Hard Work

This is the back end of a southbound CTA Jackson Park "B" train at Sheridan Road on July 7, 1966.

This is the back end of a southbound CTA Jackson Park “B” train at Sheridan Road on July 7, 1966.

It’s been more than a month since our last post, but that’s not for lack of effort. We have been hard at work on the images in this post. I have put it many, many hours with these pictures in Photoshop to make them look their best, or least, better than how I found them.

Sometimes, it seems that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. I was up late last night writing more than 50 captions, and somehow they all vanished, and I had to rewrite them. But that’s okay, since the new versions you see here are better.

It’s been our experience that hard work often pays off. You be the judge.

We have also been hard at work on a new book– Chicago’s Lost “L”s, which will focus on those aspects of the system that either no longer exist, or have been completely changed. Work on this book is pretty far along. All the photo selections have been made, and the cover is finished.

We are excited about this new project, and hope you will be too. More information will be forthcoming as things progress.

Enjoy!

-David Sadowski

PS- Our thanks go out to Jeff Wien for sharing some fantastic images from the Wien-Criss Archive.

Recent Finds

The North Shore Line's Milwaukee Terminal on a wintry night in January 1963. This is a remarkable photo for the time, as it surely involved a long exposure time of at least a few seconds, with the camera held perfectly still on a tripod. Film speeds for color slide film were very slow and those films were designed for use in bright sunlight. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The North Shore Line’s Milwaukee Terminal on a wintry night in January 1963. This is a remarkable photo for the time, as it surely involved a long exposure time of at least a few seconds, with the camera held perfectly still on a tripod. Film speeds for color slide film were very slow and those films were designed for use in bright sunlight. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A northbound North Shore Line train stops at Dempster in January 1963, the final month. Just over a year later, after the abandonment, the CTA resumed service between here and Howard as the Skokie Swift. Note the sign at left for a yarn store in the terminal building. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A northbound North Shore Line train stops at Dempster in January 1963, the final month. Just over a year later, after the abandonment, the CTA resumed service between here and Howard as the Skokie Swift. Note the sign at left for a yarn store in the terminal building. (Wien-Criss Archive)

This and the following picture: A Kenosha Motor Coach bus is posed next to the former North Shore Line station circa 1967. The building remains, but has been altered over the years for use, first by a restaurant, then as a day care center. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This and the following picture: A Kenosha Motor Coach bus is posed next to the former North Shore Line station circa 1967. The building remains, but has been altered over the years for use, first by a restaurant, then as a day care center. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This, and the next three images are from "superslides," meaning film larger than 35mm, but still able to fit in a regular 2x2 slide mount. This was possible with both 127 and 828 film, but it's the latter here, in this shot by W. H. Higginbotham showing an Electroliner at Grange Avenue in Milwaukee County. (Wien-Criss Archive)

This, and the next three images are from “superslides,” meaning film larger than 35mm, but still able to fit in a regular 2×2 slide mount. This was possible with both 127 and 828 film, but it’s the latter here, in this shot by W. H. Higginbotham showing an Electroliner at Grange Avenue in Milwaukee County. (Wien-Criss Archive)

NSL 741 creeps south along the old 6th Street viaduct in Milwaukee, next to a 1958 Chevy. (Wien-Criss Archive)

NSL 741 creeps south along the old 6th Street viaduct in Milwaukee, next to a 1958 Chevy. (Wien-Criss Archive)

An Electroliner at 6th and Oklahoma in Milwaukee in 1962. (W. H. Higginbotham Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

An Electroliner at 6th and Oklahoma in Milwaukee in 1962. (W. H. Higginbotham Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

An Electroliner at Edison Court in Waukegan on May 26, 1959. (Wien-Criss Archive)

An Electroliner at Edison Court in Waukegan on May 26, 1959. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A truly historic photo that probably hasn't seen the light in 57 years. The late Charles L. Tauscher rode the last North Shore Line train ever, which ended its run at Roosevelt Road in the early morning hours of a very cold January 21, 1963. Motorman Bill Livings has just taken off the headlight and poses for a few pictures. This must be a long exposure (this was Ektachrome, and the film speed was 32) and you can see some motion blur on other parts of the platform. Truly the end of an era. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A truly historic photo that probably hasn’t seen the light in 57 years. The late Charles L. Tauscher rode the last North Shore Line train ever, which ended its run at Roosevelt Road in the early morning hours of a very cold January 21, 1963. Motorman Bill Livings has just taken off the headlight and poses for a few pictures. This must be a long exposure (this was Ektachrome, and the film speed was 32) and you can see some motion blur on other parts of the platform. Truly the end of an era. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The El Paso trolley, in its original incarnation, was an international affair, with service to Juarez, Mexico. This picture was taken in 1962. (Wien-Criss Archive)

The El Paso trolley, in its original incarnation, was an international affair, with service to Juarez, Mexico. This picture was taken in 1962. (Wien-Criss Archive)

This picture of the CTA Stockyards line was taken in September 1957, shortly before the line was abandoned. There is little in this picture that still exists today, except for the shuttered Stock Yards National Bank Building, at 4146 S. Halsted Street. (Wien-Criss Archive)

This picture of the CTA Stockyards line was taken in September 1957, shortly before the line was abandoned. There is little in this picture that still exists today, except for the shuttered Stock Yards National Bank Building, at 4146 S. Halsted Street. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A gate car (345) and a Met car are in the process of being scrapped at Skokie Shops in September 1957. (Wien-Criss Archive)

A gate car (345) and a Met car are in the process of being scrapped at Skokie Shops in September 1957. (Wien-Criss Archive)

As much as we would like Chicago "L" cars to remain on the structure, there have been a few times when they did not. This April 12, 1974 photo shows one that came pretty close to falling down, but fortunately did not. This looks like downtown, but I am not sure of the exact location. Andre Kristopans adds, "Wreck was at Lake/Wells with 6047-48. Took W to N curve way too fast. This was probably last wreck cleaned up with only Rail derricks, S363 and S367. No rubber tired cranes used."

As much as we would like Chicago “L” cars to remain on the structure, there have been a few times when they did not. This April 12, 1974 photo shows one that came pretty close to falling down, but fortunately did not. This looks like downtown, but I am not sure of the exact location. Andre Kristopans adds, “Wreck was at Lake/Wells with 6047-48. Took W to N curve way too fast. This was probably last wreck cleaned up with only Rail derricks, S363 and S367. No rubber tired cranes used.”

We ran a lo-fi version of this picture in a previous post. The location at first was a real mystery, but turned out to be 42nd Place, the terminal of the CTA Kenwood branch, looking west. The next photo was taken further down the platform. (We ran originally ran this with other pictures that we saw on eBay, but hadn't been able to purchase. It was relisted and we decided to buy it after all.) Ross Harano adds, "The view is looking north rather than west. The building with the chimney is Oakenwald Grammar School at 4071 S. Lake Park that I attended. The tower on the right is the "Kiosk Sphinx" that was on an estate just north of the grammar school. Geoffrey Baer had a segment on his WTTW's "Ask Geoffrey" about the wealthy family that built a Mediterranean style home with a pool and "Eiffel" tower. The property to the west of the station was owned by Nelson Coal. You can see the coal moving equipment in the photo. Nelson Coal stored mountains of coal east of the terminal tracks next to the Illinois Central Tracks. We used to play soldiers on the coal until we would be chased away by Nelson Coal workers."

We ran a lo-fi version of this picture in a previous post. The location at first was a real mystery, but turned out to be 42nd Place, the terminal of the CTA Kenwood branch, looking west. The next photo was taken further down the platform. (We ran originally ran this with other pictures that we saw on eBay, but hadn’t been able to purchase. It was relisted and we decided to buy it after all.) Ross Harano adds, “The view is looking north rather than west. The building with the chimney is Oakenwald Grammar School at 4071 S. Lake Park that I attended. The tower on the right is the “Kiosk Sphinx” that was on an estate just north of the grammar school. Geoffrey Baer had a segment on his WTTW’s “Ask Geoffrey” about the wealthy family that built a Mediterranean style home with a pool and “Eiffel” tower. The property to the west of the station was owned by Nelson Coal. You can see the coal moving equipment in the photo. Nelson Coal stored mountains of coal east of the terminal tracks next to the Illinois Central Tracks. We used to play soldiers on the coal until we would be chased away by Nelson Coal workers.”

This is the view looking west from the east terminal of the Kenwood branch at 42nd Place. There was a short stretch of steel structure, before the line ran on an embankment owned by the Chicago Junction Railway. Ross Harano: "This view is also looking north. The photo was taken from the north end of the platform next to the control tower building. The tall building in the background is one of the first CHA buildings on the lakefront at Lake Park and Oakwood Boulevard. The railroad tracks that ran with the "L" tracks went east over the Illinois Central tracks and ran south."

This is the view looking west from the east terminal of the Kenwood branch at 42nd Place. There was a short stretch of steel structure, before the line ran on an embankment owned by the Chicago Junction Railway. Ross Harano: “This view is also looking north. The photo was taken from the north end of the platform next to the control tower building. The tall building in the background is one of the first CHA buildings on the lakefront at Lake Park and Oakwood Boulevard. The railroad tracks that ran with the “L” tracks went east over the Illinois Central tracks and ran south.”

A wooden Chicago "L" car at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, May 1968. The museum had moved here in 1964 from its original location in North Chicago. I believe that is a Milwaukee streetcar at left.

A wooden Chicago “L” car at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, May 1968. The museum had moved here in 1964 from its original location in North Chicago. I believe that is a Milwaukee streetcar at left.

This postcard, circa 1910, shows one of the single track "L" stations that were a unique feature of the old Stockyards branch.

This postcard, circa 1910, shows one of the single track “L” stations that were a unique feature of the old Stockyards branch.

On February 24, 1957 we see a Douglas Park "L" train crossing over a Garfield Park one, running on temporary tracks in Van Buren Street, while the Congress median line (foreground) is under construction.

On February 24, 1957 we see a Douglas Park “L” train crossing over a Garfield Park one, running on temporary tracks in Van Buren Street, while the Congress median line (foreground) is under construction.

On February 24, 1957 a two-car train of CTA 4000s heads east on Van Buren at Ashland. This was the temporary route for part of the Garfield Park “L” from 1953 to 1958.

This is the view looking south from the Lake Street "L" at Paulina on March 17, 1954. The tracks at right were where the Met "L" went over the Lake line. At left is a new connection, just about to be put into service, that allowed Douglas Park trains to go to the Loop via Lake Street. This connection was used from 1954 to 1958, and is now used again by Pink Line trains (the successor to Douglas).

This is the view looking south from the Lake Street “L” at Paulina on March 17, 1954. The tracks at right were where the Met “L” went over the Lake line. At left is a new connection, just about to be put into service, that allowed Douglas Park trains to go to the Loop via Lake Street. This connection was used from 1954 to 1958, and is now used again by Pink Line trains (the successor to Douglas).

A two-car Kenwood "L" train, including 2910, is in the stub at Indiana Avenue station on February 25, 1955.

A two-car Kenwood “L” train, including 2910, is in the stub at Indiana Avenue station on February 25, 1955.

A Garfield Park "L" train of 4000s heads west at Kedzie on November 6, 1955. Unlike some other stations on the line, this one remained in service until 1958 as it was not directly in the expressway footprint. The first car is a "Baldie," built circa 1915, and the second is a "Plushie," from around 1924. These were state of the art cars when new, and were in service for nearly 50 years.

A Garfield Park “L” train of 4000s heads west at Kedzie on November 6, 1955. Unlike some other stations on the line, this one remained in service until 1958 as it was not directly in the expressway footprint. The first car is a “Baldie,” built circa 1915, and the second is a “Plushie,” from around 1924. These were state of the art cars when new, and were in service for nearly 50 years.

Here, a former Lake Street "L" car heads up a Stockyards shuttle train at Indiana Avenue on April 11, 1954.

Here, a former Lake Street “L” car heads up a Stockyards shuttle train at Indiana Avenue on April 11, 1954.

Car 1715 is a Lake Street Local at Marion Street in Oak Park. In 1948, locals and expresses were replaced by the CTA's A/B "skip stop" service.

Car 1715 is a Lake Street Local at Marion Street in Oak Park. In 1948, locals and expresses were replaced by the CTA’s A/B “skip stop” service.

CTA 3147 is at the front of a Lake Street "B" train at Marion. Despite the age of the car at left (circa 1939) this picture cannot have been taken prior to 1948.

CTA 3147 is at the front of a Lake Street “B” train at Marion. Despite the age of the car at left (circa 1939) this picture cannot have been taken prior to 1948.

CTA 1780 heads up a Lake Street "A" train at Marion Street. This was not quite the end of the line, as there was a station just west of Harlem Avenue in Forest Park. But this station was far more popular and Harlem and Marion serves today as the end of the line, since the Lake Street "L" was relocated to the adjacent North Western embankment in 1962.

CTA 1780 heads up a Lake Street “A” train at Marion Street. This was not quite the end of the line, as there was a station just west of Harlem Avenue in Forest Park. But this station was far more popular and Harlem and Marion serves today as the end of the line, since the Lake Street “L” was relocated to the adjacent North Western embankment in 1962.

This two-car train (including #299) is at Indiana Avenue station. The photo says this is a Kenwood train, but I am wondering if this is Stock Yards instead.

This two-car train (including #299) is at Indiana Avenue station. The photo says this is a Kenwood train, but I am wondering if this is Stock Yards instead.

When the CTA realigned the north and south side routes, Kenwood became a shuttle. These wooden gate cars (200-series) are being stored on an otherwise unused track on the South Side main. The Kenwood branch itself is at left.

When the CTA realigned the north and south side routes, Kenwood became a shuttle. These wooden gate cars (200-series) are being stored on an otherwise unused track on the South Side main. The Kenwood branch itself is at left.

Riders are coming and going from Kenwood car 273 at Indiana Avenue.

Riders are coming and going from Kenwood car 273 at Indiana Avenue.

CTA gate car #268 (or at least that is what is written on the picture) at Indiana Avenue, operating as a Kenwood shuttle. By the mid-1950s these cars were replaced by former Met "L" cars as they were taken off other lines.

CTA gate car #268 (or at least that is what is written on the picture) at Indiana Avenue, operating as a Kenwood shuttle. By the mid-1950s these cars were replaced by former Met “L” cars as they were taken off other lines.

Gate car #204 at Halsted on the Stock Yards branch.

Gate car #204 at Halsted on the Stock Yards branch.

I find this picture of car 1109 and train interesting for a number of reasons. It took a while to figure out where this is, but I believe it is on the Wabash leg of the Loop "L" heading north at Jackson. This area was, for many years, Chicago's "music row," and Kimball Pianos is at right. Since we are south of Adams, the station in the rear is Congress and Wabash, which was closed in 1949 and removed soon after, as Congress was widened for the expressway project. The train is an Evanston Express, going to Wilmette, but also mentions Skokie as a destination. Niles Center changed its name to Skokie in 1941, so this picture dates to the 1940s. Then, as now, it is not advisable to put your head or arms outside the car window.

I find this picture of car 1109 and train interesting for a number of reasons. It took a while to figure out where this is, but I believe it is on the Wabash leg of the Loop “L” heading north at Jackson. This area was, for many years, Chicago’s “music row,” and Kimball Pianos is at right. Since we are south of Adams, the station in the rear is Congress and Wabash, which was closed in 1949 and removed soon after, as Congress was widened for the expressway project. The train is an Evanston Express, going to Wilmette, but also mentions Skokie as a destination. Niles Center changed its name to Skokie in 1941, so this picture dates to the 1940s. Then, as now, it is not advisable to put your head or arms outside the car window.

