Central Electric 
Railfans' Association

CERA News for 10-26-2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014 3:21 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

CERA News for 10-26-2014

We wish to thank everyone who attended Friday night’s program on the Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric.  A fine time was had by all, and we especially wish to thank William Shapotkin, our presenter.  It’s safe to say that no one else has a collection of images like Bill’s, or his a unique sense of humor.

We were fortunate to have two used copies of Bill’s out-of-print 2004 book Faster Than the Limiteds(CERA B-137) for sale that night.  Both were purchased, and autographed.

Used Book Exchange

Our next used book list was mailed to our Members on the 15th. The continued availability of used books is dependent on the generosity of our Members, and we thank you for both your donations and purchases. The list information will also be posted online (www.cerablog.com) later today. This is done to give our “snail mail” crowd more of an even chance at getting books.

Chicago PCC Weekend

We thank all those who participated in our three Chicago PCC Weekend events in late September. A very large crowd turned out for the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table (26th). The event was videotaped for the CERA Archives.

In particular, we would like to thank our Round Table panel of experts: Roy BenedictRay DeGroote,Bob HeinleinGeorge KanaryJohn NicholsonBernie RossbachDavid SadowskiKen Spengler, and Jeff WienTruman Hefner participated via telephone.

We still have some of the commemorative 11×17” color posters, suitable for framing, that were made for this event. If you would like to purchase one, the cost is $8.50, which includes shipping within the US. You can order these by mail or via our website (www.cera-chicago.org) starting on October 27th. Don’t hesitate, since supplies are limited.

We continued our celebration of Chicago’s PCCs streetcars on Saturday (27th) and Sunday (28th) withInspection Trips to the Kenosha (Wisconsin) Streetcar and the Illinois Railway Museum. We had excellent weather on both days, and a fine time was had by all. We thank MCERA Vince Allen’s Victory Bus Service for providing round-trip transportation between the Crystal Lake Metra station and IRM.

B-146 Progress Report

We are in the home stretch of working on Bulletin 146, the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era, 1936-1958. Layout work on the book is essentially complete; the text sections for the book are finished, the nearly 1000 photos selected, locations identified, captions written and double-checked for accuracy. TheDVD inserts are already at the printer, as are the reproduction 1936 CSL brochures that will accompany each copy of the book.

This book will have more pictures, and with better reproduction quality, than any previous CERA book ever.

However, when we started working on the book’s images using Photoshop, looking at the scans under high magnification, it became apparent that there were many imperfections in the 60-year-old slides and negs that require attention. Since an individual image may have upwards of a thousand “fixes” that need to be made, to make things look just as they did when the picture was originally taken, this has proven to be a time-consuming process. But this work is now almost finished.

We expect the book will be in the hands of the printer soon, and copies will be mailed out to our Members and other purchasers before the end of the year. This book is a two-year entitlement for those who were CERA Members in 2012 and 2013, and we also are sending it anyone who was a Contributing or Sustaining Member in either year.

Since we stand behind what we sell, we will cheerfully offer a refund anyone who pre-ordered the book and does not want to wait any longer to receive it. Because the book is already very popular and likely to sell out quickly, we expect that very few people (if any) will take us up on this offer.

2015 Membership Cards

We thank those of you who have already renewed your CERA Memberships for 2015. Membership cards will be mailed out along with the November program notice. If you have not yet renewed your membership, we encourage you to do so.

You can renew online, using either PayPal or a credit/debit card.  You can also print out a form to use when mailing in a check.

We thank you for your continued support.

-Your CERA Directors

Here’s something you don’t see every day… a cat riding on a CTA “L” train. Looks like this couple takes their cat everywhere they go. (Blue Line, October 22, 2014)

PS- Our friends at the Illinois Railway Museum are hosting a rare fantrip on the Metra Electric on Sunday, November 9.  This will be the first Metra fantrip in several years:

Snowflake Special Excursion on the Metra Electric
Sunday, November 9, 2014

Metra Electric Highliners
This Snowflake Special Excursion is a fundraiser to acquire and preserve a set of Highliners, similar to those shown here.

Purchase tickets online now!Join the members of the Illinois Railway Museum as they tour the Metra Electric District lines. This is IRM’s first excursion on the former Illinois Central electrified suburban service since 1979. We’ll be riding aboard Highliner cars built by St. Louis Car and Bombardier from 1971-1979, which are rapidly being replaced by new Nippon Sharyo cars.

Departure: 9:40AM from Millennium Station (Randolph St.) on Michigan Ave. between Randolph and South Water Streets in downtown Chicago. Riders may also board at 55th-56th-57th St. on the Metra Electric at approximately 10:10AM. We plan to meet Metra train 8306, the 9:49 from South Chicago, and South Shore train 504, the 9:01 (EST) express from South Bend, at 55th-56th-57th St., although we cannot guarantee connections. Parking in downtown Chicago is difficult and expensive; we recommend parking in Metra, CTA, or other appropriate lots and riding the `L to Randolph/Wabash. CTA schedules and parking information are available at www.transitchicago.com, and Metra information at www.metrarail.com.

Fare: $50.00 per person.Orders received after October 25 will be held for pickup at Millennium Station. No refunds after October 25, 2014.

Lunch: 90 minutes will be given for lunch on your own in Richton Park. A list of suggested restaurants within a 10 minute walk of the station will be provided; please plan to patronize one, as seating and restrooms in the station are very limited.

The trip will conclude at Millennium Station about 4:15PM. We may be able to accommodate earlier stops upon request.

This Snowflake Special excursion is a fundraiser to acquire and preserve a set of Highliners.

Purchase tickets online now!

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Central Electric Railfans' Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  P.O. Box 503, Chicago, IL  60690

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