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First & Fastest Spring 2018

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We invite you to join the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society and explore First & Fastest, the premier quarterly publication on urban, suburban, interurban and regional intercity passenger service in what is now known as the Chicago Hub Network of Amtrak, and our special publications.

Download Shore Line's 2018 Calendar

2018 Shore Line calendarShore Line's 2018 planning and scheduling calendar is now available as a free PDF download.

This year's cover photo was taken by Mark Llanuza.

Click to download the calendar.


Shore Line Dispatch No. 8 - Chicago Surface Lines: Linking Chicago's Neighborhoods

Dispatch 8 coverNow Available!

Shore Line is pleased to announce the publication of Dispatch No. 8, Chicago Surface Lines: Linking Chicago's Neighborhoods, edited by Richard F. Begley, with George E. Kanary and Walter R. Keevil. This 100-page publication, issued in August 2017, includes 132 photos (24 of them in color) and three color maps.

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, with residents self-identifying as being from, for example, Hyde Park or Albany Park or Beverly or Uptown. The neighborhoods are where things happened: education, entertainment, shopping – the everyday things of life. The neighborhoods in the 1940s and 1950s were like villages where "everybody knew your name." The common denominator? The streetcars of the Chicago Surface Lines which, while serving the individual neighborhoods, also linked them to other neighborhoods, near and far.

Read more about Dispatch 8 and order online from our Special Publications page.


Shore Line Dispatch Number Seven –
A Transportation Miracle

Dispatch Number Seven, A Transportation MiracleAvailable Now!

Shore Line is pleased to announce the publication of Dispatch Number Seven, A Transportation Miracle, a 100-page publication covering the transportation side of the 28th International Eucharistic Congress that was held in Chicago on June 20-24, 1926.

There has never been anything like the 28th International Eucharistic Congress. Steam railroads from across the U.S. and Canada carried 600,000 people to Chicago, and more than 1 million people participated in the events.

Enhancing the value of this publication, acclaimed railroad artist Mitch Markovitz has created six original colorful pieces of artwork portraying the North Shore Line's "Cardinals' Special."

Unlike our usual publications that are staple bound, Dispatch Number Seven will be offered in both a softbound (perfect bound) and a limited edition hardbound version.

Read more about Dispatch Number Seven and order online from our Special Publications page.

Shore Line Dispatch No. 6 –
Chicago Surface Lines: The Big 5 Routes and 5 Others

Dispatch 6, Chicago Surface Lines: The Big 5 Routes and 5 OthersAvailable Now!

We are excited to announce the publication of Dispatch 6, Chicago Surface Lines: The Big 5 Routes and 5 Others, by Richard F. Begley, George E. Kanary, and Walter R. Keevil.

This 100-page publication is a perfect gift for family and friends. It is as much a history of Chicago itself as it is of Chicago's street railway system.

Read more about Dispatch 6 and order online from our Special Publications page.

Dispatch 6 image

Madison looking east from Clinton in 1950.—Fielding Kunecke photo, W.R. Keevil Archive

Dispatch 5, The Chicago "L's" Great Steel Fleet - The BaldiesShore Line Dispatch No. 5 – The Chicago "L's" Great Steel Fleet - The Baldies
Available Now!

Dispatch No. 5 is The Chicago "L's" Great Steel Fleet - The Baldies by Bruce G. Moffat. In the early 20th Century, managers of ChicagoĆ­s elevated railways ordered the famous fleet of 4000s, 250 of which were called "Baldies" due to their bare steel arched roofs. Now, 100 years after the delivery of the first cars, Bruce Moffat discusses what was then a revolutionary car design. Click to learn more and order online …

"This is a fantastic book" – Praise for The Chicago "L's" Great Steel Fleet - The Baldies: Dispatch No. 5 recently received enthusiastic praise from a Chicago blogger who posted an unsolicited review. He said, "I have to honestly say that this is a fantastic book. It is a must have for any Chicago elevated fan. ... For the amount of information contained within, this is the bargain of the year. Bruce (Moffat) again shows why he is the preeminent expert on all things Chicago transit related." Read the rest of the review.

Chicago Streetcar Photos Index Added to Shore Line Website

A complete index to Chicago streetcar photos which have appeared in First & Fastest between 1984 and 2013 has been added to this website. Read more and download the free Excel file ...


In the News ...

NICTD Releases Performance Report
Read NICTD's 2017 year-end ridership and performance report.

Join Shore Line!
The 2018 membership application is now available online. Join Shore Line today!

C&NW E Unit Finale
C&NW E Unit Finale book cover
In Chicago & North Western E Unit Finale, author Bruce C. Nelson tells how C&NW's last E units were acquired by Metra and decorated in its image. This 80-page book provides details on the Es in regular Metra service, plus how some were temporarily assigned to East Coast commuter runs, railfan excursions and as lead units on Amtrak detours. Read more and order on the South Platte Press website ...

Read Our October 2017 Member Letter
Read our October 2017 letter to members that summarizes the past year's activities and gives a preview of plans for 2018.

Video Promotes Rail Safety Week
A-Train4014 Productions has created a new Rail Safety Week video that reviews the dangers of being around railroad tracks and shares safety tips from Operation Lifesaver. Watch the video ...

Shore Line Helps Sponsor Special Wrap of Metra F40PH Locomotive
Metra locomotive 100
On September 14, Metra unveiled a special locomotive wrap on one of its F40PH locomotives, paid through the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society and funded by private donors and a contribution by Progress Rail Corp. The wrap marks 40 years of continuous passenger service for the locomotive model that is the backbone of Metra's passenger fleet. Read more ...

Have You Seen These Videos?
Several video producers are posting videos that may be of interest to Shore Line members. Please see our new Videos page for more information.

Metra Releases 2016 Year-End Review
Read Metra's 2016 year in review, including the busiest day in its history following the Chicago Cubs' World Series victory.

Share Your Photos on Flickr
Shore Line has created a Flickr account for sharing photos of passenger trains past and present in the Chicago area. Visit the Flickr page to view posted photos, and join the group to share your own images or comments.

Shore Line Offers Online Ordering
You can now pay for memberships and order special publications securely online with a credit card.


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