I took this photo at work one early spring day in March of 2007. Seen here speeding past the crossing gates on Main Street, is a southbound CTA Yelow line train. This train is heading to the Howard Street station in downtown Evanston Illinois. In past years, this short shuttle rapid transit line was known as the "Skokie Swift"line.
This line was once part of the defunct Chicago, Northshore and Milwaukee electric interurban railroad. The CTA rescued the section from Howard Street in Evanston to Dempster Street in Skokie after the 1963 North Shore line abandonement. It opened as the Skokie Swift in April of 1964. Prior to September of 2004, the north suburban village of Skokie had an ordinance banning third rail for fear of pedestrian electrocution accidents. The segment from East Prairie Road to Dempster street was operated under overhead catenary wire. The cars had rooftop pantographs that would automatically raise and lower via sensors, when switching from third rail to overhead operation at speed. In the background can still be seen the overhead girder catenary support structures. Notice the bright lime green safety vest worn today by Transit -Police -Railroad -and Public Service personel.