Central Electric 
Railfans' Association

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  • Thursday, July 10, 2014 2:51 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Here is our fifth list of used books for sale. We had previously written about the CERA Used Book Exchange here.  Copies of List #5 and an order form have been mailed to all current CERA Members.

    Used books, donated by our members, are being sold to raise money to help fund CERA programs and services. Since we are a 501(c)(3) organization, such donations may be tax deductible. Do you have used traction books that you no longer need? If so, why not donate them to the CERA Used Book Exchange? We thank our donors.

    HOW TO ORDER – You can pay by check through the mail using this form, or online using PayPal or acredit/debit card. Please do not send your credit card information through the mail. As items are sold or added, we will update the online version of the list here.

    As books are sold, we will cross them out on the online list, like this. You can download and print out a copy of List #5 here.

    You can also contact the CERA Office by telephone at 312-987-4391. If we are not available, leave a message and we will get back to you.

    To order books online, drop us a line at ceraoffice@gmail.com and CERA will e-mail you back an invoice that you can pay using PayPal or a debit/credit card.

    All sales are final. Used books are sold without warranty or guarantee. No haggling or quantity discounts- the items here are priced to move. Please do not ask us to put items on “hold” for you. Books will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Current (2014) CERA Members in the United States get FREE SHIPPING. Other Domestic buyers pay $5 Shipping and Handling per book. International shipping is available by special request. Contact us and we will work up a quote based on actual cost.

    Books are graded as ExcellentGoodFair, or Poor. Significant damage is noted, where observed. Some amount of normal wear is to be expected in books that are “of a certain age.”

    When using the mail-in form, in the unlikely event of an overpayment, if a book you want is no longer available, please indicate whether you would prefer a refund, or a credit that can be applied to a future purchase. If you send your order by mail, keep a copy of the form for your records.

    Please note: Illinois residents must include 9.25% sales tax with payment.

    CERA Used Book Exchange List #5 (Updated as of July 15, 2014)

    Stock # Description Publisher Date Cover Cond. Price # Notes

    UBE101 Chicago’s Motor Coaches-V1: CTA Rolling Stock 1947-1973 CF 1973 S G $60.00 By Kristopans- worn, but a rare book
    UBE102 Electric Railways of Wisconsin CERA 1953 S G $30.00 B-97 1st version (pre-flood)
    UBE103 Chicago Surface Lines THP 1979 H EX $40.00 By Lind – Third Edition
    UBE104 Faster Than the Limiteds CERA 2004 H EX $30.00 B-137 Like New
    UBE105 Street Railways of Trenton COX 1986 S G $15.00 By Gummere
    UBE106 Cable Car Carnival GH 1951 H F $20.00 By Beebe and Clegg – DJ worn
    UBE107 The “L” (1888-1932) – Bruce Moffat CERA 1995 H EX $40.00 B-131 Like New
    UBE108 Houston North Shore CERA 2000 H EX $35.00 B-133 Like New
    UBE109 The Lake Line CERA 2011 H EX $50.00 B-144 Like New
    UBE110 The Shore Line Electric Railway Company CERA 2007 H EX $40.00 B-139 Like New
    UBE111 Electric Railways of Northeastern Ohio CERA 1965 H G $25.00 B-108 No DJ
    UBE112 Electric Railways of Indiana III CERA 1960 S G $40.00 B-104 Spiral bound
    UBE113 Not Only Passengers CERA 1992 H EX $20.00 B-129 Like New
    UBE114 Keystone Traction CERA 2009 H EX $30.00 B-142 Like New

    UBE115 The Colorful Streetcars We Rode CERA 1986 H G $25.00 B-125
    UBE116 Indiana Railroad – The Magic Interurban CERA 1991 H EX $20.00 B-128 Like New, no DJ
    UBE117 40 Feet Below IS 1982 S G $20.00 By Moffat
    UBE118 The Electric Railroads of Washington State CERA 1951 S G $20.00 B-95 Spiral bound
    UBE119 Chicago’s Rapid Transit v1 Rolling Stock 1892-1947 CERA 1973 H F $20.00 B-113
    UBE120 Ride the Big Red Cars (PE) TA 1977 H G $20.00 By Crump
    UBE121 Iowa Trolleys CERA 1975 H F $20.00 B-114 DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE122 The Story of the Cedar Valley Road PF 2007 S G $15.00 WCF&N
    UBE123 Lehigh Valley Transit 1934-1953 BR 2001 S EX $20.00 By Rohrbeck – Smaller size, spiral bound
    UBE124 Destination Loop SGP 1982 H G $15.00 Signed by author Cudahy
    UBE125 Touring Pittsburgh by Trolley QP 1992 S G $15.00 By Smith

    UBE126 Pacific Electric in Color V1 MS 1997 H F $40.00 By Copeland
    UBE127 Faster Than the Limiteds CERA 2004 H EX $30.00 B-137 Like New
    UBE128 The Cable Car Book RH 1987 H G $15.00
    UBE129 Buses, Trolleys, and Trams PH 1967 H G $15.00
    UBE130 From Railway to Freeway (PE) IP 1984 H G $20.00 By Bail


  • Thursday, July 03, 2014 2:55 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Announcing the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table and the Chicago PCC Weekend in September. CERA is pulling out all the stops as we celebrate Chicago’s PCCs this September 26th, 27th, and 28th.

    Our next book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958 will be published in August.  To commemorate this, we are inviting all the living photographers who have work in the book to take part in a moderated discussion that will be videotaped for eventual DVD release.  Meet the authors in person and get your copy of B-146 signed at this once-in-a-lifetime “oral history” event.

    See rare films and images of Chicago PCC streetcars.  There will be displays of memorabilia and a question-and-answer session as well.

    Since we expect the demand for seats to far exceed the supply, we are distributing printed tickets. Be sure to join us for a unique, entertaining and informative slice of Chicago history.  Get your tickets online or by mail before this event is completely “sold out!”

    Current (2014) CERA Members can each request one ticket for the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table event for themselves at no charge.  To request your free member ticket online, simply send a note to: ceraoffice@gmail.com

    Additional non-member tickets are $5 each.  Once tickets are sold out, we will establish a waiting list.  If your seat is unclaimed, we reserve the right to give it to someone on the waiting list.

