Tip of the Iceberg

A remarkable photograph, this shows a group of early Chicago streetcar conductors and motormen, some displaying the tools of their trade (controller handles and switch irons). I am sure it was a tough job, and they look like a bunch of tough men. While Chicago's population has always been diverse, integration did not come to their ranks until October 1943, thanks in part to wartime manpower shortages. (And I do mean "manpower," since the CTA did not hire its first female bus driver until 1974.) I am wondering if this photo shows employees of the Chicago City Railway. If anyone can shed light on this photo, please let us know.

A remarkable photograph, this shows a group of early Chicago streetcar conductors and motormen, some displaying the tools of their trade (controller handles and switch irons). I am sure it was a tough job, and they look like a bunch of tough men. While Chicago’s population has always been diverse, integration did not come to their ranks until October 1943, thanks in part to wartime manpower shortages. (And I do mean “manpower,” since the CTA did not hire its first female bus driver until 1974.) I am wondering if this photo shows employees of the Chicago City Railway. If anyone can shed light on this photo, please let us know.

Lately, we have been hard at work on our upcoming book Chicago Trolleys. Meanwhile, new images have been piling up. It’s about time we started sharing them with you. Today’s batch is just the “tip of the iceberg,” so to speak.

The group picture above is just such an image. It came to us by way of a very large 11″ x 14″ negative. This in itself is rather remarkable. It was too big to scan all at once, but necessity is the mother of invention.

I scanned the image in quarters, and then discovered free software from Microsoft that flawlessly “stitched” the four back together. As old as this negative seems to be, it may not be the original. I have a feeling this neg was made from a glass plate.

Glass plate negatives are fragile, and there was some damage to the image, which I corrected using Photoshop. This took many hours of work, but the results speak for themselves. Chances are, this picture was taken between 1895 and 1915.

There are eight million stories in Railfan City.

-David Sadowski

Here is how the image originally looked, before I spent several hours eliminating the scratch using Photoshop.

Here is how the image originally looked, before I spent several hours eliminating the scratch using Photoshop.

The man in the middle not only has pointy shoes, but holds a switch iron.

The man in the middle not only has pointy shoes, but holds a switch iron.

Note the controller handle.

Note the controller handle.

Perhaps this badge may offer a clue as to which private operator these men may have worked for. One of our readers thinks the badge might say "C & S C," which could stand for the Calumet and South Chicago Railway Company, which was formed in 1908 through a merger of the South Chicago City Railway Co., and Calumet Electric Street Railway Co. It operated on the far south side of Chicago. In 1914, it became one of the underlying companies that formed the Chicago Surface Lines. Of course, it's pretty hard to make out. On the other hand, James Fahlstedt writes: "My take on the hat badge is that it reads CCSR. For what it is worth, it is put on the hat with and band or strap rather than fastened directly to the hat with split pins or similar device. The thing that I do not understand is that it is a metal badge. My CCR badge is leather. Could it read CGSR? Another thing I noticed is that there is something on the left side of the badge on the same line as the mystery letters that is totally illegible. Is a puzzlement." CCSR probably stands for Chicago City Street Railway. Perhaps the mystery has been solved.

Perhaps this badge may offer a clue as to which private operator these men may have worked for. One of our readers thinks the badge might say “C & S C,” which could stand for the Calumet and South Chicago Railway Company, which was formed in 1908 through a merger of the South Chicago City Railway Co., and Calumet Electric Street Railway Co. It operated on the far south side of Chicago. In 1914, it became one of the underlying companies that formed the Chicago Surface Lines. Of course, it’s pretty hard to make out. On the other hand, James Fahlstedt writes: “My take on the hat badge is that it reads CCSR. For what it is worth, it is put on the hat with and band or strap rather than fastened directly to the hat with split pins or similar device. The thing that I do not understand is that it is a metal badge. My CCR badge is leather. Could it read CGSR? Another thing I noticed is that there is something on the left side of the badge on the same line as the mystery letters that is totally illegible. Is a puzzlement.” CCSR probably stands for Chicago City Street Railway. Perhaps the mystery has been solved.

Recent Finds

CTA PCC 7256 heads south on State Street at Van Buren in the 1950s.

CTA PCC 7256 heads south on State Street at Van Buren in the 1950s.

This mid-1950s view of PCC 4406 is at Clark and Birchwood, it having just left Howard Street, north end of Route 22.

This mid-1950s view of PCC 4406 is at Clark and Birchwood, it having just left Howard Street, north end of Route 22.

CTA trolley bus 9193 on a March 2, 1958 Omnibus Society of America fantrip, at Kedzie Garage. Andre Kristopans: "This is in BACK of Kedzie, facing south. The wire came in off Kedzie between the carhouse and the washhouse, looped around in back and split into the three wired bays."

CTA trolley bus 9193 on a March 2, 1958 Omnibus Society of America fantrip, at Kedzie Garage. Andre Kristopans: “This is in BACK of Kedzie, facing south. The wire came in off Kedzie between the carhouse and the washhouse, looped around in back and split into the three wired bays.”

CTA Marmon-Herrington trolley bus 9737 heads east at Lawrence and Austin in August 1969. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)

CTA Marmon-Herrington trolley bus 9737 heads east at Lawrence and Austin in August 1969. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)

On January 1, 1954, eastbound CTA 1769 turns from Pine onto Lake Street, crossing the Lake Street "L" at grade. Streetcars were replaced by buses on May 30 that same year.

On January 1, 1954, eastbound CTA 1769 turns from Pine onto Lake Street, crossing the Lake Street “L” at grade. Streetcars were replaced by buses on May 30 that same year.

CTA Pullman PCC 4169 at the south end of Route 36 - Broadway-State, near 119th and Morgan, probably in the early 1950s. (Eugene Van Dusen Photo)

CTA Pullman PCC 4169 at the south end of Route 36 – Broadway-State, near 119th and Morgan, probably in the early 1950s. (Eugene Van Dusen Photo)

Passengers get off CTA trolley bus 9514, which is heading eastbound on Roosevelt at State in April 1964. The Roosevelt Road station on the South Side "L" was closed as of January 1963, when the North Shore Line quit. From 1949-63, NSL had exclusive use as N-S trains were routed through the State Street subway. These tracks were put back into regular service in 1969, with the opening of the Dan Ryan line, but the station was demolished and was not replaced by a new one until 1993, with the opening of the Orange Line.

Passengers get off CTA trolley bus 9514, which is heading eastbound on Roosevelt at State in April 1964. The Roosevelt Road station on the South Side “L” was closed as of January 1963, when the North Shore Line quit. From 1949-63, NSL had exclusive use as N-S trains were routed through the State Street subway. These tracks were put back into regular service in 1969, with the opening of the Dan Ryan line, but the station was demolished and was not replaced by a new one until 1993, with the opening of the Orange Line.

Roosevelt and State today.

Roosevelt and State today.

This photo shows the Kilbourn station on the Garfield Park "L" around 1954. By then, the station had been closed, and the stairways removed, in order to reduce running time due to the slow 2.5 mile temporary trackage at ground level east of Sacramento. The two-car train of CTA 4000s is about to cross the Congress Expressway, but the highway does not appear to be open yet. The "L" tracks were higher than normal at this location to cross railroad tracks just west of here. The line was relocated into the expressway median in 1958.

This photo shows the Kilbourn station on the Garfield Park “L” around 1954. By then, the station had been closed, and the stairways removed, in order to reduce running time due to the slow 2.5 mile temporary trackage at ground level east of Sacramento. The two-car train of CTA 4000s is about to cross the Congress Expressway, but the highway does not appear to be open yet. The “L” tracks were higher than normal at this location to cross railroad tracks just west of here. The line was relocated into the expressway median in 1958.

The CRT 42nd Place Yard, the end of the line for the Kenwood "L" branch, probably in the late 1920s.

The CRT 42nd Place Yard, the end of the line for the Kenwood “L” branch, probably in the late 1920s.

The Stock Yards "L" branch, looking east to Exchange, as it appeared on June 7, 1927.

The Stock Yards “L” branch, looking east to Exchange, as it appeared on June 7, 1927.

The North Side "L", looking south from Montrose. On the right, you see the ramp leading down to the Buena Yard.

The North Side “L”, looking south from Montrose. On the right, you see the ramp leading down to the Buena Yard.

CRT trailer 3237, possibly at Skokie Shops.

CRT trailer 3237, possibly at Skokie Shops.

CA&E 315 at an unknown location.

CA&E 315 at an unknown location.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin cars 407 and 432 at the Forest Park terminal in September 1955. CA&E service was cut back to here two years earlier. 407 was a Pullman, built in 1923, while 432 was a 1927 product of the Cincinnati Car Company. Riders could change here "cross platform" for CTA Garfield Park "L" trains.

Chicago, Aurora & Elgin cars 407 and 432 at the Forest Park terminal in September 1955. CA&E service was cut back to here two years earlier. 407 was a Pullman, built in 1923, while 432 was a 1927 product of the Cincinnati Car Company. Riders could change here “cross platform” for CTA Garfield Park “L” trains.

CTA PCC 4265, a Pullman product, heads north on State at Lake circa 1948, while Alfred Hitchcock's film Rope plays at the State-Lake Theater. This has since been converted into production facilities for WLS-TV.

CTA PCC 4265, a Pullman product, heads north on State at Lake circa 1948, while Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rope plays at the State-Lake Theater. This has since been converted into production facilities for WLS-TV.

Here is a nice side view of CSL 4005 at Kedzie Station (car barn). At this time, the 83 Prewar PCCs were assigned to Route 20 - Madison.

Here is a nice side view of CSL 4005 at Kedzie Station (car barn). At this time, the 83 Prewar PCCs were assigned to Route 20 – Madison.

Faced with a manpower shortage during World War II, some transit lines hired female operators (although the Chicago Surface Lines did not). Here, we see Mrs. Cleo Rigby (left) and Mrs. Katherine Tuttle training in North Chicago on June 25, 1943. That would be for the North Shore Line's city streetcar operations, which were mainly in Waukegan.

Faced with a manpower shortage during World War II, some transit lines hired female operators (although the Chicago Surface Lines did not). Here, we see Mrs. Cleo Rigby (left) and Mrs. Katherine Tuttle training in North Chicago on June 25, 1943. That would be for the North Shore Line’s city streetcar operations, which were mainly in Waukegan.

A northbound two-car Evanston shuttle train is held up momentarily at Howard in the 1950s, as track work is going on up ahead. The rear car is 1766. Don's Rail Photos says, "1756 thru 1768 were built by Jewett Car in 1903 as Northwestern Elevated Railway 756 thru 768. They were renumbered 1756 thru 1768 in 1913 and became CRT 1756 thru 1768 in 1923." Wood cars last ran on Evanston in 1957. Notice that the station is also being painted.

A northbound two-car Evanston shuttle train is held up momentarily at Howard in the 1950s, as track work is going on up ahead. The rear car is 1766. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1756 thru 1768 were built by Jewett Car in 1903 as Northwestern Elevated Railway 756 thru 768. They were renumbered 1756 thru 1768 in 1913 and became CRT 1756 thru 1768 in 1923.” Wood cars last ran on Evanston in 1957. Notice that the station is also being painted.

CTA postwar PCC 4404 is heading south, turning from Archer onto Wentworth on June 20, 1958, the last full day of streetcar service in Chicago. This was the last photo of a Chicago streetcar taken by the late Bob Selle.

CTA postwar PCC 4404 is heading south, turning from Archer onto Wentworth on June 20, 1958, the last full day of streetcar service in Chicago. This was the last photo of a Chicago streetcar taken by the late Bob Selle.

A close-up of the previous photo shows some evidence of Bondo-type patch work on 4404.

A close-up of the previous photo shows some evidence of Bondo-type patch work on 4404.

CTA 7051 is southbound at State and Delaware on route 36 Broadway-State in the early 1950s. We ran another picture taken at this location in our post Recent Finds, Part 2 (December 12, 2016), showing a PCC going the other way. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

CTA 7051 is southbound at State and Delaware on route 36 Broadway-State in the early 1950s. We ran another picture taken at this location in our post Recent Finds, Part 2 (December 12, 2016), showing a PCC going the other way. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)

The controller car of CTA Red Pullman 144, as it looked on a mid-1950s fantrip. This car is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Chuck Wlodarczyk Photo)

The controller car of CTA Red Pullman 144, as it looked on a mid-1950s fantrip. This car is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Chuck Wlodarczyk Photo)

CTA Red Pullman 225 at 77th and Vincennes on a mid-1950s fantrip. This car is preserved at Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine. (Chuck Wlodarczyk Photo)

CTA Red Pullman 225 at 77th and Vincennes on a mid-1950s fantrip. This car is preserved at Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine. (Chuck Wlodarczyk Photo)

CTA Red Pullman 445 is on Route 21 - Cermak circa 1950. Behind it, you see the Lakeside Diner and Boulevard Buick, the latter located at 230 E. Cermak. Today, this is near the location of McCormick Place.

CTA Red Pullman 445 is on Route 21 – Cermak circa 1950. Behind it, you see the Lakeside Diner and Boulevard Buick, the latter located at 230 E. Cermak. Today, this is near the location of McCormick Place.

CTA Red Pullman 104 is at Cermak and Prairie, east end of Route 21. This was just a few blocks away from Kodak's Prairie Avenue processing plant, located at 1712 S. Prairie Avenue. Many a railfan's Kodachrome slides were developed and mounted there, until the facility closed in the mid-1980s. You can read more about it here. The landmark R.R. Donnelley and Sons Co. Calumet Plant, also known as the Lakeside Plant, is at rear. The plant closed in 1993, after Sears discontinued their catalog, and the building is now used as a data center.

CTA Red Pullman 104 is at Cermak and Prairie, east end of Route 21. This was just a few blocks away from Kodak’s Prairie Avenue processing plant, located at 1712 S. Prairie Avenue. Many a railfan’s Kodachrome slides were developed and mounted there, until the facility closed in the mid-1980s. You can read more about it here. The landmark R.R. Donnelley and Sons Co. Calumet Plant, also known as the Lakeside Plant, is at rear. The plant closed in 1993, after Sears discontinued their catalog, and the building is now used as a data center.

CSL “Big” Pullman 183 is eastbound on Roosevelt at Ashland on January 15, 1937, while 5502, an Ashland car, is turning west onto Roosevelt to jog over to Paulina. That’s Immanuel Lutheran Church in the background.

CSL “Big” Pullman 183 is eastbound on Roosevelt at Ashland on January 15, 1937, while 5502, an Ashland car, is turning west onto Roosevelt to jog over to Paulina. That’s Immanuel Lutheran Church in the background.

CTA 7238 on State street in the early 1950s. The clock at right belongs to C. D. Peacock jewelers, a Chicago institution since 1837. (Water Hulseweder Photo)

CTA 7238 on State street in the early 1950s. The clock at right belongs to C. D. Peacock jewelers, a Chicago institution since 1837. (Water Hulseweder Photo)

Chicago, South Shore & South Bend car 31 and train at Wilson, Indiana, on an early CERA fantrip (possibly September 20, 1942). Mitch adds, "The photo of the South Shore Line fan trip, 1942 in this episode of “The Trolley Dodger,” appears to be at Power Siding, between Sheridan and the Highway 12 crossing west of Michigan City."

Chicago, South Shore & South Bend car 31 and train at Wilson, Indiana, on an early CERA fantrip (possibly September 20, 1942). Mitch adds, “The photo of the South Shore Line fan trip, 1942 in this episode of “The Trolley Dodger,” appears to be at Power Siding, between Sheridan and the Highway 12 crossing west of Michigan City.”

Here, we see a rare shot of a CSL trolley bus on North Avenue in 1940. While route 72 - North was not converted to trolley bus until July 3, 1949, there was wire between the garage near Cicero Avenue and Narragansett. TBs ran on Narragansett until 1953, when route 86 was combined with the one-mile extension of North between Narragansett and Harlem. This TB is signed for route 76 (Diversey), which used TBs until 1955. The destination sign also says North-Lamon, site of the garage, but the slope of the street would indicate the bus is actually heading west. There is TB wire special work turning off to the right in the background, perhaps indicating that the bus has just left the garage. Andre Kristopans: "I THINK WB about Lavergne, pulling out." There would be streetcar tracks on this section. Andre again: "There are car tracks. You can barely see a couple of hangers to the right of the bus. North Av is very wide at this point, almost 6 lanes, and TT's did not share wire."

