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

  by doepack
 
Nice find. I especially liked the photo of the Lake Geneva service, just months before it was discontinued. And some solid, insightful commentary as well. Have a look...
  by Tadman
 
I love pre-Metra coverage. Chicago had, by far, the most interesting pre-public commuter scene. You had the electrics down south, you had the utterly hopeless Rock Island, the efficient but quiet operations by PRR and WAB/NW, the "hit by anti-aircraft fire" GM&O Plug, the fast and busy CB&Q, the ultra-modern and clean C&NW which was kept in great shape up until the handover, and the MILW, which managed to hold it together despite failing finances and run a class act. How MILW held things together while the Rock ran a barnum/bailey operation is beyond me. Both were in deep trouble financially.
  by ExCon90
 
Don't forget the Stillwells on the C&WI, which shared a downtown terminal with the Super Chief.
  by Tadman
 
Good point, the grodiest train of the city sitting right next to the top of the heap. You think Cary Grant ever got on the CWI by mistake? Probably not...
  by doepack
 
Tadman wrote:..the "hit by anti-aircraft fire" GM&O Plug,
Heh, that's a good one. Guess you could also use that to describe the condition of the Rock's physical plant in its final years...
  by Tadman
 
I would characterize the Rock's physical plant of the 70's as more like "post nuclear apocalypse" than "hit by anti-aircraft fire".

That said, would it just be better to characterize post-nuclear-apocalypse infrastructure as "resembling 1970's Northeast railroading"?

You've got a chicken/egg issue there...
  by ExCon90
 
Tadman wrote:Good point, the grodiest train of the city sitting right next to the top of the heap. You think Cary Grant ever got on the CWI by mistake? Probably not...
No, but I often think they all must have experienced culture shock getting off in Dearborn Station after boarding in LAUPT or Pasadena two days earlier.
  by Tadman
 
No doubt, the headhouse was nice but the train shed was rather uncharacteristic. If you examine Dearborn Station's tenants and owners, they ranged from prosperous to average - ATSF, NKP, Erie, Wabash, GTW, and Monon. Erie and Monon weren't exactly awash in cash, but enough maybe to tear down the tetanus-at-a-glance train shed...
  by CHTT1
 
Nickel Plate used LaSalle St. Station. You missed C&EI and, of course, the C&WI commuter trains to Dolton.

I always thought Dearborn Station was super-cool, especially the second floor waiting room with the window overlooking the train shed.