Central Electric 
Railfans' Association

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  • Tuesday, April 01, 2014 1:14 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Here is our third list of used books for sale. We had previously written about the CERA Used Book Exchangehere.

    Copies of List #3 and an order form have been mailed to all current CERA Members, along with our April program information.

    2014-04-01 10.49.02

    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 #3 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 #3 (Updated as of April 10, 2014)

    Stock # Description Publisher Date Cover Cond. Price # Notes
    UBE076 Trolley Sparks CERA 1948 S F $10.00 B-79 Pages separated, 3-hole punched
    UBE095 Electric Railways of Michigan CERA 1959 H EX $35.00 B-103 This copy has been rebound in hardcover
    UBE077 Electric Railways of Indiana III CERA 1960 S EX $40.00 B-104 Spiral bound
    UBE093 The NOT&L Story CERA 1966 H G $30.00 B-109 Northern Ohio
    UBE094 Badger Traction CERA 1969 H G $30.00 B-111 DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE078 Detroit’s Street Railways v1 CERA 1978 H EX $25.00 B-117
    UBE079 Remember When CERA 1980 H EX $20.00 B-119 Colorful picture book
    UBE080 Detroit’s Street Railways v2 CERA 1980 H EX $25.00 B-120
    UBE081 Detroit’s Street Railways v3 CERA 1984 H EX $25.00 B-123
    UBE035 Indiana Railroad – The Magic Interurban CERA 1991 H EX $25.00 B-128 Like New, no DJ
    UBE066 Indiana Railroad – The Magic Interurban CERA 1991 H EX $30.00 B-128 Like New
    UBE063 Not Only Passengers CERA 1992 H EX $20.00 B-129 Like New
    UBE062 Houston North Shore CERA 2000 H EX $20.00 B-133 Like New
    UBE049 The Green Line CERA 2000 H EX $20.00 B-134 Like New
    UBE050 The Green Line CERA 2000 H EX $20.00 B-134 Like New
    UBE088 The Last Interurbans CERA 2003 H EX $30.00 B-136 By Middleton; Like New
    UBE047 Keystone Traction CERA 2009 H EX $30.00 B-142 Like New
    UBE082 Keystone Traction CERA 2009 H EX $30.00 B-142 Like New
    UBE083 TravElectric CERA 2009 H EX $30.00 B-143 Like New
    UBE084 TravElectric CERA 2009 H EX $30.00 B-143 Like New
    UBE048 The Lake Line CERA 2011 H EX $50.00 B-144 Like New
    UBE060 The Lake Line CERA 2011 H EX $50.00 B-144 Like New
    UBE086 Transit in the Triangle v1 CERA 2012 H EX $30.00 B-145 Like New
    UBE087 Trolley Sparks Special #1 CERA 2013 S EX $25.00 TSS1 Like New
    UBE085 When Eastern Michigan Rode the Rails v2 IP 1986 H EX $25.00 By Schramm & Henning
    UBE089 When Eastern Michigan Rode the Rails v4 TT 1997 H EX $25.00 By Schramm, Henning, & Andrews
    UBE090 Capital Transit: Washington’s Street Cars, 1933-1962 NCTM 2002 H EX $60.00 By Kohler
    UBE091 Illinois Terminal: the Electric Years IP 1989 H EX $40.00 111 By Stringham
    UBE092 Red Arrow: the First Hundred Years 1848-1948 IP 1985 H EX $35.00 96 By DeGraw
    UBE096 Cincinnati Streetcars v3 WCC 1969 S G $20.00 By Wagner and Wright
    UBE097 Cincinnati Streetcars v4 WCC 1970 S G $20.00 By Wagner and Wright
    UBE098 Cincinnati Streetcars v6 TT 1973 S G $20.00 By Wagner and Wright

  • Friday, March 28, 2014 1:17 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Our Next Program:

    Harold Lloyd’s “Speedy” (1928)

    This is the Year of the Horse, and for our March program, CERA takes a look back at horsecars, the beginnings of street railways.

    Our feature presentation is Harold Lloyd’s “Speedy” (1928), a silent comedy about a fictional last horsecar line in New York City. In real life, the last horsecar in New York ran in 1917.

