Here is as complete a look at the Chicago traction/trolley/interurban scene as you are likely to find! Noted railroad historians Bill Warrick and Walter Keevil have assembled an amazing assortment of rare color and black & white footage to document electric railroading operations in and around the Chicago area from the 1990s all the way back to 1900. Originally released by Interurban Press as three separate VHS videos known as the Midwest Traction Classics, this series is now available for your enjoyment on one combo DVD! Included on this disc are:
Outside Chicago; Midwest Electric Lines
The lines outside Chicago are brought back to life in this fascinating documentary. The Indiana Railroad, the Illinois Terminal, the Crandic, and the Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern are just a few of the interurbans covered here. Plus, streetcars in Indianapolis, St. Louis, and the Twin Cities are shown as well! 30 minutes, color footage, produced in 1987, formerly titled “Midwest Traction Classics.”
Chicago’s 3 Interurbans; Midwest Electric Lines II
This film has it all, from Electroliners to Birneys. Visit Insull’s Big Three: the North Shore; the South Shore; and the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, with footage from every era plus present day action on the two survivors. You’ll also ride the Illinois Central Electric and the Gary Railways. 30 minutes, color and B&W footage, produced in 1988.
90 Years of Chicago Traction; Midwest Electric Lines III
This film treats you to images of the Chicago Surface Lines and its predecessors, including horse, cable, and electric service from around 1900 to the 1950s. The famous CSL drop-platform cars and plenty of Chicago PCCs are shown across the windy city. The Chicago Elevated Railways are also covered in scenes throughout the system from 1900-1990. You’ll see cars swinging around curves and through interlockers, crowds boarding at stations, trains of wooden and later steel cars, the “Skokie Swift,” and other unique Chicago El lines! 58 minutes, color and B&W footage, produced in 1990.