Historical Map: Chicago Plan Commission – Rapid Transit Facilities, 1945

Here’s a gorgeous pre-CTA planning map from Chicago in 1945, outlining all sorts of grandiose ideas for expansion of the subway system, almost none of which have actually come to pass. There appears to be a proposed second Loop, which would have run more east-west than the existing one. There’s also a planned subway line heading out to the northwest, but this doesn’t follow the same alignment as the Blue Line, and a subway line running along Belmont Avenue.

Have we been there? Yes.

What we like: Awesome old-school cartography at its finest. The shading to show the city limits is quite beautiful. The map looks gorgeous at larger sizes (click through to take a look!)

What we don’t like: Limited use of colour (almost certainly due to wartime austerity measures) does make some detail hard to make out. The blobs on the “L” lines don’t represent stations; it’s just the type of linework used to differentiate it from other lines, such as roads.

Our rating: A glimpse at what might have been, but never was. Fantastic! Four-and-a-half-stars.

4.5 Stars!

(Source: Eric Fischer/Flickr)

FILM: The Last Pullman Car

Very cool.

I’ve been meaning to get to the Illinois Railway Museum for ages now. This may have been the inspiration I needed to finally get there. In the next couple of weeks?


Every year at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, volunteers bring out the working condition trains that used to operate on Chicago or Chicagoland tracks: ‘L’ trains, interurbans, and streetcars. This past weekend was “Chicago Day” at IRM. —