Chicago Trolleys

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Before the rise of automobiles, where new trolley car lines were built, people, businesses, and neighborhoods followed, and trolleys quickly helped Chicago become a world-class city. Chicago's extensive transit system first started in 1859, when horsecars ran on rails in city streets, cable cars and electric streetcars following soon after, but once trolleys appeared on the scene, Chicago metaphorically exploded. At its peak, Chicago had over 3,000 streetcars and 1,000 miles of track—the largest such system in the world. By the 1930s, there were also streamlined trolleys and trolley buses on rubber tires. Some parts of Chicago's famous "L" system also used trolley wire instead of a third rail. Trolley cars once took people from the Loop to such faraway places as Aurora, Elgin, Milwaukee, and South Bend. Though seemingly-outdated in the 21st century, there are still a few trolleys running today for anyone who prefers to take the scenic route.
ISBN: 9781467126816
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Illinois
Series: Images of Rail
Images: 221
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
David Sadowski has been interested in streetcars ever since his father took him for a ride on one of the last remaining lines in 1958. He grew up riding trolley buses and “L” trains all over Chicago. He coauthored Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936–1958, and runs the online Trolley Dodger blog. Come along for the ride as we travel from one side of the city to the other and see how trolley cars and buses moved Chicago's millions of hardworking, diverse people.
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