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CTA HERITAGE FLEET IS BRINGING BACK TWO PCC CARS, 6101-6102

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Why are the door controls inside? I thought they were outside on these? (See pic on ctawebs Flickr link)

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28 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

Why are the door controls inside? I thought they were outside on these? (See pic on ctawebs Flickr link)

As a general policy, they were moved inside (similar to in the 6511s) at some point (CERA book says 1955). They didn't want conductors hanging out the back door on the anticlimber platform.

I take it you are too young to have ridden these in service.

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Now, the singles...

1-50 were simply drawn up as 50 single-unit versions of the 6000-series married pairs.

In that era, CTA was in the process of re-designing its rapid transit system to be as efficient as possible, and the Cleveland "Rapid" operation was providing a good operational model.

On CTS, the system was designed to utilize one-man, single-unit cars with on-board fare collection during off-peak periods.

Skokie was not yet a consideration in mid-1958, nor would it be for 5 more years until the North Shore went away.

The off-peak Evanston Shuttle was an obvious starting point for the "railbus" concept.  Initiated on July 31, 1949, it used two trolley pole-equipped cars to shuttle passengers between Linden Ave. in Wilmette and Howard Street, where they could connect with traditional North-South service through (and beneath) the Loop.  Woodies were the main equipment until late 1957, then 4000's took over.  A Conductor was required to tend to the trolley pole changes for reversing direction, with overhead then provided all the way through Howard station itself.  CTA planners had no specific (or at least non-imaginary) implementation goals beyond that, but were demand and service patterns and/or labor agreements to be sufficiently modified in coming years, there was a very real possibility these one-man cars might be deployed on many lines in the off-peak.  Plus, the economics of SLC's production line yielded a "minimum" procurement of 50 cars, irregardless of use.

What CTA wound up with were 46 new cars (5-50) for assignment to the brand-new West-Northwest between June and October of '59, informally paired up as 5/6 through 49/50.  Gloriifed 6000s if you will.  These enabled the last, previous group of 12 "new" 6000's (6659-6670) which had been loaned to from NS to the WNW at start-up in July 1958 to go back to NS, and also enabled the removal of 41 "Baldies" from WNW.  26 to go to Lake and 15 to Ravenswood by early October of '59.

Cars 1-4 were intended to be technological prototypes (i.e. "Hot Rods") from the start.  They were delivered last and officially started their career in July 1960, being sometimes used in revenue service on the Rave.  Never thought it out, but most likely CTA was paid by industry sources for use of its facilities, etc. in developing new technologies.

The first Evanston Shuttles with single, one-man 1-50's began on April 2, 1961, taking 12 cars away from WNW (39-50), outfitting them with trolley poles and setting them up for one-man operation (i.e. fare boxes, transfer stands, etc.).  The lone "Operator" (combined MM and CR) was a glorified bus driver, and was responsible for changing pole direction at Howard and Linden.  In and around the rush hours the single 1-50's were grouped as 2s or 4s (depending on hour of op) and finally 6s to run to the Loop on the "Express."  It was way before my time, but I seem to recall being told that extra platform men were stationed at South Blvd. (Howard before '63?) and probably at Linden to assist the lone Conductor with trolley pole changeovers in the rush hour and "shoulders."

It should be noted that the Evanston "Line" (the portion from Howard to Linden) was powered by overhead wire only as far as Isabella until November 1, 1957, when CTA trackage north of there (yard and tracks included) was similarly converted to simplify operations.  Between 1928 and 1957, the Conductor(s) had to raise or lower the appropriate poles and change the knife switch settings by hand while stopped at Howard and again at Isabella.  This might have been related as much to the North Shore's Shoreline operation as much as anything.  It had been discontinued on July 24, 1955.  The date is not at hand, but some time during 1963 the third rail to overhead changeover was moved up to South Blvd., which eliminated a "maintenance headache" through the intricate trackage at Howard.

Anyway, four more singles (25-28) were sent over to Evanston from the WNW in June of '61 and there they all stayed for a while.

The experimentals (1-4) were used to open the Skokie Swift in April of 1964, along with 25 and 26 from Evanston.  That original Skokie fleet was filled out by the "5000" series articulateds also coming over, along with 29 and 30 (1964) and 23 and 24 (1967) from WNW.  In September of 1969, all of the paired singles from WNW (5-22, 31-38) were shifted to Ravenswood so a large batch of failing 4000s could be retired (all gone by end of November).

