CTA 6151 is southbound at Halsted and Congress on October 5, 1953 running on Route 8. The bridge 6151 is on spanned the Congress Expressway construction site. The highway was not yet open, and service continued on the Halsted “L” station at rear (with two tracks instead of the original four) until June 1958. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Spring is here again, at least sort of, since we are expecting snow today here in Chicago. It’s been some time since our last post, but we have been busy collecting more streetcar and interurban pictures for your enjoyment. Plus, there are important contributions from some of our readers, for which we are thankful.
Each year, we turn our clocks forward one hour in the spring. But many of us wish we could simply turn back the clock instead, although hindsight is always 20/20 and we should always keep our eyes on the future.
But regardless, let’s “spring forward” with some great traction images from days gone by! We also have a few bonus images for our bus and diesel fans as well.
PS- We are gratified that despite not having a new post for two months, our readers have continued to support us. In fact, we are still very much on track to show a 15% increase in page views this year.
Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern car 100 on the Southern Iowa Railway on October 13, 1963. Don’s Rail Photos: “100 was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1914. It was built as a second motor to operate behind the 140s as a two car train. The baggage compartment was a kitchen, and the rear end was an open platform observation. The buffet section was replaced with coach seats in 1918. The car was then rebuilt with a control station and baggage compartment in 1928 and the rear platform was enclosed at that time. It was the last interurban left on the WCF&N when it became diesel freight, and it was donated to the Iowa Chapter of the NRHS in 1956. It was moved to Centerville and operated on the Southern Iowa Ry. When the SI cut back its operation and dieselized, the Iowa Chapter transferred the car to the Iowa Terminal RR in 1966. Shortly after it was repainted and put into charter service, it was destroyed in the carbarn fire early November 24, 1967. It had been the only car saved from the WCF&N roundhouse fire on October 31, 1954, when the other two cars of its class burned.” This slide has “Q transfer” noted on it– not sure what that means. (James J. Buckley Photo)
The new and the old. CTA 5007 and 2269 at Rosemont on August 26, 2010. The 2200s have since been retired. (Bruce Nelson Photo)
An Oshawa steeple cab with a Philadelphia & Reading coach at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in May 1967. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)
An Oshawa steeple cab at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in May 1967. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)
Montreal observation car #4 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in May 1967. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)
Connecticut Company Birney car 3001 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in May 1967. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)
Illinois Terminal double-ended PCC 451 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in May 1967. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)
New Orleans #836 and Rio car #1850 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in May 1967. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)
Rio car #1850 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in May 1967. (Gerald H. Landau Photo)
Connecticut Company open car 1414 was built by Osgood Bradley in 1911. Here, we see it at the Shore Line Trolley Museum located at Branford, Connecticut on June 18, 1966. (William C. Janssen Photo)
Connecticut Company open car 1414 at Branford on May 30, 1964. (J. W. Vigrass Photo)
Connecticut Company open car 1414 was built by Osgood Bradley in 1911. Here, we see it at the Shore Line Trolley Museum located at Branford, Connecticut on June 18, 1966. (William C. Janssen Photo)
You would be forgiven for thinking this December 18, 1955 photo shows CTA Pullman 144. But this was actually the excursion where car 144 was promised, but 225 was substituted in its place– renumbered with the help of a few pieces of oilcloth. Here, the fantrip car is seen at Broadway and Devon.
CTA PCC 7138, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, at the State Street loop near 84th on February 11, 1950. This location is now occupied by the Dan Ryan expressway.
CTA PCC 7070 at the Clark and Howard loop on July 4, 1954.
Philadelphia & Western (aka Red Arrow) Bullet car 202 at Norristown in 1949. Behind 202, you can see the ramp leading down to street level, used by Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell route trains. (S. Bogen Photo)
By May 1961, when this photo was taken in Norristown, Liberty Bell Limited trains had been gone for nearly a decade. As you can see at left, the ramp leading down to ground level was removed and blocked off with an advertising sign.
Philadelphia Suburban (aka Red Arrow) Brilliner car 3 at Gay and High Streets in West Chester on June 6, 1954, at the end of trolley service on this route. The longest Red Arrow line was mainly a single-track side-of-the-road operation, which had to give way for the widening of West Chester Pike. (Edward S. Miller Photo)
Philadelphia Suburban (aka Red Arrow) car 78 at Larchmont Station on West Chester Pike at Media Line Road, Newtown Township, PA on May 9, 1954. Photographer Edward S. Miller noted that he later operated this car at the Arden trolley museum.
