Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby erie910 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:34 pm

I'm from New Jersey and have been transplanted into the midwest. I have ridden all the CTA rail lines, and now have some questions:

First, on the Brown/Purple Lines north of the Merchandise Mart station, there is a curve to the west. The elevated structure at that point appears to have the remnants of a line that went east from the Brown/Purple Lines. Was there a line from this point which was abandoned and demolished?

Second, there is a wide spot north/west of the Sedgwick station, right about at Halsted St. If there were a station here at one time, when was it closed/demolished?

Third, the elevated structure north of the Merchandise Mart station appears to have held four tracks at one time. What additional service, if any, was there which used the two tracks that were removed? When were the two other tracks removed?


Thanks in advance for the information.
erie910
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:56 pm
Location: Port Hope, MI

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby MACTRAXX » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:42 am

Erie:

The best internet source of CTA Rapid Transit history can be found at http://www.chicago-l.org

Search the Ravenswood and Evanston Express lines historical information for starters
(using the previous route names) and also look at abandoned stations and routes.

Another good source is: www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Chicago,_Illinois
Good photos of CTA routes and rolling stock...and a PCC car section.

MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
MACTRAXX
 
Posts: 3788
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:55 am
Location: Islandia,Long Island,NY

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby doepack » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:07 am

erie910 wrote:Second, there is a wide spot north/west of the Sedgwick station, right about at Halsted St. If there were a station here at one time, when was it closed/demolished?


This was the site of the old Halsted station, built in the days of the original Northwestern elevated. For more info...

erie910 wrote:Third, the elevated structure north of the Merchandise Mart station appears to have held four tracks at one time. What additional service, if any, was there which used the two tracks that were removed? When were the two other tracks removed?


The North Shore line, which once provided interurban service between Chicago and Milwaukee, used CTA's elevated tracks between Howard and the Loop in order to access its Roosevelt Road terminal in Chicago. North Shore trains used the outer tracks of the original four track ROW between Armitage and Merchandise Mart, and much of it stayed intact (running rails in place, third rail removed) for more than a decade after the North Shore's death in 1963. Today, CTA uses a short portion of the outer track on the inbound side just south of Armitage for MOW purposes, but the while the obvious support structures for these tracks remain in place in this corridor, the tracks have been gone for sometime now...
--Dorian--
User avatar
doepack
 
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 5:20 am
Location: UP Geneva Subdivision, MP 25.0

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby Passenger » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:30 am

doepack wrote: ... Today, CTA uses a short portion of the outer track on the inbound side just south of Armitage for MOW purposes, but the while the obvious support structures for these tracks remain in place in this corridor, the tracks have been gone for sometime now...


I'd wondered if that track was still used for anything.

Thanks.
Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is a very important science.
User avatar
Passenger
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:08 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:21 pm

erie910 wrote:First, on the Brown/Purple Lines north of the Merchandise Mart station, there is a curve to the west. The elevated structure at that point appears to have the remnants of a line that went east from the Brown/Purple Lines. Was there a line from this point which was abandoned and demolished?

I've wondered about that myself. Anybody: I've seen old maps showing a North Water St. Terminal--or was it South Water St.?--is that what that led to? And did Water St. predate the Loop? And after the Loop was established, was Water St. used in rush-hour service to accommodate additional trains? I see there was a similar arrangement on the South Side--Congress St.?
ExCon90
 
Posts: 3867
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby Allouette » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:28 pm

Each of the companies that made up the Chicago L System had an outside-the-loop terminal. The Congress St. stub on the South Side Rapid Transit(.) was the original terminal. The "Met" had a terminal at Jackson and Franklin that closed when the Loop opened. When traffic grew too much for the Loop MWSE built a new terminal that butted up to the west side of Wells St. near the Quincy/Wells station. Lake Street's original terminal was at Madison and Market (Market is today's Wacker Drive). The Northwestern elevated did not start out with a stub terminal, but later built one over North Water Street stubbing at LaSalle. (There seems to have been a South Water Street on the other side of the Chicago River at one time). Water Street was a platted street that was entirely used by the Chicago and North Western. The bascule bridge connecting the former C&NW line in Water Street to the rest of the C&NW is still there next to the Chicago River in the raised position, having been used by UP for the last time around 1995.
By the time CTA took over the L in 1947 (70 years ago!) most of the stub terminals were rush-hour only, except for Wells St which handled all Chicago Aurora and Elgin trains in addition to the few rush-hour runs that originated or terminated there. Congress St was the North Shore's baggage room, except for a couple of afternoon rush-hour trains. All of them were closed for CTA service when CTA instituted A/B skip stop service in 1949. Wells Street handled CA&E trains until 1953, and Congress St handled North Shore Line baggage until 1963.
Allouette
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:07 am
Location: Plainfield NH

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby lstone19 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:52 pm

Allouette wrote:When traffic grew too much for the Loop MWSE built a new terminal that butted up to the west side of Wells St. near the Quincy/Wells station.