    Please note: Due to space limitations, no vendor tables will be available.

    Friday, September 26, 2014 1900 hrs / 7:00pm University Center, 525 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605

    The famous CSL logo, from the November 1929 Surface Service magazine. (CERA Archives)

    The famous CSL logo, from the November 1929 Surface Service magazine. (CERA Archives)

    A Chicago Surface Lines brochure, circa 1937. (CERA Archives)

    A Chicago Surface Lines brochure, circa 1937. (CERA Archives)

    Chicago's first PCCs, shown on the 20-Madison route in 1937. (CERA Archives)

    Chicago’s first PCCs, shown on the 20-Madison route in 1937. (CERA Archives)


    Most of the Kenosha PCC fleet, lined up at the Joseph McCarthy Transit Center. (Diana Koester Photo - CERA Archives)

    Most of the Kenosha PCC fleet, lined up at the Joseph McCarthy Transit Center. (Diana Koester Photo – CERA Archives)

    Kenosha streetcar 4606 is painted in Surface Lines colors, as a tribute to Chicago's PCCs. (Diana Koester Photo - CERA Archives)

    Kenosha streetcar 4606 is painted in Surface Lines colors, as a tribute to Chicago’s PCCs. (Diana Koester Photo – CERA Archives)

    Special Fantrips

    On Saturday, September 27th, we will go to Kenosha, Wisconsin to ride the Chicago Tribute PCC 4606 streetcar and have a Shops Tour.  Kenosha Area Transit operates several vintage PCC streetcars in regular service along a 2-mile loop.

    CTA "Green Hornet" PCC 4391 at the Illinois Railway Museum in the mid-1980s. Also visible are CTA trolley coach 9631 and North Shore Line interurban car 160. (David Sadowski Photo - CERA Archives)

    CTA “Green Hornet” PCC 4391 at the Illinois Railway Museum in the mid-1980s. Also visible are CTA trolley coach 9631 and North Shore Line interurban car 160. (David Sadowski Photo – CERA Archives)

    Chicago & West Towns Railway car 141 at the Illinois Railway Museum on June 1, 2014. (Jeff Wien Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    Chicago & West Towns Railway car 141 at the Illinois Railway Museum on June 1, 2014. (Jeff Wien Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    On Sunday, September 28th, we will visit the Illinois Railway Museum in Union to ride “Green Hornet” CTA PCC 4391, the only surviving postwar Chicago streetcar.  In addition, we will also operate newly restored Chicago and West Towns Railway car 141, which was also used on a CERA fantrip on April 23, 1939.  Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 36, built in 1903 and also newly restored, will operate too.

    We encourage the use of public transportation to reach our fantrips.  A Metra weekend pass costs just $7 and can be used on both Saturday and Sunday. Metra’s UP North Line has direct service to the Kenosha streetcar.  Take the train from Downtown at 10:35 am and arrive in Kenosha at 12:15 pm.  The return trip leaves Kenosha at 6:48 pm and arrives Downtown at 8:29 pm.

    The following day, take the Metra UP Northwest Line train leaving Downtown at 10:30 am, which arrives in Crystal Lake at 11:51 am. Purchase a Round-Trip Bus Ticket in advance, and we will transport you round-trip between Crystal Lake and Union (a distance of 13 miles each way).  Our bus will leave IRM promptly at 4:15 pm.  The return train trip leaves Crystal Lake at 5:00 pm and arrives Downtown at 6:23 pm.

    Tickets for all events can be purchased by mail or online via our web site and are non-refundable.  The Round-Trip Taxicab Ticket does not include the $7 Metra Weekend Pass, which you can purchase yourself at the Ogilvie Transportation Center.  For further information on Metra fares and schedules, go to: http://www.metrarail.com

    We look forward to seeing you at this once-in-a-lifetime celebration!

    -Your CERA Board of Directors

    From the June 1934 Surface Service. (CERA Archives)

    From the June 1934 Surface Service. (CERA Archives)

    The interior of the PCC Model "B," from the September 1934 Surface Service. (CERA Archives)

    The interior of the PCC Model “B,” from the September 1934 Surface Service. (CERA Archives)

    From the March 1937 Surface Service magazine. (CERA Archives)

    From the March 1937 Surface Service magazine. (CERA Archives)


  • Tuesday, July 01, 2014 2:58 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    On page 20 of Dr. Harold E. Cox’s classic 1963 book PCC Cars of North America, we find the following statement about Chicago’s PCCs:

    “Approximately 12 cars are believed to have been renumbered but renumberings are not known.”

    The story we’ve heard goes like this. CTA contracted with the St. Louis Car Company, starting in 1953, to take parts off of 570 postwar PCC streetcars, so they could be used in building an equivalent number of new rapid transit cars. CTA sold the PCCs to St. Louis in numbered blocks, and there were several such contracts.

    The original contract, which involved the Pullman-built cars, did not make provisions for substitutions of cars, but later contracts did. Apparently, when the time came to send some of the Pullmans down to St. Louis, CTA discovered that a few cars, which were involved in accidents, could not be moved, since there was either pending litigation or insurance claims that were not yet settled.

    Once the contracts permitted such substitutions, CTA simply renumbered another car to take the place of the one that could not be sent immediately. The three photos posted here are documentary evidence of at least one such renumbering, since the “7270” on this car has been stenciled on, in a manner unlike any car seen in service. We are fortunate that the late Bill Hoffman took these photos, and thank the Wien-Criss Archive for sharing them with us.

    So, as part of our ongoing “Transit Trivia” series, we will hold a contest for our readers. Which cars were renumbered, and why?

    We will award a prize for the best answer received by midnight Chicago time on July 7, 2014. The winner with the best overall answer will receive a copy of our new Complete ERHS Collection on DVD data disc.

    The photos do seem to back up the idea that these renumberings involved cars damaged in accidents, since the front end of “7270” has been bashed in.

