Milwaukee Then and Now

Photographer Richard H. Young took this picture of North Shore Line car 157 at the Milwaukee Terminal on June 16, 1962 during a fantrip. It must have been taken at nearly the exact same time as a photo we ran some time ago, which was somewhat controversial, and shows the same scene from a different angle, with the Milwaukee Road train shed off in the distance, behind car 157.

Photographer Richard H. Young took this picture of North Shore Line car 157 at the Milwaukee Terminal on June 16, 1962 during a fantrip. It must have been taken at nearly the exact same time as a photo we ran some time ago, which was somewhat controversial, and shows the same scene from a different angle, with the Milwaukee Road train shed off in the distance, behind car 157.

The same location today.

The same location today.

The other slide, also from the same June 16, 1962 fantrip.

The other slide, also from the same June 16, 1962 fantrip.

Looking east along Clybourn today.

Looking east along Clybourn today.

Most of today’s post is by guest author and historian Larry Sakar, who takes us on a journey following the North Shore Line interurban’s former path through Milwaukee. We hope that you will enjoy it.

Larry is the author of Speedrail: Milwaukee’s Last Rapid Transit? published in 1991 by Interurbans Press.  Used copies are available through Amazon and other booksellers.

Larry was inspired, in part, by some of the Milwaukee photos we ran in our recent post Trick or Treat (October 31 2021). We will have more such pictures in future posts.

-David Sadowski

PS- You might also like our Trolley Dodger Facebook auxiliary, a private group that now has 596 members.

Auction for Rare North Shore Line Ticket Cabinet From Dempster Street Station, Skokie

FYI, much as I would like to think otherwise, you can’t keep everything. And thus I have reluctantly decided to part with the original North Shore Line ticket cabinet from the Dempster Street Station in Skokie, which was willed to me earlier this year by my late friend Jeffrey L. Wien. The proceeds will help to underwrite the cost of the Trolley Dodger blog.

The auction ends the evening of Saturday, November 20th. Full details are here:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/125004938263

Milwaukee Then and Now by Larry Sakar

From sometime in 1920 until January 21 1963, the downtown (main) station of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad was on the southeast corner of North 6th and West Sycamore Streets. In the 1930 renaming of Milwaukee streets West Sycamore became West Michigan Streets. The first photo shows a train laying over at the station in the evening. Date and photographer unknown.

From sometime in 1920 until January 21 1963, the downtown (main) station of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad was on the southeast corner of North 6th and West Sycamore Streets. In the 1930 renaming of Milwaukee streets West Sycamore became West Michigan Streets. The first photo shows a train laying over at the station in the evening. Date and photographer unknown.

After the North Shore Line abandoned operations on January 21 1963, the former station sat vacant until late May into early June 1964 when it was razed to make way for another downtown Milwaukee parking lot. This Tom Manz aerial photo shows the southwest corner of track 1 or where track 1 used to be. You are looking west at the intersection of North 6th Street and West Clybourn Street. Note the start of the 6th Street viaduct at bottom left. The overhead catenary bridges stood for many years post-abandonment. West Clybourn Avenue continues across the intersection with North 6th Street. The angled street seen branching odd immediately left of Clybourn Avenue is the start of West Saint Paul Ave. In North Shore's day Saint Paul Avenue did not go east of North 6th Street, nor did it cross beneath the 6th Street viaduct. The street that is today Saint Paul Avenue east of North 6th Street was known as West Fowler Street in North Shore Line's day and contained nothing but warehouses. Saint Paul Avenue continued east of North 6th Street starting in 1965 when the new Milwaukee Road passenger station opened on now West Saint Paul Avenue and North 5th Street. Today it has become the Milwaukee Intermodal station serving Amtrak and several bus lines. Today (2021) the site of the Milwaukee North Shore line Station is occupied by Secura Insurance Company.

After the North Shore Line abandoned operations on January 21 1963, the former station sat vacant until late May into early June 1964 when it was razed to make way for another downtown Milwaukee parking lot. This Tom Manz aerial photo shows the southwest corner of track 1 or where track 1 used to be. You are looking west at the intersection of North 6th Street and West Clybourn Street. Note the start of the 6th Street viaduct at bottom left. The overhead catenary bridges stood for many years post-abandonment. West Clybourn Avenue continues across the intersection with North 6th Street. The angled street seen branching odd immediately left of Clybourn Avenue is the start of West Saint Paul Ave. In North Shore’s day Saint Paul Avenue did not go east of North 6th Street, nor did it cross beneath the 6th Street viaduct. The street that is today Saint Paul Avenue east of North 6th Street was known as West Fowler Street in North Shore Line’s day and contained nothing but warehouses. Saint Paul Avenue continued east of North 6th Street starting in 1965 when the new Milwaukee Road passenger station opened on now West Saint Paul Avenue and North 5th Street. Today it has become the Milwaukee Intermodal station serving Amtrak and several bus lines. Today (2021) the site of the Milwaukee North Shore line Station is occupied by Secura Insurance Company.

North Shore trains leaving the 6th & Michigan Streets Milwaukee station cut across the intersection of North 6th Street and West Clybourn Avenue, made a curve to the left and entered the north approach to the 6th Street viaduct. There are four viaducts across the Menomonee River Valley in Milwaukee. All of them run north-south. They are 6th Street, 16th Street, 27th Street, and 35th Street. The North Shore line had exclusive access to the 6th Street viaduct. North Shore Line's competitor The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company operated streetcars over both the 16th and 27th Street viaducts. The 35th Street viaduct was the last of the four to be built. The Route 35 streetcar line ended at West Mount Vernon Avenue and did not cross the viaduct. After Route 35 was converted to Trackless trolley wire was erected and trolleybuses ran across the viaduct. Today Route 35 diesel buses of the Milwaukee County Transit System operate across all four viaducts. Post-NSL abandonment the North Shore Line's rails remained intact but the overhead catenary bridges were removed in later years. The condition of the bridge in the 1990s had become so bad that buses and trucks were banned. Traffic was confined to the inner two lanes. Pieces of the 6th Street viaduct were actually falling off. (1951 Don Ross Photo)

North Shore trains leaving the 6th & Michigan Streets Milwaukee station cut across the intersection of North 6th Street and West Clybourn Avenue, made a curve to the left and entered the north approach to the 6th Street viaduct. There are four viaducts across the Menomonee River Valley in Milwaukee. All of them run north-south. They are 6th Street, 16th Street, 27th Street, and 35th Street. The North Shore line had exclusive access to the 6th Street viaduct. North Shore Line’s competitor The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company operated streetcars over both the 16th and 27th Street viaducts. The 35th Street viaduct was the last of the four to be built. The Route 35 streetcar line ended at West Mount Vernon Avenue and did not cross the viaduct. After Route 35 was converted to Trackless trolley wire was erected and trolleybuses ran across the viaduct. Today Route 35 diesel buses of the Milwaukee County Transit System operate across all four viaducts. Post-NSL abandonment the North Shore Line’s rails remained intact but the overhead catenary bridges were removed in later years. The condition of the bridge in the 1990s had become so bad that buses and trucks were banned. Traffic was confined to the inner two lanes. Pieces of the 6th Street viaduct were actually falling off. (1951 Don Ross Photo)

The 6th Street viaduct was torn down in 2000. The scrappers nwere selling sections of North Shore Line rail to anyone willing to pay their exorbitant asking price. It has been rebuilt into two separate bridges which meet at ground level at West Canal Street. The decision to make it into two bridges which meet at Canal Street was likely influenced by the opening of the Potawatomi Hotel and Bingo Casino at North 17th and West Canal Streets. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

The 6th Street viaduct was torn down in 2000. The scrappers nwere selling sections of North Shore Line rail to anyone willing to pay their exorbitant asking price. It has been rebuilt into two separate bridges which meet at ground level at West Canal Street. The decision to make it into two bridges which meet at Canal Street was likely influenced by the opening of the Potawatomi Hotel and Bingo Casino at North 17th and West Canal Streets. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

North Shore Line tracks on the 6th St. viaduct. (1989 Christopher N. Barney Photo)

North Shore Line tracks on the 6th St. viaduct. (1989 Christopher N. Barney Photo)

North Shore Line trains continued south on South 6th Street until West Scott Street. Here they made a left turn and followed West Scott Street south for one block on a curvy part of the right-of-way for one block east to South Fifth Street where they turned right onto South Fifth Street. Their next stop was West Greenfield Avenue.

