Tuesday, July 6, 2010

7 Minutes to Loop, No. 2 of a Series

Evidently, the streetcar loop at IRM got a lot closer to downtown than it has been for the past 40+ years! Photograph taken on Sunday, July 4, 2010 while awaiting our turn in the Trolley Pageant. I find the image ironic, because the Congress Expressway and the "West Side Subway" helped kill the CA&E. Still, a great historic billboard assembled by Dave Diamond and the IRM grounds crew.


Lee Wells said...

Great picture. It does remind me of the trains on the loop at Des Plains.

You know so much about these cars, their history, and use....so I was wondering about the rail/bar/handhold that is directly over the motorman's window in front of these cars. What was the purpose? The side handrails use seems obvious, but I can't figure out what these horizontal bars would be used for. They appear to be on both the steel and wood cars.

Thanks in advance for any info!

Your site is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a handhold for use when connecting the inter-car jumper cables?

Randall Hicks said...

Yes, that seems to be its main purpose in life. It's also useful when adjusting the whistle or cleaning the window.

Anonymous said...

The highway project did not kill the CA&E, it was the CA&E's decision to not participate in ground level running during the interim. CA&E service would have been better than ever w/ high speed express tracks, if the line had lasted the construction. I believe managers/owners wanted out of the transit biz and forced it in every way possible.

David Wilkins said...

I said the highway project "helped" kill the CA&E, I never said it was the sole cause. It seems that there were many factors that led to that infamous July 3, 1957. Not having a contract with the CTA for operation over the L structure, lack of a downtown terminal even after the highway was completed, the fact you couldn't run wood cars in the subway, the endemic lack of capital for the railroad, and many other factors helped spell the end.