    -The Editor

    Renumbered Chicago PCC 7270, as it looked on February 10, 1957 at South Shops. The car is ready for shipment to St. Louis Car Company. (Bill Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    Renumbered Chicago PCC 7270, as it looked on February 10, 1957 at South Shops. The car is ready for shipment to St. Louis Car Company. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)


    Another view of "new" 7270, loaded on a flatcar on February 10, 1957. (Bill Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    Another view of “new” 7270, loaded on a flatcar on February 10, 1957. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    7270 at South Shops on February 10, 1957, surrounded by work equipment. (Bil Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    7270 at South Shops on February 10, 1957, surrounded by work equipment. (Bil Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    7/9/2014 Update

    We must have stumped everybody, since there were no entries in this contest. So, here is the list of renumbered postwar Chicago PCC cars. The information comes from the files of the late James J. Buckley, and was shared courtesy of Roy Benedict.


  • Monday, June 30, 2014 3:01 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    The 1923 “Insull Trophy”

    At our June 18th meeting, your CERA Directors presented Jeff Wien with a token of our appreciation for his 26 years of continuous service as a Board member.  We do not know all the details behind the 1923 “Insull Trophy,” pictured below, but it was inscribed to C. H. McCormick as part of a construction team.

    The original medal is about the size of a quarter, and has both a ribbon and a watch fob.  We assume the “E” stands for excellence, always a hallmark of the Samuel Insull empire, which at one time owned all three major Chicago interurbans, plus the rapid transit system, Commonwealth Edison, and that’s just locally.  There is also a horseshoe, which we presume is there for good luck.

    If anyone can shed any additional light on the story behind this medal, please contact us at:

    cerablog1@gmail.com

    Thanks.

    Insull01

    Insull03

    Insull02

    Insull04



    The newly restored Chicago & West Towns car 141 at its dedication ceremony at IRM on June 1, 2014. (Diana Koester Photo - CERA Archives)

    The newly restored Chicago & West Towns car 141 at its dedication ceremony at IRM on June 1, 2014. (Diana Koester Photo – CERA Archives)

    Driehaus Preservation Award Nomination

    Each year, Landmarks Illinois presents its’ annual Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. This year, CERA has joined with others in nominating Frank Sirinek and the Illinois Railway Museum for the 2014 award. Here is a copy of our nomination letter:

    Central Electric Railfans’ Association, founded in 1938, is an educational, technical not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois. We have published 145 bulletins about the history of electric railways, and host 10 programs each year. We have also held more than 200 fantrips worldwide.

    While not directly involved in the preservation of railroad equipment, CERA is very supportive of “sister” organizations like the Illinois Railway Museum that are on the forefront of these efforts. And at IRM, Frank Sirinek has been a leader for more than 40 years, working to preserve unique examples of historical equipment such as the Chicago & West Towns Railway car 141, and the Chicago Transit Authority “Green Hornet” streetcar 4391.

    C&WT car 141 was used by CERA on a fantrip that took place on April 23, 1939, over 75 years ago. After the West Towns discontinued rail service in 1948, the 141 became the sole survivor of the fleet, and even then, was in a very dilapidated and incomplete condition. The idea that it might ever run again seemed far-fetched. Practically no one but Frank Sirinek thought it could be possible.

    After the 141 came to IRM in 1973, Frank took charge of the project. Authentic parts for the car were sought and obtained from all over the world.

    Due to Mr. Sirinek’s steadfastness and dedication, 40 years later, the project reached a successful conclusion. This beautiful 1920s streetcar, now fully and faithfully restored to its former glory, was formally dedicated at IRM on June 1, 2014. It now serves as a living example of the early 20th century history of Chicago’s western suburbs, where the car once ran in towns like Oak Park, Forest Park, Berwyn, Cicero, LaGrange, Riverside, and Brookfield. People can now ride the car at IRM, as they once did to the old Western Electric plant, or to the Brookfield Zoo.

    The Illinois Railway Museum, founded in 1953, also deserves special honor as the largest and most extensive institution of its type in the entire United States. The restoration of car 141 is but one of many such success stories at the museum.

    For all these reasons, and many more we do not have space to provide, I nominate Frank Sirinek and the Illinois Railway Museum for the Driehaus Preservation Award on behalf of CERA. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of such an honor.

    Sincerely,

    -David Sadowski
    President


  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:05 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    When you hear talk of 99 years nowadays, it’s usually in the context of something like Chicago giving a private operator a 99-year lease to run the City’s parking meters.  But today, we have something else in mind.

    The 1964 book by James D. Johnson called it “A Century of Chicago Streetcars,” but it was really 99 years, since the first horsecar ran on April 25, 1859, and the last PCC on June 21, 1958.  Last weekend was the 56th anniversary of the latter event, which means you would have to be at least 60 years old to remember much about Chicago streetcars.

    It was a double anniversary, in fact, since the Illinois Terminal abandoned its suburban line between St. Louis and Granite City on June 21, 1958 as well, marking the end of street railway service in Illinois, just about 12 hours after Chicago.

    At its peak, Chicago had the largest street railway system in the world, and what took 90 years to build up, took only about 10 years to dismantle.  In the opinion of this author, the nation “threw out the baby with the bath water,” and now has to spend large sums of money to bring back a miniscule portion of the transit network we once had, and could have kept, if there had been the public will.

    Today, the IT line between St. Louis and Granite City would be considered “light rail,” and would be a cherished asset if it had survived.  Streetcar service ended in St. Louis in 1966, but by 1993, the MetroLink light rail system began serving the area, and now covers 46 miles of trackage.  So, what goes around sometimes does come around.

    Chicago did flirt with light rail a few times, most notably with the aborted plan to build a Downtown“Circulator” in the 1980s and 1990s, but for the foreseeable future, it seems that local transit will either be commuter rail, rapid transit, or bus.

    We will celebrate Chicago’s iconic red streetcars this Friday at the June CERA meeting hosted by longtime member Bernard Rossbach.  We hope you can join us.

    In a short time, CERA will release Bulletin 146, Chicago Streetcar Pictorial The PCC Car Era 1936-1958.  Copies are available now for pre-order.

    Illinois Terminal was the subject of our January program given by Robert Heinlein, with additional material by Ray DeGroote.

