Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chicago urban archiology. The forgotten CTA Route # 80 Irving Park Road Electric trolleybus turnaround. West Irving Park Rd and north Neenah Avenue.

I felt the same excitement that those famous archiologist experience, when they find the ruins of an ancient forgotten city. Although this site has been redeveloped with hi rise apartments or condominiums, the black cast iron poles with the white sections below, give proof that this was a transit terminal at one time. Notice how the poles make a half circle indicating where a driveway once existed. The bases were painted white for visibility. The poles themselves had supported the overhead twin wires and special work required for electric trolleybus operation. This was the west terminal at Irving Park Road and north Neenah Avenue. The CTA Route # 80 Irving Park Road bus line was converted to 100 % diesel bus operation in January of 1973.
The buses now terminate at west Irving Park Road and north Cuberland Avenue. The Illinois Railway Museum in Union Illinois has a small collection of former CTA Electric trolleybuses, as well as some of the line poles and overhead wire from west Irving Park Road. I found it amazing that this ruin of a former transit terminal still existed in 2006.


Anonymous said...

I used to take the bus line to the HIP (Harlem Irving Plaza) and you always had to be carefule to get the bus that went to Cumberland (Pueblo) and not Neenah.

That is also where Reed used to be.

Eddie said...

This location must have been nice back in electric bus days.
I was born in 1962, and have memories of riding the Route # 52 Kedzie -California Avenue line when
they were using the old 1951 Marmon Herrington trolley coaches.

I rode on and witnessed these buses in their final years of operation when I was growing up.

Some of the old electric trolleybus
and former streetcar lines still have the old line poles on portions of their routes today here in Chicago. Some of these lines are Belmont -Central -Irving Park -Montrose -Elston -Pulaski rd
Lawrence -Roosevelt Rd -and Kedzie Avenue. The overhead wires and equipment are gone, but some of the old line poles with the wire feeder brackets are still in place.
Mostly on the northside.

Thank You.