    In the film, Harold Lloyd is in love with the daughter of the operator of a horsecar line. Traction magnates need his franchise to achieve transit unification, and want to put him out of business. Despite their sabotage, Harold (aka “Speedy”) rises to the occasion, in a frantic attempt to complete the horsecar’s required franchise run. Don’t be surprised if Harold saves the day and gets the girl in the end.

    Babe Ruth makes a cameo appearance, and we also get to watch him hit a home run against the visitingChicago White Sox.

    “Speedy” was filmed on location in NYC in 1927, and besides the horsecars, there are plenty of views of vintage streetscapes, streetcars, elevated trains, Coney Island, and even the late, lamented Penn Station, subject of a recent American Experience documentary.

    As added attractions, we will watch two shorts- “The Bellboy,” (1918) starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle andBuster Keaton (which also features a horsecar), and we will go back to the beginnings of railroading circa 1830 with “The Iron Mule” (1925) starring Al St. John, with an uncredited appearance by Buster Keaton. Join us for what promises to be a fun evening.

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  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 3:21 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Michael D. Franklin writes:

    While I am not a member (yet), I do live in Chicago and have been interested in CSL & “L” system for years.

    There are two photos on the Chicago Daily News photos website from 1915 showing a man with an umbrella during the streetcar strike (type those key words in and the picture will come up). I have been trying to ID the location for over the past five to six years with no luck. Should be an easy one owing to a number of unique elements (e.g., single track for street car, angled street with tracks, “T” intersection in the distance); however, no luck. The only possibility was 21st and Archer looking south but I don’t think so.

    Anyway, this photo may be of interest should you wish to post it for the members to ID.

    I must have 200 hours in on these pictures. Should someone speculate, the photos are not reversed since the writing on the buildings can be viewed, and they are Chicago since they advertise “The Chicago Daily News” (my former employer 1967 – 1978).

    Image of a man holding an umbrella while riding a bike in the rain along an street during a street car strike in Chicago, Illinois. Street car tracks are visible on the street. View looking across the street with man at an angle to the camera. [ca. 1915 June 15] Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-064587. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.

    Image of a man holding an umbrella while riding a bike in the rain along an street during a street car strike in Chicago, Illinois. Street car tracks are visible on the street. View looking across the street with man at an angle to the camera. [ca. 1915 June 15] Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-064587. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.

    Image of a man holding an umbrella while riding a bike along an street in the rain during a street car strike in Chicago, Illinois. Street car tracks are visible on the street. View looking down the street with the man facing the camera. [ca. 1915 June 15] Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-064588. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.

    Image of a man holding an umbrella while riding a bike along an street in the rain during a street car strike in Chicago, Illinois. Street car tracks are visible on the street. View looking down the street with the man facing the camera. [ca. 1915 June 15] Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-064588. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.


    We have some very smart people on here. Can anyone help figure this out?

    If you want to view other pictures taken during the streetcar strike, go here.

    -David Sadowski


  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 3:18 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    No doubt you’ve heard of the “Streetcar Named Desire,” but what about a horsecar named Cherrelyn?

    Perhaps the most photographed and fondly remembered horsecar line of the 19th century ran from 1883 to 1910 in Englewood, Colorado. Horses pulled passengers about one and a half miles uphill, and then the fun began. For the much faster trip downhill, the horse boarded the car via a wooden ramp, and rode back along with the passengers. You can get the flavor of this picturesque operation in the numerous images we have posted, the great majority of which are from the digital collections of the Denver Public Library.

    Cherrelyn11

    The horses may be long gone, but the Cherrelyn horsecar itself has been preserved and restored, and is on display today in the Englewood Civic Center, model horse naturally included. We don’t know how much of it is actually original, since the period photos show it looking a bit of a beat-up wreck, and not the smooth, pristine car you see today.

    The story goes that after retirement, the Cherrelyn horses would pull plows uphill, but not downhill. We don’t know if this story is true, but we would like to think so.

    You can read more about horsecars here. You can also attend the March CERA program this Friday, where we will enjoy watching silent film comedies featuring horsecars. We hope to see you there.

    -David Sadowski

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  • Sunday, March 23, 2014 3:25 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    As CERA puts the finishing touches on our next book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958, we’re adding various images to help complete our narrative. Among these are some very interesting CTA service change leaflets that were passed out when the PCC streetcar routes were converted to buses. Two such flyers are reproduced here.

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    These would have gone into a holder on the PCCs labeled “Read As You Ride.” This will probably be familiar to anyone of a certain age who lived in Chicago in the 1950s. We have a nearly complete set of these flyers, including the ones that were produced when the Broadway-State and Clark-Wentworth through-routes were separated in 1955 and 1957.

    There is a lot of useful information in these leaflets- in some cases, they even mention just how many buses were needed to replace the streetcars. It wasn’t a one-to-one replacement; when purchasing buses to replace the 600 postwar PCCs, CTA needed 900, a ratio of 1.5 buses for each streetcar. Of these, 800 were purchased and 100 were leased.

    In actual practice, the leaflets show that CTA did not need quite 1.5 buses to replace each PCC, probably because surface system ridership was gradually decreasing in this time period. Buses were not as popular and well-liked as the PCCs, and there were frequent fare increases in the 1950s. Riding patterns also were changing, with substantial decreases on the weekends.

    For a variety of reasons, including increased competition from automobiles, CTA lost approximately 50% of its surface system ridership during its first 10 years.

    There is other useful information in these flyers. For example, the one for Route 49-Western mentions how the City wanted to proceed with grade separation projects at busy intersections. The most notable such project was at Western and Belmont, where the City built an overpass, still in use to this day, to carry Western through-traffic over Belmont.

    This was probably done in part since Riverview amusement park was at this location. The park closed after the 1967 season, but is still fondly remembered by millions of Chicagoans who went there to “laugh their troubles away,” to quote their advertising.

    We are still looking for the CTA service change leaflets for Route 20-Madison and the Madison-Fifth branch line. This sort of “ephemera” was fleeting in nature, and would have been discarded by nearly everyone who even read them.

    If you have these in your collection, CERA would love to hear from you. Should we use material from your collection in the book, we will naturally give proper credit. You can reach us by e-mail at:ceraoffice@gmail.com

    We thank you in advance for your help in making B-146 the best book ever published about Chicago’s PCCs, the famous “Green Hornets” and “Blue Geese,” which have been called the finest transit vehicles ever to run on the streets of Chicago.

    -Your CERA Directors

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  • Thursday, March 20, 2014 3:28 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    John Marton

    At the March CERA Board of Directors meeting, we began with a moment of silence for our departed comradeJohn Marton, who passed away on February 22nd.  We also passed a motion commending him for his service to CERA.  The last book he was working on (The Illini Trail) will be published as B-147 and dedicated to him.

    No one can fill John’s shoes, but the Directors did appoint Irwin Davis to fill out the remainder of John’s term on the Board, which will expire in January 2015.  Mr. Davis is well-known to the railfan community and is a retired CTA motorman.  Welcome aboard!

    B-146 News

    The Directors passed a series of motions at the meeting relating to our next book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958.  We have tentatively assigned a publication date of June 21, 2014 for the book, exactly 56 years since the last Chicago streetcar ran.

    This is the most important Chicago streetcar book published in the last 40 years, and we expect it will be the standard work of its type for this generation, in the same way that Chicago Surface Lines- An Illustrated History by Alan R. Lind has been since the first edition came out in 1974.  No one can top Lind’s book as an all-encompassing history of CSL, and our book is focused on the PCCs.  But improvements in technology over the last 40 years have made a lot of things possible that could not be done in 1974.

    The Internet gives us research tools that were not dreamed of in years past.  We recently posted a PCC “Mystery Photo” to our blog.  Within 24 hours, our readers had identified the location.  This sort ofCrowdsourcing was impossible until recently.

    Lind’s book, great as it is (every railfan should have one), is devoid of color.  Improvements in publishing have brought down the price of color printing, to the point where a full-color book such as ours is now both feasible and affordable.

    In the course of laying out the book for production, it became apparent that B-146 will be a much larger book than we had originally anticipated.  We have a wealth of great photos, the great majority of which are in color, and we do not want to shortchange our readers from seeing them.  There is a certain size the photos need to be, in order to be displayed to best advantage, and if we were to reduce the size of the pictures, they would become mere thumbnails.

    The only solution is to allow the book to expand.  Therefore, we have decided to make our new book 432 pages.  Our Pictorial is more than just a picture book.  There is a substantial amount of text and background material covering the entire Chicago PCC saga from start to finish.  This has been meticulously researched to the high standard that CERA members have come to expect.