Here, we see a rare shot of a CSL trolley bus on North Avenue in 1940. While route 72 – North was not converted to trolley bus until July 3, 1949, there was wire between the garage near Cicero Avenue and Narragansett. TBs ran on Narragansett until 1953, when route 86 was combined with the one-mile extension of North between Narragansett and Harlem. This TB is signed for route 76 (Diversey), which used TBs until 1955. The destination sign also says North-Lamon, site of the garage, but the slope of the street would indicate the bus is actually heading west. There is TB wire special work turning off to the right in the background, perhaps indicating that the bus has just left the garage. Andre Kristopans: “I THINK WB about Lavergne, pulling out.” There would be streetcar tracks on this section. Andre again: “There are car tracks. You can barely see a couple of hangers to the right of the bus. North Av is very wide at this point, almost 6 lanes, and TT’s did not share wire.”

North Shore Line wood car 300, during its time as the Central Electric Railfans' Association club car, probably circa 1939-40.

North Shore Line wood car 300, during its time as the Central Electric Railfans’ Association club car, probably circa 1939-40.

Don's Rail Photos says, "300 thru 302 were built by Jewett in 1909 as mainline coaches. As the steel cars arrived, they were downgraded to local and school tripper service. In 1936 they became sleet cutters. In 1939 300 was turned over to the Central Electric Railfans Association as a private car. The ownership remained with the CNS&M, but the maintenance was taken over by CERA. During the war, with many members in service, CERA relinquished control, and the car was scrapped in 1947. 301 and 302 were retired in 1939 and scrapped in 1940."

Don’s Rail Photos says, “300 thru 302 were built by Jewett in 1909 as mainline coaches. As the steel cars arrived, they were downgraded to local and school tripper service. In 1936 they became sleet cutters. In 1939 300 was turned over to the Central Electric Railfans Association as a private car. The ownership remained with the CNS&M, but the maintenance was taken over by CERA. During the war, with many members in service, CERA relinquished control, and the car was scrapped in 1947. 301 and 302 were retired in 1939 and scrapped in 1940.”

Perhaps someone can help us identify the location of car 300, somewhere along the Shore Line Route.

Perhaps someone can help us identify the location of car 300, somewhere along the Shore Line Route.

New Site Additions

This picture has been added to our post The Great Chicago Interurbans – Part Two (CNS&M) (February 5, 2017):

The Angel's Flight funicular on June 13, 1961. (George Basch Photo)

The Angel’s Flight funicular on June 13, 1961. (George Basch Photo)

This one’s been added to Night Beat (June 21, 2016):

A South Shore Line train at the old Gary station in August 1970.

A South Shore Line train at the old Gary station in August 1970.

Here’s another one for More LVT Photos & Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 12-14-2015:

A rear view of two Lehigh Valley Transit ex-Cincinnati & Lake Erie "Red Devils" shows how their squared-off ends were not designed for multiple-unit operation. By comparison, car 1030, adapted from Indiana Railroad car 55, had a rounded end and was designed for multiple unit operation. Presumably, this is the Fairview car barn in Allentown. Liberty Bell Limited interurban service ended in 1951.

A rear view of two Lehigh Valley Transit ex-Cincinnati & Lake Erie “Red Devils” shows how their squared-off ends were not designed for multiple-unit operation. By comparison, car 1030, adapted from Indiana Railroad car 55, had a rounded end and was designed for multiple unit operation. Presumably, this is the Fairview car barn in Allentown. Liberty Bell Limited interurban service ended in 1951.

Recent Correspondence

Jack Bejna writes:

Hi Dave, here’s a few more of my CA&E images. All of these shots were cleaned up with Photoshop.

PS: The Julie Johnson collection website is back on line as of this morning (March 2). Great collection and I’m in it all the time.

Thanks very much!

Here's a head-on shot of CA&E cars 48 (Stephenson 1902) & 316 (Jewett 1913).

Here’s a head-on shot of CA&E cars 48 (Stephenson 1902) & 316 (Jewett 1913).

CA&E 30, my shot near the shops circa 1955.

CA&E 30, my shot near the shops circa 1955.

CA&E 18 looking good in this shot.

CA&E 18 looking good in this shot.

A train of the first cars with just the top of the old dispatcher tower in the background.

A train of the first cars with just the top of the old dispatcher tower in the background.

Here is an image of the old tower, just about the only one from this angle.

Here is an image of the old tower, just about the only one from this angle.

This is my shot of the new Dispatchers tower, circa 1955.

This is my shot of the new Dispatchers tower, circa 1955.

Here's one more that I think you'll like. It looks like CA&E 310 (Hicks 1908) just came out of the paint shop, and boy did they do a nice job!

Here’s one more that I think you’ll like. It looks like CA&E 310 (Hicks 1908) just came out of the paint shop, and boy did they do a nice job!

One more for you that I completed this morning. It's CA&E 319 (Jewett 1914) heading a line of cars. I got the original from Hicks Car Works, which is the JJ collection. It was a really bad picture and it took about 4 hours to complete.

One more for you that I completed this morning. It’s CA&E 319 (Jewett 1914) heading a line of cars. I got the original from Hicks Car Works, which is the JJ collection. It was a really bad picture and it took about 4 hours to complete.

James Fahlstedt writes:

I just recently discovered your blog and really enjoy it. First of all, I do not know much regarding Chicago traction, but have always been a fan. I love the city, I loved the interurbans (I was fortunate to have ridden all three of the big ones) and I even love the buses. I have made a small purchase of your books and videos and plan to buy more as my finances allow.

Second, I like the way those who know things seem to be willing to share their knowledge. I firmly believe that knowledge is something to be shared, not hidden.

Third, I like that the photos on the blog are of a sufficient resolution that they can actually be seen and enjoyed.

Anyway, if I know anything appropriate, I will pitch in.

Great, thanks! Glad you like the site.

Eric Miller writes:

I am looking for a photographer named C. Scholes to return some photo prints.

We posted a 1952 photo by a C. R. Scholes in One Good Turn (January 20, 2017).  That’s all the information we have.  Perhaps one of our readers can help further, thanks.

Mr. Miller replies:

That would be great!

Here are some shots of “Betty” making the rounds in Uptown, Dallas for you.

(Editor’s note: This is the the McKinney Avenue trolley, aka the M-Line.)

Scans of several new publications have been added to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available in our Online Store. These include:

Surface Service (CSL employee magazine), February 1942, March 1942, July 1943, June 1945, and June 1946

CTA brochure advertising National Transportation Week, May 1960

Hi-res scan of 1957 CTA Annual Report

Gorilla My Dreams

While this isn’t transit related, I figured our readers might enjoy seeing these pictures, which show a publicity float for the 1949 film Mighty Joe Young. This was a sort-of remake of King Kong, which reunited much of the same creative team involved with the 1933 original, including Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Robert Armstrong. Ruth Rose, Marcel Delgado, and Willis O’Brien. If anyone knows where this parade may have taken place, please let me know.

-David Sadowski

street-railwayreview1895-002

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Reader Showcase

CTA 1758 at Randolph and Clark in the 1950s, with the Woods Theater in the background. It closed in 1989. "The Beauty and the Outlaw," playing at the Woods, is more typically known as Ride, Vaquero!. This western starred Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner and was released on July 15, 1953, which helps date the photo.

CTA 1758 at Randolph and Clark in the 1950s, with the Woods Theater in the background. It closed in 1989. “The Beauty and the Outlaw,” playing at the Woods, is more typically known as Ride, Vaquero!. This western starred Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner and was released on July 15, 1953, which helps date the photo.

As we work hard to finish our new book Chicago Trolleys, we thought we would take this opportunity to share some interesting images that our readers recently shared with us. Most of these are from a single individual who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Many of these are slides that were sold by the late Jack Bailey, under the name Ashland Car Works. Mr. Bailey also sold models using the ACW brand name.

The collector who shared these purchased most of the black-and-white prints from Downtown Hobby, which is now called Chicagoland Hobby.

That doesn’t tell you who took the pictures, in most cases, but that is where they came from.

We thank everyone for their contributions.

-David Sadowski

CTA PCCs 7070 and 7168 at Clark and Howard, the north end of route 22 - Clark-Wentworth, in the 1950s. (Ashland Car Works)

CTA PCCs 7070 and 7168 at Clark and Howard, the north end of route 22 – Clark-Wentworth, in the 1950s. (Ashland Car Works)

A CTA Sedan at 115th adn St. Lawrence, near the south end of the Cottage Grove line.

A CTA Sedan at 115th adn St. Lawrence, near the south end of the Cottage Grove line.

CTA PCC 4019 heads east on 63rd Place private right-of-way in 1949. This is a completely built up residential area today.

CTA PCC 4019 heads east on 63rd Place private right-of-way in 1949. This is a completely built up residential area today.

Patrick wirites,"CTA 1733 is actually on 25th Street east of Laramie. Ogden is a diagonal street and the street is too narrow for Cermak. The bank building seen over the top of 1733 is still there." This would be the west end of route 58 - Ogden.

Patrick wirites,”CTA 1733 is actually on 25th Street east of Laramie. Ogden is a diagonal street and the street is too narrow for Cermak. The bank building seen over the top of 1733 is still there.” This would be the west end of route 58 – Ogden.

Andre Kristopans: "Re 723 at 'Pulaski and North' – no way. However, look carefully at the front truck of 723. It is not following the curve to its right, but is turning left. Seems like we are looking east on Harrison at Halsted and that is a Blue Island car about to go down Blue Island Av. That was a very awkward intersection before Circle Campus street realignments."

Andre Kristopans: “Re 723 at ‘Pulaski and North’ – no way. However, look carefully at the front truck of 723. It is not following the curve to its right, but is turning left. Seems like we are looking east on Harrison at Halsted and that is a Blue Island car about to go down Blue Island Av. That was a very awkward intersection before Circle Campus street realignments.”

CTA 7260 at 119th and Morgan. One of our regular readers writes, "I seem to recall that this photo was taken by Bill Janssen on December 4, 1955, the last day (early morning) that route 36 Broadway-State still existed. It is a Broadway-State car laying over, waiting to head north to Clark and Schreiber. It is not Broadway and Ardmore." We were only going by what was written on the slide, which appears to be in error, thanks. This picture appears to be a time exposure (see the light streaking at right). My guess is that the photographer had his camera on a tripod, and used an exposure time of a few seconds for each picture.

CTA 7260 at 119th and Morgan. One of our regular readers writes, “I seem to recall that this photo was taken by Bill Janssen on December 4, 1955, the last day (early morning) that route 36 Broadway-State still existed. It is a Broadway-State car laying over, waiting to head north to Clark and Schreiber. It is not Broadway and Ardmore.” We were only going by what was written on the slide, which appears to be in error, thanks. This picture appears to be a time exposure (see the light streaking at right). My guess is that the photographer had his camera on a tripod, and used an exposure time of a few seconds for each picture.

CTA 4408 is southbound on Clark at Lake Street.

CTA 4408 is southbound on Clark at Lake Street.

CTA 653 is northbound on Dearborn.

CTA 653 is northbound on Dearborn.

CTA 144 on a fantrip at Broadway and Ardmore, with a PCC behind.

CTA 144 on a fantrip at Broadway and Ardmore, with a PCC behind.

The view looking north from State and Van Buren in the 1950s.

The view looking north from State and Van Buren in the 1950s.

CTA 7193 heads south on State Street in the 1950s.

CTA 7193 heads south on State Street in the 1950s.

CTA 7192 northbound on Dearborn, after both Clark and Dearborn were converted to one-way streets.

CTA 7192 northbound on Dearborn, after both Clark and Dearborn were converted to one-way streets.

CTA 7175 is westbound and Polk and Dearborn.

CTA 7175 is westbound and Polk and Dearborn.

CTA 7210, southbound at Clark and Van Buren.

CTA 7210, southbound at Clark and Van Buren.

CMC GM bus 624 on route 34 - Diversey in the early 1950s. The fare at this time was 13 cents.

CMC GM bus 624 on route 34 – Diversey in the early 1950s. The fare at this time was 13 cents.

Chicago Motor Coach bus 1281, newly painted, at Wilcox garage on May 11, 1946. The CMC assets were purchased by the Chicago Transit Authority on October 1, 1952. Route 26 - Jackson became CTA route 126.

Chicago Motor Coach bus 1281, newly painted, at Wilcox garage on May 11, 1946. The CMC assets were purchased by the Chicago Transit Authority on October 1, 1952. Route 26 – Jackson became CTA route 126.

CMC double-decker 146 in July 1936.

CMC double-decker 146 in July 1936.

CMC double-decker 146 in the 1930s.

CMC double-decker 146 in the 1930s.

CMC 61.

CMC 61.

CMC Mack bus 1005, eastbound on Addison near Wrigley Field. Andre Kristopans: "Cmc Mack was built in 1951."

CMC Mack bus 1005, eastbound on Addison near Wrigley Field. Andre Kristopans: “Cmc Mack was built in 1951.”

In this tricked-up photo, we see a GM demo bus, the design of which eventually became the 500 series, at an unidentified location (not Chicago) circa 1950. George Trapp adds, "The bus is the GM Model TDH5502 Demo which became Chicago Motor Coach #500 in 1951. This bus may have been the first paired window version of the Yellow/GM so called "Old Look" buses. It differed somewhat from the production buses #501-600 delivered from Oct. - Dec. 1948. The demo lacks the "Michigan marker lights" front and rear and has two rectangular shaped vents between the headlights which the 501-600 lacked. The CMC TDH5103's 601-650 of 1950 and 651-700 of late 1951 as well as Fifth Avenue Coach TDH-5104's of 1952 also lacked them." Dan Cluely adds, "I believe that the demo bus picture is downtown Pontiac MI. The S.S. Kresge store seem to match, and this would only be a short distance from GM’s bus plant."

In this tricked-up photo, we see a GM demo bus, the design of which eventually became the 500 series, at an unidentified location (not Chicago) circa 1950. George Trapp adds, “The bus is the GM Model TDH5502 Demo which became Chicago Motor Coach #500 in 1951. This bus may have been the first paired window version of the Yellow/GM so called “Old Look” buses. It differed somewhat from the production buses #501-600 delivered from Oct. – Dec. 1948. The demo lacks the “Michigan marker lights” front and rear and has two rectangular shaped vents between the headlights which the 501-600 lacked. The CMC TDH5103’s 601-650 of 1950 and 651-700 of late 1951 as well as Fifth Avenue Coach TDH-5104’s of 1952 also lacked them.” Dan Cluely adds, “I believe that the demo bus picture is downtown Pontiac MI. The S.S. Kresge store seem to match, and this would only be a short distance from GM’s bus plant.”

Fifth Avenue Coach Company (NYC) double-decker 2030.

Fifth Avenue Coach Company (NYC) double-decker 2030.

CSL gas bus #1 in the 1930s.

CSL gas bus #1 in the 1930s.

A CTA Lawrence Avenue trolley bus turning from Leland onto Broadway in the 1950s. This is how Lawrence TBs looped at the east end of the route. Notice the trolley bu wires were not shared with Broadway streetcars. (Gary Johnson Photo)

A CTA Lawrence Avenue trolley bus turning from Leland onto Broadway in the 1950s. This is how Lawrence TBs looped at the east end of the route. Notice the trolley bu wires were not shared with Broadway streetcars. (Gary Johnson Photo)

The famous Norfolk and Western Class J steam engine 611. Retired in 1959, and resurrected 21 years later, the 611 has three excursions planned for this April.

The famous Norfolk and Western Class J steam engine 611. Retired in 1959, and resurrected 21 years later, the 611 has three excursions planned for this April.

Illinois Terminal double-end PCC on the St. Louis-Granite City route.

Illinois Terminal double-end PCC on the St. Louis-Granite City route.

