CERA publishes "bulletins" from time to time—typically a hardcover book, annually—and Active members are entitled to at least one bulletin per membership year.
Manuscripts are chosen carefully to ensure bulletins contain some of the most compelling information available about a given subject, and often are considered the de facto standard for historic reference on that subject.
On this page:
in the Triangle
A Century Look at Pittsburgh Public Transit
by Blaine S. Hays and James A. Toman
CERA Bulletin 145
Words cannot adequately describe the incredible scope of operations of the Pittsburgh Railways Company. At its peak, Pittsburgh Railways operated 606 miles of trackage (1918) over 68 streetcar routes. Pittsburgh Railways was the first transit operator in North America to place a PCC car in revenue service in August 1936. Over a period of several years, Pittsburgh Railways acquired 666 PCC streetcars, giving it the third largest PCC car fleet in North America. Streetcars operated in both urban settings and on two interurban lines to Washington, PA and Charleroi, PA.
Spanning 224 pages with more than 350 photos, many in full color, and featuring track maps and an extensive roster, Transit in the Triangle is sure to be a popular edition, so don’t wait. Order it now while it is still in print!
$65 ($55 for members) | Buy
The Grand Rapids, Grand Haven & Muskegon Railway
by Carl Bajema, Dave Kindem and Jim Budzynski
CERA Bulletin 144
Go back in time to experience living in the electric interurban and streetcar era between 1900 and 1928. The Lake Line did more than just carry passengers and express freight, but also competed with steam railroads for passengers and passengers bound to and from Chicago. The 220+ page book contains 180 photos, 27 maps, 7 timetables, 27 ads and 17 other illustrations.
$55 ($45 for members) | SOLD OUT
The story of the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern Railroad and Associated Lines
by James R. McFarlane
CERA Bulletin 143
The early 1900s were indeed the heyday of the electric railway industry with seemingly countless local and interurban electric railways being built. In a few areas, electric railway promoters organized investment and management "syndicates" that joined connecting electric railways together to form larger systems, though not necessarily merged. In upper New York state, Clifford Beebe was one of those dynamic electric railway promoters who built a network of interurban railways centered on Rochester and Syracuse. The lines controlled by the Beebe Syndicate were built to high standards and boasted local and limited-stop trains, chair or parlor car service and more. Unfortunately, with high standards came high costs to build and operate the system. Despite Beebe's best efforts to attract riders, competing steam railroad lines and the almost simultaneous coming of the private automobile and paved highways ultimately doomed the enterprise.
"TravElectric" was a term coined by the Beebe Syndicate's advertising department to urge both area residents and summer vacationers to travel by electric railway. Through a wealth of photographs and detailed text, author James McFarlane takes the reader on a trip back to the time when electric railways represented the last word in modern transportation.
$49 ($39 for members) | Buy
The North Shore Line
by Edward Tobin
CERA Bulletin 141
Waukegan was the birthplace of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad, one of the nation's premier interurban electric railways. Author Ed Tobin recounts the railroad's humble origins as the Bluff City Electric Street Railway and traces its rapid evolution into the high speed Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railway, taking the story up to the time that the company came under Insull control. This 224 page book is packed with never before published information and photographs depicting the railway in its early days. You will also learn about A.C. Frost, a tireless promoter who helped create "America's fastest interurban."
$39 ($29 for members) | Buy
The Story of the Philadelphia & Western Railway
by Ronald DeGraw
CERA Bulletin 140
The men who founded the Philadelphia & Western dreamed of completing a coast-to-coast railroad network, with the P&W serving as the eastern link into Philadelphia and New York City. This idea failed, but the little railroad which served a collection of Philadelphia -area communities managed to thrive and become an electric railway success story. Three decades after its conception, the company placed into service some of the most revolutionary railway cars ever built, the famous high speed "Bullets." Thank s to the management skills of Dr. Thomas Conway Jr., the P&W survived the Great Depression and was able to successfully adjust to the explosive growth in automobile use after World War II.
There's no record of how the P & W got the whimsical name that stuck with it for the rest of its life: "Pig & Whistle." It's been called that since the 1930s, and longtime riders still recall the name- half a century after the corporate name of Philadelphia & Western ceased to exist. 224 pages
$60 ($50 for members) | Buy
Chicago & West Towns Railways
By James J. Buckley
Edited by Richard W. Aaron
CERA Bulletin 138
Eight miles west of Chicago's Loop is a cluster of 17 long-established communities that were served by a street railway and bus system whose roots can be traced back to the late 19th century. The Chicago & West Towns Railways operated five major streetcar lines that provided convenient and inexpensive transportation to the residents of communities of Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park, Maywood, Cicero, Berwyn, Brookfield, and LaGrange.
