Chicago Railways Pullman 513. This picture dates to between 1909 and 1920. I was fortunate to purchase this photo postcard recently, and cleaned up many of the imperfections in Photoshop. The caption on back reads, “Uncle Herbert Phipps, Chicago. This was taken during the summer. Your humble is stood with his hand(s) crossed. I look older in the picture than what I do in person. This picture reminds me of my grandfather. He looked a good deal like I do here.” This may be the same person: “Born in New Whittington, Derbyshire, England on 7 May 1876 to George Phipps. Herbert Phipps married Frances Jane Fox and had 5 children. He passed away on 18 Oct 1928 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA.” See the Recent Correspondence section for more discussion about this picture.
October is often full of surprises, especially during an election year. Here are some surprisingly good traction photos for your enjoyment. Some, we were fortunate enough to purchase. We missed out on others, but they are still worth including. We also have some excellent Chicago streetcar pictures from the collections of William Shapotkin, plus some interesting correspondence from our readers. We thank all our contributors.
As always, if you have questions or comments about anything you see here, we are glad to hear from you. It helps to refer to individual photos by their file name, which you can find by hovering your mouse over the image.
PS- We have received more than 100,000 page views this year. This is the sixth straight year we have done this. We are very grateful for our readers. Thank you for stopping by.
Facebook Auxiliary Group
It seems we always have things left over after each new post. So, we thought it would be a good idea to create a Facebook auxiliary group for The Trolley Dodger. You can find it here. People can post pictures, links, have discussions, etc. etc., thanks.
The Merchandise Mart station, looking south, on September 26, 1944. Those tracks at left went to the old North Water Terminal. This version of the image is a composite made up by combining the scans from two different prints, and shows slightly more of the overall scene than either would individually.
Chicago Aurora & Elgin 317 at Wheaton Yards on June 28, 1957. Passenger service ended on July 3rd. (Paul Stringham Photo)
CA&E 430 and 315 at Wheaton Yards on August 7, 1954.
North Shore Line four-truck loco 459 at Pettibone Yards in North Chicago, IL on October 23, 1954. (Robert Selle Photo) Sderailway notes, “North Shore Line freight motor 459, one of two large four truck motors purchased from Oregon Electric, 459 was built in 1941 and sold to the North Shore Line in 1946. The large motors supplemented NSL’s smaller, slower, lower horse powered fleet of steeple cabs. With 459 being only 5 years old when purchased from OE it seems with only 17 years more years in NSL service, it still had a lot of “life” left in it.”
CTA subway wash car S-108 is in front of trailer 1199 at the “L” supply yards at 63rd and South Park on January 9, 1954. (Robert Selle Photo)
Robert Selle captured this picture of Milwaukee Road steam locomotive 163 (4-6-2) pulling a commuter train just north of Lake Street in downtown Chicago on August 18, 1953. My family moved to the Mont Clare neighborhood in 1954, and we lived a block from the Milwaukee Road. My mother would hang her wash out to dry behind where we lived, and she told me her clothes were dirtied by the smoke from the steam engines (which were fast disappearing from the scene).
Erie Lackawanna 3357 on the Gladstone branch in New Jersey on October 4, 1970. These cars somewhat resembled the Illinois Central Electric commuter trains built in 1936. The 3357 was built by Pullman in 1920 as a trailer and was retired in 1984. The inly information I could find is that it may be stored inoperable at Steamtown in Scranton, PA. The Gladstone Branch, currently operated by NJ Transit, had many of the attributes of an old-fashioned interurban, and our good friend Kenneth Gear has written about it on this site. (James C. Herold Photo)
The North Shore Line interurban operated city streetcars in Milwaukee and Waukegan. Here’s what Don’s Rail Photos tells us about this car: “313 and 315 were built by St. Louis Car in 1915 as 313 and 315 of the Empire State Ry for service in Oswego, NY. After only two years, they were sold to the North Shore in June 1918. 313 was rebuilt to one man service on March 12, 1919, and retired in 1941. 315 was rebuilt on February 24, 1919, and retired in 1940. Both were scrapped in 1945.” Don Ross adds, “North Shore 313 was taken at Waukegan. I don’t think it never ran in Milwaukee. We had the 2 door Birneys and 2 350s in Milwaukee until Waukegan quit. We got the 250s and the Birneys were dumped. The 500s were for Milwaukee but switched to Waukegan when the Birneys came.”
