THE GS TRAM SITE

CHICAGO

ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES

flag.us

1 Oct. 1947

The Chicago system on the day the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) took the surface, underground and elevated lines over from Chicago Surface Lines and the Chicago Rapid Transit Company.




UNITED STATES

BOSTON

CHICAGO

CINCINNATI

DENVER

LOS ANGELES

MINNEAPOLIS - ST. PAUL

NEW YORK

NORTHERN NEW JERSEY

PHILADELPHIA

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PORTLAND

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SEATTLE - TACOMA

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Chicago 
    streetcar Chicago loop junction Chicago elevated train

Chicago tram map – 1947

FIRST INSET: DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

Chicago downtown tram map – 1947

SECOND INSET: INTERURBAN NETWORK AROUND CHICAGO

Chicago interurban tram map – 1947




I created the above maps by overlaying OpenStreetMap (OSM) maps with my own data. Copyright on the OSM maps is © OpenStreetMap & Contributors, licensed under a CC-BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 licence).

Please note that the OSM map used as a template for these maps corresponds to the situation at the time the map was downloaded and may show features that did not exist at the time the GS Tram Site is supposed to show. In particular, it may show bridges and highways that were built later.

ABBREVIATIONS ON THE MAPS

BA Blackstone Av. ISM Illinois Steel Co. Mills
BM Belmont Station MF Marshfield Station
Bu Buffalo Av. SA Sangamon Av.
CA Commercial Av. VB Van Buren St.
DS Damen Station WA Waveland Av.
Ex Exchange Av. WR W Randolph St.

