Even More Skokie Swift Photos

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Good vibrations from the CTA’s rare operation of the historic 4000-series cars on the Skokie Swift continue to reverberate in the railfan community. Today, we are sharing some more great photos of last week’s event, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the CTA Yellow Line.

You can read the CTA Service Bulletin for the event here. We have also posted a few short videos, here, here and here.

We thank today’s guest contributors Eric Bronsky and Bill Becwar, for graciously allowing us to post their photographs.

-The Editor

The Chicago Transit Authority has commemorated important historical anniversaries and other rapid transit milestones in the past, so I intuitively figured that CTA would sponsor some sort of event to recognize the 50th Anniversary of what is now called the Yellow Line. At least one week before the event, it was rumored that historic “brown & orange” cars 4271-72 would come out of mothballs. These vintage cars have rarely been used in recent years, but a CTA press release made this official a few days later. The rail enthusiast community was kept informed through postings on the CERA Blog and elsewhere.

Saturday dawned unseasonably chilly, but the sun illuminated an ethereal blue sky. Only later was I informed that crews had worked feverishly to restore Skokie service after a drunk drove onto the tracks earlier that morning. Commemorative posters were displayed in the station at Oakton, which opened just two years ago. At 11:00, a crowd assembled outside the Searle Ave. entrance to the Oakton station for a brief ceremony where CTA and Village of Skokie officials were present. In the attached photos, that’s Graham Garfield sporting the vintage CTA uniform. Wearing the brown jacket is Bruce Anderson, who piloted the first Skokie Swift train 50 years ago!

The 90-year-old rapid transit cars made 4 round trips carrying revenue passengers between Dempster and Howard. The sights, sounds and smells were wonderfully nostalgic. I was fortunate to squeeze onto the first trip but then had to leave for a prior commitment. Running into people who I hadn’t seen in ages further limited my photo opportunities (sorry, no Electropickle Productions this trip, but you’ll find others’ video coverage on YouTube).

— Eric

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Eric Bronsky Photo

Modern Swift sign at the newer Dempster/Skokie station, which replaced the crummy Swift fiberglass lean-to that had served for decades. Pretty nice, actually, though the Ventra card machines were typically balky. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Modern Swift sign at the newer Dempster/Skokie station, which replaced the crummy Swift fiberglass lean-to that had served for decades. Pretty nice, actually, though the Ventra card machines were typically balky. (Bill Becwar Photo)

The 4000s arrive under appropriately Insull overhead construction, even if the actual operation under wire has been gone for more than a decade now. Just east of here was the traditional change from overhead to third rail, which the North Shore did dozens of times a day, at speed and in all sorts of weather. (Bill Becwar Photo)

The 4000s arrive under appropriately Insull overhead construction, even if the actual operation under wire has been gone for more than a decade now. Just east of here was the traditional change from overhead to third rail, which the North Shore did dozens of times a day, at speed and in all sorts of weather. (Bill Becwar Photo)

The old Cincinnati Car Company products are still pretty handsome at age 91. These colors are attractive enough that maybe we could convince the CTA to wrap a set of 5000s with the original color scheme to celebrate the CTAs 70th birthday in a couple of years. LA did that a few years back on the light rail, wrapping new cars in Pacific Electric livery. (Bill Becwar Photo)

The old Cincinnati Car Company products are still pretty handsome at age 91. These colors are attractive enough that maybe we could convince the CTA to wrap a set of 5000s with the original color scheme to celebrate the CTAs 70th birthday in a couple of years. LA did that a few years back on the light rail, wrapping new cars in Pacific Electric livery. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Wearing the historic Swift markers from the original operation. Somewhere, George Krambles is smiling... For a minute, anyway, before demanding to know why the line wasn't extended. :-) (Bill Becwar Photo)

Wearing the historic Swift markers from the original operation. Somewhere, George Krambles is smiling… For a minute, anyway, before demanding to know why the line wasn’t extended. đŸ™‚ (Bill Becwar Photo)

Quite the crowd! This is the second run - on the first there would have been no way to get pictures, as it looked like rush hour 1928; wall-to-wall and halfway to the ceiling. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Quite the crowd! This is the second run – on the first there would have been no way to get pictures, as it looked like rush hour 1928; wall-to-wall and halfway to the ceiling. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Graham Garfield looking spiffy in his CTA conductor uniform... Is he trying to change from overhead to third rail? (Bill Becwar Photo)

Graham Garfield looking spiffy in his CTA conductor uniform… Is he trying to change from overhead to third rail? (Bill Becwar Photo)

"All Aboard!" So much better than the bland "The doors are about to close..." (Bill Becwar Photo)

“All Aboard!” So much better than the bland “The doors are about to close…” (Bill Becwar Photo)

Howard Street stop.. Looking back down the train to be sure no one is being dragged in the classic conductor pose between cars. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Howard Street stop.. Looking back down the train to be sure no one is being dragged in the classic conductor pose between cars. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Back at Skokie on what will always be the North Shore Line for some of us. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Back at Skokie on what will always be the North Shore Line for some of us. (Bill Becwar Photo)

The old and the new together near Howard Street... Irony, since the Swift was run mostly with 5000s at one time (The articulateds back in the 1970s, though). (Bill Becwar Photo)

The old and the new together near Howard Street… Irony, since the Swift was run mostly with 5000s at one time (The articulateds back in the 1970s, though). (Bill Becwar Photo)

Passing through Howard Street's storage tracks - quite a different track and station configuration than in North Shore or original Swift days. (Bill Becwar Photo)

Passing through Howard Street’s storage tracks – quite a different track and station configuration than in North Shore or original Swift days. (Bill Becwar Photo)

The old cars leaving Dempster for Howard Street... (Bill Becwar Photo)

The old cars leaving Dempster for Howard Street… (Bill Becwar Photo)

The regular service cars on the Swift today were the new 5000s - but with the original style Swift signs. (Bill Becwar Photo)

The regular service cars on the Swift today were the new 5000s – but with the original style Swift signs. (Bill Becwar Photo)



Categories: Chicago Area, General, Interurbans, Preservation

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