Philadelphia Suburban double-end car 19, which looked like a PCC but does not technically qualify as one, since it had standard interurban trucks and motors. It is captured on May 9, 1954 at Broomall Station on West Chester Pike at Sproul Road in Marple Township, PA. (Edward S. Miller Photo)
A pair of Bullet cars running in multiple units on the Red Arrow Norristown High Speed Line on September 9, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Philadelphia Suburban (aka red Arrow) car 11 at the end of the line on the short Ardmore branch on September 9, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Philadelphia Suburban (aka red Arrow) car 13, a product of the St. Louis Car Company, on the Media line on September 9, 1958. Garrett Patterson says the location is “Drexelbrook, inbound.” (Clark Frazier Photo)
Philadelphia Suburban double-ended car 15, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1949, is seen at Gay and High Streets in West Chester, at the end of the long West Chester trolley line.
To see many more Philadelphia pictures like the ones above,take a look at our previous post Red Arrow in West Chester (September 13, 2016).
Fairmount Park Transit closed car #1 on May 19, 1935.
Fairmount Park Transit open car 18 at the car barn.
For more pictures like the two above, check out our previous post The Fairmount Park Trolley (November 7, 2017).
CTA one-man car 1743 (signed for Route 21 – Cermak, but the photographer has written “Lake Street”) entering Kedzie Station at 5th Avenue and Jackson Boulevard on July 21, 1952. This picture looks to have been taken at about the same time as another, which shows a PCC car, on page 102 of my book Chicago Trolleys. (Robert Selle Photo)
Indianapolis Railways “Peter Witt” car 173 is shown at the Broad Ripple loop on June 6, 1951. Broad Ripple Village is an Indy neighborhood that was once an independent municipality. It was annexed into Indianapolis in 1922. (Robert Selle Photo)
CSL “Matchbox” 1169 at Damen and Taylor on June 2, 1945. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1169 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as CUT 4698. It was renumbered 1169 in 1913 and became CSL 1169 in 1914. It was retired on September 16, 1944.” Not sure about the discrepancy in dates, but some renumbering of these cars did take place.
Chicago Aurora & Elgin cars 401 and 431 are crossing the DesPlaines River westbound on August 29, 1953, about a half mile west of the DesPlaines Avenue station. This is now the site of I-290. The CA&E tracks and bridge were moved north of the highway in 1959 but were never used by the interurban, which was subsequently abandoned. In this section, the CA&E ran parallel to Harrison Street, which has also been taken up by the highway. (Robert Selle Photo)
Three CTA arch-roof cars awaiting scrapping on May 16, 1954: two-man 6141, one-man cars 6167 and 3128 at South Shops. This was just two weeks before the end of all red car service in Chicago, and was also the date of a fantrip that ran on all the lines that were about to be “bustituted.” (Robert Selle Photo)
Images From the Wien-Criss Archive
Our thanks to Jeffrey L. Wien for sharing these classic pictures with our readers.