Car 1048 is in the pocket track at Dempster, end of the line for Niles Center. The CTA replaced this with buses in 1948, but the line was revived as the Skokie Swift in 1964, following the North Shore Line's abandonment the previous year. The historic station building has since been moved slightly to the north and east to provide a bus lane.

Car 1048 is in the pocket track at Dempster, end of the line for Niles Center. The CTA replaced this with buses in 1948, but the line was revived as the Skokie Swift in 1964, following the North Shore Line’s abandonment the previous year. The historic station building has since been moved slightly to the north and east to provide a bus lane.

Gate car 2324 at Skokie Shops.

Gate car 2324 at Skokie Shops.

4000s going over the North Shore Channel bridge in Evanston, when it appears to be brand new. Not sure of the date. Miles Beitler adds, "It may have been taken during the elevation of the north end of the Evanston line from University Place to just north of Central Street. That project was completed in 1931. There would have been a bridge over the North Shore Channel long before then, as the channel was completed in 1910 and was crossed by a steam railroad at that point, but perhaps the elevation of the line required replacement or reconstruction of the existing bridge."

4000s going over the North Shore Channel bridge in Evanston, when it appears to be brand new. Not sure of the date. Miles Beitler adds, “It may have been taken during the elevation of the north end of the Evanston line from University Place to just north of Central Street. That project was completed in 1931. There would have been a bridge over the North Shore Channel long before then, as the channel was completed in 1910 and was crossed by a steam railroad at that point, but perhaps the elevation of the line required replacement or reconstruction of the existing bridge.”

2756 was a Met, car built in 1895, that at some point was converted for use as a medical car, and traveled over the Insull properties whenever it was necessary to give physical exams. Here, we see it on the Cross Street team track in Wheaton. Since the car did not have trolley poles, when it went on the North Shore Line, it had to be towed by something else, like a box motor car.

2756 was a Met, car built in 1895, that at some point was converted for use as a medical car, and traveled over the Insull properties whenever it was necessary to give physical exams. Here, we see it on the Cross Street team track in Wheaton. Since the car did not have trolley poles, when it went on the North Shore Line, it had to be towed by something else, like a box motor car.

Pullman PCC 4062 being delivered in 1946. This was the first of 600 new postwar streetcars for Chicago.

Pullman PCC 4062 being delivered in 1946. This was the first of 600 new postwar streetcars for Chicago.

The view looking north from Howard Street in 1930. The North Shore Line's Skokie Valeey Route is at left. Straight ahead leads to Evanston and Wilmette.

The view looking north from Howard Street in 1930. The North Shore Line’s Skokie Valeey Route is at left. Straight ahead leads to Evanston and Wilmette.

In the mid-1950s, some new 6000s are being delivered to 63rd Street Lower Yard.

In the mid-1950s, some new 6000s are being delivered to 63rd Street Lower Yard.

The Kenwood branch was mainly on an embankment owned by the Chicago Junction Railway.

The Kenwood branch was mainly on an embankment owned by the Chicago Junction Railway.

The Kenwood branch, near the east end of the line. The Nelson Coal Company was located at 1119 East 42nd Street. This must be near the end of service, as that looks like a 1957 Dodge at left.

The Kenwood branch, near the east end of the line. The Nelson Coal Company was located at 1119 East 42nd Street. This must be near the end of service, as that looks like a 1957 Dodge at left.

Met cars passing each other at DesPlaines Avenue in Forest Park, possibly circa 1952. There is a bus visible, which could be the CTA #17, which replaced the Westchester branch in December 1951. But it looks like this predates the rearrangement of this area which took place in 1953, when the Chicago Aurora and Elgin cut back service to Forest Park.

Met cars passing each other at DesPlaines Avenue in Forest Park, possibly circa 1952. There is a bus visible, which could be the CTA #17, which replaced the Westchester branch in December 1951. But it looks like this predates the rearrangement of this area which took place in 1953, when the Chicago Aurora and Elgin cut back service to Forest Park.

Although this circa 1905 postcard view is not very clear, this appears to be the Central Avenue station on the ground level portion of the Lake Street "L", at a time before the nearby Chicago & North Western elevated its tracks onto an embankment. According to Bill Shapotkin, the C&NW called this station either Austin or "Boulevard." Clarification from Bill: "This image is indeed of the Central St station of the Lake St 'L'. That said, the C&NW station was known as "Austin," NOT "Boulevard." As confusing as it is, The "Austin" C&NW station was at Central Ave and the "Boulevard" station was at Austin Blvd. This threw me for a while as well -- and had to have a old-timer explain it to me."

Although this circa 1905 postcard view is not very clear, this appears to be the Central Avenue station on the ground level portion of the Lake Street “L”, at a time before the nearby Chicago & North Western elevated its tracks onto an embankment. According to Bill Shapotkin, the C&NW called this station either Austin or “Boulevard.” Clarification from Bill: “This image is indeed of the Central St station of the Lake St ‘L’. That said, the C&NW station was known as “Austin,” NOT “Boulevard.” As confusing as it is, The “Austin” C&NW station was at Central Ave and the “Boulevard” station was at Austin Blvd. This threw me for a while as well — and had to have a old-timer explain it to me.”

In March 1958, the Illinois Electric Railway Museum ran a fantrip on parts of the CTA "L" system, using car 1024 and a work car. This was some months after the last wood car was used in regular service. Here, we see train on a siding in Evanston. We previously ran a photo of the same train on the Garfield Park "L" temporary trackage. 1024 went to IERM and has since been restored as car 24.

In March 1958, the Illinois Electric Railway Museum ran a fantrip on parts of the CTA “L” system, using car 1024 and a work car. This was some months after the last wood car was used in regular service. Here, we see train on a siding in Evanston. We previously ran a photo of the same train on the Garfield Park “L” temporary trackage. 1024 went to IERM and has since been restored as car 24.

There was only a short time frame when this picture could have been taken at Halsted and Congress. In the late 1940s, PCCs were used on Halsted, but they were removed starting in 1953, and service ended the following year with older red cars such as this. Under the new bridge, part of the Congress Expressway project, are the subway portals which now serve the rapid transit line that replaced the Garfield Park "L" seen at left.

There was only a short time frame when this picture could have been taken at Halsted and Congress. In the late 1940s, PCCs were used on Halsted, but they were removed starting in 1953, and service ended the following year with older red cars such as this. Under the new bridge, part of the Congress Expressway project, are the subway portals which now serve the rapid transit line that replaced the Garfield Park “L” seen at left.

New 6000s being delivered to Skokie Shops via the North Shore Line. Unfortunately, this picture is too fuzzy to make out the car numbers.

New 6000s being delivered to Skokie Shops via the North Shore Line. Unfortunately, this picture is too fuzzy to make out the car numbers.

This and the following picture show DC Transit pre-PCC 1053 in June 1961. n This historic car survived for many years before being destroyed in a museum fire. (Charles L. Tauscher Photos)

This and the following picture show DC Transit pre-PCC 1053 in June 1961. n This historic car survived for many years before being destroyed in a museum fire. (Charles L. Tauscher Photos)

The Homan station on the Lake Street "L" in August 1965. This station was closed as part of the 1990s semi-rebuild of the lake line, and was then moved a few blocks to become the Garfield Park Conservatory station.

The Homan station on the Lake Street “L” in August 1965. This station was closed as part of the 1990s semi-rebuild of the lake line, and was then moved a few blocks to become the Garfield Park Conservatory station.

A family portrait by CTA articulated compartment car 51 at Dempster in Skokie in October 1968. This car was originally 5001 as delivered in 1947.

A family portrait by CTA articulated compartment car 51 at Dempster in Skokie in October 1968. This car was originally 5001 as delivered in 1947.

In June 1978, work is already underway on the new Forest Park CTA terminal. This was made much easier after the nearby Chicago Great Western train line was abandoned around 1972. The temporary station here occupies the oldd CGW right-of-way and used their bridge over DesPlaines Avenue. Once teh new station was built, the temporary one was torn down (along with the bridge) and the north side of the station now has pickup/dropoff lanes for buses.

In June 1978, work is already underway on the new Forest Park CTA terminal. This was made much easier after the nearby Chicago Great Western train line was abandoned around 1972. The temporary station here occupies the oldd CGW right-of-way and used their bridge over DesPlaines Avenue. Once teh new station was built, the temporary one was torn down (along with the bridge) and the north side of the station now has pickup/dropoff lanes for buses.

The late Gordon E. Lloyd took this picture at North Chicago Junction on April 23, 1961. Chuck W. notes, "The fan trip train on the left, is coming off the Shore Line Route. The train on the right, is the mainline to Chicago, which will split at Upton Junction, with the main line continuing on the Skokie Valley Route and the other branch heading to Libertyville and Mundelein."

The late Gordon E. Lloyd took this picture at North Chicago Junction on April 23, 1961. Chuck W. notes, “The fan trip train on the left, is coming off the Shore Line Route. The train on the right, is the mainline to Chicago, which will split at Upton Junction, with the main line continuing on the Skokie Valley Route and the other branch heading to Libertyville and Mundelein.”

The CTA station at Linden Avenue in Wilmette in January 1970. The building has been preserved, but is no longer used as the station entrance.

The CTA station at Linden Avenue in Wilmette in January 1970. The building has been preserved, but is no longer used as the station entrance.

The Chicago Surface Lines kept some historic streetcars for use in parades and special events. Since the experimental pre-PCC 7001 is present here, I would say this picture most likely predates the arrival of PCCs in late 1936. It could be from a couple of events in 1936, when Ashland was extended across a new bridge, or when two segments of 87th Street were joined by a new connection.

The Chicago Surface Lines kept some historic streetcars for use in parades and special events. Since the experimental pre-PCC 7001 is present here, I would say this picture most likely predates the arrival of PCCs in late 1936. It could be from a couple of events in 1936, when Ashland was extended across a new bridge, or when two segments of 87th Street were joined by a new connection.

This picture was found together with the previous one, and as they are sequentially numbered, it may or may not be from the same event. The occasion is a parade, and here we see an authentic 1859 horse car, probably in 1936. This is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. CSL made some recreations of things in 1934, including a faux cable car, but this is the real thing.

This picture was found together with the previous one, and as they are sequentially numbered, it may or may not be from the same event. The occasion is a parade, and here we see an authentic 1859 horse car, probably in 1936. This is now at the Illinois Railway Museum. CSL made some recreations of things in 1934, including a faux cable car, but this is the real thing.

A northbound Ravenswood "A" train at Chicago Avenue in the late 1950s.

A northbound Ravenswood “A” train at Chicago Avenue in the late 1950s.

There were several Red Arrow cars used in afantrip on the West Chester line in Philadelphia's suburbs on June 6, 1954, and car 68 appears to be one of them. There was a photo stop here at Patrick Avenue, and the bridge is highway 202. This 19-mile interurban line had good ridership, but fell victim to a project that widened West Chester Pike. It was replaced by buses.

There were several Red Arrow cars used in afantrip on the West Chester line in Philadelphia’s suburbs on June 6, 1954, and car 68 appears to be one of them. There was a photo stop here at Patrick Avenue, and the bridge is highway 202. This 19-mile interurban line had good ridership, but fell victim to a project that widened West Chester Pike. It was replaced by buses.

Recent Correspondence

Wooje Song writes:

I’m looking for the copyright holder who took attached photos. Attached are the photos I’m looking for.

I’m working in Chopin Theatre as an intern and my boss wants to use those pictures.

The surrounding streets in the first photo are Division and Milwaukee Avenue. The two cars pictured are No. 3208 and No. 3256.

The second one was taken at Ashland (left-right) and Milwaukee (up-down) at the Polish Triangle.

I googled to find out and finally reached you. I hope you have any ideas about this.

Chances are these pictures, circa 1930, are in the public domain. Back then, you had to individually copyright photos. There wasn’t the sort of automatic protection we have today.

Also, any new claim of copyright would depend, today, on their having been unpublished until now. Obviously, that is not the case. These pictures have likely been circulating for a long time.

They don’t look familiar, but I can also ask my readers if they might know who took these.

Hope this helps.

From Our Resident South Side Expert M.E.:

Let me start off by saying your hard work is much appreciated. The CNS&M pictures in particular are dazzling.

Now, on to my commentary for today.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/rbk335.jpg
I have a lot to say about this photo.

First: Your caption says “The photo says this is a Kenwood train, but I am
wondering if this is Stock Yards instead.” The answer is: neither. These cars are just sitting idle in storage. But they are probably assigned to the Stock Yards line.

Second: Judging by the water tower in front of the stored cars, and seeing the barrier along the rear of the platform at the right, I conclude this view looks west. The barrier convinced me there is no Stock Yards stub track on the other side of that platform. Ergo, the Stock Yards stub track is off the left side of the picture. And the Stock Yards train went west from Indiana. So the view is west.

Third: The 4000-series steel train is a through train from the north side to either Englewood or Jackson Park. That train, heading east through the station but on its way south, was on either the Howard-Jackson Park line or the Ravenwood-Englewood line. The corresponding westbound/northbound track used the track farthest from the camera.

I tried reading the destination sign on the 4000-series front car, but it is too faint. As I recall, it would have said either
Howard St.- or Ravenswood-
Jackson Park Englewood
via subway via subway
and the signs in the opposite direction would have said either
Jackson Park- or Englewood-
Howard St. Ravenswood
via subway via subway

The three-track setup through the station means the picture was taken before several major system revisions were made on 1 August 1949:
— the northern terminus of the Englewood line became Howard St.
— Ravenwood got its own separate line into downtown.
— Englewood/Howard A and Jackson Park/Howard B skip-stop service started.
— the Kenwood-to-Wilson line was cut back to a shuttle from Indiana Ave. to 42nd Place.

At that time, the trackage and platforms at Indiana Ave. also changed:
— the track at the right was almost totally covered over by extending the west/northbound platform out over the track.
— the remaining (uncovered) portion of that track became the stub terminal for the Kenwood shuttle.
— what was the middle track became the west/northbound track.

Third: The three tracks continued in both directions out of the station. From the east end of the station, the north/south service turned south, and all three tracks continued to just north of the 43rd St. station. From the west end of the station, the north/south service turned north, and all three tracks continued all the way past 18th St. to where the subway began.

This meant the middle track was available for car storage, even through the station. And that is what you see in the picture.

Fourth: Were these stored cars used on the Kenwood or Stock Yards line? I’m going with the Stock Yards line, for four reasons:
— The Kenwood line, at its eastern end at 42nd Place, had storage tracks. The Stock Yards line never had a place on its own trackage to store cars.
— As your photo in
https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/rbk334.jpg
illustrates, Kenwood cars could also be stored around the curve east/south of Indiana.
— West of the Indiana station, there were five tracks — two for the Stock Yards line and three for the north/south lines. And there were lots and lots of switches between the five tracks. In order to keep the switches clear, Stock Yards cars had to be stored someplace else, such as right there in the station.
— I tried reading the sign on the closest stored car (next to the car’s number), and I think the first word says “Stock”.

Your next three photos,
https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/rbk332.jpg
and
https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/rbk333.jpg
and
https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/rbk334.jpg
further illustrate the setup at Indiana Ave. post-1949 change.

https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/rbk327.jpg Your caption says “…the station in the rear is Congress and Wabash, which was closed in 1949 and removed soon after, as Congress was widened for the expressway project.” I contend it was closed on 1 August 1949 when the Kenwood line no longer ran downtown and then up to Wilson. Furthermore, this station could not have been closed due to Congress Xwy construction because, given the timeline in https://thetrolleydodger.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/rbk315.jpg ,
construction didn’t begin until 1952 or 1953.

Several other stations south of downtown were also closed on 1 August 1949: 18th, 26th, 29th, 33rd, and Pershing (leaving Cermak and 35th). Those stations also served the north/south line, but with the new skip/stop service, the stations were closed, and customers had to use surface routes. Here is a list of all closed L stations:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_Chicago_%22L%22_stations

Thanks very much as always for your insightful comments.

The idea of a Congress Parkway highway goes back to the Burnham Plan at least, but was kicked around locally through the 20s and 30s before being pushed by Harold Ickes, FDR’s Secretary of the Interior, who came from the northern suburbs. This was his favored alternative to the plan Mayor Kelly was pushing, starting in 1937, which would have converted several of the “L” lines into elevated highways. (A plan which, if realized, would have been a disaster IMHO.)

Congress was not a wide street downtown. It had to be widened for the highway project, and from Dearborn to the west, there was also additional subway construction. The first phase of subway work only brought the Dearborn line as far as Congress, where it stopped.

This work was quite complicated near LaSalle Street Station, as the subway was built, and the street widened, at the same time that trains had to be kept running there.

Work on widening Congress as far east as Michigan Avenue was already happening in 1949, and it was around this time that buildings on the north and south sides of Congress were altered, and new sidewalks were carved out of those structures (including the Auditorium Theater building) so the street could be made wider. In other areas further west, some buildings were actually demolished.

Likewise, work on creating the lower level of Wacker Drive, the section running north and south along what had been Market Street, also began in 1949. The old Market Street Stub was in the way and was torn down. Work proceeded at the rate of about one block per year on that major project, which I think had reached Madison Street by about 1953. A bit further south, this also resulted in the old Met “L” connection to the Loop being rerouted through the former Wells Street Terminal. This took place in 1955 and then a section of “L”, including the station at Franklin and Van Buren, was removed.

All this was taking place, even though many parts of the expressway itself did not open until later– 1955, I believe.  Once it was decided to build a highway that would end downtown, the question of how traffic would be distributed there was a major concern, and one which had to be addressed fully even before the highway itself was opened.

-David Sadowski

Product News

We recently acquired some documents that have been scanned, and added to our E-Book The “New Look” in Chicago Transit: 1938-1973, available as a DVD data disc in our Online Store. The first is a brochure detailing (as of 1953) the reasons for the creation of the Chicago Transit Authority, and their accomplishments up to that time.

The second is the Report of the Committee on Signals and Interlocking for the Chicago Subway, dated June 1941. This committee was made up of representatives from the Department of Subways and Superhighways (City of Chicago), the Committee on Local Transporation (City of Chicago), the Illinois Commerce Commission, Chicago Surface Lines, and Chicago Rapid Transit Company.

Faced with answering the question of what type of signals and interlocking equipment should be used in the subway, which opened in October 1943, the committee did research and made recommendations, as well as presenting their rationale for their particular choices and the reasoning behind certain policies and practices.

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

-David Sadowski

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
[/caption]


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago in November 2018, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!

Bibliographic information:
Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages
Chapter Titles:
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
06. Displaced
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960
Building Chicago’s Subways is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.
The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.
For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo) Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 251st 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 637,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

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

We thank you for your support.

DONATIONS

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

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

Happy New Year

NSL 187 at Pettibone Yard on June 21, 1963, months after abandonment. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL 187 at Pettibone Yard on June 21, 1963, months after abandonment. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

We have lots of great, classic photos in this, our first post for 2020. We thank William Shapotkin for sharing these with our readers.

As always, we thank our readers, who add their thoughts and ideas to the various photographs we show. Thanks to you, many mysteries have been solved, with various locations identified, and we have gained invaluable insights as a result, as we share information with each other.  It’s a collaborative effort, and you are an essential part of that.

The Trolley Dodger blog will celebrate its five-year anniversary in just a few days. It takes a lot of hard work to scan and restore all the images that we show here, which now number in the thousands. Some of our posts have over 100 images apiece, and this is our 245th post.  That’s a lot of blood, sweat, toil, and tears.

The Trolley Dodger blog started off as very much a money-losing venture, and over the last five years, the loss has probably totaled at least $30k. But I tend to think of this as an investment in you, the reader, and in the cause of historic preservation, which I hope we all believe in. We have worked to make The Trolley Dodger into a self-sustaining venture, or at least one that only loses a small amount of money overall.

January is the one time of year when we make a direct fundraising appeal for help defraying the annual fees and expenses it takes to keep this blog going. As in the past, we have a goal of just $400, which represents only a bit more than $1 per day for the year.

We hope that you will consider helping us with a financial contribution, however small. When you consider that each year, we receive over 100,000 page views, it’s a bargain. If you want to help, there are links towards the end of this post.

With your assistance, we can assure that the Trolley Dodger will keep on running for another year.

I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

-David Sadowski

Recent Finds

On July 26, 1955, a high pressure jet of water is used during cleaning of the CTA State Street Subway tube walls at the Roosevelt Road station. Virgil Gunlock (left) and H. L. Howell are inspecting the work.

On July 26, 1955, a high pressure jet of water is used during cleaning of the CTA State Street Subway tube walls at the Roosevelt Road station. Virgil Gunlock (left) and H. L. Howell are inspecting the work.

This line art drawing of the CTA's Congress rapid transit line, aka the "West Side Subway," appeared on a June 1958 track map.

This line art drawing of the CTA’s Congress rapid transit line, aka the “West Side Subway,” appeared on a June 1958 track map.

April 29, 1954: Anna Daltin, 69, of Chicago, shortly after being hit in the face by the edge of a Chicago streetcar, receives aid from police stretcher crew. she was taken to (the) hospital with a possible fractured nose and facial abrasions.

April 29, 1954: Anna Daltin, 69, of Chicago, shortly after being hit in the face by the edge of a Chicago streetcar, receives aid from police stretcher crew. she was taken to (the) hospital with a possible fractured nose and facial abrasions.

May 25, 1950: Firemen shoot (a) stream of water over burned-out streetcar into blazing building set afire by flaming gasoline, after the streetcar and tank truck (between streetcar and building) collided here.

May 25, 1950: Firemen shoot (a) stream of water over burned-out streetcar into blazing building set afire by flaming gasoline, after the streetcar and tank truck (between streetcar and building) collided here.

By April 11, 1954, when this picture was taken by the late Bill Hoffman, the LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel had already been closed for about 15 years. It fell victim to subway construction in 1939. But as you can see, the north approach had not yet been filled in. In the background, you can see a different ramp, a block south, which leads to Carroll Avenue. That had been built in 1928 and is often mistaken for the streetcar tunnel entrance. You can find a picture similar to this, taken in 1953 by the late Bob Selle, in my book Building Chicago's Subways. (Wien-Criss Archive)

By April 11, 1954, when this picture was taken by the late Bill Hoffman, the LaSalle Street streetcar tunnel had already been closed for about 15 years. It fell victim to subway construction in 1939. But as you can see, the north approach had not yet been filled in. In the background, you can see a different ramp, a block south, which leads to Carroll Avenue. That had been built in 1928 and is often mistaken for the streetcar tunnel entrance. You can find a picture similar to this, taken in 1953 by the late Bob Selle, in my book Building Chicago’s Subways. (Wien-Criss Archive)

From the Collections of William Shapotkin:

CTA bus 5262 is at the end of Route 91 - Austin Boulevard. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA bus 5262 is at the end of Route 91 – Austin Boulevard. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Chicago Surface Lines bus 3502 is on 59th at Wentworth on 1946. (William Shapotkin Collection)

Chicago Surface Lines bus 3502 is on 59th at Wentworth on 1946. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA 9431, working a westbound trip on Route 74 - Fullerton, crosses Milwaukee Avenue on May 11, 1968. The view looks east. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA 9431, working a westbound trip on Route 74 – Fullerton, crosses Milwaukee Avenue on May 11, 1968. The view looks east. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA 9440, working an eastbound on Route 74 - Fullerton, is crossing Milwaukee Avenue on November 12, 1967. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA 9440, working an eastbound on Route 74 – Fullerton, is crossing Milwaukee Avenue on November 12, 1967. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA trolley bus 9444 is eastbound on Fullerton at Milwaukee on August 19, 1972. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA trolley bus 9444 is eastbound on Fullerton at Milwaukee on August 19, 1972. (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA trolley bus 9553, on an Omnibus Society of america fantrip, is eastbound on Fullerton, crossing the Milwaukee Road at Lakewood Avenue on April 1, 1973, final day of TB service in Chicago. The view looks southwest. (Robert Barth Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA trolley bus 9553, on an Omnibus Society of america fantrip, is eastbound on Fullerton, crossing the Milwaukee Road at Lakewood Avenue on April 1, 1973, final day of TB service in Chicago. The view looks southwest. (Robert Barth Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA bus 5483 at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park in August 1963. This has since been completely rebuilt, and is now the terminus of the Blue Line (formerly called the Congress). (William Shapotkin Collection)

CTA bus 5483 at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park in August 1963. This has since been completely rebuilt, and is now the terminus of the Blue Line (formerly called the Congress). (William Shapotkin Collection)

Chicago & North Western commuter trains at Clinton Street Tower in September 1978. (Robert Janz Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Chicago & North Western commuter trains at Clinton Street Tower in September 1978. (Robert Janz Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

South Shore Line car 108 (train 11) approaches Cook Road at speed, a mile east of the Shops, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

South Shore Line car 108 (train 11) approaches Cook Road at speed, a mile east of the Shops, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

South Shore car 111 (train 11) is 24 miles from South Bend, between Lalumiere and Bishop on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

South Shore car 111 (train 11) is 24 miles from South Bend, between Lalumiere and Bishop on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Car 100 (train 18) is 22 miles from South Bend at Smith on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Car 100 (train 18) is 22 miles from South Bend at Smith on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

South Shore car 197 (train 15) has just gone through the underpass at Emery Road at Hicks, which had once been a flag stop, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

South Shore car 197 (train 15) has just gone through the underpass at Emery Road at Hicks, which had once been a flag stop, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

South Shore car 109 (train 26) heads west at Lydick at Quince Road, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shpotkin Collection)

South Shore car 109 (train 26) heads west at Lydick at Quince Road, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shpotkin Collection)

A westbound two-car South Shore Line train is on the 130th Street curve, two miles east of Kensington, in October 1966. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

A westbound two-car South Shore Line train is on the 130th Street curve, two miles east of Kensington, in October 1966. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Here, an SSL conductor is hand-throwing a switch to put a railfan train onto a siding at Shops in April 1975. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Here, an SSL conductor is hand-throwing a switch to put a railfan train onto a siding at Shops in April 1975. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 109, running east, enters 11th Street in Michigan City. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 109, running east, enters 11th Street in Michigan City. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

A two-car SSL train heads west at 130th Street in October 1966. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

A two-car SSL train heads west at 130th Street in October 1966. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 111 (eastbound train 7) takes the Ford City curve at Chicago's Torrence Avenue on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 111 (eastbound train 7) takes the Ford City curve at Chicago’s Torrence Avenue on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 111 and 106, making up train 16, at Midwest, a new stop for a steel plant, on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 111 and 106, making up train 16, at Midwest, a new stop for a steel plant, on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL train 16 (cars 111 and 106) departs Wilson siding and enters single-track territory as it heads west towards Chicago on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL train 16 (cars 111 and 106) departs Wilson siding and enters single-track territory as it heads west towards Chicago on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 110 (train 15) is on the bridge at Burns Ditch on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 110 (train 15) is on the bridge at Burns Ditch on June 13, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 111, 353, 7, and 9 (train 8) at Miller at dawn on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 111, 353, 7, and 9 (train 8) at Miller at dawn on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Train 8 approaching Miller, where it won't stop, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Train 8 approaching Miller, where it won’t stop, on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 24 and 39 (train 204) at Ogden Dunes on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horacheck Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 24 and 39 (train 204) at Ogden Dunes on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horacheck Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL train 10, made up of cars 17, 12, 202, and 22, at speed on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL train 10, made up of cars 17, 12, 202, and 22, at speed on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 100 (train 9) is eastbound at the Lake Park Avenue crossing in the Lake Shore community just west of Michigan City on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL car 100 (train 9) is eastbound at the Lake Park Avenue crossing in the Lake Shore community just west of Michigan City on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL train 9 is near the county line between Porter and La Porte at US 12 just west of Michigan City on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL train 9 is near the county line between Porter and La Porte at US 12 just west of Michigan City on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 107 and 40 (train 12) near Lake Shore at speed on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL cars 107 and 40 (train 12) near Lake Shore at speed on December 26, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL baggage car 504 is in the coach yard on the north side of Shops on December 26, 1963. Don's Rail Photos: "377 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1926 as ISC 377. It was assigned to IRR as 377 in 1932 and rebuilt as a combine in 1935. It was sold to CSS&SB as 504 in 1941 and used in 1942 as a straight baggage car. It was rebuilt in 1955 with windows removed and doors changed." (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

SSL baggage car 504 is in the coach yard on the north side of Shops on December 26, 1963. Don’s Rail Photos: “377 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1926 as ISC 377. It was assigned to IRR as 377 in 1932 and rebuilt as a combine in 1935. It was sold to CSS&SB as 504 in 1941 and used in 1942 as a straight baggage car. It was rebuilt in 1955 with windows removed and doors changed.” (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 802, with Electroliner 803-804, goes onto private right-of-way at 5th and Harrison Streets in Milwaukee on December 31, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 802, with Electroliner 803-804, goes onto private right-of-way at 5th and Harrison Streets in Milwaukee on December 31, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL 181, 180, 704, 727, and 167 are lined up at the Milwaukee Terminal on March 4, 1962. Car 251 is at left. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL 181, 180, 704, 727, and 167 are lined up at the Milwaukee Terminal on March 4, 1962. Car 251 is at left. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 409 with cars 775 and 757 on 5th Street at Becher Street in Milwaukee on December 31, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 409 with cars 775 and 757 on 5th Street at Becher Street in Milwaukee on December 31, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

In January 1963, NSL train 420, comprising cars 775, 737, and 750, heads south on 5th near Lincoln in Milwaukee. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

In January 1963, NSL train 420, comprising cars 775, 737, and 750, heads south on 5th near Lincoln in Milwaukee. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 417, with cars 720, 738, and 759, heads north approaching Dempster Street on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 417, with cars 720, 738, and 759, heads north approaching Dempster Street on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 216, with cars 731, 703, 733, and 700 at Edison Court on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 216, with cars 731, 703, 733, and 700 at Edison Court on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

In January 1962, NSL car 252 is on track 2 at the Milwaukee Terminal. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

In January 1962, NSL car 252 is on track 2 at the Milwaukee Terminal. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On February 2, 1962, NSL train 417, made up of cars 250 and 763, is northbound at College Avenue in Milwuakee. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On February 2, 1962, NSL train 417, made up of cars 250 and 763, is northbound at College Avenue in Milwuakee. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 216, with cars 731, 703, 733, and 700 at 22nd Street in North Chicago on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 216, with cars 731, 703, 733, and 700 at 22nd Street in North Chicago on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On January 19, 1963, two days before abandonment, NSL train 216, made up of cars 731, 703, 733, and 700, are shown at Edison Court in Waukegan. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On January 19, 1963, two days before abandonment, NSL train 216, made up of cars 731, 703, 733, and 700, are shown at Edison Court in Waukegan. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 414 (car 746), is southbound at Piper's Road, the county line between Racine and Kenosha on February 10, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 414 (car 746), is southbound at Piper’s Road, the county line between Racine and Kenosha on February 10, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 414 leaves Dempster station in Skokie on a snowy January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 414 leaves Dempster station in Skokie on a snowy January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL cars 172, 163, 415, and 763 are parked on the pit track at Waukegan on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL cars 172, 163, 415, and 763 are parked on the pit track at Waukegan on January 19, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 410, made up of cars 750, 741, and 757 head uphill towards the Skokie Valley Route on December 9, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 410, made up of cars 750, 741, and 757 head uphill towards the Skokie Valley Route on December 9, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 410 leaves North Chicago Junction, where the tracks at right, which were formerly part of the Shore Line Route, but were only used for the Highwood Shops when this picture was taken on December 9, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 410 leaves North Chicago Junction, where the tracks at right, which were formerly part of the Shore Line Route, but were only used for the Highwood Shops when this picture was taken on December 9, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On a snowy December 31, 1962, train 409, with cars 775 and 757, prepares to climb the 5th Street hill from Becher Street. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On a snowy December 31, 1962, train 409, with cars 775 and 757, prepares to climb the 5th Street hill from Becher Street. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On the left at the NSL Milwaukee Terminal, train 422, with cars 755, 753, 726, and 252, is departing. The train at right, with cars 762 and 409, will remain for about an hour, before leaving as train 424. Meanwhile, one of the two Electroliners is scheduled to go out between them, but has not yet arrived. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

On the left at the NSL Milwaukee Terminal, train 422, with cars 755, 753, 726, and 252, is departing. The train at right, with cars 762 and 409, will remain for about an hour, before leaving as train 424. Meanwhile, one of the two Electroliners is scheduled to go out between them, but has not yet arrived. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 404, with cars 764, 775, 768, and 761 approaches North Chicago Junction on October 6, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 404, with cars 764, 775, 768, and 761 approaches North Chicago Junction on October 6, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

October 6, 1962 was one foggy morning on the NSL, as train 404 prepares to take a switch off Commonwealth Avenue at Valley junction in North Chicago. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

October 6, 1962 was one foggy morning on the NSL, as train 404 prepares to take a switch off Commonwealth Avenue at Valley junction in North Chicago. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

A freight loco meets a southbound passenger train at Green Bay Junction. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

A freight loco meets a southbound passenger train at Green Bay Junction. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL 776 (train 409) passes train 409 at speed north of Racine on January 16, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL 776 (train 409) passes train 409 at speed north of Racine on January 16, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Here, we see NSL 165 through the rear door of 703 at Edison Court in Waukegan on January 16, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Here, we see NSL 165 through the rear door of 703 at Edison Court in Waukegan on January 16, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

The view from the rear end of southbound train 420 at North Chicago Junction, where we see northbound train 421 and its rear car 151, in August 1959. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

The view from the rear end of southbound train 420 at North Chicago Junction, where we see northbound train 421 and its rear car 151, in August 1959. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

The crossing gates are down on August 18, 1959, as eastbound NSL train 220, made up of cars 725 and 719, prepares to cross East Prairie Road in Skokie (while passing a former rapid transit station). (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

The crossing gates are down on August 18, 1959, as eastbound NSL train 220, made up of cars 725 and 719, prepares to cross East Prairie Road in Skokie (while passing a former rapid transit station). (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

The same location today, as part of the CTA Yellow Line.

The same location today, as part of the CTA Yellow Line.

NSL merchandise dispatch cars 237 and 218 at Pettibone Yard on June 21, 1963, post-abandonment. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL merchandise dispatch cars 237 and 218 at Pettibone Yard on June 21, 1963, post-abandonment. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL cars 412, 154, and 767 at Roosevelt Roard on Chicago's "L" system on October 24, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL cars 412, 154, and 767 at Roosevelt Roard on Chicago’s “L” system on October 24, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 6 (car 726), has just left the Milwaukee terminal on January 16, 1963. Howard Odinius is at the controls. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL train 6 (car 726), has just left the Milwaukee terminal on January 16, 1963. Howard Odinius is at the controls. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL car 761 (train 6) prepares to depart the Milwaukee Terminal from track 3 on January 15, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL car 761 (train 6) prepares to depart the Milwaukee Terminal from track 3 on January 15, 1963. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL cars 703 and 725 at Edison Court in Waukegan on August 16, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

NSL cars 703 and 725 at Edison Court in Waukegan on August 16, 1962. (John D. Horachek Photo, William Shapotkin Collection)

Recent Correspondence

Kenneth Gear writes:

Mike Konopka, who did the restoration work on much of the Steventon tape collection, wrote a blog entry about it. Here is the link should you like to read it.

Over the last five years, Ken and I have worked together to digitize, restore, and make available once again the entire output of the former Railroad Record Club, which totaled about 42 LPs. During that time, through good fortune and Ken’s generosity, he was able to purchase the original master tapes and many other items relating to the RRC.

I count this as one of our most significant accomplishments to date. These classic recordings, and much more, are available in our Online Store.

-David Sadowski

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
[/caption]


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago in November 2018, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!

Bibliographic information:
Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages
Chapter Titles:
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
06. Displaced
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960
Building Chicago’s Subways is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.
The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.
For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo) Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 245th 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 581,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

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

We thank you for your support.

DONATIONS

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

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

Bill Hoffman’s Black-and-Whites

This is, for me, a very interesting photo. It shows construction of the new Halsted Street bridge that will eventually go over the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway under construction on May 20, 1951. As you can see, the bridges were built first, before the area around them was excavated. That way, traffic could be diverted around the construction site as it is here. There was a shoo-fly for streetcars and a temporary roadway for other traffic. The view looks north. The nearby "L" station remained in service until 1958, although two of the four tracks were removed. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This is, for me, a very interesting photo. It shows construction of the new Halsted Street bridge that will eventually go over the Congress (now Eisenhower) Expressway under construction on May 20, 1951. As you can see, the bridges were built first, before the area around them was excavated. That way, traffic could be diverted around the construction site as it is here. There was a shoo-fly for streetcars and a temporary roadway for other traffic. The view looks north. The nearby “L” station remained in service until 1958, although two of the four tracks were removed. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

For our last post of 2019, we thought we would “ring out the old” by featuring some classic black-and-white views of Chicago streetcars (plus a few others) taken by the late William C. Hoffman (1910-1988), or from his collection. All appear courtesy of the Jeff Wien and the Wien-Criss Archive.

Bill Hoffman usually shot color slides, but according to Jeff, he sometimes shot black-and-white, typically if the local store happened to be out of color film. Mr. Hoffman deserves a ton of credit for traveling around the city with his camera. He got many shots that others failed to document.

This is our 20th post this year, about the same as last year. We again achieved over 100,000 page views, for the fifth straight year, as we look forward to 2020 and celebrating the fifth anniversary of this blog on January 21st.

We thank all our readers and contributors for their help in making this another very successful year here at the Trolley Dodger. As always, if you have questions, comments, or have information to share on any of what you see here, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We have a very interesting batch of pictures this time, including some very rare shots.

Happy New Year!

-David Sadowski

From the Wien-Criss Archive:

CSL 9001 was an unpowered trailer, built by the Surface Lines in 1921. Photos showing such trailers in use are quite rare, as they were only in service during the 1920s. After this, they were used as storage sheds at various CSL locations. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 9001 was an unpowered trailer, built by the Surface Lines in 1921. Photos showing such trailers in use are quite rare, as they were only in service during the 1920s. After this, they were used as storage sheds at various CSL locations. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

Other cities have used two-car streetcar trains extensively, notably Boston, but such use was short-lived in Chicago. Here, we see multiple-unit CSL 3208, built by the Chicago Surface Lines in 1924, operating a two-car train on Milwaukee Avenue. With a severe drop in ridership during the Great Depression, such use was no longer necessary. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

Other cities have used two-car streetcar trains extensively, notably Boston, but such use was short-lived in Chicago. Here, we see multiple-unit CSL 3208, built by the Chicago Surface Lines in 1924, operating a two-car train on Milwaukee Avenue. With a severe drop in ridership during the Great Depression, such use was no longer necessary. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6116 on the Kedzie Avenue line. This car was built by Brill in July 1914. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6116 on the Kedzie Avenue line. This car was built by Brill in July 1914. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1774, signed for Ogden-Downtown. Don's Rail Photos notes, "1774 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1774, signed for Ogden-Downtown. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “1774 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Westbound CTA Pullman 132 is on Van Buren crossing Western Avenue on November 13, 1950. Streetcar service ended on this route in 1951, and the CTA used the south half of Van Buren as a temporary right-of-way for Garfield Park "L" cars between 1953 and 1958. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Westbound CTA Pullman 132 is on Van Buren crossing Western Avenue on November 13, 1950. Streetcar service ended on this route in 1951, and the CTA used the south half of Van Buren as a temporary right-of-way for Garfield Park “L” cars between 1953 and 1958. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 15, 1953 there was an old CSL 2501-2625 series car at the Clark-Schreiber car barn. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 15, 1953 there was an old CSL 2501-2625 series car at the Clark-Schreiber car barn. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA salt car AA91 is at the car barn at Clark and Schreiber on August 15, 1953. Dpn's Rail Photos adds, "AA91, salt car, was built by Chicago Rys in 1912 as 1545. It became CSL 1545 in 1914 and retired on November 19, 1947. It was rebuilt as salt car AA91 in 1948 and retired on September 8, 1955." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA salt car AA91 is at the car barn at Clark and Schreiber on August 15, 1953. Dpn’s Rail Photos adds, “AA91, salt car, was built by Chicago Rys in 1912 as 1545. It became CSL 1545 in 1914 and retired on November 19, 1947. It was rebuilt as salt car AA91 in 1948 and retired on September 8, 1955.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On June 25, 1951, CTA 6140 is heading southbound on Stony Island, while waiting for an Illinois Central Electric commuter train to pass, before crossing 71st Street. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On June 25, 1951, CTA 6140 is heading southbound on Stony Island, while waiting for an Illinois Central Electric commuter train to pass, before crossing 71st Street. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 5722, a single-ended "nearside" car, is crossing the Illinois Central tracks. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 5722, a single-ended “nearside” car, is crossing the Illinois Central tracks. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On October 15, 1948, the conductor of CTA 1643 (running on the Van Buren Street route) is holding a switch lever at the southwest corner of Van Buren and Clinton. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On October 15, 1948, the conductor of CTA 1643 (running on the Van Buren Street route) is holding a switch lever at the southwest corner of Van Buren and Clinton. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at State and Madison. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at State and Madison. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at Clark and Devon. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On February 16, 1957, CTA 7201 was the last streetcar to run on Route 36. Here it is seen at Clark and Devon. (Charles H. Thorpe Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On November 13, 1950 a northbound Ashland Avenue car, running here on Paulina, crosses Van Buren. The view is from the nearby Marshfield "L" station. On September 20, 1953 the CTA put Garfield Park "L" trains onto temporary trackage in Van Buren for about 2 1/2 miles, while the Congress Expressway was being built. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On November 13, 1950 a northbound Ashland Avenue car, running here on Paulina, crosses Van Buren. The view is from the nearby Marshfield “L” station. On September 20, 1953 the CTA put Garfield Park “L” trains onto temporary trackage in Van Buren for about 2 1/2 miles, while the Congress Expressway was being built. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 542 is a Milwaukee Avenue car, at the north end of the line near Devon on March 25, 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 542 is a Milwaukee Avenue car, at the north end of the line near Devon on March 25, 1951. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1721 is an eastbound Ogden Avenue car on Randolph Street in 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1721 is an eastbound Ogden Avenue car on Randolph Street in 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The view looking west across Halsted into Root Street terminal. Streetcar service on this line was abandoned two days after this picture was taken on August 7, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The view looking west across Halsted into Root Street terminal. Streetcar service on this line was abandoned two days after this picture was taken on August 7, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

What looks like a CTA car in the 1700-series is eastbound on Randolph on March 28, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

What looks like a CTA car in the 1700-series is eastbound on Randolph on March 28, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6261 is at the end of the line at Stony Island and 93rd on November 7, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 6261 is at the end of the line at Stony Island and 93rd on November 7, 1948. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

In the 1920s, CSL experimented with an articulated streetcar, here numbered 4000, made from two other cars. The experiment did not catch on. Don's Rail Photos adds, "4000 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as Chicago Union Traction Co as 4633 and 4634. They were renumbered 1104 and 1105 in 1913 and became CSL 1104 and 1105 in 1914. They were renumbered 1101 and 1102 in 1925. They were rebuilt as an articulated train using a Cincinnatii Car steel vestibule drum between the bodies. It was completed on August 3, 1925, and scrapped on March 30, 1937." (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

In the 1920s, CSL experimented with an articulated streetcar, here numbered 4000, made from two other cars. The experiment did not catch on. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “4000 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1903 as Chicago Union Traction Co as 4633 and 4634. They were renumbered 1104 and 1105 in 1913 and became CSL 1104 and 1105 in 1914. They were renumbered 1101 and 1102 in 1925. They were rebuilt as an articulated train using a Cincinnatii Car steel vestibule drum between the bodies. It was completed on August 3, 1925, and scrapped on March 30, 1937.” (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

This picture of CTA 4022 appears to show it set up for one-man service on 63rd Street, although this was not implemented, after two public hearings were held. These cars were instead used on Cottage Grove. Red streetcars were temporarily returned to 63rd, and then buses were substituted in 1953. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive) On the other hand, Tony Waller writes, "Hi, I have a few comments/corrections for the latest set of photos: Pic.736 shows a two-man pre-war PCC operating on 63rd St. In the middle of the car you can see two center doors, one was removed as part of the one-man conversion process. Also CTA would not be operating a one man car in the middle of an otherwise two-man route. In the recent CERA color-photo PCC book, as well as several of the Shore Line Interurban Society publications, there are photos of pre-war PCCs painted in the new Evergreen and Cream color scheme operating on 63rd St. The paint job was done as part of the advance work for the one-man process to keep the PCCs operating on 63rd as long as possible. The conversion process would require that the whole fleet to be removed from service; removing one of the center doors and the conductor’s station and replacing them with additional seats, relocating all door controls to the motorman’s position, removing Chicago’s unique hand operating controls and replacing them with the standard (i.e., nationwide) foot operating controls. The CTA’s new “big wings” around the headlight denoting front entrance, one-man operation would not affect a repainted car in temporary two-man service as the pre-war PCCs were always front entrance anyway. Those post-war PCCs converted to one-man and those “Sedans” so converted (but never used) also got the “big wings.”"

