Central Electric 
Railfans' Association

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  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014 10:38 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    As we gear up for January’s CERA program, we’ve been going through our files, looking for IT photos. We will present them in three or four installments between now and January 24, when longtime CERA Member Robert Heinlein gives his presentation.

    Today’s bunch are all from the era of color photography. Unfortunately, throughout the 1950s, electric operations on IT were winding down. Most of the electric locos were scrapped in 1956, although a few did find new homes elsewhere. The Illinois Railway Museum in Union has the largest collection of electric IT equipment extant.

    -The Editor

    Car 473 at the west end of the McKinley Bridge in St. Louis in April 1958, two months before passenger service ended. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    Car 473 at the west end of the McKinley Bridge in St. Louis in April 1958, two months before passenger service ended. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)


    IT 276-529-530-532 on an NRHS special, September 6, 1953. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 276-529-530-532 on an NRHS special, September 6, 1953. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 276-529-530-532 on an NRHS special in St. Louis, September 6, 1953. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 276-529-530-532 on an NRHS special in St. Louis, September 6, 1953. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 404, still in "Traction Orange," in Granite City on June 10, 1952. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 404, still in “Traction Orange,” in Granite City on June 10, 1952. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    The general barn view at Granite City on September 4, 1953. Car 415, now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum, is at the left. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    The general barn view at Granite City on September 4, 1953. Car 415, now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum, is at the left. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    Cars 415-450-471-404-405 at Granite City on September 4, 1953. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    Cars 415-450-471-404-405 at Granite City on September 4, 1953. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT local 454 in Venice, Illinois. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT local 454 in Venice, Illinois. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 277 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago on September 15, 1957. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo - CERA Archives)

    IT 277 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago on September 15, 1957. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo – CERA Archives)

    IT 415 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago on September 15, 1957. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo - CERA Archives)

    IT 415 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago on September 15, 1957. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo – CERA Archives)

    IT car 451 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum on April 29, 1979. You can read an interesting history of this car here. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT car 451 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum on April 29, 1979. You can read an interesting history of this car here. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 405 in a very "country interurban" scene. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 405 in a very “country interurban” scene. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 453 on April 29, 1958, less than two months before passenger service ended. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 453 on April 29, 1958, less than two months before passenger service ended. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 451 at Shaker Square on May 30, 1976. Cars 450 and 451 were "on loan" to the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit due to a car shortage. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 451 at Shaker Square on May 30, 1976. Cars 450 and 451 were “on loan” to the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit due to a car shortage. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 450, temporarily taken out of retirement by the Cleveland RTA, is eastbound at Belvoir on May 29, 1977. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 450, temporarily taken out of retirement by the Cleveland RTA, is eastbound at Belvoir on May 29, 1977. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT loco 74 at Edwardsville on September 6, 1953. According to Don's Rail Photos, it was "sold for scrap to Compressed Steel Co on March 27, 1956." (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT loco 74 at Edwardsville on September 6, 1953. According to Don’s Rail Photos, it was “sold for scrap to Compressed Steel Co on March 27, 1956.” (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    This is Illinois Power Company (ex-Illinois Terminal) loco 6 at Danville on September 8, 1958. IPC bought three of the IT "class B" locos (1565, 1566, and 1568) after the railroad dieselized its freight in 1955. IRM bought 1565 from IPC in 1960. By then it was 50 years old. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo - CERA Archives)

    This is Illinois Power Company (ex-Illinois Terminal) loco 6 at Danville on September 8, 1958. IPC bought three of the IT “class B” locos (1565, 1566, and 1568) after the railroad dieselized its freight in 1955. IRM bought 1565 from IPC in 1960. By then it was 50 years old. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo – CERA Archives)

    IT private car 234 in Champaign on September 8, 1958, after being purchased by the Railroad Club of Chicago. Don's Rail Photos reports, "234 was built by Danville Car in August 1908, #504, as "Champaign", a party car trailer. Shortly afterwards it was motorized as an office car. On May 28, 1927, it was demotorized and renamed "Sangamon" and used as a parlor car. It was later returned to office car service. On March 2, 1936, it was rebuilt with an arch roof, the arch windows were covered, it was motorized, and it was numbered 234. Soon afterwards it returned to trailer status. It was sold on February 1, 1956 to the Illini Railroad Club and is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum since 1968." (Charles L. Tauscher Photo - CERA Archives)

    IT private car 234 in Champaign on September 8, 1958, after being purchased by the Railroad Club of Chicago. Don’s Rail Photos reports, “234 was built by Danville Car in August 1908, #504, as “Champaign”, a party car trailer. Shortly afterwards it was motorized as an office car. On May 28, 1927, it was demotorized and renamed “Sangamon” and used as a parlor car. It was later returned to office car service. On March 2, 1936, it was rebuilt with an arch roof, the arch windows were covered, it was motorized, and it was numbered 234. Soon afterwards it returned to trailer status. It was sold on February 1, 1956 to the Illini Railroad Club and is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum since 1968.” (Charles L. Tauscher Photo – CERA Archives)

    One of the three ex-IT Illinois Power Company locos in Champaign on September 8, 1958. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo - CERA Archives)

    One of the three ex-IT Illinois Power Company locos in Champaign on September 8, 1958. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo – CERA Archives)

    IT 202 in Riverton in June 1954. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 202 in Riverton in June 1954. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 100, sister car to the 101 now preserved at IRM, in Granite City in September 1953. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 100, sister car to the 101 now preserved at IRM, in Granite City in September 1953. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 451 at Shaker Square on the Cleveland RTA in June 1976. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 451 at Shaker Square on the Cleveland RTA in June 1976. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 233, now preserved at IRM, in Champaign on September 8, 1958. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo - CERA Archives)

    IT 233, now preserved at IRM, in Champaign on September 8, 1958. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo – CERA Archives)

