Video blast from the pre-CTA past

Let’s take a Sunday trip to the past by viewing a CTA Connections video of some rail and streetcar history. Included here are snippets of the Lake Street elevated railroad in 1893; eager passengers in 1923 queuing up to enjoy the first elevated train service north of Wilson at Lawrence; and footage from 1942 of construction of the State Street subway.

A bonus is seeing the name of an ex-president getting second billing on the Chicago Theater marquee.


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  • There are two mistakes.
    One yours: That was the first elevated trains north of Wilson, trains ran at grade until then.
    One in the video: Laramie was 52nd Avenue, not street. For the numbered streets, avenues & courts run north & south, streets & places run east & west.

  • Thanks Scooter. I made my correction.

  • I was going to comment on the 52nd Ave.

    As far as the first elevated train north of Wilson, I was going to comment that someone made a mistake in the budget that the viaducts in Evanston were more than 100 yeas old, but I checked a 1917 track map in CERA 115, and it said that there was elevation on fill from Chicago to Davis. So, they probably are, but they have needed replacement for at least 15 years in any event, so it doesn't make any real difference.

  • Great stuff!! Those old trolley buses used to be a hoot. Especially when the driver had to get out and reattach the poles to the overhead wires. Thanks for the memories.

  • Nice walk through the past! I've always enjoyed the Connections videos - especially the history montages like these. A timely video right now is the one about the excellent bus operator.

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