This picture of CTA 4022 appears to show it set up for one-man service on 63rd Street, although this was not implemented, after two public hearings were held. These cars were instead used on Cottage Grove. Red streetcars were temporarily returned to 63rd, and then buses were substituted in 1953. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive) On the other hand, Tony Waller writes, “Hi, I have a few comments/corrections for the latest set of photos: Pic.736 shows a two-man pre-war PCC operating on 63rd St. In the middle of the car you can see two center doors, one was removed as part of the one-man conversion process. Also CTA would not be operating a one man car in the middle of an otherwise two-man route. In the recent CERA color-photo PCC book, as well as several of the Shore Line Interurban Society publications, there are photos of pre-war PCCs painted in the new Evergreen and Cream color scheme operating on 63rd St. The paint job was done as part of the advance work for the one-man process to keep the PCCs operating on 63rd as long as possible. The conversion process would require that the whole fleet to be removed from service; removing one of the center doors and the conductor’s station and replacing them with additional seats, relocating all door controls to the motorman’s position, removing Chicago’s unique hand operating controls and replacing them with the standard (i.e., nationwide) foot operating controls. The CTA’s new “big wings” around the headlight denoting front entrance, one-man operation would not affect a repainted car in temporary two-man service as the pre-war PCCs were always front entrance anyway. Those post-war PCCs converted to one-man and those “Sedans” so converted (but never used) also got the “big wings.””

CTA 7254 at Clark and Kinzie. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 7254 at Clark and Kinzie. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4332 southbound at Clark and Wacker. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4332 southbound at Clark and Wacker. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On March 21, 1954, CTA PCC 4025 heads north on Cottage Grove at 98th. Here, streetcars were on open track west of the roadway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On March 21, 1954, CTA PCC 4025 heads north on Cottage Grove at 98th. Here, streetcars were on open track west of the roadway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman 661 is westbound at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue, returning from the Museum Loop built for the 1933-34 Century of Progress World's Fair. (William C. Hoffman Photo. Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman 661 is westbound at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue, returning from the Museum Loop built for the 1933-34 Century of Progress World’s Fair. (William C. Hoffman Photo. Wien-Criss Archive)

On May 1, 1953, PCC 4070 is westbound on Madison Street, looking west from Wacker Drive with the Civic Opera House at right. The streetcar is about to cross the Chicago River. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On May 1, 1953, PCC 4070 is westbound on Madison Street, looking west from Wacker Drive with the Civic Opera House at right. The streetcar is about to cross the Chicago River. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA electric locomotive L202, coupled to a railroad gondola in the 39th and Halsted yards. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA electric locomotive L202, coupled to a railroad gondola in the 39th and Halsted yards. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL prewar PCC 4017 at Madison and Austin, another favorite spot for railfan photographers in this era. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL prewar PCC 4017 at Madison and Austin, another favorite spot for railfan photographers in this era. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1308, built by St. Louis Car Company circa 1904, here shown in use as a salt car for Chicago's wintry weather. The 1374, now restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is an example of this type of car, now nicknamed a "Matchbox." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1308, built by St. Louis Car Company circa 1904, here shown in use as a salt car for Chicago’s wintry weather. The 1374, now restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is an example of this type of car, now nicknamed a “Matchbox.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 7002, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1936. This was part of a series of 83 cars that ran for just short of 20 years. Why 83 cars? I recall there was a concurrent order for 17 trolley buses. The overall order was for 100 new vehicles, with 5/6th being streetcars. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 7002, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1936. This was part of a series of 83 cars that ran for just short of 20 years. Why 83 cars? I recall there was a concurrent order for 17 trolley buses. The overall order was for 100 new vehicles, with 5/6th being streetcars. (William C. Hoffman Collection, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1474 (built circa 1900 for Chicago Union Traction, rebuilt 1913). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1474 (built circa 1900 for Chicago Union Traction, rebuilt 1913). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A CTA Peter Witt, aka a "Sedan," in this case 3330, signed for Cottage Grove. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A CTA Peter Witt, aka a “Sedan,” in this case 3330, signed for Cottage Grove. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 5492, signed for 79th and Brandon. This car was built by Brill in 1907. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 5492, signed for 79th and Brandon. This car was built by Brill in 1907. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7228 is northbound on State at Roosevelt Road. This overpass was a favorite spot for photographers. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA PCC 7228 is northbound on State at Roosevelt Road. This overpass was a favorite spot for photographers. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullmans at North and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullmans at North and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 783. Not sure of the location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 783. Not sure of the location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 459 and one other streetcar are on the Museum Loop, at around 13th Street near Lake Shore Drive. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 459 and one other streetcar are on the Museum Loop, at around 13th Street near Lake Shore Drive. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 235, a Pullman, heads west on Roosevelt Road. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 235, a Pullman, heads west on Roosevelt Road. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4302 is southbound on State at Roosevelt. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 4302 is southbound on State at Roosevelt. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

One-man CTA streetcar 1737 enters the Washington Street tunnel from Franklin Street in 1950. As you can see, the bridge over the Chicago River is up. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

One-man CTA streetcar 1737 enters the Washington Street tunnel from Franklin Street in 1950. As you can see, the bridge over the Chicago River is up. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA snow plow D304, a former tank car. Don's Rail Photos adds, "D304, sprinkler, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1909, as C&SC CE-4. It was renumbered D304 in 1913 and became CSL D302 in 1914. It was converted as a snow plow and retired on March 19, 1956." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA snow plow D304, a former tank car. Don’s Rail Photos adds, “D304, sprinkler, was built by McGuire-Cummings in 1909, as C&SC CE-4. It was renumbered D304 in 1913 and became CSL D302 in 1914. It was converted as a snow plow and retired on March 19, 1956.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 6158 is on temporary trackage at State and 13th around 1940, when construction of the State Street Subway was underway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 6158 is on temporary trackage at State and 13th around 1940, when construction of the State Street Subway was underway. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Some old CSL streetcars, including mail car 6, are shown at 11th and State in 1948 as part of a parade. The mail car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Some old CSL streetcars, including mail car 6, are shown at 11th and State in 1948 as part of a parade. The mail car is now at the Fox River Trolley Museum. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This photo of CTA 1736, at the west end of Route 16 Lake Street at Austin Boulevard, must be circa 1952-54, as the nearby Park Theater appears to have permanently closed (I think the sign says "closed goodbye"). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This photo of CTA 1736, at the west end of Route 16 Lake Street at Austin Boulevard, must be circa 1952-54, as the nearby Park Theater appears to have permanently closed (I think the sign says “closed goodbye”). (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The CSL car is promoting the Illinois Reserve Militia on State Street during World War II. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The CSL car is promoting the Illinois Reserve Militia on State Street during World War II. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1740 and 1731 are displaying what the photographer called "wartime ads" in September 1943 at Montrose and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1740 and 1731 are displaying what the photographer called “wartime ads” in September 1943 at Montrose and Cicero. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On September 14, 1942, construction was well underway for Chicago's first subway at State and Washington (the tunnels were already finished, and here they were building the station using the cut-and-cover method). Work car W212 is being used to promote the patriotic film Wake Island. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On September 14, 1942, construction was well underway for Chicago’s first subway at State and Washington (the tunnels were already finished, and here they were building the station using the cut-and-cover method). Work car W212 is being used to promote the patriotic film Wake Island. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of car 6150, a Brill built circa 1914-15, as it appeared on August 3, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of car 6150, a Brill built circa 1914-15, as it appeared on August 3, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1821 on North Avenue. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 1821 on North Avenue. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 279 on Roosevelt Road open track in 1952. The photographer noted that "vibration disintegrated the concrete." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 279 on Roosevelt Road open track in 1952. The photographer noted that “vibration disintegrated the concrete.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 2598 on 111th Street at Cottage Grove. Don's Rail Photos notes, "2598 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was retired on August 1, 1947." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 2598 on 111th Street at Cottage Grove. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “2598 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was retired on August 1, 1947.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 618 and 5543 meet at 111th and Western on July 11, 1948. Looks like some riders are changing from one line to the other. The view looks north. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 618 and 5543 meet at 111th and Western on July 11, 1948. Looks like some riders are changing from one line to the other. The view looks north. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The notes on this rather fuzzy photo say this is CTA 520 at the intersection of Milwaukee, Paulina, and Ogden. On the other hand, Daniel Joseph says that this is a "physical impossibility," and that this is actually Paulina, Ogden and Adams. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The notes on this rather fuzzy photo say this is CTA 520 at the intersection of Milwaukee, Paulina, and Ogden. On the other hand, Daniel Joseph says that this is a “physical impossibility,” and that this is actually Paulina, Ogden and Adams. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The operator of one-man car 2908 is changing ends on 39th Street on March 28, 1948. At the moment, both poles are up. Not sure of the exact location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The operator of one-man car 2908 is changing ends on 39th Street on March 28, 1948. At the moment, both poles are up. Not sure of the exact location. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A view of the North and Cicero car barn (aka "station, in CSL parlance) , looking northwest from 1500 N. Cicero on March 28, 1948. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

A view of the North and Cicero car barn (aka “station, in CSL parlance) , looking northwest from 1500 N. Cicero on March 28, 1948. (William c. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 119 on the transfer table at West Shops, June 1, 1947. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 119 on the transfer table at West Shops, June 1, 1947. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of a CTA 600-series Pullman on March 22, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The interior of a CTA 600-series Pullman on March 22, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 3229 looks to be at that portion of the car barn at Devon and Clark that was once damaged by fire. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CSL 3229 looks to be at that portion of the car barn at Devon and Clark that was once damaged by fire. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1783 is on Lake Street just east of Austin, probably circa 1950-52. Here, the Park theater is "closed temporarily." It would be permanently shuttered before the end of streetcar service in 1954, most likely a victim of television. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA 1783 is on Lake Street just east of Austin, probably circa 1950-52. Here, the Park theater is “closed temporarily.” It would be permanently shuttered before the end of streetcar service in 1954, most likely a victim of television. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman PCC 4240 is on State Street at 8th, operating on Route 36. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA Pullman PCC 4240 is on State Street at 8th, operating on Route 36. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Eastbound prewar PCC 4030, in "tiger stripes," crosses Western Avenue on 63rd Street on November 26, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Eastbound prewar PCC 4030, in “tiger stripes,” crosses Western Avenue on 63rd Street on November 26, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don's Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don’s Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don's Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958." (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car W205 coupled to a Baltimore and Ohio box car at 39th and Halsted on March 11, 1951. This was the location of a materials handling yard for the CTA in the streetcar era. Don’s Rail Photos notes: :W205, work car, was built by Chicago City Ry in 1907 as CCRY C11. It was renumbered W205 in 1913 and became CSL W205 in 1914. It was retired on May 17, 1958.” (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This is how the CTA work car coupled to a box car-- with a bar. March 11, 1951 at 39th and Halsted. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

This is how the CTA work car coupled to a box car– with a bar. March 11, 1951 at 39th and Halsted. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The West End of Route 63

Between Central Avenue and Harlem, a distance of two miles, Chicago Surface Lines streetcars did not operate on 63rd Street, as they did further east. They ran instead on a private right-of-way in what was then a largely undeveloped area called Clearing, which is now a residential neighborhood.  This is now the location of 63rd Place.

The question came up several month ago on the Chicagotransit Yahoo group (posed by Dennis McClendon) about why this was so. The answer was provided by our resident South Side expert M. E., who provided a link to a book that details this early history.

Basically, there were those who wanted to develop the area in the nearby suburb of Summit for industry, however, they needed a way to transport workers there. It was quicker and easier to simply lay tracks on private property than it would have been to do so in a public street such as 63rd Street, where the City ‘council would have had to weigh in on it. The streetcar companies had some responsibility for paving streets and plowing snow and such.

A factory was established in Summit in the early 1900s, making Argo corn starch. To this day, that portion of Summit is commonly known as Argo. Eventually, the trackage on what is now 63rd Place became part of the regular 63rd Street streetcar route. The portion west of Oak Park Avenue was operated as a shuttle until 1948, when PCC cars were introduced. At that point, a turnaround loop was built at Narragansett, and service west of there operated by bus.

Buses replaced streetcars on the rest of Route 63 in 1953, and service was then shifted to 63rd Street, although the same turnback loop was used. This loop was rather large and I believe in recent years it was made somewhat smaller to accommodate a new location for a Chicago Public Library branch.

As for the old Argo shuttle streetcar, subsequent research shows it went as far as 63rd and Archer (see the pictures below).

-David Sadowski

Looking east from Narragansett along the 63rd Place private right-of-way on May 19, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Looking east from Narragansett along the 63rd Place private right-of-way on May 19, 1953. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 10, 1947 we see the CSL terminal for 63rd Street cars at Oak Park Avenue and 63rd Place. An Argo shuttle car (5337) is on single track ahead. This would continue about another half-mile to Archer Avenue, in suburban Summit. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 10, 1947 we see the CSL terminal for 63rd Street cars at Oak Park Avenue and 63rd Place. An Argo shuttle car (5337) is on single track ahead. This would continue about another half-mile to Archer Avenue, in suburban Summit. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The same location today, in Chicago's Clearing neighborhood.

The same location today, in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood.

On August 10, 1947, we are looking east along 63rd Place at Oak Park Avenue. A Chicago Surface Lines Pullman streetcar is switching onto single track at the west end of Route 63. There was a shuttle operation west of here, perhaps  a mile of single track, to Archer Avenue and the area of suburban Summit widely known as "Argo," although there is no such municipality. That is the name of a large factory there that makes Argo cornstarch. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

On August 10, 1947, we are looking east along 63rd Place at Oak Park Avenue. A Chicago Surface Lines Pullman streetcar is switching onto single track at the west end of Route 63. There was a shuttle operation west of here, perhaps a mile of single track, to Archer Avenue and the area of suburban Summit widely known as “Argo,” although there is no such municipality. That is the name of a large factory there that makes Argo cornstarch. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Again on August 10, 1947, CSL 5337 is operating as the Argo shuttle car, and is shown here at the west end of the route at 63rd and Archer. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Again on August 10, 1947, CSL 5337 is operating as the Argo shuttle car, and is shown here at the west end of the route at 63rd and Archer. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The buildings here match the ones seen in the previous photo. The area where the Argo shuttle ended was practically in front of those, and is now a parking lot.

The buildings here match the ones seen in the previous photo. The area where the Argo shuttle ended was practically in front of those, and is now a parking lot.

Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes, "I thought some more about this photo. The Argo streetcar line had a single track. I think it had one track because of the crowded situation at the western terminal at Archer. The Argo car ran from Oak Park Ave. (6800 W.) to Archer Ave. (7700 W. at 63rd St.). Let's say the Argo car carried people who worked at Argo Starch. During rush hours, the bigger crowds may imply that the Chicago Surface Lines ran two cars on the Argo line. Now, let's say one of those cars was at Oak Park Ave., the other at Archer Ave., and they started at the same time. Where would they pass? Answer: Look at the shape of the raised area in the cited photo. This area looks suspiciously like a passing area for two streetcars on a single track. And it's at Harlem (7200 W.), roughly halfway between Oak Park Ave. and Archer Ave.  Voila!"

Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes, “I thought some more about this photo. The Argo streetcar line had a single track. I think it had one track because of the crowded situation at the western terminal at Archer. The Argo car ran from Oak Park Ave. (6800 W.) to Archer Ave. (7700 W. at 63rd St.). Let’s say the Argo car carried people who worked at Argo Starch. During rush hours, the bigger crowds may imply that the Chicago Surface Lines ran two cars on the Argo line. Now, let’s say one of those cars was at Oak Park Ave., the other at Archer Ave., and they started at the same time. Where would they pass? Answer: Look at the shape of the raised area in the cited photo. This area looks suspiciously like a passing area for two streetcars on a single track. And it’s at Harlem (7200 W.), roughly halfway between Oak Park Ave. and Archer Ave. Voila!”

