Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad

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Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad
Overview
Type Rapid transit
Locale Chicago
Services Logan Square
Humboldt Park
Garfield Park
Douglas Park
Operation
Opening May 6, 1895[1]
Closed 1924 (merged into Chicago Rapid Transit Company)
Operator(s) Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad Company (1895–1899)
Metropolitan West side Elevated Railway (1899–1924)
Character Elevated right of way
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Third rail, 600v DC

The Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad (known as the Met or Polly "L"[2]) was the third elevated rapid transit line to be built in Chicago, Illinois and was the first of Chicago’s elevated lines to be electrically powered. The line ran from downtown Chicago to Marshfield Avenue with branches to Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and Douglas Park (eventually extended to the suburb of Berwyn, Illinois). Portions of the line survive as the Blue and Pink lines of the Chicago 'L' system.

Operation[edit]

At 6 o'clock AM on May 7, 1895, the first train of the Metropolitan West Side Elevated left the Robey Street station bound for the downtown terminal at Canal.[1]

Consolidation[edit]

In 1913, Chicago's four elevated railroad companies came together to form the Chicago Elevated Railways Collateral Trust establishing crosstown services for the first time, and in 1924 all four companies were formally united to form the Chicago Rapid Transit Company.[3] The Chicago Transit Authority took over the assets of the CRT in 1947. In 1952, the Douglas branch was shortened to its present terminal at 54th/Cermak[4] and the Humboldt Park branch was closed.[5] The construction of the Congress Street Super Highway (known today as the Eisenhower Expressway, I-290) required the demolition of the Garfield Park branch and the Main Line but also called for a replacement rapid transit line in the median of the expressway. In 1958, Garfield Service was replaced by the new Congress Line.[6] Today the Douglas Park branch of the Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad and the remaining portion of the Northwest branch (now called the Paulina Connector) continues as the majority of the CTA's Pink Line while the Logan Square branch continues on as part of the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line.

Station listing[edit]

Metropolitan West Side Elevated stations
Station Location Opened Closed
Wells Street Terminal Loop October 3, 1904 February 25, 1951
Franklin Terminal Loop May 13, 1895 1897
Franklin/Van Buren Loop October 11, 1897 October 11, 1955
Canal Near West Side May 6, 1895 June 22, 1958
Halsted Near West Side May 6, 1895 June 22, 1958
Racine Near West Side May 6, 1895 April 5, 1954
Laflin Near West Side May 6, 1895 December 9, 1951
Marshfield Near West Side May 6, 1895 1954
Ogden Near West Side June 19, 1895 September 27, 1953
Hoyne Near West Side June 19, 1895 September 27, 1953
Western Near West Side June 19, 1895 September 27, 1953
California East Garfield Park June 19, 1895 September 27, 1953
Sacramento East Garfield Park June 19, 1895 June 10, 1952[7]
Kedzie East Garfield Park June 19, 1895 June 22, 1958
St. Louis East Garfield Park June 19, 1895 June 22, 1958
Garfield Park West Garfield Park June 19, 1895 September 20, 1953
Pulaski West Garfield Park June 19, 1895 June 22, 1958
Tripp West Garfield Park June 19, 1895 June 22, 1958
Kilbourn West Garfield Park June 19, 1895 September 20, 1953
Cicero Austin June 19, 1895 June 22, 1958
Laramie Austin August 25, 1902 June 22, 1958
Central Austin March 11, 1905 October 11, 1960
Austin Oak Park March 11, 1905 March 18, 1960
Lombard Oak Park March 11, 1905 September 20, 1953
Gunderson Oak Park March 11, 1905 1957
Oak Park Oak Park March 11, 1905 March 19, 1960
Home Oak Park March 11, 1905 September 20, 1953
Harlem Forest Park March 11, 1905 March 19, 1960
Hannah Forest Park March 11, 1905 September 14, 1952
Des Plaines Forest Park March 11, 1905
Madison Near West Side May 6, 1895 February 25, 1951
Lake Street Transfer Near West Side May 6, 1895 February 25, 1951
Grand Near West Side May 6, 1895 February 25, 1951
Chicago West Town May 6, 1895 February 25, 1951
Division Wicker Park/Noble Square May 6, 1895 February 25, 1951
Damen Wicker Park May 6, 1895
Western Logan Square May 25, 1895
California Logan Square May 25, 1895
Logan Square Logan Square May 25, 1895
Western West Town July 29, 1895 May 4, 1952[8]
California West Town July 29, 1895 May 4, 1952[8]
Humboldt Park Humboldt Park November 11, 1902 May 4, 1952[8]
Kedzie Humboldt Park July 29, 1895 May 4, 1952[8]
St. Louis Humboldt Park July 29, 1895 May 4, 1952[8]
Lawndale Humboldt Park July 29, 1895[9] May 4, 1952[8]
Polk Illinois Medical District April 28, 1896[10]
Roosevelt Near West Side April 28, 1896[10] May 3, 1952
14th Near West Side April 28, 1896[10] December 9, 1951[11]
18th Pilsen April 28, 1896[10]
Wood Lower West Side April 28, 1896[10] May 19, 1957
Hoyne Heart of Chicago September 7, 1896
Western Lower West Side September 7, 1896[12]
California Little Village March 10, 1902[13]
Douglas Park South Lawndale June 16, 1902 May 3, 1952
Kedzie North Lawndale March 10, 1902[13]
Homan North Lawndale March 10, 1902[13] December 9, 1951[11]
Clifton Park North Lawndale March 10, 1902[13] December 9, 1951[11]
Lawndale North Lawndale March 10, 1902[13] December 9, 1951[11]
Crawford North Lawndale June 16, 1902[14]
Kildare North Lawndale May 22, 1907
Kenton North Lawndale May 22, 1907 December 9, 1951[11]
48th Cicero December 16, 1907[15]
50th Cicero August 16, 1910 1978
52nd Cicero August 16, 1910 August 16, 2003
54th Cicero August 1, 1912
56th Cicero August 1, 1912 February 3, 1952[16]
58th Cicero August 1, 1915 February 3, 1952[16]
Austin Cicero August 1, 1915 February 3, 1952[16]
62nd Cicero August 1, 1915 February 3, 1952[16]
Ridgeland Berwyn March 16, 1924 February 3, 1952[16]
Oak Park Berwyn March 16, 1924 February 3, 1952[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "New "L" Road Opens". Chicago Daily Tribune. May 7, 1895. p. 12. 
  2. ^ Moffat, Bruce (1995). "Chapter 8: An Innovative Elevated". The "L" The Development of Chicago's Rapid Transit System, 1888-1932. Chicago: Central Electric Railfans' Association. pp. 123–145. ISBN 0-915348-30-6. 
  3. ^ Garfield, Graham. "Unification". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  4. ^ Garfield, Graham. "Douglas". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  5. ^ Garfield, Graham. "Humboldt Park". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  6. ^ Garfield, Graham. "Garfield Park". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  7. ^ Sacramento Chicago "L".org. Accessed August 18, 2013
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Humboldt Park 'L' Trains Discontinued Today; Put in Buses". Chicago Daily Tribune. May 5, 1952. p. 1. 
  9. ^ "Opens Its New Line". Chicago Daily Tribune. July 30, 1895. p. 3. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Douglas Park Branch Opened". Chicago Daily Tribune. April 28, 1896. p. 5. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Revise Douglas and Garfield 'L' Service Dec. 9". Chicago Daily Tribune. December 1, 1951. p. 4. 
  12. ^ Moffat, Bruce (1995). The "L". Chicago, Illinois: Central Electric Railfans' Association. p. 130. ISBN 0-915348-30-6. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "More Trains on Alley "L": Use Old Congress Station". Chicago Daily Tribune. March 9, 1902. p. 3. 
  14. ^ "Increase in "L" Traffic". Chicago Daily Tribune. April 5, 1903. p. 63. 
  15. ^ Moffat, Bruce (1995). The "L". Chicago, Illinois: Central Electric Railfans' Association. p. 157. ISBN 0-915348-30-6. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Buses Replace 'L' Tomorrow in Cicero, Berwyn". Chicago Daily Tribune. February 2, 1952. p. 3. 

External links[edit]