    IT 457 is St. Louis-bound in this late 1950s view in Granite City. It couldn't be any earlier than September 1957, since there is a 1958 Edsel in view. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 457 is St. Louis-bound in this late 1950s view in Granite City. It couldn’t be any earlier than September 1957, since there is a 1958 Edsel in view. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 456 in Venice, Illinois on April 28, 1958. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 456 in Venice, Illinois on April 28, 1958. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT loco 1595 at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis on September 9, 1958. You can see a more recent photo of this "class C" locomotive here. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo - CERA Archives)

    IT loco 1595 at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis on September 9, 1958. You can see a more recent photo of this “class C” locomotive here. (Charles L. Tauscher Photo – CERA Archives)

    IT 451 in charter service on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit in May 1976. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 451 in charter service on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit in May 1976. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)

    IT 451 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum (sometimes referred to as "Warehouse Point") in June 1979. (Photographer unknown - CERA Archives)

    IT 451 at the Connecticut Trolley Museum (sometimes referred to as “Warehouse Point”) in June 1979. (Photographer unknown – CERA Archives)


  • Tuesday, January 07, 2014 10:42 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Our Next Program:
    Illinois Terminal Railroad by Robert Heinlein

    For our January program, longtime CERA Member Robert Heinlein will showcase the Illinois Terminal Railroad. According to the Wikipedia, the IT, “known as the Illinois Traction System until 1937, was a heavy duty interurban electric railroad with extensive passenger and freight business in central and southern Illinois.” Passenger service ended in 1958. At its peak, Illinois Terminal had one of the largest and most extensive interurban systems in the entire US.

    Mr. Heinlein fondly recalls seeing an earlier IT program given in 1992 by the late John Humiston, which covered IT operations along the main line from Peoria to Springfield and St. Louis. Mr. Humiston had planned a second such program, covering the line from Peoria to Bloomington and Decatur, and the east end from Danville to Springfield, but did not live to present it. Now, using Mr. Humiston’s notes and images, with the cooperation of John Humiston’s son Richard, Bob Heinlein has completed this program and offers it for your enjoyment. Come join us for what promises to be a fun evening.

    Illinois Terminal car 451 is shown in service in Cleveland in the late 1970s. It was pressed into service due to a car shortage. (Photographer unknown, CERA Archives)

    Illinois Terminal car 451 is shown in service in Cleveland in the late 1970s. It was pressed into service due to a car shortage. (Photographer unknown, CERA Archives)


    Admission is free for current CERA members. There will be a $5.00 Admission charge for non-members. CERA’s Annual Meeting will take place at the same meeting. Read more about it here.

    Friday, January 24, 2014
    1900 hrs / 7:00pm
    University Center
    525 S. State Street
    Chicago, IL 60605


  • Saturday, January 04, 2014 10:44 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Our latest book, Trolley Sparks Special #1, which is now out of print.

    Our latest book, Trolley Sparks Special #1, which is now out of print.

    Your continued support made 2013 another outstanding year for our association, one of the busiest in our organization’s history. All this culminated in our 75th Anniversary Banquet and Program, a memorable event for all who attended.

    Our November program featured the South Shore Line. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Our November program featured the South Shore Line. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Programs:

    January 25 – A Tribute to the North Shore Line (Jeff Wien)
    February 22 – A Potpourri of Traction (Mark Walbrun)
    March 22 – The South Side “L” (Bruce Moffat)
    April 26 – Illusion Travels by Streetcar (movie)
    May 24 – Chicago Cable Cars: A Forgotten But Important Story (Greg Borzo)
    June 28 – Bill Hoffman’s Unedited Movies of the Chicago Rapid Transit Lines in the 1940s and 1950s(Jeff Wien and the Wien-Criss Archive)
    September 21 (75th Anniversary Banquet and Program) – Rare North Shore Line Movies 1941-62 (Walter Keevil)
    September 27 – Midwest Traction In Vintage Films From the 1930s and 40s (Harvey Laner)
    October 25 – A Round Trip on the Liberty Bell Limited (movies)
    November 22 – South Shore in the ’70s- The Little Train That Did (movies)
    December 27 – Texas Electric and the Journey to DART (Mark Walbrun)

    We began charging non-members a $5 admission at our monthly program meetings, starting in September. There has been no adverse effect on attendance. Our special thanks again to the presenters for their time, photography, and detailed knowledge of their topics.

    The three-car steel CA&E train in the “Insull Parade” at IRM. (Photo by Jeff Wien, Wien-Criss Archive)

    Fantrips:

    September 20: Kenosha Streetcar (including Shops tour)
    September 21: Illinois Railway Museum (featuring the “Insull Parade”)
    September 22: Fox River Trolley Museum

    Publications:

    September 21: Trolley Sparks Special #1 edited by John Marton

    Our special 75th Anniversary book was well received by our members, and sold out within two months of release. It is an excellent retrospective and also serves as a great “calling card” for CERA. We thank John Marton for all his efforts in putting the book together and making it such a success.

    We are hard at work on Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936-1958 (B-146), which is being produced entirely in-house, with important contributions from many CERA members. It will be published in Spring 2014. John Nicholson, David Sadowski, and Jeffrey Wien are the editors.

    Our next book (B-146) will be called Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958, to be published in Spring 2014. (Photo by James J. Buckley, CERA Archives)

    Our next book (B-146) will be called Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958, to be published in Spring 2014. (Photo by James J. Buckley, CERA Archives)



    Blog:

    Starting in February, we published 94 posts on the new CERA Members Blog (www.cerablog.com), including more than 1500 images, and received 75,073 individual page views. The response from our members has been very encouraging and overwhelmingly positive.

    The Blog has become an important part of our outreach effort to find new members. As a result, we have reversed a long-term decline in membership, and expect to see a small increase by the end of 2014. Our goal is to bring CERA’s membership back up to historic levels, and we can do this, with a sustained and continued effort.