A three-car train of Boston MTA PCCs, running on Commonwealth Avenue east of Summit Avenue on May 31, 1961. (Clark Frazier Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
The Chicago Great Western Railway merged with the Chicago & North Western in 1968, and most of its trackage was thereafter abandoned. But on February 21, 1965, we see CGW freight #91, running westbound on Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal tracks, parallel to I-290 just west of Lombard in suburban Oak Park, Illinois. The motive power consisted of 104A, 105B, 106C, 116F, 1100, 112C, and 177. At right, you can see the secondary entrance to the CTA’s Congress rapid transit line at Lombard. The main entrance at Austin Boulevard is two blocks east of there. The CGW split off from the B&OCT in Forest Park a few miles west of here, and then ran parallel to the Chicago Aurora & Elgin interurban through Bellwood. (James J. Buckley Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
Kansas City Public Service PCCs 712 and 796 at the 48th and Harrison yard on October 16, 1956. PCCs last ran in Kansas City in 1957, but streetcars returned to Kansas City in 2016. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee city car 360 on Glen Flora Avenue in Waukegan, Illinois. This picture could not have been taken after 1947. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullman 529, as seen from the Ashland station on the Lake Street “L”, on May 7, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA 1725 is operating as a one-man shuttle car on the Madison-Fifth branch line on Route 20 on February 15, 1953. The car is heading southwest on Fifth Avenue approaching Harrison Street and Pulaski Avenue, which was the end of the line near the adjacent Garfield Park “L” station. I thought at first that the date might actually have been 1954, but subsequent research shows the 1953 date to be correct (see correspondence with Tony Waller below). (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullman 540 at 70th and Ashland (69th Street Station) on May 23, 1953. The sign above the streetcar bays is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
Chicago Surface Lines 4118, built by Pullman, heads southbound on Clark at Wacker on June 13, 1947. We ran a version of this picture before, in our post More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Six (November 30, 2015), but this one is better, as it is a scan from the original medium format negative. (Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullman 230 is southbound on Clark Street, having just crossed the bridge over the Chicago River on May 18, 1954. This was less than two weeks before the end of red car service in Chicago. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
In this November 4, 1952 view, CTA 593 is on Clark Street, heading south to the Limits car barn, while car 562 is on Southport, the north end of the Ashland route. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
On August 7, 1952, CTA 452 is at the north end of Route #9 – Ashland, on Southport just north of Irving Park Road. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
On May 24, 1958 the Central Electric Railfans’ Association operated a fantrip on the South Shore Line, using Illinois Central equipment. Normally, South Shore cars ran on the IC, but not the other way around. Here, they are having a photo stop at the “new” East Chicago station, parallel to the Indiana Toll Road, which opened in 1956. It replaced street running in East Chicago. The view looks east. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
On July 13, 1955, a 700-series North Shore Line car is being converted into a Silverliner, while flanked by cars 419 and 746 at the Highwood Shops. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA one-man car 6171 is at Lawrence and Clark in December 1951. Note the outdoor scale at left. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA one-man car 1784 is heading southwest on Ogden (Route 58) at Van Buren and Honore. To the right, buildings are being cleared away for the Congress Expressway. To the north, you can see a Wieboldt’s department store, which was located on Adams between Ogden and Ashland. The “L” to the rear is the Met branch leading to Logan Suare, already out of service for several months when this picture was taken in August 1951. The Garfield Park “L” would have been directly behind the photographer, smack dab in the middle of what became the expressway footprint. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullmans 546 and 553 cross near a safety island at 71st and Ashland on June 29, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
In this amazing June 22, 1953 view of the junction at Tower 18, on Chicago’s Loop “L” at Lake and Wells, we see CTA Evanston Express and Garfield Park trains, with a North Shore Line train in the background. Until 1969, both Loop tracks ran in the same direction, so the two cars are heading towards the photographer, while the North Shore Line train is going away. The photographer was standing on the Randolph and Wells platform. That station has since been replaced by Washington and Wells. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
