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  • Friday, August 08, 2014 2:14 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    We are sorry to report that noted historian and author George W. Hilton has died at age 89. He was the author of many notable books, including The Electric Interurban Railways in America (with John F. Due) and The Cable Car in America.

    Professor Hilton first joined CERA on March 25, 1950, as Member #1549. In February 2014, the CERA Board of Directors made George W. Hilton our first (and so far only) Honorary Life Member for his many important contributions to the study of transportation history and to CERA in particular.

    CERA reprinted two of his Electric Railway Historical Society books earlier this year (Cable Railways of Chicago and The Toledo, Port Clinton and Lakeside Railway), as part our our Complete ERHS Collection on DVD data disc. Both had been unavailable for many years.

    We especially thank him for his generous bequest to CERA some 20 years ago, which has in effect become an endowment, permitting us to issue publications like Transit in The Triangle Vol. 1Trolley Sparks Special #1, and Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude, and his legacy will live on for many, many years at CERA.

    -The CERA Board of Directors

    cera826

    From Trains magazine:

    Transportation historian George W. Hilton dies

    Published: August 7, 2014
    BALTIMORE – George Woodman Hilton, retired professor of economics at the University of California at Los Angeles, long time Trains contributor, and a prolific author of books on transportation history and economics, died on Aug. 4, 2014. He was 89 years old.Born in 1925, Hilton graduated with an A.B., summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1946, and earned an M.A. in 1950. He attended the London School of Economics from 1953 to 1955 and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1956. He was professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, until his retirement.Hilton specialized in transportation economics. He practically identified himself with competitive organization of the railroads and prided himself on his contribution to the abolition of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

    Hilton was a frequent and insightful Trains contributor for many years, and enjoyed tremendous respect from then-editor David P. Morgan. Hilton’s versatility as a writer for Trains was never more visible than in 1972. He showed his enthusiast side in the May issue with “The View of the Viaduct From in Front of the Diner,” a witty, bittersweet memoir of riding Erie passenger trains. Then he demonstrated his power as an economist in October with “What Does the ICC Cost You and Me?”, a penetrating, no-holds-barred critique of the Interstate Commerce Commission. It’s a measure of David P. Morgan’s regard for Hilton that the editor gave the story five pages of solid text, with no illustration. It delivered a powerful message.

    He wanted to be remembered best for his works on transportation history. Of his fifteen books and countless articles, many were on transportation history. Many of these are considered the definitive work on their particular subject: The Great Lakes Car Ferries, The Cable Car in America, The Ma & Pa, Eastland, Legacy of the Titanic, American Narrow Gauge Railroads, and Lake Michigan Passenger Steamers. In 2008 he received the Samuel Ward Stanton Award from the Steamship Historical Society of America for scholarship in steam navigation.

    In addition to publication, Hilton contributed in other ways to transportation history. For example, he funded the work of a summer intern at the Smithsonian Institution who redrafted plans of the Detroit River railroad car ferry Lansdowne and funded the construction of an exhibit model of the Great Lakes car ferry St. Ignace.

    In 1982, he endowed the George W. and Constance M. Hilton Book Award of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. This award is granted annually for an outstanding book on railroad history, and is considered by many to be the most prestigious award that a book on railroad history can receive.

    Hilton had many interests beyond transportation. He was a baseball fan. For many years his car bore the license plate “Sox 06.” His sports interests extended to girls’ college volleyball.

    Hilton traveled to England to celebrate the performances of Gilbert & Sullivan works. He was a fan of theatre organs. He edited the newsletter of a breweriana collectors group.


  • Wednesday, August 06, 2014 2:17 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Here is our sixth list of used books for sale. We had previously written about the CERA Used Book Exchange here.  Copies of List #6 and an order form have been mailed to all current CERA Members.

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

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

    As books are sold, we will cross them out on the online list, like this. You can download and print out a copy of List #6 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 ($3 for the ERHS bulletins). 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 #6 (Updated as of August 21, 2014)

