Chicago Rapid Transit
Chicago Rapid Transit Company (Wikipedia listing)
The Chicago Rapid Transit Company (CRT) was a privately owned firm providing rapid transit rail service in Chicago and several suburbs between the years 1924 and 1947. The CRT is one of the predecessors of the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago's present mass transit operator.
Leading up to the consolidation of the 'L' companies into the CRT was decades of the Chicago Elevated Railways Collateral Trust (CER), an entity directly attributed to utilities magnate Samuel Insull. CER laid the groundwork for the companies to become one, including financial agreements and simplification that allowed for free transfers between the various lines at the places where they shared facilities, such as at Loop elevated stations. CER also resulted in the through-routing of trains from one company's line to another, enabling riders to take a single train from Ravenswood on the Northwestern 'L' to 35th Street on the South Side 'L'.
The CRT was an amalgamation of several elevated railroad operators, each of which operated service in a particular section of the city. These predecessors include:
The CRT network was entirely at or above grade level until the 1943 opening of the State Street subway, now part of CTA's Red Line.
Following World War II and the continuing financial malaise of the privately owned bus, streetcar, and elevated/subway operators, both the city government of Chicago and the Illinois legislature favored consolidating the three separate systems into a single, public-owned authority. The assets and operations of the CRT were assumed by the newly established Chicago Transit Authority on October 1, 1947.
Rolling Stock Photos
RPWRHS photo C036-EF1025 shows Chicago Rapid Transit elevated car 1025 running as an Evanston Express. Location not given. Date not given. Motorized car 1025 was one of an order for 37 cars built by the Pullman Company and placed by the Northwestern Elevated Railroad Company on November 4, 1898. It could seat 42 passengers. It had open platforms, steel underframe, and steel-reinforced superstructure. In 1913 its original number, 25, was changed to 1025. By 1955, all units had been scrapped except for 1024, which is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. This car has been fitted out as a "smoker". The trolley poles were added in the 1913-1914 time frame. The photo was taken sometime in the 1920s.