Chicago Rapid Transit 3048 at Marion Street in Oak Park, part of a Lake Street “L” train in the 1940s. Don’s Rail Photos: “3001 thru 3100 were built by Gilbert in 1893 as Lake Street Elevated RR 1 thru 100. In 1913 they were renumbered 3001 thru 3100 and became Chicago Rapid Transit 3001 thru 3100 in 1923.”
Brill built experimental pre-PCC 7001 in 1934, signed for Broadway-State. The picture can be dated because it ran direct service to A Century of Progress during the second season of this Chicago World’s Fair.
Likewise, this picture of CSL 7001 can be dated to 1936, since it is signed as part of the opening ceremonies for the new Ashland Avenue bridge, which connected both parts of the Ashland car line. As the new PCCs weren’t delivered until later in the year, 7001 was CSL’s newest car and thus was featured along with a parade of historical equipment. As we have shown in other posts, the interior was similar to the pre-PCC cars built in 1935 for Washington, DC. It was retired in 1944 and unfortunately, scrapped in 1959.
More That Got Away
The Trolley Dodger competes with many other people to buy images for this site. Here are some that we noticed recently that slipped through our fingers. As they say, you can’t win ’em all.
North Shore Line observation parlor car 420.
The CRT Laramie Shops, adjacent to the ground-level “L” station. We are looking east.
CRT 4322, signed for Garfield Park and Maywood, is at Mannheim and 22nd Street in Westchester, according to the eagle-eyed Mitch Markovitz.
A Chicago Rapid Transit Company one-car train on the Niles Center (Skokie) line.
The north portal of the State Street Subway, probably in the 1940s.
A train of wooden “L” cars rounds the curve at Sedgwick.
An eastbound two-car train of CTA 4000s on the Lake Street “L” in 1964.
Chicago Surface Lines 563 on Madison Street in 1928, in front of the old Northwestern Station.
Old and new control towers at Logan Square in 1966.
The CTA Canal Street station on the Met main line, probably in the early 1950s. “L” cars and CA&E interurbans are present.
A CA&E maintenance of way vehicle at the Wheaton Shops.
MTA 3323 is a double-ended PCC built by Pullman for the Dallas system in 1945. It was sold to Boston in 1959, as more cars were needed once the new Riverside line opened.
Chicago Surface Lines 5377 was built by Brill-Kuhlman in 1907. This photo postcard was purchased by Jeff Marinoff.
Red Arrow car 19 has just departed the end of the line of the Ardmore line on June 11, 1966, about six months before buses replaced rail here.
This is where the trolley line ended in Ardmore. It has been turned into a pocket park and parking lot.
MBTA 3271 running as part of a multiple unit train on Tremont Street in Newton, MA on May 30, 1982. This may be a fantrip, as regular streetcar service on these tracks ended in 1969. Seeing a car signed for Route A – Watertown is quite rare, as the lettered routes were just being introduced around the time Watertown was bussed. The tracks and overhead remained in place for many years, for access to the Watertown car house, but have since been removed. The Watertown line fell victim to a car shortage in the late 1960s. It also had to cross an expressway and run against one-way traffic, another factor.
The same location today.
Red Arrow car 24 is at Darby and Brookline Roads in Havertown, PA on May 29, 1958, on the Ardmore line.
The same location today.
The interior of New Orleans Public Service 924 on April 19, 1958, as photographed by Bob Selle. Note the ugly signs, evidence of the racial segregation of the time.
On July 15, 1955 C&NW 4-6-2 #511 pulls a commuter train in Chicago. Bi-levels were pulled by steam, but here we see steam right next to some bi-levels.
CTA 45 and 46 are part of a work train in Evanston on May 30, 1994.
