A Farewell Fantrip on Chicago’s Red Streetcars by Bernard Rossbach
On May 30, 1954, 60 years ago, Chicago’s iconic red streetcars were retired from regular service, and simultaneously, trolley service ended on five CTA routes. To commemorate the occasion, CERA ran a red car fantrip two weeks earlier on these lines. This was the first of its kind, and longtime CERA MemberBernard Rossbach organized it. For our June program, Bernie will revisit that celebrated sojourn in detail.
There were other later red car fantrips to be sure, up to just a few weeks before the end of streetcar service in Chicago in June 1958, but this one was special since it used the cars for one last time on the final routes where they ran in regular service. Be sure to join us for an entertaining and informative slice of Chicago history.
Admission is free for current CERA members. There will be a $5.00 Admission charge for non-members.
Friday, June 27, 2014
525 S State St
Chicago, IL 60605
1900 hrs / 7:00pm
Bernie Rossbach hangs out of the 479 on 38th Place west of Halsted. (Ray DeGroote Photo)
A CTA #80 trolley bus, running on parallel wire, passes the fantrip cars on Irving Park Road just west of the North side “L”. There were very few sections of shared wire between streetcars and trolley coaches on the CTA system. Note the grade crossing underneath the “L”, leading to Buena Yard. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)
A photo stop on Irving Park Road near Graceland Cemetery. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)
The 473 at Cermak and Kenton, the end of Route 21. Just a few years earlier, passengers would transfer from Chicago Surface Lines streetcars to those of the Chicago & West Towns Railways. Since the abandonment of West Towns trolley service in 1948, the area behind the red Pullman has been paved as a bus loading/unloading area. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)
A photo stop at around 2000 S. Clark. Fans climb up a railroad embankment for a better shot. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)
The famous CERA drumhead. (Bill Hoffman Photo – Wien-Criss Archive)
PCC 4113 passes the fantrip cars at Clark and Cermak. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)
473 at 79th Place and Emerald. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)
At 38th Place west of Halsted, fans ride a piece of work equipment in the background. This is the same location as the photo at the top of our post. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)
CTA snowplow E50 at 38th Station. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)
“Special trackage north of Chicago Avenue at Montgomery Ward.” (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)
Another work car, the CTA EE10. (Richard C. Cerne Photo – CERA Archives)
473 on the fantrip, location unknown. (CERA Archives)
473 northbound on Western, approaching 31st. (CERA Archives)
479, at Cermak and Kenton, lets the regular service car go out ahead of it. The Western Electric plant is in the background. (CERA Archives)
473 on the fantrip, at an unknown location. (CERA Archives)