1–50 series (Chicago "L")
Car 48 at the Halton County Radial Railway after retirement
|Manufacturer||St. Louis Car Company|
|Fleet numbers||1–50, later some 61–65|
|Operator||Chicago Transit Authority|
|Line(s) served||Evanston, Skokie Swift, Ravenswood, West-Northwest|
|Car length||48 feet (14.63 m)|
|Width||9 feet 4 inches (2.84 m)|
|Height||11 feet 10 inches (3.61 m)|
|Doors||4 (2 per side)|
|Maximum speed||50 mph (80 km/h)
(1-4 70 mph (110 km/h)
|Weight||49,825 pounds (22,600 kg)|
|Traction motors||4 GE1220 F1 per car (except 1-4, various)|
|Power output||55 hp (0.041 MW) each
220 hp (0.16 MW) total
|Electric system(s)||600 V DC third rail and overhead wire or catenary|
|Current collection method||Contact shoe|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The 1–50 series was a series of Chicago "L" cars built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1959 and 1960. Unlike cars in the similar 6000 series, which were designed for married pair operation, the 1–50 series cars were double-ended to facilitate single car operation. There was a limited need for single cars, however, so cars 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19, 21, 23, 24, and 31 were later rebuilt as married units and were renumbered 61a/b–65a/b.
Forty-six cars in the series were constructed with components salvaged from Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars which the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) no longer needed. The majority of the 6000 series also used salvaged components.
The streetcar version of the PCC trucks had 26 in (0.660 m) resilient wheels, instead of the 28 in (0.711 m) solid wheels intended for rapid transit use, and restricted speed to 50 mph (80 km/h). The slower speed was adequate for most CTA needs. Replacement wheels were solid, but remained at 26 in (0.660 m).
Cars 1–4 had high speed test equipment and 28 in (0.711 m) wheels, in 1964 they were modified with a locally designed “pan trolley” for the overhead wires on the high speed Skokie Swift shuttle . Later cars 23–26 and 29–30 would also have pan trolleys, 29–30 were also retrofitted with 28 in (0.711 m) solid wheels for increased speed.
The Skokie equipped cars, with their pan trolleys, were too high to operate anywhere else on the system. Up to eight cars were used on this route.
The Evanston equipped cars, with their smaller trolley poles, operated into the loop. Up to sixteen cars were used on this route.
Most of the 1–50 cars and all of the 61–65 cars were scrapped by the CTA. Only a handful of 1–50 cars survive today in a number of museums in the United States as well as one in Canada.
- 22, 30 and 41 – Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL
- 40, 43, and 45 – Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, IL
- 44 – Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, MO
- 48 – Halton County Radial Railway Museum in Rockwood, Ontario, Canada