    Because the book has been so greatly expanded, it is virtually twice the length of a standard CERA volume.  Along with the page count, the costs of production have also risen.  Therefore, your CERA Directors have done the fiscally responsible thing and have decided to make B-146 a two-year entitlement, covering the years 2012 and 2013.  For those two years, you are getting the equivalent of two regular books.

    Therefore, the book will be sent to all CERA Members who belonged in both 2012 and 2013.  We will also send it to anyone who was a Contributing or Sustaining Member in either of those years.  We think this is fair, since all of those individuals paid $90 or more during the two-year period, an amount equivalent to two years’ Active membership.

    We have decided to give anyone who only belonged for one of the two years (and was not a Contributing or Sustaining Member) the opportunity to make up for the missing year’s membership by paying an additional $45, an amount equivalent to the Active rate for those years.  In the near future, we will send out aspecial mailing to all those affected, providing the details on how they can take us up on this offer.  Thedeadline for accepting is June 1, 2014.

    However, for those who decide not to “upgrade” their membership in this way, we will fulfill their one-year membership entitlement by sending them two books from our existing inventory- A Rainbow of Traction andHow the Medal Was Won.

    As a bonus feature, by special arrangement with Chicago Transport Memories LLC, each copy of B-146 will come with the Chicago Streetcar Memories DVD.   Your CERA Directors have negotiated to purchase these DVDs for you at a very favorable price.  As a result, you will get this professionally produced video at no additional cost to you.  It is the perfect companion to the book and a $29.95 value.

    With a book of this size, and with the inclusion of a bonus DVD, we feel that Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958 is a fantastic bargain, and would be worth every penny of a $90 list price.  However, your CERA Directors are very much committed to keeping prices low, and have therefore set the list price of B-146 at just $70.  Current CERA Members can save even more money on the book, if they want to purchase additional copies.  The Member price will be $65.

    By means of comparison, our most recent full-length book Transit in the Triangle volume 1 has 224 pages, and a list price of $65.  That book has been very well received.  Yet for just $5 more, our new book will offer an additional 208 pages, plus a DVD.

    Surely, the impending publication of Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958 is a great cause for celebration.  We thank our members for their continued support.

    -Your CERA Directors


  • Saturday, March 15, 2014 3:30 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Chicago Streetcar Mystery Photo

    For the last several months, we have been hard at work on our upcoming book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958.  Here is a picture that is under consideration for the section covering the Madison St. car line.  It was taken sometime between 1950 and 1953.

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    We need your help in figuring out where this picture was taken.  We have tried using Google Street View, but unfortunately so many of the buildings along Madison have been torn down over the years that so far, we have been unable to determine the location.  Perhaps you can help.

    The car is heading west, so the four-story apartment buildings are on the south side of the street.  This must be east of Pulaski, too, since Madison gets wider west of there.

    If you know the answer, please write to us at: cerablog1@gmail.com

    -Thanks!

    George Foelschow writes:

    I don’t know the answer, but I’ll give a clue. The traffic signal at the extreme left of the photo suggests the cross street is a boulevard. The street light snippet suggests the art nouveau fixtures used in parks and on boulevards. Boulevards intersecting Madison east of Pulaski are Central Park, Sacramento, and Oakley. Ashland would be ruled out because the “Turtle Wax” building would be in the background. The background buildings seem well-kept, which suggests a westerly location. If the store name can be discerned, one could check an early fifties phone directory at the Harold Washington Library.

    Roy Benedict comments:

    George Foelschow is right on target with the West Park Commission traffic signal and the hanging street light.

    The Sanborn maps will solve the whole question. The 9, maybe 10, apartments fronting on Madison would be marked out on the map, probably as a 3B (3-story and basement) building with an unusual footprint including 5 extremely narrow entry courts, about 170 ft. total frontage (based on 1-1/2 line pole spaces of typically 110 ft.). You also have two other 3-story buildings within 330 ft. of the camera and a couple of large buildings beyond. The combination is very unlikely to occur more than one place.

    I would suggest looking first at the SE corner of Central Park Ave. because of the unpaved parkway at the extreme left, which suggests to me that it is a park rather than a developed block on the NE corner. All those apartments fronting on Garfield Park would justify the rather elaborate (for the 1920s) detailing of the featured building.

    There is a 1950 revision of the Sanborn map on the microfilm set. It is Volume 11 on old series reel 24. My finder does not give detail as to the sheet number.

