History of Chicago Commuter rail.

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

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History of Chicago Commuter rail.

Postby braves » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:05 pm

Today, METRA has 11 Commuter rail lines, I would like to know on how many Commuter rail lines were operating in Chicago a long time ago until today when it has 11 lines, where did these lines go to, how many lines were there, where did they terminate in Downtown Chicago & what year were these lines eliminated.
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Re: History of Chicago Commuter rail.

Postby CHTT1 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:24 pm

Just off the top of my head, missing lines include:

1. Chicago and Western Indiana, Dearborn station to Dolton.

2. Chicago and North Western, McHenry to Lake Geneva, Wis.

3. Milwaukee Road, Fox Lake to a station in Wisconsin, which I forget.

4. Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee, electric interurban from downtown Loop to Milwaukee.

5. Chicago, Aurora and Elgin, electric interurban from downtown Loop to Aurora.

6. New York Central, LaSalle Street station to Elkhart, IN

7. Pennsylvania, Union Station to Valparaiso, IN.
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Re: History of Chicago Commuter rail.

Postby CarterB » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:47 pm

[quote="CHTT1"]Just off the top of my head, missing lines include:



3. Milwaukee Road, Fox Lake to a station in Wisconsin, which I forget.


Fontana, Wisc on Lake Geneva
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!
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Re: History of Chicago Commuter rail.

Postby Allouette » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:57 am

Going back a bit further:

Chicago and Northern Pacific/Wisconsin Central (later B&OCT/Soo, now CSX/CN) to Thatcher Woods (River Forest) 1889-1903. Included running Suburban RR streetcars over WC from Washington Blvd. to Thatcher Woods 1898-1903.

The WC/C&NP operation also ran under the Chicago and Great Western name (not to be confused with the Chicago Great Western, which shared most of the track...) before becoming part of the Chicago Terminal Transfer, later B&OCT. WC's suburban tank engines lasted long enough to get B&OCT numbers, but the service on the Altenheim sub was gone by then.

Chicago Harlem and Batavia steam dummy operation from Pulaski and Harrison to Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park via Randolph St (now West End Ave). Later C&NP, then leased to Suburban RR (electric), subleased to Lake St. Elevated Railway, removed before Suburban merged into Chicago and West Towns.

Chicago and Evanston (Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul) Wilmette via Goose Island. Now CTA Red and Purple lines north of Wilson Avenue.

Illinois Central Iowa Div. to 1926 or so.

There is still some on-the-ground evidence of the CH&B in Forest Park and C&E lines in Chicago south of Montrose.

Chicago and Interurban Traction from CSL/CRT connection at Halsted and 63d to Chicago Heights and Kankakee. The alley where C&IT cars loaded is next to the Green Line Halsted Station.

Chicago and Joliet Electric from CSL connection at Archer and Cicero to Joliet. CTA still used the site of the off-street loop where Archer Avenue cars met C&JE interurbans.

Chicago and West Towns from CSL connection at 22nd (Cermak) and Cicero to Riverside and LaGrange.

PRR's PCC&St.L (Panhandle) had west side local service looping around from the North Side of Union Station running south near Western Avenue until about 1925.

Chicago and Eastern Illinois had a half dozen suburban tanks, which presumably provided service south to Dolton and Chicago Heights.
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Re: History of Chicago Commuter rail.

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:04 pm

Can’t tell, but did the CGW run a local Chicago-St. Charles? Whether they did or not, it was gone by the 1955 timetable.
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Re: History of Chicago Commuter rail.

Postby Allouette » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:56 pm

You could just about use trains 1 and 2 "the Minnesotan" to commute from St. Charles or Forest Park, with a 7:30AM arrival and 6:45 PM departure. All other stops were conditionals requiring longer trips. The secondary train didn't run on a commuter schedule. If there was a CGW "commuter train" (as opposed to C&GW it was probably given up some time after the CA&E line to Geneva opened. It was certainly gone by 1948, which is when the above info was published.
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Re: History of Chicago Commuter rail.

Postby eolesen » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:10 pm

A lot of good history is here: https://www.chicagorailfan.com/mainmet.html

CarterB wrote:
CHTT1 wrote:Just off the top of my head, missing lines include:
3. Milwaukee Road, Fox Lake to a station in Wisconsin, which I forget.
Fontana, Wisc on Lake Geneva


Commuter service had four stops after Fox Lake -- Spring Grove and Solon Mills in IL, and Zenda and Walworth in Wisconsin.

Fontana didn't have a station -- it was served by Walworth.

There was also limited express service beyond to Madison, with stops in Fox Lake, Walworth on both The Sioux (daily, trains 11 & 12) and The Varsity (weekends only, trains 117 & 118).
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