On November 9, 1952, a two-car CTA “L” train, headed by car 1019, is on the trestle at Central on the Evanston branch. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullman 643 is westbound at North and Halsted on August 14, 1948. That section of “L” at the rear, part of a section known as the “triple curve,” is still there today, and is used by Brown and Purple Line trains. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Clark Street PCC 4361 and Broadway PCC 7175 meet at Clark, Broadway, and Diversey on November 8, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullman 558, turning onto Ashland from Irving Park Road on May 19, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA one-man car 3276 on Route 50 – Damen at about 2300 North. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA 926 is a Lincoln-Peterson car at Division and Clark in June 1951. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullman 58 is running as a “tripper” on Broadway-State on May 18, 1954. Here, we see it southbound on State Street, crossing the Chicago River over the bridge that was put into service in 1949. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA 575 is southbound on Paulina near Washington Boulevard, running on Route 9 – Ashland on September 15, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
A green and cream “L” car passes a green and cream trolley. CTA 4327 is at the front of a Lake Street “L” train, running at ground level under trolley wire at Pine Street, while CTA 3141 prepares to turn and cross the tracks, heading to the other side of the Chicago & North Western embankment on September 26, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
Trolley scrapping: except for a few stragglers, nearly all red cars were scrapped by the CTA after being taken out of regular service on May 30, 1954. On November 6, 1954, we see Big Pullmans 248 and 585 at right, and one of the cars at left is 604 in this scene at South Shops. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
The late Robert Selle, a very gifted photographer, took his own picture inside CTA streetcar 3217 at 69th Street Station on July 12, 1952. (Wien-Criss Archive)
Bob Selle took a “fast shot” of CTA 681 just inside the gates at Limits Station on June 28, 1952. Limits was located at 2650 North Clark Street, which was the city limits in the late 1800s. (Wien-Criss Archive)
In this September 5, 1953 view, looking west from the CTA Racine Avenue station on the old Metroplitan main line, we see the Throop Street Shops at right. A CA&E train is approaching us, heading toward the Loop. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
A 6-car CTA Ravenswood “A” train, made up of 200 and 300-series “L” cars, approaches Clark and Lake on September 15, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
Chicago & North Western steam loco 555, a 4-6-2, heads up a northwest line commuter train at Kinzie and 400 West on August 20, 1953. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
A two-car CTA train of railroad-roof cars is on the bridge over the North Shore Channel on the Evanston line on November 29, 1952. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
A view of the first 6400-series CTA “L” cars head into Chicago on a North Shore Line freight train on February 19, 1955. The location is just south of the Highmoor, Illinois station. Some of the parts used on these cars were recyycled from scrapped CTA PCCs that had less than 10 years’ service. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA Pullman PCC 4063 is turning from Madison Street onto Franklin on its way into the Loop, running on Route 20 – Madison. In this September 16, 1953 view, car 4063 appears to have suffered some front-end damage that has gone unrepaired. This is probably due to the CTA’s desire to scrap these cars within the next year or so. (Robert Selle Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)
CTA PCC 4081, heading south on Route 22 – Clark-Wentworth, proceeds slowly through a work zone at Clark and Van Buren on July 17, 1954. For more pictures of this, see our previous post Track Work @Clark & Van Buren, 1954 (February 1, 2015). This negative was apparently sold by an “RJA” at one point, which may mean the photo was taken by railfan Richard J. Anderson. This track work was related to the conversion of Clark and Dearborn into one-way streets downtown. (Wien-Criss Archive)
From the Collections of William Shapotkin
Again, our tanks to Bill for sharing these with us.
CTA PCCs 7182 and 4380 (or is it 4390?) are turning from Wentworth onto Vincennes at 73rd Street on Route 22. From the looks of the automobiles, this picture may have been taken in 1958. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CSL/CTA 6213 at 93rd and Exchange Avenue. The slide said the cross street was Anthony, but as Tony Waller points out, “The photo of the red streetcar on route 95 captioned as being at 93rd and Anthony Ave. is actually at 93rd and Exchange Ave. The streetcar line westbound turned from Exchange onto 93rd. Anthony Ave. parallels the PRR/NYC viaducts (and now the Skyway bridge alignment) that is in the near distance; crossing the streetcar line at a perpendicular angle.” (William Shapotkin Collection)
CSL 5130, signed for 31st and Lake Park. Bill Shapotkin says this car “is at Archer/Pitney. The view looks N-N/W on Pitney. The car has just changed ends and will take the crossover to head east.” (William Shapotkin Collection)
CSL 5083 is signed for Pitney and Archer. Bill Shapotkin say this location “is E/B in 31st, the car has just x/o South Park (now King Dr). The church on the S/E corner is still-standing and either is or has just undergone renovation.” (William Shapotkin Collection)
CSL 5147, signed for Pitney and Archer. Bill Shapotkin says this location “is W/B at Wallace (note address of 556 on building at left and car tracks in Wallace). View looks E-N/E.” (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA 6199 is signed for Route 87A. (William Shapotkin Collection)
This close-up from the previous image, although not very sharp, does show that this car is a Frazer, a product of the Kaiser-Frazer company, If I had to guess, I would say it’s a 1947 model, possibly a Frazer Manhattan. Most of the styling on this car is attributed to “Dutch” Darrin. Kaiser-Frazer was an independent automaker between 1946 and 1954, started by aluminum magnate Henry J. Kaiser.
