Charles Smiley Videos Releases Midwest Electric Rails DVD

Goleta, California, August 2018 — Charles Smiley Videos is proud to release "Midwest Electric Rails," our most ambitious production to date. This extensive presentation will paint the transportation picture that once wrapped around the lower part of the Lake Michigan-from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, down through Chicago, Illionois and ending in South Bend Indiana. The Chicago street car lines were claimed to be the largest system of its kind at one time. From 1858 it grew from a number of small lines using horse drawn trolleys that ran on tracks in the streets. Various attempts at using steam power and cable car technology failed to become the rule. Frank Sprague invented the first streetcar in 1888. The Electric streetcar was a way of solving many problems and by 1890 the electric streetcars started to take hold. The development of this equipment came rapidly.

This presentation will paint the transportation picture that once wrapped around the lower part of Lake Michigan - from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, down through Chicago , Illinois and ending in South Bend, Indiana. The scenes you are about to view are nearly all from the 1950 period to the early 1960s. Most of these electric interurban lines are gone with one exception. It took many more years of smaller lines combining into what eventually was one giant system.

The Chicago Surface Lines boasted of 1,000 miles of track and over 3,000 streetcars of various designs. We have a few other surprises of how people commuted and traveled in these areas. Also covered is a brief visit to the Illinois Railroad Museum 30 years ago and the East Troy RR line when it operated freight. These are two fine railroad museums that feature numerous, beautifully restored electric trolleys and interurban cars you have just seen from a bygone era. Both feature sparkling equipment you can actually ride in park-like setting over extensive track work. The Illinois Railroad Museum is only about 50 miles from downtown Chicago. The East Troy Railroad Museum is only about 32 from downtown Milwaukee.

To order the DVD, please visit the Charles Smiley Videos website.

  CTA car 2508 at Adams/Wabash leads the last 2400-series revenue service run  
  The front cover of the "Midwest Electric Rails" DVD from Charles Smiley Videos.
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