    Stock # Description Publisher Date Cover Cond. Price # Notes
    UBE110 The Shore Line Electric Railway Company CERA 2007 H EX $40.00 B-139 Like New
    UBE127 Faster Than the Limiteds CERA 2004 H EX $30.00 B-137 Like New
    UBE131 Electric Railways of Northeastern Ohio CERA 1965 H G $25.00 B-108 DJ worn, otherwise OK
    UBE132 The Lake Line CERA 2011 H EX $50.00 B-144 Like New
    UBE133 Not Only Passengers CERA 1992 H EX $20.00 B-129  
    UBE134 Chicago Surface Lines THP 1979 H EX $35.00   By Lind – Third Edition
    UBE135 The Green Line CERA 2000 H EX $20.00 B-134 Like New
    UBE136 The Last Interurbans CERA 2003 H G $30.00 B-136 By Middleton
    UBE137 Cincinnati Streetcars v5 1895-1911 WCC 1971 S G $20.00   By Wagner and Wright
    UBE138 TravElectric CERA 2009 H G $30.00 B-143  
    UBE139 TM (The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co.) CERA 1972 H G $35.00 B-112 Sleeve torn, otherwise OK
    UBE140 How the Medal Was Won CERA 1985 H EX $10.00 B-124  
    UBE141 The Colorful Streetcars We Rode CERA 1986 S G $15.00 B-125  
    UBE142 Northern Indiana Railway CERA 1998 H EX $20.00 B-132  
    UBE143 The Chicago & West Towns Railways CERA 2006 H EX $30.00 B-138 Like New
    UBE144 Interurban to Milwaukee CERA 1962 S F $20.00 B-106 1st printing; spiral bound, cover repaired with tape
    UBE145 Route of the Electroliners CERA 1963 S G $25.00 B-107 1st printing; spiral bound
    UBE146 From Bullets to BART CERA 1988 H F $10.00 B-127 Sleeve torn, otherwise OK
    UBE147 Illinois Traction System CERA 1954 S G $35.00 B-98 Spiral bound
    UBE148 The Smaller Electric Railways of Illinois CERA 1955 S G $35.00 B-99 Spiral bound
    UBE149 Electric Railways of Iowa CERA 1956 S G $35.00 B-100 Spiral bound
    UBE150 Indiana Railroad CERA 1973 S G $15.00 B-91 Reprint
    UBE151 The North Shore Line- 30 Years Later CERA 1985 S G $15.00    
    UBE152 Gary Railways CERA 1975 S G $15.00 B-84 Reprint
    UBE153 CERA Bulletins 1-19 CERA 1976 S G $15.00   Reprint
    UBE154 The Red Arrow HP 1985 H G $35.00   By DeGraw
    UBE155 Trolleys of Johnstown, Cambria & Somerset Counties (PA) BRTP 1991 S EX $20.00   By Rohrbeck; smaller format, spiral bound
    UBE156 North Shore- America’s Fastest Interurban GW 1964 H F $10.00   A few pages are loose; otherwise OK
    UBE157 Ride the Red Devils Along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails TH 1971 S F $15.00   By Christiansen; small stain on cover
    UBE158 North Shore Line Memories DB 1980 H EX $25.00   By Campbell

    We also have a number of original Electric Railway Historical Society bulletins available:

    Stock # Description Cond. Price
    ERHS1 Lightweight Interurban Cars (1952) EX $23.00
    ERHS4 Brill Magazine, May 1927 (1952) G $18.00
    ERHS6 The Northern Indiana Railways by George K. Bradley (1953) P $10.00
    ERHS8 The Hammond Whiting and East Chicago Ry. by James J. Buckley (1953) EX $23.00
    ERHS13 Car Plans of the Chicago Railways Company 1911 (1954) EX $23.00
    ERHS15 Brill Magazine, December 1914 (1954) EX $23.00
    ERHS18 Cars of the St. Louis Car Company 1927 (1955) EX $23.00
    ERHS19 The Biddeford and Saco Railroad by O. R. Cummings (1956) EX $23.00
    ERHS21 Cars of the Rockford and Interurban Railway (1956) EX $23.00
    ERHS24 Baldwin Westinghouse Electric Locomotives 1925 (1957) EX $23.00
    ERHS26 Brill Magazine, April 1924 (1957) EX $23.00
    ERHS27 Electric Railway Journal 1912 Convention Issue (1957) G $18.00
    ERHS28 The Evanston Railway Co. by James J. Buckley (1958) G $18.00
    ERHS30 Niles Cars 1914 (1958) G $18.00
    ERHS31 Thomas Built Cars (1959) EX $23.00
    ERHS33 Modern Lightweight Cars (1959) EX $23.00
    ERHS34 Brill Magazine, September 1911 (1959) EX $23.00
    ERHS35 The Manchester Street Railway by O. R. Cummings (1960) F $13.00
    ERHS36 The Safety Car (1960) G $18.00
    ERHS37 Brill Magazine, January 1917 (1961) EX $23.00
    ERHS38 Car Plans of the Chicago Surface Lines (1962) EX $23.00
    ERHS39 Railway Equipments and Locomotives in the Far West (1962) EX $23.00
    ERHS42 The Toledo, Port Clinton and Lakeside Railway by George W. Hilton (1964) G $18.00
    ERHS43 Brill Magazine, October 1912 (1964) EX $23.00
    ERHS47 Light-Weight Cars (1965) EX $23.00
    ERHS48 The Lee County Central Electric Railway by Philip L. Keister (1967) G $18.00


