Re: Garfield Park "L"
Date: April 24, 2015 10:05PM
I mentioned the charter modification as it was mentioned to me by the classmate who gave me some of those charts (which I wish I could lay my hands on) about the CNS&M study by the CTA. It would have been necessary to allow the CTA to operate in Lake County, and I assume the same would be necessary to operate to the west outside of Cook County.
I'm not clear where exactly the ramp up to the existing L tracks was for connecting the temporary at-grade operation to the old Garfield main line, but from some of the pictures I've seen on the web, the existing structure was located along the north side of the expressway's cut, so there might have been no way to use that ramp without building a lot of new structure if that was the case, and then there was that aging Scherzer bridge that would have had to be maintained.
I do recall someone mentioning the CA&E using the Paulina Connector to get downtown via the Lake Street L, and I could see that working for them if the line could accomodate an eastbound ramp up from the expressway to the Douglas tracks, and they could have even used their old terminal platform after the tracks were connected to the Loop, so the Van Buren-Wells tower could be removed at the SW corner. Ramp up, head over to Lake, head east to the Loop, turn south on Wells, pull in to the terminal, then depart by turning south on Wells, east on Van Buren, north on Wabash, and out on Lake back to Paulina. The tracks and structure west of the terminal could be removed completely, and there would be less tying up of Loop tracks with interurban trains.
Of course, this is all speculation. We may never know what the original plans were for the CA&E, and what those two extra portals were meant for, unless CDOT still has some of the drawings from the Dept, of Subways & Superhighways for them in their files. Makes me wish I had tried to find out before I retired from CDOT!