North Shore Line trains continued south on South 6th Street until West Scott Street. Here they made a left turn and followed West Scott Street south for one block on a curvy part of the right-of-way for one block east to South Fifth Street where they turned right onto South Fifth Street. Their next stop was West Greenfield Avenue.

The city of Milwaukee or the county (I'm not sure which) purchased that one block. Today southbound traffic on South 6th Street turns onto what is left of that one block and makes the nearly identical turn to get to West Greenfield Avenue which is the first ramp to southbound Interstate Highway 94 south of downtown Milwaukee. The former factory seen in many photos of North Shore Line trains at this location still stands and is in use for low income housing. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

The city of Milwaukee or the county (I’m not sure which) purchased that one block. Today southbound traffic on South 6th Street turns onto what is left of that one block and makes the nearly identical turn to get to West Greenfield Avenue which is the first ramp to southbound Interstate Highway 94 south of downtown Milwaukee. The former factory seen in many photos of North Shore Line trains at this location still stands and is in use for low income housing. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

As our train continues plodding along on South Fifth Street we pass West Chase Avenue. where we see this rather odd shaped building. In the days of the North Shore Line, South 5th Street was a beautiful south side neighborhood all the way south to West Harrison Avenue. When the I-94 freeway was built every home and business along the east side of South Fifth Street was torn down to accommodate the expressway on and off ramps. Several homes and businesses on the street's west side also suffered the same fate. (1955 Don Ross Photo)

As our train continues plodding along on South Fifth Street we pass West Chase Avenue. where we see this rather odd shaped building. In the days of the North Shore Line, South 5th Street was a beautiful south side neighborhood all the way south to West Harrison Avenue. When the I-94 freeway was built every home and business along the east side of South Fifth Street was torn down to accommodate the expressway on and off ramps. Several homes and businesses on the street’s west side also suffered the same fate. (1955 Don Ross Photo)

The same location in 2016. A Chris Barney Photo.

The same location in 2016. A Chris Barney Photo.

At South Fifth and West Mitchell Streets we stop to pick-up passengers on the northwest corner. Our train passes Notre Dame Catholic High School and Saint Stanislaus Church. (Frank Butts Photo, January 1963)

At South Fifth and West Mitchell Streets we stop to pick-up passengers on the northwest corner. Our train passes Notre Dame Catholic High School and Saint Stanislaus Church. (Frank Butts Photo, January 1963)

Notre Dame Catholic High School and Saint Stanislaus Church are still there today, and look just as they did in North Shore's day. The automobiles are different, but nothing remains to show that North Shore Line trains once stopped here. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

Notre Dame Catholic High School and Saint Stanislaus Church are still there today, and look just as they did in North Shore’s day. The automobiles are different, but nothing remains to show that North Shore Line trains once stopped here. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

Let’s begin the rest of our southbound trip on the North Shore Line at Harrison Avenue (the NSL called it Harrison Street). Harrison Avenue marked the end of street running and the start of the private right-of-way. The Harrison Street shops building and yards sat along the east side of the property.

After the North Shore Line was abandoned in 1963, the track and wire was removed but the building remained standing. As the years went by its appearance worsened. All of the windows had the glass removed and were boarded up. But the front of the building continued to display its heritage. Above the door that opened into the shops was the original stone letterboard which said Chicago and Milwaukee Electric Railway 1908. According to TWERHS president Chuck Westerman, TWERHS obtained the letterboard and brought it with them when they moved out to East Troy in 1972. (This was the original East Troy Trolley Museum.) While lifting it to be moved one day it was accidentally dropped and shattered into pieces.

I vividly recall coming home from school one day in 1968. I would always read the Milwaukee Journal before dinner. The “Journal” as we called it for short was Milwaukee’s evening newspaper.

On the editorial page was a drawing of a decrepit looking building with the caption (as best I can recall) that read North Shore Line shops. The editorial urged the demolition of the building because it was located directly above Interstate 94. Southbound drivers did not see it because the highway is sort of “tucked-in” beneath a cement retaining wall. However, northbound drivers got a full view. The editorial said that this gave a bad impression to anyone coming into Milwaukee on I94 from the south.

Up to that point, I was not aware that the Harrison shops building was still standing. Armed with that information I went there that weekend. The building looked every bit as bad as the editorial cartoon had depicted it. The former right-of-way was just bare ground. There wasn’t a trace of any of the tracks that had been there.

The building was torn down but I don’t know when. If you looked in a Milwaukee City Directory from 1963 on, the shops complex was not even listed. It was as if it had vanished into thin air. I had expected the address to be listed with “Vacant” shown after.

In 2017 the former Harrison Street shops property was redeveloped into Saint Augustine’s Academy, a Christian college preparatory school complete with stadium and playing field. Chris Barney, who took the present day pictures, thought the shops were on the southbound side of the right-of-way and did not take any pictures of the stadium and playing field which now occupies the site of the Harrison Street shops.

Notice the houses in the background. You see the corner of the school in the left corner (upper corner) of Chris' photo. Now look to the right just slightly and on the northwest corner of 5th & Harrison you see a house with a window kind of dead center in the upper story. Also note the row of houses along S. 5th on the right side of the picture. Now look at the shots of the Electroliner arriving at 5th & Harrison before it. Every one of those houses, including the one on the northwest corner is still there. The only thing besides the shops that isn't was that one story building on the right with cars parked against it. It was some sort of machine shop but I don't think it was related to the North Shore Line. Those houses may not be there for much longer. The school is proposing to buy that entire block of S. 5th for one block north of Harrison Avenue. They want to construct a quad with a movie theater, an athletic building and other amenities for their students. The proposal including drawings of what it might look like appeared in the Milwaukee Journal about two or so months ago.

Notice the houses in the background. You see the corner of the school in the left corner (upper corner) of Chris’ photo. Now look to the right just slightly and on the northwest corner of 5th & Harrison you see a house with a window kind of dead center in the upper story. Also note the row of houses along S. 5th on the right side of the picture. Now look at the shots of the Electroliner arriving at 5th & Harrison before it. Every one of those houses, including the one on the northwest corner is still there. The only thing besides the shops that isn’t was that one story building on the right with cars parked against it. It was some sort of machine shop but I don’t think it was related to the North Shore Line. Those houses may not be there for much longer. The school is proposing to buy that entire block of S. 5th for one block north of Harrison Avenue. They want to construct a quad with a movie theater, an athletic building and other amenities for their students. The proposal including drawings of what it might look like appeared in the Milwaukee Journal about two or so months ago.

Next Stop: Oklahoma Avenue

For many years, TMER&L’s Route 16 streetcar line South 6th Street operated between North 60th and West Vliet Streets, all the way across town, via various routings. From downtown Milwaukee south, TM streetcars operated out of the downtown area via various streets to North Third Street and West Plankinton Avenue.

Here they turned south on and followed Plankinton Avenue, which becomes south Second Street after crossing the Menomonee River. Second Street was used as far as West Greenfield Avenue, where cars turned left and went one block east to South First Street. Another right turn took Route 16 streetcars to the intersection of S. Kinnickinnic Avenue and West Mitchell Streets.

This was and to this day is the location of MCTS’ (then TM’s) Kinnickinnic Avenue car [now bus] station. Streetcars turned west on West Mitchell Street and traveled west to its intersection with South Sixth Street. Cars turned left (southbound) and ran on South Sixth Street (South First Avenue before 1930) to West Euclid Street, where they turned west to South Ninth Place to reach the end of the line at West Morgan Avenue.

