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CERA News for September 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:54 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

Editor’s note:

When we had our September meeting notices printed, our vendor accidentally left off the “CERA News” from the backside of the sheet.  We did not discover the mistake until the notices were mailed.  Here is the missing notice, exactly as it was supposed to appear in our mailing.

Our printer has prepared replacement sheets that will be mailed to our members.  Since this was the printer’s mistake, this is being done at no additional cost to CERA.  We apologize for the error.

References to forms are other enclosures included in the original mailing.  Of course, you can still purchase tickets for our Chicago PCC Weekend events via our website.  You can read more about George W. Hilton here.

CERA News for September 2014

George W. Hilton, 1925-2014

We regret to report the passing of George W. Hilton, a giant in the field of transportation history, and a longtime friend and contributor to the association. The CERA Board of Directors made Professor Hilton our first and so far only Honorary Life Member in February of this year. This honor was made possible due to a change in our By Laws, approved by membership the previous month at our Annual Meeting.

Used Book Exchange

Our next used book list will be distributed with October’s program notice. The continued availability of used books is dependent on the generosity of our Members, and we thank you for both your donations and purchases.

Chicago PCC Weekend

An order form is enclosed for this month’s events, which begin with the Chicago Streetcar PictorialRound Table on Friday evening, September 26th. Get your Round Table tickets now, before it’s completely sold out!

We will continue 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. CERA has arranged with MCERA Vince Allen’s Victory Bus Service to provide round-trip transportation between the Crystal Lake Metra station and IRM.

Kenosha runs a half-dozen PCC streetcars over a loop of about two miles in length. On Saturday, we will ride the Chicago Tribute PCC, which rides on authentic Chicago PCC trucks, and have a shops tour. Kenosha’s Philadelphia PCC will be the regular service car on the afternoon of our trip.

The following day, we will ride the last surviving postwar Chicago PCC, CTA “Green Hornet” 4391, at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union. In addition, the newly restored Chicago & West Towns car 141 andChicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 36 are expected to be operating for your enjoyment.

Kenosha is directly accessible by Metra commuter train for Saturday’s fantrip. You can also take Metra on Sunday to the end of the line at Crystal Lake, where our charter bus will take you the rest of the way to IRM. Fantrip tickets and charter bus tickets are available either online, or by using the enclosed ticket order form. Metra offers a weekend pass good for unlimited train rides on both days for just $7, and you can purchase this at the Ogilvie Transportation Center downtown.

B-146 Progress Report

We have redoubled our efforts to complete work on Bulletin 146, the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era, 1936-1958 as soon as humanly possible. 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. The DVD 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 the work is already far along, and we expect this process will be completed in a few weeks. Once the book is turned over to the printer, it will be another 3-4 weeks before the finished copies are printed. They will then be mailed out directly from the printer to you.

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. See you all at our Chicago PCC Weekend events!

-Your CERA Directors

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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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