  • Sunday, August 03, 2014 2:18 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    John F. Bromley writes:

    You may be interested in this view I picked off the internet. ID’d as Madison Street circa 1910 but no cross-street given, but it’s by Hotel Brevoort so should be easy to determine, and of course the Loop is in the background.

    Chicago CSL 143 Madison Av circa 1910



    Thanks… I am sure our eagle-eyed readers will come up with the right answer in short order. -Ed.

    Cheers

    Nathan Wells writes:

    I was hoping you all could help me get the word out to support a campaign I am working on with some members of Charlotte Trolley to save a historic Dallas “Turtleback” streetcar.  McKinney Avenue Transit Authority no longer requires the car and must find a home for it before they clear a lot on which the car is stored.  The lot has been sold to a third party and everything must be cleaned by early September.

    The “Turtleback” car we are trying to save is the only known example of a “stretched-Turtleback”  left in the world.  Would you share the following campaign link to your followers in case any would like to support our efforts to have the car moved to Charlotte, NC where we will preserve and restore it:

    http://igg.me/at/savetheturtleback

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    You’re very welcome. I encourage our readers to check out the link and contribute to this worthy cause. -Ed.

    Other CERA News

    Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table

    Tickets are still available for our upcoming Chicago PCC Weekend events this September 26-28. Things get off to a great start on Friday evening, September 26th, with the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table. Nearly half the tickets for that event, which is free for current CERA Members, have already been distributed.

    Then, on Saturday, September 27th, CERA will make a trek to Kenosha, Wisconsin to ride the Chicago Tribute PCC and have a Shops tour. The Kenosha streetcar loop is directly accessible by public transportation from Downtown Chicago, via Metra’s UP North Line trains.

    Finally, on Sunday, September 28th, we have a fantrip at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union. CERA is chartering CTA “Green Hornet” PCC streetcar 4391, newly restored Chicago & West Towns car 141, and the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 36. Metra’s UP Northwest Line will take you to Crystal Lake, where you can make connections with CERA’s chartered bus for the remaining 13 miles to IRM.

    You can read more about these events here.

    More “Before and After”

    KP_072_prework_sm

    KP_072

    This 60-year-old slide shows a tremendous number of scratches in the “Before” image, probably damage caused by slide projectors over the years. The “After” image, the result of many hours’ work in Photoshop, has these defects corrected and shows how the image will appear in our upcoming book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958.

    It’s another example of the hard work and dedication we are putting in to make this the most important book about Chicago streetcars to appear in the last 40 years. We will continue to update you with more information as it becomes available.

    Summer Vacation

    Everyone deserves a break now and then, even the hard-working volunteers at CERA. Therefore, our office will be closed from Tuesday, August 12th through Tuesday, the 19th. All current orders on hand will be filled by the 11th.

    -Your CERA Directors


  • Wednesday, July 30, 2014 2:21 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Used Book Exchange List #6

    Our latest used book list, including original CERA and ERHS bulletins, plus traction books from other publishers, has been mailed to our current Members. We will post this list here on August 5th, one week after our mailing. The one week delay gives people who do not use the Internet more of an equal chance to purchase some of these books, which usually sell out quickly.

    A 1956 photo of a CA&E train similar to the type featured on our Railroad Record Club Vol. 1 audio CD. (R. F. Munroe Photo - CERA Archives)

    A 1956 photo of a CA&E train similar to the type featured on our Railroad Record Club Vol. 1 audio CD. (R. F. Munroe Photo – CERA Archives)

    Two New Publications

    This month, we have two new CERA Archives releases, following up on the success of the Complete ERHS Collection on DVD data disc (AR-1) and the Interurban Memories audio CD (AR-2). Railroad Record Club Vol. 1 (AR-3) is an audio CD that compiles two 10” LP releases by the long-defunct Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, Wisconsin. The Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee is featured on half, with the other half split between the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin and the CTA Garfield Park “L”. These classic 1956 recordings have been digitally remastered and are available on CD for the first time ever.

