March 26, 2015

The North Shore at Belmont

I need a round trip ticket to Milwaukee from Belmont Station, please!

Any train commuter who lives in Indiana and works in Chicago is aware of the South Shore Line but does any remember a train service from Milwuakee to Chicago?
Well, it was called the North Shore Line and had seven stations or stops within Chicago before train service headed to the northern burbs and Wisconsin. One of the stops was the Belmont Station in Lake View. The North Shore line was routed north along old North Western Company elevated tracks in Chicago between 1916-1963.
Let's Begin @ Belmont to Milwaukee
 Belmont Station tickets
unknown date - Ebay
the route along the shore
1961 train schedule booklet
images - Ebay
The Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad will probably be remembered as having the greatest of all electric interurbans (hybrid between tram or streetcar and regular train) for its high speed (of its' day), high capacity and magnificent roadbeds. It was a pioneer in radio-equipped parlor-lounge cars, had one of the first mechanical refrigerator cars, and in 1926 pioneered the piggyback movement of truck trailers on flat cars.
two versions of trains used
photo - Chuckman Collection
 photo from Mitch Markovitz
 photo - Man on Five
The Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad introduced the luxurious Electroliner in 1941, complete with a tap room car and speeds of up to 85 miles an hour. 
images - Ebay
1951 time-table
unknown station with an unknown date (for now)
photo - Chuckman Collection
Heading into Belmont Station - prior to 1963
photo - J.J. Sedelmaier‎ via 
Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad-Facebook
stopped at Belmont Station prior to 1963
The North Shore train departing Sheridan Station
1955 photo - trolleydodger
Wilson Yards indicating on the lower left of photo 
a sign that reads 'North Shore Line'
An Electroliner 
midpoint of the trip in Waukegan  
photo - Rail Road Glory Days
J.J. Sedelmaier‎ via 
Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad -Facebook
The Last Stop
End of the Line @ Milwaukee Station
Chuckman Collection 1948 photo
 photos of station collected by J.J. Sedelmaier
The earliest North Shore precursor was organized by local businessmen at Waukegan, Illinois, in October, 1891, as the Waukegan & North Shore Rapid Transit Company with a seven mile system in Waukegan. In 1912 plans to merge the Northwestern Elevated Railroad with the  Chicago & Milwaukee was needed to gain access to the downtown area of Chicago.  By 1916 and after several disputes the two lines merged and renamed the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad.
On August 6, 1919, the North Shore had true service between Chicago and Milwaukee operating directly on the elevated tracks with a main Chicago station at Adams Street and Wabash Avenue in the downtown Loop. On September 15, 1920, the company opened a new terminal in Milwaukee at Sixth and Michigan streets. Built at a cost of $600,000, the new structure was said to be, with considerable exaggeration, the largest electric railway terminal in the United States.
- Sources: Chicago North Shore , Chicago Rail FanTrain Web, and Wikipedia

photo - North Shore Line Menu 
by Ray Peisciuk, contributor for Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 Read the commentary from the contributors of 
Forgotten Chicago about the service rendered 
on the North Shore Line.
By 1932 the North Shore was making a painful financial recovery with lesser losses. It continued to display a high level of performance throughout the depression years.
A WPA project in the late 1930’s, together with the North Shore and Chicago North Western, carried out an extensive grade separation project at Glencoe, Winnetka and Kenilworth on its route south. It was nearly four-miles long, and eliminated over a dozen grade crossings as well as two stretches of operation through city streets. 
The Return Trip to 
Chicago's Northwestern Station
Electroliner in the Loop 1940's
The End of the Line @ Chicago in postcards
postcard images - Amazon
cost of terminal $20 million
the new station open to the public 1911
photos - Chicago History in Postcards
1981 postcard - Amazon 
The Final Years
1959 article
History in Review 1963
page 2 
The last day was of this rail line occurred during the early morning hours of January 21, 1963, the interurban cars sped through the snowy Illinois and Wisconsin countryside for the last time as the midnight trains from Chicago and Milwaukee made their final runs. At 2:50 a.m. the last southbound train stopped at Chicago’s Roosevelt Road station, and five minutes later the last North Shore train rolled into the Milwaukee terminal. The trolley poles were pulled down and hooked, and the lights in the terminal were turned off ending an American interurban era.
According to a web source called Trolley Dodger 
these postcards would be used to mail it back 
to the sender for a keepsake.

The Promotional Posters

 The North Shore Line Posters 
Chuckman Collection & Ebay

Post Notes: View more images of the North Shore Line via 
'Man On Five'! View more posters by Oscar Rabe Hanson via Google

Important Note: 
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!