March 26, 2015

The North Shore RR at Belmont

Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee

poster - Trolleydodger

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 Milwaukee to Chicago?
Well, it was called the North Shore Line that 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 with stations in the Loop, Belmont, and Wilson stations between 1916-1963.

1917 advertisement - Chicago Daily Tribune
1923 advertisement - Chicago Daily Tribune
zoomed view of the Belmont Station
above poster - Ebay
below poster 
Pinterest/Serigraph by John T. McCarthy, Jr. 
A Booklet about the Line
by Chicago North Shore 
and Milwaukee Railroad
 on Facebook
poster - Ebay
photo - David Sadowski 
part of my collection
1914 ticket punched at Belmont Avenue
images - Ebay
reverse side
1922 blueprint for a trailer car
images - Ebay
an advertisement
 from the Chicago Daily Newspaper in 1925
Below is a 1936 map below highlights the Belmont Station 
as one of few stations in Chicago - the other was Wilson
 image - Cera Chicago
1941 images - Cera Chicago
A 1946 Schedule Brochure
 part of my personal collection



 a zoomed view below
*no service from Belmont on the weekends*


Ordering Tickets by Mail
images - Ebay
Tickets of the North Shore Line
images - Ebay
Other Destinations
images - Ebay

posters from Ebay
The trains arrived mostly every hour in the Chicago area
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 that were used
photo - Chuckman Collection
 image from Mitch Markovitz
ad - John Smatlak via 
 Chicago North Shore Milwaukee Railroad-Facebook
photo - via Don Ross Group
below photo - Benjamin Marshall Society 
via Forgotten Chicago Discussion Group-Facebook
The Stations along the Route
 image above from Wikipedia
 
 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.
postcard - Chuckman Collection
According to a web source called Trolley Dodger 
these postcards would be used to mail it back 
to the sender for a keepsake.
Below 1966 photo on the interior from Ebay
Entering Belmont Station
photo - Chuckman Collection
at the Belmont Station - photo prior to 1963
photo - J.J. Sedelmaier‎ 
A North Shore train departing 
Sheridan Station heading north to Wilson Station
1955 photo - trolleydodger
Wilson Yards indicating on the lower left of photo 
a sign that reads 'North Shore Line'
the photo below apparently is Wilson Station
Alexander Spiewak via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
Jim Huffman via Chicago L on Facebook
"This was part of the CTA's efforts to separate the North Shore' passengers from the CTA's. Prior to that a SB CNSM passenger (for example) could get off at Howard, Wilson or Belmont and change to a CTA train without paying a fare and ride the CTA to a station that the North Shore did not stop.
The SB Wilson station platform was new along with the connection from the freight line ramp back to the main line, allowing a bypass around the main station. The Evanston trains then also utilized this bypass. A new ramp was built from the ticket booth area to the new platform. This was only for exiting SB North Shore passengers. If they continued on the CTA they would then pay the CTA fare. At Belmont, a new (very narrow) platform was built alongside the west track on the west side with a stairway down to the street, exit only for SB passengers. This was removed after 1962."
posters - Posters Plus
The Milwaukee Terminal 
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.
The Chicago Terminal
photo below - Connecting the Windy City
January 17, 1963
The Last Days
with an historical summary
Editorial in 1983

  
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