    In the Digital Age, our Blog extends the reach of CERA’s publishing activities beyond the limitations of the printed page, reaching a younger audience of railfans in ways that were impossible just a few short years ago.

    You can save CERA the cost of sending you “snail mail” by subscribing to the CERA Members Blog, and then letting us know that this is how you would prefer to receive news updates.

    Archives:

    At our April meeting, the Board voted to establish the CERA Archives, “to collect, solicit, acquire and maintain an Archive of materials relating to CERA’s mission of educating the public about the history and operations of electric railways; and that such a collection will be organized by an official CERA Archivist and made available to researchers, all in conjunction with the stated purposes of the organization.” This includes artifacts, photographs, negatives, slides, digital images and documents. David Sadowski was appointed CERA Archivist.

    CERA is willing to accept donations of such materials, which can include collections assembled by individuals, or specific items. Donations to our Archives may be tax-deductible, since CERA is a 501(c)(3) organization.

    News:

    As a way of improving communications with our members, CERA has begun including “CERA News” on the back of the monthly program mailing. This has been very well received and will continue.

    The types of books that will soon be available via the CERA Used Book Exchange.

    The types of books that will soon be available via the CERA Used Book Exchange.

    Used Book Exchange:

    We often receive requests for out-of-print CERA bulletins, and we know there are many of our members who have books they no longer need. Therefore, we have created the CERA Used Book Exchange. The first list of used books that are available will be distributed with the February program information, both by mail, and through the CERA Members Blog. Thanks to your generous donations of used books, we will find new homes for them, and this will make an important contribution to funding CERA’s programs and services.

    Awards:

    The Board singled out two longtime members for special recognition at the 75th Anniversary Banquet. Myles Jarrow, (#23), received the Founder’s Award, while Ray DeGroote (#1470) was honored with the Service Award.

    If you have already renewed your CERA membership, we thank you for your continued support. If you have not yet renewed, the January mailing will be your last from CERA – don’t miss out, renew your membership for another great year. You can renew your membership online through our web site, using either PayPal or your credit card, or mail us a check.

    2014 is CERA’s 76th year. Let’s show everyone that we still have the “Spirit of ’76!”

    -Your CERA Directors

    PS- We thank all our 2013 Contributing and Sustaining members for their contributions to CERA. We also note with regret the passing of several CERA members. You can view this list here.


  • Sunday, December 29, 2013 10:53 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Central Electric Railfans’ Association will hold its next Annual Meeting on January 24, 2014. This will coincide with our monthly program meeting, which will take place immediately afterward.

    Per our By-Laws. the eligible voters at the business meeting are our ActiveContributing, andSustaining Members from the year 2013. Associate Members do not vote.

    Your CERA Board of Directors will mail out materials relating to the Annual Meeting on January 8, 2014. These will go out to all eligible voters. In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, CERA will send out anAnnual Report to all our members.

    Three Directors will be elected at the Annual Meeting. The top two vote-getters will receive three-year terms, and the third-place finisher will get a two-year term. This is a transitional election, in conjunction with the By-Laws change approved by the members in January 2013, reducing the size of the Board from 9 to 7.

    Ballots will be mailed out to all eligible voters, and can be cast either through the mail, or in person at the meeting. Diana L. Koester, our Election Committee chair, will collect the ballots and will count them at the meeting. In order to eliminate the possibility of handing out more than one ballot to someone, ballots for the Directors election will not be distributed at the Annual Meeting. In order to vote in person, you must use the ballot you received in the mail.

    The three candidates for election are John NicholsonBill Reynolds, and Joe Reuter. This is the order their names will appear on the ballot, determined by drawing lots. The ballot also provides space for write-in candidates.

    All three candidates are long-time Members, current Directors, and are well-known to the membership. Short bios of each candidate will be mailed out along with the ballots.

    In addition to the Directors election, there are two By-Laws changes proposed by the Directors, which will be voted on in person by the eligible voters at the Annual Meeting.

    The first change to be considered would establish an Honorary Life Membership. If approved, this would allow the Directors to designate up to two such memberships per calendar year, for exemplary service to the organization. However, it does not require the Directors to do so, meaning that in any calendar year, there could be zero, one, or two such Honorary Life Memberships created.

    The By-Laws at present do not allow for Life Members, and the proposed rewording of the By-Laws changes this. If approved, this change would be effective immediately.

    The second By-Laws change to be considered phases out the Associate Member category. Over the course of many decades, the founders’ original intentions behind creating this category have been lost, and therefore it is no longer necessary.

    In CERA’s early days, candidates had to undergo a catechism, correctly answering several questions about electric railways, in order to become Active Members. Even if done partly in jest, we haven’t required this of our members in a long time.

    In addition, the founders thought that people in the Chicago area would be the Active Members, and those in other areas would become Associates. Today, this geographic distinction has been lost, and we have many Active Members in other parts of the country, and Associates who are local.

    The main difference between the two membership categories today involves mailings and voting rights. Associate Members do not receive all the same program mailings that Active members do, and Associates cannot serve on CERA committees or vote in our elections.

    In 2013, we began sending our members “CERA News” every month, and it does not seem fair to keep this information from some of our members. We would prefer to send all of our members the same information about CERA and its activities.

    Anyone who wants to save CERA the cost of “snail mail” can do so right now by subscribing to the CERA Members Blog, and then informing us that they would prefer to get their news that way.Therefore, there is really no need to continue having the Associate category. It is superfluous.

    As part of this transitioning away from the Associate category, it only costs our members an additional $3 to “step up” to a 2014 Active Membership. You can purchase memberships online here. Using the same link, you can also print out an application form that you can mail in along with a check.

    If approved by our members at the Annual Meeting, this change would take effect with the 2015 calendar year. You can still purchase an Associate CERA Membership for 2014.

    If this By-Laws change is approved, all CERA Members would have voting rights and could serve on our committees. The CERA Directors want to expand the voting franchise and encourage the active participation of all our Members.

