Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book

Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book

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Insull Chicago Interurbans CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB in color Lloyd Morning Sun Book
 
Insull Chicago Interurbans
CA&E - CNS&M - CSS&SB
In color
By Gordon E. Lloyd
Hardbouind With Dustjacket
128 Pages
Copyright 1996


Contents
Chicago Aurora And Elgin Railroad
North Shore Line
Southshore Line

This all color book on the three major interurban lines of Chicago had to wait until 1950 to get its "legs." Until that time, when the author finally was convinced that color film and color 35mm cameras had been perfected and were a permanent and reliable fixture in railroad photography, did the 616 black and white Kodak Monitor begin its reluctant journey to the "back of the shelf' after many years of service in the 1930's and 1940's.
One consideration is worth noting, regarding the Chicago Insull interurbans; they were not "typical" of the industry beyond their formative years. By the time Insull had gained control over them, they, with the possible exception of the Chicago Lake Shore & South Bend, had developed characteristics which made them unique, not typical.
The interurban of legend was a side of the road trolley line, single track, laid with 60# rail and powered from a trolley wire hung in "simple suspension" from untreated wood trolley supports. It was cheaply constructed, often nothing more than a device to swindle money from investors who succumbed to the tantalizing idea of "getting rich quick." Greed played an important part in facilitating the construction of early interurban lines.
The fact that the interurban industry reached its peak in 1915, before Insull had purchased his first Chicago interurban, and then began abandoning route mileage and consolidating remaining lines, is further evidence of the "untypical" nature of the progressive operations we will review during the 1950-1963 period. Two of the Insull lines did fail during that time, outliving the "typical" interurban by 20 or so years. The fact that one of them, once judged to be the weakest of the three, still operates both physically and financially, is nothing short of remarkable. Success is a welcome surprise when chronicaling an industry replete with disappointments.
What we have attempted to do herein is to capture the flavor of the Insull lines 40 plus years ago. Many people thought that the Insull lines were institutions. They had survived the break up of Insull's utility empire in the early 1930's, and had prospered, in varying degrees, from World War II, as the suburbs that they served began growing and home building, dead since the early 1930's, was ready to boom. The future of the interurban appeared to be rosy.
On the lines of the CA&E, for example, the future appeared especially favorable as far as passenger business was concerned. Homes in the western suburbs of Chicago were moderately priced, as opposed to the more expensive housing north of Chicago along the routes of the CNS&M. The CA&E had, in fact, experienced car shortages and had ordered 10 new interurban cars (the last true interurbans constructed, until the South Shore order with Sumitomo). There was steam road competition, but in the days before dieselization and double deck, air conditioned, suburban cars, the CA&E offered a ride which was far superior to that offered by its competition.
The freight business was another matter. The CA&E was weak in that department. Newspapers were still carried, on the front platform of some passenger trains, and was a small revenue producer. Less than carload lot business had been gone for years, lost to truck lines. Carload freight was actively solicited, but
it was basically short haul. It was, however, just the type of freight business that the trucking firms were first to attack and to capture. There was little bulk freight which was the type of traffic the railroad excelled in handling.
On the CNS&M, the passenger outlook was relatively good but steam road competition was stronger. The Chicago-Milwaukee business came under attack by the Chicago & North Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific. The CNW fielded Commuter 400's which also siphoned away business to and from Racine and Kenosha. The CMStP&P, running through then thinly populated country between Chicago and Milwaukee, gave a fast ride between the two terminal cities with its HIAWATHAS. However, many still preferred the convenience and luxury of the two North Shore Electroliners which offered a superb ride, even though hand
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