ROUTES


STREETCAR ROUTES

Operator: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

  3 Lincoln - Indiana Berwyn Av. & Lincoln - Lincoln Av. - State St. - [Lake St. - Wabash Av.] [back: State St.] - Indiana Av. - E 47th St. - Illinois Central RR.
  4 Cottage Grove W Randolph St. & N Wabash Av. - Wabash Av. - Indiana Av. - Cottage Grove Av. - 115th St.
  5 Cottage Grove - South Chicago W Randolph St. & N Wabash Av. - Wabash Av. - Indiana Av. - Cottage Grove Av. - S Chicago Av. - E 92nd St. (South Chicago Heights)
  6 Division - Van Buren Humboldt Park (N Mozart St.) - Division St. - State St. - Van Buren St. - S Kedzie Av.
  7 Harrison - Adams Columbus Park - Harrison St. - [Clinton St. - W Van Buren St.] [back: Harrison St.] - S Dearborn St.
  7A Harrison - Adams Columbus Park - Harrison St. - Racine Av. - W Adams St. - W Monroe St. [back: W Adams St.] - S Dearborn St.
  8 Halsted Grace St. & Broadway - Halsted St. - Vincennes Av. - S 111th St. - S Sacramento Av.
  9 Ashland Irving Park Blvd. & Clark St. - Ashland Av. - W 95th St.
11 Lincoln Peterson Av. & Lincoln - Lincoln Av. - Wells St. - La Salle St. [back: Wells St.] - W. Madison St.
11X* Lincoln - Rosehill Rosehill Cemetery - Damen Av. - Lincoln Av. - Wells St. - La Salle St. [back: Wells St.] - W. Madison St.
12 Roosevelt Austin Bvd. (City limits) - W Roosevelt Rd. - E Roosevelt Rd. - Grant Park
12X* Roosevelt Downtown Austin Bvd. (City limits) - W Roosevelt Rd. - S Canal St. - W Polk St. - S Wells St. - [S Wells St. - W. Adams St.] [back: W Van Buren St.] - S Dearborn St.
14 14th Street Kenton Av. (City limits) - 16th St. - Kedzie Av. - W Roosevelt Rd. - Damen Av. - 14th St. - S Canal St. - W Roosevelt Rd. - S Wabash Av.
16 Lake Austin Bvd. (City limits) - Lake St. - State St. - Downtown (Van Buren St.)1
17 Kedzie Bryn Mawr Av. - Kedzie Av. - Milwaukee Av. - N California Av. - W Chicago Av. - Kedzie Av. - Marquette Park (W 67th St.)
18 16th - 18th Blue Island Av. - S Leavitt St. - 18th St. - S State St.
20 Madison Austin Bvd. (City limits) - W Madison St. - W Madison St. [back: W Monroe St. - Clinton St.] - S. Dearborn St.
20X* Madison - 5th Avenue Pulaski Av. - 5th Av. - W Madison St. - W Madison St. [back: W Monroe St. - Clinton St.] - S. Dearborn St.
21 Cermak Kenton Av. (City limits) - Cermak Rd. - Burnham Park
22 Clark Howard St. (City limits) - Clark St. - S Wentworth Av. - Vincennes Av. - W 81st St. & S Halsted St.
23 Morgan - Racine W Pershing Rd. - S Morgan St. - S Racine Av. - Sangamon Av. - N Racine Av. - N Ashland Av.
24 Windsor Park E 63rd St & Dorchester Av. - Stony Island Av. - E 73rd St. - Coles Av. - Exchange Av. - Commercial Av. - E 92nd St.
26 26th S Halsted St. - 26th St. - Cottage Grove Av.
27 South Deering E 63rd St & Dorchester Av. - Stony Island Av. - E 73rd St. - Coles Av. - Buffalo Av. - Commercial Av. - Torrence Av. - E 112th St.
28 Stony Island W Randolph St. & N Wabash Av. - Wabash Av. - Indiana Av. - Cottage Grove Av. - E 47th St. - Stony Island Av. - E 93rd St.
31 31st Archer Av. - 31st St. - Illinois Central RR.
35 35th S Kedzie Av. - 36th St. - California Av. - 35th St. - Cottage Grove Av.
36 Broadway N Kedzie Av. - Devon Av. - Broadway - N Clark St. - N State St. - S State St. - Indiana Av. - S Michigan Av. - 119th St. - S Morgan St.
38 Indiana W Randolph St. & N Wabash Av. - Wabash Av. - Indiana Av. - E 51st St. - S Parkway
38X* Indiana - 43rd St. W Randolph St. & N Wabash Av. - Wabash Av. - Indiana Av. - 43rd St. - Illinois Central RR.
39 Pershing S Halsted St. - Root St. - S Wallace St. - Pershing Rd. - Cottage Grove Av.
40 Lincoln - Larrabee Western Av. - Roscoe St. - Damen Av. - Belmont Av. - Lincoln Av. - Larrabee St. - W Chicago Av.
42 Halsted Downtown Waveland Av. & Broadway - N Clark St. - Archer Av. - S Halsted St. - W 79th St.
43 43rd S Halsted St. - Root St. - 43rd St. - Illinois Central RR.
44 Wallace - Racine W 87th St. - S Racine Av. - W 47th St. - S Halsted St. - Pershing Rd. - S Wallace St. - Archer Av. - State St. - [Polk St. - Dearborn St.] [back: State St.] - Lake St.
45 Ashland - Downtown W 95th St. - Ashland Av. - Archer Av. - State St. - [Polk St. - Dearborn St.] [back: State St.] - Lake St.
47 47th S Kedzie Av. - 47th St. - Illinois Central RR.
48 South Damen W 47th St. - Damen Av. - W 63rd St.
49 Western Howard St. (City limits) - Western Av. - S 111th St.
50 Damen Fullerton Av. - Damen Av. - Blue Island Av.
51 51st Grand Trunk Railroad crossing - 51st St. - S Parkway
52 Kedzie - California Roscoe St. - N California Av. - W Chicago Av. - Kedzie Av. - Marquette Park (W 67th St.)
53 Pulaski W 31st St. & Kostner Av - Pulaski Rd. - Pulaski Av. - Bryn Mawr Av.
54 Cicero W 26th St. - Cicero Av. - Montrose Av.
55 Elston Lawrence Av. - Elston Av. - Milwaukee Av. - W Lake St. [back: W Randolph St.] - N Dearborn St.
56 Milwaukee Imlay Av. (City limits) - Milwaukee Av. - W Washington St. [back: W. Madison St. - N Clinton St.] - N Dearborn St.
56X* Milwaukee Armitage Grand Av. - Armitage Av. - Milwaukee Av. - W Washington St. [back: W. Madison St. - N Clinton St.] - N Dearborn St.
58 Ogden S Laramie Av. - W 25th St. - Ogden Av. - W Randolph St. [back: W Washington St.] - N Dearborn St.
59 59th - 61st Grand Trunk Railroad crossing (S Central Av.) - W 59th St. - S State St. - E 61st St. - Blackstone Av.
60 Blue Island - 26th Kenton Av. (City limits) - 26th St. - Blue Island Av. - Harrison St. - S Clinton St. - W Monroe St. [back: W Adams St.] - S Dearborn St.
62 Archer - South Cicero Cicero & W 63rd St. (Chicago Municipal Airport) - Cicero Av. - Archer Av. - State St. - [Polk St. - Dearborn St.] [back: State St.] - Lake St.
62X* Archer - 38th St. 38th St. - Archer Av. - State St. - [Polk St. - S Dearborn St.] [back: State St.] - Lake St.
63 63rd Oak Park Av. - W 63rd Pl. - 63rd St. - Stony Island Av.
63W Argo Oak Park Av. - W 63rd Pl. - Argo (Archer Av.)
65 Grand N Harlem Av. (City limits) - Grand Av. - Municipal Pier
66 Chicago Austin Bvd. (City limits) - W Chicago Av. - E Chicago Av. - Lake Shore Drive - Municipal Pier
67 67th - 69th Marquette Park - W 71st St. - S Western Av. - W 69th St. - E 67th St. - S Shore Dr.
70 Division - Downtown Humboldt Park (N Mozart St.) - Division St. - Milwaukee Av. - W Randolph St. [back: W Washington St.] - N Dearborn St.
72 North N Clark St. - North Av. - Narragansett Av. (City limits)
73 Armitage N Clark St. - Armitage Av. - Grand Av.
74 Fullerton Central Av. - Fullerton Av. - N Halsted St. & Lincoln Av.
77 Belmont Central Av. - Belmont Av. - Halsted St.
79 79th S Western Ave. - 79th St. - Lake Michigan (Rocky Ledge Beach)
80 Irving Park Neenah Av. - Irving Park Blvd. - Broadway
81 Lawrence Austin Av. - Lawrence Av - Broadway
87A 87th Vincennes Av. - 87th St. - Commercial Av.
95E 93rd - 95th S State St. - E 95th St. - Cottage Grove Av. - E 93rd St. - S Chicago Av. - E 92nd St. - Buffalo Av. - Illinois Steel Co. Mills

Note: * Route numbers with an X extension were not used for the official numbering of these routes. Streetcars on these routes had the normal number designation, the X is simply for the convenience of users of this site.

1 Putting the downtown terminus of line 16 (State) at the intersection of Van Buren St. and State St. is pure guess - but it must have been somewhere!


RAPID TRANSIT ROUTES (ELEVATED RAILROAD EXCEPT FOR THE SUBWAY)

Operator: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

Note: The one and two-character codes used to identify routes below and in the maps are for convenience only, and were not used by the operating company.

  1 State Street Subway Roosevelt Rd. - State St. - Division St. - Clybourn Av. - North Av.
DP Douglas Park Line Loop - (Garfield Park Line) - Marshfield - Douglas Park - Oak Park
ER Englewood - Ravenswood Englewood - Pershing Rd. Station - Roosevelt Rd. - State Street Subway - Belmont - Kimball Stn.
EW Evanston-Wilmette Branch Howard Street - Linden (Evanston)
GP Garfield Park Line Loop - Marshfield - Garfield Park - Columbus Park (Austin) - Bellwood - Westchester
HP Humboldt Park Line Loop - (Garfield Park Line) - Marshfield - Damen - Humboldt Park - Lawndale
JE Jackson Park - Evanston Jackson Park - Pershing Rd. Station - Roosevelt Rd. - State Street Subway - Belmont - Howard Street - Linden (Evanston) [Also: Jackson Park - Howard Street services]
KW Kenwood - Wilson Kenwood - Pershing Rd. Station - Loop - Belmont - Kimball Stn. - Wilson Av. Stn. [Also: Loop - Wilson Av. services in rush hour]
L Lake Street Line Loop - Lake Street - Forest Park
LM Lake Street Line to Market Street Market Street - Lake Street - Forest Park
LS Logan Square Line Loop - (Garfield Park Line) - Marshfield - Damen - Logan Square
NR Normal Park - Ravenswood Normal Park - Pershing Rd. Station - Loop - State Street Subway - Belmont - Kimball Stn.
NS North Side Main Line Loop - Belmont - Howard Street
R Ravenswood Branch Belmont - Kimball Stn.
S Skokie Branch Howard Street - Dempster (Skokie)
SI Stock Yards - Indiana Av. shuttle Stock Yards - Indiana Av.

INTERURBAN ROUTES

Operator: Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad (CA&E)

   AE&C Line Wells St. & Jackson Blvd Terminal - Garfield Park Elevated Line - Bellwood - Wheaton - (Elgin) / (Batavia Jnctn. - Batavia) / (Batavia Jnctn. - Aurora)

Operator: Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railway

   Skokie Valley - Mundelein Route Chicago - Dempster (Skokie) - Lake Bluff - Libertyville - Mundelein
   Shore Line Route Chicago - Linden (Evanston) - Lake Bluff - North Chicago - Waukegan
   Skokie Valley - Milwaukee Route Chicago - Dempster (Skokie) - Lake Bluff - North Chicago - Kenosha - Racine - Milwaukee

Operator: Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad

   South Shore Line Randolph Street Terminal - Roosevelt Rd. Station - 63rd St. Station - Kensington 115th St. - East Chicago - Gary - South Bend

ELECTRIC COMMUTER ROUTES (IC ELECTRIC)

Operator: Illinois Central Railroad

   Blue Island Branch Randolph Street Terminal - Roosevelt Rd. Station - 63rd St. Station - Kensington 115th St. - Blue Island
   Main Line Randolph Street Terminal - Roosevelt Rd. Station - 63rd St. Station - Kensington 115th St. - Riverdale - Harvey - Richton Park
   South Chicago Branch Randolph Street Terminal - Roosevelt Rd. Station - 63rd St. Station - South Chicago (E 93rd Street)


CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SYSTEM

NETWORK LENGTH

  • Streetcar lines: ? km.
  • Subway: 8 km.
  • Elevated lines: 131 km.
  • Interurban lines:
    • Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad (CA&E): ? km.
    • Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railway: 165 km.
    • Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad: 141 km.
  • Electric commuter line (Illinois Central): 46 km.


HISTORY

  • Horse-drawn streetcars: 25 Apr. 1859 - 1906.
  • Compressed-air streetcars: 1890 - 1986.
  • Battery streetcars: 1896 - 1 July 1901.
  • Cable cars: 28 Jan. 1882 - 23 July 1906.
  • Electric streetcars: 2 Oct. 1890 - 21 June 1958.
  • Interurbans:
    • Chicago, Aurora & Elgin line: 25 Aug. 1902 - 3 July 1957.
    • North Shore Line: 1895 - 21 Jan. 1963.
    • South Shore Line: 1903 - today.
  • Subway: 17 Oct. 1943 - today.
  • Elevated (or "L") lines: 6 June 1892 - today.
  • Commuter line (formerly, Illinois Central): 21 July 1856 - today (originally, steam; electrified since 1926).

GAUGE

  • All systems: 1435 mm.

TRAM PRESERVATION

The Illinois Rail Museum, in Rockford, IL, about 100 km. NW from Chicago, has about 10 preserved Chicago streetcars, and a large number of preserved interurban and rapid transit vehicles that used to run in the Chicago area. Many of them run regularly on the museum tracks.


SOURCES

PRINT

  • Lind, A.R. Chicago Surface Lines - An illustrated history (3rd. ed.). Park Forest (Ill.): Transport History Press, 1979.
  • Map of Chicago Rapid Transit Lines. Chicago: Chicago Rapid Transit Company, 1946.
  • Johnson, J.D. A century of Chicago streetcars. Wheaton (Ill.): The Traction Orange Co., 1964.
  • Simons, V. "Chicago: Modernisation and renewal" Tramways & Urban Transit, Jan. 2014 (77: 913), p.17-21.
  • Taplin, M.R. Tramways of North America, including rapid transit [Tramway Handbooks No.4] Hassocks (West Sussex, England): Light Rail Transit Association, 1981.

WIKIS

WEB SITES

Also, thanks to Emmert Clevenstine for relevant documents he has given me over the years, as well as to Peter Zondag from the Netherlands for kind suggestions sent over the Internet.



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Disclaimer: Everything on this site was written and/or prepared at the author's discretion. The author has tried to be accurate where facts are presented, but this does not mean that these facts are necessarily accurate. People needing more reliable information should refer to appropriate sources presented, on the Internet or elsewhere, by authoritative professional or academic bodies.

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