    If you have any questions about the Annual Meeting, you can contact us at: ceraoffice@gmail.com

    A complete information packet, including the exact wording of the proposed By-Laws changes, will be sent out to all eligible voters on January 8, 2014.

    -Your CERA Directors


  • Friday, December 27, 2013 10:54 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Our Next Program:
    Texas Electric and the Journey to DART by Mark Walbrun

    Mark Walbrun will present a program on the former Texas Electric, Dallas Railway and Terminal Co., and the new Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) lines, including the extensions to the McKinney Avenue trolley. Although much of the Texas Electric was obliterated, some of it survives in other forms including the former downtown terminal and the Plano substation. DART’s new Orange line to DFW airport is just about complete and the long awaited extension of the Blue Line to Rowlett opened this year. See the recently modified rolling stock operating at full speed down the Red Line, the new Green Line terminal, and much more. Come join us for what promises to be a fun evening. We will be serving cookies and cider to help everyone get into the spirit of the holiday season.

    Texas Electric 319. (Photographer unknown)

    Texas Electric 319. (Photographer unknown)

    Friday, December 27, 2013
    1900 hrs / 7:00pm
    University Center
    525 South State Street
    Chicago, IL

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


  • Monday, December 23, 2013 10:57 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    The first streetcar to roll on tracks in Washington in over 50 years on H Street between 3rd & 4th Streets, NE, near the western terminal of H Street line (December 14, 2013). (Photo by Jeffrey Mora)

    The first streetcar to roll on tracks in Washington in over 50 years on H Street between 3rd & 4th Streets, NE, near the western terminal of H Street line (December 14, 2013). (Photo by Jeffrey Mora)

    Following up on our recent post “Streetcars Return to DC” (December 16, 2013), we received some photos of the test car, courtesy of Jeffrey Mora and Ken Briers.

    Ken Briers writes:

    This evening my wife, Sally, and I were sitting in our corner bar, The Big Board, at 5th and H Streets, NE. About 7:30, a lot of flashing blue police vehicle lights went by. Next came a line truck, followed by what probably is the first DC streetcar operating under its own power. It appeared to be a test of the trolley wire installation. The car was accompanied by dozens of people wearing hard hats and safety vests, some riding inside, and some just walking along, observing.

    I caught up with it at 7th Street and followed it down to 12th Street.

    image002

    image001

    Paul DeVerter writes:

    I see that your December CERA meting will be on DART and TE and DR&T. Sorry that I will miss it. Have you thought on making a video recording of your programs, and putting them on YouTube?
    Thanks.

    This is an interesting question that has come up before, and it deserves a good answer. It’s pretty much up to our presenters whether or not they would want to create something like a slideshow or video that others could watch over the Internet.

    Simply pointing a video camera at the screen wouldn’t be very satisfactory, since the quality would really suffer. In theory you could arrange your slides on a computer and create a slideshow with synchronized narration, but that is a lot of work in its own right apart from actually presenting a program.

    There is the issue of rights. Usually our programs include images collected from a variety of sources. The presenter may not own the copyright on what is being shown, and would have to get somebody else’s permission in order to do this.

    Finally, once a presentation has been “canned,” it takes something away from the presenter’s ability to show the same program to another audience. Some of our presenters do this.

    The other thing, which I forgot to mention, is the connection between the presenter and the audience. Putting on a slideshow is somewhat akin to a performance. It helps to know your audience- to play to your audience.

    In a “canned” presentation, there is no audience… you don’t know who is going to see it. There is a difference between the slideshow I might put on in an empty room, as opposed to one in front of our usual crowd, people we have known for many years.

    Dan Morris writes:


    This might interest you, it’s of my son Eric sitting on the custom made South Shore Toy Box which was his 2nd year birthday present. I am sure it’s the only one ever made. 11-10-79

    image003

    Very nice, thanks! And where is that toy box now?


    The Toy box is still in my son’s old room. He’s stationed in Guam as a USAF C-17 loadmaster who just got his fifth stripe. He also has been blessed (11-25-13) with a son who will one day get the toy box I had made.

    image003-1

    We thank you for sharing those priceless family photos with our readers. Congratulations on the birth of your grandson. We also thank your son for his service to our country.

    To you, your son and his family, and all of our readers and their families, we wish everyone the very best in this Holiday Season.

    -David Sadowski

    The CTA Holiday Train southbound at Chicago Avenue on December 17, 2013. (Photo by Eric Bronsky)

    The CTA Holiday Train southbound at Chicago Avenue on December 17, 2013. (Photo by Eric Bronsky)


  • Sunday, December 01, 2013 11:00 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Here is another installment in our ongoing series, showing the transition from the old CTA Garfield Park “L” to the present Congress Expressway rapid transit line in the 1950s. If You would like to see our previous posts, just type “Congress” or “Garfield” in the search window on our blog’s home page.

    Enjoy!

    -David Sadowski

    A two-car train of 4000s crosses the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway at Kostner in August 1956. (Photographer unknown)

    A two-car train of 4000s crosses the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway at Kostner in August 1956. (Photographer unknown)

    The public was somewhat baffled when Phase 1 of the City's subway plan was approved by the PWA in 1938. The Dearborn-Milwaukee subway simply ended at Dearborn and Congress, with no explanation of where it should continue. However, it was always intended to connect to a west side median line in the middle of the Congress Expressway. Work on the Dearborn-Milwaukee tube was 80% completed when work halted in 1942 due to the war. But construction work west on Congress did not begin until after the war. Plans originally called for an underground turning loop at LaSalle, but CTA decided a stub-end terminal was sufficient in 1947. This is where service ended from 1951-58. (Photographer unknown)

