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Author Topic: Riding the North Shore  (Read 9324 times)
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chuck
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Posts: 5


« on: April 08, 2014, 06:35:05 PM »

Out of all of my Milwaukee memories, the ones that stand out
the most to this day are the ones of riding the North Shore
electric trains to Chicago.  My older brother and I rode those trains
a lot.   We would use any excuse we could think up, for a reason
to take the North Shore to Chicago.  The station was downtown
at 6th and Michigan Ave.  Those heavy trains would go down the
middle of 6th street from the station way down through the south
side, until it got to Harrison St.   At Harrison, it ran off the end of
the street and on to high speed tracks.  They kept the speed down
while on the street, but I can still remember how cool it was
when it would go off the street and then he'd open it all the way
up, and it would get up to 80 mph in a very short time.

Those electric railcars were mostly built in the 1920s and 30's,
but the two fancy modern 4-car Electroliners were built in 1941
so they were newer ones.

We rode it a lot.  We used it to go to the Museum of Science
and Industry, the Field Museum, the planetarium, and some times
we would ride it down to the Chicago loop just so we could walk
over to the Illinois Central Electric train station and then go ride
those.

The last night that the North Shore ran was a bitterly cold.
It was in January of 1963.

I was on the last train from Chicago to Milwaukee.
Pulling into the Milwaukee station, swinging in off of 6th
St. into the station the conductor said: "That's all there is, there aint no more!"   After he said that, all went silent.  Nobody said a word.

Those are among my fondest Milwaukee memories, and that
last night is my saddest memory of all.  I still, to this day
get choked up about it.   When they took those trains away,
Milwaukee was never quite the same after that.

Chuck


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