Interesting fact: the Madison line was originally a cable car route, and when the operator switched to electric power, the cable troughs were left in place and paved over. Later on, when the traffic signals were modernized at Ogden and Madison, the troughs were unearthed, and the conduits had to be routed under them, raising the cost of the work.
Sadly, I was 4 when the last streetcars ran. I've had to satisfy my interest with books, and websites like this one, and The Trolley Dodger (http://thetrolleydodger.com/).
I did pick up one bit of lore, working for the City as a traffic engineer. Most of the streetcar tracks are still in place, underneath the pavement, as they act as a current return for the L system. I think that's because the CTA inherited all the Chicago Surface Lines substations, and some are still in use to power the L. The current returns have to be isolated, so the traction power doesn't go through the gas and water mains, and cause them to corrode and leak. It the tracks have to be removed, the City has to determine whether they can be replaced with cables, or are not electrically active.
When the red street cars were replaced with the green hornets my Dads friend (Tom) was a driver and he gave me his metal trolly tag with his Number that was placed on the outside of the trolly. I still have it and a few of the transfers that were used back then. Good old days.
That Green Hornet streetcar disaster happened on May 25, 1950, on the State Street line, at 63rd and State. Just north of the viaduct, as the viaduct was flooded. I just read a good book on it, and you can get it from Amazon. Here is a link for it.
You know, as the machine imposes more and more taxes and rules on us, I am seriously considering leaving both Chicago and Illinois when I retire in a few years. It's getting increasingly unlivable here. The machine is stifiling every attempt that Rauner is trying to make at reform, and I have come to the conclusion that if he doesn't succeed, that's it, I'm moving.
One of the cities I am strongly considering moving to is New Orleans, and one of the biggest reasons is the fact they have streetcars. The St. Charles Avenue line, the oldest streetcar line continuously running in the world, goes through the Garden District, which is quite nice, and importantly, high ground that does not flood. So, keep it up Madigan and Cullerton, and you're gonna lose my money and investments in this state. It's not like you ever had my vote!