In December 1978 the "paired singles" (5-22, 31-38) were again liberated from the Rave, way after the new 2400's arrived more than a year earlier, and went over to join their "sisters" on the Evanston line, still deployed as duces on weekdays with no on-board fare collection, and remained there for the rest of their days.  The off-peak, single-car Evanston "railbus" operation that had begun in 1961 was finally succeeded by 2-car trains at all times except overnights in October of 1982, when at-station fare collection was put in effect.

As we now know, CTA never did convert more lines to the "railbus" method of operation, and in time went the exact opposite with more on-site personnel, station-based fare collection and even longer trains where possible.

Those are the basics, which might answer some of your questions.

 

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6 minutes ago, widecab5 said:

Cars 1-4 were intended to be technological prototypes (i.e. "Hot Rods") from the start.  They were delivered last and officially started their career in July 1960, being sometimes used in revenue service on the Rave.

Also to test concepts eventually used on the 2000s.

 

7 minutes ago, widecab5 said:

finally 6s to run to the Loop on the "Express."

Actually 5s.

 

8 minutes ago, widecab5 said:

he Conductor(s) had to raise or lower the appropriate poles and change the knife switch settings by hand while stopped at Howard and again at Isabella.

So on what did they run north of Isabella?

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One obvious, missing piece which might be key:  The Evanston Line was converted from trolley overhead (South Blvd.-Linden) to all-third rail effective November 8, 1973, so NO cars were required to use trolley poles for revenue service after that date.  Skokie had the pan trolleys and catenary until fairly recently.  That's one date I do NOT have!

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1 hour ago, chicagopcclcar said:
1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

Why are the door controls inside? I thought they were outside on these? (See pic on ctawebs Flickr link)

Want my answer?

DH

 

Check the post above for information on the Conductor MDC relocation of 1954-55.  It was done between deliveries of 6201-6350 and 6351-6470 for safety reasons.  In 1981 when 6101-02 were restored (quotes), the original control array was put back , if I recall correctly after 36 years, in one car but not both, so as not to create confusion for a REAL Conductor, who it was feared might try to use it.  It was, as they say, for show.  The reason for the change back in the 1950's was obvious even at that late date!

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8 minutes ago, widecab5 said:

 Skokie had the pan trolleys and catenary until fairly recently.  That's one date I do NOT have!

Chicago-l.org says Sept. 11, 2004.

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9 minutes ago, widecab5 said:

Third rail north of Isabella until 1957.

That's somewhat surprising, given the stink to put it back, including having to install the gates over the tracks.

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As stated, the original Linden terminal as completed in 1928 was part CRT and part North Shore, so I am not sure who had to accommodate who back then.  It would have been much simpler to keep the ongoing yard moves powered by third rail to minimize potential interference with C NS & M ops.  Did North Shore use any third rail north of Linden?  Did it use its own trolley wire THROUGH Linden?  These are questions I never did learn answers to.

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Again IIRC, the 1973 Evanston third rail conversion was done with federal assistance.  CTA had at least three major landmarks that year:

1) First female operators,

2) Replacement of the last trolley buses and propanes,

3) Third railing of Evanston and consequent retirement of the last 4000s.

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4 hours ago, widecab5 said:

One obvious, missing piece which might be key:  The Evanston Line was converted from trolley overhead (South Blvd.-Linden) to all-third rail effective November 8, 1973, so NO cars were required to use trolley poles for revenue service after that date.  Skokie had the pan trolleys and catenary until fairly recently.  That's one date I do NOT have!

Wow really impressive editorial there!! I tip my cap!! xD

Sounds like what was going on was they were stopping at Isabella making the station stop converting to trolley power and moving on. (You can't move trolley poles on the fly.) Busjack has questioned over the years the reason for the highly unused Isabella station and I think this was the real reason it stayed open. The second it went to third rail south of Isabella, notice it died as a station. I believe it was cut around 1974???, (I know it was the early 70's) when Cermak on the then NS (elevated) went bye bye with it and they shut down California and Kostner and Central on the then Congress branch. I did hear of the third rail story though at Isabella, but I didn't know dates. Thanks for jogging my memory.

I wonder why Evanston didn't go with a pan trolley system?  Could it be because of the high speed North Shore service used catenary? (A few internet clicks says this isn't so, the electroliner ran with a manual trolley system) But at one time in the 30's or earlier I think North Shore did use Evanston as there was through service past Linden, which joined up to the main line up north.