CTA 22 and 32 are part of a work train in Evanston on May 30, 1994.
CA&E 34 and many others at the Wheaton yard in 1962, after abandonment of the railroad, but before the equipment was disposed of.
Logan Square yard in 1966.
A North Shore Line train stops at Zion, illinois for a photo stop in June 1961. The religious community here made the interurban put in a much larger station than ridership required, because they believed their community would grow rapidly.
Two “L” trains pass at the Merchandise Mart station circa 1955.
Kodak did not stamp the processing date on slides until around 1958, but this appears to be around 1955 from the autos. The Garfield Park “L” crossing over the Chicago River near Union Station. We are looking to the northwest.
Chicago Aurora & Elgin 309 appears to be on a fantrip. Not sure of the location.
Red Arrow car 22 is at Sheldon and Spring Avenue in September 1965 on the Ardmore line. At the end of 1966, it was converted to buses.
The same location today.
A CTA Garfield Park train heads west on Van Buren at Western. Streetcars crossed here until June 1956. Tracks are still evident, but I don’t see any wire, so this could be after that.
Don’s Rail Photos” “S-347 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1922, #2660, as 4323. It was rebuilt on February 26, 1965, as S-347 and sold to Indiana Transportation in June 1979.” Perhaps this picture was taken in Indiana. The museum has since lost this location.
CTA 7180 is about to depart the terminal loop just south of Howard Street on Clark. Where the PCCs are is now a restaurant patio area.
A westbound Garfield Park train at Sacramento. You can see the beginnings of the temporary ramp at this location, which connected to the ground-level right-of-way used in Van Buren Street from 1953 to 1958. That was north of the old right-of-way. Sacramento was one of two points where the old “L” crossed the right-of-way of the Congress Expressway, then under construction.
CTA 7169 is southbound on Route 22 Clark-Wentworth. Perhaps this is somewhere on the south side, as I don’t recall such a hill on the north side. Andre Kristopans: “PCC on hill is a pullout heading east on 69th at Parnell.” On the other hand, our resident south side expert M.E. writes, “No scenes along Wentworth or Vincennes looked like this. So right away I thought this photo had to be along 81st St. Sure enough — read the street sign at the left: 81st and Parnell.” Robert Lalich: “M.E. is correct on the location of CTA 7169. The street sign plainly shows 81st and Parnell. The WB car is about to duck under the C&WI tracks. Two of the three buildings on the left are still there.”
This is the Isabella station on the Evanston branch (today’s CTA Purple Line) in 1970. That’s a two-car train of 4000s. Note the lack of third rail.
Some fans are shooting a South Shore Line freight in Gary, Indiana. The car looks like about a 1936 Lincoln Zephyr.
Don’s Rail Photos: “South Shore Line 1126 was a work motor built by Niles in 1908 as CLS&SB 73. In 1927 it was rebuilt into work motor 1126. In 1941 it was sold and converted to a house. In 1994 it was purchased for restoration from a buyer who had picked it up the month before for back taxes. He really did not want the car, just the land. Bob Harris began restoration in 2005.” The sign says South Bend Limited.
Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern (Iowa) car 82 in 1947. That car at left is probably from the late 1920s, though.
This Kodachrome slide is from 1943 and shows the Five Mile Beach Electric Railway in Wildwood, NJ, which converted to buses the following year. This is a resort town and business was hurt during the war, as there were nighttime blackouts.
North Shore Line 178 at Harrison Street in Milwaukee in 1955. Don’s Rail Photos: “178 was built by Cincinnati Car in September 1920, #2455.”
A Des Moines, Iowa streetcar in the 1940s.
A westbound Lake Street “A” train, when the outer portion of that line ran at ground level west of Laramie. This is somewhere in Oak Park, perhaps between Home Avenue and Kenilworth.
From the Collections of William Shapotkin:
All the pictures in this section have been graciously shared by our good friend Bill Shapotkin.
CSL 106 in May 1947.
CTA 123 at Kedzie and Van Buren in December 1948.
CSL 204 in December 1946.
