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Chicago ‘L’ System – South Side Railroad Car #1

Chicago L System South Side Railroad Car 1 - Joy of Museums - Chicago History Museum

This South Side Railroad Car #1 is the first passenger car to operate on the Chicago ‘L’ system in 1893,  the ‘L’ is short for “elevated”. Passengers could ride the ‘L’ for 5 cents to attend the World’s Columbian Exposition, making it the second-oldest rapid transit system in the Americas, after New York City’s elevated lines. The car’s interior features included mahogany and rattan seats and etched glass windows.

Chicago L System South Side Railroad Car 1 - Joy of Museums - Chicago History Museum - 1

The first “L”, the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad, began service with a steam locomotive pulling four wooden coaches. Today the Chicago “L” is the electrified rapid transit system serving the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. It is the fourth-largest rapid transit system in the United States in terms of total route length and the second-busiest rail mass transit system in the United States.

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:                      Chicago ‘L’ System South Side Railroad Car #1
  • Date:                      1893
  • Museum:              Chicago History Museum

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“Isn’t it astonishing that all these secrets have been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!” Orville Wright

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Photo Credit: JOM