CTA’s Ride the Rails: Green Line to Ashland & Cottage Grove Real-time (2019)

CTA’s Ride the Rails: Green Line to Ashland & Cottage Grove Real-time (2019)


Periodically, information about the CTA and/or the line will appear on the screen.
If you prefer to experience this video without this information, please turn off
Youtube’s closed captioning. The Green Line runs 20.7-miles and services 30 stations.
There is also one abandoned station along the route. The Green Line was created in 1993 when the Lake Line was linked with the
Englewood-Jackson Park Line via the Loop Elevated. The Green Line is interesting in that, since the 1993 realignment, it consists of
the city’s two oldest lines: the Lake Street and South Side lines. The South Side main line represents the oldest section of the ‘L’ in the city,
with the original portion between Congress Street and Pershing (39th Street)
completed in 1892. The next year, the line was extended to serve the Colombian Exposition of 1893.
In 1905, the Englewood branch opened. There were also three now-demolished branches to
Normal Park, Kenwood, and the Stock Yards. The Lake Street ‘L’ opened in 1893, not long after the
initial section of the South Side Elevated. The line originally went from 52nd Avenue (later called Laramie Avenue)
on the city’s western city limits to Market & Madison on the edge of the
central business district. The line would eventually be extended to Forest Park, then
shaved back one station to its present terminal at Harlem Avenue. The Green Line serves several points of interest, including the Art Institute of Chicago,
Chicago Cultural Center, City Hall/County Building, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio,
Garfield Park Conservatory, Illinois Institute of Technology, Museum Campus,
Soldier Field, and the University of Chicago. This portion of the Green Line, from west of Laramie to west of Harlem
in Forest Park, originally ran at street level. In the early 1960’s, tracks were
relocated on the adjacent RR embankment, eliminating 22 grade crossings. Now demolished location of the Lombard station. It was closed
in 1948 when the CTA revamped service on the Lake Street Line. This was also the transfer point of the Cuyler Shuttle (abandoned in 1912)
and the Randolph Street branch (abandoned in 1903). Location of the now demolished Menard station. Laramie was previously named 52nd Avenue. It was the final elevated station of the original Lake Street branch until 1962. Cicero was previously named 48th Avenue. Location of the now demolished Kostner station. It closed in 1948. Pulaski was previously named 40th Avenue. Location of the now demolished Hamlin station.
It closed on March 18, 1956. The Conservatory-Central Park Drive station has an unusual history. It was a
brand new station built by the CTA in 2001 from the architectural components
of the closed Homan station. Location of the now demolished Homan Station. It was taken down in 2000
with portions of it being used for the Conservatory Central-Park station. Location of the now demolished Sacramento station.
It was removed in 1949. Location of the now demolished Campbell station.
It closed in 1948 and was removed in 1949. Location of the now demolished Oakley station.
It closed in 1948 and was removed in 1949. Location of the now demolished (and soon to be rebuilt) Damen station.
It originally closed in 1948 and was demolished in 1949. The new station is scheduled to open in 2021. Damen was originally named Robey Street,
but it was changed in the early 1930s. Location of the now demolished Wood station, part of
the Lake Transfer Station. It closed in 1913. Location of the now demolished three level Lake Street Transfer station. The
station closed on February 25, 1951 and was demolished in the mid- or late-1960s. Location of the now demolished Loomis station (previously named
Sheldon Street until the early 1930s). It closed on April 4, 1954. Location of the now demolished Racine station.
It was closed in 1948 and demolished in 1949. The original Morgan station was built in 1892 like most of the other stations on
the Lake Street branch. It closed in 1948 when the CTA revamped service on
the branch. It was then demolished in early 1949. In 2012, 64 years after it originally closed, CTA opened a brand new station. Location of the now demolished Halsted station. It closed in 1994
when the Lake Street branch went under a two year renovation. Location of the now demolished Canal station.
It was demolished after Clinton station opened in 1909. The Clark/Lake tri-level facility is the CTA’s largest, most complex station and one of
its busiest. It was created in 1992 when the Clark/Lake elevated station and the Lake Transfer subway station — which previously had separate fare controls and
mezzanines — were renovated and had their passenger access relocated into
two buildings. In 1966, State/Lake became the first Loop ‘L’ station to receive an escalator for
passenger convenience as part of a series of station improvements and renovations
the CTA performed in the mid- and late-1960s. State/Lake is the last remaining example of 1895 Loop architecture from the Lake
Street Leg, despite its altered condition. The station still sports its original decorative
railings and canopies, among other remnants. Location of the now demolished Randolph/Wabash station.
It closed on September 3, 2017, replaced by the newly constructed
Washington/Wabash station which opened three days earlier. Washingon/Wabash station replaced and consolidated the Randolph/Wabash and
Madison/Wabash stations into one facility, located between the two former stations. It opened on Thursday, August 31, 2017. Location of the now demolished Madison/Wabash station.
It closed on Monday, March 16, 2015, for the construction of the new
Washington/Wabash station. Location of the now demolished Congress/Wabash station. It closed
August 1, 1949, and was demolished in the mid-1950s with the widening
of Congress Street for the expressway. This “S” curve used to be much sharper, but on Friday, May 23, 2003,
CTA closed and rebuilt it with a gentler curve. The process took 80-hours, and re-opened in time for Tuesday morning rush hour. The rail tunnel to the right is the 13th Street Incline. It connects the Red Line
to this elevated structure for access to the Orange and Green Lines. At this juncture, the Orange Line heads west to continue its trip to Midway Airport. Location of the now demolished 18th Street station.
It closed on August 1, 1949, and was demolished shortly thereafter. This is the second station located at Cermak. The first station was built in 1892,