The West Town's blue and white streetcars provided area residents with transportation to school, work and shopping. The cars were also kept busy transporting visitors to major west suburban attractions such as Brookfield Zoo, forest preserves picnic groves, Hawthorne and Sportsman's Park racetracks, and Hines Memorial Hospital. Whether it was carrying residents from their homes in Oak Park or Forest Park to their jobs at American Can in Maywood or the giant Western Electric Company factory in Cicero, or taking Chicago families on a weekend outing to the zoo, the Chicago & West Towns Railway served as the “family car” in the era before auto ownership and traffic congestion became the norm. 250 pages and 311 photos
$60 ($50 for members) | Buy
Than the Limiteds
The Story of the Chicago-New York Electric Air Line Railroad and Its Transformation into Gary Railways
By Dr. Thomas R. Bullard and Mr. William M. Shaptotkin
CERA Bulletin 137
In 1905, a group of railroad promoters unveiled a daring proposal to build an arrow-straight or “air line” railroad between America's two largest cities. The promoters of the Chicago-New York Electric Air Line railroad confidently proclaimed that their trains would be able to cross the 743 miles in only 10 hours, making them Faster Than The Limiteds.
Little more than a decade later the promotion had collapsed, leaving investors with a network of largely unprofitable interurban trolley lines clustered between Gary and LaPorte, Indiana. Was the whole promotion a hoax? Or were the promoters simply too inexperienced or naive? That is left to the reader to decide.
But there was one particularly notable success story: Out of the Air Line's ashes rose one Indiana's largest and most successful street railway systems--Gary Railways. The full story of Gary Railways and the role it played in the growth of its namesake steel-making center are well documented in this extensively illustrated release from CERA. 280 pages, 332 photos
$55 ($45 for members) | Buy
By Terry W. Lehmann and Earl W. Clark, Jr.
CERA Bulletin 134
Locally referred to as the Green Line, the Cincinnati, Newport & Covington Railway's fleet of single and double truck cars provided fast and convenient transportation between Cincinnati and the smaller communities located across the Ohio River in northern Kentucky. As times changed, the company responded by initiating interstate trolley coach operations and even obtained exclusive rights to serve the Greater Cincinnati airport on its opening. The transition to all rubber-tired service and the change to public ownership are also examined to give the reader a comprehensive overview of how management worked to maintain profitability as automobile competition intensified. 240 pages
$30 ($18 for members) | Buy
Northern Indiana Railway
by George K. Bradley
CERA Bulletin 132
Until the 1930's, the Northern Indiana Railway operated an extensive interurban railway system radiating from South Bend. Veteran CERA author George K. Bradley recounts the life and times of this remarkable traction enterprise and the role it played in linking communities extending from Benton Harbor, Michigan to Michigan City, Indiana. Extensive coverage is given to local city car line operations as well. Not overlooked are the political and economic forces that dictated the ultimate substitution of rubber-tired transport. 244 pages
$30 ($18 for members) | Buy
The Development of Chicago's Rapid Transit System, 1888-1932
by Bruce G. Moffat
CERA Bulletin 131
If you have lived or worked in the Windy City, you probably had occasion to use that city's famous rapid transit system commonly referred to as the “L". Now in its second century of operation, the formative years of this major transportation system are covered in this well-researched book. Starting with the incorporation of the city's first elevated railway companies in 1888, the book goes on to cover early steam operations, conversion to electric traction, expansion into suburban areas, special movements and the boom times of the 1920's. Generously illustrated with more than 400 photos, maps and advertisements, this 306-page book is a must for any person interested in Chicago transportation history.
As a special bonus, each copy includes folded, unbound reproductions of a rare Metropolitan West Side “L” map and a 1933 Chicago Rapid Transit Company system map.
$55 ($45 for members) Out of print
The Chicago "L"
By Greg Borzo
(Published by Arcadia)
Discover the world famous Chicago “L” in all its grit and glory. The thundering “L” is one of Chicago's most enduring icons. Operating 24/7 since 1892, it is not only an antique but a working antique. More than 10 billion people have ridden the “L,” which now carries half a million people a day over 222 miles of track. The heavy, rumbling “L” has a light side too. It is sought out by tourists, featured in major motion pictures, enjoyed by wide eyed kids, photographed by admirers, and studied by historians. Meanwhile, both the Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago History Museum have recently enshrined Chicago “L” cars as the showpiece of major permanent exhibits. The Chicago “L” shows how the early “L” lines helped to build Chicago as well as how today's “L” helps to revitalize neighborhoods and tie the city together. Over the past 100 years, the “L” has survived numerous attempts to tear it down. Today its future is secure. New services are being added and new lines planned. This educating and entertaining book brings the tenacious “L” to life.
To tell the story of this celebrated transit system (including a look at its precursors), Borzo draws on some 240 captivating photographs, drawings, and maps. Most of the images were culled from the Chicago Transit Authority's vast photograph archives; others were gathered from libraries, museums, schools, vendors, and individuals across the country.
Ride with him through time over one of America's greatest urban treasures, this massive 19th century structure of riveted steel that serves as one of Chicago's major circulatory systems, pulsing from the heart of the Loop out into the surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs.
167 pages, 240 photographs, drawings and maps. Published by Arcadia Publishing.