    Second choice would be the SE corner of Homan Ave., where there could be park traffic signals, but not so likely the street lamp and the unpaved parkway.

    George suggests other boulevard crossings including Sacramento Blvd., which also is a possibility. I am rather doubtful about Oakley Blvd. with so prestigious and new an apartment block.

    If none of that works, the car sign could be wrong. The men sometimes forgot to change the signs. I do not see strong enough shadows to prove the direction of the view. So, the NW corner of a boulevard also is a possibility.

    With the load on the car, we do not have to consider the possibility of a pull-out from the Kedzie depot.

    Very incidentally, notice the bolted-on car stop band around the line pole rather than the much more common painted ones.

    You can narrow down the year by the color of the license plate, but not forgetting the grace period for expired plates.

    Editor’s note– I believe we have solved the mystery.  The correct answer appears to be Central Park Boulevard (3600 w).  See the comment below by Charles Amstein.  I thank everyone who chimed in with suggestions.

    Charles Amstein writes:

    I’m nominating the location of W. Madison and Central Park Blvd., opposite Garfield Park, looking southeast.

    Attached is a 1951 USGS aerial photo closup of that area.

    Note the large block of apartments on the southeast corner, which have indentations matching your photo.  Just to the east there is a gap followed by the next 2 larger buildings that correlate with your photo.

    Madison-Central Park 1951 USGS 1SA0000020023cr

    1940s Chicago Promotional Film

    An interesting 32-minute long promotional film about Chicago, made by the Board of Education in the late 1940s, has surfaced at an estate sale.  There are some great views of the city, the “L” at around 3:48, and streetcars at 15:32.  You can read more about it here, and watch the movie here.


  • Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:32 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Here is our second list of used books for sale. We had previously written about the CERA Used Book Exchange here.

    Copies of List #2 and an order form have been mailed to all current CERA Members, along with our March program information.\Our second used book list includes some by publishers other than CERA.

    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 #2 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 #2 (Updated as of March 24, 2014)

    Stock #    Description    Publisher    Date    Cover    Cond.    Price    #    Notes
    UBE055    Trolley Sparks – Philadelphia Suburban    CERA    1949    S    EX    $18.00    B-88    
    UBE064    Indiana Railroad System    CERA    1950    S    EX    $15.00    B-91    1973 Reprint
    UBE056    Trolley Sparks – New Developments of 1950    CERA    1950    S    G    $18.00    B-92    
    UBE068    West Penn Traction    CERA    1968    H    G    $30.00    B-110    DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE014    TM (The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co.)    CERA    1972    H    G    $50.00    B-112    DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE038    TM (The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co.)    CERA    1972    H    G    $50.00    B-112    DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE054    Chicago’s Rapid Transit v2 Rolling Stock 1947-1976    CERA    1976    H    EX    $30.00    B-115    
    UBE052    Texas Electric    CERA    1982    H    G    $30.00    B-121    DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE053    Ft. Wayne and Wabash Valley Trolleys    CERA    1983    H    G    $25.00    B-122    
    UBE021    How the Medal Was Won    CERA    1985    H    EX    $10.00    B-124    
    UBE023    The Colorful Streetcars We Rode    CERA    1986    H    G    $20.00    B-125    
    UBE035    Indiana Railroad – The Magic Interurban    CERA    1991    H    EX    $25.00    B-128    Like New, no DJ
    UBE066    Indiana Railroad – The Magic Interurban    CERA    1991    H    EX    $30.00    B-128    Like New
    UBE063    Not Only Passengers    CERA    1992    H    EX    $20.00    B-129    
    UBE061    Northern Indiana Railway    CERA    1998    H    EX    $20.00    B-132    Like New
    UBE062    Houston North Shore    CERA    2000    H    EX    $20.00    B-133    Like New
    UBE049    The Green Line    CERA    2000    H    EX    $20.00    B-134    Like New
    UBE050    The Green Line    CERA    2000    H    EX    $20.00    B-134    Like New
    UBE051    Faster Than the Limiteds    CERA    2004    H    EX    $30.00    B-137    Like New
    UBE076    The Chicago & West Towns Railways    CERA    2006    H    EX    $30.00    B-138    Like New
    UBE058    The Shore Line Electric Railway Company    CERA    2007    H    EX    $30.00    B-139    Like New
    UBE059    Before the North Shore Line    CERA    2008    H    EX    $20.00    B-141    Like New
    UBE047    Keystone Traction    CERA    2009    H    EX    $30.00    B-142    Like New
    UBE057    TravElectric    CERA    2010    H    EX    $30.00    B-143    Like New
    UBE048    The Lake Line    CERA    2011    H    EX    $50.00    B-144    Like New
    UBE060    The Lake Line    CERA    2011    H    EX    $50.00    B-144    Like New
    UBE065    Sunset Lines (CA&E) v1 -Trackage    TT    1986    H    EX    $25.00        By Larry Plachno
    UBE067    Sunset Lines (CA&E) v2 -History    TT    1989    H    EX    $30.00        By Larry Plachno
    UBE069    Cable Car Carnival    GH    1951    H    F    $15.00        By Beebe and Clegg – no DJ, spine worn
    UBE070    Chicago Surface Lines    THP    1974    H    G    $25.00        By Lind – DJ torn, otherwise OK.  1st printing
    UBE071    Chicago’s Motor Coaches v2 CSL Rolling Stock 1927-47    CF    1974    S    G    $40.00        By Kristopans- worn, but a rare book
    UBE072    A Century of Chicago Streetcars    TO    1964    H    G    $20.00        By Johnson – 1st printing, spine repaired
    UBE073    The Electric Railways of Minnesota    MTM    1976    H    G    $25.00        By Olson – DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE074    Apple Country Interurban (Yakima)    GW    1970    H    G    $15.00        By Johnsen
    UBE075    Houston Electric    BARON    1996    H    EX    $25.00        By Baron



