Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)


The 6000 series of elevated cars had a life span of almost 40 years: from 1950 through the mid 1990's as active passenger carriers.   The first 130 arrived in 1950 with 70 more coming shortly after.  Their original assignments were primarily on the west side lines including the new Logan Square/Dearborn subway line which opened in 1951 after being delayed due to World War II.  The original 130 had dual headlights and a unique paint scheme.  The second order of 70 cars had the single headlamp and a simplified paint scheme that would be used on subsequent cars of the series.

In order to save money as well as maximize parts including motors, trucks, window cranks and more, CTA embarked on a conversion program of its then almost brand new PCC cars to 6000 series elevated cars.  The first 6200 series cars were a result of  the Madison line being gutterlinered at the end of 1953.  Its Pullman PCC's were shipped to St. Louis with parts being used for this new series.  In fact the entire Pullman series were so converted (6201-6510) before the St. Louis cars met a similar fate.  Cars 6511-6720 had parts from the St. Louis PCC's as did single cars 5-50 (1-4 were high speed cars as such and had trucks and motors unique to those cars).  Only the final series of PCC cars used on the Wentworth portion did not go to St. Louis Car Company for the conversion.  

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    As built 6097 leads a Garfield Park Elevated at Lake just east of Wells.  This was at the time when all el's ran counterclockwise around the "loop".

    A Ravenswood 6000 series is seen at Tower 12 at Van Buren and Wabash . . .

     . . . and then accelerating north on Wabash.  Check out those cars in the parking lot! 

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    All though not a 6000 this was a steel car being dismantled at the Skokie shops in May, 1957.  Another visit courtesy CTA.

    Within the shops was this 6000 series car.  Notice the coils next to it!

    A contrast between an older 4000 series car and a new 6000 series again in the Skokie Shops.

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    A new 6200 series car still with its window sticker waits to be serviced inside the Skokie shops.

    Outside was an interesting contrast of an old wooden open end car facing a brand new 6200 class on the transfer table

    A northbound 6100 class still in original colors, headlights and trolleys crosses Isabella, the city limits between Evanston and Wilmette in this 1957 scene.

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    The same day a southbound Evanston shuttle with a re-painted 6000 stops at the Isabella station.  The station no longer exists nor do the cars or overhead.

     This 5000 series was an experimental car: one of 4 that originally ran on the Garfield branch in silver and red.  They later were converted to run on the Skokie Swift in 1964.  

    The Kennedy line used 6000's: mostly the 6511 series.  These cars ran until the second generation Budds arrived in 1983.  The four cars are seen near Jefferson Park.  Look at the dummies on the Kennedy Expressway!

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     This 6000 car shows the Douglas Park terminal at Laramie near Cermak in Cicero in the 1970's. The Douglas line is being rehabilitated at this time with many of the older stations being replaced.

    The Evanston Express ran every 30 minutes downtown during the day.  A pair of 6000's are seen coming to the Lake/Clark station in 1976.

    Another pair of 6000's are coming down to street level on the Ravenswood line near Lawndale
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    CTA painted a number of buses and elevated cars to celebrate the bicentennial in 1976.  Each example was named.  This is the Haym Soloman on the Ravenswood line coming into the Clark/Lake station in July, 1976. 

    The interlocking plant at Howard looked like this in 1976.  An Eastbound Skokie Swift is entering the station area while a northbound 8 car morning rush hour Howard train is going into the balloon track to turn head back south again.

    A northbound Evanston Express with one of the two sets of 6000's with the dual headlights passes a southbound Howard - Jackson Park train

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    The other 6000 series still with its dual headlights heads south on an Evanston Express near the Jarvis station.

    All decked out in its bi-centennial splendor, the Skokie Swift 25 heads into the Howard Street station.  Notice the stripes on each side of the roof!

    One of the bi-centennial painted 6200 series brings up the rear of an Evanston Express train north of Howard St
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    The first set seen earlier returns with the dual headlight 6000 now heading south with another Evanston Express as it enters Howard St. Station.

    Another Evanston Express, now down to two cars, enters the Howard St. Station plant heading towards the Loop.

    An eight car Howard/Englewood train comes off the balloon track.  Notice the bicentennial set behind the second car.

    In some of the pictures showing the north (yards) end at Howard you can see the Federal Mass Transportation Act sign announcing a new yard.  It took over ten years for the project to be completed.  Strange, but in the mid 1920's it took Samuel Insull two years to build the entire Skokie Valley line including re-doing Howard Street.   That's progress for you!

    Wednesday, 21 December, 2011 23:27

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