named 22nd Street. In 1907 its named changed to Cermak. By the late 1970s low ridership sealed the stations fate and it closed on
September 9, 1977 and was demolished a year later. Cermak-McCormick Place opened on Sunday, February 8, 2015. Location of the now demolished 26th Street station.
It closed August 1, 1949. Location of the now demolished 29th Street station.
It closed August 1, 1949. Location of the now demolished 31st Street station.
It closed August 1, 1949. The IIT Train Tube was constructed by the Illinois Institute of Technology
to dampen the noise of trains on their campus, and as a piece of art for
their student center that they squeezed under it. Location of the now demolished 33rd Street station.
It closed September 25, 1961. This station was previously named 35th until 1949 when it became Tech-35th. Location of the now demolished 39th Street station.
It closed August 1, 1949. Indiana was a transfer station until 1957 when the Stock Yard branch and
Kenwood branch were discontinued. Remnants of the Kenwood branch exists to this day. You can see the
old track from the platform and see its path using Google Earth. Now for some general history on the CTA. Chicago’s rapid transit system began in the 1890’s.
Originally there were four companies that ran the different lines. The South Side ‘L’, The Lake Street ‘L’,
The Metropolitan West Side ‘L’, and The Northwestern ‘L’. The South Side ‘L’ opened in 1892 and went 3.6-miles
from Congress Street to 39th Street. The Lake Street ‘L’ opened in 1893 and went from 52nd Avenue
(Laramie Avenue) to Market (Wacker) and Madison. The Metropolitan West Side ‘L’ started service in 1895 and went from
Franklin Street west to Marshfield Avenue where it split into three branches. The last of the original elevated companies to start service structures to be built
was The Northwestern ‘L’ which began operation in 1900. It went from a connection
with the Union Loop’s tracks at Fifth (Wells) and Lake to Wilson. Although it had no trains of its own, the Union Loop opened in late 1897 and
was very important for the downtown area. Until the Union Loop opened, the
other rail lines all terminated on the outskirts of the downtown. The Union Loop was built to serve as a common downtown terminal
for the various ‘L’ companies. They did not have any trains of their own. With the opening of the Union Loop the city’s three – soon to be four – operating
‘L’ companies could now bring commuters into the heart of the city. While the separate companies kept their individual identities, they did unify under
the moniker Chicago Elevate Railways Collateral Trust (CER), which functioned
similar to a holding company, and in 1913 the first trains were through-routed
without requiring customers pay an extra fare. A system of universal transfers was also instituted at this time. Finally,
in 1924, the four operating companies were consolidated into the
Chicago Rapid Transit Company (CRT). Just 7-years later, in 1931, CRT was filing for bankruptcy. By the mid-1940s, the transit situation in Chicago was quite complicated,
and it became apparent that privately owned public transit would not survive
due to its unprofitability. The street railways system was being managed by the Chicago Surface Lines but was
still actually comprised of four separate companies, and they were also bankrupt. In both cases, the companies had bonds and other liabilities that were coming due
and no way to pay them, and fares had long since ceased to be enough to cover
operating and capital improvement expenses. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) was created April 12, 1945 and,
with the exception of the Chicago Motor Coach Company, brought
all public transit under one organization in October 1947. The Chicago Motor Coach Company was purchased in 1952. Originally called 55th Street, the station formally changed to Garfield in 1969. Location of the now demolished 58th Street station. The station closed on
January 9, 1994 when the Green Line closed for a two-year rehabilitation.
When the line reopened, 58th Street remained closed. The platform and canopy remained in place for 18 years after
the station closed until it was finally demolished in 2012. Here the Green Line splits, with one branch going to Ashland/63rd
while the other goes to Cottage Grove. Location of the now demolished State station.
It closed on September 2, 1973. Location of the now demolished Wentworth station.
It closed on February 9, 1992. This tiny platform is all that remains of the station. Location of the now demolished Princeton station.
It was closed August 1, 1949 and was eventually demolished. Location of the now demolished Harvard station. It closed
February 9, 1992 and was demolished during the Green Line rehabilitation. Harvard was also the transfer point for the now demolished
Normal Park branch. The branch closed on January 29, 1954. Location of the now demolished Parnell station. It had a pedestrian
connection to the adjacent Chicago & Western Indiana station.
It closed on July 31, 1949. Racine station. It never reopened after the Green Line rehabilitation was
finished in 1994. It is the last of the original 1906 Engelwood stations left. Location of the now demolished Loomis station. Due to the extension to Ashland
a few blocks west in 1969, Loomis was closed when the extension opened. Location of the now demolished 61st Street station. It never
reopened after the Green Line rehabilitation was completed in 1996. While this is the final stop on this branch of the Green Line, it used to extend all the way
to Jackson Park. It included an additional 4 stations. Nothing remains of these structures.

8 thoughts on “CTA’s Ride the Rails: Green Line to Ashland & Cottage Grove Real-time (2019)”

  1. I used to live a couple of blocks from the Cicero station.
    Strange not seeing the giant Brach's candy factory looming over the neighborhood anymore.

  2. Thanks for the upload. Please keep them coming, as you are able! A lot has changed since I rode this line on a daily basis, hundreds of times, some 50 + years ago. A number of stations are gone now, 58 th, 59th/Wentworth, 59th/State, Harvard, but part of the Racine station is still there (although closed). I see where the Loomis station was (prior to 1969, before the line was extended to Ashland). Many buildings along the sides are gone. Many recently rebuilt and modernized stations look good. I miss the old 6000 series EL cars that ran from 63 st, through the State Street subway tunnel, then northbound to Howard Street.

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