To celebrate its 70th birthday and the 125th anniversary of the oldest stretches of existing ‘L’ tracks, the CTA is digging through its archives and sharing images of Chicago’s iconic ‘L’ system through the years. The CTA has been populating its new Instagram account with historic images showing the changes to Chicago’s public transit system starting from age of streetcars up to the ‘L’ system we’re more familiar with today.
The CTA has released a video companion to the launch of their new Instagram account which helps us get a clearer picture of how Chicago’s mass transit agency and system has evolved over the decades.
The agency is also planning on hosting events and promotions over the summer to celebrate the big anniversary. Dates and details for the promotions and other events are to be announced.
Market Street Terminal in 1930 (Wacker/Madison) This 1930 photo shows the Market Street terminal in front of the Civic Opera Building at the intersection then known as Market/Madison. (Market Street later became the north-south portion of Wacker Drive.) This station was the original downtown terminal of the Lake Street 'L' before the Loop 'L' opened, and later was used as a stub terminal (some trains were diverted here rather than going onto the Loop). It opened in November of 1893. The ad on the end of the structure advertises 31 minute express service to Oak Park and 35 minutes to Forest Park (the terminus, at the time, was just a little bit past today's Harlem/Lake)—today, it's just a quick 22 minutes from State/Lake to Austin (the border with Oak Park), and only 31 minutes to Harlem/Lake (which sits right where the borders between Oak Park, Forest Park and River Forest meet). #cta #cta70 #ctahistory #chicago #oakpark #forestpark #riverforest #lakestreetL #lyricopera @lyricopera #chicagoloop #trains #railway #station #1930s
This 1970 photo (from our historical photo collection) shows a busy 95th/Dan Ryan bus terminal as people get off of buses and make their way to the train, not long after it opened. In 2014, construction began on the 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project, which will expand and greatly improve the 95th/Dan Ryan station (the south terminal of the CTA Red Line). #cta #cta70 #chicago #ctaredline #buses #terminal #busterminal #princetonpark #westchesterfield #roseland #longwoodmanor
Today, we’re sharing some pics to honor women in transit for International Women’s Day! Transit’s for everyone, and so are the jobs that move hundreds of millions of people every year in Chicago—we’re proud of our diversity, from field operations positions to the very highest levels of management. This September 1974 photo shows the first two women to fill the position of Conductor at CTA, on a 2200-series car—Saundra Watkins presses a button on the door control box with Marilyn Jackson standing beside her. Before the 1990s, Conductors would control the doors from the middle of a train and, as needed, collect fares on board. #cta #ctahistory #cta70 #internationalwomensday
Rt. 40 O'Harexpress at O'Hare in Bicentennial Colors This MAN articulated bus was assigned to the #40 O'Harexpress service, which ran express between Jefferson Park on the West-Northwest 'L' Route (today's Blue Line) and O'Hare, before the extension from Logan Square to O'Hare was completed. This photo shows the the bus, in Bicentennial livery, posing in front of the bridge used by planes (such as this McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 in @united service) to cross I-190 at O'Hare. The 'L' would later run down space in the middle of this expressway and service on the 40 would be discontinued once you could take a train directly into the airport. #cta #chicago #ord #ctahistory #airports #airplanes #unitedairlines #ohare #ohareairport #bus #bendybus #articulatedbus #ctablueline #cta70 #roadway #tarmac #taxiway #airplane #ctablueline
Orange Line opening in 1993 (at Midway Station) The inaugural train breaks through a banner commemorating the opening of the Orange Line. On October 31, 1993, CTA opened a new 'L' line from the Loop to Midway--the first completely new 'L' line since the Dan Ryan Line (today's South Side Red Line) opened in 1969, and the first time the 'L' was extended into a part of the city previously not served since 1984 (when today's Blue Line was extended to O'Hare). The opening of the line completed direct 'L' connections between downtown and both major, Chicago airports, with fast, service (up to 55 mph across most of the route) and intermediate stops generally spaced a mile or so apart with bus terminals that make for easy connections. Estimated travel time to downtown is about 25 minutes. #cta #cta70 #mdw #midwayairport #ctaorangeline #chicago #ctahistory #1990s #train #transit #publictransit #garfieldridge #westelsdon #westlawn