TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Train Passengers Asked to Get out and Push Stalled Train

Re: Train Passengers Asked to Get out and Push Stalled Train

T (
Sat, 19 May 2007 07:37:19 -0400

In article <>, says:

> In article <>> says:

> Interestingly I never knew there was so much rail freight until we moved
> into our new offices. Huge P&W freighters carrying lumber, oil, etc. go
> through several times a day.

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: CTA's telephone system used the third
>> rail for the telephone communications on the trains. Between the
>> headquarter's switchboard and the individual stations, they used
>> leased lines from Illinois Bell.

>> A bit of history for you to consider: The _original_ train routes
>> (Jackson Park Elevated Line, Lake Street Elevated Company, Chicago
>> Rapid Transit Company, The Union Loop Elevated Line, Metropolitan Rail
>> and others) and the _original_ bus and street car companies (Boulevard
>> Bus, Chicago Surface Lines and others) were all privately owned
>> companies. In 1932, Chicago Rapid Transit Company went into
>> receivership and bankruptcy when they were unable to pay their
>> _electric_ bill to the Chicago Edison Company, our electric supplier
>> at the time. A man named Samuel Insull was the president of Chicago
>> Rapid Transit and on the board of Edison. On the day Edison was set to
>> cut off the power to the rapid transit line, Insull cut a deal for
>> them. Chicago Edison would loan the money needed to Chicago Rapid
>> Transit, in the form of fifty year bonds. I guess they figured fifty
>> years hence (1982) was a long time away, why worry about it. In 1947,
>> City of Chicago municipalized (a polite term for theft when City of
>> Chicago does it out of politicians' greed) all seven or eight
>> transportation companies and merged them all into Chicago Transit
>> Authority.

> Did CTA ever operate chartered 'funeral cars'? Again, true. About
> two blocks south of Lill Coal Company is the Graceland Cemetery, a
> very big place (it occupies four or five square miles in the heart of
> Chicago's northwest side, and even rates a telephone exchange named
> after it [GRAceland 312/773-472].) Many big wigs are buried there
> with huge monuments, etc. It also rates its own railroad siding, which
> was used in the 1920-40's to bring recently deceased big wigs for
> burial. All the bereaved family members and friends would ride along
> in the Chicago Rapid Transit street car made up like a funeral car to
> the cemetery. Family and friends came from Milwaukee all the way to
> south side Chicago for the funerals. Either North Shore or Chicago
> Rapid Transit would bring them there. This was Charles Insull's idea.
> And the chartered street cars would pull in almost daily for someone's
> funeral. When Chicago Rapid Transit went out of business (or actually,
> merged into CTA), Graceland asked the same sort of questions as Lill
> Coal would ask several years later when North Shore went poof! *Who is
> going to haul _our_ 'freight' to the ceremonies, etc. CTA agreed out
> of customer good will to continue handling the cemetery business for
> about a year in 1947-48, then stopped doing it. But the tracks are
> still there, all rusted and full of weeds right behind the cemetery
> where the one sidetrack slopes down to ground level and runs along
> for about a block. PAT]

The interesting part about our office is that there's a siding that
runs right through the parking lot, crosses West River Street then
heads off into USPS huge facilities in Providence.

Here's what interests me. We could use that rail to supply the nearby
supermarket and the USPS but nobody sees the economies in that.

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