A set of North Shore heavyweights speed down the main line during a summertime rush hour in 1962... At least that's what this July 2011 scene at the Illinois Railway Museu looks like. Though the North Shore shut down in 1963, many pieces have been set aside for preservation. Photo by Ron Zack/Contemplative Imaging
Now and then on the North Shore Line
by Otto M. Vondrak/photos as noted
Welcome to Photo Line!The Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee rolled its last miles fifty years ago this month, on January 21, 1963. The end was a long time coming, first with the abandonment of the much slower Shore Line in 1955 quickly followed by an application to end all passenger service in 1958. After years of protracted court battles and committee petitions, the authorities saw no other solution but to allow the railroad to discontinue all trains. Fortunately, the railway preservation movement was developed to a point where many North Shore pieces found new homes at museums. The famed Electroliner articulated trainsets would continue to roll a few more miles carrying Philadelphia commuters before they too were sent to museums. Please enjoy this photo gallery of North Shore images from yesterday and today...
Six Cars at Rush Hour, 1962
A six car northbound North Shore Line rush hour train takes a curve north of Tower KO at Lake Bluff, Illinois. The first two cars still exist, 727 is on the Iowa Traction, and 709 is at the Shore Line Trolley Museum at East Haven, Connecticut. Circa 1962, Colection of Lou Gerard.
Holiday Cheer Along the North Shore Line, 2009
The Chicago Transit Authority opened the "Skokie Swift" shuttle operation using a portion of the old North Shore Line to Skokie, Illinois, on April 20, 1964. Until 2004, the northern part of the line continued to use the North Shore era overhead wire, transitioning to third rail near East Prarie Road. Now designated the CTA Yellow Line, there have been talks of extending this suburban feeder route north. Amidst the flying snow, we witness the CTA Holiday Train under North Shore catenary towers on December 23, 2009. Photo by Sam Dickey
North Shore on the "L" in 1962
North Shore Line Silverliner 773 rolls at a good clip along the northside "L" along Glenwood Ave. between Farwell and Pratt Blvd. in Chicago's Rogers Park in July 1962. This pan shot was taken with the photographer's Brownie Bullet at the tender age of 9. Photo by Lou Gerard
A Promising Sign, 2010
This beautiful neon sign has been preserved and was restored in 2008 by volunteers at the Illinois Railway Museum. Photo by William Hopkins
Last Days for the North Shore, January 1963
North Shore Electroliner 801-802 come into track three at Howard St. on the last full day of service, January 20, 1963. "My parents and I along with some friends boarded this liner and made the round trip to Milwaukee on this bitterly cold day." Photo by Lou Gerard
Restored to its Former Glory, September 2012
Former North Shore Electroliner 801-802 was acquired by Illinois Railway Museum from SEPTA in 1979, and subsequently restored to its as-delivered appearance. The trainset is occasionally operated and displayed at IRM, seen here on September 16, 2012. Photo by andys0519
Streamliner in the Streets of Milwaukee, 1962
North Shore Electroliner 801-802 rolls southbound on 5th St. on Milwaukee's South side in 1962. Collection of Lou Gerard.
SEPTA Liberty Liner inbound at Bridgeport, May 1976
The Red Arrow Lines purchased the two Electroliner sets and put them in service on the Philadelphia & Western, otherwise known as the Norristown High Speed Line. The two trains continued to serve into the SEPTA era and were retired in 1979. One set has been preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum, the other at the Rockhill Trolley Museum. Photo by Drew Jacksich.
Electric Freight at Waukegan, 1962
Articulated freight motor 459 has a southbound North Shore freight rolling through the Edison Court station in Waukegan, Illinois. in 1962. The motor was originally acquired from the Oregon Electric. Photo collection of Lou Gerard
A Shell of its Former Self, February 1968
The Susquehanna Corporation was the parent company of the North Shore Line, and maintained an office in the Kemper Insurance Building for many years after the end of train service to oversee the liquidation of real estate and other assets. Photo by David Wilson.
North Shore Line entrance at Howard Street, 2009
The North Shore Line shared a station with the CTA at Howard Street. While the North Shore trains stopped running in 1963, the name above the doors survives this day . Photo by Tripp.
Ghost Town, July 1968
The old Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee headquarters in Highwood, Illinois, had been abandoned for nearly four years when the photographer came to pay his respects on July 21, 1968. This building and the nearby shops complex were torn down shortly after this photo was taken. Photo by David Wilson.