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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Schmdit: 120 years ago: Chicago's first 'L'

Roosevelt L stop CTA Green/Orange Lines!
John R. Schmidt's Chicago history blog at Chicago Public Radio gives us a history lesson. On June 6th, 1892 Chicago instituted it's first elevated rail service. A precursor to some of the adventures I often tweet about and usually chronicles of what happens on the train at a certain point during the day.

Anyway it arrived just in time for the 1893 Columbian Exposition to be held on the south side at Jackson Park the line only went from Congress Parkway to 39th Street and was eventually extended to Jackson Park in time for that event.

The funny part of this post:
It took a while for some people to get used to the "L." A teacher at Haven School complained that the noise of the trains made it difficult to conduct class. Others didn’t like the smoke from the coal-burning locomotives. Apartment-dwellers now had to keep their shades down in they wanted any privacy—young women were warned to be careful of roving Peeping Toms.
In 1892 and probably like most rapid transit around the world at that time, the first trains were pulled by steam locomotives although now most rapid transit trains are run by electricity mainly by third rail. Incidentally when it came out that the CTA may rebuild the north side branch of the CTA Red Line they noted all the bridges up there were built with steam locomotives in mind. So there is a benefit although we realize it after the fact now!

Aside from Schmidt's blog I would like to share with you some pages from Chicago-L.org which features items related to Chicago's L system!

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