    Until then, we pay tribute to Chicago streetcars and the Illinois Terminal Railroad with this photo essay.

    -David Sadowski

    In CTA colors, pre-war PCC 4047 prepares to leave the turnback loop at Cottage Grove and 72nd in this June 1955 photo, just before the end of streetcar service on route 4. (Richard C. Cerne Photo - CERA Archives)

    In CTA colors, pre-war PCC 4047 prepares to leave the turnback loop at Cottage Grove and 72nd in this June 1955 photo, just before the end of streetcar service on route 4. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)


    PS- From the 1937 Chicago Surface Lines Rules for Conductors, Motormen and Operators:

    Providing efficient transportation for a great city is a most essential industry. Those engaged in it are performing a public service second to none.

    This fact should be uppermost in the mind of each street railway employee.

    He should never forget that he is a public servant, responsible for the safety and comfort of those who use street cars and buses and whose fares pay his wages.

    If he is a good public servant he will be courteous, neat in appearance, careful in the performance of his duties and always on the alert for an opportunity to render an extra measure of service.

    The trainman’s work is exacting. It calls for patience and resourcefulness. Demonstration of these qualities is essential to success in street car and bus operation.

    The rules given in this book are the result of years of experience and the best judgment of practical men. It is necessary that trainmen familiarize themselves with them and adhere to them consistently.

    -GUY A. RICHARDSON
    President.

    The famous CSL logo, from the 1937 rule book.

    The famous CSL logo, from the 1937 rule book.

    The caption reads "Sunbeam," ex-party car. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    The caption reads “Sunbeam,” ex-party car. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    Cook County #1 was used by the Surface Lines to transport mental patients to the institution called Dunning on the city's northwest side. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    Cook County #1 was used by the Surface Lines to transport mental patients to the institution called Dunning on the city’s northwest side. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    City car 2802 on a "Railfan Special." (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    City car 2802 on a “Railfan Special.” (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    One-man city car 1416. Note the classic gas pumps at right. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    One-man city car 1416. Note the classic gas pumps at right. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    CSL city car 2802. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    CSL city car 2802. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    One-man car 3098. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    One-man car 3098. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    CSL city car 2808. (Slyford Photo - CERA Archives)

    CSL city car 2808. (Slyford Photo – CERA Archives)

    CSL 6069 on the Elston route. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    CSL 6069 on the Elston route. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    Pullman-built experimental pre-PCC car 4001 at South shops in the late 1930s. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    Pullman-built experimental pre-PCC car 4001 at South shops in the late 1930s. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    Experimental CSL pre-PCC 7001 at Clark and Schreiber by the Devon Station (carbarn) in the late 1930s. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    Experimental CSL pre-PCC 7001 at Clark and Schreiber by the Devon Station (carbarn) in the late 1930s. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    Pre-war PCC 7021 at Madison and Austin circa 1940. (R. J. Anderson Photo - CERA Archives)

    Pre-war PCC 7021 at Madison and Austin circa 1940. (R. J. Anderson Photo – CERA Archives)

    CTA streetcars 4015 and 4029 are part of the same 1936 CSL order for 83 cars, yet look much different. 4015 is still in its CSL "tiger stripes," meant to alert motorists that these cars were wider than previous ones, while 4029 is in the newer CTA green and creme. This picture was probably taken early in 1952. The scene is 63rd and Narragansett, the west end of the line.

    CTA streetcars 4015 and 4029 are part of the same 1936 CSL order for 83 cars, yet look much different. 4015 is still in its CSL “tiger stripes,” meant to alert motorists that these cars were wider than previous ones, while 4029 is in the newer CTA green and creme. This picture was probably taken early in 1952. The scene is 63rd and Narragansett, the west end of the line.

    Pre-war PCC 4012 heads east at 63rd and Harvard in this June 1950 view.

    Pre-war PCC 4012 heads east at 63rd and Harvard in this June 1950 view.

    CTA 3167, the regular service car, prepares to go out ahead of 473 and 479, the fantrip cars, in this May 16, 1954 scene at the west end of the route 21 Cermak line. The famous Western Electric plant is at left. These cars looked much better in CSL red than they did in CTA green.

    CTA 3167, the regular service car, prepares to go out ahead of 473 and 479, the fantrip cars, in this May 16, 1954 scene at the west end of the route 21 Cermak line. The famous Western Electric plant is at left. These cars looked much better in CSL red than they did in CTA green.

    At the south end of the long 36-Broadway-State line, Pullman-built PCC 4067 prepares to make the turn at 120th and Halsted on March 21, 1954. Tracks of the former Chicago and Interurban Traction Company are in the foreground.

    At the south end of the long 36-Broadway-State line, Pullman-built PCC 4067 prepares to make the turn at 120th and Halsted on March 21, 1954. Tracks of the former Chicago and Interurban Traction Company are in the foreground.

    CTA 4027 and a lineup of pre-war PCCs at Devon Station (car barn) in January 1956. These cars were used on route 49-Western from June 18, 1955 to June 17, 1956.

    CTA 4027 and a lineup of pre-war PCCs at Devon Station (car barn) in January 1956. These cars were used on route 49-Western from June 18, 1955 to June 17, 1956.

    Car 7180, northbound at Clark and Wells on route 22, discharges passengers near Lincoln Park in the mid-1950s.

    Car 7180, northbound at Clark and Wells on route 22, discharges passengers near Lincoln Park in the mid-1950s.

    Car 4169 crosses the PRR Panhandle at Halsted and 119th, while the conductor acts as flagman, in this 1950s view.

    Car 4169 crosses the PRR Panhandle at Halsted and 119th, while the conductor acts as flagman, in this 1950s view.

    Post-war PCC 7195 on the wye at 81st and Halsted. Chicago's PCCs were unique in having three sets of doors, which allowed them to scoop up lots of passengers. The conductor would then collect fares while the car was moving.

    Post-war PCC 7195 on the wye at 81st and Halsted. Chicago’s PCCs were unique in having three sets of doors, which allowed them to scoop up lots of passengers. The conductor would then collect fares while the car was moving.

    Post-war PCC 4321 negotiates shoo-fly trackage on Halsted, related to construction of the Congress Expressway, in this 1952 scene.