I don't know it's really mind boggling, any modern system like the Northeast Corridor uses catenary and pantagraphs. You would think the speed alone would knock off the trolley pole, I've seen videos of the North Shore doing 90. (That's incredible with a standard trolley pole)

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6 hours ago, Busjack said:

As a general policy, they were moved inside (similar to in the 6511s) at some point (CERA book says 1955). They didn't want conductors hanging out the back door on the anticlimber platform.

I take it you are too young to have ridden these in service.

I last rode those in 1991. I never was on them at the museum. I was in high school and barely knew my history other than the historical livery. Even now I'm confused as to the livery changes over the years. I believe I heard on a fantrip that the green roofs were repainted by '55 but the '58 congress opening would negate that wouldn't it. The swamp holly orange livery I thought was more like '58 or '59. The alpine white and mercury green came about in the early 60's, I want to say '63, then you have the partial bicentennial repaints and the eventual charcoal gray Spirit of Chicago livery which I believe was post '85 rehab. Wouldn't #6101 if authentic have a green roof?

I was under the impression these cars were never switched but thanks to Widecabs, I now know the story. Why not just put a circuit breaker that could be activated in the cab that kills the exterior controls. Give it special key access.  Problem solved. So CTA policy is that these are not to be used in service, they are for nostalgic purposes? The union probably wouldn't allow that for it's members anyway, not in todays day and age.

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Interesting the #5-50's trolleys were put on after they were built. I could swear pcclcars said they were purchased that way.:P That was the real question though why did they start on WNW? I think they possibly wanted that to go single cars. It's a big line with lots of station personnel to pay overnight. So I take it #6123-30  was a trolley retrofit also. It would be interesting to know if #6127-30 had the hot rod livery before the #1-4's or after. That's almost 8 years of service before 1960. I thought I might have read somewhere #1-4 had a red interior as it was manufactured that way. (You know upper 2/3 metal was red and seats were red?) I need to look at car #1 again.

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I was just taking photos of PCC car 1 at Seashore Trolley Museum on Monday.  Didn't pay much attention to details other than the "Big Ass" control group box underneath (WH straight line accelerator).  A unique installation.  If legend is right, it should have black and red upholstery inside.

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2 hours ago, BusHunter said:

I wonder why Evanston didn't go with a pan trolley system?  Could it be because of the high speed North Shore service used catenary? (A few internet clicks says this isn't so, the electroliner ran with a manual trolley system) But at one time in the 30's or earlier I think North Shore did use Evanston as there was through service past Linden, which joined up to the main line up north.

The main difference between the original North Shore route and the Skokie Valley Route was that the original was more like a streetcar,  with a stop every 1/4 mile, while the bypass was set up with catenary, to get to Milwaukee in 90 minutes. Thus, the real question may be how the Skokie Valley Route ran with only trolley poles instead of pantographs, but CTA couldn't.

On the single units, the CERA book indicates that the logic was frm 50 down, as far as car equipment.  Somewhat Lke 3440-3456, the roofs were built reinforced, with the poles coming separately.

Also, since I asked about experience, I rode them in approx. 1969-1977, not in museums.

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2 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Wow really impressive editorial there!! I tip my cap!! xD

Sounds like what was going on was they were stopping at Isabella making the station stop converting to trolley power and moving on. (You can't move trolley poles on the fly.) Busjack has questioned over the years the reason for the highly unused Isabella station and I think this was the real reason it stayed open. The second it went to third rail south of Isabella, notice it died as a station. I believe it was cut around 1974???, (I know it was the early 70's) when Cermak on the then NS (elevated) went bye bye with it and they shut down California and Kostner and Central on the then Congress branch. I did hear of the third rail story though at Isabella, but I didn't know dates. Thanks for jogging my memory.

I wonder why Evanston didn't go with a pan trolley system?  Could it be because of the high speed North Shore service used catenary? (A few internet clicks says this isn't so, the electroliner ran with a manual trolley system) But at one time in the 30's or earlier I think North Shore did use Evanston as there was through service past Linden, which joined up to the main line up north.

I don't know it's really mind boggling, any modern system like the Northeast Corridor uses catenary and pantagraphs. You would think the speed alone would knock off the trolley pole, I've seen videos of the North Shore doing 90. (That's incredible with a standard trolley pole)

One more time:

1928 to 1957, trains went to trolley overhead from Howard to Isabella, then back to third rail into Linden.

1957 to 1963, trains went to trolley overhead from Howard to Linden.

