Interurbans on the "L":
North Shore Line Gallery 2

North Shore Line Gallery 01 | North Shore Line Gallery 02

cnsm_MDcar02.jpg (101k)
A 203-class merchandise despatch car is seen on the left at the Montrose Avenue freight house platform. The MD cars had an exterior appearance generally similar to other North Shore cars built during the same period, except they had no windows and this series had two large sliding doors at the ends to facilitate the movement of freight. The car is loaded with barrels, crates, and other express parcels. (Photo from the Lou Gerard Collection)
cnsm1513.jpg (219k)
North Shore Line flatcar 1513 is shown loaded with piggyback containers on the incline from the Buena Yard to the elevated on November 28, 1927. Car 1513 was one of 10 flats purchased in 1927 to accommodate the interurban's growing ferry truck freight service, joining 10 shorter flat cars bought the previous year for the same purpose. The cars were specifically designed to hold the truck-trailer containers, which were transferred from the trucks to the trains at the Montrose ramp in Buena Yard. (Photo from the Lou Gerard Collection)
MontrosePiggybackRamp01.jpg (222k)
This view looking south shows a long row of piggyback container-equipped flatcars backed up to the Montrose ramp on September 2, 1927. The coupler of the last flatcar is visible on the bottom. The metal uprights on the sides of the flatcars are the armatures that the containers were secured to. A container is seen in the distance, secured to a flatcar several cars down in the consist. The incline up to the elevated from the yard is seen on the right, while the North Side Main Line "L" structure is on the left. (Photo from the Lou Gerard Collection)
MontrosePiggybackRamp02.jpg (195k)
A ferry truck backs up the Montrose Avenue ramp and onto a string of waiting flatcars specially designed to secure the containers on September 2, 1927. Loading of the containers onto the flatcars was accomplished by backing one trailer at a time up a ramp and onto the flatcars, a procedure still used today for "piggyback" freight operations. The North Shore Line reported it took an average loading time of nine minutes at Montrose in Chicago where only one ramp was available, whereas it took an average of only two minutes at Harrison Street Milwaukee where several ramps were available. (Photo from the Lou Gerard Collection)