CTA 5512 at 79th and Wentworth in January 1948. Correction- Robert Lalich writes, “Photo rbk612 shows car 5512 crossing the B&O Brookdale Branch at 79th and Oglesby.”
CSL 6013 at Kedzie and Bryn Mawr in 1946.
CSL 5087 at State and 13th in June 1939, during construction of the State Street Subway.
CSL 1994 at Division and Lavergne in May 1943.
CSL 1825 at West Shops.
CSL 1398 at 21st and Marshall Boulevard on July 6, 1946.
CTA 225 on Route 9 – Ashland. This car went to the Seashore Trolley Museum in 1957, where it remains today.
CSL 401 at Cicero and Belden in May 1946.
CTA 117 on North Avenue by the Chicago River in April 1949.
CTA 6209 on Route 93 by the Belt Railway, between Kenwood and Harper on August 13, 1948. M.E. notes, “The destination sign begins with “89 Avenue”, so this car is running east. Lind’s book confirms the eastern terminus was at 89th and Avenue O.”
CTA 6050 on Route 55 just south of Lake Street.
CTA 7217 on Route 36 – Broadway-State. (Robert W. Gibson Photo)
CTA 4401 at Skokie Shops in 1972, after retirement.
CSL 2919 at 26th and Halsted in 1946.
CSL 1423 on 26th Street on September 27, 1946. (Gordon E. Lloyd Photo)
CTA 214 on Belmont at Western Avenue, with Riverview amusement park in the background. The tall structure is the parachute jump. I rode that once (the park closed after the 1967 season). This picture was taken on December 31, 1948.
CSL 1007 at Wabash and 8th Street. The 8th Street Theater at right is where the WLS National Barn Dance did their weekly broadcast for several years. (Heier Industrial Photo)
CTA 177 on Halsted on February 22, 1954, running northbound at the intersection of Halsted, Grand, and Milwaukee.
CTA 4405 on Clark Street at Chicago Avenue. Bill Barber writes, “I believe this photo in your Oct 12th email is misdated. The blue station wagon in front of the PCC is a 1956 Plymouth and the yellow and white car immediately behind the PCC is a 1955 Chevy. Considering that new automobile models were introduced, at that time, in September of the year before the actual model year, the earliest that this photo could be is late 1955.”
CTA 1752 at Cottage Grove and Cermak on September 8, 1951.
The South Shore Line in East Chicago, Indiana, when it ran on the street. In 1956, this trackage was relocated to run parallel to the new Indiana Toll Road. Robert Lalich: “Photo 683 was taken at White Oak and Chicago Ave in East Chicago. The train is WB and is about to curve to the north onto private right of way before crossing the B&OCT near Columbia Ave. Notice the unusual placement of flashers on the left to warn westbound motorists.”
Since we posted this picture, two people have identified it as Kedzie and Van Buren.
CTA sprinkler D-203.
CTA Peter Witt 3375 at Wabash and 18th, running on Route 4 in 1948.
The unrestored version of the postcard shown at the top of this post.
This postcard of Pullman streetcar 513 generated some discussion with our friend Jeff Marinoff, and additional comments from some others.
Jeff Marinoff writes:
Here is the info I received from Walter Keevil on Chicago Railway Company car # 513:
It is car 513 at a very early date. The number is readable on the side of the car as well as the front, though the middle digit is washed out on the front. There were three digit car numbers from 101 to 999. 513 was a Large or Old Pullman delivered in 1908-09 to Chicago Railway Co. before CSL took over management. The cars were originally painted a ‘medium’ green with red sash and doors so the photo shows everything black. The numbers were gold which also appears very dark. The well known red and cream didn’t come until 1920. I don’t know when the car numbers on the sides were moved to the center instead of the ends. The car in the photo looks a bit beat up, not the way CSL kept its cars until WW II.
Andre Kristopans adds:
Noticed that too, rather shabby condition. Maybe during WW1? Suppose maintenance went down on account of war and Spanish Flu at the same time.
Sandy Terman adds:
Regarding photo 513. Appears the big Pullmans were manufactured w/o the eight roof ventilators (4 on each side of the top hat) and w/o boarding air doors which were installed on the 500 series in later years. Question is why were the vents not manufactured on the baby Pullmans that were very similar?
We recently received an interesting comment on our previous post The Green Hornet Streetcar Disaster (May 19, 2015). It was directed at Craig Allen Cleve, who authored a book by that title, so we forwarded it to him and he in turn replied.
Bren Sheriff writes:
Mr. Cleve, The NAACP has owned 11 contiguous lots on the east side of State Street between 62nd and 63rd for over 30 years; the lot addresses are 6209-6251 S State. I bet there is a story behind how the donor acquired the lots and why they made the decision to donate them to the NAACP. Unfortunately, no one in the unit knows. In your research did you come across any land ownership info. The public records online only go back to 1988. Perhaps I’ll get down to look at the original entry books.
We are contemplating developing the lots and putting up a memorial plaque. Not that it matters, but how many victims, both the 34 dead and 50 injured, were Black?
I am one of the few folks that I know that can remember this tragic accident. The reason I remember it so well is because my family went through several hours of anguish waiting to hear from my mother; she often rode the State Street Green Hornet home from work.
My mom worked at Spiegel’s on 35th near Morgan, we lived on 69th and Michigan; she often rode home on the State Street line. On the day of the accident she decided to go shopping for a graduation gift for my cousin, she had not told my aunt. When she was not home by 6pm, as usual, it concerned my aunt. However, all of us were put into a panic when the thick dark plumes of smoke rose from the enflamed accident site and filled the sky. One of our neighbors told us that there had been an accident on State between a street car and gasoline truck.
My cousin and a friend got on their bikes and rode over to State Street to try to see the site, unsuccessfully – it had been cordoned off. On their way home they saw my mom walking from Wentworth to Michigan on 69th Street. Seeing her enter the back gate was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen, even to this day.
She is now 95 and aphasic. Over the years, we never discussed that day nor the horrific accident.
Craig Allen Cleve replies:
Hello, Ben. Thanks for your question. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
1. Regarding the properties along the east side of the 6200 block of S. State St., I never looked into records regarding ownership. In hindsight, it might have been worthwhile, considering reports that about 120 people were left homeless after the fire. There were only five structures that were completely destroyed, including the large tenement adjacent to the entrance to the turnaround loop. I’m guessing absentee landlords and severe overcrowding. I never researched ownership of the land post fire;
2. Thirty-three people died in the blaze, although several papers reported thirty-four. This was most likely due to the frightful condition of the bodies, particularly those who died at the rear of the trolley. Subsequent examinations put the number at thirty-three;
3. Of the 33, to my best recollection, the following victims were African-American: Marietta Catlin Minnnie Banks Dade Clara Dobson Bertha Dowdell George Dowdell Alean Fisher Floreine Foster Marie A. Franklin Tishie Mae Johnson Daisy Palmer Luella Phillips Julia Piercefield Annie Richardson Mamie Robinson Rosa Saunders Earl Sue Sharp Ollie Smith Dorothy Townsend Douglas Turner
That’s about 60%. A good portion of those folks were on their way to Princeton Park, located at about 91st. St. and Wentworth Ave. Princeton Park was a housing development which targeted middle-class blacks in its ad campaigns.
4. I happy to hear that if the land is developed, that the idea of a memorial of some kind is at least being considered. Please let me know if I can help in any way. I hope this info was helpful.
Jon Roma writes:
David, in a recent post to The Trolley Dodger (The End of Summer – September 1, 2020), you have two news photographs of a derailment on the Rapid Transit at Wabash and Van Buren in May 1942. Attached is the article and pictures from the Chicago Daily Tribune from the following day’s newspaper (May 14, 1942).
I’m not certain how a fire a block away from Tower 12 caused this derailment, but my educated guess is that the disruption threw the towerman off his game, leading him to inadvertently throw a switch under a train, jackknifing it into the tower. One CRT employee was killed in this.
Thanks for sharing! The caption on one of the two press photos we posted also mentions that some trains were being rerouted because of the fire. That could also have been a factor in the interlocking switches not getting set correctly.
Wally Weart writes:
As I grew up in Chicago post WW II, many of these pictures bring back lots of memories, I grew up on the North Side but had family on the South Side so I was able to see a lot of Chicago streetcars and “L”s. I rode all the interurbans in the Midwest that were still operating. Please keep up your work, I really enjoy it.
We will do our best, thanks. Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!
New Steam Audio CD:
FYI, we have digitally remastered another classic steam railroad audio LP to Compact Disc. Many additional titles, including the complete output of the Railroad Record Club, in our Online Store.
RGTS Rio Grande to Silverton: A Sound Portrait of Mountain Railroading Price: $14.99
These are vintage 1960 narrow gauge steam train recordings, in true stereo, and originally released on LP in 1961. It is long out of print.
01. Riding The Train To Silverton
02. Photo Run At Elk Park
03. Arriving At Silverton
04. Train Time At La Jara
05. Illini Special At Cumbres Pass
06. Doubleheader Starting At Monero
07. Eastbound Freight
08. Arriving At Chama
09. Whistles At Coxo
10. Freight With Pusher At Coxo
Gone are the nostalgic sounds of steam echoes and thundering exhausts, but the memory is immortal. May they live on in the locomotive lexicon, as a monument to the era when trains were pulled by STEAM POWER.
As with all of our recordings, this CD comes with the complete, original liner notes.
Total time – 45:49
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. 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!
Title Building Chicago’s Subways Images of America
Author David Sadowski
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)
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 257th 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 679,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.
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CSL 3167 on Broadway at Sheridan. The old Granada Theatre, one of Chicago’s lost movie palaces, is visible at rear. It was located at 6427 North Sheridan Road. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp adds: “CSL #3167 is on Broadway between Rosemont and Devon-Sheridan, photo dates to around 1930. Note that car 3167 is the last car in a line of six 169 class cars as is the southbound Broadway car. These cars ran on Broadway and it’s variants from 1923 until early 1948. Building at far right next to Kushler Chevrolet is the Rosemont Garage of the Chicago Motor Coach Company.”
Thanksgiving is a time to share the abundance of life with family and friends. During this past year, our readers have shared many things with us. In keeping with the holiday spirit, we present a “feast for the eyes.”
Thanks to the generosity of George Trapp, here is another abundant helping of classic Chicago Surface Lines streetcar photos from his collection. (To see additional photos he has already shared with us, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page. Several other posts should come up.)
Most of these pictures date to the “red car” era in Chicago, which began in the early 1920s and ended in 1954.
As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:
FYI there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space.
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
This is our 99th 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 95,000 page views from nearly 28,000 individuals.
You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a donation there as well.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
We thank you for your support.
CSL 2733, signed for 79th and Brandon. (Heier Industrial Photo) Chuck Amstein writes, “79th St. and just east of Emerald Ave., looking NW. The buildings to the left of #2733 are still there.”
George Trapp: “CSL #6055 is on Route 17 in front of Kedzie Depot.” (Heier Industrial Photo) Through route 17 was Kedzie and ran from 1911 to 1949.
George Trapp: “CSL #872 on Through Route 3, Lincoln-Indiana is on the North approach to the Wabash Avenue bridge. Note the Chicago Motor Coach 45-passenger GM bus on the Michigan Avenue Blvd. bridge.” (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL salt spreader AA102, formerly car #2851, retired on 8/10/1951 and scrapped in 1952. (Heier Industrial Photo)
George Trapp: “CSL Brill #5349 is eastbound on 63rd Street near State judging from the address of Indian Trailer.” (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL 426, is on Armitage, signed to go downtown. Milwaukee Avenue cars also used these signs for North Western Station. (Heier Industrial Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #426 is on the Armitage-Downtown line, which was almost a branch of the Milwaukee Avenue line.”
CSL 3093, a one-man car, signed for Morgan and Pershing. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #3093 is on Erie at Ashland.”