    The public was somewhat baffled when Phase 1 of the City’s subway plan was approved by the PWA in 1938. The Dearborn-Milwaukee subway simply ended at Dearborn and Congress, with no explanation of where it should continue. However, it was always intended to connect to a west side median line in the middle of the Congress Expressway. Work on the Dearborn-Milwaukee tube was 80% completed when work halted in 1942 due to the war. But construction work west on Congress did not begin until after the war. Plans originally called for an underground turning loop at LaSalle, but CTA decided a stub-end terminal was sufficient in 1947. This is where service ended from 1951-58. (Photographer unknown)

    Two trains of CA&E wood cars passing each other at Laramie, circa 1950. (Photographer unknown)

    Two trains of CA&E wood cars passing each other at Laramie, circa 1950. (Photographer unknown)

    A CTA articulated "doodlebug" from the original 5000-series crosses the Union Station trainshed, probably in the late 1940s. (Photographer unknown)

    A CTA articulated “doodlebug” from the original 5000-series crosses the Union Station trainshed, probably in the late 1940s. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E car 408 is at the rear of an eastbound Chicago Limited, approaching the Loop, sometime before the end of service in September 1953. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E car 408 is at the rear of an eastbound Chicago Limited, approaching the Loop, sometime before the end of service in September 1953. (Photographer unknown)

    A two-car train of CTA woods heads west on the Garfield "L", somewhere east of Marshfield Junction. (Photographer unknown)

    A two-car train of CTA woods heads west on the Garfield “L”, somewhere east of Marshfield Junction. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 427 is a Wheaton Local heading west on the Garfield Park "L" sometime before downtown service ended in September 1953. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 427 is a Wheaton Local heading west on the Garfield Park “L” sometime before downtown service ended in September 1953. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 428 westbound at Racine in May 1952. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 428 westbound at Racine in May 1952. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 458 heads up a three-car train of curved-sided cars, the last new equipment the interurban received, westbound at Laramie, sometime prior to September 20, 1953. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 458 heads up a three-car train of curved-sided cars, the last new equipment the interurban received, westbound at Laramie, sometime prior to September 20, 1953. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E steel car 402 heads up a westbound train at DesPlaines Avenue circa 1953-57. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E steel car 402 heads up a westbound train at DesPlaines Avenue circa 1953-57. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 423 and 424 turning around at DesPlaines Avenue circa 1953-57. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E 423 and 424 turning around at DesPlaines Avenue circa 1953-57. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA and CA&E used grade-separated turnback loops at DesPlaines Avenue from 1953-57. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA and CA&E used grade-separated turnback loops at DesPlaines Avenue from 1953-57. (Photographer unknown)

    The CTA opened a free "park'n'ride" lot at DesPlaines Avenue on December 15, 1953. The large gas tank in the background was a Forest Park landmark for years. (Photographer unknown)

    The CTA opened a free “park’n’ride” lot at DesPlaines Avenue on December 15, 1953. The large gas tank in the background was a Forest Park landmark for years. (Photographer unknown)

    A train of CTA wood cars crosses the B&O just east of DesPlaines Avenue, at the current site of the Eisenhower expressway. (Photographer unknown)

    A train of CTA wood cars crosses the B&O just east of DesPlaines Avenue, at the current site of the Eisenhower expressway. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA flat-door 6000s cross the Chicago River near Union Station. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA flat-door 6000s cross the Chicago River near Union Station. (Photographer unknown)

    Expressway construction just west of the Loop is well underway as a two-car CTA train of 6000s runs along the endangered Garfield "L". (Photographer unknown)

    Expressway construction just west of the Loop is well underway as a two-car CTA train of 6000s runs along the endangered Garfield “L”. (Photographer unknown)

    This would appear to be another view of where the Garfield "L" crossed the Congress expressway at Kostner. (Photographer unknown)

    This would appear to be another view of where the Garfield “L” crossed the Congress expressway at Kostner. (Photographer unknown)

    From the sign on the wooden "L" car, this must be a CTA test train on the temporary Van Buren Street trackage, just prior to the beginning of service in September 1953. Streetcar tracks are still visible in Van Buren Street. (Photographer unknown)

    From the sign on the wooden “L” car, this must be a CTA test train on the temporary Van Buren Street trackage, just prior to the beginning of service in September 1953. Streetcar tracks are still visible in Van Buren Street. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E steel car 419 is on the turning loop at DesPlaines Avenue on July 4, 1956. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E steel car 419 is on the turning loop at DesPlaines Avenue on July 4, 1956. (Photographer unknown)

    CA&E trains turned around at DesPlaines Avenue on a turnback loop from 1953-57. (Photo by W. Fred Stone)

    CA&E trains turned around at DesPlaines Avenue on a turnback loop from 1953-57. (Photo by W. Fred Stone)

    This photo is somewhat of a mystery. The date given is March 17, 1958, but by this time, the Congress expressway had been open for a few years. The cars in the background don't appear much newer than 1954-55. Perhaps this is the Sacramento crossing, and the date on the photo is wrong. It would appear that the highway is being dug out underneath the "L". (Photo by Kelly Powell)

    This photo is somewhat of a mystery. The date given is March 17, 1958, but by this time, the Congress expressway had been open for a few years. The cars in the background don’t appear much newer than 1954-55. Perhaps this is the Sacramento crossing, and the date on the photo is wrong. It would appear that the highway is being dug out underneath the “L”. (Photo by Kelly Powell)

    In this January 1960 view, we see the Garfield "L" structure heading west from the Loop, between the time service was discontinued (1958) and when the structure was torn down (1964). From the track arrangement, it would appear that one of the two bridges over the Chicago River was taken out of service sometime between the end of CA&E operation downtown (1953) and the rerouting of CTA service through the old Wells Street Terminal to a new connection with the Loop "L" structure. Other parts of the old Garfield "L" were torn down in 1959. (Photographer unknown)

    In this January 1960 view, we see the Garfield “L” structure heading west from the Loop, between the time service was discontinued (1958) and when the structure was torn down (1964). From the track arrangement, it would appear that one of the two bridges over the Chicago River was taken out of service sometime between the end of CA&E operation downtown (1953) and the rerouting of CTA service through the old Wells Street Terminal to a new connection with the Loop “L” structure. Other parts of the old Garfield “L” were torn down in 1959. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA 9 and 10 at DesPlaines Avenue on April 3, 1960. The new single car units were first used on the Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee route, before being moved to Evanston in 1961. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA 9 and 10 at DesPlaines Avenue on April 3, 1960. The new single car units were first used on the Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee route, before being moved to Evanston in 1961. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA 6566 heads up a train westbound at Kostner on the Congress line on August 7, 1967. (Photographer unknown)

    CTA 6566 heads up a train westbound at Kostner on the Congress line on August 7, 1967. (Photographer unknown)


  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013 11:24 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    On a transit-related discussion forum, this question recently came up:

    Was the North Shore the last interurban to end passenger service? I can’t think of any that made it past 1963 and aren’t still around. I know that a few lines lasted longer as exclusively freight operations.

    By 1964, Hilton and Due declared that the “Interurban Era” was truly over, following the abandonment of both Pacific Electric and the North Shore Line. Passenger service continues on the Chicago South Shore & South Bend, “America’s Last Interurban,” so that can’t be the answer.

    But there is one other possible candidate- the Red Arrow Ardmore branch. Rail service there ended on December 30, 1966, nearly four years after the NSL. (With bus service, it continues as SEPTA Route 103.)

    I guess it depends on what you mean by “interurban.” Hilton and Due included Red Arrow in their classic volume, The Electric Interurban Railways In America, but there was a caveat- Red Arrow had some of the characteristics of an interurban.

    At the core, interurban means “between cities.” And Red Arrow is more suburban than interurban. Until SEPTA took over in 1970, the Ardmore line was part of the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company.

    I think most people would agree that the West Chester line was a true interurban. It was the longest by far of the various Red Arrow lines, but it was also the first to go, in June 1954. Ridership was good, but the “side of the road” line fell victim to the widening of West Chester Pike. Buses replaced trolley cars.

    Red Arrow’s Norristown High-Speed Line is more rapid transit than interurban, but it did share trackage with a real interurban, Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell Limited, at least until 1949. Those trains ran from 69th St. terminal (which is actually in Upper Darby, PA just outside the Philadelphia city limits) to Allentown.

    Ardmore, the shortest Red Arrow branch line, also had good ridership, but a number of things worked against the continuation of rail service. There was a car shortage, Red Arrow not being in a position to buy new equipment after about 1950. Red Arrow President Merritt H. Taylor, Jr. said they were two cars away from keeping rail service.

    They considered buying the two double-ended Illinois Terminal cars that were saved, but the doors were on the wrong side. And so buses took over from rail, in part over a private “busway.”

    The IT cars eventually ran in regular service for a while in Cleveland before going back to railway museums.

    Rail service continues today on the former Red Arrow Media and Sharon Hill lines. These too might have been “bussed,” except that Red Arrow would have lost title to the land, rail service being part of the bargain.

    Red Arrow thought they might be able to get around this requirement by using a rail bus, which could run on rubber tires over city streets, then convert to steel wheels to run on rails. Fortunately for us, the experiment did not work out.

    In the aforementioned Hilton and Due book, the authors say that Red Arrow intended to bus all their lines except Norristown within a few years. Ardmore fell victim to this, but we still have very successful trolley service on Media and Sharon Hill via SEPTA.

    Ardmore Junction was by far the best spot for pictures on the line, with the possibility of getting a P&W car and an Ardmore train in the same picture.

    We’ve selected some of our favorite pictures from the Philadelphia Suburban Ardmore branch, and we present them for your enjoyment. As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we have much to be thankful for. I, for one, am thankful there haven’t been more abandonments.

    If anything, there are contemporary systems that could also be considered interurbans- the PATCO Speedline between Philadelphia and Lindenwold comes to mind, and BART. But the “Interurban Era” was as much sociological as technological, and it has receded into the past, never to return in its original form.

    -David Sadowski

    PSTCo 63 and Liberty Liner at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. The Liners had only been in service for a few months. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 63 and Liberty Liner at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. The Liners had only been in service for a few months. (Photographer unknown)


    The Ardmore Terminal, since demolished. (From an old postcard)

    The Ardmore Terminal, since demolished. (From an old postcard)

    Brilliner 1 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    Brilliner 1 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 12 at Ardmore Terminal on August 6, 1960. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 12 at Ardmore Terminal on August 6, 1960. (Photographer unknown)

    That's P&W 'Strafford" car 168 above, and I think that's Red Arrow car 18 below at Ardmore Junction on November 26, 1954. (Photo by Raymond DeGroote)

    That’s P&W ‘Strafford” car 168 above, and I think that’s Red Arrow car 18 below at Ardmore Junction on November 26, 1954. (Photo by Raymond DeGroote)

    PSTCo 63 at Ardmore Station on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 63 at Ardmore Station on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 3 street running on Lipincott Street on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 3 street running on Lipincott Street on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 5 at Llanerch Junction on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 5 at Llanerch Junction on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 11 on the Ardmore branch on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 11 on the Ardmore branch on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 11 on the Ardmore line on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 11 on the Ardmore line on June 1, 1965. (Photographer unknown)

    Double-ended St. Louis car 13 (don't call them "PCCs") at Ardmore Junction on November 26, 1954. (Photo by Raymond DeGroote)

    Double-ended St. Louis car 13 (don’t call them “PCCs”) at Ardmore Junction on November 26, 1954. (Photo by Raymond DeGroote)

    PSTCo 42 at Llanerch car barn on May 8, 1949. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 42 at Llanerch car barn on May 8, 1949. (Photographer unknown)

    Inside a Red Arrow car in the 1950s. (Photographer unknown)

    Inside a Red Arrow car in the 1950s. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 77 at the Ardmore Terminal on July 23, 1949. (Photo by James J. Buckley)

    PSTCo 77 at the Ardmore Terminal on July 23, 1949. (Photo by James J. Buckley)

    PSTCo 63 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photo by Charles W. Houser, Sr.)