  • Sunday, March 02, 2014 3:43 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Our Next Program:

    Harold Lloyd’s “Speedy” (1928)

    This is the Year of the Horse, and for our March program, CERA takes a look back at horsecars, the beginnings of street railways.

    Our feature presentation is Harold Lloyd’s “Speedy” (1928), a silent comedy about a fictional last horsecar line in New York City. In real life, the last horsecar in New York ran in 1917.

    Harold Lloyd in "Speedy" (1928).

    Harold Lloyd in “Speedy” (1928).

    In the film, Harold Lloyd is in love with the daughter of the operator of a horsecar line. Traction magnates need his franchise to achieve transit unification, and want to put him out of business. Despite their sabotage, Harold (aka “Speedy”) rises to the occasion, in a frantic attempt to complete the horsecar’s required franchise run. Don’t be surprised if Harold saves the day and gets the girl in the end.

    Babe Ruth makes a cameo appearance, and we also get to watch him hit a home run against the visitingChicago White Sox.

    “Speedy” was filmed on location in NYC in 1927, and besides the horsecars, there are plenty of views of vintage streetscapes, streetcars, elevated trains, Coney Island, and even the late, lamented Penn Station, subject of a recent American Experience documentary.

    As added attractions, we will watch two shorts- “The Bellboy,” (1918) starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle andBuster Keaton (which also features a horsecar), and we will go back to the beginnings of railroading circa 1830 with “The Iron Mule” (1925) starring Al St. John, with an uncredited appearance by Buster Keaton.  Join us for what promises to be a fun evening.

    Friday, March 28, 2014
    1900 hrs / 7:00pm
    University Center
    525 S. State Street
    Chicago, Illinois

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

    From the novelized version of "Speedy" (1928).

    From the novelized version of “Speedy” (1928).

    A scene on the New York subway from "Speedy."

    A scene on the New York subway from “Speedy.”

    A screenshot from "Speedy."

    A screenshot from “Speedy.”

    A screenshot from "Speedy" (1928).

    A screenshot from “Speedy” (1928).

    A title card from "Speedy" (1928).

    A title card from “Speedy” (1928).

    A screenshot from "Speedy."

    A screenshot from “Speedy.”

    The real last horsecar line in New York City in 1917.

    The real last horsecar line in New York City in 1917.

    A screen shot from "The Bell Boy."

    A screen shot from “The Bell Boy.”

    Al St. John oils a horse in "The Bell Boy" (1918).

    Al St. John oils a horse in “The Bell Boy” (1918).

    A screenshot from "The Bell Boy" (1918).

    A screenshot from “The Bell Boy” (1918).