CTA's historical cars 4271-4272, now 95 years young.

CTA’s historical cars 4271-4272, now 95 years young.

1898 - General Electric and the forerunner to the Chicago Transit Authority make history with the world's first electric multiple-unit cars. That must be inventor Frank Julian Sprague at the front of the car.

1898 – General Electric and the forerunner to the Chicago Transit Authority make history with the world’s first electric multiple-unit cars. That must be inventor Frank Julian Sprague at the front of the car.

In 1972, CTA 4358 emerged as rail grinder S-I "Shhhicago." Don's Rail Photos: "4358 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1924, (order) #2860."

In 1972, CTA 4358 emerged as rail grinder S-I “Shhhicago.” Don’s Rail Photos: “4358 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1924, (order) #2860.”

A CTA wooden "L" car, signed as a Lake Street "B" train.

A CTA wooden “L” car, signed as a Lake Street “B” train.

The Lake Street Elevated Railroad in the 1890s, when it was steam-powered.

The Lake Street Elevated Railroad in the 1890s, when it was steam-powered.

A train of CTA 2000s on the Lake Street "L".

A train of CTA 2000s on the Lake Street “L”.

CTA GMC New Look bus 1305, on State near the Chicago Theater.

CTA GMC New Look bus 1305, on State near the Chicago Theater.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue. Note Kroch's bookstore, which later became Kroch's and Brentano's.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue. Note Kroch’s bookstore, which later became Kroch’s and Brentano’s.

Although the Chicago Surface Lines built some replica vehicles in the 1930s, North Chicago Street Railroad car 8 is not among them. An original built in 1859, we see it here in demonstration service during the 1948-49 Chicago Railroad Fair on the lakefront. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Although the Chicago Surface Lines built some replica vehicles in the 1930s, North Chicago Street Railroad car 8 is not among them. An original built in 1859, we see it here in demonstration service during the 1948-49 Chicago Railroad Fair on the lakefront. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Chicago Motor Coach Ford bus 434, circa 1946.

Chicago Motor Coach Ford bus 434, circa 1946.

An artist's rendering of a CTA New Look bus.

An artist’s rendering of a CTA New Look bus.

This is the upper deck of CMC double-decker bus 146.

This is the upper deck of CMC double-decker bus 146.

A CSL streetcar at Western and Devon in the 1930s, near the old Nortown Theater. That appears to be a Chrysler Airflow in front of the streetcar.

A CSL streetcar at Western and Devon in the 1930s, near the old Nortown Theater. That appears to be a Chrysler Airflow in front of the streetcar.

CTA 7155 signed for route 49 - Western.

CTA 7155 signed for route 49 – Western.

CTA 4160 on Madison near the Garfield Park field house. George Trapp notes, "CSL PCC #4160 on Madison, while photographed on Madison in Garfield Park, this is a publicity photo. The side sign reads Clark-Wentworth and was probably taken in the summer of 1947 before cars in this series, although not necessarily this one, went to Madison."

CTA 4160 on Madison near the Garfield Park field house. George Trapp notes, “CSL PCC #4160 on Madison, while photographed on Madison in Garfield Park, this is a publicity photo. The side sign reads Clark-Wentworth and was probably taken in the summer of 1947 before cars in this series, although not necessarily this one, went to Madison.”

CTA 225 in the 1950s, probably at 77th and Vincennes prior to a fantrip. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

CTA 225 in the 1950s, probably at 77th and Vincennes prior to a fantrip. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

CSL 297 on Belmont.

CSL 297 on Belmont.

It's hard to make out the number, but this shows a CSL one-man car at Armitage and Hudson in the 1940s. That is not far from Lincoln Avenue.

It’s hard to make out the number, but this shows a CSL one-man car at Armitage and Hudson in the 1940s. That is not far from Lincoln Avenue.

Recent Correspondence

1917-uniform

Neil Pantelis writes:

Thank you for such a great page and for sharing an incredible amount of information.

Can you tell me by looking at this photo if the subject is wearing the uniform of a conductor, driver, motorman etc?  He is in a group photo from my grandparents engagement party.

The photo is from the Douglas Park area of Chicago in the year 1917. It is very likely near the intersection of California and Ogden.

Anyone working for the Chicago Surface Lines in 1917 would most likely have had a CSL badge, with a number, on their hat. The resolution on this picture is such that it’s difficult to tell whether or not there is such a badge.

Perhaps our readers can weigh in on this. This appears to be but a portion of a larger photo. If I could see the rest, perhaps we can try to put this into the proper context.

Glad you like the blog.

A Chicago City Railway Co. hat badge.

A Chicago City Railway Co. hat badge.

Spence Ziegler writes:

I tried to access this website recently and I noticed that it’s gone; do you know anything about this?  Any information or thoughts on this would greatly be appreciated. It’s address was CAERR.com.

Thank you in advance.

Looks like someone didn’t pay for the domain renewal.  Julie Johnson died in 2011, and presumably left some money to pay for this, and now the registration has run out. Not sure who else was involved with this web site.

I did a “Whois” search and it looks like someone updated the site several months ago, so someone else must be involved:

Expires On 2017-02-14
Registered On 2000-02-14
Updated On 2016-06-22

Jack Bejna writes:

I enjoy the Trolley Dodger immensely, especially anything CA&E! I grew up in Broadview and walked to Proviso High School every day along the CA&E right of way from 9th avenue to 5th Avenue. This month’s CA&E images are some that I haven’t seen before and are great, especially since they’re medium format images. I have a request… I would like to see a good image of the old dispatcher’s office (before it was repainted and the upper windows covered over. I’m sure someone took pictures of the office but I’ve never seen one.

Thanks for all you do; it sure makes my day!

PS- Here are some CA&E shots that I have Photoshopped. All of them except CA&E 26 are from the JJ (Julie Johnson) collection.

What you call “Photoshopping” is nothing new, when you consider that retouching and airbrushing has been around for a long time.  There is nothing wrong with creating idealized versions of photographs that eliminate unnecessary parts of the background that are distracting, as long as everyone realizes what they are.

If anyone is familiar with promotional materials from General Motors, St. Louis Car Company, Chicago Surface Lines, etc., you will see all sorts of retouched and airbrushed images. Photoshop is just a different way of achieving the same result.

My own approach to photo restoration is to eliminate imperfections to make the image look more realistic. It’s a big world, and there is plenty of room for both approaches, as long as there is “truth in packaging,” so people will know the difference.

Thanks for sharing these with our readers.  Another good reason for posting these is that Julie Johnson’s web site has, for the moment, disappeared.

-David Sadowski

CA&E 46: This builders photo of CA&E 46 was too good not to improve; looks a lot better.

CA&E 46: This builders photo of CA&E 46 was too good not to improve; looks a lot better.

CA&E 28: A really poor print that I worked on to improve; not a bad shot.

CA&E 28: A really poor print that I worked on to improve; not a bad shot.

CA&E 26: The nice original was marred by the fence in front of it so I removed it and it looks much better.

CA&E 26: The nice original was marred by the fence in front of it so I removed it and it looks much better.

CA&E 24: A washed out shot that deserved to be worked on a bit.

CA&E 24: A washed out shot that deserved to be worked on a bit.

CA&E 14: Pretty much the same as CA&E 12.

CA&E 14: Pretty much the same as CA&E 12.

CA&E 12: The original was coupled to another car and looked a little crowded, so I got rid of the car and cleaned up the image as well.

CA&E 12: The original was coupled to another car and looked a little crowded, so I got rid of the car and cleaned up the image as well.

In my search for CA&E car Photos, sometimes you just can"t find what you want. Recently, I was looking at an image from the WCJ collection - ETRM, specifically car 46, a 1902 Stephenson Motor. I had been searching for a good image of car 101, a 1902 Stephenson trailer. Hmmm, the wheels started turning and here you see the result. I'm sure a purist would be able to pick apart some details, etc., but it sure looks like CA&E trailer 101 to me! (Editor's note: I assume WCJ stands for early railfan William C. Janssen.)

In my search for CA&E car Photos, sometimes you just can”t find what you want. Recently, I was looking at an image from the WCJ collection – ETRM, specifically car 46, a 1902 Stephenson Motor. I had been searching for a good image of car 101, a 1902 Stephenson trailer. Hmmm, the wheels started turning and here you see the result. I’m sure a purist would be able to pick apart some details, etc., but it sure looks like CA&E trailer 101 to me!
(Editor’s note: I assume WCJ stands for early railfan William C. Janssen.)

cae-dining-car-carolyn-niles-1905

cae-car-309-3-hicks-1908-end

cae-car-101-trailer-stephenson-1902

street-railwayreview1895-002

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 176th 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 253,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

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A New Beginning– A Renewed Commitment

April Blizzard Ripples Chicago Traffic (April 7, 1938): Chicago- Passengers, bystanders and a policeman pushing a Chicago trolley bus so it could get traction on a slippery street, after the city suffered a record April snowfall of more than 7 inches of wet snow that crippled traffic. (Editor's note: This picture was taken on Central Avenue, where CSL route 85 crossed the CRT's Lake Street "L" at ground level. You can see several CRT cars in the background. As far as I know, this was the only place in Chicago where a trolley bus crossed a trolley "L". The bus was heading south.)

April Blizzard Ripples Chicago Traffic (April 7, 1938): Chicago- Passengers, bystanders and a policeman pushing a Chicago trolley bus so it could get traction on a slippery street, after the city suffered a record April snowfall of more than 7 inches of wet snow that crippled traffic. (Editor’s note: This picture was taken on Central Avenue, where CSL route 85 crossed the CRT’s Lake Street “L” at ground level. You can see several CRT cars in the background. As far as I know, this was the only place in Chicago where a trolley bus crossed a trolley “L”. The bus was heading south.)

2016 in Review

We finished our second year with 127,545 page views, and increase of more than 20,000 (18%) over 2015. There were 35,315 individual visitors, up from 30,743 the year before.

Amazingly, this was done with fewer posts (63 vs. 108). This means the average number of page views per post more than doubled, to just over 2000.

What does that tell us? To me, it shows there is an avid and growing audience for this type of material, if you know how to connect with them.

To successfully reach this audience takes a lot of work. As 2017 begins, we make a renewed commitment to keep this going and do our very best. We are committed to excellence.

But of course, we are not really doing this alone, because all of you are an essential part of our success. As we have shared our material and information with our readers, you in turn have shared more and more with us.

To present this kind of original research does cost money, however. Right now, we are less than 30 days away from the expiration of our WordPress subscription, which costs $300 per year. Yes, $300 per year is a lot of money, but this includes not only an unlimited amount of online storage space for the more than 22gb of image files we have posted, but our domain registration as well.

$300 per year works out to about 82 cents per day during the course of one year, and that is for all our more than 35,000 readers. Of course, the great majority of people pay nothing, and we want to do our best to keep this site free of annoying third-party advertising and such.

Last year, our readers generously paid for half of the $300 subscription amount. Every dollar that you contribute is one more dollar that we will have available for our original research. Help us continue to provide uninterrupted service.

Your help is greatly appreciated as we look forward to another successful year. Here are more great classic photos for your enjoyment.

Happy New Year!

-David Sadowski

PS- The new Bob Selle photos have been added to our post Love For Selle (June 8, 2016).


Over-Age Streetcar Becomes Family's Home (April 16, 1946): Chicago- Mrs. Edith Sands prepares dinner on the small stove in the over-age streetcar where she and her husband, Arthur, and their five-months-old son, Jimmy, have just moved. The trolley car, which has seen nearly 50 years of service on Chicago streets, was purchased by the Sands at a recent public sale and propped up on a 5-acre site near Chicago's southern edge. The car is lighted by gasoline lamps. (Editor's Note: You can see the car number (1384) in this picture. This was part of the same series as the "Matchbox" 1374 that has been restored to running condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. The bodies of a couple other cars in this series have been found over the years and saved.)

Over-Age Streetcar Becomes Family’s Home (April 16, 1946): Chicago- Mrs. Edith Sands prepares dinner on the small stove in the over-age streetcar where she and her husband, Arthur, and their five-months-old son, Jimmy, have just moved. The trolley car, which has seen nearly 50 years of service on Chicago streets, was purchased by the Sands at a recent public sale and propped up on a 5-acre site near Chicago’s southern edge. The car is lighted by gasoline lamps. (Editor’s Note: You can see the car number (1384) in this picture. This was part of the same series as the “Matchbox” 1374 that has been restored to running condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. The bodies of a couple other cars in this series have been found over the years and saved.)

On January 23, 1965, the operator of CTA Marmon trolley bus 9572 has to get out at Grand and State and put the poles back on the wires. This was an occasional occurrence that CTA riders of a certain age will probably remember.

On January 23, 1965, the operator of CTA Marmon trolley bus 9572 has to get out at Grand and State and put the poles back on the wires. This was an occasional occurrence that CTA riders of a certain age will probably remember.

CTA 7260 is turning from westbound Devon onto northbound Ravenswood in the mid-1950s.

CTA 7260 is turning from westbound Devon onto northbound Ravenswood in the mid-1950s.

CTA Pullman 144 is heading southwest on Archer approaching Wentworth on June 15, 1958. This was four years after red cars were retired from active service, and less than a week before the end of all Chicago streetcars. The occasion was a fantrip sponsored by the Electric Railway Historical Society (ERHS). Car 144 now operates at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA Pullman 144 is heading southwest on Archer approaching Wentworth on June 15, 1958. This was four years after red cars were retired from active service, and less than a week before the end of all Chicago streetcars. The occasion was a fantrip sponsored by the Electric Railway Historical Society (ERHS). Car 144 now operates at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Bob Selle Photo)

On Sunday, September 13, 1953, CTA one-man shuttle car 3175 is on Fifth Avenue at Pulaski (Crawford), the west end of the Fifth Avenue line. This had been a branch line from route 20 - Madison. From this point, the cars looped via Pulaski and Harrison before going back NE on Fifth. The photographer was on the Garfield Park "L" at Pulaski. The "L" was heading east and west at this point, just south of where the Eisenhower expressway is today. This "L" station remained in use until June 1958. Streetcar service on Fifth Avenue continued into early 1954. The Fifth Avenue line used gauntlet track on Pulaski, so as not to interfere with Pulaski streetcars. This is confirmed by studying the 1948 supervisor's track map. Danny Joseph adds, "As a child I lived near this triangle when both Pulaski and Fifth still operated street cars and Harrison did not. I was very fascinated by the gauntlet on Pulaski which was the first time I saw such construction." (Bob Selle Photo)

On Sunday, September 13, 1953, CTA one-man shuttle car 3175 is on Fifth Avenue at Pulaski (Crawford), the west end of the Fifth Avenue line. This had been a branch line from route 20 – Madison. From this point, the cars looped via Pulaski and Harrison before going back NE on Fifth. The photographer was on the Garfield Park “L” at Pulaski. The “L” was heading east and west at this point, just south of where the Eisenhower expressway is today. This “L” station remained in use until June 1958. Streetcar service on Fifth Avenue continued into early 1954. The Fifth Avenue line used gauntlet track on Pulaski, so as not to interfere with Pulaski streetcars. This is confirmed by studying the 1948 supervisor’s track map. Danny Joseph adds, “As a child I lived near this triangle when both Pulaski and Fifth still operated street cars and Harrison did not. I was very fascinated by the gauntlet on Pulaski which was the first time I saw such construction.” (Bob Selle Photo)

An overview of the Fifth-Pulaski-Harrison area as it appears today. When the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway was built, Fifth Avenue was cut off at this point just out of the right of the picture. The Garfield Park "L", which ran east and west at this point, was replaced by the Congress median rapid transit line in 1958.

An overview of the Fifth-Pulaski-Harrison area as it appears today. When the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway was built, Fifth Avenue was cut off at this point just out of the right of the picture. The Garfield Park “L”, which ran east and west at this point, was replaced by the Congress median rapid transit line in 1958.