3093 again, this time signed for Erie and Ashland. Andre Kristopans: “3093 on Bridge is on the old Throop St bridge over the Sanitary & Ship Canal.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
3093 turning at 21st. Note the late 1930s Packard at left. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Close-up of the Packard. The trim design on the side of the engine compartment makes this a 1938 model. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Andre Kristopans says, “2909/1419 on 87th are just west of Commercial Av, the east end of the route.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Andre Kristopans: “2918 is at Pershing and Western – McKinley Park in background. Note side sign “35-PERSHING”. Most of time West Pershing was a shuttle between Western and Ashland, but rush hours cars ran thru via Ashland and 35th to Cottage Grove.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 204 on Western Avenue. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL modernized small Pullman 804 on south Cicero Avenue, near Midway Airport (which may have been called Chicago Municipal Airport when this picture was taken). (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL Big Pullman 204 signed for route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 453 northbound on Clark. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 3041 on Montrose in winter. Jim Huffman writes, “Photo #936 shows two Montrose cars, waiting their time, about to go EB at Milwaukee Av. Note that the 1st car is a two-man car & the following car is a one-man car. On Lawrence Av after it went to one-man cars, on certain nights when the Aragon ballroom let out, two-man cars would be used at that time for the crowds.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) Streetcar service on Montrose ended on 7/29/46. The entire route was converted to trolley buses as of 4/19/48, which continued to 1973.
CSL 459 heading towards Soldier Field and the Field Museum of Natural History, crossing over the Illinois Central right-of-way. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
Andre Kristopans: “3098 SB turning off Erie into Racine.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
3096 signed for Morgan and Pershing, heads through some backyard private right-of-way. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 3295 has just gone under an “L” storage yard. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #3295 is on Montrose just west of North Side “L”, (with the) south end of Wilson Avenue shop storage yard in background.”
CSL 1784, in WWII garb supporting the Women’s Army Corps on route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. That’s the Ridge Theatre at right. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1776 in patriotic garb during World War II, on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway). (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1776 is on Broadway just south of Devon.”
George Trapp: “Photo of car 204 with new Twin Coach buses in background, it appears car is in process of being converted to a salt spreader, cars last assignment was on Western after PCC’s bumped it from Clark-Wentworth.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) I’m not sure about a salt car, since 204 does not appear on the list of conversions we got from Andre Kristopans, which you can read here: http://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/10/04/trolley-dodger-mailbag-10-4-2015-etc/ George Trapp adds, “It seems to be a mystery what the bracket on the side of car 204 is for nor the location, is it South Shops property? This car was extensively modernized after a fire in the early 1930’s.”
CSL 2909, signed for Division and Grand. Since it is on an angle street, this may be Grand Avenue. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 2907, at the west end of the 87th Street route. Jon Habermaas writes: “The line ended east of the Rock Island viaduct, and there was no connection to the tracks on Vincennes. The car has changed ends and is ready for a new trip eastbound on 87th.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) M. E. adds, “The 87th St. streetcar line’s west end was on the east side of the Rock Island main line. Therefore, the streetcar shown has ended its run on the westbound track, switched trolleys, and is ready to head back east. On the west side of the railroad viaduct is Vincennes Ave., on which is a Halsted-Vincennes car. Just to the east of this view on 87th St. is Halsted St.”
CSL 2859 at Southport and Clark, the north terminus of route 9 – Ashland. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
George Trapp: “CSL #3168 is at Devon and Kedzie,” signed for route 36 – Broadway-State. He continues, “photo taken after CTA takeover as evidenced by ad on 3168, probably just before Broadway-State cut back to Ravenswood Avenue. Notice all the open land in the area, CTA could have built a loop for PCC cars if they had wanted.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 230 crosses the old Milwaukee Road freight tracks near Wrigley Field. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1759 on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1759 is on Devon approaching Kedzie.”
CSL 5279, signed for Halsted and Waveland, north terminus of route 8. However, this looks more like Clark Street near Lincoln Park. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #5279 is on Route 42, which ran through to Halsted-Waveland via Clark and Halsted returning via Broadway and Clark until late 1947.” (I assume the route was changed once PCCs began running on route 8 – Halsted.)
