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Lombard (200W/100S)
Lombard Avenue and South Blvd., Village of Oak Park

Service Notes:

Lake Street Division

Quick Facts:

Address: TBD
Established: January 25, 1901
Original Line: Lake Street Elevated Railroad
Previous Names: none
Skip-Stop Type: n/a
Rebuilt: n/a
Status: Demolished

History:

Lombard Avenue station on South Boulevard was built as part of the Lake Street Elevated's 1899 extension along South Boulevard from Austin Avenue to Lombard and Randolph, thence westward along the electrified tracks of the Suburban Railroad on Randolph Street to Wisconsin (Marion) Avenue. The "L" was powered by overhead trolley wire along the extension for safety purposes due to the grade-level running. The tracks also paralleled the adjacent Chicago & North Western Railroad.

The modest stations on this portion consisted of island stations and platforms constructed of wood. The narrow station houses with their clapboard paneling and peaked roofs with overhanging eaves emptied out onto an island platform covered by a peaked canopy that was actually a continuation of the station house's roof. The tall steel poles that carried the "L"'s overhead wires occasionally poked through the canopy, interrupting the platform.

The "L"'s street-level operation began to result a number of crossing accidents, typically due to pedestrians and wagon drivers failing to take note of approaching trains. Neither the "L" nor the C&NW had any type of crossing protection originally. Manually-operated crossing gates and gatemen helped reduce accidents but did not eliminate them. The problem got worse as automobile traffic entered the picture and became more prevalent. The situation was further exacerbated when the parallel C&NW elevated their right-of-way circa 1908-09, creating a blind intersection due to the embankment preventing southbound traffic from seeing approaching "L" trains until they were on the crossing. The Chicago and Oak Park municipal governments tried for decades to get the "L" to elevated their tracks west of Laramie Avenue, to no avail.

Lombard station was closed in 1948 when the CTA revamped service on the Lake Street Line -- the first of a series of line-by-line service overhauls -- by closing 10 little-used stations and implementing A/B skip-stop service to speed up trains on the route. The station was demolished in late 1948.

 

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