1963 to 1973, trains went to trolley overhead from South Blvd. to Linden.

I believe Isabella station was closed in 1973.

Personnel were needed in rush hours to reverse the direction of the trolley poles at each end of the overhead (alternatively to raise or lower on the Express) after 1957.  I believe prior to that there was a Conductor for each car on the Woodies in any case.  The North Side track assignment guide tells me the old Evanston Shoppers Special was nominally "poled" SB at Granville from 1955 to '57, while the same was in effect for the Evanston Express for just one month during the PM rush (reverse peak direction) from October 7 of '57 until early November.  The requisite trolley poling stop at Granville probably gummed things up, so they thereafter sent it non-stop down Track 2, which had third rail.

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1. Evanston was originally catenary from South Blvd. north to Linden. I remember it well.

2. I used to watch from the old Loyola platform, the North Shore conductors lean out the back door & raise the trolley pole on the Electroliners on track 1, on the curve at high speed & never miss. We used to laugh at the CTA trolley bus drivers who couldn't get their trolley poles on the wire while the bus was standing still! I believe the NSL used trolleys there because the gantlet track for the coal cars the CTA delivered to Lill Coal at Berwyn, where the Jewel now is, made the use of the third rail impossible. At one time, I believe the gantlet went past Howard, because the CTA & its predecessor delivered lumber cars to the Hines Lumber Mears Yard, where the west tracks of the Howard Yard are now. The Mears entrance was on Chicago in Evanston, just north of that last remaining building at the NE corner of Howard & Chicago. That's where my dad took me when we needed lumber in the 1950s.

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Did pole equipped 6000s ever make it to the Jackson Park line in the early 1960s?

I thought I remembered seeing them [on a center track maybe but not in service].

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The former Evanston pole equipped cars, removed from that line in 1957, were assigned to the North-South. Did you see trolley poles or just the roof boards without the poles. Similar to today's experience where the former Yellow line 3200 series cars are running on the Brown and Orange lines with their roof boards still in place but without the overhead catenary pantographs. There are photos showing #6123-6130 series running on the NS route without the poles but keeping their boards.

DH

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12 hours ago, chicagopcclcar said:

Here's another photo, this time by David Pirmann, date unknown. Since the cars are shown in the third color scheme, no standee band, no dark green pin-stripe, I would guess 1957, the year when all 6000s were removed from Evanston service. The location is Isabella. Note trolley wire, not catenary is used. And the still repeated question about pans being used on the Skokie line......pans allowed for non-stop operation change-over on the fly, something that could not be done with trolley poles.

DH

Do you notice the third rail through Isabella station as well?

According to the assignment log, trolley pole-equipped 6123-30 were on the EV (Purple) from November 1955 thru October 1957.

Given the fullness of the trees in the background, a guess for that pic would be September of 1957 or thereabouts.  It may have been a test of the new overhead.

 

 

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#6101-6102 made their grand debut at the 2017 CTA Transit Jamboree at Skokie Shops for employees, their families, retired employees, guests, on Saturday, Aug. 26. The Cincinnati Cars, 4271-4271, gave rides to participants.

DH 

P1170311.jpg

P1170423.JPG

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On 8/24/2017 at 10:44 PM, Busjack said:

The main difference between the original North Shore route and the Skokie Valley Route was that the original was more like a streetcar,  with a stop every 1/4 mile, while the bypass was set up with catenary, to get to Milwaukee in 90 minutes. Thus, the real question may be how the Skokie Valley Route ran with only trolley poles instead of pantographs, but CTA couldn't.

Well if you take the Isabella station theory of stopping at a station raising the trolley pole and continuing, in the North Shore era I believe there was a Crawford station so they could have done the same thing there stop and attach poles. With no Crawford station you now can no longer use a manual trolley setup.

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13 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

Well if you take the Isabella station theory of stopping at a station raising the trolley pole and continuing, in the North Shore era I believe there was a Crawford station so they could have done the same thing there stop and attach poles. With no Crawford station you now can no longer use a manual trolley setup.

The SKOKIE SWIFT was mandated to be A NON-STOP SERVICE.....using only one operator. IT USED CTA's 70 MPH CARS. BusHunter. why can't you get this idea?  NON-STOP SERVICE!!!! CTA, George Krambles, all were on accord. There would be NO STOPPING TO CHANGE TROLLEY POLES to third rail. BusHunter, why is this so hard to understand?

DH

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