Having grown up within blocks of the main line of the CNW in Winnetka during the 1950's and remaining in the area until the late 1980's you would think that there would have been tons of pictures.  Not really true, sorry to say, with only a handful of steam pictures.  Surprisingly enough I watched the trains at the Elm Street Station along with the neighboring North Shore Line for a number of years - even after the electric line was long gone and just the CNW remained.  

When the North Shore Line's "Shore Line" stopped running in 1955 the CNW became the choice way of going to and from downtown Chicago.  Once in a while I would catch some of the "streamliners" that made Winnetka a regular stop.  I rode on everything ranging from some of the old gas lit cars to the then state of the art bi-level push pull cars.  Indeed, I witnessed the change from old to new.

The CNW is dead - absorbed by the Union Pacific.  The commuter service is now part of a governmental agency known as METRA, part of the Regional Transportation Authority.  The one thing that has not changed, however, is the excellent service on the commuter lines

Click on thumbnail to see full sized picture.  When finished click on back arrow. 


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Pacific 639 pulls out of the siding after #149 has passed it in Winnetka on a nice June, 1954 day.

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CNW's unique Baldwin passenger locomotive once built for the Sioux City branch of the stillborn Corn King 400 leads a Madison local past Lake Tower in Chicago.

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CNW's Twin Cities 400 rounds the bend just south of the Evanston Station powered by 2 EMD E-7's.  Notice that by 1959 the original tap baggage cars have been replaced by newer cars.

The last Atlantic: CNW 365 at the Chicago station after a fan trip in September, 1954.  Next stop: scrap yard.

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#157  approaching the Evanston station with an E-7 and almost all streamlined consist in 1958.

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By 1959 a number of CNW coaches had been rebuilt and re-numbered into the 800 series.  Shown here is the Twin Cities 400 at its Evanston loading passengers for points up to the Twin Cities.

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In an experimental paint scheme similar to two passenger units, 4100C waits north of Crystal Lake still in freight service.  4100C would get the conventional passenger colors, HEP and power the new push pull cars as shown next to it.  Crystal Lake, 1959

Pacific 614 played 2nd Fiddle to Atlantic 365's farewell run while it posed at the Chase Yard in Milwaukee with fans for a portrait.  In less than 2years the 614 would lead its own farewell run over much the same route.  How stupid of CNW not to save this locomotive.

The northbound Twin Cities 400 at the Ridge Ave. bridge construction work in Evanston, Illinois in September, 1957.  Unusual is the fact that there are two E8's instead of an E8 and E7 combination.
For a while an ex-Great Western F B unit was used in commuter service shown here passing the Mayfair tower on the northwest side of Chicago with a very long train.

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RTA 117 sits and the then end of the former Lake Geneva Line at Richmond.  The line would soon be cut back to McHenry and the 117 would assume its regular assignment on the ex-GMO Joliet commuter train.

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Sitting again in the CNW Waukegan commuter yards are F7 418, E8A 513 now repainted in Metra colors, and a then new RTA F40PH-2.

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Rebuilt for Head End Power (HEP) CNW 5021-A is at Crystal Lake, Illinois.  To the right is the same unit a few years earlier in through service.

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Westbound #209 - the Peninsula 400 rounds the curve south of the Evanston, Illinois station in this 1958 shot. Notice the first coach is one of 25 rebuilt cars while a car further back still has the skirting.

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A westbound Galena Div. CNW commuter train at West Chicago in Spring, 1976. 
As late as 1982, after the onset of the RTA, it was still possible to see the familiar CNW colors.  This is the Kenosha train at Lake Forest with its two lounge cars.  Both cars lasted well into the Metra era and were re-painted to RTA/Metra colors.
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The westbound Twin Cities 400 just north of Hubbard Woods on a cold winter day in 1957.  This was the northern edge of the Winnetka Grade Separation Project.

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A rear shot of the same train showing the observation car - still in original colors.  

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Wednesday, 21 December, 2011 23:01

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