The “convoluted” route out of downtown Milwaukee was due to one factor- The North Shore Line. The 6th Street viaduct across the Menomonee River Valley was the exclusive property of the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric Railway and was used by both southbound and northbound North Shore Line interurbans, as well as the Birney cars and later St. Louis-built 350 series city cars on North Shore’s beloved “Nickel Dinky Line.”

TM streetcars had South Sixth Street all to themselves from West Mitchell Street south, because the North Shore’s cars operated on South Fifth Street. After getting onto the private right-of-way at Harrison Street the North Shore cars ran on an embankment high above South Sixth Street.

The “Dinky Line” ended at West Oklahoma Avenue, then traveled one block farther south to West Euclid Avenue, where they changed ends and laid over at a tiny platform just north of the Oklahoma Avenue crossing. It’s hard to believe that anyone would hike up the steep stairs from Sixth Street to the platform, but they did, many after walking blocks out of their way just to save five cents. TM streetcar fare was ten cents vs. the “Dinky” line which was a nickel. South side Milwaukeeans were notoriously frugal!

Today South Sixth Street and West Oklahoma Avenue is the one spot on the abandoned North Shore right of way that shows a hint on what used to be here.

A list of the ways in which the North Shore’s “Nickel Dinky Line” beat TM’s Route 16 streetcar line:

1. The “Dinky Line” was faster. TM streetcars on Route 16 had to stop every two blocks. The “Dinky Line” stopped only at major intersections, i.e. Fifth and Mitchell, Fifth and Greenfield and Fifth and National.
2. Between Harrison Avenue and Sixth and Oklahoma, the “Dinky” was on private right-of-way.
3. The North Shore “Dinky Line’s fare was a nickel for its entire life. TMER&L was steadily increasing fares.
4. The North Shore “Dinky Line” only crossed two short bridges on the Sixth Street viaduct. The one nearest the Sixth and Clybourn Streets end of the NSL station was over the Menomonee River, and the other just past W. Canal Street, (which as the name implies was the Menomonee River canal) a branch off the river. TM streetcars had to contend with crossings of the Milwaukee River, the Menomonee River and the Kinnickinnic River.

6th & Oklahoma in the 1940s. (Don Ross Photo)

6th & Oklahoma in the 1940s. (Don Ross Photo)

The remains of the abandoned right-of-way at 6th and Oklahoma. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

The remains of the abandoned right-of-way at 6th and Oklahoma. (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

The End of the North Shore Line Right-of-Way

Continuing south on the private right-of-way above South Sixth Street, North Shore Line trains crossed over West Holt Avenue. In addition, the Milwaukee Road trains coming out of downtown Milwaukee and heading for points south such as Chicago or Bensenville crossed at grade. I do not have any pictures of that area.

After the North Shore Line was abandoned in 1963, the area saw a significant change in 1965. West of South Sixth Street, Holt Avenue was connected to West Morgan Avenue at South Ninth Street. This was done to expedite traffic heading to the entrance ramp to either southbound or northbound Interstate Highway 94.

The Milwaukee Road was grade separated by a long bridge across South Sixth Street. Seeking to take advantage of this, The Milwaukee and Suburban Transport Company (aka “The Transport Company ”) added a “Park ‘n’ Ride lot along the east side of the abandoned North Shore Line right-of-way. This lot is for riders on Bus Route 40- the Holt-College Freeway Flyer line.

Buses do not enter the parking lot, but stop on a bus-only section of the off ramp to pick-up or discharge passengers. As best as I have been able to tell, this ramp occupies at least part, if not all of the North Shore line’s northbound track. This could easily have been transformed into a Rapid Transit line between Mitchell International Airport and downtown Milwaukee.

Just before the abandoned right-of-way gets to its present day end at West Bolivar Avenue, it passes through what was once the Sixth Street cut. The cut began at West Howard Avenue and continued south to TMER & L’s Rapid Transit Line to Hales Corners at Greenwood Junction Lakeside Belt Line, which carried coal from Powereton Junction (approximately South 13th Street and West Waterford Avenue) to the Lakeside Power Plant.

This was strictly a freight line except for a 1939 CERA fan trip, which operated over it all the way west to the connection with TM’s Hales Corners Rapid Transit line at Greenwood Junction (South 100th Street one block south of West Howard Avenue.

North Shore trains emerged from the cut after crossing beneath West Waterford Avenue. CERA Bulletin 107, Route of the Electroliners states that the cut was three miles long. That is incorrect. It was three blocks long. The cut was filled in by the city of Milwaukee in March 1989. This area had once been the Town of Lake.

The tall, round tower seen across South Sixth Street is the former Town of Lake water tower which no longer holds water. The tower has been used for all sorts of things since being replaced by the water treatment plant almost next to its north face on the southwest corner of South Sixth Street and West Howard Avenue.

One additional piece of information that may be of interest to Trolley Dodger readers. You can now purchase a garden plot on the filled-in 6th Street cut and grow what you line. Quite a few people seem to have done just that. I do not know what it costs.

Finally, we come to the end of the North Shore Line’s abandoned right-of-way within the city of Milwaukee at West Bolivar Avenue. The high embankment ends suddenly and goes no further south. This is where present day I-94 coming from downtown and heading west to the Mitchell Interchange crosses over South 6th Street.

From the south side of I-94 south, the right-of-way is completely gone. The land is occupied by restaurants, hotels from the former crossing of West Layton Avenue to the Airport Business Park. If you weren’t previously aware of the wonderful interurban line that passed this way you would never know it now.

No trace of the North Shore exists anywhere south of this point, except for a tiny spot where it crossed beneath the intersection of South Howell and West Rawson Avenues. I end with a Then and Now view at Howell and Rawson. Post-abandonment the bridges above the NSL were removed and the grades of both streets lowered.

In case you might be wondering, the abandoned NSL right-of-way is posted in spots ‘NO TRESPASSING PROPERTY OF MILWAUKEE COUNTY EXPRESSWAY COMMISSION.”

A North Shore Line two-car train is southbound in the 6th Street cut at Norwich Ave. (Bob Genack Photo)

A North Shore Line two-car train is southbound in the 6th Street cut at Norwich Ave. (Bob Genack Photo)

The Old Town of Lake water tower at S. 6th & W. Norwich in 1989 (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

The Old Town of Lake water tower at S. 6th & W. Norwich in 1989 (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

North Shore Line 749 and three others, northbound at Bolivar Avenue in 1955. (Don Ross Photo)

North Shore Line 749 and three others, northbound at Bolivar Avenue in 1955. (Don Ross Photo)

The abandoned North Shore Line right-of-way at West Bolivar Ave. This is where the abandoned right-of-way now comes to an abrupt end within the city limits of Milwaukee.

The abandoned North Shore Line right-of-way at West Bolivar Ave. This is where the abandoned right-of-way now comes to an abrupt end within the city limits of Milwaukee.

North Shore Line 758 is northbound at Howell and Rawson in 1955. (Don Ross Photo)

North Shore Line 758 is northbound at Howell and Rawson in 1955. (Don Ross Photo)

Howell and Rawson, looking south on Howell (present day) (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

Howell and Rawson, looking south on Howell (present day) (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

Howell and Rawson, looking southeast (present day) (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

Howell and Rawson, looking southeast (present day) (Christopher N. Barney Photo)

Postscript

I thought you’d enjoy these two NSL pics. The first one is what we’ve been discussing about TM and NSL competing at 6th and Oklahoma. You have an 800-series car on TM route 16 northbound, and a Birney up on the embankment laying over ready to return to downtown Milwaukee. I don’t know who took it. The fact that the NSL car is a Birney and because you have a streetcar on Route 16 places this picture sometime before July 1947.