There is a bus loop at 63rd Street and Archer, but not in the same location as where the streetcar ended.

There is a bus loop at 63rd Street and Archer, but not in the same location as where the streetcar ended.

CTA work car X-201 is heading west on 63rd Street on April 18, 1948, to take up rail from the Argo line, where streetcar service ended a week earlier. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

CTA work car X-201 is heading west on 63rd Street on April 18, 1948, to take up rail from the Argo line, where streetcar service ended a week earlier. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett was built in 1948 to accomodate PCC cars, which were single-ended. But towards the end of streetcar service on Route 63, PCCs were removed and red cars were, for a short time, returned, as this May 19, 1953 view shows. Buses replaced streetcars five days later, and began running on 63rd Street between Narragansett and Central, instead of on 63rd Place, as streetcars had. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett was built in 1948 to accomodate PCC cars, which were single-ended. But towards the end of streetcar service on Route 63, PCCs were removed and red cars were, for a short time, returned, as this May 19, 1953 view shows. Buses replaced streetcars five days later, and began running on 63rd Street between Narragansett and Central, instead of on 63rd Place, as streetcars had. (William C. Hoffman Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

The CTA turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett as it looks today, with the Clearing branch of the Chicago Public Library at rear.

The CTA turnback loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett as it looks today, with the Clearing branch of the Chicago Public Library at rear.

The track arrangement on 63rd Place prior to 1948, taken from the 1941 CSL track map. There were two tracks to Oak Park Avenue, and single track west of there. Since the Argo shuttle had to cross a railroad, that means it had to have a two-man crew. It appears the shuttle crossed Harlem into nearby Summit (the area known as Argo) for its western terminal.

The track arrangement on 63rd Place prior to 1948, taken from the 1941 CSL track map. There were two tracks to Oak Park Avenue, and single track west of there. Since the Argo shuttle had to cross a railroad, that means it had to have a two-man crew. It appears the shuttle crossed Harlem into nearby Summit (the area known as Argo) for its western terminal.

The 1939 shows the locations of two crossovers on the 63rd Place section; one at Meade, and another just east of Austin.

The 1939 shows the locations of two crossovers on the 63rd Place section; one at Meade, and another just east of Austin.

This portion of the 1952 CTA track map shows the arrangement used between 1948 and 1953. The dotted line indicates the bus route used west of Narragansett.

This portion of the 1952 CTA track map shows the arrangement used between 1948 and 1953. The dotted line indicates the bus route used west of Narragansett.

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
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Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago in November 2018, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!

Bibliographic information:
Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages
Chapter Titles:
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
06. Displaced
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960
Building Chicago’s Subways is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.
The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.
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Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo) Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

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Reader Showcase

On this Thanksgiving Day weekend, we here at the Trolley Dodger have many things to be thankful for… chiefly among them, our readers. This seems like a good time to feature recent correspondence with our very knowledgeable and astute readers.  We thank all our contributors.

I wish you the best in this upcoming holiday season.

-David Sadowski

Kim Bolan writes:

Just came across The Trolley Dodger and what a great and detailed work. It reminds me of my youth in Milwaukee riding No. 10 Line in Tosa (Wauwautosa) and also Speedrail. I have a question regarding #978. I lived in San Francisco but never saw this car in operation. Is it part of Muni’s heritage collection?

Just received this 35mm transparency (Kodak film and processing) from an unknown photographer taken September 1984 of car 978 at San Francisco, CA (see above).

Car 978 was loaned to San Francisco in the mid-1980s, intended for use in the SF Trolley Festival, but my understanding is it was damaged somehow and never operated there. As far as I know, the car is now at the East Troy Electric Railroad in Wisconsin, where it is stored inoperable.

There is a picture of it in SF in this post.

Here is the full story on what happened to 978, thanks to Larry Sakar:

Regarding the question about TM streetcar 978 in San Francisco, I know all about it. MUNI and TWERHS* worked out a deal whereby 978 was to be sent to San Francisco to participate in the very first Historic Streetcar Festival in 1983. It was not in the best of condition to begin with. En route, one of the truck bolsters (the 900’s were notorious for having bad bolsters) gave way and came through the floor (it was being trucked out there.) It was unloaded and brought to Geneva upper yard where it was parked in among some Boeing LRV’s. It made its way back to East Troy probably at the end of the festival in September and was never a part of the historic fleet. Now, here’s some additional info about it.

The 978 was saved by Mr. Al Buetschle, then of Milwaukee but since 1960 or 61 a resident of Oakley, CA. Oakley is in Contra Costa County about 60 miles NE of San Francisco. Oakley is a little “one-horse town” in what is known as the Tri-Delta region.

The streetcar was initially saved on behalf of the Wauwatosa Kiwanis Club who gave Al the money to buy it. It would take pages for me to provide all of the details of the day he bought it. Frederick J. Johnson head of M&STC personally handled the sale. Al had told them he wanted a 900 and one from that group of 10 because they were the only ones with that metal sun shade over the center window.

When he got to Col Spring shops sure enough they had an 800 waiting. He refused to accept it. The car he really wanted was the 975 but it was too far back in the scrap line in lower Cold Spring yard. To get the 978 meant moving 3 cars ahead of it. Johnson was plenty mad about having to do that. So they get on the first car to be moved. Johnson puts a fuse in the fuse box. But then he stupidly cranks up the controller and blows the fuse.

This happens a second time so Al says, “Here, I’ll show you what to do!” Johnson immediately wants to know, “How do you know how to operate a streetcar?” Al tells him he was friendly with a motorman who taught him to run a car on the Rt. 10 West Allis branch between Calvary Cemetery cut and 67th St. Murray, the motorman would then take it from there since it involved descending from the former Rapid Transit line and making a safety stop before crossing 68th St.

Well, Dave, Johnson has an absolute fit!! *&%%^( (expletives deleted) I want his name.” Al says, “No. He has retired now that streetcars are gone so it doesn’t matter “In the end he got the 978 and Johnson even gave him his money back admiring him for his tenacity. Al had a friend who had access to a flatbed truck. Johnson let him drive 978 up from lower Cold Spring. The car was loaded onto the flatbed truck and taken to a piece of track adjacent to the C&NW and a lumber company at North 91st Street and West Flag Avenue on Milwaukee’s northwest side.

By this time the Kiwanis Club decided they didn’t want it so Al now owned it. He took out all the seats and repainted the interior before putting them back. He would work on 978 as his time permitted. The Kiwanis Club had the “brainy” idea of displaying the car in Hart Park in Wauwatosa. Hart Park is just down the private right-of-way (now a driveway) parallel to West State Street, east of the Harwood Avenue streetcar terminal at Harwood and State Streets (long gone).

In 1961, Al got a job as a controller for a company and moved to the Bay Area. No, he didn’t take 978 with him. It then ended up at the Mid-Continent Railway museum in North Freedom. In the mid to late ’60’s the group that is now TWERHS was formed and the car went with them to their first home in North Lake, WI. In 1972 they opened the East Troy Trolley Museum which is now under a different organization.

None of us are really sure where 978 is. It is in need of major restoration. At one time the rumor was that it was going to be sent to Brookville Equipment out east. They’re the company that does all the refurbishing of MUNI’s historic PCC fleet.

Did Al see it when it was in San Francisco? Yes he did. He has a fantastic picture he took with 978 and his red sports car (convertible). He is putting the trolley pole on the wire. I f I recall correctly his red car was a T-Bird. It was totaled about 10 years ago when he was hit by a group of teenagers out joy riding and who as you can probably guess were not insured.

I snapped a picture of it sitting in among the Boeing cars in 1983. I had to climb up on a narrow cement ledge and shot thru the openings in a cyclone fence. I’ll have to see if I still have it and if I do I will scan it and send it.

By the way, as a little boy of maybe 9 or 10 my grandparents came over one day. They said they were taking me to see something but wouldn’t tell me what. It was a surprise. Yes, it was the 978 at the lumber company. The Milwaukee Journal had run a small story about it with a picture. It had to be when Al was doing the repainting because I remember looking thru the glass in the door (I came up about as far as the bottom of the glass in the door. All of the seats were piled at that end of the car and I thought they were going to junk it.

My grandmother who had taken me on my streetcar rides on RT. 10 between about 1955 and 3-1-58 said she didn’t know. Who could ever have imagined that 30 years later I would meet the person who saved 978. One other coincidence, David. From 1978 to 1997 I worked for Security Savings & Loan Association on 2nd and Wisconsin downtown. The Corporate Secretary was a man named Walter Bruno. As it happens he was Al’s Godfather!

Thanks, Larry, for sharing the complete story.  There is a database of saved North American electric railcars, last updated in 2014, and that is my source for saying that, as far as I know, the 978 is at East Troy.

*The Wisconsin Electric Railway Historical Society

Here’s more from Larry Sakar:

Here is the photo of 978 I took in September, 1983. The picture that follows was the Geneva car house which suffered severe damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I think I took this in 1987 because that is a train with MUNI’s then new BREDA cars. Now they have new ones which I’ve only seen in pictures in Trains and Railfan & Railroad. The Market Street subway for MUNI was closed when I was there in 2017 because they were testing the new cars. If you look at the right hand side of the picture there’s that concrete wall I mentioned having to climb on top of and the fence I had to shoot thru.

The most popular cars during the Trolley Festival and in the event they hold for one day in September of every year (forgot its name) are the two Blackpool, England boat trams #’s 228 and 232. Here are some shots I took while riding it in 1983. Last, here is an Al Buetschle shot. It was taken at the site of the Speedrail 9-2-50 accident post Speedrail abandonment. Those are remnants from duplex 39-40 that was demolished by 1192-93.

The Milwaukee Electric Rapid Transit Freight Terminal

Larry Sakar writes:

It stood for 76 years, had four different owners and was razed in 2006 as part of the Marquette Interchange reconstruction project. I am talking about the Rapid Transit freight terminal building constructed by TM and opened in 1930 at 940 W. St. Paul Avenue.

TM fully expected that freight would play an important role in operations over the Milwaukee Rapid Transit Line. Unfortunately, like the Rapid Transit Line itself which opened on Sept. 22, 1930 the timing couldn’t have been worse! As part of its planned freight operations TM acquired Motor Transport Company in 1930 from Yellow Trucking.

A decade later, TMER&T turned its back on all rail operations. Motor Transport Company was sold back to Yellow Trucking. Its trucks had a Transport Company orange cab and a silver trailer with the Transport Company diamond logo. But instead of saying The Transport Company, as the logo on busses and streetcars did, it said Motor Transport Company. I vividly recall seeing those trucks around Milwaukee. I always wondered how they could get away with using The Transport Company’s logo not knowing until years later that it had once been a part of the company.

TMER&T occupied offices on two floors of the eight-story terminal. Its successor, The Milwaukee & Suburban Transport Corp. which succeeded it in late 1952 continued to have its corporate offices there until 1962 when they moved to 4212 W. Highland Blvd. The former Cold Spring shops buildings still stand, and have been sold for adaptive reuse. MCTS corporate offices are on North 17th St. & West Fond du Lac Avenue.

I took the “Now” photos in 2003. In 1940, in addition to selling off Motor Transport Co. TMER&T sold the Rapid Transit freight terminal building to GE Holdings. Sometime after `1938, the electric sign on the roof was changed to read “The Transport Company”. GE owned the building until 1971 when they sold it to Aldrich Chemical. The electric sign was removed altogether after M&STC moved out in 1962. When GE took over in 1940, “General Electric Building” was painted on just below the roof. Looking at my 2003 photos it would appear that they sand blasted that off when Aldrich Chemical took over in 1971.

I bought this photo from Don Ross a few years back. It is from the collection of Tom Manz. I don’t know if he is the person who took the picture but I kind of doubt it. I’ve no idea who did or why. It could be that they were plotting out the area so they could determine where they wanted the ramps to and from the soon to be built “High Rise Bridge” over the Menomonee River Valley would be constructed.

These are the ramps that take you from eastbound I-94 either north on I-43 or south on I-94. I-94 turns south to cross the valley so from this point east the road becomes I-794 which takes you east and then south over the Hoan Bridge. The High Rise bridge was built over a three-year period beginning in the summer of 1966. I know because my brother got a job working on its construction during summer break from college (Michigan State U. in East Lansing). I vividly remember my mother having an absolute fit about him working up there.

The view is looking south and slightly east. The former freight terminal is on the right hand side of the picture about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the picture. Just put a finger on the right hand corner of the picture at the bottom and move it up and a bit left. That first visible street is North 10th Street. The Rapid Transit freight terminal is right at that corner. The factory directly across the street with the connecting pedestrian overpass is the Cutler-Hammer Company, still there today. The railroad tracks belong to the Milwaukee Road.

OK. Follow the street in front of the terminal to the left (east). Right where it dog-legs there is an open space. That is where Motor Transport Company was located. The intersection above and to the left is North 8th & W. St. Paul. Move your finger down slightly and that’s where the so called “temporary ramp” over the portal of the never completed subway had been. I’m not certain if any of that dark space beneath the 8th Street bridge could have been part of the unfinished subway. The street in the foreground with all of the traffic is Clybourn Street, which has been converted to the on and on ramp to I-94 which didn’t begin until 13th Street.

I have printed a copy of the first scan and with a ruler and magic marker put in the approximate route of the Rapid Transit from the turn off of Clybourn Street to the crossing of North 10th Street. The Hibernia Street one-block L began on the west side of North 10th Street. -Larry

More from Larry:

While browsing around on the “Net” recently I ran across this great picture credited to your Trolley Dodger website. I was wondering when it ran on your site as I don’t recall having seen it. Do you know where this is? I can tell you if you don’t. This is a northbound Port Washington train at the intersection of North 3rd and West Wells Streets. This is former dining car duplex 1196-97, which unlike its mate 1198-99 was never repainted in the yellow with green stripes paint scheme. The two trains were hated by both motormen and conductors alike, because their single door made them slow to load and unload passengers. Both became mainstays on the Port Washington line until it was abandoned in the KMCL ownership era on 3-28-48. The Port Washington destination sign dates the picture to sometime between 1940 and 1948. I do not recall the exact date but in 1940 service north of Port Washington was abandoned and a new loop installed in Port Washington west of the downtown area. Typical of TM’s notorious frugality, the bridge over Pike Creek just outside the new Port Washington Loop was the one that had once crossed the White River in Burlington.

I took these pictures in 1989 showing the ex TM Port Washington Station sitting on what little was left of the former loop. A Wisconsin Telephone Company building had been built over most of the loop. I’m not sure if it’s still there but the last picture I saw of it the building had undergone a complete remodeling and bore no resemblance to its original appearance.

Thanks for sharing the pictures and information. I am sure our readers will appreciate it.

The picture in question appeared here.

Don's Rail Photos says, "1196-1197 was built at Cold Spring in 1929. The second car was equipped with small dining facilities but it was shortly rebuilt with a baggage compartment at the rear end. It was stored at West Allis Station after a few years. In 1942 it was rebuilt with all coach and scrapped in 1952." This car is shown in downtown Milwaukee, signed for the Port Washington interurban line.

Don’s Rail Photos says, “1196-1197 was built at Cold Spring in 1929. The second car was equipped with small dining facilities but it was shortly rebuilt with a baggage compartment at the rear end. It was stored at West Allis Station after a few years. In 1942 it was rebuilt with all coach and scrapped in 1952.” This car is shown in downtown Milwaukee, signed for the Port Washington interurban line.

Steven G. writes:

Can anyone at Trolley Dodger help me out? I want to find photos of all FOUR sides of any of the Insull inspired Spanish stations. Don’t laugh… but I am actually going to have a 26′ x 70′ station built. I have a good photo of the Briergate station… but the other 3 sides: no present photos to look at.
THANKS!!!

I will look into this and see what I can do, thanks.

Dave…. Luck has it and I’m pretty happy with what I have for photos now. From the GEM (Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Historical publication)… I have a photo now of the back side of the Deeprpath station. Wasn’t sure what the “cube” on the back side was. Turns out – the Beverly Shores (Indiana) South Shore station has a sketch in it’s National Historic designation paperwork that shows the “cube” is the enclosure linking the back of the station with a basement under the station. (For some reason, none of the Insull Station’s had indoor stairs to their basements).

Anyway… with some Google earth street shots, I have the side of the station I was missing. Sooo… yes, I now have a view “all the way around” and can see what all four corners of the station looked like. Sadly, in comparing the Beverly Shores station with Briergate: the chimney at Briergate is gone and I suspect where that ugly red garage was placed took out the passenger side of the station. I can also see where Briergate no longer has the arched front door. The door frame has been altered for a rectangular storm door.

As I live about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Beverly Shores, I am going to drive my car from north of Detroit to Michigan City, hop on the South Shore, hop off at Beverly Shores with my camera, measuring tape, pencil and paper & I will then get ‘hands’ on measurements of windows, doors, etc. By the time I finish – I can hop on the train back to Michigan City. This will take less then half a day to do all this. But… I can put some serious numbers into these ‘station sketches’, & push onto actually putting together a construction blueprint!!!

You may already know this: photo set 1 is Deerpath (frt) Deerpath (bk) & below is the parking lot side of Beverly Shores sta. Photo set 2 is Beverly Shores (top) and Briergate (below).

This is great, thank you! I am sure others will enjoy seeing these pictures.

Steve G. replies:

Here’s the floor plan at all the Insull stations had… and a better photo of the station front door. Not sure WHY the residents installed a neon light sign over the passenger station… but it is still there and it’s lit each night at dusk (smiles)

Mitch Markovitz adds:

The neon sign at Beverly Shores Depot was not installed by the residents. It came with the depot when it was new in 1929. Touting the new development by Bartlett who had the railroad and Post Construction build the building. The Venango (River) guys had the neon sign repaired by Jeff Jolley back in ’85. It then had to be re-done again.

Recent Finds

Here are some of our own recent photo finds. These include some unrealized plans, dated December 9, 1970, showing how the City of Chicago intended to replace the Loop “L” with subways in stages. This was eventually abandoned as being too expensive, and the “L” looks to be here to stay as an iconic part of Chicago.

-David Sadowski

Wacker Drive construction at Madison Street on September 19, 1951. The view is looking north. An eastbound CTA PCC is on shoo-fly trackage. Note how dirty the Civic Opera House building is at left, most likely due to the widespread use of coal for heating in this era.

Wacker Drive construction at Madison Street on September 19, 1951. The view is looking north. An eastbound CTA PCC is on shoo-fly trackage. Note how dirty the Civic Opera House building is at left, most likely due to the widespread use of coal for heating in this era.

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

A close-up of the previous picture, showing the construction of Lower Wacker Drive.

A City of Chicago rendering of the Wells Street Plaza, just east of the old Main Post Office, dated January 25, 1956.

A City of Chicago rendering of the Wells Street Plaza, just east of the old Main Post Office, dated January 25, 1956.

A photo of this "street car waiting room," located at 38th and Western, appeared in Bulletin 146 of the Central Electric Railfans' Association. Here is another view by Bob Selle, taken on January 30, 1954. This amenity was provided by a local merchant and, due to a fire, did not last long after the end of streetcar service in 1956.

A photo of this “street car waiting room,” located at 38th and Western, appeared in Bulletin 146 of the Central Electric Railfans’ Association. Here is another view by Bob Selle, taken on January 30, 1954. This amenity was provided by a local merchant and, due to a fire, did not last long after the end of streetcar service in 1956.

CTA 6165 is at 51st and Indiana Avenue on August 18, 1952, in this photo by Bob Selle.

CTA 6165 is at 51st and Indiana Avenue on August 18, 1952, in this photo by Bob Selle.

A Blast From the Past

Sean Hunnicutt writes:

I thought this might be a nice thing to revisit in Trolley Dodger or Chicago L Facebook page. Well done!

This was my attempt, long ago, in a galaxy far far away, to get Chicago to have a “circulator” streetcar of the type that several other cities have since built. From the Chicago Tribune, August 1, 1982.

Mystery Photo

A picture appeared in Bulletin 146 of the Central Electric Railfans’ Association (page 301), credited to Charles Thorpe, from the Wien-Criss Archive, showing a Chicago PCC streetcar at Clark and Wells. Someone posted this image to Facebook, and in response, another writer questioned the accuracy of the location, since Wells does not run into Clark today. This prompted some correspondence between me and Andre Kristopans.

CTA PCC 7201 is heading northbound at Clark and Wells on February 16, 1957, in this photo by Charles H. Thorpe, from the Wien-Criss Archive. It was the last streetcar to operate on the State-Broadway portion of Route 36.

CTA PCC 7201 is heading northbound at Clark and Wells on February 16, 1957, in this photo by Charles H. Thorpe, from the Wien-Criss Archive. It was the last streetcar to operate on the State-Broadway portion of Route 36.

The same location today.

The same location today.

Me:

When did the CTA put a bus turnaround where Lincoln, Clark, and Wells meet? When was it removed? (I assume, when Route 11 ended?)

Wells dead ends now, and doesn’t actually meet Clark. But did they meet at one time, and was Wells truncated?

Andre:

Close but no banana. Until the 1960s, Wells continued straight north until it merged into Clark. There was double track on Wells that joined tracks on Clark. Lincoln dead ended into Clark pretty much as it does today. The only part of Lincoln that had track in this area was a single track coming off the southbound Clark track that joined the northbound Wells track, roughly 50 feet long. This was erroneously referred to by CTA as “Menominee” in Armitage route descriptions. Menominee is actually a half block south and never had tracks. The hundred odd feet of Wells between Clark and Lincoln is the only thing missing.

Now the CTA built a terminal at Clark and Wisconsin, a block north, in the 70s. There was continuous and vehement opposition from the owner of the adjacent house from day one, and as a result in the 90s CTA gave up and closed it down. Armitage, Ogden, and some Lincoln buses used it. Look at the Armitage route history on the Irm-cta website for exact dates.

Thanks for the information… and we thank all our readers! Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks.

-David Sadowski

Recent Correspondence

Don Ross writes:

I thought your readers might enjoy seeing this photo from my collection. It shows a westbound 800 on the private right-of-way heading for the Harwood Avenue terminal. (The way to tell an 800 from a 900 is by the front center window. 800s had a much narrower center window than the 900s.) It’s hard to make out but State Street is to the left of the poles in this picture (where you see the jumble of white colored buildings. The RR tracks to the right of it belonged to the Milwaukee Road back then. This stretch of private right-of-way was a favorite for photographers.

Just east of this point the streetcars made an “S” turn to the right (south, cut across a roughly 3/4 block patch of r.o.w. and then emerged on a street called Motor Avenue where they ran east for a little over a block to North 68th Street. At 68th they turned right, crossed the Menomonee River for the second time, and climbed the hill to West Wells Street. Here they turned left to head east on Wells all the way to downtown Milwaukee. Before getting there, the cars would cross the Menomonee River a third time on the famous Wells Street streetcar trestle.

Never has a bridge terrified so many people! My first streetcar rides in Milwaukee occurred when I was about 5 and ended on the last day 3-1-58. My grandmother and I got off the car on each end of the trestle and rode across several times so, as she said, “You’ll always remember it” and I do. She would always prep me as the car was about to cross, “Now, don’t be afraid.” Are you kidding? I loved every minute of it and yes, I never forgot the experience. Actually, Dave, I think she was the one who was afraid. It was remarkable to watch how people either stared straight ahead or kept their eyes on the magazine or newspaper they were reading.

After streetcars quit on 3-1-58 the Milwaukee & Suburban Transport Corp. donated the trestle to the city of Milwaukee. The city debated for two years as to what to do with it but in the end it was dismantled in 1960. In all the years that trestle served the streetcars, and in the earliest days interurban trains, there was never an accident or derailment of any kind. However, the bridge was notorious for drivers who had imbibed a bit too much of the product “that made Milwaukee famous,” some of which was brewed by Miller Brewing at the east end of the trestle, tried driving across. If bouncing along the ties and rails didn’t sober them up the damage to their tires and front end suspension sure did along with the traffic citation, and a bill from the Transport Co. for removal of their car and any damage done to the trestle.

The late Lew Martin, a member of the Railroad Historical Foundation also known as the “607 gang” for Milwaukee streetcar 607 which they purchased in March of 1949 and were in the process of restoring a Hibernia St. yards just east of the Rapid Transit freight terminal at 940 W. St. Paul Ave. told me that he and a group of his friends would wait at the end of the Wells Street trestle usually the west end. That was a stop. They would climb onto the back end while holding on to the trolley rope and ride across. Lew commented, “Boy, if my mother had ever found out what I’d been doing I’d have been in a lot of trouble!”

Another former Milwaukeean, Mr. “Pete” Rogers who by the 1980’s when I got to know him was living in Bullhead City, AZ told the story of a school trip on the streetcar from his high school, Juneau High, which was a few blocks north of the Rapid Transit line when the line was there to the Milwaukee Public Museum downtown on 8th and Wisconsin. The Central Library and Public Museum used to occupy the same building. Today, the museum has its own building on 8th and Wells. Anyway, boys will be boys. Streetcars had bars across the lower part of the windows to prevent kids from sticking their hands out. One of his buddies discovered that a set of the bars below the window at which they were seated were loose. They managed to work an entire panel of bars loose and thinking it would be great fun, lifted it up and sent it sailing over the railing of the viaduct where it came crashing down in the parking lot of the Hilty-Forster Lumber Company 80 feet below. They thought it was a great prank until the next day. The class was called to the school auditorium. Up on stage stood the principal and a Transport Company supervisor. Oh, Oh! No one would admit who did it so the whole class got punished and had to pay for repairs to the streetcar and damages to the parking lot. What seemed like a great prank could have had serious consequences if that set of bars had hit someone.

My father told me that as kids they used to put these big firecrackers he called “Salutes” on the streetcar tracks and watch as the trucks went over them causing them to lift off the rails.

In the days prior to 1937, Rt 10 cars continued past the Harwood terminal and climbed the hill on the way out to the Muirdale Sanitorium. Streetcars carried a destination sign that read Rt 10 WAUCOBLDG. That was TM shorthand for Wauwatosa County Buildings.

TM 905, looking west at the Harwood Avenue terminal.

TM 905, looking west at the Harwood Avenue terminal.

Same location ca. 1990's. Larry Sakar photo

Same location ca. 1990’s. Larry Sakar photo

Looking east on Motor Avenue in Wauwautosa. Note evidence of tracks in the pavement.

Looking east on Motor Avenue in Wauwautosa. Note evidence of tracks in the pavement.

A 900-series car (953?), eastbound entering Motor Avenue on Route 10. (Don Ross Photo)

A 900-series car (953?), eastbound entering Motor Avenue on Route 10. (Don Ross Photo)

An 800-series car near 71st and State, heading westbound on route 10.

An 800-series car near 71st and State, heading westbound on route 10.

Now Available On Compact Disc
CDLayout33p85
RRCNSLR
Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
# of Discs – 1
Price: $15.99

Railroad Record Club – North Shore Line Rarities 1955-1963
Newly rediscovered and digitized after 60 years, most of these audio recordings of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban trains are previously unheard, and include on-train recordings, run-bys, and switching. Includes both Electroliners, standard cars, and locomotives. Recorded between 1955 and 1963 on the Skokie Valley Route and Mundelein branch. We are donating $5 from the sale of each disc to Kenneth Gear, who saved these and many other original Railroad Record Club master tapes from oblivion.
Total time – 73:14
[/caption]


Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 3Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 2Tape 4 switching at Roudout + Mundeline pic 1Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 2Tape 3 Mundeline Run pic 1Tape 2 Mundeline pic 3Tape 2 Mundeline pic 2Tape 2 Mundeline pic 1Tape 1 ElectrolinerTape 1 Electroliner pic 3Tape 1 Electroliner pic 2Notes from tape 4Note from tape 2

RRC-OMTT
Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes
# of Discs- 3
Price: $24.99


Railroad Record Club Traction Rarities – 1951-58
From the Original Master Tapes

Our friend Kenneth Gear recently acquired the original Railroad Record Club master tapes. These have been digitized, and we are now offering over three hours of 1950s traction audio recordings that have not been heard in 60 years.
Properties covered include:

Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick), Capital Transit, Altoona & Logan Valley, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, Pennsylvania Railroad, Illinois Terminal, Baltimore Transit, Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto, St. Louis Public Transit, Queensboro Bridge, Third Avenue El, Southern Iowa Railway, IND Subway (NYC), Johnstown Traction, Cincinnati Street Railway, and the Toledo & Eastern
$5 from the sale of each set will go to Kenneth Gear, who has invested thousands of dollars to purchase all the remaining artifacts relating to William A. Steventon’s Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, WI. It is very unlikely that he will ever be able to recoup his investment, but we support his efforts at preserving this important history, and sharing it with railfans everywhere.
Disc One
Potomac Edison (Hagerstown & Frederick):
01. 3:45 Box motor #5
02. 3:32 Box motor #5, May 24, 1953
03. 4:53 Engine whistle signals, loco #12, January 17, 1954
04. 4:13 Loco #12
Capital Transit:
05. 0:56 PCC car 1557, Route 20 – Cabin John line, July 19, 1953
06. 1:43
Altoona & Logan Valley:
07. 4:00 Master Unit car #74, August 8, 1953
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit:
08. 4:17 Car 306 (ex-AE&FRE), September 27, 1953
09. 4:04
10. 1:39
Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1s:
11. 4:35 August 27, 1954
12. 4:51
Illinois Terminal:
13. 5:02 Streamliner #300, northward from Edwardsville, February 14, 1955
14. 12:40 Car #202 (ex-1202), between Springfield and Decatur, February 1955
Baltimore Transit:
15. 4:56 Car 5706, January 16, 1954
16. 4:45 Car 5727, January 16, 1954
Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto:
17. 4:19 Interurbans #83 and #80, October 1954
18. 5:20 #80, October 1954
Total time: 79:30
Disc Two
St. Louis Public Service:
01. 4:34 PCCs #1708, 1752, 1727, 1739, December 6, 1953
Queensboro Bridge Company (New York City):
02. 5:37 Cars #606, 605, and 601, December 31, 1954
03. 5:17
Third Avenue El (New York City):
04. 5:07 December 31. 1954
05. 4:47 Cars #1797, 1759, and 1784 at 59th Street, December 31, 1954
Southern Iowa Railway:
06. 4:46 Loco #400, August 17, 1955
07. 5:09 Passenger interurban #9
IND Subway (New York City):
08. 8:40 Queens Plaza station, December 31, 1954
Last Run of the Hagerstown & Frederick:
09. 17:34 Car #172, February 20, 1954 – as broadcast on WJEJ, February 21, 1954, with host Carroll James, Sr.
Total time: 61:31
Disc Three
Altoona & Logan Valley/Johnstown Traction:
01. 29:34 (Johnstown Traction recordings were made August 9, 1953)
Cincinnati Street Railway:
02. 17:25 (Car 187, Brighton Car House, December 13, 1951– regular service abandoned April 29, 1951)
Toledo & Eastern:
03. 10:36 (recorded May 3-7, 1958– line abandoned July 1958)
Capital Transit:
04. 16:26 sounds recorded on board a PCC (early 1950s)
Total time: 74:02
Total time (3 discs) – 215:03



The Trolley Dodger On the Air
We appeared on WGN radio in Chicago in November 2018, discussing our book Building Chicago’s Subways on the Dave Plier Show. You can hear our 19-minute conversation here.
Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938-- Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway. Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 1938– Secretary Harold Ickes, left, and Mayor Edward J. Kelly turn the first spadeful of earth to start the new $40,000,000 subway project. Many thousands gathered to celebrate the starting of work on the subway.
Order Our New Book Building Chicago’s Subways

There were three subway anniversaries in 2018 in Chicago:
60 years since the West Side Subway opened (June 22, 1958)
75 years since the State Street Subway opened (October 17, 1943)
80 years since subway construction started (December 17, 1938)
To commemorate these anniversaries, we have written a new book, Building Chicago’s Subways.

