A recent post mentioned a May 25, 1958 CERA fantrip, where Chicago Transit Authority personnel brought out cars from their historical collection to pose for photographs. Here is another such car taken out that day, Chicago street railway post office #6, built in 1891 and currently preserved at the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin.
This is “Throwback Thursday,” so rather than have an over-arching theme, we present several interesting photos spanning the 1940s to the 1970s that we hope you will enjoy.
Happy New Year!
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George Foelschow writes:
Some time ago, I mentioned that I had two CSL/CTA surface track maps and offered to scan them for The Trolley Dodger. Well, I am confined at home today thanks to an El Nino storm and finally got around to it.
I think the CSL 1939 map is notable in that it probably represents the maximum extent of surface track in Chicago. It includes the Roosevelt and Cermak extensions into Burnham Park, 47th Street into the same park, and the full extent of 87th Street. Add in improbable and early abandonments like Franklin/Elm, Erie, and Fulton. The only stretch already gone is the Chicago Avenue line along Lake Shore Drive and into the Navy Pier area. There is even a stretch of dead track on Jefferson Street between VanBuren and Jefferson, which showed up on a photo published on your blog recently. Maybe sharp eyes can detect other anomalies.
I just received the long-awaited “New Look” data disc and am looking forward to settling down with that.
We thank Mr. Foelschow for his generosity. Both of these supervisor’s maps have been added to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available from our Online Store. Now, our unique collection includes the track maps from 1939, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1952, and 1954.
Olin Anderson of Walla Walla, Washington, who worked for the Chicago Area Transportation Study in the 1990s, asked if we could clear up some mysteries regarding track arrangements on the CTA Congress rapid transit line (featured in our recent E-Book The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, which you can also find in our Online Store.
Here is what I believe at present:
1. The third track planned for Congress between DesPlaines and Laramie was intended to be used by CA&E as an express track that would keep CA&E and CTA trains separated.
2. The original transfer point between the two railroads was intended to be Laramie, where CA&E’s tracks ended and CTA’s began. These plans were eventually changed and DesPlaines became the transfer point. Meanwhile, CTA paid $1m to CA&E for their “infrastructure” between Laramie and DesPlaines Avenue, even though all this was due to be replaced soon anyway.
3. CA&E went back and forth on whether they would run their trains downtown even after completion of the new right-of-way. They made statements at varying times both ways.
4. CTA’s general preference would have been for CA&E to not run downtown since this would have complicated their operation of the line. They also felt that with the speed improvement of the new route, even if CA&E riders had to change to CTA they would still get downtown faster.
5. Expansion of the DesPlaines yard was an afterthought. The original plans envisioned a track connection to the old Laramie Yard. I have read that this was to be a flyover, but it would have made more sense to have a subway under the highway.
6. The City wanted Lake to be routed onto Congress via a new elevated connection. The location of this changed over the years, from about 3200 W. to 4400 W.
7. From the point where Lake was to be routed onto Congress there would have been four tracks. The two extra subway portals near Halsted were intended for use by Lake trains, as they would have gone into a new “distributor” subway.
8. CTA kept a portion of the old Humboldt Park branch until late 1961 as a potential storage area for CA&E trains.
9. There was talk right near the end (1957) of building a ramp for CA&E trains to connect with the “L” system. Presumably this would have been on the other side of the ramp that was built, and would have permitted CA&E trains to run downtown via the Paulina Connector and the Lake line to circle the Loop.
10. In 1953, when the track connection between CTA and CA&E was severed, that was fine with both of them, because they did not want to have to pay each other to run on each other’s tracks.
In the Comments section of a recent post, Jeff Weiner and I corresponded about the CTA’s PCC Conversion Program, a subject also covered in Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story. Thanks to Phil Becker, here are a couple of his photos showing cars going back and forth between CTA and St. Louis Car Company in 1957:
(Phil Becker Photo)
Here is a postwar Chicago PCC streetcar in the Streator Yard of the Santa Fe, on its way to St. Louis Car Company as part of the CTA’s “conversion program.” (Phil Becker Photo)
Again, thanks to Phil Becker, here are some of his pictures from a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip held on May 27, 1973 using 4000-series “L” cars which were just being retired around this time. The occasion was CERA’s 35th anniversary.
Two 4000s remain on CTA property more than 90 years after they were put into service and are operated on special occasions.