The second photo shows one of the “Liners” at full speed one block farther south at 6th and Euclid. It is southbound passing the Heil Company. Heil made things like garbage trucks and other types of municipal vehicles. The building is still there, next to the abandoned right-of-way, but the Heil Company is gone. The building now houses corporate offices for Aurora Health Care. If you look to the left, you get a pretty good idea of just how high up that right-of-way was above South Sixth Street. Don Ross took this picture. He must have had someone holding on to him because a “Liner” coming past you at full speed would have tossed you down to 6th Street. I don’t think I’d have ever tried anything like this!

-Larry Sakar

Thanks, Larry! Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

-David Sadowski

Recent Finds

CTA PCC 7202 is southbound on Clark Street near 15th Street and the St. Charles Air Line, possibly around 1956.

CTA PCC 7202 is southbound on Clark Street near 15th Street and the St. Charles Air Line, possibly around 1956.

CTA PCCs 7195 and 7180 at 81st and Halsted, south end of Route 22, possibly circa 1956.

CTA PCCs 7195 and 7180 at 81st and Halsted, south end of Route 22, possibly circa 1956.

CTA PCCs 7175 and 7160 at 81st and Halsted.

CTA PCCs 7175 and 7160 at 81st and Halsted.

CTA red Pullman 863 is northbound on Stony Island at 72nd Street, headed towards Navy Pier. Stuart B. Slaymaker: "Big Kaiser-Frazer dealer in the right background."

CTA red Pullman 863 is northbound on Stony Island at 72nd Street, headed towards Navy Pier. Stuart B. Slaymaker: “Big Kaiser-Frazer dealer in the right background.”

This picture of Milwaukee trolley buses was taken in March 1964. Here's what Larry Sakar says about it: "I know exactly what this is and where. After the last trolley buses ended service on June 30,1965, The Transport Company (The Milwaukee Suburban Transport Corp.) moved all of them (if not all then a lot of them) to Cold Spring shops. M&STC made a deal to sell them to Mexico City which is where they ended up. What you see here is one of them being brought down to lower Cold Spring where TM (M&STC's predecessor) had a connection directly to the Milwaukee Road. According to Russ Schultz, whom I consider to be the leading authority on Milwaukee trolley buses and Dave Stanley also, M&STC sold 50 Marmon-Herrington trolley buses to Mexico City on February 10, 1964. That was the first batch. In 1967 M&STC sold 51 additional Marmons to Mexico City and according to Russ they were shipped in August and September of that year."

This picture of Milwaukee trolley buses was taken in March 1964. Here’s what Larry Sakar says about it: “I know exactly what this is and where. After the last trolley buses ended service on June 30,1965, The Transport Company (The Milwaukee Suburban Transport Corp.) moved all of them (if not all then a lot of them) to Cold Spring shops. M&STC made a deal to sell them to Mexico City which is where they ended up. What you see here is one of them being brought down to lower Cold Spring where TM (M&STC’s predecessor) had a connection directly to the Milwaukee Road. According to Russ Schultz, whom I consider to be the leading authority on Milwaukee trolley buses and Dave Stanley also, M&STC sold 50 Marmon-Herrington trolley buses to Mexico City on February 10, 1964. That was the first batch. In 1967 M&STC sold 51 additional Marmons to Mexico City and according to Russ they were shipped in August and September of that year.”

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:

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 281st 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 822,000 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.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.

DONATIONS

In order to continue giving you the kinds of historic railroad images that you have come to expect from The Trolley Dodger, we need your help and support. It costs money to maintain this website, and to do the sort of historic research that is our specialty.

Your financial contributions help make this web site better, and are greatly appreciated.


A Fall Harvest

This picture of the old Met bridge over the Chicago River is undated, but probably dates to circa 1952-55 based on the type of red border Kodachrome mount it is in. But it is certainly after the the other picture in this post, taken at much the same location, since the building at rear, or part of it, was in the process of being torn down. This was not related to expressway construction, since the "L" at this point was north of there. Once the Congress rapid transit line opened in 1958, this section of "L" was taken out of service and by the early 1960s it had been torn down.

This picture of the old Met bridge over the Chicago River is undated, but probably dates to circa 1952-55 based on the type of red border Kodachrome mount it is in. But it is certainly after the the other picture in this post, taken at much the same location, since the building at rear, or part of it, was in the process of being torn down. This was not related to expressway construction, since the “L” at this point was north of there. Once the Congress rapid transit line opened in 1958, this section of “L” was taken out of service and by the early 1960s it had been torn down.

Cooler weather has moved into the Chicago area, and along with it, we have a Fall Harvest of classic rail images for you today, including many by three of the greatest railfan photographers of the 1950s– Clark Frazier, Truman Hefner, and William C. Hoffman.

Enjoy!
-David Sadowski

This video features streetcars and elevated trains in Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York City, mostly from the early 1950s– and originally shot on high quality 16mm film:

PS- You might also like our Trolley Dodger Facebook auxiliary, a private group that now has 482 members.

Recent Finds

CSL 4001 at South Shops, with 7001 in front of it, probably during the 1950s, when these two experimental cars were being used for storage.

CSL 4001 at South Shops, with 7001 in front of it, probably during the 1950s, when these two experimental cars were being used for storage.

CTA PCC 4371, built by Pullman, is on State Street heading south from Randolph, with the old State-Lake Theater in the background. The film "Lovely To Look At" was released on July 4, 1952, which is probably around when this picture was taken.

CTA PCC 4371, built by Pullman, is on State Street heading south from Randolph, with the old State-Lake Theater in the background. The film “Lovely To Look At” was released on July 4, 1952, which is probably around when this picture was taken.

North Shore Line 759 heads up a two-car train heading southbound at Harrison Street, leaving street running in favor of private right-of-way in Milwaukee on June 16, 1962. (Richard H. Young Photo)

North Shore Line 759 heads up a two-car train heading southbound at Harrison Street, leaving street running in favor of private right-of-way in Milwaukee on June 16, 1962. (Richard H. Young Photo)

A two-car CTA Kenwood shuttle train at Indiana Avenue, probably some time around 1949. I assume there must have been stairs leading up to the tower.

A two-car CTA Kenwood shuttle train at Indiana Avenue, probably some time around 1949. I assume there must have been stairs leading up to the tower.

A close-up of the previous image.

A close-up of the previous image.

CTA 6130-6129 are "at speed" near Jarvis "L" station on the north side, operating under wire on the southbound express track as a mid-day Evanston "Shopper's Special" on December 11, 1955. The picture is slightly blurred because Kodachrome back then was ASA 10 (until the introduction of Kodachrome II in 1961). The unique signage on the train indicates which stations this express train stopped at.

CTA 6130-6129 are “at speed” near Jarvis “L” station on the north side, operating under wire on the southbound express track as a mid-day Evanston “Shopper’s Special” on December 11, 1955. The picture is slightly blurred because Kodachrome back then was ASA 10 (until the introduction of Kodachrome II in 1961). The unique signage on the train indicates which stations this express train stopped at.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 28 is at the head of a train in this picture I assume was taken in Wheaton, between 1952-55 (based on the slide mount).

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 28 is at the head of a train in this picture I assume was taken in Wheaton, between 1952-55 (based on the slide mount).

Red Arrow Strafford car 164 is on the high-speed line to Norristown in the early 1950s, perhaps near 69th Street Terminal. Kenneth Achtert adds: "Your picture of Strafford car #164, if the early 1950s date is accurate, was most likely not on a Norristown line trip, but is arriving at 69th St. Terminal likely coming from Strafford. Strafford service was not abandoned until 1956 and was what gave the 160-series cars their common name. The bullet cars could have been called Norristown cars, but they already had an even better name."