    Post-war PCC 4321 negotiates shoo-fly trackage on Halsted, related to construction of the Congress Expressway, in this 1952 scene.

    CTA pre-war PCC 7016 on Cottage Grove looking north toward 95th street. The car will enter private right-of-way paralleling the roadway just behind the photographer.

    CTA pre-war PCC 7016 on Cottage Grove looking north toward 95th street. The car will enter private right-of-way paralleling the roadway just behind the photographer.

    Some cities commemorated the end of trolley service with parades, ceremonies, pomp and circumstance. An example is Lehigh Valley Transit's car 912, the "last car" in service in Allentown PA on June 8, 1953. Chicago took no special note of the end of streetcar service five years later. (Charles Houser Photo - CERA Archives)

    Some cities commemorated the end of trolley service with parades, ceremonies, pomp and circumstance. An example is Lehigh Valley Transit’s car 912, the “last car” in service in Allentown PA on June 8, 1953. Chicago took no special note of the end of streetcar service five years later. (Charles Houser Photo – CERA Archives)

    It's September 10, 1959, and there has been no Chicago streetcar service for more than a year, yet a few forlorn cars remain on the property at South Shops. Visible are cars 7001 (the experimental 1934 Brill pre-PCC), a post-war car, 4021, and at least one additional prewar car. (Clark Frazier Photo - CERA Archives)

    It’s September 10, 1959, and there has been no Chicago streetcar service for more than a year, yet a few forlorn cars remain on the property at South Shops. Visible are cars 7001 (the experimental 1934 Brill pre-PCC), a post-war car, 4021, and at least one additional prewar car. (Clark Frazier Photo – CERA Archives)

    Barely two years after the last streetcar ran on State Street, the urban landscape has changed so much that you would hardly know there ever was such a thing as a streetcar. The "preying mantis" street lights, apparently ready to defend the city against giant caterpillars, are a prominent feature in this December 1959 view.

    Barely two years after the last streetcar ran on State Street, the urban landscape has changed so much that you would hardly know there ever was such a thing as a streetcar. The “preying mantis” street lights, apparently ready to defend the city against giant caterpillars, are a prominent feature in this December 1959 view.

    State Street at night in December 1959.

    State Street at night in December 1959.

    Illinois Terminal 453 at North Market and Broadway in October 1953. Today, we would consider this "light rail."

    Illinois Terminal 453 at North Market and Broadway in October 1953. Today, we would consider this “light rail.”

    Illinois Terminal double-end PCC 452 at 12th and Washington in St. Louis, leaving the short subway on its way to Granite City on October 12, 1952.

    Illinois Terminal double-end PCC 452 at 12th and Washington in St. Louis, leaving the short subway on its way to Granite City on October 12, 1952.

    IT 456 is St. Louis-bound in this October 12, 1956 photo taken in Granite City. Hundley Pontiac, seen at left, was a fixture of the city for many years.

    IT 456 is St. Louis-bound in this October 12, 1956 photo taken in Granite City. Hundley Pontiac, seen at left, was a fixture of the city for many years.

    PCC 4391 in service at Union in the mid-1980s. (David Sadowski Photo - CERA Archives)

    PCC 4391 in service at Union in the mid-1980s. (David Sadowski Photo – CERA Archives)


  • Monday, June 16, 2014 3:09 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Editor’s Note- Today’s guest columnist is Jeffrey L. Wien, longtime MCERAand an active railfan since the mid-1950s.  Jeff has been a CERA Directorsince 1988 and is also one of the authors of our Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era 1936-1958, to be published in August as Bulletin 146.  Jeff has presented many fine CERA programs throughout the years, and is also well-known for the Wien-Criss Archive. 2014 photos are by Bradley Criss.

    The Insull-era North Shore Line station at Dempster in Skokie is still with us, although it has been moved about 100 feet to the east and is now aStarbucks.  But at least you can still board a train there, although it’s now theCTA’s Yellow Line instead of the North Shore Line.

    TIK_8513smPictured are a series of photographs of the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee ticket cabinet from theDempster Street, Skokie Station which I purchased in mid-March 2014.  To me, this ticket cabinet has a special meaning because it is virtually the same type I used as a North Shore Line ticket seller from June 12 to mid-September 1961.  During that period of time, I was on summer break in college, and took a job with the North Shore Line working as ticket seller relief at Adams and WabashNorth Chicago Junction, and Edison Court, Waukegan.

    The majority of my time with the North Shore Line was spent at the Adams and Wabash Station, where I either worked the telephone, answering questions regarding North Shore Line services, or I worked the ticket counter.  As a railfan, this job was really a lot of fun. I knew the North Shore Line services like the back of my hand, so I was able to answer almost any kind of questions presented to me simply because of my knowledge about the railroad and its history.

    I recall being impressed with the Navy uniforms worn by the guys going to Great Lakes from Adams and Wabash and ultimately joined the Naval Reserve in August 1961.  As an aside, I took the North Shore Line to Great Lakes in December 1961 when I went to boot camp there.  During the Summer of 1961, the jukebox at Adams and Wabash was playing virtually non-stop and the top song of the day was Runawayby Del Shannon.  I learned the words by heart!

    Getting back to the ticket cabinet from Skokie, the various tickets bring back a lot of memories of the days when I sold tickets to the various destinations.  I have been told that not many of these have survived.  I know of one in Milwaukee, and have been told that similar cabinets from Waukegan and North Chicagohave been preserved by a former North Shore Line employee.  I have also been told that others were given to museums in Kenosha and several communities along the line, although I am not aware of their existence today.  It is reported that the Illinois Railway Museum also has a North Shore ticket cabinet.

    The Skokie ticket cabinet is unique, because of course the station building has been preserved and one can still go by rail from the Chicago LoopBelmontWilson and Howard to Skokie!  An audit of the tickets has disclosed that there are no Skokie-Kenosha roundtrip tickets included, although similar tickets are in the cabinet to Great LakesWaukeganRacine and Milwaukee.  There are also no one-way or round-trip tickets between Skokie and Libertyville or Mundelein.