Unless there was another terminal I've never heard mentioned before, that sounds like the Chicago, Aurora, & Elgin's Wells St. terminal you're describing. The CA&E was an interurban that used the Met's tracks to reach the loop just like the North Shore did on the north side L (but unlike the North Shore, CA&E trains never entered the Loop tracks.
Larry
Roselle, IL (along the MILW West line)
ex-N&W Sandusky, Ohio
lstone19
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:40 pm

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby Allouette » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:32 am

The CA&E Wells St. terminal was actually owned by the Metropolitan, later CRT and CTA. The Met ran trains in and out of Wells St, as well as around the Loop. The last CTA usage was around 1951, CA&E cut back to Forest Park in September 1953. The construction of Wacker Drive required CTA to demolish the former Met connection to the Loop, so a temporary line was constructed using the Wells St. terminal structure, connecting to the Loop on Wells between Quincy and Jackson. What remained after 1958 was used as storage for CTA maintenance, before being demolished around 1964.

Afternoons saw as many as 200 movements an hour through and past Market Street Tower that served the Met's entrance to the Loop as well as the Wells St terminal throat. http://Chicago-L.org has pictures.
Allouette
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:07 am
Location: Plainfield NH

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby erie910 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:55 pm

A few follow-up questions:

Is any part of the North Shore lakeshore line included in the CTA Purple Line to Evanston? There is a very good video on YouTube showing the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee operations in the 1940's. The lakeshore line seemed to be all at ground level, not elevated.

Were all the interurban stub terminals off the Loop demolished?

New York, including Brooklyn, had numerous elevated lines in the 1940's. Many, such as the 2nd, 3rd, & 9th Ave. lines in Manhattan, the Fulton St., Lexington Ave, 5th Ave, and south half of the Myrtle Ave. lines were demolished. Presumably, there was public pressure to get rid of the noise caused by an elevated railroad. Most of Chicago's rail rapid transit system is above ground. I wonder why there is not the same pressure to get rid of them.

In watching the CTA-produced videos of trips on each line, it seems that the stations on most lines are considerably farther apart than are the stations on New York's, Toronto's, and a few other cities' rapid transit rail lines. The CTA must keep ridership statistics by station, which would help it to decide which stations to close, but how does it determine if a new station would be worth consideration?
erie910
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:56 pm
Location: Port Hope, MI

Re: Brown Line/Purple Line Questions

Postby Allouette » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:36 am

The North Shore's Shore Line joined today's Purple Line just south of Linden Avenue. The North Shore had trackage rights there from the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul for several years before the L operated there. Before through operation to the Loop began in 1919, North Shore trains terminated in their own station at Church St. Evanston.

All of the outside-of-loop stations are gone. Water St and Market St lost all trains after 1948. Market St. came down during Wacker Drive construction. Water St. was used for MofW purposes until the mid 1960s. Wells St was used by the CA&E until 1953. After a brief idle period the station building was torn down and tracks extended out to the Loop L at new Tower 22, so the Met's legs on Van Buren and Market St. could be demolished - again for Wacker Drive. Garfield line trains used Tower 22 until the Congress Line opened in June of 1958. The remaining L structure to the west was torn down soon after, but the short stub off Tower 22 wasn't torn down until the mid 1960s. Congress St lasted until after the North Shore was abandoned as North Shore's baggage terminal, then torn down when Congress Street was widened.

There was a move to replace the Loop with a downtown subway system in the late 1960s, which failed to catch the voters' imagination. At this point the L has moved from a liability to an asset, and it's unlikely any new attempts will be made to demolish it.

Most of the lines had fairly tight spacing, but many stations were closed after WW II. Recent new stations replace (more or less) the locations of long-closed ones. Length of gap, expected ridership, neighborhood changes and political clout are all drivers in station decisions. Check out http://www.chicago-l.org for lots more info.
Allouette
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:07 am
Location: Plainfield NH


Return to Chicagoland Commuter & Transit

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests