THE GS TRAM SITE

CHICAGO

ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES

flag.us

4 July 1957

The Chicago streetcar system on its last legs: only the Clark-Wentworth line is left. The map shows the situation on the day after the complete discontinuation of service on the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad (CA&E).




UNITED STATES

BOSTON

CHICAGO

CINCINNATI

DENVER

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MINNEAPOLIS - ST. PAUL

NEW YORK

NORTHERN NEW JERSEY

PHILADELPHIA

PHOENIX

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Chicago 
    streetcar Chicago loop junction Chicago elevated train

Chicago tram map – 1957

FIRST INSET: DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

Chicago downtown tram map – 1957

SECOND INSET: INTERURBAN NETWORK AROUND CHICAGO

Chicago interurban tram map – 1957




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 maps 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

BM Belmont Station MF Marshfield Station

ROUTES


STREETCAR ROUTE

Operator: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

22 Clark Howard St. (City limits) - Clark St. - S Wentworth Av. - Vincennes Av. - W 81st St. & S Halsted St.

Service discontinuation dates after 31 May 1954 (corresponding route numbers in brackets):

  • 1955 June 19: Wabash Av. - Indiana Av. - Cottage Grove Av. (4)
  • 1955 Dec. 5: State St. (36)
  • 1956 June 17: Western Av. (49)
  • 1957 Feb. 18: Broadway; Indiana Av. - S Michigan Av. (36)
  • 1957 Sept. 7: Clark St. (22)
  • 1958 June 21: Wentworth Av. (22A) [Chicago's last streetcar line]

RAPID TRANSIT ROUTES (ELEVATED RAILROADS AND SUBWAYS)

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.
  2 Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway La Salle Stn - Dearborn St. - Lake St. - Milwaukee Av. - Damen Stn. - Logan Square
DP Douglas Park Line Loop - (Lake Street Line) - Marshfield - Douglas Park - 54th Av.
EH Englewood - Howard Englewood - Pershing Rd. Station - Roosevelt Rd. - State Street Subway - Belmont - Howard St.
EL Evanston - Loop Linden (Evanston) - Howard St. - Belmont - Pershing Rd. Station - Loop [Rush-hour express service]
EW Evanston-Wilmette Branch Howard Street - Linden (Evanston) [Shuttle]
GP Garfield Park Line Loop - Marshfield - Garfield Park - Columbus Park (Austin) - Forest Park (Des Plaines Av.)
JH Jackson Park - Howard Jackson Park - Pershing Rd. Station - Roosevelt Rd. - State Street Subway - Belmont - Howard Street
KI Kenwood - Indiana Av. Kenwood - Indiana Av. [Shuttle]
L Lake Street Line Loop - Lake Street - Forest Park
RL Ravenswood - Loop Kimball Stn. - Belmont - Loop
SI Stock Yards - Indiana Av. Stock Yards - Indiana Av. [Shuttle]

INTERURBAN ROUTES

Operator: Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railway

   Skokie Valley - Mundelein Route Chicago - Dempster (Skokie) - Lake Bluff - Libertyville - Mundelein
   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

Service discontinuation dates on interurbans after 31 May 1954:

  • 1955 July 24: The Shore Line on the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad
  • 1957 July 3: : All service on Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad (CA&E).

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: ? km.
  • Elevated lines: ? km.
  • Interurban lines:
    • Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railway: 140 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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