CSL 3120 in the same location as the previous picture. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 209, westbound on route 72 – North Avenue, prepares to cross the north branch of the Chicago River near Goose Island. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 117 has just left the Cermak loop near the lakefront, added for the 1933-34 World’s Fair (A Century of Progress) (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 113 crosses the Milwaukee Road freight tracks that used to go by Wrigley Field. This was originally their main line. The large sign indicates a “through route,” in this case 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1775 during WWII, promoting the Navy, is signed for Broadway. At right there is one of those supervisor’s shantys that used to dot the Chicago landscape. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1775 turning from Clark onto Devon.”
CSL 1775 again. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1775 on route 22, this time promoting the Merchant Marine. Folksinger Woody Guthrie was a member of the Merchant Marine during World War II. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1775 Merchant Marine is northbound on Clark at Devon.”
CSL 1784 signed for Broadway-State during WWII, advertising the U. S. Maritime Service. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1784 is on Schreiber alongside Devon Depot.”
George Trapp: “CSL #3157 is at 77th Street Depot.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 577 and 536 pass each other near downtown. Bill Shapotkin writes, “Believe this pic looks S-S/E on Milwaukee Ave from approx Des Plaines. The bridge x/o the joint MILW/PRR tracks.” (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 5012. The sign “Stock Yards Direct” may provide a clue as to which route this is. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) M. E. writes, “Magnifying the picture twice, the destination sign reads Racine – Downtown. Also, the side roller sign says Racine. Because of the Santa Fe in the background, and because the streetcar appears to be on a diagonal street, I think the streetcar is on Archer Ave. heading northeast. It will turn left (north) on either Clark St. or State St. to get downtown. As for the Stock Yards Direct sign, the Stock Yards are in the opposite direction. Heading southwest on Archer, the Racine car line went south on Wallace (600 West) to Root (4132 South), west to Halsted (800 West), south to 47th St., west to Racine (1200 West), south to 87th St. The Stock Yards were in the square mile bordered by Pershing, Halsted, 47th and Ashland, so the Racine car ran alongside the Stock Yards from Root and Halsted to 47th and Racine.”
CSL 3154 at the Clark-Arthur loop. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 1457, during its days as a salt spreader. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1457 is in Devon Depot open South Yard, note Pullman PCC in 4300’s alongside.”
CSL 3134, southbound on Broadway-State. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL modernized small Pullman 804 on south Cicero Avenue near Midway Airport. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo)
CSL 5915. (Heier Industrial Photo) Patrick writes, “Photos 953, 952 and 947 are taken in front of the Eighth Street Theater http://www.artic.edu/aic/resources/resource/2002?search_id=1&index=0 , which was home of the WLS National Barn dance as can be seen on the marquee in 947. The featured streetcars are southbound on Wabash. The taller building to the left still exists. The theater and the nearer tall building were demolished for exposition space for the Hilton (former Stevens) Hotel.”
CSL 5777. (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL Sedan 3351. Note the marquee on the Eighth Street Theater at right, advertising the WLS National Barn Dance, which was broadcast “every Saturday.” George Trapp: “(The) three shots on Wabash at Eighth were probably taken in Summer of 1947 when the Sedans were beginning to replace the Nearsides on Routes 4 and 5 after being bumped off of Route 22 by new PCC’s.” (Heier Industrial Photo)
CSL 3100. If the sign at right is any indication, that is probably the South Side Park “L” at rear. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) M. E. thinks this streetcar is on the 18th Street line, which “started at Leavitt (2200 West) and Blue Island, went north on Leavitt to 18th St., then east to probably Michigan Ave.” George Foelschow: “I believe 3100 is eastbound on 18th Street crossing South Clark Street. There was a Catholic church at 18th and Clark. The 18th St. line ended at State. Track on 18th east of State and Wabash turned south on Indiana and was used by Indiana and Cottage Grove cars.”