On August 9, 1955 CTA wooden "L" car 345 is at the front of a northbound Ravenswood "A" train at Chicago Avenue. (Bob Selle Photo)

On August 9, 1955 CTA wooden “L” car 345 is at the front of a northbound Ravenswood “A” train at Chicago Avenue. (Bob Selle Photo)

Here, we see the lineup at 71st and Ashland on May 23, 1953. From left to rigth, we have CTA 572, sprinklers D-210, D-212, D-203 and 504. (Bob Selle Photo)

Here, we see the lineup at 71st and Ashland on May 23, 1953. From left to rigth, we have CTA 572, sprinklers D-210, D-212, D-203 and 504. (Bob Selle Photo)

CTA 4247 is southbound at Clark just north of Irving Park in March 1953.

CTA 4247 is southbound at Clark just north of Irving Park in March 1953.

Clark just north of Irving today. The building at right, shown in the 1953 photo, is still there.

Clark just north of Irving today. The building at right, shown in the 1953 photo, is still there.

CTA 4297 at Clark and Madison in the early 1950s. The PCC is on Clark. This must be winter, as some women are wearing fur coats. Back then, a fur coat was a real status symbol, mink especially. Clark was still a two-way street at this point. In the early 1950s, it was converted to one-way southbound, and Dearborn to northbound.

CTA 4297 at Clark and Madison in the early 1950s. The PCC is on Clark. This must be winter, as some women are wearing fur coats. Back then, a fur coat was a real status symbol, mink especially. Clark was still a two-way street at this point. In the early 1950s, it was converted to one-way southbound, and Dearborn to northbound.

Clark and Madison today, looking north.

Clark and Madison today, looking north.

CTA Sedan (Peter Witt) 6296 at Cottage Grove and 93rd on December 10, 1949. This was a short turn-- the usual end of route 4 was at 115th.

CTA Sedan (Peter Witt) 6296 at Cottage Grove and 93rd on December 10, 1949. This was a short turn– the usual end of route 4 was at 115th.

CSL 5639 on the Stony Island route, May 17, 1938.

CSL 5639 on the Stony Island route, May 17, 1938.

CTA Small Brill 5201 on May 27, 1950. Andre Kristopans: "5201 is at 111th and Sacramento. That is the Grand Trunk Western in the background, not the Illinois Central."

CTA Small Brill 5201 on May 27, 1950. Andre Kristopans: “5201 is at 111th and Sacramento. That is the Grand Trunk Western in the background, not the Illinois Central.”

CSL 5324 is a southbound Ashland car on Southport at Lincoln on August 17, 1947. The building at right was a funeral home.

CSL 5324 is a southbound Ashland car on Southport at Lincoln on August 17, 1947. The building at right was a funeral home.

Southport and Lincoln today.

Southport and Lincoln today.

CTA 4283 is southbound on Halsted at Cermak (22nd Street) in May 1954.

CTA 4283 is southbound on Halsted at Cermak (22nd Street) in May 1954.

Halsted and Cermak today. We are looking north.

Halsted and Cermak today. We are looking north.

Here, CTA 4232 is entering the loop at 80th and Vincennes in May 1953.

Here, CTA 4232 is entering the loop at 80th and Vincennes in May 1953.

CSL 5530 at 63rd Pace and Oak Park Avenue in December 1946. This was the west end of route 63 before PCCs took over the line in 1948. At that point, a turnback loop was built a half mile east of here at Narragansett. As you can see, the area was largely undeveloped at this point, but you could transfer here for service going farther west.

CSL 5530 at 63rd Pace and Oak Park Avenue in December 1946. This was the west end of route 63 before PCCs took over the line in 1948. At that point, a turnback loop was built a half mile east of here at Narragansett. As you can see, the area was largely undeveloped at this point, but you could transfer here for service going farther west.

The motorman of CTA 4051 poses with the prewar PCC at 63rd and Narragansett on May 5, 1950. This was the west end of route 63.

The motorman of CTA 4051 poses with the prewar PCC at 63rd and Narragansett on May 5, 1950. This was the west end of route 63.

CSL 1858 on North Avenue on July 3, 1940. Michael D. Franklin writes: "There’s enough here to say that this is North & Narragansett. The trolley bus wires are above the building to the right and angled onto Narragansett. The bus would have turned into the alley, gone around the bar with (Schlitz sign) and then make a left back onto North Ave heading east. Historical Aerials confirms all of this." The North Avenue cars turned back on the west side of Narragansett. Between Narragansett and Cicero Avenue, there was two miles of shared wire between streetcars and trolley buses, unusual in Chicago. That was to permit Narragansett trolley buses access to the garage at North and Cicero.

CSL 1858 on North Avenue on July 3, 1940. Michael D. Franklin writes: “There’s enough here to say that this is North & Narragansett. The trolley bus wires are above the building to the right and angled onto Narragansett. The bus would have turned into the alley, gone around the bar with (Schlitz sign) and then make a left back onto North Ave heading east. Historical Aerials confirms all of this.” The North Avenue cars turned back on the west side of Narragansett. Between Narragansett and Cicero Avenue, there was two miles of shared wire between streetcars and trolley buses, unusual in Chicago. That was to permit Narragansett trolley buses access to the garage at North and Cicero.

North and Narragansett today.

North and Narragansett today.

CSL 3010 is westbound on Randolph in Chicago's Loop. The film Holiday, starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, is on one of the theater marquees, which dates this picture to 1938. Besides the Hotel Sherman, we can see the Oriental, United Artists, and Woods theaters, plus Henrici's restaurant.

CSL 3010 is westbound on Randolph in Chicago’s Loop. The film Holiday, starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, is on one of the theater marquees, which dates this picture to 1938. Besides the Hotel Sherman, we can see the Oriental, United Artists, and Woods theaters, plus Henrici’s restaurant.

CTA 3381 is one of the few Sedans that got repainted green. This is on Cottage Grove, probably near 103rd.

CTA 3381 is one of the few Sedans that got repainted green. This is on Cottage Grove, probably near 103rd.

This picture shows a Logan Square train on the Met main line at Peoria, prior to the February 1951 opening of the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway.

This picture shows a Logan Square train on the Met main line at Peoria, prior to the February 1951 opening of the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway.

The same location today. The Met "L", at this point, ran just to the north of the expressway footprint.

The same location today. The Met “L”, at this point, ran just to the north of the expressway footprint.

CTA 7145 on route 36 - Broadway-State. (Chicagoland Hobby Collection)

CTA 7145 on route 36 – Broadway-State. (Chicagoland Hobby Collection)

Broadway and Irving Park Road looking NW in 1948. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Broadway and Irving Park Road looking NW in 1948. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Broadway, Sheridan Road, and Montrose looking north in 1955. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Broadway, Sheridan Road, and Montrose looking north in 1955. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Irving Park and Broadway looking east in 1948. Car 888 is at the east end of route 80 - Irving Park. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Irving Park and Broadway looking east in 1948. Car 888 is at the east end of route 80 – Irving Park. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL PCC 4067 is southbound on Clark just north of Belmont circa 1946-47. Note the standee windows on this car are in their original livery, which was soon changed. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL PCC 4067 is southbound on Clark just north of Belmont circa 1946-47. Note the standee windows on this car are in their original livery, which was soon changed. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Clark and Belmont today, looking north.

Clark and Belmont today, looking north.

Here, CSL 5558 is northbound at the intersection of Clark, Diversey, and Broadway. The southbound car is on Broadway. The time period is probably circa 1940. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Here, CSL 5558 is northbound at the intersection of Clark, Diversey, and Broadway. The southbound car is on Broadway. The time period is probably circa 1940. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The intersection of Clark, Diversey, and Broadway in the 1930s. That's the Century Theater on Clark. Behold My Wife was a 1934 film starring Sylvia Sidney and Gene Raymond. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The intersection of Clark, Diversey, and Broadway in the 1930s. That’s the Century Theater on Clark. Behold My Wife was a 1934 film starring Sylvia Sidney and Gene Raymond. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6152 is southbound at Clark and Division in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6152 is southbound at Clark and Division in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 299 at Clark and Halsted in 1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 299 at Clark and Halsted in 1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Sedan 6306 is southbound at Clark and Wrightwood in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Sedan 6306 is southbound at Clark and Wrightwood in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Clark and Wrightwood today.

Clark and Wrightwood today.

CSL 5589 is northbound at Clark and Wrightwood in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 5589 is northbound at Clark and Wrightwood in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Clark (left) and Halsted (right) in 1948. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Clark (left) and Halsted (right) in 1948. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)


New Site Additions

The following pictures have been added to our previous post Red Arrow in West Chester (September 13, 2016):

Red Arrow 66 and 7t6 at St. Albans Siding in Newtown Square on June 6, 1954.

Red Arrow 66 and 7t6 at St. Albans Siding in Newtown Square on June 6, 1954.

Here, we see Red Arrow car 66 heading up a two-car train on May 6, 1962. This is the Clifton-Aldan stop on the Sharon Hill line.

Here, we see Red Arrow car 66 heading up a two-car train on May 6, 1962. This is the Clifton-Aldan stop on the Sharon Hill line.

The same location today.

The same location today.

Red Arrow car 21 on the private right-of-way section of the Ardmore line. Since Ardmore was converted to bus at the end of 1966, this area has been paved over to create a dedicated busway.

Red Arrow car 21 on the private right-of-way section of the Ardmore line. Since Ardmore was converted to bus at the end of 1966, this area has been paved over to create a dedicated busway.


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Recent Finds

On August 1, 1951, CTA surface system fares were increased to 17 cents. Here, on two-man PCC 4188, Miss Elma Parrssinen dutifully pays her fare to conductor James Long. According to information provided by Andre Kristopans, which we ran in a previous post, car 4188 had a retirement date of June 9, 1953, making it one of the first postwar cars scrapped as part of the so-called "PCC Conversion Program," whereby some parts from these cars were recycled into new 6000-series "L" cars.

On August 1, 1951, CTA surface system fares were increased to 17 cents. Here, on two-man PCC 4188, Miss Elma Parrssinen dutifully pays her fare to conductor James Long. According to information provided by Andre Kristopans, which we ran in a previous post, car 4188 had a retirement date of June 9, 1953, making it one of the first postwar cars scrapped as part of the so-called “PCC Conversion Program,” whereby some parts from these cars were recycled into new 6000-series “L” cars.

Here are lots of “new” old photos that we have recently unearthed for your viewing pleasure. As always, if you have interesting tidbits of information to add, including locations, do not hesitate to drop us a line, either by leaving a Comment on this post, or by writing us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski


Chicago Transit

This photo of CTA streetcar 6149 was taken from an original red-border Kodachrome, which identifies the location as the "Campbell Avenue barn yard." However, to me it looks like 69th and Ashland. The slide mount is of a type used by Kodak between 1950 and 1955. I would say this is closer in date the the former.

This photo of CTA streetcar 6149 was taken from an original red-border Kodachrome, which identifies the location as the “Campbell Avenue barn yard.” However, to me it looks like 69th and Ashland. The slide mount is of a type used by Kodak between 1950 and 1955. I would say this is closer in date the the former.

M. E. writes:

Regarding https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/dave4891.jpg
which was labelled “Campbell Av. barn yard” but you think it is the 69th and Ashland carbarn:

Campbell is 2500 West, which puts it a block west of Western (2400 West). Suppose the original location statement was a mile off. Paulina is 1700 West, a block west of Ashland (1600 West), and at 69th St., Paulina was just west of the carbarn. So I agree with you that this is probably the 69th and Ashland carbarn.

As confirmation, the 67th-69th-71st St. line (route 67) went right past the carbarn, and the destination sign aboard the route 67 car says 71st and California, the western terminus, where the route 67 car will go after leaving the barn.

However, I cannot explain the presence of route 4 Cottage Grove cars at the 69th and Ashland carbarn. The readable destination sign on car 6149 says Cottage Grove and 79th, which is a lot closer to the big carbarn at 77th and Vincennes than it is to 69th and Ashland.

I consulted my Lind book to find out when the 79th Street line and the 67th-69th-71st Street line were converted to buses. Lind says 79th was converted in September 1951 and 67th-69th-71st was converted in May 1953.

So I think this photo was taken after September 1951 and before May 1953. Somehow Cottage Grove cars were able to get to the 69th and Ashland carbarn, even though the trackage diagrams in the Lind book show no switches at 67th and Cottage Grove. Maybe the CTA built switches at 67th and Cottage Grove after September 1951 just for this purpose.

The 69th and Ashland carbarn also housed Western Ave. cars. But that carbarn must have closed soon after May 1953, because after that date, PCC cars on Western used 69th St. trackage to go east to Wentworth, south to Vincennes, and southwest to the 77th and Vincennes carbarn. That lasted until Western was converted to buses in 1956.

Thanks… I will have to look up the closing date for the 69th station (car house).
M. E. replied:
As I recall, the 69th and Ashland carbarn served these lines in the 1950s:
 9 Ashland
49 Western
63 63rd
67 67th-69th-71stLind says both lines 63 and 67 converted to buses in May 1953. But Ashland did not convert until February 1954. And as I said earlier, Western converted in 1956.Therefore, the 69th and Ashland carbarn closed in February 1954, after which Western cars lived at 77th and Vincennes until 1956.

I looked it up on the Internet, and after streetcars left, 69th and Ashland continued to handle buses for many years:

69TH STREET
1601 W. 69th St. (at Ashland Ave.)
Opened in 1908
Capacity in 1911: 191 cars inside/25 cars outside
Capacity in 1943: 191 cars inside/133 cars outside
First used for buses in 1953
Used for propane buses 1953-1973
Last used for streetcars 1954
First diesel buses 1973
Closed June 18, 1995
Replaced by 74th Street Garage
Building demolished in 1998

Source: www.chicagorailfan.com

M. E.:

I moved out of Englewood in November 1954. I wasn’t aware that the 69th and Ashland carbarn became a bus barn and lasted another four decades. Live and learn.

The fact that the 69th and Ashland barn stayed open after May 1954 begs this question: Why didn’t the Western Ave. streetcars continue to use it, rather than travel all the way to 77th and Vincennes?

I think I have an answer. After May 1954 there were only a few remaining streetcar lines:

4 Cottage Grove
22 Clark-Wentworth
36 Broadway-State
49 Western

The CTA probably wanted to consolidate all streetcar operations in one or two barns. The 22 line ran right past the 77th and Vincennes barn; the 36 line was half a mile away; and the 49 line used 69th St. to reach the 77th and Vincennes barn. The 4 line continued to use the 38th and Cottage Grove barn until the 4 line was converted to bus in June 1955. (I found this on the same Web page you cited: http://chicagorailfan.com/rosctaxh.html .)

But herein lies a further question: If 38th and Cottage Grove was kept open until the Cottage Grove line was converted, then why were Cottage Grove cars in the photo of 69th and Ashland? I already mentioned that I saw no trackage that would allow Cottage Grove cars to reach 69th and Ashland.

I had the radical notion that perhaps the photo was not of 69th and Ashland, but instead of 38th and Cottage Grove. But then why would a 67 route streetcar be there? And the same lack of switches at 67th and Cottage Grove would preclude allowing 67th-69th-71st cars to travel to 38th and Cottage Grove.

All told, a mystery.

A mystery alright, and one that perhaps our readers might help solve, thanks.

CTA red cars 612 and 407 at 95th and Ashland in December 1951.

CTA red cars 612 and 407 at 95th and Ashland in December 1951.

Ashland and 95th today, looking north.

Ashland and 95th today, looking north.

In this September 14, 1960 view, we see a pair of CTA 4000s heading east on the ground-level portion of the Lake Street "L", running alongside South Boulevard just west of Oak Park Avenue in suburban Oak Park. Just over two years later, this portion of the line would be relocated to the adjacent Chicago & North Western embankment, where it continues to run today as the Green Line. (Clark Frazier Photo)

In this September 14, 1960 view, we see a pair of CTA 4000s heading east on the ground-level portion of the Lake Street “L”, running alongside South Boulevard just west of Oak Park Avenue in suburban Oak Park. Just over two years later, this portion of the line would be relocated to the adjacent Chicago & North Western embankment, where it continues to run today as the Green Line. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Here is what South Boulevard looks like today, at approximately the same spot.