CTA one-man car 3224 is at 92nd and Baltimore. That’s a bus trailing behind. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA Pullman 144, possibly on a late 1950s fantrip. This car is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA one-man car 3219 is at 87th and Escanaba in May 1950, at the end of the line for Route 87A. The operator is changing ends. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA one-man car 3220 is at 67th and Oglesby in June 1952, on Route 67. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA 6153. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA 7191 is at 81st and Wallace on Route – Clark-Wentworth. (Robert W. Gibson Photo, William Shapotkin collection)
CTA Pullman 459 is at Ashland and 27th Street on Route 9 in February 1951. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CSL 5147, signed for Pitney and Archer. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CSL 5154, signed for Piney and Archer. Bill Shapotkin says, “This car is at East end-of-line in 26th east of Lake Park Ave — note IC catenary in background. View looks N/E.” (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA 5278 at 79th and Western in March 1948 on Route 79. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA one-man car 6224 is at 92nd and Commercial in April 1948. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA one-man car 6272 is at 89th and Buffalo on Route 93 in April 1948. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CSL one-man car 6213 is at 89th and Avenue O in October 1946, on Route 93-95. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA 6209 is at 94th on July 2, 1949, running on Route 93-95. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA Pullman 677 is at Pulaski and Bryn Mawr in 1949 on Route 53. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Bill Shapotkin writes:
All the pix of a ‘GM&O” passenger train are of the southbound “Plug,” the Chicago-Joliet suburban train. Even after the ICG merger, the train continued to operate with GM&O equipment — and indeed, the loco (do not recall if it was 880-B or not), even got a new GM&O logo stenciled onto its nose. Bi-level equipment arrived (I believe) circa 1977-79, when a second “Plug” was added to the schedule.
A Gulf, Mobile & Ohio passenger train near Chicago’s Loop. This slide was process in August 1972, right around the time that the GM&O was merged into the Illinois Central. (William Shapotkin Collection)
A GM&O diesel in August 1972, near some Penn Central motive power. (William Shapotkin Collection)
A diesel loco, still in GM&O colors, on August 15, 1978. (William Shapotkin Collection)
A GM&O loco heads up a passenger train in August 1975 and prepares to pass an Amtrak train. (William Shapotkin Collection)
A Chicago & North Western commuter train near Chicago’s Loop in August 1970. (William Shapotkin Collection)
A Chicago & North Western commuter train in Maywood on August 4, 1969. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA “Fishbowl” bus 1253 at Jefferson Park on June 25, 1978, running on Route 81. (Ronald J. Sullivan Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA “Fishbowl” 1178 leaving Jefferson Park on Route 81 on March 10, 1980. (William Shapotkin Collection)
CTA bus 6286 is turning from Clark onto Southport in April 2008. This is the north end for Route 9 – Ashland. (John J. Le Beau Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)
Milwaukee County Transit System 4718 at the Mitchell International Airport cell phone parking lot on September 30, 2016. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Milwaukee County Transit System 5612 at the Mitchell International Airport cell phone parking lot on April 26, 2017. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Milwaukee County Transit System 5180 at the Bayshore loop on February 20, 2012, running the Green Line to Mitchell Airport. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Milwaukee County Transit System 5174 at the 60th and Vliet loop on May 27, 2012, running Route 33. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Milwaukee County Transit System 5129 at 35th and Silver Spring on June 9, 2012, running Route 19. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Milwaukee County Transit System 5162 at the 60th and Vliet loop on February 19, 2012, running Route 33. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Milwaukee County Transit System 5137 at the 60th and Vliet loop on March 5, 2012, running Route 33. (William Shapotkin Collection)
Railroad Record Club News
From Kenneth Gear:
I just found an interesting RRC document on line. It is a list of all RRC records available at the time of RRC 12 the DM&IR record’s release. I found it on a British vinyl record website but the copy of RRC 12 it came with was already sold. Unfortunately the scan is low res and there wasn’t much I could do to fix it. I color corrected it and sharpened the image. It is readable and contains a little bit of info about the club membership.
Barry Shanoff writes:
I haven’t seen any updates in a while. I hope all is well.
Thanks for writing.
I worked 15 out of 16 days in a row last month as an election judge, and that pretty much wore me out for a while. After that, it took me a couple weeks to get back up to speed.
Meanwhile, I have also been working hard on my next book, now scheduled for publication on October 1st. It’s close to being finished. I am also collecting material for what I hope will be next year’s book.