Red Arrow Strafford car 164 is on the high-speed line to Norristown in the early 1950s, perhaps near 69th Street Terminal. Kenneth Achtert adds: “Your picture of Strafford car #164, if the early 1950s date is accurate, was most likely not on a Norristown line trip, but is arriving at 69th St. Terminal likely coming from Strafford. Strafford service was not abandoned until 1956 and was what gave the 160-series cars their common name. The bullet cars could have been called Norristown cars, but they already had an even better name.”

Red Arrow double-ended car 20, which looks like a PCC but technically isn't, is running outbound on the Ardmore branch in the early 1950s. Not sure what all the track work is about, although the West Chester branch itself was abandoned in favor of buses in 1954, so that West Chester Pike could be widened. I assume this is the intersection of West Chester Pike and Darby Road in Havertown, PA. The Ardmore trolley was replaced by buses at the end of 1966. Both trolley lines here are now SEPTA bus routes. Mark A. Jones adds: "Regarding the Red Arrow trackage on West Chester Pike west of the Ardmore turn-off, it continued in use after the West Chester line became a bus as the Llanerch car barn (which housed the Red Arrow trolleys at the time) was located Darby Rd. and West Chester Pike west of the Ardmore cut-off. That’s my memory of that."

Red Arrow double-ended car 20, which looks like a PCC but technically isn’t, is running outbound on the Ardmore branch in the early 1950s. Not sure what all the track work is about, although the West Chester branch itself was abandoned in favor of buses in 1954, so that West Chester Pike could be widened. I assume this is the intersection of West Chester Pike and Darby Road in Havertown, PA. The Ardmore trolley was replaced by buses at the end of 1966. Both trolley lines here are now SEPTA bus routes. Mark A. Jones adds: “Regarding the Red Arrow trackage on West Chester Pike west of the Ardmore turn-off, it continued in use after the West Chester line became a bus as the Llanerch car barn (which housed the Red Arrow trolleys at the time) was located Darby Rd. and West Chester Pike west of the Ardmore cut-off. That’s my memory of that.”

Red Arrow double-ended St. Louis car 15, built circa 1949, is coming off the Ardmore line towards the 69th Street Terminal in the early 1950s. The West Chester branch might still have been in operation then, as there is a car in the distance on West Chester Pike.

Red Arrow double-ended St. Louis car 15, built circa 1949, is coming off the Ardmore line towards the 69th Street Terminal in the early 1950s. The West Chester branch might still have been in operation then, as there is a car in the distance on West Chester Pike.

Red Arrow Brilliner 9 is signed for the Media route in the early 1950s.

Red Arrow Brilliner 9 is signed for the Media route in the early 1950s.

Red Arrow Brilliner 6 is signed for the Media route in the early 1950s.

Red Arrow Brilliner 6 is signed for the Media route in the early 1950s.

On August 3, 1950, an eastbound Garfield Park "L" train approaches Western Avenue station. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

On August 3, 1950, an eastbound Garfield Park “L” train approaches Western Avenue station.
(William C. Hoffman Photo)

Deck roofed "L" cars, including 2908, are in Laramie Yard on July 2, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Deck roofed “L” cars, including 2908, are in Laramie Yard on July 2, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

An eastbound train of wooden "L" cars (including 3210), with trolley poles up, heads east on the ground-level portion of the Lake Street "L" in Oak Park on October 12, 1953. I believe the location is a few blocks east of Marion Street, where the street (South Boulevard) narrows.

An eastbound train of wooden “L” cars (including 3210), with trolley poles up, heads east on the ground-level portion of the Lake Street “L” in Oak Park on October 12, 1953. I believe the location is a few blocks east of Marion Street, where the street (South Boulevard) narrows.

The subway entrance on State Street between Madison and Monroe, as it looked on December 5, 1954. PCCs were still operating on State at that time. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The subway entrance on State Street between Madison and Monroe, as it looked on December 5, 1954. PCCs were still operating on State at that time. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking south from the 35th Street "L" station on August 23, 1963. A new center island station had opened here in 1961, taking up space formerly occupied by the center express track, which had been unused after 1949. A fire destroyed the new station in October 1962, and temporary facilities were used until the station was rebuilt in 1965. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking south from the 35th Street “L” station on August 23, 1963. A new center island station had opened here in 1961, taking up space formerly occupied by the center express track, which had been unused after 1949. A fire destroyed the new station in October 1962, and temporary facilities were used until the station was rebuilt in 1965. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

An 8-car train of CTA 4000s, still in the old tan color, approaches 35th Street on November 6, 1950. In this somewhat underxposed slide, you can still make out the long walkway at right, which connected to a stairway at the former 33rd Street "L" station, only used as an auxiliary entrance and exit for 35th after 1949. This walkway was closed on September 25, 1961 and removed thereafter. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

An 8-car train of CTA 4000s, still in the old tan color, approaches 35th Street on November 6, 1950. In this somewhat underxposed slide, you can still make out the long walkway at right, which connected to a stairway at the former 33rd Street “L” station, only used as an auxiliary entrance and exit for 35th after 1949. This walkway was closed on September 25, 1961 and removed thereafter. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking west from the transfer bridge at the CTA station at 40th and Indiana Avenue on July 7, 1953. A southbound train of 6000s heads into the station. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view looking west from the transfer bridge at the CTA station at 40th and Indiana Avenue on July 7, 1953. A southbound train of 6000s heads into the station. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

This slide, taken on Sunday, March 6, 1955, gives a good view of the direction sign on the transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana station. Our resident South Side expert M. E. adds, "Two-car trains were rare on the north/south main line. The destination sign explains why just two cars: It is an "all-stop" sign reading "Howard Street". Most days of the week, main line service was either "A" or "B". The only time the CTA ran just two cars on the main line as all-stop trains was on Sunday mornings." (William C. Hoffman Photo)

This slide, taken on Sunday, March 6, 1955, gives a good view of the direction sign on the transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana station. Our resident South Side expert M. E. adds, “Two-car trains were rare on the north/south main line. The destination sign explains why just two cars: It is an “all-stop” sign reading “Howard Street”. Most days of the week, main line service was either “A” or “B”. The only time the CTA ran just two cars on the main line as all-stop trains was on Sunday mornings.” (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The westbound view from the transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana on July 2, 1963 shows CTA 6047 at the rear of a northbound train, fitted with an experimental ventilation system. This was not shot on Kodachrome, which explains the somewhat funky color shift on this slide. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The westbound view from the transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana on July 2, 1963 shows CTA 6047 at the rear of a northbound train, fitted with an experimental ventilation system. This was not shot on Kodachrome, which explains the somewhat funky color shift on this slide. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view west from the overhead transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana on July 7, 1953, looking west. We see a northbound train of 4000s, an approaching southbound train of 6000s, a Stock Yards shuttle train, and some additional Stock Yards cars being stored on the former express track, unused since 1949. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

The view west from the overhead transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana on July 7, 1953, looking west. We see a northbound train of 4000s, an approaching southbound train of 6000s, a Stock Yards shuttle train, and some additional Stock Yards cars being stored on the former express track, unused since 1949.
(William C. Hoffman Photo)

Looking west from the passenger overpass at Indiana Avenue on July 3, 1950, we see an 8-car train of steel cars, and a Stock Yards shuttle train. In the distance, that may be some additional Stock Yards cars being stored on the otherwise unused center track. (William C. Hoffman Photo) Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes: "Your caption needs correction. What you claim to be a Stock Yards shuttle is not on the Stock Yards tracks, which ran directly west from the switch building at the end of the platform. Instead, your "Stock Yards" train is on the main line heading east/south. Apparently the CTA still ran old cars on the main line at that time, although I don't remember that. Another, more remote, possibility is that this short train is dead-heading east (without passengers) toward the Kenwood line. But in the next photo, you see no track connection from the main line to the Kenwood line. The only way dead-headed cars destined for Kenwood could end up on the Kenwood line would have been to turn south on the main line to 43rd St. and use switches to go from the southbound main line to the northbound main line to the former northbound main line track, which joined the Kenwood shuttle track back at Indiana Ave. -- and which (in reverse) provided the only way to move Kenwood cars off the Kenwood tracks." We were only repeating the information that Mr. Hoffman wrote on the original slide mount, which, of course, could be wrong.

Looking west from the passenger overpass at Indiana Avenue on July 3, 1950, we see an 8-car train of steel cars, and a Stock Yards shuttle train. In the distance, that may be some additional Stock Yards cars being stored on the otherwise unused center track. (William C. Hoffman Photo) Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes: “Your caption needs correction. What you claim to be a Stock Yards shuttle is not on the Stock Yards tracks, which ran directly west from the switch building at the end of the platform. Instead, your “Stock Yards” train is on the main line heading east/south. Apparently the CTA still ran old cars on the main line at that time, although I don’t remember that. Another, more remote, possibility is that this short train is dead-heading east (without passengers) toward the Kenwood line. But in the next photo, you see no track connection from the main line to the Kenwood line. The only way dead-headed cars destined for Kenwood could end up on the Kenwood line would have been to turn south on the main line to 43rd St. and use switches to go from the southbound main line to the northbound main line to the former northbound main line track, which joined the Kenwood shuttle track back at Indiana Ave. — and which (in reverse) provided the only way to move Kenwood cars off the Kenwood tracks.” We were only repeating the information that Mr. Hoffman wrote on the original slide mount, which, of course, could be wrong.

Two "new" and two "old" 6000s enter the CTA station at 40th and Indiana on June 6, 1954. The Kenwood shuttle continued to operate for another three years after this. We are facing east. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

Two “new” and two “old” 6000s enter the CTA station at 40th and Indiana on June 6, 1954. The Kenwood shuttle continued to operate for another three years after this. We are facing east. (William C. Hoffman Photo)

SF Muni 170 on the N Line, entering the Sunset Tunnel in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 170 on the N Line, entering the Sunset Tunnel in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 130 on Ocean Avenue by Elkton Shops on September 16, 1957. According to the Market Street Railway web site: "Car No. 130 was among the the last ‘Iron Monsters’ to leave passenger service, in 1958. Muni shop foreman Charlie Smallwood saved it from the scrap heap by hiding it in the back of Geneva carhouse while its mates met their fates. He then talked his bosses into making it a ‘wrecker’. Stripped bare and painted yellow, it spent the next 25 years towing its replacements–PCC streetcars–back to the barn when they broke down. It was fully restored by Muni craft workers in 1983 for the Historic Trolley Festival, including original seats, which Charlie had kept all those years in his basement…just in case!" (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni 130 on Ocean Avenue by Elkton Shops on September 16, 1957. According to the Market Street Railway web site: “Car No. 130 was among the the last ‘Iron Monsters’ to leave passenger service, in 1958. Muni shop foreman Charlie Smallwood saved it from the scrap heap by hiding it in the back of Geneva carhouse while its mates met their fates. He then talked his bosses into making it a ‘wrecker’. Stripped bare and painted yellow, it spent the next 25 years towing its replacements–PCC streetcars–back to the barn when they broke down. It was fully restored by Muni craft workers in 1983 for the Historic Trolley Festival, including original seats, which Charlie had kept all those years in his basement…just in case!” (Clark Frazier Photo)

Key System A Train 130 near Yerba Buena Island on the Bay Bridge on April 18, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Key System A Train 130 near Yerba Buena Island on the Bay Bridge on April 18, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Pittsburgh 1499 on Route 34/21 on Ladoga Street near Ingram in 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Pittsburgh 1499 on Route 34/21 on Ladoga Street near Ingram in 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Pittsburgh 1486 and 1485 rest at Ingram carhouse in 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Pittsburgh 1486 and 1485 rest at Ingram carhouse in 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni "Iron Monster" 162 at La Playa (48th), approaching the N Line terminus on December 16, 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni “Iron Monster” 162 at La Playa (48th), approaching the N Line terminus on December 16, 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

The SF Muni Geary car house in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

The SF Muni Geary car house in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Dresden 264 007 on Line 4 at Dresdner Schloss on June 3, 1978. At the time, Dresden was located in East Germany. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Dresden 264 007 on Line 4 at Dresdner Schloss on June 3, 1978. At the time, Dresden was located in East Germany. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Key System 167 is an A Train east of Yerba Buena Island on the Bay Bridge on April 18, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Key System 167 is an A Train east of Yerba Buena Island on the Bay Bridge on April 18, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni “Iron Monster” 178 on a fantrip on the J Line by SF Muni “Iron Monster” 178 on a fantrip on the J Line by Dolores Park in 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)Park in 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni "Iron Monster" 114 stops for passengers on the B Line in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni “Iron Monster” 114 stops for passengers on the B Line in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1553 at the Route 20 Plow Pit on February 7, 1959. This was a spot where overhead wire ended (by law) and streetcars changed over to collecting electricity through an underground conduit. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1553 at the Route 20 Plow Pit on February 7, 1959. This was a spot where overhead wire ended (by law) and streetcars changed over to collecting electricity through an underground conduit. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3276 entering Reservoir Yard on June 5, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3276 entering Reservoir Yard on June 5, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3216 on Mass Avenue in North Cambridge on August 29, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3216 on Mass Avenue in North Cambridge on August 29, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3337 (ex-Dallas) near the Cedar Grove station on the Ashmont-Mattapan line on May 31, 1961. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Boston MTA 3337 (ex-Dallas) near the Cedar Grove station on the Ashmont-Mattapan line on May 31, 1961. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1543 on Route 20 in Georgetown on June 7, 1959. The Georgetown Theatre was located at 1351 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC and opened in 1913. It closed in 1986 and was converted to retail. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1543 on Route 20 in Georgetown on June 7, 1959. The Georgetown Theatre was located at 1351 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC and opened in 1913. It closed in 1986 and was converted to retail. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1159 at the Calvert Bridge on Route 92 on February 6, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1159 at the Calvert Bridge on Route 92 on February 6, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni "Iron Monster" 213 on the N Line, west of the Sunset Tunnel, in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni “Iron Monster” 213 on the N Line, west of the Sunset Tunnel, in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Key System (Oakland) E train 184 to Berkeley leaving 55th Street in 1958. This slide has a processing date of March 1958 stamped on it, one of the earliest I have seen. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Key System (Oakland) E train 184 to Berkeley leaving 55th Street in 1958. This slide has a processing date of March 1958 stamped on it, one of the earliest I have seen. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni "Iron Monster" 130 on the M Line by Parkmerced on September 16, 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

SF Muni “Iron Monster” 130 on the M Line by Parkmerced on September 16, 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)

A Key System E train to San Francisco near Tower 3 in 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

A Key System E train to San Francisco near Tower 3 in 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1136 on Route 54 at the Navy Yard car barn on September 1, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

DC Transit 1136 on Route 54 at the Navy Yard car barn on September 1, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)

In May 1952, a CTA train of flat-door 6000s heads down an incline west of Pulaski Road on the Douglas Park "L". (Truman Hefner Photo)

In May 1952, a CTA train of flat-door 6000s heads down an incline west of Pulaski Road on the Douglas Park “L”. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A train of CTA 6000s on the Metropolitan main line, looking east from Marshfield Avenue. This probably dates to late 1950, since no work has yet been done building the temporary right-of-way in Van Buren Street to the left, later used by Garfield Park trains. The tag on the train indicates whether it stopped at some part-time stations on Douglas. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A train of CTA 6000s on the Metropolitan main line, looking east from Marshfield Avenue. This probably dates to late 1950, since no work has yet been done building the temporary right-of-way in Van Buren Street to the left, later used by Garfield Park trains. The tag on the train indicates whether it stopped at some part-time stations on Douglas. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A CTA two-car train of 6000s, running on the Douglas Park line, heads east onto the Metropolitan main line at Marshfield Junction. Since a train is visible on the Garfield Park portion, the date cannot be later than September 1953, and is likely a couple years before that. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A CTA two-car train of 6000s, running on the Douglas Park line, heads east onto the Metropolitan main line at Marshfield Junction. Since a train is visible on the Garfield Park portion, the date cannot be later than September 1953, and is likely a couple years before that. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 6056-6057 crossing East Avenue in Berwyn, where a sign indicates that the crossing guard is off duty. This portion of "L" was abandoned in February 1952. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 6056-6057 crossing East Avenue in Berwyn, where a sign indicates that the crossing guard is off duty. This portion of “L” was abandoned in February 1952. (Truman Hefner Photo)