$26.99 Special discounted price from CERA: $24.00 |
Only Passengers: How the Electric Railways Carried Freight, Express
By Roy G. Benedict and James R. McFarlane
CERA Bulletin 129
Electric street and interurban railways carried mainly short-hall passengers. But freight, express, and baggage traffic gave them another way to participate in local commerce and bring in badly needed revenue. Unable to withstand competition from road-based transportation providers and the private automobile, many of these lines were abandoned before the end of the Great Depression.
Profusely illustrated with nearly 200 photos, this informative book explains how traction lines handled non-passenger traffic such as coal, dairy products and package freight handling activities of the various electric railways in New York state. Reproductions of tickets, timetables and other related materials complete the coverage of this important, but often overlooked, aspect of the industry. A comprehensive index to companies, localities and commodities makes all the contents of the book readily accessible.
$35 ($23 for members) | Buy
Bullets to BART
by William D. Middleton
CERA Bulletin 127
1938 to 1988 - It was a half-century of remarkable change in the electric railway industry. From the debut of the high-speed Brill “Bullet” cars in suburban Philadelphia in the 1930's to the opening of the automated Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) in California in the 1970's, this 176 page book of the record of electric traction old and new--streetcars, interurbans, rapid transit and mainline electrification--in the days when the Bullets and BART were both innovators for their time.
$15 | Buy
Rainbow of Traction
Edited by George Krambles
CERA Bulletin 126
This book completes the trilogy of full-color volumes that illustrate the development of electric railways. It covers the interurban railways, rapid transit lines, switching and main line railroad electrifications in North America based on available color photographs taken between 1939 and 1964.
The presentation follows a meandering path, starting in the northeast corner of Maine, criss-crossing the United States and Canada to the far southwest and then returning through Mexico to end in Cuba.
To help you, there is provided a very concise summary of the history and a few technical features of each property illustrated, along with some key specifications of the vehicles shown. Brief essays covering various aspects of electric railway technology round out this 144-page book which also commemorates CERA's first 50 years!
$15 hardcover / $10 softcover | Buy
How the Medal Was Won
CERA Bulletin 124
During the heyday of the interurban the Charles A. Coffin medal was awarded to innovative electric railways. This coveted award was won by the “new” Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad in the late 1920's. Text, photos and company documents recall the earlier “wood car” days, the conversion from AC to DC electric propulsion, arrival of the orange steel cars and other improvements continuing into the 1930's. This 160-page book celebrates the landmark Insull-led modernization of this famous, and still operating, electric railroad.
$10 | Buy
From the first years of CERA, we present CERA's earliest publications including bulletins #1 through #15. Before CERA printed full sized books as bulletins, there were these shorter bulletins.
Note: Each of these files is a PDF—a standard type of document widely used on the Internet to share information in a way that looks the same on any computer. If you can't view these files, download the Adobe Reader or try using Google Chrome as your Web browser (which can handle PDFs, natively).
|CERA Map 1||Traction Lines of Illinois|
|Fan Trip #1 5/01/1938||Valparaiso Division of Gary Railways|
|Fan Trip #2 6/19/1938||Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad|
|Bulletin #1||North Shore Line|
|Bulletin #2||Chicago Rapid Transit Metropolitan Division|
|Bulletin #3||West Towns|
|Bulletin #4||South Shore Line|
|Bulletin #5||Chicago Aurora and Elgin|
|Bulletin #6||Milwaukee Electric Railway|
|Bulletin #7||1st CERA Annual Report|
|Bulletin #8||Northern Indiana Railway|
|Bulletin #9||Windsor Essex and Lake Shore Railway|
|Bulletin #10||Texas Interurban Railway|
|Bulletin #11||Key System of Oakland, California|
|Bulletin #12||Hudson Valley Railway|
|Bulletin #13||North Shore Line Modernized Cars|
|Bulletin #14||IC Suburban Electric|
|Bulletin #15||Fostoria and Fremont Railway|
|Bulletin #16||Des Moines Railway Company|
|Bulletin #17||Indiana Railroad System|
|Bulletin #18||People Will Still Ride Streetcars|
|Bulletin #19||CERA Report for Fiscal Year Ending Nov. 1940|
|Bulletin #20||Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad Company|
|Bulletin #21||Indiana Railroad System|
|Bulletin #22||CNS&M Electroliner|
|Bulletin #23||An Interurban Goes Modern (Electroliners)|
|Bulletin #24||A Thumbnail Sketch of the Trenton Princeton Traction Co.|
|Bulletin #25||The Columbus, Delaware & Marion Electric Company|
|Bulletin #26||The Seashore Electric Railway|
|Bulletin #27||A Complete Roster of the Chicago Surface Lines|
|Bulletin #28||Illinois Terminal Railroad Company|
|Bulletin #29||Official CERA Club Car 300|
|Bulletin #30||Terra Haute Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Co.|
|New Equipment Photo||1940 PCC Color Plate|
|High Iron Illustration||1939 Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee|