Garfield Park "L"


Questions and Answers (Q&A) Forgotten Chicago Forum
Explore Forgotten Chicago
Have a question about a specific element in Chicago's history? Ask Away! 
Pages: Previous123Next
Current Page: 2 of 3
Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 04, 2015 12:42PM

i'm certain the old humboldt branch line never ever had anything to do with the CA&E even as a paper proposal. once the CTA took over their actions over the next few years demonstrated one and only one thing--they couldn't get rid of the humboldt branch fast enough. not that their thinking wasn't as small-minded and officious as they come



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2015 01:24PM by the_mogra.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 04, 2015 02:42PM

the_mogra Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i'm certain the old humboldt branch line never
> ever had anything to do with the CA&E even as a
> paper proposal. once the CTA took over their
> actions over the next few years demonstrated one
> and only one thing--they couldn't get rid of the
> humboldt branch fast enough. not that their
> thinking wasn't as small-minded and officious as
> they come

The CTA had a charter that required them to, in part, pay their way from the farebox, and that includes maintaining non-revenue structures, like the Humboldt Park branch would have been under this scheme, or the Met mainline to the Wells Street Terminal. It's a sad fact that hindsight is 20-20, and much of the CRT infrastructure that was lost would have been put to good use later on, but for that small fact of funding.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Vern H ()
Date: May 04, 2015 03:53PM

Jeff_Weiner

"Well, that would have required keeping the NW Met Branch elevated structure and tracks in service, as well as Evergreen Jubction, and probably pointed to using an EB ramp at Loomis Junction to get the CA&E downtown. That might have been better, since a third track could have been reinstalled on the Lake Street L as an express track for the CA&E."

I don't see why the CA&E trains couldn't have run through the Dearborn subway.

From Chicago-l.org

"The section of the Humboldt Park branch west of Oakley was scrapped very quickly, but a three block stub between the Logan Square branch and Oakley Avenue remained for several years, along with the shuttle platform, although the connecting catwalk was removed. The stub was designated for "emergency car storage," though it was very rarely if ever used."

Makes me wonder if they were thinking about this then.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2015 03:55PM by Vern H.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 04, 2015 05:01PM

Vern H Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't see why the CA&E trains couldn't have run
> through the Dearborn subway.
>
> From Chicago-l.org
>
> "The section of the Humboldt Park branch west of
> Oakley was scrapped very quickly, but a three
> block stub between the Logan Square branch and
> Oakley Avenue remained for several years, along
> with the shuttle platform, although the connecting
> catwalk was removed. The stub was designated for
> "emergency car storage," though it was very rarely
> if ever used."
>
> Makes me wonder if they were thinking about this
> then.

The CA&E were still running wood cars at the time of abandonment, so that would be one restriction. Another might have been the carbody length: I'm not entirely sure that the CA&E/CNS&M cars could make the curves in the subway. I've never seen anything that would say one way or the other.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 04, 2015 05:45PM

of course CA&E's woodbody cars would never run in chicago's subways; everybody (well almost) knows when the state st subway opened in '43 how much public announcement the city gave about it being 'fire-proof'. to me that's what makes the 2006 blueline accident all the more embarrasing--a fire in a subway tunnel resulting from a derailment with serious smoke inhalation injuries. how did that happen--it's supposed to be fireproof?! well nevertheless the stong electrical spark caused something to flare up

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

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 04, 2015 06:07PM

the_mogra Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> 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.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Mr Downtown ()
Date: May 05, 2015 11:48AM

A Feb. 12, 1952, [i]Tribune[/i] story puts it pretty explicitly: "Beginning in 1947 a group of Kansas farmers and financiers began buying [CA&E] stock until they obtained about 80 per cent of it. They now have paper profits ranging upward of 100 per cent or higher. If the road were junked, the salvage value of its real estate and equipment would give the Kansans an even greater profit."

It's one thing to fondly remember the old days, or even to have regrets in hindsight. But we shouldn't distort history to charge people with villainy merely because they couldn't predict the future.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 05, 2015 11:50AM

there's a major omission reviewing all old points - the congress line was built with provisions (albeit incomplete) for a single line CA&E track. These infrastructure provisions just don't happen casually or 'just in case' or 'on the off chance' - the CA&E intended to get to its Wells St terminal and the stockholders knew it. Yet it all fell apart suddenly and there're clues that support my view CTA played more than a circumstantial role in their downfall. CA&E was tricked.

I don't know how the running on Lake St, even with express track, ever came up because it's ridiculous.

[i]That's the way it was, and it's all history now.[/i] - everything on this FC site falls into that mindset, so?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/2015 01:33PM by the_mogra.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 05, 2015 04:09PM

the_mogra Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> I don't know how the running on Lake St, even with
> express track, ever came up because it's
> ridiculous.
>
> That's the way it was, and it's all history now.
> everything on this FC site falls into that
> mindset, so?

I suggested the express track, which is no more ridiculous than any other speculation. As for the mindset. this [b][u]is[/u][/b] a historical site.

What good is it to get so riled up now about what happened 56 years ago? undoing it now would cost billions.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 05, 2015 05:30PM

even the CTA didn't use that center Lake St 'express track' as such past the '40s, which we know didn't cross the chicago river

I think it is good for this FC site to give the CA&E a new even bold defensive voice. It goes with the territory no matter how long ago

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Mr Downtown ()
Date: May 06, 2015 12:32PM

the_mogra Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> - the congress line was built with provisions
> (albeit incomplete) for a single line CA&E track.

It was? From where to where? What's the source of this information?

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 06, 2015 02:39PM

"[i]It was? From where to where? What's the source of this information?[/i]"

take a long look at it (the blueline right-of-way) sometime, you'll see what many have remarked about.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 06, 2015 04:13PM

Mr Downtown Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> the_mogra Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > - the congress line was built with provisions
> > (albeit incomplete) for a single line CA&E
> track.
>
> It was? From where to where? What's the source
> of this information?

To be fair to the_mogra, the designs were worked out back in the 1930's, when the CA&E was in a little better shape than it was in the 1950's. It is entirely possible that the Dept. of Subways and Superhighways expected the interurban to continue in operation. There is a provision for a third track from the terminal to just east of Central, and for two more tracks from there east to the subway portals. I've personally observed this, riding the Forest Park leg of the Blue Line. Those extra track spaces may go away in the future, if IDOT decides to use them for widening the lanes on the Eisenhower. If the CA&E had continued in operation, they would probably have tracks there. Sadly, that didn't happen,

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 06, 2015 06:12PM

from about Central westward that old CA&E (extra) right-of-way is definitely material for Eisenhower widening because that's where 4 traffic lanes drops to three, and it's common knowledge nowadays IDOT will begin widening construction as early as 2016 in the Oak Park portion. West of Harlem comes a bit later I think but it'll eventually be 4 thru lanes to Mannheim (each way). Oak Parkers were up until a while ago worried the expressway 'trench' (footprint) was going to increase but this's not the case. But exactly how the interchanges @ both Austin & Harlem aves are planned to be re-done eliminating left-handed ramps remains a current controversy. IDOT wants to build long sweeping fly-over ramps and many object.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2015 06:14PM by the_mogra.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Dunning1 ()
Date: May 06, 2015 07:04PM

This topic has kind of interested me so I went into the Tribune archives and noticed an article from the October 30, 1958 issue talking about how the chairman of the reorganized railroad, Lambert O'Malley, was trying to work out an arrangement where the CA & E and the CTA could exchange passengers at Des Plaines Ave. The article stated that the stumbling block was the inability of the county highway department to get a satisfactory bid of one half mile of trackage between Des Plaines Avenue and the west bank of the Des Plaines River. Appears that the highway department was involved due to the relocation caused by the expressway construction.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 07, 2015 11:52AM

elsewhere on the FC site I know I've seen a picture of the CA&E trestle structure over the DesPlaines river being shifted because of congress expressway construction, and this work was supposedly being undertaken even after the CA&E closed

it seems to me the CA&E wanted their paid passengers to remain their paid passengers even after a transfer to CTA @ DesPlaines ave (for such time as CA&E trains were temporarily unable to reach downtown)

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Vern H ()
Date: May 07, 2015 01:17PM

I did some more digging and found this.[url=http://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/01/26/ctas-westchester-branch-what-might-have-been/]link[/url] Its mainly about the old Westchester branch but read all of it. There IS a reference to the CA&E using the dearborn subway and storing cars on the stub of the Humboldt park line. The issue with the old wooden cars is addressed as well.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 07, 2015 01:51PM

the CA&E was a fine interurban that served its passengers very well up through the '40s. with the CTA taking over, some major events would seem to've conspired against them as we get into the '50s--some reward the CA&E got in the end

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Mr Downtown ()
Date: May 09, 2015 08:32PM

I'm not disputing that more median space was left than would be needed for a two-track rapid transit line: the plans specify 97 feet wide from Central to Kedzie, 120 feet from California to Paulina, 150 feet from Paulina to Racine. But what I've never found (in lots and lots of research) is any indication that the highway planners specifically were providing for the CA&E. Instead, the city simply seems to assume that the future rapid transit company or agency will be making the decisions about how many tracks and what tenants will be accommodated.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 10, 2015 12:41AM

Mr Downtown Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm not disputing that more median space was left
> than would be needed for a two-track rapid transit
> line: the plans specify 97 feet wide from Central
> to Kedzie, 120 feet from California to Paulina,
> 150 feet from Paulina to Racine. But what I've
> never found (in lots and lots of research) is any
> indication that the highway planners specifically
> were providing for the CA&E. Instead, the city
> simply seems to assume that the future rapid
> transit company or agency will be making the
> decisions about how many tracks and what tenants
> will be accommodated.

Whether it was for the interurban, or the use exclusively of the rapid transit lines. you have to give Subways and Superhighways credit for building in expansion space. With the exception of the never-used part on the Dan Ryan to ramp up to the Green line, neither that line, nor the Blue Line on the Kennedy have such options.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2015 05:30PM by Jeff_Weiner.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: MisterDrexciya ()
Date: May 10, 2015 03:24PM

For what it is worth: CTA has posted real-time videos from end-to-end station incl. the blue line part that has been discussed here. Now you can have a look in your lazy chair...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6xJFpPY_7s

Here's the FF version of the same stretch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5f1HnYIoG8

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 10, 2015 04:42PM

the extra-track (right-of-way) provisions(s) when the Congress was under construction turned out to be a considerable embarrassment when the CA&E suddenly folded. you can understand specific 'what it was for' mention tends to wipe the old interurban from memory. the CTA looks bad enough without drawing named attention to it

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Date: May 10, 2015 05:17PM

[b]From what I see the "L" is still there. I just saw it when we went to the Conservitory. It's and old fashion type of depot.[/b]

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 10, 2015 10:55PM

Richard Stachowski Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> From what I see the "L" is still there. I just saw
> it when we went to the Conservitory. It's and old
> fashion type of depot.

Are you talking about the Lake Street L? They moved and rebuilt that station house from the Homan station on that line.

We've been talking about the Garfield Park L, the Forest Park leg of the Blue Line, and the Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin Railway in this thread.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Mr Downtown ()
Date: May 11, 2015 11:52AM

the_mogra Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> the extra-track (right-of-way) provisions(s) when
> the Congress was under construction turned out to
> be a considerable embarrassment ... the CTA looks bad enough
> without drawing named attention to it

You're draping your own interpretation of history—-with the benefit of hindsight-—onto historical decisions that weren't based on those factors at all.

The 1930s decision to have the wide superhighway median was not dependent on knowing what (if any) rail transit users might later be accommodated there. Of course, CTA wasn't involved at all. It didn't exist for the first 15 years of the project, and decisions about the rapid transit facilities to be made part of the superhighway were the city's, not CRT or CTA's.

