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Don's Rail Photos

Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee

Birney Cars

The North Shore Line had two city operations. In Waukegan, cars were operated on two lines. The longest ran from the Glen Flora station on the North Side of Waukegan, thru Waukegan and North Chicago, and ended at Great Lakes. The other line was a shorter line on Washington Street from the main line east to downtown. These lines were closed on November 16, 1947. In Milwaukee, the line started at the old station location on 2nd and Wisconsin, to Wells and then to 5th on track which was used by the Milwaukee Electric, then to Clybourn, up the hill to the station throat at 6th and then on the main line to Oklahoma Avenue. The track from the new station on 6th to 2nd and Wisconsin was closed in 1950. The rest of the city operation ended on August 12, 1951. I was on the last car.

In 1920 the North Shore decided to "modernize" the Waukegan service and ordered 10 birneys, 316-325, from the Cincinnati Car Co. The arrived in the green and orange color scheme of the day. Except for the occasional use in Milwaukee, they spent their relatively short lives in Waukegan.

316 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1937 and scrapped in 1938.

317 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1939 and scrapped in 1940.

318 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1937 and scrapped in 1938.

319 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in 1938.

320 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1933 and scrapped in 1938.

321 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1933 and scrapped in 1938.

322 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1933 and scrapped in 1938.

323 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1933 and scrapped in 1938.

324 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1933 and scrapped in 1938.

325 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in January 1920, #2465.  It was retired in 1940 and scrapped in 1940.

If you will notice on the above photos, these cars have the full CNS&M name spelled out. The next group of birneys came from Cincinnati in January, 1923, and were designed for Milwaukee. They had the Chicago & Milwaukee Electric name on the letter board since this was the franchisee in Milwaukee. They also had double doors. Inside they featured plush seats. These were probably the fanciest birneys ever built except for the Grand Rapids car which ended up in Marion, Indiana. There are reports of these cars operating in Waukegan, but this was not a common occurance.

I rode this line many times. Locally it was called the "dinky" or "hinky-dink" because of the single truck cars. The fare remained a nickel until the end with transfers to the North 3rd Street line which replaced the Milwaukee Northern line on 6th.

326 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1943 and scrapped in 1946.

327 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

328 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1946 and scrapped in October 1947.

329 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

330 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1946 and scrapped in October 1947.

331 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

332 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

333 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.  Scott Greig advises that car 333 went on to further service as a lodge or shed at a Wisconsin lake. Parts were saved off of it by IRM members before it was scrapped in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

334 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

335 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

336 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

337 was built by Cincinnati Car Co in December 1922, #2625.  It was retired in 1947 and scrapped in April 1948.

Until I did this report, I had taken it for granted that these cars always had the kerosene lamps on the end, but I notice that the photos taken in 1946 do not show this feature. Apparently it was only used during 1947.

We close with the sad picture of the final fate of these fine cars.

 

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2/26/2016

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