IRM PCC "L" Car Fantrip 2001
The Illinois Railway Museum's PCC fantrip was held on Sunday, May 6, 2001 with high attendance and great success.
The trip used the museum's three PCC 6000- and 1-50 series cars -- cars 6655-6656 and 22 -- used in the filming of the movie Ali in March 2001. There were two trips run during the day that traveled on every line of the system except the Blue Line. This was the first time that a charter has been run on CTA tracks with museum owned cars.
The morning trip, which was the most heavily attended at near-full capacity, left Howard at 9:00am and proceeded north to Linden. The train then returned south to Howard with a photo stop at Dempster on the way, then out to Hamlin on the Yellow Line (the extent of the third rail) and back to Howard. The charter then proceeded south on the North Side main line on track 1 and onto Ashland/63 via the State Street Subway (an excellent throwback to the use of the 6000s on the old North-South Route!), with photo stops at North/Clybourn and Garfield. After a ten minute layover at Ashland, the charter returned north to the Loop via the Green Line and proceed out to Midway, with a photo stop at Halsted, a photo flyby at Pulaski/51, and a 25 minute layover on the lay-up track at Midway. The morning trip then returned to Howard at about 2:00pm, traveling via the Brown Line with a photo stop and flyby at Sheridan.
The second trip left Howard at 3:00pm with about fifty passengers and went south to Clark Junction, changed ends, and traveled north to Kimball. The charter then followed the Ravenswood Line to the Loop (one of the last routes the 6000s served on) and went east to Harlem/Lake. The trip returned to the Loop, proceeded southwest back to Midway, back north to Howard via the subway, continued north to Linden, then returned south to Howard, ending just short of 8pm. The train was laid up at Skokie Shops at 8:11pm.
The Illinois Railway Museum deemed the trip a success, making a profit that will go toward the restoration of the historic PCC cars and experiencing no mechanical or operational problems with the forty-year old units. The trip was a historic event, possibly being the last PCC run on the Chicago rapid transit.
Ashland Terminal in the 1980s? Nope. 6000-series car 6655 is at the Englewood terminal on May 6, 2001 for the IRM PCC car fantrip, though it bears the destination sign of the Englewood-Howard "A" run that the 6000s would have run in that era. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
Looking south at Dempster, a work-capable 2400-series car in service on the Purple Line Shuttle pulls up along the three-car IRM PCC charter train on May 6, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
The IRM PCC charter is trailed by car 22, looking south at the original 1890s Garfield platform on May 6, 2001. Although car 22 bears a sign that was actually used on the line between 1993 and 1994 -- Lake-Englewood "A" -- no 1-50 or 6000-series train ever used it or ran in revenue service on the Green Line. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
A study in contrasts: an in-service Harlem-bound Green Line 2400-series train pulls up beside the IRM chartered 6000/5-50 series train at Garfield on May 6, 2001. The Garfield platforms seen here were closed only a matter of weeks after the photo was taken. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
5-50 series car 22 leads the IRM PCC charter at Halsted station on the Orange Line on May 6, 2001. The car carries the destination sign for Ford City -- often errantly displayed by in-service trains -- both as a joke as well as to distinguish it from revenue Orange Line trains. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
The IRM PCC charter train -- cars 22 and 6655-6656 -- works its way through Howard Yard, and past a northbound Purple Line Shuttle, into Howard station to pick up the charter riders on May 6, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
The old and the new: 1993-built 3200-series Orange Line car 3237 sits side-by-side with 1959-vintage 5-50 series car 22 at Midway Terminal at the IRM PCC fantrip on May 6, 2001. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
The IRM PCC charter train, with car 6655 bringing up the rear, is on the lay-up track at Midway Terminal on May 6, 2001. Car 6655 bears a 1950s/60s era Lake "A" route sign. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
Decked out in the Spirit of Chicago paint scheme of the 1980s, 5-50 series car 22 stops at North/Clybourn on May 6, 2001 as part of IRM's PCC fantrip. The car bears the sign of the Green Line Lake-Englewood "A" run; though Englewood "A" trains would have run through the State Street Subway between 1949 and 1993, they were not part of the Green Line then. (Photo by Graham Garfield)
6000-series car 6655 rounds the corner at Sheridan station on May 6, 2001 while on IRM's PCC fantrip. Looking east on the northbound island platform, the last of the CRT's blue and white enamel station signs on the "L" system remains on a wooden windbreak at the east end of the platform. (Photo by Graham Garfield)