Here is what South Boulevard looks like today, at approximately the same spot.

Here, we see CTA red Pullman 165 heading west on the private right-of-way portion of the 63rd Street route, a few blocks west of Central Avenue. The date is given as August 17, 1951, although some might argue for 1952 instead. These tracks ran in 63rd Place, which is now a completely built-up residential area a short distance south of 63rd Street.

Here, we see CTA red Pullman 165 heading west on the private right-of-way portion of the 63rd Street route, a few blocks west of Central Avenue. The date is given as August 17, 1951, although some might argue for 1952 instead. These tracks ran in 63rd Place, which is now a completely built-up residential area a short distance south of 63rd Street.

63rd Place today. After streetcars quit, the CTA bus was re-routed onto 63rd Street in this area.

63rd Place today. After streetcars quit, the CTA bus was re-routed onto 63rd Street in this area.

This picture of a 1926-vintage Illinois Central Electric suburban train was taken on September 9, 1959. I am not sure of the location, but it is marked as a Randolph Street Express, and the smokestack at right belongs to a laundry. Service continues today under the aegis of Metra Electric with modern bi-level cars. David Vartanoff writes: "The IC Electric pic is likely Kensington. Look at extreme magnification and one sees the r-o-w expand to 4 tracks." Jack Ferry adds: "The IC Suburban Train is heading northbound at 115th St. Kensington." This would be the same station near where the CTA route 4 - Cottage Grove streetcar ended. That was the site of many pictures over the years.(Clark Frazier Photo)

This picture of a 1926-vintage Illinois Central Electric suburban train was taken on September 9, 1959. I am not sure of the location, but it is marked as a Randolph Street Express, and the smokestack at right belongs to a laundry. Service continues today under the aegis of Metra Electric with modern bi-level cars. David Vartanoff writes: “The IC Electric pic is likely Kensington. Look at extreme magnification and one sees the r-o-w expand to 4 tracks.” Jack Ferry adds: “The IC Suburban Train is heading northbound at 115th St. Kensington.” This would be the same station near where the CTA route 4 – Cottage Grove streetcar ended. That was the site of many pictures over the years.(Clark Frazier Photo)

Here, we are at Cottage Grove and 115th, the south end of route 4. CTA red cars 3182 and 660 are visible. The date given is December 1952, but some might argue for an earlier date than that since there are no PCCs in sight here. The line ran parallel to the Illinois Central Electric suburban service embankment.

Here, we are at Cottage Grove and 115th, the south end of route 4. CTA red cars 3182 and 660 are visible. The date given is December 1952, but some might argue for an earlier date than that since there are no PCCs in sight here. The line ran parallel to the Illinois Central Electric suburban service embankment.

Cottage Grove and 115th today.

Cottage Grove and 115th today.

This wintry scene shows CTA red Pullman 636 on Cottage Grove near the 115th Street end of the line. The date is given as December 1952 but some might argue it should be earlier.

This wintry scene shows CTA red Pullman 636 on Cottage Grove near the 115th Street end of the line. The date is given as December 1952 but some might argue it should be earlier.

It's June 10, 1951, and CTA red Pullman 230 is heading west on Chicago Avenue in this view taken from the Ravenswood "L".

It’s June 10, 1951, and CTA red Pullman 230 is heading west on Chicago Avenue in this view taken from the Ravenswood “L”.

A contemporary view of Chicago Avenue looking east from the "L".

A contemporary view of Chicago Avenue looking east from the “L”.

Here, CSL car 19xx is heading eastbound on Chicago Avenue, having passed the north-south "L" and a safety island.

Here, CSL car 19xx is heading eastbound on Chicago Avenue, having passed the north-south “L” and a safety island.

Chicago Avenue looking west toward the "L".

Chicago Avenue looking west toward the “L”.

CSL 1433.

CSL 1433.

CSL 1724. I'm wondering if this is on Wabash, just north of the Chicago River. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1724. I’m wondering if this is on Wabash, just north of the Chicago River. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1856. Not sure of the exact location, but it appears to be one of Chicago's angle streets. Patrick writes: "CSL 1856 looks to be eastbound on Harrison (it appears signed for Harrison), crossing Ogden. The building on the northeast corner is still there." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1856. Not sure of the exact location, but it appears to be one of Chicago’s angle streets. Patrick writes: “CSL 1856 looks to be eastbound on Harrison (it appears signed for Harrison), crossing Ogden. The building on the northeast corner is still there.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The J.L. Higgie building, at Ogden and Harrison, as it appears today.

The J.L. Higgie building, at Ogden and Harrison, as it appears today.

CSL 1300, signed for Cicero Avenue. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1300, signed for Cicero Avenue. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1301 on the 14-16th Street line. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1301 on the 14-16th Street line. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Madison and Wells in the early 1900s. Not sure if we are looking east or west. Mike Payne writes, "I believe the picture on Madison and Wells is looking west; in the distance you can see Market St, and the weird “L” stub structure ending on the south side of Madison."

Madison and Wells in the early 1900s. Not sure if we are looking east or west. Mike Payne writes, “I believe the picture on Madison and Wells is looking west; in the distance you can see Market St, and the weird “L” stub structure ending on the south side of Madison.”

The old Market Street stub-end "L" terminal, which was used by Lake Street trains until the late 1940s. It was demolished shortly thereafter, and Market Street itself was turned into the north-south portion of Wacker Drive in the 1950s.

The old Market Street stub-end “L” terminal, which was used by Lake Street trains until the late 1940s. It was demolished shortly thereafter, and Market Street itself was turned into the north-south portion of Wacker Drive in the 1950s.

CSL 1371, signed for Taylor-Sedgwick-Sheffield.

CSL 1371, signed for Taylor-Sedgwick-Sheffield.

CTA 1693 on the Division route, probably in the late 1940s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CTA 1693 on the Division route, probably in the late 1940s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1885 southbound on the Kedzie line. From the street addresses, I'd say we are on California Avenue. The sign on the from of the car advertises "1275 New Streetcars and Buses - Soon," so perhaps this is circa 1945-46. I recently came across a CTA document advertising the 1275 figure, and it was dated January 1946. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1885 southbound on the Kedzie line. From the street addresses, I’d say we are on California Avenue. The sign on the from of the car advertises “1275 New Streetcars and Buses – Soon,” so perhaps this is circa 1945-46. I recently came across a CTA document advertising the 1275 figure, and it was dated January 1946. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1459. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1459. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1076 is southbound in the 1940s, but on which line? Perhaps the sign, indicating a route via Larrabee and Wells, offers a clue. Phil Oellrich says, "CSL car 1076 is southbound on Damen Avenue about to turn south on Lincoln Avenue at Irving Park Blvd. The route is Lincoln-Rosehill . On August 1, 1948, the CTA discontinued Lincoln-Rosehill service, while extending the North Damen Bus to follow roughly the same route north of Irving Park. The white Terra-Cotta building behind car 1076 housed the North Center Theatre at 4031 N Lincoln, which opened on February 3, 1926 and closed in 1963. The building was demolished in 1966-67." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1076 is southbound in the 1940s, but on which line? Perhaps the sign, indicating a route via Larrabee and Wells, offers a clue. Phil Oellrich says, “CSL car 1076 is southbound on Damen Avenue about to turn south on Lincoln Avenue at Irving Park Blvd. The route is Lincoln-Rosehill . On August 1, 1948, the CTA discontinued Lincoln-Rosehill service, while extending the North Damen Bus to follow roughly the same route north of Irving Park. The white Terra-Cotta building behind car 1076 housed the North Center Theatre at 4031 N Lincoln, which opened on February 3, 1926 and closed in 1963. The building was demolished in 1966-67.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The same corner today. Lincoln is to the left, Damen to the right, and Irving Park would be right behind us. We are looking north.

The same corner today. Lincoln is to the left, Damen to the right, and Irving Park would be right behind us. We are looking north.

CSL 3106. But which line is this, and which "L" is in the background? It's hard to make out for sure, but the side sign may say 18th Street. Patrick writes: "CSL 3106 is on Leavitt, northbound, at 21st Street. The buildings are still there. The Douglas L is in the background." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 3106. But which line is this, and which “L” is in the background? It’s hard to make out for sure, but the side sign may say 18th Street. Patrick writes: “CSL 3106 is on Leavitt, northbound, at 21st Street. The buildings are still there. The Douglas L is in the background.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

21st and Leavitt today.

21st and Leavitt today.

CSL Pullman 620 is southbound on Western Avenue, while some track work goes on nearby. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Pullman 620 is southbound on Western Avenue, while some track work goes on nearby. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The caption on this photo reads, "Westbound car 2623 passes under the Illinois Central main line at 75th and South Chicago Avenue, over the diagonal tracks of the busy South Chicago line." Bill Shapotkin notes, "Indeed, this car is on 75th St and has just x/o UNDER the IC. The car is W/B (note platform of IC's Grand Crossing station at left atop embankment)." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The caption on this photo reads, “Westbound car 2623 passes under the Illinois Central main line at 75th and South Chicago Avenue, over the diagonal tracks of the busy South Chicago line.” Bill Shapotkin notes, “Indeed, this car is on 75th St and has just x/o UNDER the IC. The car is W/B (note platform of IC’s Grand Crossing station at left atop embankment).” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2813 on the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago line, which was jointly through-routed by both the Surface Lines and the aforementioned Indiana operator. Streetcar service was eliminated on this line in 1940, but this picture looks older than that. Bill Shapotkin: "This picture (of which I have a copy myself) was taken in Exchange (JUST EAST of Indianapolis Blvd) looking west in East Chicago. Note the "Y" in the wire behind the car. As an aside, the tracks in Exchange are still in-place. David Stanley and I JUST HAPPENED to visit here when Exchange was being repaved. The pavement was removed up to the railhead -- with the rails left in-place and (within a few days) paved over AGAIN."

CSL 2813 on the Hammond, Whiting, and East Chicago line, which was jointly through-routed by both the Surface Lines and the aforementioned Indiana operator. Streetcar service was eliminated on this line in 1940, but this picture looks older than that. Bill Shapotkin: “This picture (of which I have a copy myself) was taken in Exchange (JUST EAST of Indianapolis Blvd) looking west in East Chicago. Note the “Y” in the wire behind the car. As an aside, the tracks in Exchange are still in-place. David Stanley and I JUST HAPPENED to visit here when Exchange was being repaved. The pavement was removed up to the railhead — with the rails left in-place and (within a few days) paved over AGAIN.”

The photo caption reads, "The open fields behind car 2701 notwithstanding, the corner of 79th and State was a busy transfer point. This eastbound 79th Street car clatters over the CSL tracks on State." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The photo caption reads, “The open fields behind car 2701 notwithstanding, the corner of 79th and State was a busy transfer point. This eastbound 79th Street car clatters over the CSL tracks on State.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

It's October 1871, shortly after the Great Chicago Fire. The view is of State and Madison, looking northeast. The various horse cars we see are serving the Madison, Blue Island, and State Street lines.

It’s October 1871, shortly after the Great Chicago Fire. The view is of State and Madison, looking northeast. The various horse cars we see are serving the Madison, Blue Island, and State Street lines.

Here, the caption reads, "43rd-Root. Westbound car 3280, about to cross Halsted Street to reach its west terminal at the Stock Yards. This line competed with the Stock Yards "L" and lasted until 1953." Andre Kristopans adds, "3280 turning from nb State into wb Root. Old Bowman dairy bldg still there." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Here, the caption reads, “43rd-Root. Westbound car 3280, about to cross Halsted Street to reach its west terminal at the Stock Yards. This line competed with the Stock Yards “L” and lasted until 1953.” Andre Kristopans adds, “3280 turning from nb State into wb Root. Old Bowman dairy bldg still there.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The old Bowman Dairy building at 43rd and Root as it looks today.

The old Bowman Dairy building at 43rd and Root as it looks today.


Chicago Buses

CTA trolley bus 9713 is shown heading westbound on North Avenue at Cicero on April 26, 1970. The last Chicago trolley bus ran in 1973.

CTA trolley bus 9713 is shown heading westbound on North Avenue at Cicero on April 26, 1970. The last Chicago trolley bus ran in 1973.

CTA Flxible propane bus 8050, shown here on Central Avenue near the end of its service life in 1971, was part of a series delivered in 1956-57. These buses replaced some of the last Chicago streetcars, but they were woefully underpowered for the job they had to do. I believe we are just south of Belmont Avenue. Trolley buses last ran on Central on January 7, 1970. The old street lamps were holdovers from an earlier era, and were retained in some shopping areas of the city for some time, even after more modern lights were installed.

CTA Flxible propane bus 8050, shown here on Central Avenue near the end of its service life in 1971, was part of a series delivered in 1956-57. These buses replaced some of the last Chicago streetcars, but they were woefully underpowered for the job they had to do. I believe we are just south of Belmont Avenue. Trolley buses last ran on Central on January 7, 1970. The old street lamps were holdovers from an earlier era, and were retained in some shopping areas of the city for some time, even after more modern lights were installed.

The same area today. We are looking south on Central Avenue, just south of Belmont.

The same area today. We are looking south on Central Avenue, just south of Belmont.

After the Chicago Cubs won their first world championship since 1908, the Chicago Transit Authority put a special "wrap" on one bus (I think the number is 8305) for a limited time, and ran it on Addison, which passes right by Wrigley Field. The following two pictures were taken there on November 9, 2016. Bill Shapotkin adds, "While the Cub's victory was the first in 108 years, it was also the first since moving to Wrigley Field (formerly Weegman Park). When the Cub's won the 1908 series, they were still playing on the West Side grounds (roughly Wood/Polk, if I recall the location correctly)." Yes, that is also where games for the 1906 WS between the Cubs and White Sox were played (the Sox won, 4 games to 2). Legend has it there was an insane asylum located near West Side Grounds, which is supposedly the origin of the expression, "from out of left field."

After the Chicago Cubs won their first world championship since 1908, the Chicago Transit Authority put a special “wrap” on one bus (I think the number is 8305) for a limited time, and ran it on Addison, which passes right by Wrigley Field. The following two pictures were taken there on November 9, 2016.
Bill Shapotkin adds, “While the Cub’s victory was the first in 108 years, it was also the first since moving to Wrigley Field (formerly Weegman Park). When the Cub’s won the 1908 series, they were still playing on the West Side grounds (roughly Wood/Polk, if I recall the location correctly).” Yes, that is also where games for the 1906 WS between the Cubs and White Sox were played (the Sox won, 4 games to 2). Legend has it there was an insane asylum located near West Side Grounds, which is supposedly the origin of the expression, “from out of left field.”

Here, 8305 heads west on Addison. There is a lot of construction around the ballpark these days, as entire blocks have been cleared, and a couple of large hotels are going up.

Here, 8305 heads west on Addison. There is a lot of construction around the ballpark these days, as entire blocks have been cleared, and a couple of large hotels are going up.

I was lucky to get all of 8305 in the frame here, as it was "at speed" and I had to dodge traffic in the middle of the busy street to get this unobstructed shot.

I was lucky to get all of 8305 in the frame here, as it was “at speed” and I had to dodge traffic in the middle of the busy street to get this unobstructed shot.

CTA bus 700 is powered by Lithium batteries, and is one of two currently owned by the authority, although there are plans for 20 or 30 more. These are the first electric buses the CTA has had since the last trolley bus ran in 1973. I did not board this bus, but would expect it to provide a ride similar to a trolley bus.

CTA bus 700 is powered by Lithium batteries, and is one of two currently owned by the authority, although there are plans for 20 or 30 more. These are the first electric buses the CTA has had since the last trolley bus ran in 1973. I did not board this bus, but would expect it to provide a ride similar to a trolley bus.

CTA electric bus 700 at the west end of route 21 (Cermak), which is the North Riverside Mall, on November 29, 2016.

CTA electric bus 700 at the west end of route 21 (Cermak), which is the North Riverside Mall, on November 29, 2016.


Interurbans

It's June 1962 at Rondout, and we see a North Shore Line freight train, headed up by electric loco 455.

It’s June 1962 at Rondout, and we see a North Shore Line freight train, headed up by electric loco 455.

