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.
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.
- Title: Chicago ‘L’ System South Side Railroad Car #1
- Date: 1893
- Museum: Chicago History Museum
“Isn’t it astonishing that all these secrets have been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!” Orville Wright
Photo Credit: JOM