    PSTCo 63 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photo by Charles W. Houser, Sr.)

    Brilliner 5 at Ardmore Junction on June 28, 1952. (Photographer unknown)

    Brilliner 5 at Ardmore Junction on June 28, 1952. (Photographer unknown)

    One of the Red Arrow Liberty Liners meets car 63 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    One of the Red Arrow Liberty Liners meets car 63 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 63 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTCo 63 at Ardmore Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    Philadelphia Suburban car 63 at Llanerch Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    Philadelphia Suburban car 63 at Llanerch Junction on May 30, 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    Brilliner 1 near the Ardmore terminal in December 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    Brilliner 1 near the Ardmore terminal in December 1964. (Photographer unknown)

    Brilliner 3 along West Chester Pike, near Llanerch Depot, on November 26, 1954. (Photo by Raymond DeGroote)

    Brilliner 3 along West Chester Pike, near Llanerch Depot, on November 26, 1954. (Photo by Raymond DeGroote)

    A map showing the historic Red Arrow trolley lines (from the Wikipedia).

    A map showing the historic Red Arrow trolley lines (from the Wikipedia).

    The Red Arrow trolley lines were featured in CERA Bulletin 88.

    The Red Arrow trolley lines were featured in CERA Bulletin 88.

    img188

    PSTC 19 along the Ardmore line in the early 1950s. (Photographer unknown)

    PSTC 19 along the Ardmore line in the early 1950s. (Photographer unknown)

    Brilliner 4 at speed on single-track private right-of-way leaving Ardmore in the 1950s. (Photo by Richard H. Young)

    Brilliner 4 at speed on single-track private right-of-way leaving Ardmore in the 1950s. (Photo by Richard H. Young)


  • Monday, November 18, 2013 11:53 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    This Friday’s CERA program features films of the South Shore Line during the late 1970s and early 1980s:

    Friday, November 22, 2013
    1900 hrs / 7:00pm
    University Center
    525 South State Street
    Chicago, IL

    Admission is free for current CERA members. There will be a $5.00 Admission charge for non-members. Please note that the fourth Friday in November falls the week before Thanksgiving this year. In most years, our program would take place the day after Thanksgiving, but not this year!

    To help celebrate the South Shore Line, we present a selection of some of my own favorite pictures of that storied interurban.

    -David Sadowski

    The end was near for the old cars when this picture was taken in Chicago during May 1983. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The end was near for the old cars when this picture was taken in Chicago during May 1983. (Photo by David Sadowski)


    Randolph Street station in March 1985. That neon sign is now out at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Randolph Street station in March 1985. That neon sign is now out at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    These charming decals, designed by Dale Fleming, were put on South Shore cars around 1975. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    These charming decals, designed by Dale Fleming, were put on South Shore cars around 1975. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    "Little Joe" locomotive 803 in October 1983. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    “Little Joe” locomotive 803 in October 1983. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The then-new South Shore cars, gleaming, in May 1983. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The then-new South Shore cars, gleaming, in May 1983. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The then-new Nippon Sharyo cars at Randolph Street station in May 1983. This is now the site of Millennium Park, built over the tracks. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The then-new Nippon Sharyo cars at Randolph Street station in May 1983. This is now the site of Millennium Park, built over the tracks. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Fantrip #158, April 28, 1985. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Fantrip #158, April 28, 1985. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The new South Shore cars on a CERA fantrip, April 28, 1985. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The new South Shore cars on a CERA fantrip, April 28, 1985. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Michigan City street running, CERA fantrip, April 28, 1985. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Michigan City street running, CERA fantrip, April 28, 1985. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The old and the new CSS&SB 43 meets 1100 at Dune Park on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    The old and the new CSS&SB 43 meets 1100 at Dune Park on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Line Car 1100 at Hicks on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Line Car 1100 at Hicks on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    CSS&SB 1100 at Hegewisch (ex-Indiana Railroad) on a fantrip to benefit the George Krambles Transportation Scholarship Fund. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    CSS&SB 1100 at Hegewisch (ex-Indiana Railroad) on a fantrip to benefit the George Krambles Transportation Scholarship Fund. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Line Car 1100 at Hicks on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    Line Car 1100 at Hicks on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    CSS&SB Line Car 1100 at Dune Park on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)

    CSS&SB Line Car 1100 at Dune Park on May 27, 1988. (Photo by David Sadowski)


  • Monday, November 18, 2013 11:27 AM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Editor’s note: Here we feature the work of guest blogger Edward Halstead. We ran a photo of one of Ed’s models in our previous post “The Chicago and West Towns Railway.” We’ve discussed models before, for example in our post “Any Color You Like.”

    George Kanary's fanciful Cincinnati curved-side car, dolled out as a CSL 1940s interurban, in much the same fashion as LVT did with the "Easton Limited."

    George Kanary’s fanciful Cincinnati curved-side car, dolled out as a CSL 1940s interurban, in much the same fashion as LVT did with the “Easton Limited.”

    A few of the traction fans and modelers in the Chicago area have informal Trolley Meets or Evenings throughout the calendar year at their homes. There’s no formal invitation list. In general movies, slides, and/or DVD’s are shown. The fellas who have layouts will invite other modelers to bring models to run. The evening is a chance for the “guys” and “gals” to meet one another and chat.

    On Friday, November 15, 2013 Terrell Colson, the son of Bob Colson who owned both All Nation Hobby Shop and the All Nation Line of manufactured O scale models, hosted a “Trolley Night” meet at his house. Many modelers brought their O scale equipment to run on his layout. Also, much to Terrell’s credit he has been trying to include more and more of the younger traction fans and modelers.

