> up till around '64, maybe earlier, i recall seeing
> the few blocks of the humbolt branch that still
> stood east of oakley, not even used by the CTA
> the CA&E wanted its trains to get to the downtown
> terminal as directly as before, its customers
> wouldn't've accepted anything less. using the
> paulina st connector and humbolt branch tracks is
> worse than far-fetched
> if the [email protected]
had a ramp from the congress median up
> to the old garfield tracks, across the scherzer
> bridge and ending at the wells st terminal it
> seems to me it would be their's alone, not a CTA
> responsibility anymore
> I make these assertions because I believe CA&E's
> actions demonstrate they wanted to stay in
> business, but CTA did not want them east of
> desplaines anymore. old cooperative relations and
> track use arrangments were now ancient history
The CA&E may have wanted to stay in business, but their stockholders wanted a big one-time payout with abandonment, just like the Susquehanna Copr. did with the CNS&M. And I still doubt that the CA&E could have afforded to maintain the Met structure if it were left in place, especially with the Circle Interchange and Wacker Drive construction.
You are right about the CA&E's riders wanting their one-seat ride to the Loop, and that's what made abandonment easy. I still don't see how running the CA&E on Lake Street would have made any difference, as they would have had their one-seat ride, and there is room for an express track on that stretch, so CA&E trains could have been routed around L trains, and the CTA probably would have been able to rent the CA&E the NW Main tracks for car storage between rush hours. No subway running, just onto the Loop tracks to Tower 22, and into the terminal, then back out around the Loop and out again.
It's easy to say the Garfield Park line was a "sacrificial lamb", but it wasn't. The Congress Line was supposed to replace it. The CTA didn't "stab the CA&E in the back", they just didn't have the wherewithal to help keep them running. That's the way it was, and it's all history now.