  • Sunday, March 02, 2014 3:37 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    John Marton Visitation and Funeral Information

    In an earlier post, we reported on the death of CERA Director and longtime member John A. Marton.  The visitation takes place today, with interment tomorrow.  There will be a Masonic funeral service at 6:00 pm Sunday.

    Here is the information from the obituary:

    John A. Marton 72 of Des Plaines. Loving husband of Judith nee Danielewicz Marton. Caring father of Amy Jo (Doug) Procarione. Dear grandfather of Casey and Haley. Fond brother of Dennis (Linda) and Sue Marton and Diana Javens. John was on the Board of Directors for Central Electric Railfans’ Association, John was a friend of “Bill W” for over 40 years, 32nd Degree Mason and a retired Chicago Public school teacher. Visitation Sunday from 3-7pm at Oehler Funeral Home 2099 Miner St (corner of Northwest Hwy\Rt -14 and Rand Rd) Des Plaines where services will be held Monday 10am. Interment Bohemian National cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to First Step House, 1029 Graceland Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60016. Info 847-824-5155 or www.oehlerfuneralhome.com

    Bob Heinlein’s Illinois Terminal Program

    Bill Wulfert writes:

    Longtime CERA Member Bob Heinlein will be showing his Illinois Terminal program to the Railroad Club of Chicago and Shortline Society group (aka theRailroad & Shortlines Club of Chicago) on June 20th at Union Station in Chicago.  CERA Members are welcome.  You can contact Bob at 847-217-5980 for more details.

    This is the same program Bob presented at CERA in January.  It was very well received and attended, but we know there were some who could not attend due to the bad weather.  This will give anyone who missed it another chance to see it.  Plus, even if you were there the first time, perhaps you might like to see it again.

    To receive program announcements by email about this group, send a blank message to: schs-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    Cincinnati Subway Images

    Due to time constraints, we were not able to show the Cincinnati subway images promised for our February meeting.  We will work those in as “newscast” items at a future meeting.

    We thank everyone who attended Friday night’s program.  We had another capacity crowd, and everyone seemed to have a good time.  If you couldn’t attend, we hope to see you at future events.

    “A Streetcar Named Conspire” Video

    Louis Guilbault writes:

    Hi all,

    Have just uploaded my new SNC video. A considerable improvement over last year’s effort. Hope you’ll check it out. Thanks, Louis

    We include this link for informational purposes only.  As an organization, CERA takes no official position on such matters.  We encourage everyone to learn as much as they can about history and form their own opinions.  The opinions expressed in this video are those of Louis Guilbault and not Central Electric Railfans’ Association, but they may be of interest to our members.

    CERA Used Book Exchange – Update

    The response to our first list of used books for sale has been overwhelming.  Fully 30 of the 34 books on the list have now been sold.

    If any of you have traction books that you no longer need, we encourage you to consider donating them to the CERA Used Book Exchange.  We will find a new home for them, and raise some money to help pay for CERA’s programs and services in the process.

    The books do not necessarily have to be CERA publications, just traction books in general.

    We have received more donations since our first list came out, and therefore we will circulate List #2 during the second week in March.  As before, the information will be mailed out and posted online.

    For further information, you can write to us at: ceraoffice@gmail.com

    You can call us at 312-987-4391.  If no one is there in the office, please leave a message and we will get back to you.

    Books can be mailed to:

    CERA PO Box 503 Chicago, IL 60690-0503

    Since CERA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, such donations may be tax-deductible.  We thank everyone for their contributions.

    North Shore Line Program

    FYI, On Sunday March 9, 2014 at 2 p.m., the Lake Bluff History Museum will host a program about the North Shore Line and its evolution into a “super interurban” under the control of Samuel Insull. Presented byNorman Carlson, president of the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society (an organization focused on urban, suburban and interurban rail passenger services in the Upper Midwest), this program offers those who remember the interurban a chance to revisit memories, and those who grew up post-interurban to learn how this mode of transportation helped spur the growth of North Shore communities including Lake Bluff.

    The program is free and will be held in the Lake Bluff Train Station, located at 600 N. Sheridan Road in Lake Bluff. Parking is available at no charge in the Metra parking lot adjacent to the train station.

    For more information, go here.  Mr. Carlson is also a member of the Metra Board.

    -David Sadowski


Copyright 2018 Central Electric Railfans' Association. All Right Reserved 

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

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