    You asked for it- the first 76 CERA Bulletins plus extras on a DVD data disc. Our new collection “The Spirit of 76” (AR-4) celebrates CERA’s 76th anniversary by featuring all the publications from the years 1938-1947, our first decade. These can be read on any computer with a DVD disc drive. We all still need “The Spirit of 76” more than ever!

    All these Archive releases can be purchased here. You can also download a form to purchase these discs by mail.

    Chicago PCC Weekend Tickets

    Order forms have been mailed to our Members for September’s events, which begin with the Chicago Streetcar Pictorial Round Table on Friday evening, September 26th. Get your Round Table tickets now, before it’s completely sold out!

    We will continue our celebration of Chicago’s PCCs streetcars on Saturday and Sunday with Inspection Trips to the Kenosha Streetcar and the Illinois Railway Museum. CERA has arranged with MCERA Vince Allen’s Victory Bus Service to provide round-trip transportation between the Crystal Lake Metra station and IRM.

    Before

    Before

    After

    After

    B-146 Update

    CERA is pleased to announce that each copy of Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: the PCC Car Era 1936-1958 will include a reproduction 1936 Chicago Surface Lines brochure, which introduced the new “Streamliners.” This we are doing at no additional cost to you. The brochures have already been printed and they look great.

    We are finishing up work cleaning up the many 60-year-old images in the book using Photoshop. Since this a very labor-intensive process, we are not going to quote a firm publication date until the book actually is sent off to the printer. However, we are doing our best to get the book published prior to our September meeting. It is better to underpromise and overdeliver, than to overpromise and underdeliver!

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

    -Your CERA Directors


  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:27 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    This is CERA’s 76th year, and we decided to do something special to show our Members that we still have the “Spirit of ’76.” Therefore, Central Electric Railfans’ Association is proud to announce the availability, starting August 1st, of our first 76 Bulletins plus bonus features on a DVD data disc. You asked for it, and now we’re giving it to you!

    ScreenShot268


    Our new “Spirit of 76″ collection brings together in one place, for the very first time, each and every publication from CERA’s first 10 years, covering 1938 through 1947. We intend this to be but the first in a series of such Archives releases, gradually making all out-of-print CERA bulletins available once again. Our publications gradually evolved from just a few pages to the book-length works of today, and the Spirit of 76captures the flavor and excitement of a bygone era, when the world was young and trolley cars were running practically everywhere.

    This follows on the heels of our very successful Complete ERHS Collection DVD disc, released a few months ago. Like that disc, this one can be used on any computer that has a DVD drive. Files are in .PDF format, and can be read using Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.

    The Bonus Features include all the Trolley Sparks publications from our first 10 years that were issued with their own numbering system, separate from other CERA bulletins. We have even managed to track down a few of the 11 issues of Trolley Sparks that were put out by Barney Neuberger in 1944-45, predating its involvement with CERA. You can read more about the early history of Trolley Sparks here.

    The “Spirit of 76″ DVD costs just $29.95, which includes shipping within the United States, making it an incredible bargain. International shipping costs just $7.50. You can order a copy online using PayPal or a credit/debit card, or send us a check. Why not reserve your copy today?

    Today, more than ever, we all need the “Spirit of ’76!”

    -Your CERA Board of Directors

    Here is a list of the first 76 CERA Bulletins, topics covered, and the dates they were issued:

    B-1 Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee RR 11/38
    B-2 Chicago Rapid Transit Co, Metropolitan Division 02/39
    B-3 Chicago & West Towns Railways 04/39
    B-4 Chicago South Shore and South Bend RR 06/39
    B-5 Chicago Aurora & Elgin RR Roster 06/39
    B-6 The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Co., Roster 09/39
    B-7 Annual Report of CERA for 1939 11/39
    B-8 Northern Indiana Railway 12/39
    B-9 Windsor, Essex & Lake Shore Cars 01/40
    B-10 Texas Interurban Railway Cars 01/40
    B-11 Key System Articulated Cars 02/40
    B-12 Hudson Valley Railway 03/40
    B-13 CNS&M RR, Modernized Car 742 03/40
    B-14 Illinois Central RR, Electric Suburban 05/40
    B-15 Western Ohio Railway Car 41 05/40
    B-16 Des Moines Railway Car 702 06/40
    B-17 Indiana Railroad System 09/40
    B-18 Indianapolis Railway 100-Series Cars 09/40
    B-19 Annual Report of CERA for 1940 11/40
    B-20 Cincinnati & Lake Erie Car 202 01/41
    B-21 Indiana Railroad RPO Cars 375-377 01/41
    B-22 CNS&M RR, Electroliners 801-804 02/41
    B-23 An Interurban Goes Modern 03/41
    B-24 Trenton-Princeton Traction Co. 05/41
    B-25 Columbus, Delaware & Marion Car 500 05/41
    B-26 Seashore Electric Railway 06/41
    B-27 Chicago Surface Lines Roster 07/41
    B-28 Illinois Terminal RR, Class D Locomotive 09/41
    B-29 CERA Official Car 300 09/41
    B-30 Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Traction 11/41
    B-31 Annual Report of CERA for 1941 11/41
    B-32 Map of Traction Lines, Central States 01/42
    B-33 Dayton & Western Traction Co, 1931 Timetable 01/42
    B-34 Springfield (Ill) Transportation Co. 01/42
    B-35 Cincinnati & Lake Erie Cars 110-129 03/42
    B-36 Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine Ry 03/42
    B-37 Piedmont & Northern Ry. Locomotive 5611 05/42
    B-38 Roby & Northern Railroad 06/42
    B-39 Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1 Locomotives 06/42
    B-40 Jamestown, Westfield & North Western RR 09/42
    B-41 Modernization of South Shore Line Car 15 09/42
    B-42 Album of Northern Indiana – Southern Michigan Rys. 11/42
    B-43 Annual Report of CERA for 1942 11/42
    B-44 Interurbans of Western New York State 03/43
    B-45 “El Viento”, Los Angeles-Pacific Co. 05/43
    B-46 Marion Railways (Indiana) 05/43
    B-47 Galveston-Houston Electric Railway 05/43
    B-48 Roster of Lehigh Valley Transit Co. 11/43
    B-49 Annual Report of CERA for 1943 11/43
    B-50 East Erie Commercial RR. 03/44
    B-51 Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Ry. Car 120 07/44
    B-52 Public Timetable, Lake Shore Electric Railway, 1937 07/44
    B-53 Springfield (Ohio) Suburban Railroad 07/44
    B-54 Emblems of Electric Railways 07/44
    B-55 Album of Illinois Traction Cars 270-271 09/44
    B-56 Joint Issue with Interurban New Letter 09/44
    B-57 History of Double Deck Electric Ry. Cars 11/44
    B-58 Annual Report of CERA for 1944 11/44
    B-59 Timetables, Electric Railways of the Central States 01/45
    B-60 Album of Springfield, Troy & Piqua Ry. 05/45
    B-61 Album of Early Terre Haute Electric Cars 05/45
    B-62 Union Traction Company of Indiana 11/45
    B-63 Union Traction Company of Indiana Roster 12/45
    B-64 Chicago, Aurora and Elgin RR and Its New Cars 08/46
    B-65 Aroostook Valley Railroad Co. 11/46
    B-66 Air Line Remembrances; Hershey Transit Co. 02/47
    B-67 Holiday in Lancaster; Chautauqua Traction Co. 03/47
    B-68 Cars of the North Shore Line 04/47
    B-69 Texas Electric Ry.; Kewanee & Galva Ry. 04/47
    B-70 Indianapolis Traction Terminal: Little Rock, AR 05/47
    B-71 Princeton-Bluefield Interurban; The Harmony Route 06/47
    B-72 Fort Collins Municipal Ry; Georgia Power Co. 07/47
    B-73 PCC Equipment for Chicago “L” 08/47
    B-74 Oklahoma Railway Lines 09/47
    B-75 Montreal & Southern Counties Ry. 10/47
    B-76 The South Shore Line 12/47


  • Monday, July 21, 2014 2:34 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    To the Family of Ed Tennyson, we at the Central Electric Railfans’ Association wish to express our deepest sympathies upon learning about the passing of Ed on July 14th.  Ed was a loyal member of CERA since he joined our organization on December 11, 1944, and was one of our longest participating members.   Ed had a special place in the hearts of our members, because throughout his life he dedicated his efforts to the preservation and development of electric transit everywhere.  As an outspoken advocate of the modern streetcar in American cities, Ed lead the way by promoting the development of new streetcar systems wherever he could.  For that we will always hold a debt of gratitude.  Words cannot express our sense of appreciation to Ed for his lifelong vigorous support of rail transportation.

    Sincerely,

    The CERA Board of Directors

    Among his other accomplishments in his long career, Mr. Tennyson was one of the last living employees of Speedrail, which made a valiant attempt to continue rapid transit service in Milwaukee during the late 1940s.

    You can read more about Edson Tennyson’s life and career here and here.

    Mr. Tennyson’s family has posted an obituary here, where you may pay your respects.

     


  • Monday, July 21, 2014 2:29 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    The 1950s saw the introduction of mobile tape recorders and “High Fidelity” LP records. Since these were also the twilight years of steam locomotives and electric interurbans, it shouldn’t be very surprising that some enterprising individuals documented the sounds of vanishing railroads using this new technology.

    In our series of Archives releases, CERA has already issued Interurban Memories on audio CD to much acclaim. Now, we are making 55 minutes of historic audio recordings available on CD for the first time, with our latest release Railroad Record Club Vol. 1.

    rrc18cover
    misc047 misc048

    Mr. William A. Steventon, a farmer near Hawkins, Wisconsin, issued a few dozen 10″ vinyl records in the 1950s and 1960s under the banner of the Railroad Record Club. Most of these featured steam, but there were also a number of traction titles. The club had ads in Trains and some other magazines for several years. We are told Mr. Steventon died in 1993 at age 71.

    Our first volume is a “twofer,” combining Railroad Record Club releases 18 and 36. As far as we can tell, both recordings were made around 1956.

    Here is a track list:

    Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee (North Shore Line):

    Track 1 – Interurban 724 from Mundelein to Deerpath (14:45):

    Interurban 724 leaving Mundelein. There are many stops for passengers, and at one point the trolley loses its affinity for the trolley wire, requiring an extra stop to replace it. The lightly ballasted track, wheel clicks and motor hum on this branch line provides a recording of the old time interurbans.

    Tracks 2-12 Trackside Scenes (11:08):

    Track 2 – Interurban 754 approaching and leaving the Racine, Wisconsin station. A group of children are on hand to bid “Tommy” goodbye.
    Track 3 – A southbound interurban at Racine.
    Track 4 – A northbound interurban at Racine.
    Track 5 – A two-car northbound train and a southbound Electroliner pass a few blocks south of the Racine station.
    Track 6 – Interurban at Racine.
    Track 7 – Air compressors on car 724 at Mundelein.
    Track 8 – 724 and 734 leaving Mundelein.
    Track 9 – 716 at Rondout.
    Track 10 – 3-car train at Northbrook, Illinois.
    Track 11 – 174 and 736 at a country road crossing.
    Track 12 – 716 at a railroad crossing on the Mundelein branch.

    Track 13 – Chicago, Aurora & Elgin car 413 heading west from DesPlaines Avenue towards Aurora on Saturday, April 28, 1956. 14:48

    By April 28, 1956 the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin terminated at DesPlaines Avenue in Forest Park, with passengers riding the elevated to points east. Here car No. 413, a 1923 Pullman product, leaves the terminal and roars westward. We had hardly left the terminal before the motorman had the car really rolling. A number of road crossings gave ample opportunity for the motorman to show his skill with the whistle cord. We were in the forward smoking compartment taking in this fast run and the track and motion noise was excellent. The air horn made odd sounds against buildings as we roared past. At the first stop the crossing warning bell chatters incessantly and the motorman yells at a passing man. The warning bell fades into the distance and the motors hum with 600 volts of DC current. We pause briefly at a second stop and then continue westward with additional whistle play at a crossing.

    A third stop, another crossing bell and children playing near the car. Another fast acceleration, crossing whistles and track noise. At the fourth stop the motorman throws several bundles of newspapers off the front platform and we can hear them hitting the ground. A couple of short blasts from the whistle, another fast acceleration and we’re off again. The CA&E was known for its fast acceleration and car 413 upheld that tradition on this trip. At the fifth stop a few more news bundles hit the platform, another whistle blast, a passing crossing bell, and we are headed for Aurora.

    Track 14 – Chicago Transit Authority car 4452 heading east from DesPlaines Avenue via the Garfield Park “L” on Saturday, April 28, 1956. 15:08

    The Garfield Park line of the Chicago Transit Authority was in full swing on April 28, 1956. Old car No. 4452 hummed through the area with many stops. The side door rattled open and closed as passengers entered or left the car. The peculiar sound of the deceleration of traction motors, which seems to be a trademark of “L” equipment, is noticeable here. At one place a nearby motorist voiced his protest to traffic with a tune on his auto horn. Next time fellow, take the “L”! Some small children in the car were awed by the recording equipment and you can hear them making sounds as they pointed at the revolving wheels. This recording is a trip on the “L”!

    Total time: 55:49

    This CD costs just $14.95, which includes Domestic shipping. You can order online via our website, using PayPal or credit/debit cards, or send us a check. You can use this form to order by mail.

    Interestingly, some of the original illustrations used on these vinyl releases came from Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

    -Your CERA Directors


  • Monday, July 14, 2014 2:37 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    Continuing with our coverage of last week’s 2014 Trolley Pageant at the Illinois Railway Museum, here are the videos we shot that day. We’ve edited them, combined some, brightened them up a bit, and given them image stabilization.

    The result is about 18 minutes of IRM in action, and there certainly was a lot of action that day! Enjoy!

    -David Sadowski

    PS- There are brief descriptions of what you’re seeing if you watch the videos on YouTube, but it’s all pretty self-evident. The grade crossing shots were all taken at Olson Road.

    CA&E

    2200s

    2000s

    PCC4391

    C&WT141

    C&WT141a

    229

    220sA

    CTA30

    IC

    Freight 

    LineCar

    SouthShore


  • Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:49 PM | Ed Graziano (Administrator)

    We devoted a lot of attention to last year’s Trolley Pageant at the Illinois Railway Museum, and this was one of our more popular posts. This year’s event (July 5th) was a bit different, and in our opinion, more satisfying overall.

    In 2013, 60 cars were brought out, but many were just given a quick run by the Depot and went straight back to the barn. This time, visitors were allowed to ride everything that was running, including some work equipment such as the South Shore Line car 1100, the line car that originally ran on the Indiana Railroad.

    There were so many consists that we did not have a chance to photograph them all. Somehow we did not get pictures of Illinois Terminal 415 or 101, for example. But we did get enough good pictures to present this photo essay, as the first of two parts. The sequel will feature videos we shot that day.

    We hope you had a chance to ride all the equipment you wanted that day, and that you will enjoy these snapshots of a momentous and very enjoyable day at Union.

    -David Sadowski

    No other museum besides IRM can field both a three-car train of CA&E woods and steels. (David Sadowski Photo)

    No other museum besides IRM can field both a three-car train of CA&E woods and steels. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Wooden Chicago "L" car 1268. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Wooden Chicago “L” car 1268. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CA&E car 36 was built by Stephenson in 1903. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CA&E car 36 was built by Stephenson in 1903. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CA&E 36 came to IRM from the Trolleyville USA collection in 2009. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CA&E 36 came to IRM from the Trolleyville USA collection in 2009. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Car 36 has reversible wicker seats. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Car 36 has reversible wicker seats. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Vintage advertising in CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Vintage advertising in CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Randy Hicks at the helm of CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Randy Hicks at the helm of CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Conductor Henry A. Vincent Jr. on CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Conductor Henry A. Vincent Jr. on CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The interior of CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The interior of CA&E 36. (David Sadowski Photo)

    P1020123

    P1020122

    P1020124

    P1020125

    The three-car train of CA&E steel cars. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The three-car train of CA&E steel cars. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The interior of CA&E car 460. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The interior of CA&E car 460. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Volunteer Brian J. Patterson tells us what it's all about. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Volunteer Brian J. Patterson tells us what it’s all about. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CA&E 409 at the 50th Avenue "L" station. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CA&E 409 at the 50th Avenue “L” station. (David Sadowski Photo)

    In this picture, you can clearly see the difference between CA&E curved-sided car 460 and the 431. (David Sadowski Photo)

    In this picture, you can clearly see the difference between CA&E curved-sided car 460 and the 431. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CA&E 460 has reversible seats, but they rotate rather than folding over. (Diana Koester Photo)

    CA&E 460 has reversible seats, but they rotate rather than folding over. (Diana Koester Photo)

    CA&E 460 has overhead lighting just like a PCC car, which is not surprising, since they are contemporaries. (Diana Koester Photo)

    CA&E 460 has overhead lighting just like a PCC car, which is not surprising, since they are contemporaries. (Diana Koester Photo)

    The interior of CA&E 460. MCERA Richard Carlson is shown standing. (Diana Koester Photo)

    The interior of CA&E 460. MCERA Richard Carlson is shown standing. (Diana Koester Photo)

