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CTA Historical Internal documents Website


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All, 

While I was browsing the web yesterday, I came across this site, http://irm-cta.org. It contains a wealth of information such as old bus/rail schedules, bus/rail equipment assignments and a whole lot of other information that would be useful. Even better, pretty much all of the documents are in .pdf form also. Check it out.

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All, 

While I was browsing the web yesterday, I came across this site, http://irm-cta.org. It contains a wealth of information such as old bus/rail schedules, bus/rail equipment assignments and a whole lot of other information that would be useful. Even better, pretty much all of the documents are in .pdf form also. Check it out.

I wondered where Juniorz got the 48 one.

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I'm glad you guys like the site.  I started it a year and a half or two years ago, inspired by Graham's outstanding Chicago-L.org site for Rapid Transit.  What I couldn't find is much on the web for the Surface System.  Working with what I had amassed over the years, Bob Heinlein, Bill Wulfert, IRM's Strahorn Library, what was in the Motor Bus & Trolley Bus Department collections, and things that so many people had donated to IRM over the past several years, I started to put together irm-cta.org.  There was so much interesting stuff, it was not doing anyone any good just sitting in boxes.  So hey, why not scan it, put it on the web, let everyone enjoy the items, and get the museum more exposure.  Due to my real job, it has been a few months since I last added to the site, but I hope to get back into it very shortly.  We are working feverishly, scanning as many items as we can - thanks for your patience - new updates are coming very soon!  And thanks to Andrethebusman for his help in the transfer section!!!

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The interesting thing I found there was the 1912 Route Index Book, which contains the Ordinance of 1912 describing the Through Routes. I thought I had caught Lind, but that Ordinance indicated that several preexisting Thru Routes had been combined. For instance, it lists Thru Route 8 as the same as current 8 Halsted (79th to Waveland). Lind had from 63rd and Stony Island to Waveland, but I reread that, and it said before 1912.  Some of the predecessor books on the irm-cta route descriptions site reflect Chicago Consolidated Traction, but not the south side companies (others do).

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How cool. It's good to look back at how CTA service has changed over the years, not just since it's distant past but also it's more recent past from the 1990s onward. I'd forgotten for example that 135 had NB service in AM rush at one time.

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  • 4 months later...

Until 1977 not only did 135 have a few NB AM rush trips, but so did the old 148-Wilson-Outer Drive Express. The 148 trips also followed a different routing than the PM trips, running direct via LSD and Wilson. Basically this was to get buses back to Wilson/Ravenswood to make a second rush trip. You have to remember that at the time, there was almost no "deadheading" - almost all mileage followed regular routes to the closest point to the garage. For instance, 136's from Michigan/Van Buren ran back north via Michigan-Adams-LaSalle and as regular 156's to Wilson/Ravenswood, then pulled in via West Ravenswood-Leland-E Ravenswood-Lawrence-Damen-Foster to North Park. Large-scale use of streets with no regular service (and expressways for that matter) was a 1990's phenomenon.

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17 hours ago, andrethebusman said:

Until 1977 not only did 135 have a few NB AM rush trips, but so did the old 148-Wilson-Outer Drive Express. The 148 trips also followed a different routing than the PM trips, running direct via LSD and Wilson. Basically this was to get buses back to Wilson/Ravenswood to make a second rush trip. You have to remember that at the time, there was almost no "deadheading" - almost all mileage followed regular routes to the closest point to the garage. For instance, 136's from Michigan/Van Buren ran back north via Michigan-Adams-LaSalle and as regular 156's to Wilson/Ravenswood, then pulled in via West Ravenswood-Leland-E Ravenswood-Lawrence-Damen-Foster to North Park. Large-scale use of streets with no regular service (and expressways for that matter) was a 1990's phenomenon.

A recent phenomena that I think I remember Busjack saying CTA got chastised for using in its bus mileage counts that happened to include passenger bus mileage instead of listing it as a separate count from passenger mileage. 

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Just updated a bunch of CTA Transit News magazines (full issues).  1947-1974 (except 1959-1960 and a few scattered issues) are now available.  I hope to fill in more gaps this weekend.  Embarrassed to say that we are still working on the schedules - big job and other things (work, family, house, museum, etc.) keep calling.

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On December 14, 2015 at 1:05 AM, andrethebusman said:

Until 1977 not only did 135 have a few NB AM rush trips, but so did the old 148-Wilson-Outer Drive Express. The 148 trips also followed a different routing than the PM trips, running direct via LSD and Wilson. Basically this was to get buses back to Wilson/Ravenswood to make a second rush trip. You have to remember that at the time, there was almost no "deadheading" - almost all mileage followed regular routes to the closest point to the garage. For instance, 136's from Michigan/Van Buren ran back north via Michigan-Adams-LaSalle and as regular 156's to Wilson/Ravenswood, then pulled in via West Ravenswood-Leland-E Ravenswood-Lawrence-Damen-Foster to North Park. Large-scale use of streets with no regular service (and expressways for that matter) was a 1990's phenomenon.

IIRC, some of those 135 NB AM trips lasted until the mid-90's before they all either became 156 pullins or deadheads…

 

(I wish I had my timetables from way back then)

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On 12/21/2015 at 9:12 AM, Piesciuk said:

Just updated a bunch of CTA Transit News magazines (full issues).  1947-1974 (except 1959-1960 and a few scattered issues) are now available.  I hope to fill in more gaps this weekend.  Embarrassed to say that we are still working on the schedules - big job and other things (work, family, house, museum, etc.) keep calling.

Take your time!

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On 12/21/2015 at 9:12 AM, Piesciuk said:

Just updated a bunch of CTA Transit News magazines (full issues).  1947-1974 (except 1959-1960 and a few scattered issues) are now available.  I hope to fill in more gaps this weekend.  Embarrassed to say that we are still working on the schedules - big job and other things (work, family, house, museum, etc.) keep calling.

Yeah those are good. I could read those for hours. They are like time capsules taking us back. Just reading the CTA Quarterly for Summer of '75, I learned that Kimball/Brown line's modernization/current platform was built in 1974. (I thought more like '80) The escalator was added to Bryn Mawr/Red line around the same time and they had a vintage CTA commercial. Nice to see all the old buses, they show the engine to a 60's era Flx, which is always a treat and show the motorcab of #6000's car #6221. 

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

Yeah those are good. I could read those for hours. They are like time capsules taking us back.

The Aug. 1974 Employee News states the source funding for the 9000 series of New Looks. i don't recall that order being announced in advance, just that new buses turned up on 69th routes.

A couple of things that changed, and not just at CTA:

  • The employee bowling league existed, and was worth mentioning in the employee newspaper.
  • The first woman driver and woman general manager were mentioned in 1974 issues. Now a woman runs a local transit authority, just not this one.

Also, Board Member Ernie Banks and his wife preparing to board the articulated bus. Did not say which wife, though.

The Autumn 1975 Quarterly has George Wendt (page 30) playing a CTA passenger.

The Third Quarter 76 one has a description of the filming of The Million Dollar Rip-Off, but does not name it (imdb reference).

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17 hours ago, BusHunter said:

In the summer of '74 quarterly they mention that most of the new CTA buses they'll be receiving have AC. I can't think of any in the 70's that didn't have AC.

The statement was then often made, because the pre-1972 buses were not air conditioned (except for 10).

Current CTA releases refer to "accessible, air conditioned buses," even though all buses purchased starting 1991 on have been accessible (ex. 4900s). There hasn't been a nonacessible bus on the street for about 10 years, and a standard floor one for over 5.

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Sht6131, none for sale at this time.  Once the scanning project is done, we will evaluate the museum's collection and determine if there are surplus issues.  As we are currently doing with other surplus items, we will most likely put them up on Ebay.  By the way, we just started into the next group of magazines.  The covers are scanned, which is the first step.  Then we move on to scanning the actual issues (the time consuming part).  They should go up in the not too distant future.  There are also many more CSL Surface Service and some CTA Quarterly issues still to do.

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