I have also been collecting lots of new images for the blog (see this post!). There’s a major article coming soon by Larry Sakar about Milwaukee streetcars, plus lots of images that other people have shared with me, in addition to ones I have purchased.
So although there hasn’t been a post in a while, a lot of work, as always, has been going on behind the scenes.
Charlie Vlk writes:
In case you haven’t come across this site the Indiana Historical Society has photos of 4200s being built and North Shore and South Shore items.
There is an excellent film of a North Shore Line wreck filmed on February 24, 1930 at https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A48292
PS- Still looking for photos of the Douglas Park CB&Q / El stations.
Thanks very much for sharing these links!
Thomas Kruse writes, regarding our previous post A Shoebox Full of Dreams (September 21, 2017)
A caregiver for my father sent this to me. My father is the Marvin C. Kruse you cited. A few corrections. My dad just celebrated his 96th birthday a few weeks ago, alive and well. Also he never said he was POW.
I LOVE what you have done with his photos that my brother sold. This is a real benefit for all. Very good memories; Dad enjoyed this blog, too.
Looks like some of the information I dug up applied to a different Marvin C. Kruse. We have corrected the post, thanks. Glad he likes it.
Jack Bejna writes:
Another great post! The time you spend in preparation of these posts has to be enormous and just want you to know that your efforts are appreciated!
More CA&E images to come!
Tony Waller writes:
While I commend you for keeping up the great work, I believe I detected some errors in your photos. In the photo of the Fifth Avenue shuttle’s one-man red car that you said must be 1954 and not the cited 1953. It could well have been 1953. When streetcars were replaced by weekend/holiday buses on Route 20 Madison and Madison/Fifth in March 1952, buses ran on the Fifth Avenue branch only on Saturdays (through to the Loop). One-man red cars instituted the shuttle service on Fifth Avenue on Sundays and major holidays. Following complete bus substitution on the main line of Madison in December 1953, the one-man red car shuttle provided all service (seven days per week) on Fifth Avenue until February 1954 when the branch was discontinued without replacement.
The photo of the IC electric suburban train does not appear to me to be at Halsted (West Pullman) station on the Blue Island branch. I can’t say where it is, however.
The photo of the two wooden “railroad roof” Chicago Rapid Transit cars are not on the Central St., Evanston elevation; but are on the bridge over the nearby North Shore Channel waterway.
The photo of the red streetcar on route 95 captioned as being at 93rd and Anthony Ave. is actually at 93rd and Exchange Ave. The streetcar line westbound turned from Exchange onto 93rd. Anthony Ave. parallels the PRR/NYC viaducts (and now the Skyway bridge alignment) that is in the near distance; crossing the streetcar line at a perpendicular angle.
But as I said above, keep up your great work!
Thanks for the corrections. I did already fix the caption for the IC picture, which was the result of the neg envelopes getting switched between two negs. Not sure whether Bob Selle did this, but in any event I purchased one neg and Jeff Wien the other. Once we swap neg envelopes, order will be restored in the universe.
The www.chicagorailfan.com web site gives May 11, 1952 as the date when buses were substituted for streetcars on weekends for Route 20, but did not say anything about the Madison-Fifth branch line still being operated with trolleys as a shuttle until December 13, 1953. Admittedly, some of this minutiae does get a bit confusing.
However, this is all clarified on page 284 of Chicago Surface Lines: An Illustrated History (Third Edition), where author Alan R. Lind notes:
“CTA substituted buses for the Madison main line cars on weekends only starting May 11, 1952… (regarding the Madison-Fifth branch) On May 11, 1952 it remained a two-man car route on weekdays to downtown, but became a bus route to downtown on Saturdays only, and a one-man shuttle car route on Sundays only.”
One reason Madison-Fifth was eventually discontinued without bus replacement was the construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway. It was decided to simply truncate Fifth Avenue at the highway and no bridge was built crossing it. Other cutbacks to that street have followed, to the point where today it is perhaps a vestige of what it once was.
The other thing that cinches it is the calendar. February 15, 1953 was a Sunday, when shuttle cars would have been running, while the following year the 15th was a Monday. Since Bob Selle marked on his neg envelope that this was a Sunday, the 1953 date must be correct after all.
Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes:
Missed you, wondered where you went. Glad you’re back.