    For the most part, the tickets in the ticket cabinet are about as complete as one might hope some 51 years after the line closed.  Of special interest is the brass padlock inscribed with the letters C.N.S. & M.R.R.  That in itself is a collectors’ item.

    To me, this bit of North Shore memorabilia is indeed a rare find!

    -Jeff Wien

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    A view of the Dempster station as it looked in October 1961, with just over a year of North Shore Line service remaining. To the south of the Insull-era building, you can see the remnants of the high-level platform that would have been used for CRT Niles Center service. These were removed by CTA and a new, very basic platform was built for Swift service. (CERA Archives)

    A view of the Dempster station as it looked in October 1961, with just over a year of North Shore Line service remaining. To the south of the Insull-era building, you can see the remnants of the high-level platform that would have been used for CRT Niles Center service. These were removed by CTA and a new, very basic platform was built for Swift service. (CERA Archives)


  • Sunday, June 15, 2014 3:18 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Used Book Exchange List #5

    FYI, our next used used book list will be mailed on July 1st, and uploaded to our blog one week later. This will provide more of a level playing field between our “snail mail” types and the Internet-savvy crowd.

    Our latest list will include mainly CERA books, but also a smattering from other publishers, and also some original ERHS bulletins.

    IRM 2014 Trolley Pageant

    This just in from IRM President Joe Stupar:

    Following on the heels of last year’s 60 cars for 60 years event, the Illinois Railway Museum is proud to announce the first all-day trolley parade event ever! On Saturday, July 5th, starting with the 10:30 AM departure, all parade equipment will operate in revenue service with passengers on board. That’s right: each consist will enter the main depot and board passengers. You might say, “Thats going to take all day…” And you may be right. If there is something unique that you always wanted ride but couldn’t, this is the day. In addition to the main line, several streetcars will also be operating on the streetcar loop.

    This timetable is for informational purposes only. The usual disclaimers apply: This event is subject to weather, mechanical condition of equipment, and anything else that may happen between now and then.

    10:30 AM CA&E 36-308-309
    10:45 AM CRT 1797-1268
    11:00 AM Coach Train #1
    11:30 AM CA&E 409-431-460
    11:45 AM CNS&M 714-160
    12:00 PM CNS&M 229
    12:15 PM IT 101
    12:30 PM CTA 4290-4412
    12:45 PM TM D13
    1:00 PM Coach Train #2
    1:30 PM CNS&M 251-749
    1:45 PM CTA 41-30
    2:00 PM CTA 2153-2154
    2:15 PM CTA 2200s
    2:25 PM Demonstration Freight Train
    2:45 PM CA&E 409-431-460
    3:00 PM Coach Train #3
    3:15 PM CSS&SB 1100
    3:45 PM CSS&SB 34-40
    4:15 PM IC 1380-1198
    5:00 PM Coach Train #4

    Second Chance Program

    Our January program on the Illinois Terminal Railroad was very well received, but due to the cold weather, there were several CERA members who were unable to attend. We are pleased to report that everyone will have a second chance to see the program, thanks to the Railroad Club and Shortlines Society of Chicago:

    Illinois Terminal
    by Robert Heinlein and Ray Piesczuk, with additional material by Ray DeGroote

    7:30 pm, Friday, June 20, 2014

    Railroad & Shortlines Club of Chicago

    RSCC presents an Illinois Terminal program. This program was presented last winter at CERA, but weather discouraged some people from attending. There will be additional material on freight service after the end of passenger service.

    We meet at
    Chicago Union Station
    500 W. Jackson Blvd., Room 107A
    Chicago, Illinois

    Please enter at 500 W Jackson Blvd between Clinton and Canal. Main waiting room may be closed for a private party.
    Call 312 725-0432 during meeting for assistance.

    Phone number for program announcements: 312 725-0432

    For program announcements by email, send a blank message to:
    schs-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    For more information about Railroad & Shortlines Club of Chicago
    http://rscc.dhke.com/
    shortlinechicagoHS@hotmail.com

    posted by Adam Kerman, Club president


  • Friday, June 13, 2014 3:19 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Interurban Memories
    Available for the first time on Audio CD
    From the CERA Archives

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    Interurban Memories, recorded in 1960 and 1961, features Hi-Fi stereo recordings of two of the last three Interurbans in the US- Pacific Electric and the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee, aka the North Shore Line. First issued on LP in 1961, Interurban Memories has been out of print and almost impossible to find for decades. Now, Central Electric Railfans’ Association has digitally remastered these historic recordings, and they sound better than ever.

    Hear the sounds of these fabled electric railways in their twilight years. With the original liner notes by Ira Swett.

    Order online or order by mail

    B-146 Update

    We are now putting the finishing touches on our next book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era 1936-1958 before sending it off to be printed. The good news is CERA has decided to go “all in” and the book has been expanded another 16 pages, to a total of 448- fully twice the number of B-145.

    However, in order to add these extra pages, and make the approximately 700 images in the book look as good as they can be, we simply need a bit more time to finish the job. As of the moment, we expect that the book will ship in August. This will give our talented designer the additional time he needs to remove the imperfections from 60-year-old images, and match colors from shot to shot.

    We know our members will be very understanding, since B-146 has to stand the test of time, as the most important book about Chicago streetcars to appear in the last 40 years.

     This book is a two-year entitlement for those who were CERA members in both 2012 and 2013. We gave those who were members in only one of the two years a chance to “step up” and make up for the missing year so they could receive the book. Many of you did so, and the deadline for this was June 1st.

    Those who were members in only one of the two years will receive copies of How the Medal Was Wonand A Rainbow of Traction as their entitlement- in other words, two books for the one year. By the time you read this, all those books will have been shipped.

    Our pre-order for B-146 has also been quite successful, and as a result, fully 2/3rds of the entire expanded print run has already been spoken for. Like many CERA books, we expect this one will sell out in a short period of time, and will quickly become a collector’s item that will increase in value over the years. Don’t miss out! Reserve your copy today, if you have not already done so.

    Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table

    CERA plans something truly spectacular for our September 26th program- the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table. We are inviting all the living photographers who are represented in B-146 to take part in amoderated discussion about their work and their interest in documenting Chicago streetcars. We will showcase their images and there will be a question-and-answer session as well.