    CNS&M 749. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CNS&M 749. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CSL 3142 is on the Trolley Loop, while a two-car train of North Shore Line cars is berthed at the 50th Avenue station. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CSL 3142 is on the Trolley Loop, while a two-car train of North Shore Line cars is berthed at the 50th Avenue station. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Chicago Rapid Transit car 1024 is undergoing restoration, going back to its original number 24. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Chicago Rapid Transit car 1024 is undergoing restoration, going back to its original number 24. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Newly restored C&WT 141. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Newly restored C&WT 141. (David Sadowski Photo)

    At the helm of the C&WT 141. (Diana Koester Photo)

    At the helm of the C&WT 141. (Diana Koester Photo)

    The interior of C&WT car 141. In Winter, the coal-fired stove provided heat. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The interior of C&WT car 141. In Winter, the coal-fired stove provided heat. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Chicago & West Towns 141, a recent addition to the active roster. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Chicago & West Towns 141, a recent addition to the active roster. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CSL 144 on the Trolley Loop. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CSL 144 on the Trolley Loop. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CSL 144 is one of the "crown jewels" of IRM's collection. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CSL 144 is one of the “crown jewels” of IRM’s collection. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Chicago Red Pullman car 144, a mainstay of the Illinois Railway Museum for decades. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Chicago Red Pullman car 144, a mainstay of the Illinois Railway Museum for decades. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Frank Hicks at the controls of 144. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Frank Hicks at the controls of 144. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 4391 on the Trolley Loop. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 4391 on the Trolley Loop. (David Sadowski Photo)

    A two-car train of Chicago Transit Authority single car units follows the CA&E steels. (David Sadowski Photo)

    A two-car train of Chicago Transit Authority single car units follows the CA&E steels. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 30 looking resplendent. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 30 looking resplendent. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The air conditioning in CTA 2153-2154 apparently was not working that day. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The air conditioning in CTA 2153-2154 apparently was not working that day. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 2243-2244, new additions to the IRM roster. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 2243-2244, new additions to the IRM roster. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 2243-2244, now fitted with trolley poles, approaching Olson Road. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CTA 2243-2244, now fitted with trolley poles, approaching Olson Road. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Steam is alive and well at IRM, in the form of the "Frisco" 1630. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Steam is alive and well at IRM, in the form of the “Frisco” 1630. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The IC pair came out, but there was an equipment problem, so nobody got to ride. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The IC pair came out, but there was an equipment problem, so nobody got to ride. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Another view of the 1920s Illinois Central suburban cars. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Another view of the 1920s Illinois Central suburban cars. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The South Shore Line two-car train, headed up by car 34. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The South Shore Line two-car train, headed up by car 34. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The 2014 Trolley Pageant was a rare opportunity to ride equipment such as the CSS&SB line car 1100. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The 2014 Trolley Pageant was a rare opportunity to ride equipment such as the CSS&SB line car 1100. (David Sadowski Photo)

    According to Don's Rail Photos, "1100 is the ultimate line car. It was built by St. Louis Car in 1926 as combine 376 for the Indiana Service Corp. It became Indiana RR 376 in 1930 and was rebuilt with an RPO compartment in 1935. After abandonment of the IRR, this car, along with 375 and 377 came to the South Shore. The other 2 cars were built into baggage trailers, but the 376 waited until 1947 to be rebuilt into the 1100." (David Sadowski Photo)

    According to Don’s Rail Photos, “1100 is the ultimate line car. It was built by St. Louis Car in 1926 as combine 376 for the Indiana Service Corp. It became Indiana RR 376 in 1930 and was rebuilt with an RPO compartment in 1935. After abandonment of the IRR, this car, along with 375 and 377 came to the South Shore. The other 2 cars were built into baggage trailers, but the 376 waited until 1947 to be rebuilt into the 1100.” (David Sadowski Photo)

    North Shore Line merchandise dispatch car 229 was built by Cincinnati Car Co. in 1922. (David Sadowski Photo)

    North Shore Line merchandise dispatch car 229 was built by Cincinnati Car Co. in 1922. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CNS&M 229, with the CTA 2200s at the rear. (David Sadowski Photo)

    CNS&M 229, with the CTA 2200s at the rear. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The famous North Shore Line logo on car 229. (David Sadowski Photo)

    The famous North Shore Line logo on car 229. (David Sadowski Photo)

    Here is the Illinois Terminal suburban car 101. It broke down west of Olson Road, and had to be towed back by the CNS&M 229. (Eric Bronsky Photo)

    Here is the Illinois Terminal suburban car 101. It broke down west of Olson Road, and had to be towed back by the CNS&M 229. (Eric Bronsky Photo)



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Stock # Description Publisher Date Cover Cond. Price # Notes

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

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

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


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

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