Your caption says “signed for route 1 – Cermak.” Cermak was — and still is — route 21, as is displayed on the streetcar’s front sign.
The reason the original year given was 1953 is simple — everyone forgets to adjust for a new year until a few months into the new year. I’m sure you have written checks with the prior year’s date.
Behind the streetcar you see the tracks and the trolley wires curving to the left. Also, this streetcar is crossing a railroad. Also, the sign indicates the car is westbound to 95th and State. All of this tells me this is the area west of Stony Island Ave. where the 93rd/95th streetcar wiggled through several streets, heading west and south, before crossing the railroad seen in the picture. I also think the person in the front left window of the streetcar is its conductor. When the streetcar approached the railroad crossing, it stopped. The conductor had to get out of the streetcar, walk up to the railroad track, look both ways for trains, and then signal to the motorman if it was okay to cross the railroad tracks. The conductor probably re-boarded the streetcar at the front. He could stay there a while because the next streetcar stop was a fair distance west. By the way, this crossing required a two-man crew, which otherwise would have been only one man because of relatively light patronage on that line. The customers on this particular run were most likely steelworkers heading home.
I wondered why there was a Gulf, Mobile and Ohio passenger train in 1972, because most passenger railroads yielded to Amtrak in April 1971 (the only exceptions being the Rock Island, Southern, and Rio Grande). So I guessed this picture has to depict a commuter train. I looked up “GM&O commuter train” in Google, and sure enough, it was GM&O’s only commuter train of the day, called the Plug.
The “2” key on my computer keyboard has been malfunctioning recently, which explains why I typed 1 instead of 21.
Additional research seems to show the 1953 date is correct for image742. See my correspondence with Tony Waller, which I have posted to the main body of the post.
I will post your other corrections later today, thanks! Always great to hear from you.
George Trapp writes:
Great to see your latest post. I do have one small correction on one photo and a couple of observations on another.
The June 22, 1953 view of Tower 18 on the Loop Elevated: The train approaching on the left is an Evanston Express not a Ravenswood. The lead car is a former Northwestern Elevated 1000 series gate car, note left hand cab and trolley poles. The Ravenswood used former South Side gate cars that had been used on the Wilson-Kenwood locals at this time in addition to new 6000’s.. Also, run #509 is an Evanston run number, Ravenswood’s were in the 400’s. Train behind is a Ravenswood at Merchandise Mart with 6131-6200 series cars.
Photo of Air-Door Pullman #528 on State Street bridge running as a Broadway-State tripper on May 18, 1954. Interesting because some of these cars were retained for emergencies after Ashland was converted to bus in Feb., 1954. In your CERA bulletin 146, there’s a photo of a line of them at Devon next to PCC #7195. By May 1954 the Post War PCC fleet was down to 347 cars. One other thing is the former Chicago Motor Coach 1001-1008 series Mack C-50 on the Wabash bridge. Unusual because they were not GM’s CMC’s usual supplier. They were probably purchased at GM’s encouragement because of anti-trust pressure GM was feeling. CMC reverted back to GM for 50 more TDH5103’s delivered four months after the Macks.
It’s great to hear from you; thanks for writing.
Ravenswood was what Bob Selle, the photographer, wrote on his negative envelope, so I went with that. But as we know, no one is infallible, and sometimes what’s written on a neg, slide, or print can turn out to be wrong.
Mr. Selle was a stickler for details, often putting down the day of the week and even the time of day when his pictures were taken, so for him, it’s a rare mistake. I will correct the caption, thanks.
We have written about the last few red cars before, the ones that were kept after May 30, 1954 for emergency use. I am pretty sure we were able to determine which cars they were, and how many.
Adam Platt writes:
Thanks again for the wonderful posts. They keep me up way too late some nights.
Wally Weart writes:
A home run, really one of the best so far.
Glad you like this post. Again, special thanks to Jeff Wien and Bill Shapotkin for their contributions.
On the Cover: Car 1747 was built between 1885 and 1893 by the Chicago City Railway, which operated lines on the South Side starting in April 1859. This is a single-truck (one set of wheels) open electric car; most likely a cable car, retrofitted with a trolley and traction motor. The man at right is conductor William Stevely Atchison (1861-1921), and this image came from his granddaughter. (Courtesy of Debbie Becker.)
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