Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad
Type Rapid transit
Locale Chicago
Services Logan Square
Humboldt Park
Garfield Park
Douglas Park
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
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.


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]


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.


  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. 

External links[edit]