(Phil Becker Photo)
(Phil Becker Photo)
(Phil Becker Photo)
(Phil Becker Photo)
(Phil Becker Photo)
(Phil Becker Photo)
Off-Street Chicago Bus and Streetcar Loops
Andre Kristopans has updated and expanded the list of off-street loops he recently shared with us:
Limits Garage 1860’s out 7/3/94
Root/Halsted 1/1895 out 8/9/53
Cable Ct/Harper 7/08 out 6/21/59
Wentworth/63 11/08 out 6/22/58
Western/Flournoy 6/09 out 7/18/65
Cottage Grove/72 11/10 out 9/28/56
State/63 1/11 out 1/9/57
Western/Roscoe 7/11 out 1/24/51
Vincennes/80 8/11 out 1990’s
Clark/Arthur 11/11 active
Halsted/79 12/12 active
63/King 6/13 out 6/28/69 (temporarily reactivated circa 1977 when Ryan L out of service at 18th)
Halsted/Waveland 3/15 active
Clark/Howard 4/15 out 12/3/61
75/Lakefront 5/15 active (cul-de-sac)
Broadway/Ardmore 12/15 out 12/26/63
Torrence/112 3/17 active
Devon/Sheridan 5/17 (CMC) out 10/18/53
Archer/Cicero 12/17 active (relocated 1955)
Navy Pier 6/21 active (relocated 1959, relocated again 1990’s)
Madison/Austin 7/21 active
Milwaukee/Imlay 9/27 active
Montrose/Milwaukee 1/25/31 out 9/23/78
Montrose/Narragansett 1/25/31 out 9/3/78
Belmont/Pacific 5/30/31 out 1/9/49
18th/Lake Shore 6/33 out 3/9/49
Roosevelt/Columbus 8/33 out 4/11/53
Hamlin/Fulton (CMC) 6/35 out 2/11/53
Belmont/Central 5/30/31 out 1/9/49 (relocated across street 9/16/35)
Diversey/Western 9/12/35 out 7/1/55
Diversey/Neva 10/4/38 active
Caldwell/Central 8/39 (relocated 10/29/61)
83/Green Bay 5/13/40 out 10/30/63
Bell & Howell 12/5/42 out 03/08/87
76/Keeler 7/26/43 out 3/16/53
76/Kilpatrick 7/26/43 out 6/21/59
Pershing/Western Blvd parking lot east of intersection 8/28/45 out 2/14/48
Pershing/Ashland parking lot west of intersection 8/28/45 out 1947
115/Cottage Grove 9/23/45 out 6/16/63 (south of 115th)
Montrose/Broadway 7/29/46 out 6/22/80
Monroe Parking Lot (CMC) 8/15/46 out 1972
Soldier Field Parking Lot (CMC) 8/15/46 out 9/12/83
Merchandise Mart Plaza 9/16/46 out 1987
Torrence/128 10/21/46 relocated to 130th west of Torrence 6/21/78, out 9/11/81
Torrence/112 10/21/46 out 4/25/48 (south of RR)
74/Damen 11/1/46 active
Irving Park/Cumberland 2/4/47 active (moved 1/24/64)
87/Western 5/22/47 active
Damen/Elston 6/19/47 out 9/30/63
84/State 6/28/47 out 11/26/58
116/Burley (Republic Steel) 6/30/47 out 11/30/86
Cortland/Paulina 8/31/47 out 4/17/59
31/Ellis 2/29/48 out 9/27/56
Narragansett/63 Pl 4/25/48 active
63/Archer 4/25/48 active (relocated 1990’s)
Harlem/64 Pl 6/15/48 active
Western/79 7/31/48 active
Devon/Kedzie 9/13/48 active
Irving Pk/Neenah 11/17/48 (moved from S to N of Irving Pk 7/9/58) out 1/24/88
16th/47th Ct 12/12/48 active
Belmont/Halsted 1/9/49 active
Belmont/Cumberland 1/9/49 active
Belmont/Octavia 1/9/49 active
Western/Berwyn 1/10/49 active
Western/Howard 2/17/49 active
North/Clybourn 7/3/49 out 12/28/08
Lehigh/Touhy 7/14/49 out 2/20/55
Cermak/Harlem (West Towns Garage) 8/13/49 out 1/16/57
Harrison/Central 8/14/49 active
Addison/Pontiac (CMC) 8/17/49 active
Western/Leland 11/14/49 active
Fullerton/Parkside 12/4/49 out 9/8/85
North/Clark 12/4/49 active
North/Narragansett 12/4/49 active
Jersey/Peterson 5/13/50 out 9/7/73