This June 1962 North Shore Line photo looks like it was taken at about the same time as one in our previous post More Color Restorations (August 9, 2016). As you can see from the sign on car 744, the occasion was a Central Electric Railfans' Association fantrip. This may be the excursion on June 22, 1962, which was billed as a farewell trip. As it turned out, a few additional fantrips were held before the interurban was abandoned on January 21, 1963. Don's Rail Photos says, "744 was built by Pullman in 1928. It was modernized in 1940." This car is on the wye at the Harrison Street Shops in Milwaukee.

This June 1962 North Shore Line photo looks like it was taken at about the same time as one in our previous post More Color Restorations (August 9, 2016). As you can see from the sign on car 744, the occasion was a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip. This may be the excursion on June 22, 1962, which was billed as a farewell trip. As it turned out, a few additional fantrips were held before the interurban was abandoned on January 21, 1963. Don’s Rail Photos says, “744 was built by Pullman in 1928. It was modernized in 1940.” This car is on the wye at the Harrison Street Shops in Milwaukee.

cerafantrip2

This photo of North Shore Line 774 plus 3 looks to have been taken where the line shifted from 5th to 6th Street in Milwaukee. The date is January 13, 1963, just eight days before service ended. (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

This photo of North Shore Line 774 plus 3 looks to have been taken where the line shifted from 5th to 6th Street in Milwaukee. The date is January 13, 1963, just eight days before service ended. (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

A photo stop on the same January 13, 1963 fantrip. Perhaps one of our keen-eyed readers can help identify the location. Don's Rail Photos says, "774 was built by Standard Steel Car Co in 1930, It was rebuilt as Silverliner on May 9, 1950." Joey Morrow writes: "NSL 774 is west of Green Bay Jct. The line to the west leads to the Highwood shops and offices. In the distance you can see the bridge that is currently used by the Metra UP-N. You can still see where the NSL once ran under the bridge. The line to the east leads to The Lake Bluff station just across the street out of the shot. Not totally sure if the cement that once held the catenary supports is still there or not, but the telephone POLES behind the camera man are still there." (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

A photo stop on the same January 13, 1963 fantrip. Perhaps one of our keen-eyed readers can help identify the location. Don’s Rail Photos says, “774 was built by Standard Steel Car Co in 1930, It was rebuilt as Silverliner on May 9, 1950.” Joey Morrow writes: “NSL 774 is west of Green Bay Jct. The line to the west leads to the Highwood shops and offices. In the distance you can see the bridge that is currently used by the Metra UP-N. You can still see where the NSL once ran under the bridge. The line to the east leads to The Lake Bluff station just across the street out of the shot. Not totally sure if the cement that once held the catenary supports is still there or not, but the telephone POLES behind the camera man are still there.” (J. W. Vigrass Photo)

It's April 1964, more than a year after North Shore Line service ended. Car 251 is at the head of the line here, and has already been sold to the Illinois Railway Museum, where she runs today. This may also be a J. W. Vigrass photo, but it is not marked as such.

It’s April 1964, more than a year after North Shore Line service ended. Car 251 is at the head of the line here, and has already been sold to the Illinois Railway Museum, where she runs today. This may also be a J. W. Vigrass photo, but it is not marked as such.

A close-up of the last picture shows a sign: "Acq'd for Ill. Ry. Museum. Do not climb, tamper with, or remove parts from this car." Sound advice, indeed!

A close-up of the last picture shows a sign: “Acq’d for Ill. Ry. Museum. Do not climb, tamper with, or remove parts from this car.” Sound advice, indeed!

Our previous post The Littlest Hobo (November 27, 2016), which featured some pictures of scrapped Pacific Electric “Hollywood” cars stacked up like cordwood, inspired me to run this photo, showing one of the cars that actually was saved:

Pacific Electric "Hollywood" car 5112 in Watts local service on April 9, 1958. By then, the service was being operated by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority. Don's Rail Photos says, "637 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1922. It was rebuilt in 1939 and rebuilt in 1950 as 5112. It became LAMTA 1801 in 1958. It was retired and restored as 637 at Orange Empire Railway Museum in March 1960."

Pacific Electric “Hollywood” car 5112 in Watts local service on April 9, 1958. By then, the service was being operated by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority. Don’s Rail Photos says, “637 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1922. It was rebuilt in 1939 and rebuilt in 1950 as 5112. It became LAMTA 1801 in 1958. It was retired and restored as 637 at Orange Empire Railway Museum in March 1960.”

The following photo has been added to our post Red Arrow in Westchester (September 13, 2016):

Although the late Merritt Taylor, Jr. may have been, in some fashion, a "closet railfan," he was also responsible for the ill-fated Railbus experiment on the Red Arrow Lines in 1967-68. This was an attempt to replace rail with buses that could also run on railroad tracks. Fortunately, the effort proved to be a failure. Taylor had found that he couldn't simply convert all his rail lines to bus service, without losing much of the rights-of-way in turn due to the terms under which rail service had started many years earlier. It turns out that the requirements of a railcar and a bus are too much different to be combined into a single vehicle. Within a couple years of this experiment, Taylor sold Red Arrow to SEPTA, and the Norristown, Media and Sharon Hill lines remain rail to this day.

Although the late Merritt Taylor, Jr. may have been, in some fashion, a “closet railfan,” he was also responsible for the ill-fated Railbus experiment on the Red Arrow Lines in 1967-68. This was an attempt to replace rail with buses that could also run on railroad tracks. Fortunately, the effort proved to be a failure. Taylor had found that he couldn’t simply convert all his rail lines to bus service, without losing much of the rights-of-way in turn due to the terms under which rail service had started many years earlier. It turns out that the requirements of a railcar and a bus are too much different to be combined into a single vehicle. Within a couple years of this experiment, Taylor sold Red Arrow to SEPTA, and the Norristown, Media and Sharon Hill lines remain rail to this day.

PS- Here is a video with many additional pictures of the Red Arrow Railbus:


Recent Correspondence

The experimental Brill-built pre-PCC 7001 as it appeared at 77th and Vincennes on September 10, 1959, shortly before it was scrapped. (Clark Frazier Photo)

The experimental Brill-built pre-PCC 7001 as it appeared at 77th and Vincennes on September 10, 1959, shortly before it was scrapped. (Clark Frazier Photo)

Hampton Wayt writes:

I am trying to research the history of the design (industrial design or “styling”) of the PCC streetcars. Over the years, two different people have independently indicated to me that industrial designer Donald R. Dohner was responsible for the design of the PCC, but I have been unable to verify it. Dohner was the head of design for Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company from 1930 through 1934 and would work on many transportation designs while employed there. He also had an industrial design firm in Pittsburgh after leaving Westinghouse.

Dohner was the unrecognized primary designer of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s iconic GG-1 electric locomotive for which Raymond Loewy got (or should I say, “took”) full credit. For years, retired industrial designers that I met told me that Dohner designed the GG-1 despite what Loewy claimed, and after doing some serious in depth research I was finally able to prove they were right (Loewy made some very minor changes to the GG-1 prior to manufacturing, but would take credit for much, much more than he actually did). Dohner never received credit for the design during his lifetime, and only began to receive recognition for it for the first time 75 years later after the fact, thanks to an article I wrote on the matter for Classic Trains magazine in 2009.

A couple of years ago I was also able to verify that Dohner designed the New Haven Comet Train with the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation, his having worked heavily on the design in 1933. He never received credit for the design of this train either.

Neither of the two individuals who credited Dohner with the PCC design knew the name of the streetcar, but both stated that it was a design that was used universally all over the country. One of the men also stated that the cars were in Brooklyn first and then “all over.” That suggests the PCC to me, but I do not know where to begin to research it.

Do you happen to know if any of the original paperwork for the Presidents Conference Committee exists for researchers? If so, I would love visit the archives and take a close look and see if Dohner’s name appears anywhere in the record as it did in Pennsylvania Railroad paperwork found during my research on the GG-1.

It also occurred to me that Dohner could have been involved in the design of the experimental CSL 4001 car, which was developed with Westinghouse. Do you happen to know if there is any documentation on the development of this unit?

Any guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to your response.

Best Regards,
Hampton C. Wayt
http://www.hamptoncwayt.com

Thanks for writing. In one of my previous blog posts, I note the following:

Starting in 1929, CSL* was a very active participant in the Electric Railway Presidents’ Conference Committee, whose work developed the standardized PCC car, which soon dominated the industry.

The PCC patents were assigned to the Transit Research Corporation, whose stock was owned by the various transit operators who took part in the program. CSL apparently owned the largest amount of stock, which in turn was owned by the Chicago Transit Authority starting in 1947. Eventually Walter J. McCarter, first general manager of CTA, became the head of TRC, which I think has since been disbanded.

*Chicago Surface Lines

TRC’s successor, in turn, was the Institute for Rapid Transit, which merged with the American Public Transit Association, and is now called the American Public Transportation Association. So, you might try contacting them to see what they may know.

However, if Dr. Harold E. Cox is to be believed, TRC’s main focus was technical patents involving components such as truck and wheel design. (See his 1965 article, “What is a PCC Car?”)

Dr. Cox is, as far as I know, still living, so you might try contacting him as well. However, according to this news story from 2015, Dr. Cox is fighting a courageous public battle with Alzheimer’s.

It may be that a lot of the familiar PCC design “look” came from each individual car manufacturer, building on previous work done by others. The progression would be from the 1934 Brill car 7001, built for the Chicago Surface Lines, to the very similar cars built for Washington, D.C. in 1935 (the order split between Brill and St. Louis Car Company), to the 1936 PCCs from SLCC (Brooklyn, Chicago, et al) and the one car built by the Clark Equipment Co. (which has standee windows, not seen on many cars prior to the end of WWII).

The efforts from various manufacturers to develop a “type car” preceded the PCC effort, as can be seen in the Brill “Master Units” circa 1932. But these efforts were never 100% successful, although the PCC car did come the closest. Still, there were numerous variations between cities, Chicago’s being the most different of them all.

Even after the concept of a “standard” PCC car became the norm for North American cities, the PCCs made by SLCC competitor Pullman have subtle differences in styling, including a somewhat boxier overall appearance. This may have been the result of differences in manufacturing techniques between the two companies.

So, chances are the styling of the PCC cars cannot be ascribed to a single individual, but it is certainly possible that one person, such as your candidate, may have played a very important part.

There is also a complicating factor regarding Brill. While Brill built the CSL 7001, and part of the 1935 order for DC, the company had a policy of not paying any patent royalties to other firms. Thus, they parted ways with the PCC project at this point.

However, they did come up with their own PCC knock-off, which was called the Brilliner. They first started marketing these in 1938, and the last ones were sold in 1941. Very few were sold.

The Brilliner came too late to save Brill. By then, St. Louis Car Company had the bulk of the streetcar market to themselves, with Pullman taking a much smaller share.

Brill exited the streetcar market at this point, and merged with ACF in 1944 to form ACF-Brill. They made buses, including some trolley buses.

I hope other people who read this may be able to offer additional insights of their own. I am assuming you are familiar with the available literature, which includes various books such as PCC From Coast to Coast. There is at least one book about the St. Louis Car Company, written by the late Alan R. Lind. Some of the other PCC books, which you might find for cheap or in public libraries, include PCC: The Car That Fought Back, An American Original: The PCC Car, and Dr. Cox’s PCC Cars of North America.

Thanks.


Jay Maeder, Sr.

John Edward Maeder's 1925 high school yearbook picture. Hawken School is located in Cleveland, Ohio, and was founded in 1915.

John Edward Maeder’s 1925 high school yearbook picture. Hawken School is located in Cleveland, Ohio, and was founded in 1915.

We have written about the short-lived and ill-fated Speedrail project before. This was a 1949-51 attempt to continue interurban service between Milwaukee and Waukesha, Wisconsin, led by Jay Maeder, Sr. (1908-1975).

This was a noble effort. Maeder grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where a former interurban still runs today as the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line.

Milwaukee’s TMER&L (aka TMER&T) west line was known locally as the “Rapid Transit” line, and with a little less bad luck, could have evolved into something akin to what Cleveland has today. But alas, it was not to be, due to a horrific head-on collision in 1950 that killed several people.

Jay Maeder, Sr. was at the controls of one of the two cars involved in the collision, which remains controversial to this day. The question recently came up on one of the online transit forums I belong to, as to what Maeder’s background was. I did manage to come up with a few things:

His real name was John Edward Maeder. Jay was a nickname. In the 1930 census, the family was living in South Euclid, Ohio.

In a 1949 newspaper article, regarding the Speedrail purchase, Maeder is referred to as a “Cleveland industrial engineer.” Apparently, he was an efficiency expert.

“Jay” probably was a nickname based on his first initial. Perhaps, like many other people, he did not like his first name (cf. James Paul McCartney).

Here is his high school yearbook from 1925:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/k12-prod-us-east-1-media-pub/291/misc/misc_112653.pdf

At that time, John Edward Maeder was nicknamed “Ed,” which is how they had him in some of the census records. Apparently, he did not like his first name.

John Edward Maeder’s birth certificate gives the same date of birth as that given for Jay Edward Maeder (March 11, 1908).

The 1910 US census says there was a two-year-old child named Edward in the household, but does not mention other siblings. Since his father’s name was also John, that may be why they were calling him Edward from an early age.

The 1920 census has him as J. Edward, but again mentions no siblings.

In the 1930 census, they have him as Edward J., but again there are no siblings listed. He was 22 years old then, and his occupation is listed as a newspaper solicitor (salesman?).

So, everything seems to indicate he was an only child. Haven’t found an obit for Jay Maeder Sr. yet though.

Jay Maeder Sr.’s wife Catherine died in Houston, Texas in 2009, aged about 99.

I don’t know if Jay Maeder Sr. ever lived in Texas, or if, sometime after the 1950 crash, he reverted to using John, his real name.  His son, Jay Maeder, Jr. lived from 1947 to 2014, and was the last writer for the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip before it was retired in 2010.

If Speedrail had survived, it surely would have received a shot in the arm from the opening of County Stadium along its route in 1953. The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee that year, and had good attendance for several years before moving to Atlanta in 1965. The Braves were in the World Series two years running (1957-58), winning the world championship in 1957 over the New York Yankees.


Bonus Photo

Pictures of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) streetcar system are rare, as it quit in 1935. Creating a roster would be difficult, as the cars had names rather than numbers. Here, we see the "F. W. Wurtzburg," built by St. Louis Car Company in 1926. This type of lightweight city car helped the Grand Rapids Railroad win the prestigious Coffin Medal in 1926. (James B. M. Johnson Photo)

Pictures of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) streetcar system are rare, as it quit in 1935. Creating a roster would be difficult, as the cars had names rather than numbers. Here, we see the “F. W. Wurtzburg,” built by St. Louis Car Company in 1926. This type of lightweight city car helped the Grand Rapids Railroad win the prestigious Coffin Medal in 1926. (James B. M. Johnson Photo)


New Book Project

We are now working on a new paperback book Chicago Trolleys, that we expect will be published in 2017. Original research does cost money, so please consider making a donation to cover our costs. We will keep you updated as we progress, and thank you in advance for your help.


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 168th 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 224,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

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A Window to the World of Streetcars

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Ask Geoffrey: A Look Back at Chicago’s Streetcar Era

Andy Warhol once said that in the future, everyone will be “famous for 15 minutes.” Last night’s “Ask Geoffery” segment on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight news magazine program only lasted about 8 minutes, but I found it pretty memorable nonetheless.

After all, the segment was entirely devoted to Chicago streetcars, and a book I co-authored (Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936-1958, published by Central Electric Railfans’ Association as their 146th Bulletin) was prominently featured. At one point WTTW’s Geoffrey Baer held the book aloft and talked about all the great pictures that are in there, not only of Chicago streetcars, but the places they ran through.

If you want to know what Chicago really looked like back in the 1940s and 1950s, this book is a good place to start.

If you’re reading this message, there’s a chance you already have your copy of B-146. But if not, I think it is an excellent book and urge you to purchase one directly from CERA or their dealers.* Of course, as one of the authors, I am a bit prejudiced.

