brill in 1911.”

A close-up of the unusual logo on the side of the car.

A close-up of the unusual logo on the side of the car.

An eastbound single-car Douglas Park train passes by the old Met

An eastbound single-car Douglas Park train passes by the old Met “L” powerhouse and shops at Throop Street, built in 1894. William C. Hoffman took this picture on October 29, 1950. Work was already underway clearing buildings for construction of the Congress Expressway, today’s I-290 (aka the Eisenhower). The discoloration of the brick was caused by some sort of chemical leaching process.

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the 1894 construction date for the massive Met power house. The

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the 1894 construction date for the massive Met power house. The “L” opened the following year. The blue line through the date is actually a scratch on the original slide.

The view looking northwest from Congress and Racine on May 14, 1950, showing the old Met

The view looking northwest from Congress and Racine on May 14, 1950, showing the old Met “L” power house, the Throop Street Shops, and a bit of the Racine station. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The old Marshfield

The old Marshfield “L” station, or at least, the CA&E platform at that station, circa 1951. The red Pullman streetcar is running on Route 9 – Ashland, but here, is on Paulina one block west of Ashland. Streetcars could not run on boulevards, and Ashland was a boulevard between Lake Street and Roosevelt Road. Hence the diversion. A sign advertises the late Carol Channing in the stage version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The curving tracks are for the Douglas Park branch. This is where all the various Met “L”s diverged from each other, heading to the west, south, and north from here.

This duplicate slide did not come with any information, but I am wondering if this was taken from the old Met "L" looking to the north, which would mean the streetcar is on Van Buren. The Van Buren line was converted to bus in 1951 and the Garfield Park "L" was re-routed via temporary ground level tracks on Van Buren starting in 1953. Since the buildings around the "L" have been cleared away, that is further evidence that this is the Congress Expressway construction area. Michael Franklin has now identified this as Van Buren and Marshfield.

This duplicate slide did not come with any information, but I am wondering if this was taken from the old Met “L” looking to the north, which would mean the streetcar is on Van Buren. The Van Buren line was converted to bus in 1951 and the Garfield Park “L” was re-routed via temporary ground level tracks on Van Buren starting in 1953. Since the buildings around the “L” have been cleared away, that is further evidence that this is the Congress Expressway construction area. Michael Franklin has identified now this as Van Buren and Marshfield.

The same location today.

The same location today.

CTA 6025-6026 is ascending the ramp that brings the Ravenswood

CTA 6025-6026 is ascending the ramp that brings the Ravenswood “L” up from ground level between Rockwell and Western Avenue. The date is September 30, 1951.

This picture looks north towards Tower 18 on the Loop

This picture looks north towards Tower 18 on the Loop “L” at Lake and Wells. Since a Douglas Park train is making a turn here, it must have been taken between 1954 and 1958, when that line ran downtown via the Lake Street “L”. As the Loop was uni-directional then, running counterclockwise, the train is coming towards us.

This is the Deerpath Avenue station on the North Shore Line's Skokie Valley Route.

This is the Deerpath Avenue station on the North Shore Line’s Skokie Valley Route.

This is Glencoe on the North Shore Line's Shore Line Route. The circular white sign would indicate this was a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip, possibly just prior to the 1955 abandonment.

This is Glencoe on the North Shore Line’s Shore Line Route. The circular white sign would indicate this was a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip, possibly just prior to the 1955 abandonment.