31/California 5/17/50 out 9/2/80
111/Harding 10/21/50 active
Central/Milwaukee 11/17/50 out 9/24/70
Grand/Nordica 4/1/51 active
47/Lake Park 4/15/51 active (moved from W of Lake Park to E 7/26/66)
Cicero/Pensacola 5/10/51 active
Lincoln/Wrightwood 7/2/51 out 4/27/60
Elston/Kentucky 7/19/51 out 7/8/55
Pulaski/Peterson 7/20/51 active
Archer/Neva 11/2/51 active
Lincoln Village 11/13/51 out 1/30/55 (McCormick N of Lincoln)
Lincoln/Whipple 11/23/51 out 4/9/84
Cicero/24 Pl 11/25/51 active
31/Komensky 12/6/51 active
Logan Square 12/19/51 out 1/31/70
North/Winchester 5/5/52 out 9/7/73
Grand/Latrobe 5/24/52 active
Cermak/54 Av 5/25/52 active (moved 8/18/03)
Fairbanks/Ontario 7/20/52 out 1990’s, new built 2000’s
79/Lakefront 8/11/52 relocated 2012
Roosevelt/Monitor 9/7/52 out 2000’s
Pulaski/Foster 9/8/52 out 1990’s
95/Western Evergreen Plaza 9/28/52 out 12/20/15
Chicago/Mayfield 12/13/52 active (moved to Austin 11/21/88)
Roosevelt/Wabash 5/12/53 out 4/15/73
Racine/87 5/28/53 active
26/Kenton 6/18/53 out 6/12/77
Desplaines/Congress 10/9/53 active relocated numerous times until 2/23/81
Jackson/Central Fieldhouse 10/29/53 out 7/8/55
Niles Center/Pratt 11/15/53 out 1/15/54
Kedzie/63 Pl 12/15/53 active
42/Packers 2/14/54 out 11/9/70 (moved 4/22/63)
87/Cicero 8/13/54 active moved to shopping center across Cicero 12/29/96
Ashland/95 11/4/54 active
California/Addison 11/26/54 out 3/31/13
Grand/Natchez 12/20/54 out 2/22/67
Western/119 2/9/55 active
Cermak/47 Av 4/17/55 out 6/29/86
Jackson/Austin 7/8/55 active
Forest Glen Garage 12/4/55 active
Damen/87 12/9/55 active
North Park Garage 12/4/55 no longer used as turnaround since 1/31/92
Cottage Grove/Burnside 8/22/56 out 4/1/91 (reactivated 6/17/07 to 8/23/10)
Brother Rice High School 9/10/56 active
Cermak Plaza 1/14/57 out 11/30/75
59/Keating 5/5/57 out 9/6/87
Howard/Kedzie 1/26/58 out 11/19/60 (east of Channel)
Jackson/Kedzie Garage 7/3/58 not used as turnaround since 1990’s
83/Wentworth 7/14/58 out 3/7/86
Teletype Corp 9/8/58 out 6/26/81
Pulaski/104 9/17/58 active
Cicero/64 11/27/58 out 11/7/93
Pulaski/77 6/21/59 out 6/1/62
79/Kilpatrick (Scottsdale) 6/21/58 out 3/5/00
Indianapolis/101 7/5/59 out 1970’s
Cumberland/Montrose 8/3/59 out 7/13/64
Howard/McCormick 11/3/60 active
Cermak/State 11/19/60 out 9/28/69
McCormick Place 11/19/60 out 1/16/67 account McCormick Place burned down
115/Pulaski 12/4/60 out 8/3/64
67/Oglesby 12/15/60 active
Howard/Hermitage 12/3/61 replaced 3/22/02
Pulaski/75 6/1/62 out 7/21/63
Pulaski/81 7/21/63 active
Beverly Garage 2/10/64 not used as turnaround after 11/19/03 (unofficially several years earlier)
Skokie Swift 4/19/64 active
Old Orchard 4/20/64 relocated to west mall entrance 2/11/74
Marist High School 8/24/64 out 8/30/07
Randolph/Lake Shore (Outer Drive East Apts) 9/14/64 out 3/7/75
55/St Louis 11/11/64 active replaced 2000’s
51/St Louis 1/13/65 out 11/7/93
115/Springfield 5/10/65 active
King Dr/Burnside 6/20/65 out 11/12/72
Ford City 8/12/65 active relocated 11/29/87
Luther High School (87/Sacramento) 11/24/65 out 1990’s
Pratt/Kedzie 8/1/66 out 6/23/03
Mercy Hospital 2/1/68 out 6/29/04?