6053-6054 near Oak Park Avenue on the Douglas Park "L". The date given here (December 1953) must be wrong, as the line had already been cut back to 54th Avenue by then. It may be December 1950, as Douglas was the first line to use the new 6000s. (Truman Hefner Photo)

6053-6054 near Oak Park Avenue on the Douglas Park “L”. The date given here (December 1953) must be wrong, as the line had already been cut back to 54th Avenue by then. It may be December 1950, as Douglas was the first line to use the new 6000s. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2725 at the Oak Park Avenue terminal of the Douglas Park "L" in December 1950. The line was cut back to 54th Avenue, nearly two miles east of here, in 1952. This area is now used as a parking lot in Berwyn, often referred to as the "L" strip. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2725 at the Oak Park Avenue terminal of the Douglas Park “L” in December 1950.
The line was cut back to 54th Avenue, nearly two miles east of here, in 1952. This area is now used as a parking lot in Berwyn, often referred to as the “L” strip. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 6087 and train are running on the ground-level portion of the Douglas Park "L" at Kenton Avenue in May 1952. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 6087 and train are running on the ground-level portion of the Douglas Park “L” at Kenton Avenue in May 1952. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA deck-roofed car 2891 is just south of Roosevelt Road on the Westchester "L" in April 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA deck-roofed car 2891 is just south of Roosevelt Road on the Westchester “L” in April 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A train of CTA 6000s (probably 6055-6056) crosses Austin Boulevard in Cicero on the Douglas Park "L" in February 1952, shortly before service was abandoned west of 54th Avenue. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A train of CTA 6000s (probably 6055-6056) crosses Austin Boulevard in Cicero on the Douglas Park “L” in February 1952, shortly before service was abandoned west of 54th Avenue. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A CTA train of 6000s is turning onto the Metropolitan main line from the Douglas Park "L" on April 3, 1954, while a CTA test train (with car 2276) is on the new, as yet unused connecting track between the Douglas "L" and the old Logan Square branch. Once Douglas trains began using this new "L" connection, they began running downtown via the Lake Street "L", and portions of the old "L" east of here were torn down for expressway construction. By 1958, there was a new ramp in place, approximately in the same place the 6000s are here, leading down to the Congress rapid transit line in the expressway median. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A CTA train of 6000s is turning onto the Metropolitan main line from the Douglas Park “L” on April 3, 1954, while a CTA test train (with car 2276) is on the new, as yet unused connecting track between the Douglas “L” and the old Logan Square branch. Once Douglas trains began using this new “L” connection, they began running downtown via the Lake Street “L”, and portions of the old “L” east of here were torn down for expressway construction. By 1958, there was a new ramp in place, approximately in the same place the 6000s are here, leading down to the Congress rapid transit line in the expressway median. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A CTA train of 6000s is turning from the Metropolitan main line onto the Douglas Park "L" on April 3, 1954, while a CTA test train (with car 2276) is on the new, as yet unused connecting track between the Douglas "L" and the old Logan Square branch. Once Douglas trains began using this new "L" connection, they began running downtown via the Lake Street "L", and portions of the old "L" east of here were torn down for expressway construction. By 1958, there was a new ramp in place, approximately in the same place the 6000s are here, leading down to the Congress rapid transit line in the expressway median. (Truman Hefner Photo)

A CTA train of 6000s is turning from the Metropolitan main line onto the Douglas Park “L” on April 3, 1954, while a CTA test train (with car 2276) is on the new, as yet unused connecting track between the Douglas “L” and the old Logan Square branch. Once Douglas trains began using this new “L” connection, they began running downtown via the Lake Street “L”, and portions of the old “L” east of here were torn down for expressway construction. By 1958, there was a new ramp in place, approximately in the same place the 6000s are here, leading down to the Congress rapid transit line in the expressway median. (Truman Hefner Photo)

In December 1950, CTA open platform, railroad-roofed car 2327 is westbound at Austin Boulevard on the Douglas Park "L". Here, the barrier is down. (Truman Hefner Photo)

In December 1950, CTA open platform, railroad-roofed car 2327 is westbound at Austin Boulevard on the Douglas Park “L”.
Here, the barrier is down. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA wooden open platform, railroad-roofed car 2330 is northbound on the Northwestern "L" near Berwyn Avenue, running on the Evanston line in July 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA wooden open platform, railroad-roofed car 2330 is northbound on the Northwestern “L” near Berwyn Avenue, running on the Evanston line in July 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2256 is part of a four-car Met train, turning from Market Street onto the double bridge over the Chicago River in March 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA 2256 is part of a four-car Met train, turning from Market Street onto the double bridge over the Chicago River in March 1951.
(Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA railroad roofed, open platform car 2707 under the Belt Railway at Kenton Avenue on the Douglas Park "L". (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA railroad roofed, open platform car 2707 under the Belt Railway at Kenton Avenue on the Douglas Park “L”. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA arched roof, open-platform car 2281 at 54th Avenue on the Douglas Park "L" in March 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA arched roof, open-platform car 2281 at 54th Avenue on the Douglas Park “L” in March 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

Open platform, railroad roof car 2715 at 54th Avenue in Cicero, on the Douglas Park "L", in January 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

Open platform, railroad roof car 2715 at 54th Avenue in Cicero, on the Douglas Park “L”, in January 1951. (Truman Hefner Photo)

The CTA ground-level station at Austin Boulevard in Cicero, on the Douglas Park "L" in December 1950. Note the unusual raised barrier at the crossing. (Truman Hefner Photo)

The CTA ground-level station at Austin Boulevard in Cicero, on the Douglas Park “L” in December 1950. Note the unusual raised barrier at the crossing. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA open-platform, railroad roof car 2338 at Kenton on the Douglas Park line, where there was a connection to the Belt Railway of Chicago, in December 1950. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA open-platform, railroad roof car 2338 at Kenton on the Douglas Park line, where there was a connection to the Belt Railway of Chicago, in December 1950. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA open-platform, railroad roof car 2318 at Kenton on the Douglas Park line, where there was a connection to the Belt Railway of Chicago, in December 1950. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA open-platform, railroad roof car 2318 at Kenton on the Douglas Park line, where there was a connection to the Belt Railway of Chicago, in December 1950. (Truman Hefner Photo)

CTA PCC 7215, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, is signed to go to 80th and Vincennes, operating on Route 22 - Wentworth in 1958. But was this picture taken at 80th and Vincennes? M. E. writes: "Reason to think this photo was taken at 80th and Vincennes: There was a single loop track at 80th and Vincennes, and the terminal area was on the east side of a miniature "park" situated east of Vincennes between the terminal trackage and Vincennes Ave. proper. Reasons to think this photo was not taken at 80th and Vincennes: (1) The exit trackage in the photo makes no sense if it were indeed 80th and Vincennes. The exit trackage ran straight out of the loop and onto northbound Vincennes trackage. (2) As I recall, 80th and Vincennes was a residential area with no large buildings. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say this photo was taken on the property of the 77th/Vincennes carbarn, and the streetcar in the photo had either just returned from 80th and Vincennes or was headed there. This scenario is also likely because there was never a "terminal" on line 22 at 77th St.; the closest was at 80th St. Consequently, streetcars in service coming from the north had to go to at least 80th St. before heading back to the barn at 77th St."

