CTA Celebrates the Skokie Swift

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On Saturday, April 26th, the Chicago Transit Authority commemorated a half-century of service on the Skokie Swift, aka the Yellow Line. CTA’s 1920s-era historical cars 4271-4272 made four revenue trips between Dempster and Howard, running from about 11 am to 3:30 pm.

Your roving reporter grabbed a camera and a windbreaker (the weather was brisk, with temps in the mid-40s, and hazy sun) and ventured forth to document the event. This photo essay captures the spirit of the occasion. For a few hours at least, the Swift hosted a fantrip- the first time the general public could ride these cars in regular service in many years.

We ran into many old friends on the train, some of whom we had seen just the night before, at the Ken Spengler’s April CERA program. Even if you could not be there, we hope that you can experience the event through these pictures.

-David Sadowski

The historic cars wait in the Dempster pocket track. The regular service train will be arriving shortly and head out in front of the fantrip train.

The historic cars wait in the Dempster pocket track. The regular service train will be arriving shortly and head out in front of the fantrip train.

CTA 4271-4272 were built circa 1923 by the Cincinnati Car Co.

CTA 4271-4272 were built circa 1923 by the Cincinnati Car Co.

Apparently, a switch had to be thrown to allow the regular service train to go ahead of the 4000s.

Apparently, a switch had to be thrown to allow the regular service train to go ahead of the 4000s.

A sign at the Dempster station.

A sign at the Dempster station.

The open area underneath the 1920s electrical tower was necessary, since at one time there was a track running directly underneath.

The open area underneath the 1920s electrical tower was necessary, since at one time there was a track running directly underneath.

Fans enjoying the special trip. CERA Board member Irwin Davis is visible at left.

Fans enjoying the special trip. CERA Board member Irwin Davis is visible at left.

Fans documewnt the occasion with their handheld video cameras.

Fans documewnt the occasion with their handheld video cameras.

Graham Garfield looks spiffy in one his period CTA uniforms.

Graham Garfield looks spiffy in one his period CTA uniforms.

Fans prepare to board the special train at Howard. Adam Kerman is at right with backpack.

Fans prepare to board the special train at Howard. Adam Kerman is at right with backpack.

It was a great day for taking pictures.

It was a great day for taking pictures.

The historic train enters the turnback track at Howard.

The historic train enters the turnback track at Howard.

Coming out of the pocket track.

Coming out of the pocket track.

The 4000s are ready for the return trip to Skokie. The trolley poles are a vestige of a time when overhead wire was in use on portions of the rapid transit system.

The 4000s are ready for the return trip to Skokie. The trolley poles are a vestige of a time when overhead wire was in use on portions of the rapid transit system.

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Longtime CERA member Charles Tauscher enjoys the ride.

Longtime CERA member Charles Tauscher enjoys the ride.

The historic cars are filled with photographs and period advertisements.

The historic cars are filled with photographs and period advertisements.

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At Dempster terminal.

At Dempster terminal.

Ready to embark on trip #2.

Ready to embark on trip #2.

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The 400s at Asbury in Evanston.

The 400s at Asbury in Evanston.

A regular service train heads east at East Prairie Road.

A regular service train heads east at East Prairie Road.

Another view at East Prairie Road, looking east.

Another view at East Prairie Road, looking east.

A regular train heads west at East Prairie Road.

A regular train heads west at East Prairie Road.

The 4000s heading east at East Prairie Road.

The 4000s heading east at East Prairie Road.

The special train prepares to cross Oakton in Skokie.

The special train prepares to cross Oakton in Skokie.

Crossing Oakton, heading into the station, which opened about two years ago.

Crossing Oakton, heading into the station, which opened about two years ago.

A regular train heading north into the Oakton station.

A regular train heading north into the Oakton station.

The Oakton station is a welcome addition to the Swift/Yellow Line.

The Oakton station is a welcome addition to the Swift/Yellow Line.

The 4000s heading south at Oakton.

The 4000s heading south at Oakton.

Crossing Oakton.

Crossing Oakton.

Going into the Oakton curve.

Going into the Oakton curve.

Approaching the grade crossing at Main in Skokie. This was trip #4, and I assume the train deadheaded back to Skokie Shops after dropping off passengers at Oakton.

Approaching the grade crossing at Main in Skokie. This was trip #4, and I assume the train deadheaded back to Skokie Shops after dropping off passengers at Oakton.

Our last shot of the 400os as they cross Main.

Our last shot of the 400os as they cross Main.

A regular service train westbound at Ridge in Evanston. By this time, the historical cars were back at Skokie Shops.

A regular service train westbound at Ridge in Evanston. By this time, the historical cars were back at Skokie Shops.

Officials handed out two commemorative pinback buttons on the special train, with the old and new CTA logos.

Officials handed out two commemorative pinback buttons on the special train, with the old and new CTA logos.



Categories: CERA Programs, Chicago Area, Interurbans, News, Preservation

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. I was there too, had a great time.

    vernhallas.com/42721.jpg

  2. great shots. I have an end to end DVcam video from Oakton to Dempster to Howard. I was right behind the flapping destination sign the whole time. Henry Ruhwiedel

  3. My husband is a retired CTA Bus Instructor and this was our first ride on the 4000’s since the bus Roadeo finals were held at Skokie Shops. We had a great time seeing many old friends including 4271 and 4272.

  4. I rode the first trip then chased the train. Great to ride the 4000′s on the Swift. I had last rode them in 2004 when there were Labor Day fan trips just before the 3rd rail was energized and the overhead wires removed. Kudos to the CTA

Trackbacks

  1. Skokie Swift: The “True Gen” | The Trolley Dodger

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