Ashland/63 5/6/69 active
95/Dan Ryan 9/28/69 active
79/Perry 9/28/69 active
69/Dan Ryan 9/28/69 active
Cermak/Clark 9/28/69 out 12/10/76
Jefferson Park 2/1/70 active
Irving Park/Keystone 2/1/70 active
Belmont/Kimball 2/1/70 active
Logan Square 2/1/70 active
McCormick Place 1/2/71 out 1/80 account McCormick Place expansion
Olive/Harvey 2/8/71 active relocated 8/3/81 to west side of main bldg and 8/20/82 to s side of bldg
International Towers (Bryn Mawr/Delphia) 6/7/71 out 5/29/73
Wilson/E Ravenswood 1970’s out 12/15/12
King Dr/96 11/12/72 out 7/30/73 temporary Chicago State terminal
Pavilion Apts – 5/29/73 active (relocated to N side of complex 2/28/83)
Clark/Wisconsin 6/18/73 out 9/8/96
95/St Lawrence 7/30/73 active (not used 6/17/07 to 8/23/10 because of dispute with CSU)
South Blvd/Sheridan 09/10/73 out 6/20/03 inherited from Evanston Bus Co
Touhy/Overhill 10/25/74 – CTA has not used since 12/15/12 (replaced last Y terminal)
Randolph/Harbor (Harbor Point Apts) 3/7/75 active
North Riverside Park Mall 11/30/75 active (relocated closer to entrance 7/9/81)
Division/Austin 2/16/76 active
Lincoln Village (Lincoln/Jersey) 4/2/78 out 2/3/80
73/Oak Park 4/2/78 out 12/31/81
Field Museum turn-in on McFetridge 6/18/78 active
Chicago-Read Hospital 9/3/78 out 9/6/15 (relocated across Oak Park Av 10/6/96)
71/Pulaski (Shopping center parking lot) 6/22/80 active
Pratt/Central Park 12/8/80 out 3/8/87
Central/77 (St Laurence HS) 1980’s active
Evanston Twp High School Parking Lot 1/3/82 out 6/20/03
Harlem/Higgins 2/27/83 active
Cumberland/Bryn Mawr – 2/27/83 active
River Rd/Kennedy 2/27/83 – CTA stopped using 1/23/88
47/Laramie (trucking company parking lot) 7/2/84 out 6/21/92
Riverside Square (Archer/Ashland) 12/1/86 out 11/4/97
Skokie Courthouse 1/25/88 active
103rd Garage 6/26/88 active
Grand/Columbus 12/27/88 out 2/28/93
Church/Lamon (Skokie) (JCC) 6/25/90 out 6/21/91
Bryn Mawr/Lake Shore 7/19/93 active
Wright College 8/22/93 active
Archer/Halsted 10/31/93 active
Archer/Ashland 10/31/93 active
Western/49 10/31/93 active
Archer/Leavitt 10/31/93 active
Kedzie/49 10/31/93 active
Pulaski/51 10/31/93 active
59/Kilpatrick 10/31/93 active
King/24th Pl 10/30/94 active but no scheduled service since 12/14/12
McCormick Place South driveway 2/8/97 out ca 1998 as impractical
Desplaines/Harrison 3/9/97 active
Nature Museum (Cannon/Fullerton) 12/12/99 active
Kostner/74 6/25/00 active
Golf/Waukegan (Avon Corp parking lot) 6/24/02 active
Central Park/Cleveland (Rand-McNally Skokie) 6/23/03 out 9/5/09
Lincolnwood Town Center Mall 6/19/06 active
Pullman Plaza parking lot (Doty W/109) 9/11/13
74th Garage first used as turnaround 3/30/14 active
More “Throwback” Photos:
Indiana Railroad car 65 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago. The date given for this picture is 1955. Behind it is, I think, North Shore Line city streetcar 354. To the right is North Shore Line 161, which presents somewhat of a mystery since this car was not preserved after abandonment. The original museum site, however, was adjacent to the North Shore Line, so this must be an in-service car and not part of the museum’s collection.