CTA PCC 7215, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, is signed to go to 80th and Vincennes, operating on Route 22 – Wentworth in 1958. But was this picture taken at 80th and Vincennes? M. E. writes: “Reason to think this photo was taken at 80th and Vincennes: There was a
single loop track at 80th and Vincennes, and the terminal area was on the east side of a miniature “park” situated east of Vincennes between the terminal trackage and Vincennes Ave. proper. Reasons to think this photo was not taken at 80th and Vincennes: (1) The exit trackage in the photo makes no sense if it were indeed 80th and Vincennes. The exit trackage ran straight out of the loop and onto northbound Vincennes trackage. (2) As I recall, 80th and Vincennes was a residential area with no large buildings. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say this photo was taken on the property of the 77th/Vincennes carbarn, and the streetcar in the photo had either just returned from 80th and Vincennes or was headed there. This scenario is also likely because there was never a “terminal” on line 22 at 77th St.; the closest was at 80th St. Consequently, streetcars in service coming from the north had to go to at least 80th St. before heading back to the barn at 77th St.”

The Prince Crossing station on the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, as it appeared on June 14, 1960, after abandonment.

The Prince Crossing station on the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, as it appeared on June 14, 1960, after abandonment.

Did Not Win

Try as we might, our resources are always limited and there are photos that our beyond our means to afford. Yet many of them are worth another look anyway:

Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad modernized interurban coach 28 and modernized steel interurban combine 107 at the end of the line station shared with Amtrak. The line was cut back from downtown South Bend in 1970. In 1992 the line would be diverted to the South Bend Airport. April 26, 1980, W Washington St & W Meade St, South Bend, Indiana. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad modernized interurban coach 28 and modernized steel interurban combine 107 at the end of the line station shared with Amtrak. The line was cut back from downtown South Bend in 1970. In 1992 the line would be diverted to the South Bend Airport.
April 26, 1980, W Washington St & W Meade St, South Bend, Indiana. (Clark Frazier Photo)

This original glass plate negative, showing the last New York City horse car line circa 1907, recently sold on eBay for $539. The location is Broadway looking north just past Broome Street. The horse car line was abandoned in 1917, by which time it had few passengers as was a "franchise run."

This original glass plate negative, showing the last New York City horse car line circa 1907, recently sold on eBay for $539(!). The location is Broadway looking north just past Broome Street. The horse car line was abandoned in 1917, by which time it had few passengers as was a “franchise run.”

Angel's Flight in its original LA Bunker Hill location, probably circa 1969. The funicular opened in 1901, but was dismantled and put into storage for several years not long after this picture was taken, as the hill it climbed was razed. It has since reopened in a different location.

Angel’s Flight in its original LA Bunker Hill location, probably circa 1969. The funicular opened in 1901, but was dismantled and put into storage for several years not long after this picture was taken, as the hill it climbed was razed. It has since reopened in a different location.

A Hidden Freight Spur

Looking northwest.

Looking northwest.

I was somewhat surprised a few months ago when it appeared some freight car switching was taking place on the Union Pacific West Line (formerly Chicago & North Western) embankment in Forest Park, just east of Lathrop Avenue. The tracks here were raised around 1910 and not far east of here, the embankment is shared with the Chicago Transit Authority’s Green Line (aka the Lake Street “L”).

There isn’t much light industry left near the railroad in Forest Park, but apparently there is still at least one active customer, and behind a row of town houses, there is an active freight spur, with a ramp leading up to the embankment. I found a lone freight car on the spur. Presumably it will be hauled away prior to the next delivery, whenever that might be.

The freight spur is visible on this map. You can also see how the curved streets in this part of Forest Park got their shape. They once formed a "wye" used to turn trains around. Much of the CTA rail yard west of Harlem Avenue was built onto new embankment in the early 1960s.

The freight spur is visible on this map. You can also see how the curved streets in this part of Forest Park got their shape. They once formed a “wye” used to turn trains around. Much of the CTA rail yard west of Harlem Avenue was built onto new embankment in the early 1960s.

I drive by this area nearly every day, but all this is so completely hidden from view that I had no idea any of this still existed. It also sheds some light on the changes made to the “L” and the adjacent commuter rail line in the late 1950s.

When the CTA and C&NW were negotiating the relocation of the Lake Street “L” onto the embankment, at first it was thought that the “L” would run as far west as the DesPlaines River in River Forest. In 1958, the C&NW sought permission to close several commuter rail stations, ceding their close-in ridership to the CTA (and at the same time speeding up service to suburbs that were further out).

Originally, the River Forest station was one of the C&NW petitioned the Illinois Commerce Commission to close, but at some point, plans were changed, and the station is still there, serving riders on what is now the Metra Union Pacific West Line.

If the “L” had been extended through this area, it would have made it difficult for the C&NW to continue serving their freight customers in Forest Park with the spur line that is, apparently, still in use.

Looking west.

Looking west.

Looking west.

Looking west.

Looking southeast. Town houses have replaced light industry south of the railroad spur.

Looking southeast. Town houses have replaced light industry south of the railroad spur.

Looking northwest.

Looking northwest.

Recent Correspondence

Larry Sakar writes:

A three-car train in Lake Bluff by William D. Volkmer, 10/8/60.

A three-car train in Lake Bluff by William D. Volkmer, 10/8/60.

I was browsing through some of your newest pics on The Trolley Dodger. You have a great picture of a North Shore train NB at Lake Bluff taken by Bill Volkmer on 10/08/60 (5 days after my 10th birthday). They aren’t what I’m concerned with.

In the spring of 1992 I accompanied another NSL fan on a tour of the abandoned NSL from Lake Bluff to Mundelein, probably other spots on the NSL as well but I no longer remember. It may have been this trip, or another time but he was after a whistling post that was still embedded near one of the crossings on the Skokie Valley route. He brought along a sack of tools with which to extricate it. He discovered that it was anchored very deeply by a steel cord of some sort and did not get it.

I took the attached photo at Lake Bluff that day. What I would like to know is where the Lake Bluff station would have been in the 1992 photo and what direction I am facing. As you can obviously tell, it was a damp and foggy day. The second picture was taken at Mundelein. He told me that the NSL station was in the parking lot seen in my photo, which I seem to recall was for an apartment complex.

The individual in the photo was an avid NSL fan, having ridden the last northbound train from Chicago to Racine. He was a high school student at the time. The Racine station agent was a friend of the family. He was in the right place at the right time. The place was the Racine station on the day it was torn down. It was gone by the time he got there but he noticed a pile of items being burned. Among those items was the ticket agent’s rack and rubber stamps which he rescued from the pile.

No rush. I’ve just been wondering. He may have told me that where he was standing was where the trains stopped, but I honestly don’t remember. I ceased all contact with this individual in 2003 when I quit TMER&THS (The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transit Historical Society).

Thanks.

The site of the former North Shore Line station in Lake Bluff in 1992.

The site of the former North Shore Line station in Lake Bluff in 1992.

The site of the former North Shore Line station in Mundelein in 1992.

The site of the former North Shore Line station in Mundelein in 1992.

The site (at right) of the former North Shore Line station in Waukegan in 1992.

The site (at right) of the former North Shore Line station in Waukegan in 1992.

Perhaps some of our readers can help Larry figure this out, thanks.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski

The Trolley Dodger On the Air

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

Our Latest Book, Now Available:

Chicago’s Lost “L”s

From the back cover:

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

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

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

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

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

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

For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

NEW DVD:

A Tribute to the North Shore Line

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

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

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

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

Total time – 121:22

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

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

This is our 278th 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 811,000 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.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.

DONATIONS

In order to continue giving you the kinds of historic railroad images that you have come to expect from The Trolley Dodger, we need your help and support. It costs money to maintain this website, and to do the sort of historic research that is our specialty.

Your financial contributions help make this web site better, and are greatly appreciated.


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