If that was my only connection to last night’s broadcast, I would be chuffed. However, while I played no part in the creation of this segment, my fingerprints were also there on other parts of it.

Some of the other pictures featured were things I posted to The Trolley Dodger, or to the CERA Members’ Blog. In particular, a few pictures were used from our post West Towns Streetcars in Color (February 10, 2015). Also in the West Towns segment of this piece, were several photos that I took in 2014 at the dedication of C&WT car 141 at the Illinois Railway Museum. These originally appeared in the post IRM Dedicates Chicago & West Towns Car 141 (CERA Members Blog, June 2, 2014). Those weren’t the only such photos that were used.

None of this should be too surprising. Whoever researched this piece likely did some Google searches, and this is what came up. When researching things myself, I frequently find my own posts coming up to the top of Internet searches on a variety of subjects. There were, of course, many other sources that WTTW used, including video of the last Chicago streetcar on June 21, 1958, posted by the Chicago Transit Authority.

My favorite picture from last night, that I was not connected with, is reproduced above. It shows Chicago streetcars and buses at Navy Pier, during the time when it was the temporary home of the University of Illinois.

It has always been my intention for create an accessible archive of information about transit history that people will find useful.  Last month, we had more than 12,000 page views on this blog, even though there were only three new posts.  So, a lot of people are actually looking at the older posts, which is quite gratifying.

As a short history lesson, the Chicago Tonight segment was excellent, but I do have a couple of minor caveats. They mentioned how streetcar ridership declined in the 1920s, leading to the development of the PCC car. However, streetcar ridership in Chicago actually went up in the ’20s, leading to use of trailers.

In this episode, the demise of Chicago streetcars was put on the shoulders of Walter J. McCarter, CTA’s first general manager, and dated to 1947. However, some streetcar lines were bussed before this (some as early as 1941) and the beginnings of their demise can be traced back even further than that.

The Surface Lines introduced several new routes on Chicago’s northwest side in 1930 using trolley buses, and within a short period of a few years, CSL had become a leading exponent of this form of transit. While it was stated at the time that eventually, CSL would convert these lines to streetcar as ridership increased, none were so changed.

In 1937, the City of Chicago produced a so-called “Green Book” plan for comprehensive transit improvements.** According to this plan, the City expected to replace half of Chicago’s streetcars with buses, and possibly all of them if bus technology would prove itself.

The leading author of this plan, Philip Harrington, later became the first chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority, and undoubtedly carried over these views to the CTA. While I am sure that Walter J. McCarter was an ardent foe of streetcars, a 1947 Chicago Tribune article indicated he was hired because of his success in “rubberizing” the Cleveland streetcar system.

Of course, there is no way to get into these sorts of nuances of history in an 8 minute segment.

You can read more about last night’s Ask Geoffrey segment here. You can also watch the video of the 8 minute segment there. The entire hour-long program can also be seen here.

Interestingly, last night they used a photo I took of Frank Sirinek piloting Chicago & West Towns car 141.  CERA B-146 also has a photo of Mr. Sirinek in it that I took, this time a picture from the 1980s showing him at the helm of CTA 4391, the last surviving postwar Chicago streetcar.

-David Sadowski

This photo of streetcars and buses at Navy Pier, which dates to the early CTA era, appeared on Chicago Tonight. It was sourced from the Internet. According to Andre Kristopans, the date this photo could have been taken is either April, May, or June 1951 (see Comments section).

This photo of streetcars and buses at Navy Pier, which dates to the early CTA era, appeared on Chicago Tonight. It was sourced from the Internet. According to Andre Kristopans, the date this photo could have been taken is either April, May, or June 1951 (see Comments section).

A CSL trolley coach, from a 1935 brochure.  This image, originally posted here, appeared in the Chicago Tonight segment.

A CSL trolley coach, from a 1935 brochure. This image, originally posted here, appeared in the Chicago Tonight segment.

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*Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

**The Green Book plan is discussed in detail in my E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available from our Online Store.


Recent Correspondence

mystery2

mystery1

Regarding some “mystery” photographs in recent posts, Chuck Bencik from San Diego, life member of San Diego Electric Railway Association, writes:

These cars are definitely from Lucerne Valley, PA, as the caption below, and extract from material about Nanticoke history seem to prove. Also, as a 23 year resident of Chicago, (1938 to 1961), during which streetcars in Chicago operated, I can assure you that Chicago Surface Lines never had letters for their route designations, like “N”, and the colors of their livery following World War II were not the same as the one photograph which is in color says to me. Also, the 13th and 14th photos from the top are not Chicago Surface Lines streetcars.

These rails of the WB Traction Company survived the war and were in use when the last trolley car rolled into Nanticoke in 1950.” [Source: http://www.nanticokehistoryonline.org/site2/stories/2013/March/WWII.html ]

These rails of the WB Traction Company survived the war and were in use when the last trolley car rolled into Nanticoke in 1950.” [Source: http://www.nanticokehistoryonline.org/site2/stories/2013/March/WWII.html ]

“The Wilkes-Barre & Wyoming Valley Traction Company (W-B&WVT) was more fortunate than most properties. The fact that Luzerne County’s population was widely scattered in mine patches and supporting villages meant that there was a regular source of residential and business traffic along most of its lines. The main amusement park was Sans Souci, roughly midway on the line from Wilkes-Barre to Nanticoke.” [Source: http://harveyslake.org/text/story_lakeline_02.html ]

Following photo is from Dave’s New Rail pix, Wilkes Barre Railway:

image004

csl26

Nope; not Chicago’s. Has no numbers, and the railroad crossing sign uses a font style that was never seen on the grade crossing signs of Chicago, during the streetcar era. Similarly for the photo below. Nice Brill cars; but their livery is a dark color for window frames and doors, and something lighter in color for the large areas of flat sheet metal, like the dashers. The next photo after that, the streetcar crossing a street bascule bridge which seems to be only partly closed/opened? Not a Chicago streetcar photo, either.

csl27

Thanks for writing. There were actually several other people who correctly identified the Wilkes-Barre trolleys in our post Spring Cleaning (May 16, 2016), and you can find their thoughts in the Comments section.

The additional two photos from The “Other” Penn Central (May 29, 2016) have already been identified as the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago. Although this was an Indiana operation, some of these cars actually did operate into Chicago, offering through service to 63rd and Stony Island in conjunction with the South Chicago City Railway. The HW&EC frequently leased streetcars from Chicago.

I apologize for the lo-res images (we will soon have better versions of these) but the cars actually did have numbers on the front, just not very visible here. Not sure if that is due to these pictures possibly having been taken with Orthochromiatic film, or if there simply wasn’t sufficient contrast in black-and-white to make them out.

Apparently for most of their life these cars were painted green, and in fact locals knew it as the “Green Line,” but from 1932-40, their final years, they were painted yellow as they were operated by the Chicago and Calumet District Transit Company.

That these cars would so closely resemble those of the Chicago Surface Lines should not be a surprise, as this operator was jointly owned at one time by one of the CSL constituent companies and there was some shuffling of equipment.

The story of the Hammond, Whiting and East Chicago Railway was told in Electric Railway Historical Society Bulletin #8 by James J. Buckley, published in 1953. This, and the other 48 ERHS publications, are contained in The Complete ERHS Collection, an E-book I edited for Central Electric Railfans’ Association, available through them and their dealers.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 139th 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 165,000 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.”

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The Rider’s Reader

The Rider's Reader was a small four page periodical put out by CTA and distributed via buses, streetcars, and "L" cars between 1948 and 1951.

The Rider’s Reader was a small four page periodical put out by CTA and distributed via buses, streetcars, and “L” cars between 1948 and 1951.

One of the advantages of an electronic book, besides the ease of use on your home computer, is that it can easily be updated when new information becomes available. We have recently obtained14 additional issues of the CTA Rider’s Reader, which was published from 1948 to 1951. In addition, we now have the 1964 CTA rapid transit system track map.

Since we already had two copies of Rider’s Reader before, this brings our collection to 16 out of what appear to be 18 issues in all:

Volume 1, Number 1 – March 1948
Volume 1, Number 2 -May 1948
Volume 1, Number 3 – July-August 1948
Volume 1, Number 4 – October 1948
Volume 1, Number 5 – December 1948
Volume 2, Number 1 – March 1949
Volume 3, Number 1 – May 1949
(appears to be a numbering error– should be Volume 2, Number 2)
Volume 2, Number 3 – August 1949
Volume 2, Number 4 – November 1949
Volume 2, Number 5 – December 1949
Volume 2, Number 6 – February 1950
Volume 3, Number 1 – May 1950
Volume 3, Number 2 – July 1950
Volume 3, Number 3 – October 1950
Volume 3, Number 5 – February 1951
Volume 4, Number 1 – June 1951

The final issue has a very different format than the others, de-emphasizing the Rider’s Reader name, probably suggesting a change in direction at CTA that led to this publication being discontinued. Perhaps it was felt preferable to use flyers that were targeted to more specific topics. It’s been our experience that such publications often include a lot of useful tidbits of information not found elsewhere.

We are still in need of Volume 3, Number 4 – late 1950 or early 1951. If any of our readers can help us fill out our collection, we would be greatly appreciative. (We’re not entirely sure, but there may also have been a Volume 3, Number 6 in early 1951, which would make 19 issues in all. If so, we need that one too.)

High-resolution scans have been made of these issues, and the 14 additional ones have now been added our two E-books that cover the CTA:

Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story – DVD02
The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973 – DVD03

While most of the material on these discs is unique, there is inevitably some overlap between them, there is inevitably some overlap, since CTA publications often covered both the surface system and rapid transit. But in general, DVD02 concentrates on streetcars, while DVD03 favors the rapid transit and buses.

You will find these and other fine products in our Online Store.

Update Service

We haven’t forgotten those who have already purchased these DVD data discs from us. If you bought one of these before, and now wish to have an updated disc, we can send you one for just $5.00 within the United States. Just drop us a line and we can send you an online invoice.

Your other alternative is to download the updated files via Dropbox, a cloud-based file sharing service that you can use for free. That is usually the preferred alternative if you live outside the US.

We will continue to add to both these titles in the future.


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 116th 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 118,000 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. You can make a donation there as well.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.


Some highlights from the Rider’s Reader:

CTA surface system improvements for the second quarter of 1948 included putting PCC streetcars on Madison and 63rd Street. They were already running on Clark-Wentworth and Broadway-State. They would be put on Western Avenue in the third quarter, which involved a partial substitution by buses on the outer ends of the route.

CTA surface system improvements for the second quarter of 1948 included putting PCC streetcars on Madison and 63rd Street. They were already running on Clark-Wentworth and Broadway-State. They would be put on Western Avenue in the third quarter, which involved a partial substitution by buses on the outer ends of the route.

"Another New CTA Bus," in this case, is a trolley bus. These were put into service on Montrose Avenue in late March, 1948.

“Another New CTA Bus,” in this case, is a trolley bus. These were put into service on Montrose Avenue in late March, 1948.

CTA A/B "skip stop" service, introduced on the Lake Street "L" in April 1948, may very well have saved this line from eventual elimination. A/B service was soon expanded to other routes but has since been discontinued.

CTA A/B “skip stop” service, introduced on the Lake Street “L” in April 1948, may very well have saved this line from eventual elimination. A/B service was soon expanded to other routes but has since been discontinued.

The #97 was CTA's first suburban bus route and replaced the Niles Center "L" service on March 27, 1948. Just over 16 years later, however, CTA introduced the Skokie Swift over the same trackage. The #97 bus continued in service.

The #97 was CTA’s first suburban bus route and replaced the Niles Center “L” service on March 27, 1948. Just over 16 years later, however, CTA introduced the Skokie Swift over the same trackage. The #97 bus continued in service.

Artist's rendering of a "flat door" 6000-series "L" car. These were needed to begin service in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway. As it turned out, deliveries did not begin until 1950 and the subway opened in February 1951.

Artist’s rendering of a “flat door” 6000-series “L” car. These were needed to begin service in the Dearborn-Milwaukee subway. As it turned out, deliveries did not begin until 1950 and the subway opened in February 1951.

Once A/B service was put into effect on the LakeStreet "L" in 1948, CTA considered the Market Street stub terminal unnecessary and it was torn down. At the time, it was also reported that the City of Chicago wanted it removed, probably because it stood in the way of eventual construction of Lower Wacker Drive, which was related to the Congress Expressway project.

Once A/B service was put into effect on the LakeStreet “L” in 1948, CTA considered the Market Street stub terminal unnecessary and it was torn down. At the time, it was also reported that the City of Chicago wanted it removed, probably because it stood in the way of eventual construction of Lower Wacker Drive, which was related to the Congress Expressway project.

9763, the CTA's first and only articulated trolley bus, was termed the "Queen Mary" by fans. It seems to have been a semi-official name since it is called that in an issue of the Rider's Reader. It has since been preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

9763, the CTA’s first and only articulated trolley bus, was termed the “Queen Mary” by fans. It seems to have been a semi-official name since it is called that in an issue of the Rider’s Reader. It has since been preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

In this 1950 diagram, CTA explained why it was sometimes necessary to use switchbacks to prevent the bunching up of streetcars.

In this 1950 diagram, CTA explained why it was sometimes necessary to use switchbacks to prevent the bunching up of streetcars.

The Rider's Reader gave a rundown on the Met "L" bridge over the Chicago River, which was actually two bridges with a total of four tracks. Since this bridge served three lines, service could continue to operate even if something happened to one of the bridges. This river bridge, unlike the others, was operated by CTA and not the city.

The Rider’s Reader gave a rundown on the Met “L” bridge over the Chicago River, which was actually two bridges with a total of four tracks. Since this bridge served three lines, service could continue to operate even if something happened to one of the bridges. This river bridge, unlike the others, was operated by CTA and not the city.

CTA reproduced this Minneapolis Star editorial cartoon in July 1950. We will let the readers decide whether this was indicative of an increasing anti-streetcar sentiment on the part of CTA.

CTA reproduced this Minneapolis Star editorial cartoon in July 1950. We will let the readers decide whether this was indicative of an increasing anti-streetcar sentiment on the part of CTA.

The first train of new 6000-series cars put into service in 1950.

The first train of new 6000-series cars put into service in 1950.

CTA streetcars in the winter of 1950-51. One of our readers says this is "Clark Street looking north around Hubbard."

CTA streetcars in the winter of 1950-51. One of our readers says this is “Clark Street looking north around Hubbard.”

We have three of the four 1948 issues.

We have three of the four 1948 issues.

Five issues came out in 1949.

Five issues came out in 1949.

We have four out of the five issues from 1950.

We have four out of the five issues from 1950.

Only two issues appear to have come out in 1951. The final issue has a completely different format.

Only two issues appear to have come out in 1951. The final issue has a completely different format.

The October 1964 CTA rapid transit track map joins the June 1958 version in two of our publications.

The October 1964 CTA rapid transit track map joins the June 1958 version in two of our publications.

Mystery Photos

Finally, here are a couple of “mystery photos” from downtown Chicago in the late 1920s or early 1930s. If you can help us figure out the locations and what event this might have been, we would appreciate it:

This picture, and the next, appear to have been taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The banners would indicate an event, but we are not sure of the occasion. One of our readers says this is "State and Washington looking south." This could also be circa 1926 at the time of the Eucharistic Congress.

This picture, and the next, appear to have been taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The banners would indicate an event, but we are not sure of the occasion. One of our readers says this is “State and Washington looking south.” This could also be circa 1926 at the time of the Eucharistic Congress.

Our readers have identified this as being "Holy Name Cathedral at State and Chicago." The occasion may be the Eucharistic Congress in 1926.

Our readers have identified this as being “Holy Name Cathedral at State and Chicago.” The occasion may be the Eucharistic Congress in 1926.