    This will be a unique, once-in-a-lifetime “oral history” event that will be videotaped for future release. Since we expect this program to be completely “sold out,” we will give our current members (and others who have pre-ordered B-146) first crack at attending. More information will follow soon by mail on how to get your tickets. Get to meet these legendary photographers in person, talk to them and ask them questions.

    ERHS Collection Update

    The demand for AR-1, our Complete ERHS Collection DVD, has been very strong, and to date, we have sold nearly 200 copies. This collection features all 49 bulletins from the Electric Railway Historical Society on a single data disc that can be viewed on a computer. In addition to the 1,826 pages in these bulletins, there is an additional 113 pages of bonus material- an incredible bargain!

    It has taken us time to get caught up with the demand, but by the time you read this, all current orders will have been shipped. So far, we have received reports of just five defective discs, all of which were promptly replaced. We thank you for your patience.

    -Your CERA Directors


  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014 3:27 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    A Farewell Fantrip on Chicago’s Red Streetcars by Bernard Rossbach

    On May 30, 1954, 60 years ago, Chicago’s iconic red streetcars were retired from regular service, and simultaneously, trolley service ended on five CTA routes. To commemorate the occasion, CERA ran a red car fantrip two weeks earlier on these lines. This was the first of its kind, and longtime CERA MemberBernard Rossbach organized it. For our June program, Bernie will revisit that celebrated sojourn in detail.

    There were other later red car fantrips to be sure, up to just a few weeks before the end of streetcar service in Chicago in June 1958, but this one was special since it used the cars for one last time on the final routes where they ran in regular service. Be sure to join us for an entertaining and informative slice of Chicago history.

    Admission is free for current CERA members. There will be a $5.00 Admission charge for non-members.

    Friday, June 27, 2014
    University Center
    525 S State St
    Chicago, IL 60605

    1900 hrs / 7:00pm

    Bernie Rossbach hangs out of the 479 on 38th Place west of Halsted. (Ray DeGroote Photo)

    Bernie Rossbach hangs out of the 479 on 38th Place west of Halsted. (Ray DeGroote Photo)


    A CTA #80 trolley bus, running on parallel wire, passes the fantrip cars on Irving Park Road just west of the North side "L". There were very few sections of shared wire between streetcars and trolley coaches on the CTA system. Note the grade crossing underneath the "L", leading to Buena Yard. (Bill Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    A CTA #80 trolley bus, running on parallel wire, passes the fantrip cars on Irving Park Road just west of the North side “L”. There were very few sections of shared wire between streetcars and trolley coaches on the CTA system. Note the grade crossing underneath the “L”, leading to Buena Yard. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    A photo stop on Irving Park Road near Graceland Cemetery. (Bill Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    A photo stop on Irving Park Road near Graceland Cemetery. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    The 473 at Cermak and Kenton, the end of Route 21. Just a few years earlier, passengers would transfer from Chicago Surface Lines streetcars to those of the Chicago & West Towns Railways. Since the abandonment of West Towns trolley service in 1948, the area behind the red Pullman has been paved as a bus loading/unloading area. (Bill Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    The 473 at Cermak and Kenton, the end of Route 21. Just a few years earlier, passengers would transfer from Chicago Surface Lines streetcars to those of the Chicago & West Towns Railways. Since the abandonment of West Towns trolley service in 1948, the area behind the red Pullman has been paved as a bus loading/unloading area. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    A photo stop at around 2000 S. Clark. Fans climb up a railroad embankment for a better shot. (Bill Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    A photo stop at around 2000 S. Clark. Fans climb up a railroad embankment for a better shot. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    The famous CERA drumhead. (Bill Hoffman Photo - Wien-Criss Archive)

    The famous CERA drumhead. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)

    PCC 4113 passes the fantrip cars at Clark and Cermak. (Richard C. Cerne Photo - CERA Archives)

    PCC 4113 passes the fantrip cars at Clark and Cermak. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)

    473 at 79th Place and Emerald. (Richard C. Cerne Photo - CERA Archives)

    473 at 79th Place and Emerald. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)

    At 38th Place west of Halsted, fans ride a piece of work equipment in the background. This is the same location as the photo at the top of our post. (Richard C. Cerne Photo - CERA Archives)

    At 38th Place west of Halsted, fans ride a piece of work equipment in the background. This is the same location as the photo at the top of our post. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)

    CTA snowplow E50 at 38th Station. (Richard C. Cerne Photo - CERA Archives)

    CTA snowplow E50 at 38th Station. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)

    "Special trackage north of Chicago Avenue at Montgomery Ward." (Richard C. Cerne Photo - CERA Archives)

    “Special trackage north of Chicago Avenue at Montgomery Ward.” (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)

    Another work car, the CTA EE10. (Richard C. Cerne Photo - CERA Archives)

    Another work car, the CTA EE10. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)

    473 on the fantrip, location unknown. (CERA Archives)

    473 on the fantrip, location unknown. (CERA Archives)

    473 northbound on Western, approaching 31st. (CERA Archives)

    473 northbound on Western, approaching 31st. (CERA Archives)

    479, at Cermak and Kenton, lets the regular service car go out ahead of it. The Western Electric plant is in the background. (CERA Archives)

    479, at Cermak and Kenton, lets the regular service car go out ahead of it. The Western Electric plant is in the background. (CERA Archives)

    473 on the fantrip, at an unknown location. (CERA Archives)

    473 on the fantrip, at an unknown location. (CERA Archives)

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  • Monday, June 02, 2014 3:30 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    On Sunday, June 1st, newly restored Chicago & West Towns Railways car 141 was formally dedicated at the Illinois Railway Museum.

    We previously featured the West Towns in a two-part series here and here. In addition, CERA published the definitive book on the railway in 2006, by the late James J. Buckley, and edited by Richard W. Aaron. It’s still in print.

    Finally, we recently issued The Complete ERHS Collection on DVD, which includes a 1952 short book on the Chicago & West Towns written by the late Robert W. Gibson.

    There are historical connections to car 141 that bring together CERA, ERHS, and the Illinois Railway Museum. The car was used on an early CERA fantrip in 1939. Later, after the West Towns had converted to buses in 1948, car 141 became a storage shed, minus its running gear. It was saved from destruction in 1959 by the Electric Railway Historical Society, and was hauled to the ERHS site in Downers Grove, where it remained until 1973.

    Then, it became part of the IRM collection. The long process of restoration started in 1997 and continued until 2013, under the direction of longtime volunteer Frank Sirinek. You can read more about that processhere. Although the journey was long, the results are magnificent and speak wonders about the tireless dedication of the museum’s volunteers.

    C&WT 141, ready for dedication.

    C&WT 141, ready for dedication.

    IRM did things up right on Sunday to honor Mr. Sirinek and formally introduce the West Towns car, the only survivor of its fleet, into revenue service. The event took place at the 50th Avenue “L” station, which came from Cicero, in West Towns territory.

    A 1944 Ford motor bus, which although not from the West Towns has been restored as number “343,” one number higher than the actual sequence, was on hand to greet the trolley. A sharp-looking 1948 Chrysler was also on hand. After a few brief speeches, Frank Sirinek took the controls and began taking passengers around the IRM trolley loop. An accordion player added musical accompaniment onboard the train.

    IRM volunteers passed out souvenir flyers, reproduced below, along with reproduction transfers. Car 141 is also featured in the latest issue of Rail and Wire, the museum’s magazine.

    You can sample the flavor of the event in the photos posted below. In addition, we have three videos for your enjoyment:

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    -David Sadowski

    PS- All 2014 photos by David Sadowski

    Chicago & West Towns Railways 141 on a CERA fantrip, April 23, 1939. (Lamar M. Kelley Photo)

    Chicago & West Towns Railways 141 on a CERA fantrip, April 23, 1939. (Lamar M. Kelley Photo)

    141 as it appeared in September, 1959. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

    141 as it appeared in September, 1959. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo)

    Perhaps CSL streetcar 3142, also out on the trolley loop, used to meet up with C&WT 141 at Cermak and Kenton.

    Perhaps CSL streetcar 3142, also out on the trolley loop, used to meet up with C&WT 141 at Cermak and Kenton.

    A 1948 Chrysler parked outside the IRM Diner.

    A 1948 Chrysler parked outside the IRM Diner.

    Montebello Municipal Lines 17, repainted as the Chicago and West Towns 343, was built by Ford in 1944.

    Montebello Municipal Lines 17, repainted as the Chicago and West Towns 343, was built by Ford in 1944.

    The dedication ceremony, fittingly, took place at 50th Avenue "L" station, which was transplanted to IRM from Cicero.

    The dedication ceremony, fittingly, took place at 50th Avenue “L” station, which was transplanted to IRM from Cicero.

    Although not an actual C&WT bus, the "343" is the closest possible recreation of the real thing, and was spotted at the 50th Avenue station for the event.

    Although not an actual C&WT bus, the “343” is the closest possible recreation of the real thing, and was spotted at the 50th Avenue station for the event.

    The C&WT logo on the "343."

    The C&WT logo on the “343.”

    The sign on 343 harkens back to the signage West Towns used on streetcars and buses in 1948, when trolley service ended.

    The sign on 343 harkens back to the signage West Towns used on streetcars and buses in 1948, when trolley service ended.

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    A rear view of the 1944 Ford bus.

    A rear view of the 1944 Ford bus.

    Wooden "L" car 1797, awaiting the arrival of C&WT 141 at 50th Avenue.

    Wooden “L” car 1797, awaiting the arrival of C&WT 141 at 50th Avenue.

    Along with the Ford bus, a 1948 Chrysler added to the history of the occasion.

    Along with the Ford bus, a 1948 Chrysler added to the history of the occasion.

    From left: IRM President Joe Stupar, Frank Sirinek, Barbara Lanphier.

    From left: IRM President Joe Stupar, Frank Sirinek, Barbara Lanphier.

    From left: Frank Sirinek, Barbara Lanphier, Gwen Stupar, Joe Stupar.

    From left: Frank Sirinek, Barbara Lanphier, Gwen Stupar, Joe Stupar.

    George Kanary with car 141, representing the Electric Railway Historical Society.

    George Kanary with car 141, representing the Electric Railway Historical Society.

    Car 141, ready for its close-up.

    Car 141, ready for its close-up.

    A nice view of the motorman's stool in the 141.

    A nice view of the motorman’s stool in the 141.

    C&WT 141 meets the 1944 Ford bus at 50th Avenue.

    C&WT 141 meets the 1944 Ford bus at 50th Avenue.

    The 1948 Chrysler sedan, complete with optional sun visor.

    The 1948 Chrysler sedan, complete with optional sun visor.

    C&WT 141 has been beautifully restored.

    C&WT 141 has been beautifully restored.

    Fans board the 141 for its first trip in revenue service since 1948.

    Fans board the 141 for its first trip in revenue service since 1948.

    Enthusiastic fans aboard 141. Note the stove, used to heat the car in winter.

    Enthusiastic fans aboard 141. Note the stove, used to heat the car in winter.

    Fans on 141 were serenaded by an accordion player.

    Fans on 141 were serenaded by an accordion player.

    141, ready to head out on its first official trip in IRM service.

    141, ready to head out on its first official trip in IRM service.

    Car 141 is fittingly decorated with period photos and signage.

    Car 141 is fittingly decorated with period photos and signage.

    A close-up view of the stove aboard 141.

    A close-up view of the stove aboard 141.

    141, signed for La Grange.

    141, signed for La Grange.

    The West Towns served Brookfield Zoo, which opened on July 1, 1934.

    The West Towns served Brookfield Zoo, which opened on July 1, 1934.

    Frank Sirinek at the controls of 141. He spearheaded the decades-long restoration of the car.

    Frank Sirinek at the controls of 141. He spearheaded the decades-long restoration of the car.

    Passengers disembark from 141 after completing its first trip after the dedication.

    Passengers disembark from 141 after completing its first trip after the dedication.

    A side view of the 1948 Chrysler parked in front of the IRM Diner.

    A side view of the 1948 Chrysler parked in front of the IRM Diner.

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