An interior view of a Red Arrow Bullet car in 1960. Note the similarity of these bucket seats and those on Indiana Railroad car 65, built around the same time as this car (1931).
North Shore Line city streetcar 356 in Milwaukee on May 13, 1951. Sister car 354 is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.
A sign advertising South Shore Line interurban service to the Indiana Dunes at Howard Street in Chicago, 1949.
In this July1947 view, photographer Perry Frank Johnson captured Chicago South Shore & South Bend freight locomotive #1002 on busy Franklin Street in Michigan City, Indiana.
With the recent news that the new but long-delayed Washington, DC streetcar may open by the end of February, we thought we would post this view of DC Transit #1512, the air conditioned “Silver Sightseer” near the Capital Building on August 22, 1961.
Chicago & West Towns cars 153, 140, and 119 on the busy LaGrange line.
Chicago & West Towns 155 on the LaGrange line in 1941.
C&WT cars 128, 104,122, and 152 at the car barn at Harlem and Cermak in 1941.
Chicago & West Towns 140, sister car to the 141 now operating at the Illinois Railway Museum, at the south parking lot of the Brookfield Zoo in the 1940s.
A pair of CTA 6000s head north from the Merchandise Mart in this wintry 1963 scene.
A two-car train of CTA 6000s heads west at Lake and LaSalle in April 1964. Below the “L” at right, we see the Loop location of Discount Records, a local chain who once had a great selection of LPs.
In July 1963, a two-car CTA Ravenswood train of 6000s approaches Adams and Wabash from the south. When this picture was taken, both tracks on the Loop “L” ran in the same direction. At right we can see Carl Fischer’s, sellers of sheet music for many years, at 312 S. Wabash.
PCC Side Roll Signs
Kenosha PCC 4617, the SF Muni 1950s-style tribute car. (John DeLamater Photo)
John DeLamater writes:
I found a sign shop here in Madison that made a nice replica of a vintage MUNI side roll sign for 4617. We installed it yesterday and it looks great. Photo attached. I am wondering if CTA PCCS in the 50s had side roll signs in a standee window, and if so, what destinations were listed. Do you happen to have any sources for that information?
Thanks for writing. That San Francisco tribute car sure looks good.
Yes, the Chicago PCCs had side roll signs, both prewar and postwar, as did both experimental cars (4001 and 7001). The postwar cars had them in a standee window.
You will find many, many pictures of these signs among the Chicago PCC pictures posted here on this web site.
Presumably, such signs were somewhat simpler in wording than the front signs, which were naturally a lot larger. In addition, I would imagine there were variations.
These signs were made via a silk-screening process in segments that were then stitched together. So, parts of a sign could be added and subtracted.
Offhand, I couldn’t say whether all PCCs had the same set of signs, or if the signs a car had were based on which Station (car barn) it ran out of. Perhaps our readers can enlighten us on that point. Surely there are fans out there who have such side rolls signs in their collections, and there is also the 4391 that can be checked at IRM.
One of our readers notes:
The side signs of the Post War PCCs differed between those built by Pullman-Standard and St Louis Car Company. The readings were probably the same, but the layouts were different. Pullman side signs were straight across with the route names such as CLARK-WENTWORTH. SLCC were often in two rows such as
It appears that there were three different sets of side signs based upon the car stations (Kedzie, 69th/Devon/77th, 38th-Cottage). Kedzie served Madison, Madison-Fifth; 69th/Devon/77th served Halsted, Clark-Wentworth, Broadway-State, Western and 63rd; 38th-Cottage served Cottage Grove.
The side signs for 69th/Devon/77th read as follows:
BROADWAY (added in 1955)
NOT IN SERVICE
The above readings were from a SLCC PCC.
George Trapp adds:
Actually the difference was not between Pullman and St.Louis but rather between first 200 cars 4052-4171, 7035-7114 which originally had route name such as CLARK-WENTWORTH squeezed into one line. The 400 cars of the second order 4172-4411, 7115-7274 had the route name on two lines.
Front signs between the two orders differed as well as built. On the front signs the style of the route numbers were more simplified on the second order and destinations with numbered streets showed 79th, 81st, 119th on first order versus 79, 81, 119 on second.
Thanks for this great information.
The CTA sign shop at work in the 1950s.