Recently, there was another such mystery posed to the Chicagotransit Yahoo group by P. Chavin:

Roughly a quarter of the way down on the web page linked below, at “May 23, 2015 – 6:24 pm”, is a color photo of a streetcar and a wide boulevard. The caption reads: “PHOTO – CHICAGO – DOUGLAS PARK – PULLMAN STREETCAR – 1951 – EDITED FROM AN AL CHIONE IMAGE”

I assume this photo shows a westbound Ogden Ave. car at about S. California Ave. and that the view is northeasterly down Ogden Ave. (Blvd.).

If anyone can confirm or correct my assumption, I’d appreciate it.

https://chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress.com/2015/05/

 

That sounds plausible. There is some evidence in the picture that we are near a park. But what is the explanation for the streetcar taking a jog at this point?

If this is Ogden and California, then there don’t appear to be any of the old buildings left that could be checked against the picture. (PS- I note there are a few pictures on that page that could have been lifted from The Trolley Dodger, but that’s OK.)

P. Chavin:

Thanks, David, for giving it a shot. At least I know my query wasn’t completely underwhelming to the group. The explanation for the streetcar taking a jog could well be that the car was coming off tracks that were on the sides of the wide boulevard but at this point, they were narrowing to a normal middle-of-the-street double track layout.

 

Later, Dennis McClendon came up with a very good answer:

The sun angle, the US34 and US66 signs, the view of the Board of Trade, and the park benches on the left all make me think we’re indeed looking northeast across California. The four-story round-cornered apartment building on the corner matches the fire insurance map.

Why are the tracks shifting from the service drives to the center roadway? My only theory is that the Park District was in charge of the service drives through Douglas Park, but not the original width of Ogden (which predated establishment of the West Parks Commission), and declined to permit the streetcar line to occupy the park service drives. The 1938 and 1953 aerial photos aren’t clear enough to show the tracks.

 


Daniel Joseph
writes:

I rode this part of the Ogden streetcar line many times as a child and can explain the “what” but not the “why”. North east of the location of this photo (which is about mid way between Sacramento and California) the streetcar tracks were in the service drive until Roosevelt Road. East of Ogden on Roosevelt the tracks continued in the service drive until Ashland. On Ogden. west of the location of the photo, the track continued in the center of the street and the service drive was a boulevard until the end at Albany.

 

Ogden and California Avenue today, looking to the northeast.

Ogden and California Avenue today, looking to the northeast.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks. You can leave a comment on this or any other post directly, or you can drop us a line at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

-David Sadowski


PS- Thanks to the generosity of Mark Llanuza, we have added a few more pictures to our previous post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 1-29-2016:

The CERA fantrip train in Lombard, still just three cars at this point. The date is October 26, 1958. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

The CERA fantrip train in Lombard, still just three cars at this point. The date is October 26, 1958. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

The four-car CERA fantrip train at Raymond Street in Elgin. Mark Llanuza says the entire day was cold and rainy, and they had to add a fourth car at Wheaton because of the large number of people on this trip. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

The four-car CERA fantrip train at Raymond Street in Elgin. Mark Llanuza says the entire day was cold and rainy, and they had to add a fourth car at Wheaton because of the large number of people on this trip. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

This must be the April 1962 train taking CA&E equipment purchased by RELIC, the predecessor to the Fox River Trolley Museum. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “11 was built by Brill in 1910, (order) #16483. It was rebuilt to a line car in 1947 and replaced 45. It was acquired by Railway Equipment Leasing & Investment Co in 1962 and came to Fox River Trolley Museum in 1984. It was lettered as Fox River & Eastern." This picture was taken in Glen Ellyn along the C&NW. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

This must be the April 1962 train taking CA&E equipment purchased by RELIC, the predecessor to the Fox River Trolley Museum. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “11 was built by Brill in 1910, (order) #16483. It was rebuilt to a line car in 1947 and replaced 45. It was acquired by Railway Equipment Leasing & Investment Co in 1962 and came to Fox River Trolley Museum in 1984. It was lettered as Fox River & Eastern.” This picture was taken in Glen Ellyn along the C&NW. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

The rescue train taking CA&E cars purchased by RELIC through Glen Ellyn. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

The rescue train taking CA&E cars purchased by RELIC through Glen Ellyn. (Mark Llanuza Collection)

Historic Chicago Buses, Part Three

CTA trolley bus 374 at Montrose and Narrangansett in 1948, "Another New CTA Bus." (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA trolley bus 374 at Montrose and Narrangansett in 1948, “Another New CTA Bus.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

We generally don’t feature buses on this blog, since our main interest is in streetcars, light rail, and electric rail transit. But we do get requests to post more bus photos, and we are fortunate to have some excellent ones to show you today, thanks to the incredible generosity of George Trapp. Mr. Trapp has been collecting these type of pictures for nearly the last 50 years, and we thank him for sharing them with us. Some of these pictures also have streetcars in them.

To see additional photos he has already shared with us, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page. Several other posts should come up.

For the streetcar fans, we have also included several additional trolley pictures from our own collections, featuring the Chicago & West Towns Railways, Illinois Terminal Railroad, and its subsidiary the Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria.

As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

-David Sadowski

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Bill Robb: "Chicago City Railway 430 is a 1938 ACF H-13-S. These units lasted unit 1953-55."

Bill Robb: “Chicago City Railway 430 is a 1938 ACF H-13-S. These units lasted unit 1953-55.”

CSL buses 6515 and 6407 at South Shops. The destinations signs on 6515 do not match. George Trapp: "CSL bus 6515 built by GM model TD-4506 built in 1946 is newly delivered and photo most likely taken by CSL."

CSL buses 6515 and 6407 at South Shops. The destinations signs on 6515 do not match. George Trapp: “CSL bus 6515 built by GM model TD-4506 built in 1946 is newly delivered and photo most likely taken by CSL.”

Bill Robb: "Chicago City Railways 402 is a 1934 ACF H-13-S."

Bill Robb: “Chicago City Railways 402 is a 1934 ACF H-13-S.”

Andre Kristopans: "The Diversey TB shot is eb at Kimball. Large building across street still there." Trolley bus service on Diversey ended in 1955 once the route was consolidated with former Chicago Motor Coach route 134. Ray Piesciuk: "The Diversey TB route was extended to Harlem (actually a wye at Neva) on 06/19/1932." (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

Andre Kristopans: “The Diversey TB shot is eb at Kimball. Large building across street still there.” Trolley bus service on Diversey ended in 1955 once the route was consolidated with former Chicago Motor Coach route 134. Ray Piesciuk: “The Diversey TB route was extended to Harlem (actually a wye at Neva) on 06/19/1932.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL bus 825, signed for Peterson. Bill Robb: "Calumet & South Chicago 825 is a 1939 White 805M which ran until a general purge of obsolete buses in 1949." Andre Kristopans: "Most likely turning from north on Catalpa to west on Hollywood. Loop at the time was Bryn Mawr-Catalpa-Hollywood-Broadway."

CSL bus 825, signed for Peterson. Bill Robb: “Calumet & South Chicago 825 is a 1939 White 805M which ran until a general purge of obsolete buses in 1949.” Andre Kristopans: “Most likely turning from north on Catalpa to west on Hollywood. Loop at the time was Bryn Mawr-Catalpa-Hollywood-Broadway.”

CSL bus 6520 on extension route 103A. The original version of this route operated between 1930 and 1941. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL bus 6520 on extension route 103A. The original version of this route operated between 1930 and 1941. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA trolley bus 465. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CTA trolley bus 465. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

Another new trolley bus being delivered to Chicago by rail. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: "New St. Louis trolley bus #411 on flatcar in a freight train in April of 1948 on Illinois Terminal, note catenary."

Another new trolley bus being delivered to Chicago by rail. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “New St. Louis trolley bus #411 on flatcar in a freight train in April of 1948 on Illinois Terminal, note catenary.”

CTA trolley buses 570 and 571 being delivered on Illinois Central flatcars.

CTA trolley buses 570 and 571 being delivered on Illinois Central flatcars.

North and Lamon was the approximate location of CTA North Avenue garage, so presumably that is where this picture of trolley bus 403 was taken. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: "St. Louis trolley bus 403 is next to Pullman-Standard trolley bus 344 built at Worcester plant. Both delivered in 1948, St. Louis unit in March-April, Pullman in Nov.-Dec."

North and Lamon was the approximate location of CTA North Avenue garage, so presumably that is where this picture of trolley bus 403 was taken. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “St. Louis trolley bus 403 is next to Pullman-Standard trolley bus 344 built at Worcester plant. Both delivered in
1948, St. Louis unit in March-April, Pullman in Nov.-Dec.”

A St. Louis Car Company builder's photo of trolley bus 172. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

A St. Louis Car Company builder’s photo of trolley bus 172. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL had an open-air trolleybus yard at Central and Avondale, adjacent to the Chicago & North Western. The Kennedy expressway now occupies this location. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) Ray Piesciuk: "The open air TB yard at Central-Avondale shows two buses with poles that are not trolley buses. They are work motor buses BA-106 & BA-115 outfitted with sleet scraping poles." Another reader writes: "Note the "Marmon-Herrington" builder's plate on the front of the bus. When the buses were retired, there were no such builder's plates to be found under the advertising holders that had existed at that location for most of the lives of the coaches. "

CSL had an open-air trolleybus yard at Central and Avondale, adjacent to the Chicago & North Western. The Kennedy expressway now occupies this location. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) Ray Piesciuk: “The open air TB yard at Central-Avondale shows two buses with poles that are not trolley buses. They are work motor buses BA-106 & BA-115 outfitted with sleet scraping poles.”
Another reader writes: “Note the “Marmon-Herrington” builder’s plate on the front of the bus. When the buses were retired, there were no such builder’s plates to be found under the advertising holders that had existed at that location for most of the lives of the coaches. “

Another view of the old Central and Avondale yard. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

Another view of the old Central and Avondale yard. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

Here is a 1940s map of the area around Central and Avondale on Chicago's northwest side, where the Surface Lines had a temporary open-air trolley bus yard parallel to the Chicago & North Western starting in 1943. It was replaced by the Forest Glen garage in 1955. This area is now occupied by the Kennedy expressway.

Here is a 1940s map of the area around Central and Avondale on Chicago’s northwest side, where the Surface Lines had a temporary open-air trolley bus yard parallel to the Chicago & North Western starting in 1943. It was replaced by the Forest Glen garage in 1955. This area is now occupied by the Kennedy expressway.

George Trapp: "CSL #3226 is at South end of South Damen streetcar line, bus 6805 is on the shuttle bus extension to 87th Street." (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

George Trapp: “CSL #3226 is at South end of South Damen streetcar line, bus 6805 is on the shuttle bus extension to 87th Street.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)

CSL 6153 on a charter, eastbound at Washington and State. Meanwhile, a suburban bus bound for the Brookfield Zoo approaches. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Andre Kristopans: "The Brookfield Zoo bus is Bluebird Coach Lines. Route was from downtown out Randolph, Ogden, 26th Desplaines, with most trips continuing out 31st, LaGrange, Ogden to Aurora."

CSL 6153 on a charter, eastbound at Washington and State. Meanwhile, a suburban bus bound for the Brookfield Zoo approaches. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Andre Kristopans: “The Brookfield Zoo bus is Bluebird Coach Lines. Route was from downtown out Randolph, Ogden, 26th Desplaines, with most trips continuing out 31st, LaGrange, Ogden to Aurora.”

CSL 3189, northbound at State and Lake, on August 29, 1947. Note the Greyhound bus at right. (Thomas H, Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3189, northbound at State and Lake, on August 29, 1947. Note the Greyhound bus at right. (Thomas H, Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL Sedan 3332 southbound at Wabash and Roosevelt on September 27, 1947. Note the Greyhound bus at right. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive) Allen Breyer: "Also shows the old Union Bus Terminal behind the Greyhound."

CSL Sedan 3332 southbound at Wabash and Roosevelt on September 27, 1947. Note the Greyhound bus at right. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive) Allen Breyer: “Also shows the old Union Bus Terminal behind the Greyhound.”

CSL 5289 passes some CSL buses at 78th and Vincennes, looking NE. According to Don's Rail Photos, "5251 thru 5300 were built by Brill in 1906, #15365, for CCRy. They were brought up to higher standards in 1909." (Gordon Lloyd Photo) This CSL bus photo is not part of the Trapp collection. Chuck Amstein: "The South Shops building in the background is still there." Another reader notes, "The two Yellow Coach gas buses in the background were purchased by CSL and are painted in the pre-Mercury Green CSL motor bus colors of Red and Cream with Black Striping as found on CSL 3407 at the Illinois Railway Museum today."

CSL 5289 passes some CSL buses at 78th and Vincennes, looking NE. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “5251 thru 5300 were built by Brill in 1906, #15365, for CCRy. They were brought up to higher standards in 1909.” (Gordon Lloyd Photo) This CSL bus photo is not part of the Trapp collection. Chuck Amstein: “The South Shops building in the background is still there.”
Another reader notes, “The two Yellow Coach gas buses in the background were purchased by CSL and are painted in the pre-Mercury Green CSL motor bus colors of Red and Cream with Black Striping as found on CSL 3407 at the Illinois Railway Museum today.”

Chicago & West Towns Railways

FYI, we have also added these two pictures to our earlier post West Towns Streetcars in Black-and-White (August 4th).

C&WT 104 at the Harlem and Cermak car barn on April 3, 1948, less than two before the end of streetcar service. One of the replacement buses is at right. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

C&WT 104 at the Harlem and Cermak car barn on April 3, 1948, less than two before the end of streetcar service. One of the replacement buses is at right. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo)

C&WT line car 15, with its famous bent pole.The defect was apparently accidental, but it was certainly distinctive.

C&WT line car 15, with its famous bent pole.The defect was apparently accidental, but it was certainly distinctive.

Illinois Terminal Railroad

IT 273.

IT 273.

According to Don's Rail Photos, IT 104 "was built by American Car in 1917 as AG&StL 64. In 1926 it became StL&ARy 64 and in 1930 it became IT 104." This picture was taken in Granite City on August 14, 1956.

According to Don’s Rail Photos, IT 104 “was built by American Car in 1917 as AG&StL 64. In 1926 it became StL&ARy 64 and in 1930 it became IT 104.” This picture was taken in Granite City on August 14, 1956.

IT 284, decked in bunting, on what must have been the final revenue trip on this portion of the interurban in 1955. If anyone can identify the exact date or the location, please let me know. (Glenn L. Sticken Photo) You can see a picture of the same bunting applied to IT 277 at the Illinois Railway Museum in 2011 here: http://hickscarworks.blogspot.com/2011/04/illinois-terminal-society-meet.html

IT 284, decked in bunting, on what must have been the final revenue trip on this portion of the interurban in 1955. If anyone can identify the exact date or the location, please let me know. (Glenn L. Sticken Photo) You can see a picture of the same bunting applied to IT 277 at the Illinois Railway Museum in 2011 here:
http://hickscarworks.blogspot.com/2011/04/illinois-terminal-society-meet.html

IT double-end PCC 455 at speed in St. Louis on May 18, 1951.

IT double-end PCC 455 at speed in St. Louis on May 18, 1951.

Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria

Here are four rare photos of the CO&P. Since it was abandoned in 1934, photos are scarce. We previously posted a few more here.

CO&P freight motor 1523 at the Ottawa Shops in 1934, presumably around the time of abandonment.

CO&P freight motor 1523 at the Ottawa Shops in 1934, presumably around the time of abandonment.

CO&P express freight car 301 in November 1910.

CO&P express freight car 301 in November 1910.

CO&P first #60 at Depue in 1910, a product of the Danville Car Company.

CO&P first #60 at Depue in 1910, a product of the Danville Car Company.

CO&P #66 at the Ottawa Shops in 1934, presumably at the time of abandonment. It was built by St. Louis Car Company in 1924. Some cars in this series were rebuilt for use on the rest of the Illinois Terminal system, including IT 415 (former CO&P 64) which is now at the Illinois Railway Museum.

CO&P #66 at the Ottawa Shops in 1934, presumably at the time of abandonment. It was built by St. Louis Car Company in 1924. Some cars in this series were rebuilt for use on the rest of the Illinois Terminal system, including IT 415 (former CO&P 64) which is now at the Illinois Railway Museum.