For the Dan Ryan, the full block width was needed for the traffic lanes and ramps. By the time of the Kennedy, the Interstate Program was providing funding and the FHWA made the city pay the extra costs of the right-of-way and longer bridges to accommodate the median transit line.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 11, 2015 01:49PM

it's merely putting 2 and 2 together. of course the CTA didn't exist though the CA&E certainly did, and once the CTA got its mits on the transit lines it was curtains for the CA&E. like clockwork

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: May 11, 2015 02:55PM

the_mogra Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> it's merely putting 2 and 2 together. of course
> the CTA didn't exist though the CA&E certainly
> did, and once the CTA got its mits on the transit
> lines it was curtains for the CA&E. like
> clockwork

Time and the CA&E's shareholders pulled the curtains on the railroad. Old equipment, deferred maintenance, and a desire by those Kansas farmers to get a big payout doomed the CA&E. The temporary trestle that the CTA proposed might have allowed the CA&E to continue operating downtown, but even then the railroad may have just delayed the inevitable. Mr Downtown is right: we have the benefit of hindsight. They didn't have that back then.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 12, 2015 03:06PM

the irrelevant hindsight we may have the 'benefit' of now is rooted in old CTA bottom-line machinations. mix in valuable comtemporary foresight with the hindsight and we can see with the CA&E, douglas park branch, Humboldt branch et. al. how the CTA cuts of their nose to spite their face. the paulina street connector would've also been torn down decades ago if it weren't for the occasional practical need to re-balance train numbers on otherwise un-connected lines, and so we wouldn't have the pink line as we do. the rest of the paulina st connector north of lake street could conceivably have had value towards the envisioned circle line that's talked about.

those who don't understand also don't appreciate what a fine interurban the CA&E was.

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: 222psm ()
Date: May 16, 2015 03:01PM

If I'm reading this correctly the DuPage and Kane county officials did not support attempts to convince the state legislature to subsidize it. supposedly these efforts were intertwined with trying to save the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban. , from the Trolley Dodger;

"The CTA rapid transit system had contracted about 25% by the mid-1950s, and wanted to extend service through the medians of the planned Northwest (Kennedy) and South (Dan Ryan) expressways. Shortly after Mayor Richard J. Daley took office in 1955, he asked Gunlock to prepare a “wish list” of potential new projects, so they could be prioritized, in the hope that new ways could be found to pay for them.

Chicago’s four major daily newspapers were in favor of subsidies, and so were most civic leaders. But the CTA was not universally liked by the public, especially by those who used it, which tended to undermine prospects for government aid, since opinions were divided.

It was into this mix that CA&E threw in the towel and offered to put the entire railroad up for sale.

Daley and Gunlock hoped to use this to their advantage. If the CTA could take over CA&E service, it was thought, this could win over crucial suburban support, resulting in government funding that could help transit in both the city and suburbs.

As we now know, things did not work out this way.

Mayor Daley had a good working relationship with Republican Governor William Stratton. They tried to help each other out politically by supporting each others projects in their respective “spheres of influence.”

However, while Stratton supported state funding to purchase the CA&E (reported price: $6m), and was willing to exempt the CTA from paying certain taxes and fees, he backed off on additional tax revenues for CTA once it became clear that DuPage and Kane County officials did not support it.

So while Daley, Gunlock, Stratton and even County Board President Dan Ryan Jr. were all on friendly terms in their discussions on this issue, and generally agreed on what to do, in the political climate of 1957, nothing could be done."

http://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/02/18/the-cta-the-cae-and-political-influence/

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Re: Garfield Park "L"
Posted by: the_mogra ()
Date: May 16, 2015 10:38PM

governor Stratton's name had to be mentioned....the first to be charged in a line of corrupt Illinois governors

Options: ReplyQuote

AD:

Pages: Previous123Next
Current Page: 2 of 3


Home | Columns | Articles | Features | Links | Forum | Mission Statement | Staff | Media & Press | Maps | FAQ | Contact