On Saturday, April 26th, the Chicago Transit Authority commemorated a half-century of service on the Skokie Swift, aka the Yellow Line. CTA’s 1920s-era historical cars 4271-4272 made four revenue trips between Dempster and Howard, running from about 11 am to 3:30 pm.
Your roving reporter grabbed a camera and a windbreaker (the weather was brisk, with temps in the mid-40s, and hazy sun) and ventured forth to document the event. This photo essay captures the spirit of the occasion. For a few hours at least, the Swift hosted a fantrip- the first time the general public could ride these cars in regular service in many years.
We ran into many old friends on the train, some of whom we had seen just the night before, at the Ken Spengler’s April CERA program. Even if you could not be there, we hope that you can experience the event through these pictures.
The historic cars wait in the Dempster pocket track. The regular service train will be arriving shortly and head out in front of the fantrip train.
CTA 4271-4272 were built circa 1923 by the Cincinnati Car Co.
Apparently, a switch had to be thrown to allow the regular service train to go ahead of the 4000s.
A sign at the Dempster station.
The open area underneath the 1920s electrical tower was necessary, since at one time there was a track running directly underneath.
Fans enjoying the special trip. CERA Board member Irwin Davis is visible at left.
Fans documewnt the occasion with their handheld video cameras.
Graham Garfield looks spiffy in one his period CTA uniforms.
Fans prepare to board the special train at Howard. Adam Kerman is at right with backpack.
It was a great day for taking pictures.
The historic train enters the turnback track at Howard.
Coming out of the pocket track.
The 4000s are ready for the return trip to Skokie. The trolley poles are a vestige of a time when overhead wire was in use on portions of the rapid transit system.
Longtime CERA member Charles Tauscher enjoys the ride.
The historic cars are filled with photographs and period advertisements.
At Dempster terminal.
Ready to embark on trip #2.
The 400s at Asbury in Evanston.
A regular service train heads east at East Prairie Road.
Another view at East Prairie Road, looking east.
A regular train heads west at East Prairie Road.
The 4000s heading east at East Prairie Road.
The special train prepares to cross Oakton in Skokie.
Crossing Oakton, heading into the station, which opened about two years ago.
A regular train heading north into the Oakton station.
The Oakton station is a welcome addition to the Swift/Yellow Line.
The 4000s heading south at Oakton.
Going into the Oakton curve.
Approaching the grade crossing at Main in Skokie. This was trip #4, and I assume the train deadheaded back to Skokie Shops after dropping off passengers at Oakton.
Our last shot of the 400os as they cross Main.
A regular service train westbound at Ridge in Evanston. By this time, the historical cars were back at Skokie Shops.
Officials handed out two commemorative pinback buttons on the special train, with the old and new CTA logos.