While the elevated Chicago Loop is justly famous as a symbol of the city, the fascinating history of its subways is less well known. The City of Chicago broke ground on what would become the “Initial System of Subways” during the Great Depression and finished 20 years later. This gigantic construction project, a part of the New Deal, would overcome many obstacles while tunneling through Chicago’s soft blue clay, under congested downtown streets, and even beneath the mighty Chicago River. Chicago’s first rapid transit subway opened in 1943 after decades of wrangling over routes, financing, and logistics. It grew to encompass the State Street, Dearborn-Milwaukee, and West Side Subways, with the latter modernizing the old Garfield Park “L” into the median of Chicago’s first expressway. Take a trip underground and see how Chicago’s “I Will” spirit overcame challenges and persevered to help with the successful building of the subways that move millions. Building Chicago’s subways was national news and a matter of considerable civic pride–making it a “Second City” no more!

Bibliographic information:
Title Building Chicago’s Subways
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Edition illustrated
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2018
ISBN 1467129380, 9781467129381
Length 128 pages
Chapter Titles:
01. The River Tunnels
02. The Freight Tunnels
03. Make No Little Plans
04. The State Street Subway
05. The Dearborn-Milwaukee Subway
06. Displaced
07. Death of an Interurban
08. The Last Street Railway
09. Subways and Superhighways
10. Subways Since 1960
Building Chicago’s Subways is in stock and now available for immediate shipment. Order your copy today! All copies purchased through The Trolley Dodger will be signed by the author.
The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.
For Shipping to US Addresses:

For Shipping to Canada:

For Shipping Elsewhere:

Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo) Redone tile at the Monroe and Dearborn CTA Blue Line subway station, showing how an original sign was incorporated into a newer design, May 25, 2018. (David Sadowski Photo)

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More Chicago Streetcars

CTA 3141 at Franklin and Lake on October 19, 1952.

CTA 3141 at Franklin and Lake on October 19, 1952.

Friday the 13th may be your lucky day, as today’s post features Chicago streetcar pictures taken by the late Bill Hoffman, kindly shared by Jeffrey L. Wien and the Wien-Criss Archive. Mr. Hoffman was an avid photographer, and captured many unique scenes that other photographers missed.

These pictures, nearly all from the early 1950s, reflect a time when streetcars were fast disappearing from Chicago’s streets. We hope that you will enjoy them.

While in many cases, it is not possible to know what sort of equipment photographers used 60 or more years ago, I do know that Bill Hoffman used a 1950s Leica IIIg camera, which used screw-mount lenses. By happenstance, I briefly ended up with the camera after his unfortunate passing in the 1980s.

Bob Selle used Ansco black-and-white size 616 roll film for the shots featured today. This was a Kodak adaptation of 116, where the film was the same size, but the spool was different. That suggests he was using a Kodak folding camera. These are rather large negatives, at least 4x larger than 35mm, which is one reason they are very sharp and detailed.

We also have some previously unpublished North Shore Line photos taken in January 1963 by Robert Ness, and some recent finds of our own. We thank all our contributors.

-David Sadowski

PS- As always, if you have useful information to add, regarding any of these photographs, don’t hesitate to write us. You can contact us directly, using the e-mail address given at the end of this post, or by leaving us a Comment. When referencing individual photos, use the image number, which can be found by hovering your mouse over the picture. For example, the first image in this post is called pic167. We look forward to hearing from you.

Hoffman Photos From the Wien-Criss Archive:

Jeff Wien notes, “Most if not all of these slides were taken by Bill.”

CTA 531 at Clinton and Lake, October 17, 1950.

CTA 531 at Clinton and Lake, October 17, 1950.

CTA one-man car 6217 at 71st and Western on May 28, 1950.

CTA one-man car 6217 at 71st and Western on May 28, 1950.

CTA one-man car 3318 at 71st and California on May 28, 1950.

CTA one-man car 3318 at 71st and California on May 28, 1950.

CTA 7271 at 63rd and Linder on November 7, 1952.

CTA 7271 at 63rd and Linder on November 7, 1952.

CTA 7010 and bus 3677 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on July 1, 1951.

CTA 7010 and bus 3677 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on July 1, 1951.

CTA 141 is at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 141 is at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 653 and 685 pass at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 653 and 685 pass at 63rd and Western on May 20, 1953.

CTA 7011 at 63rd and Western on June 4, 1950.

CTA 7011 at 63rd and Western on June 4, 1950.

CTA 452 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on May 19, 1953.

CTA 452 at 63rd Place and Narragansett on May 19, 1953.

CTA 4023 on 64th and Stony Island on July 1, 1951.

CTA 4023 on 64th and Stony Island on July 1, 1951.

CTA 7016 on 63rd at Maplewood on May 6, 1951.

CTA 7016 on 63rd at Maplewood on May 6, 1951.

CTA 7012 is westbound on private right of way on 63rd Place and Mobile on August 13, 1950.

CTA 7012 is westbound on private right of way on 63rd Place and Mobile on August 13, 1950.

CTA 4021 is at 63rd and Linder on May 6, 1951. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

CTA 4021 is at 63rd and Linder on May 6, 1951. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

CTA trolley bus 234 is at 51st and Campbell on June 12, 1950, where it appears streetcar tracks are being removed from the pavement.

CTA trolley bus 234 is at 51st and Campbell on June 12, 1950, where it appears streetcar tracks are being removed from the pavement.

CTA trolley bus 225 at 51st and Calumet on July 3, 1950, on the 51st-55th line.

CTA trolley bus 225 at 51st and Calumet on July 3, 1950, on the 51st-55th line.

CTA 795 at 47th and Halsted on October 31, 1950.

CTA 795 at 47th and Halsted on October 31, 1950.

CTA 695 is eastbound on Roosevelt at State on October 29, 1950.

CTA 695 is eastbound on Roosevelt at State on October 29, 1950.

CTA 337 on the Museum Loop on May 30, 1951. This was an extension of the Roosevelt Road streetcar line, built for the 1933-34 World's Fair, and served the Field Museum and Soldier Field.

CTA 337 on the Museum Loop on May 30, 1951. This was an extension of the Roosevelt Road streetcar line, built for the 1933-34 World’s Fair, and served the Field Museum and Soldier Field.

CTA 187 at Roosevelt and Clinton on May 30, 1950. Note the safety island.

CTA 187 at Roosevelt and Clinton on May 30, 1950. Note the safety island.

CTA one-man car 3200 on the Museum Loop on October 26, 1952.

CTA one-man car 3200 on the Museum Loop on October 26, 1952.

CTA 436 is on Roosevelt east of Wabash on October 29, 1950.

CTA 436 is on Roosevelt east of Wabash on October 29, 1950.

CTA 1724 is on Ogden at Ashland Boulevard on October 29, 1950.

CTA 1724 is on Ogden at Ashland Boulevard on October 29, 1950.

CTA 1743 is descending into the Washington Street tunnel under the Chicago River on June 27, 1950.

CTA 1743 is descending into the Washington Street tunnel under the Chicago River on June 27, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1767 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1767 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1746 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1746 is on Ogden at Van Buren on October 29, 1950.

CSL 949 is southbound, coming out of the LaSalle Street tunnel under the Chicago River on September 6, 1939.

CSL 949 is southbound, coming out of the LaSalle Street tunnel under the Chicago River on September 6, 1939.

The Washington Street river tunnel at Wacker on May 21, 1951.

The Washington Street river tunnel at Wacker on May 21, 1951.

CTA 532 on the Madison Street bridge, on Route 56 - Milwaukee Avenue.

CTA 532 on the Madison Street bridge, on Route 56 – Milwaukee Avenue.

CTA 786 at Clinton and Van Buren in April 1952.

CTA 786 at Clinton and Van Buren in April 1952.

CTA 567 at Milwaukee and Armitage on October 18, 1950.

CTA 567 at Milwaukee and Armitage on October 18, 1950.

Washington and Wells on October 17, 1950.

Washington and Wells on October 17, 1950.

CTA one-man car 3175 at Randolph and Franklin on October 19, 1952.

CTA one-man car 3175 at Randolph and Franklin on October 19, 1952.

CTA 3163 at Lake and Pine (on the north side of the Chicago & North Western viaduct) on May 9, 1954. My understanding is the tracks are finally being removed under this viaduct, 65 years after the end of streetcar service.

CTA 3163 at Lake and Pine (on the north side of the Chicago & North Western viaduct) on May 9, 1954. My understanding is the tracks are finally being removed under this viaduct, 65 years after the end of streetcar service.

CTA 1627 at Randolph and Franklin on June 30, 1949.

CTA 1627 at Randolph and Franklin on June 30, 1949.

CTA one-man car 1759 at Randolph and Franklin on June 14, 1953.

CTA one-man car 1759 at Randolph and Franklin on June 14, 1953.

CTA 3163 on Lake Street just west of Laramie May 9, 1954. Nearby, the Lake Street "L" descended a ramp, and then ran at ground level all the way to the end of the line in Forest Park, just west of Harlem Avenue.

CTA 3163 on Lake Street just west of Laramie May 9, 1954. Nearby, the Lake Street “L” descended a ramp, and then ran at ground level all the way to the end of the line in Forest Park, just west of Harlem Avenue.

CTA 1724 on Lake Street at Ashland on October 20, 1953, running under the Lake Street "L".

CTA 1724 on Lake Street at Ashland on October 20, 1953, running under the Lake Street “L”.

CTA 422 at Kedzie and 47th on May 13, 1954.

CTA 422 at Kedzie and 47th on May 13, 1954.

CTA 118 on Kedzie at 34th on May 8, 1953, while some track work was being done.

CTA 118 on Kedzie at 34th on May 8, 1953, while some track work was being done.

CTA 205 at Kedzie and Van Buren on May 24, 1954.

CTA 205 at Kedzie and Van Buren on May 24, 1954.

Kedzie and 34th on May 14, 1950.

Kedzie and 34th on May 14, 1950.

CTA 1735 on Kedzie near the Douglas Park "L" (just north of Cermak Road) on May 28, 1954.

CTA 1735 on Kedzie near the Douglas Park “L” (just north of Cermak Road) on May 28, 1954.

CTA 207 is at Kedzie and Jackson on April 19, 1951.

CTA 207 is at Kedzie and Jackson on April 19, 1951.

CTA 128 is on Kedzie at the Garfield Park "L" on August 2, 1953. A couple of trolley buses are also visible.

CTA 128 is on Kedzie at the Garfield Park “L” on August 2, 1953. A couple of trolley buses are also visible.

CTA 330 and others are at the Kedzie and Van Buren car barn (station) on March 13, 1951.

CTA 330 and others are at the Kedzie and Van Buren car barn (station) on March 13, 1951.

CTA 446 at Kedzie and 34th on March 13, 1951.

CTA 446 at Kedzie and 34th on March 13, 1951.

CTA 445 at Kedzie and 35th on June 13, 1950.

CTA 445 at Kedzie and 35th on June 13, 1950.

CTA 397 at Kedzie and 66th Place on May 13, 1954.

CTA 397 at Kedzie and 66th Place on May 13, 1954.

CTA 362 at Kedzie and 34th on October 2, 1953.

CTA 362 at Kedzie and 34th on October 2, 1953.

CTA 876 at Indiana Avenue and 51st Street on September 4, 1950.

CTA 876 at Indiana Avenue and 51st Street on September 4, 1950.

CTA 1001 at Wells and Hubbard on May 14, 1950.

CTA 1001 at Wells and Hubbard on May 14, 1950.

CTA 277 at State and Wacker in March 1951.

CTA 277 at State and Wacker in March 1951.

CTA 1711 at State and Wacker on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1711 at State and Wacker on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1674 on Van Buren at Des Plaines on May 14, 1950.

CTA 1674 on Van Buren at Des Plaines on May 14, 1950.

CTA 338 on the State Street bridge, then just a year old, on November 6, 1950.

CTA 338 on the State Street bridge, then just a year old, on November 6, 1950.

CTA one-man car 1773 on Cermak and Lumber on May 9, 1954.

CTA one-man car 1773 on Cermak and Lumber on May 9, 1954.

CTA 1765 at Cermak and Loomis on May 9, 1954.

CTA 1765 at Cermak and Loomis on May 9, 1954.

CTA 1771 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CTA 1771 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CSL 473 at Burnham Park and the Lakefront, east end of Route 21 - Cermak, some time prior to 1948.

CSL 473 at Burnham Park and the Lakefront, east end of Route 21 – Cermak, some time prior to 1948.

CTA 1755 on Cermak at the Belt Railway on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1755 on Cermak at the Belt Railway on July 9, 1950.

CTA 1740 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CTA 1740 at Cermak and Western on September 24, 1952.

CTA 709 at 26th, Blue Island, and Western on May 16, 1950.

CTA 709 at 26th, Blue Island, and Western on May 16, 1950.

CTA 723 at Clinton and Harrison on July 11, 1950.

CTA 723 at Clinton and Harrison on July 11, 1950.

CTA 720 at Blue Island and Harrison on May 16, 1950.

CTA 720 at Blue Island and Harrison on May 16, 1950.

A Leica IIIg camera,. The last Leica to use screw-mount lenses, this model was introduced in 1957.

A Leica IIIg camera,. The last Leica to use screw-mount lenses, this model was introduced in 1957.

1963 North Shore Line Fantrip

Robert Ness writes:

I took these pictures as a 15 year old on the last North Shore CERA fantrip on Jan 13, 1963, which covered the main line to Milwaukee and the Mundelein branch. The fare was $7.50 which was steep for a teenager. I grew up in Skokie three blocks from the old Oakton Street Rapid Transit station, and spent many hours riding my bike up to Dempster station for the traction action there. I also witnessed many freight movements of coal interchanged from the C&NW Mayfair branch at Oakton Street.

The North Shore Line has always been my favorite railroad and of course, in retrospect, I wish I had taken more pictures.

We thank Mr. Ness for sharing these pictures with our readers. By happenstance, we also found a copy of the itinerary for that trip.

My attempt at a panned shot.

My attempt at a panned shot.