Chicago Rapid Transit Company
January 9, 1924 - The Northwestern, Metropolitan and South Side companies consolidate under the Insull-controlled Chicago Rapid Transit Company (CRT). Insull acts as chairman, while Budd is elected president. No significant route or schedule changes are made, but the four former companies lines are now designated as divisions for administrative purposes: North Side, South Side, Metropolitan, Lake Street and Loop.
January 31, 1924 - The CRT pays $2.6 million for the bankrupt Chicago & Oak Street Elevated at a court-ordered auction, making their control of Chicago's elevateds complete.
March 16, 1924 - Douglas Park branch service is extended to Oak Park Avenue. Although land was acquired to extend the line all the way to 72nd (Harlem) Avenue, this is as far west as the Douglas Park branch would go.
April 4, 1924 - Work begins on the new two-track, high-speed Skokie Valley bypass on the North Shore Line. Leaving the main line at Howard and rejoining the North Shore at North Chicago Junction, the CRT is to provide local service between Howard and Dempster Street in Niles Center (renamed Skokie in 1940). It is on this segment that work begins.
February 1, 1925 - The first trial run is made over the new Skokie Valley branch.
March 28, 1925 - A more ceremonial opening is held for the Skokie branch. After speeches and an air show, regular service begins. The CRT makes seven local stops between Howard and Dempster: Ridge, Asbury and Dodge in Evanston and Crawford\East Prairie, Kostner, Oakton and Main in Niles Center.
June 1925 - The Chicago Westchester & Western Railroad is organized to build a bypass through the western suburbs for the CA&E. The line is to diverge from the CA&E main line at Bellwood, but is only built as far south as Roosevelt Road, not coincidentally the location of a tract of land belonging to some associates of CA&E president Thomas Conway Jr. Operation of the branch is made the responsibility of the Met "L".
September 30, 1926 - A dedication train is run over the new Westchester branch of the Met "L". Regular service began without fanfare the next day.
October 1, 1926 - The Garfield Park branch is extended to Roosevelt Road in Westchester, over a new branch extending south from Chicago Aurora & Elgin line at Bellwood. Trains use the CA&E main line east of Bellwood, replacing CA&E as provider of local service over this segment.
November 1, 1926 - The single-car shuttle service serving Oak Ridge and Mount Carmel cemeteries is replaced with a bus service that meets Met "L" trains at Roosevelt Road in Westchester. Direct "L" service continued to be operated on Memorial Day and Independence Day.
August 27, 1927 - The new three-story Well Street terminal opens. The terra cotta Arthur Gerber-designed station was the system's showpiece. Soon after, a bridge is constructed connecting the station the the Outer Loop platform of the adjacent Quincy/Wells Loop "L" station.
1928 - The Logan Square terminal is rebuilt with a larger ground-level station facility. The terra cotta beaux-arts station is similar to a number of other new stations constructed around the system designed by Arthur Gerber.
Summer, 1928 - Construction begins on the elevation of the tracks from University Place to Isabella Street in Evanston. The project is a joint effort between the CRT and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway (reorganized as the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway the same year).
October 4, 1928 - Northbound rail traffic is shifted onto a temporary wooden trestle, with southbound trains remaining on the ground in a double-deck fashion. This configuration would continue for just over two months. Double-deck stations are used.
December 7, 1928 - Southbound traffic is routed onto the trestle.
December 1, 1930 - The Westchester branch is extended south from Roosevelt Road to 22nd Street/Mannheim Road. On the same day, the new Merchandise Mart station opens with a direct platform connection to the Merchandise Mart, the largest commercial building in the world at the time.
1931 - Work on the permanent elevated embankment from University Place to Isabella Street is completed, though a short section of the embankment just north of Church Street would remain unfinished until the 1940s. The new South Boulevard station is completed, replacing the Calvary station (originally built to serve the cemetery of the same name across the street) nearby.
June 6, 1932 - With the CRT swimming in red ink after a decline in ridership and huge fiscal loses caused the the Depression, Insull relinquishes control of his railway holdings and the company goes into receivership.
June 28, 1932 - CRT president Budd and Chicago Public Works Commissioner Albert A. Sprague are named receivers of the CRT by the United States District Court. They adopt a conservative, low-key business profile, with marketing and capital improvement activities at a minimum.
July 13, 1934 - The last funeral train service is operated over the "L" via the Metropolitan Division's tracks. The train itself is actually a CA&E consist, as the CRT has terminated its own funeral train service in 1932.