    Upon looking over my photos of Terrell’s Trolley Meet I realized each photo, each model tells a story of its own. Unknowingly many of us who brought models made it a North Shore Line and Chicago Surface Lines evening.

    That’s enough from me!

    Cheers,
    Ed Halstead
    Modeling Insull’s Empire in O Scale

    CSL Pullman 141 was brought to the Meet by Bruce Moffat of “40 Feet Below” fame. The model started out as a Q-Car epoxy body which Bruce had finished for himself.

    CSL Pullman 141 was brought to the Meet by Bruce Moffat of “40 Feet Below” fame. The model started out as a Q-Car epoxy body which Bruce had finished for himself.

    The NSL 604 was scratch built by Ed Miller and is now owned by Ed Heerdt. Ed Heerdt has many more models of what can be called the “Insull Empire”. As an aside, do you get the idea there are a number of Eds in the hobby?

    The NSL 604 was scratch built by Ed Miller and is now owned by Ed Heerdt. Ed Heerdt has many more models of what can be called the “Insull Empire”. As an aside, do you get the idea there are a number of Eds in the hobby?

    Here are NSL 604 next to NSL 458. NSL 458 was scratch built by Ralph Nelson using cast parts provided by the late Jack Bailey (Ashland Car Works). The model is owned by Dan Ferlaciki. Dan and his father volunteer at Illinois Railway Museum. Between the two of them they operate and continue to work on the Indiana Railroad 65 high-speed lightweight interurban car.

    Here are NSL 604 next to NSL 458. NSL 458 was scratch built by Ralph Nelson using cast parts provided by the late Jack Bailey (Ashland Car Works). The model is owned by Dan Ferlaciki. Dan and his father volunteer at Illinois Railway Museum. Between the two of them they operate and continue to work on the Indiana Railroad 65 high-speed lightweight interurban car.

    That is my NSL 256 speeding by Dan’s 458. The NSL 256 started life as a Clouser epoxy body and was completed and finished by me. It’s normally operated in a 2-car train with NSL 772 as a “Milwaukee Limited”. My NSL 772 started out as an All Nation imported brass body.

    That is my NSL 256 speeding by Dan’s 458. The NSL 256 started life as a Clouser epoxy body and was completed and finished by me. It’s normally operated in a 2-car train with NSL 772 as a “Milwaukee Limited”. My NSL 772 started out as an All Nation imported brass body.

    The brass model NSL 459 is a Ken Kidder model and belongs to Dan Ferlaciki. It was first imported dating back to the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. This brass model could be finished as either the Oregon Electric 50 or the NSL 459.

    The brass model NSL 459 is a Ken Kidder model and belongs to Dan Ferlaciki. It was first imported dating back to the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. This brass model could be finished as either the Oregon Electric 50 or the NSL 459.

    The absolutely beautiful scratch built ice car was built by Don Idarius. It is now owned by his son Kevin. This is a model you cannot get enough of. In making the model Don even had the graphics made as an individual special order decal. Anyone for some ice cubes?

    The absolutely beautiful scratch built ice car was built by Don Idarius. It is now owned by his son Kevin. This is a model you cannot get enough of. In making the model Don even had the graphics made as an individual special order decal. Anyone for some ice cubes?

    Kevin Idarius is the owner of the CSL Birney. Yes, the CSL like many city streetcar lines had Birneys.

    Kevin Idarius is the owner of the CSL Birney. Yes, the CSL like many city streetcar lines had Birneys.

    These two 2 photos are Andy Sunderland’s Los Angeles Pacific Co. 700’s. WOW! We don’t get to see many West Coast trolleys in the Midwest. The pair make a beautiful train! They run just a beautiful as they look.

    These two 2 photos are Andy Sunderland’s Los Angeles Pacific Co. 700’s. WOW! We don’t get to see many West Coast trolleys in the Midwest. The pair make a beautiful train! They run just a beautiful as they look.

    Terrell's 11-15-13 17

    The CSL service car W14 was scratch built by Rich Nielsen. Rich did a great job in making the model. He included small rolls of different wire plus some wheels. It has to be powered as a gear can be seen in the front truck. Nice model! Zowie!

    The CSL service car W14 was scratch built by Rich Nielsen. Rich did a great job in making the model. He included small rolls of different wire plus some wheels. It has to be powered as a gear can be seen in the front truck. Nice model! Zowie!

    These two photos are of George Kanary’s scratch built CSL 5182 model. Take a look at the back platform. The CSL always had the back doors of its cars open in all sorts of weather. Look at the details George included! The model is made of wood! Excellent work!

    These two photos are of George Kanary’s scratch built CSL 5182 model. Take a look at the back platform. The CSL always had the back doors of its cars open in all sorts of weather. Look at the details George included! The model is made of wood! Excellent work!

    Terrell's 11-15-13 22

    The next model has a “What if!” CSL paint scheme normally seen on post war PCC’s and the early “spam cans”. To me it shows how great that choice and placement of colors was. When painted on a Cincinnati “curved side car” the color scheme looks just as great as on the actual CSL/CTA cars. Getting back to George’s “What if!”, George says the car is for the Chicago to Joliet route of the CSL. It is nice to dream!

    The next model has a “What if!” CSL paint scheme normally seen on post war PCC’s and the early “spam cans”. To me it shows how great that choice and placement of colors was. When painted on a Cincinnati “curved side car” the color scheme looks just as great as on the actual CSL/CTA cars. Getting back to George’s “What if!”, George says the car is for the Chicago to Joliet route of the CSL. It is nice to dream!

    Last is Rich Nielsen’s Walthers built-up NSL Skokie coach kit. Rich proves if the modeler takes the time and effort as well as his talents, a beautiful model can be built! Rich can be proud of his work!

    Last is Rich Nielsen’s Walthers built-up NSL Skokie coach kit. Rich proves if the modeler takes the time and effort as well as his talents, a beautiful model can be built! Rich can be proud of his work!


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