Wednesday, July 11, 2018

State Street Subway


Xzvier Quintana posted
A cross section of the twin tubes that will carry the State Street subway under the Chicago River moments before they were sealed and floated away from the south Chicago dock in August 1939. (Vintage Tribune)


Screenshot @ -2:10 from posting
CTA from BlockClubChicago, an article with lots of info and more photos

Roger Wilhelmi posted

You can tell this card is old because the postage is one cent. The text on the backside reads: "CUT-AWAY VIEW OF CHICAGO'S SUBWAY IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT  Shown are the main tubes; the downtown center platform, which is 3500 feet long; the two-way escalators to the mezzanines with store connections; and the State St. surface level. Features of the subway are ventilation, illumination, escalators, safety, comfort."

Marty Swartz posted
Cross-Section Rendering of State St. Subway (1941)
Postcards were issued in the 1940s to promote the new subways being opened under State and Dearborn Streets. This 1941 sketch was one of the images published and is an artist's rendering of what the State Street Subway, still under construction, might look like once opened. The view depicts a cross-section of the street, mezzanine and subway platforms and tubes with crowds of people filling sidewalks on State Street above as well as taking advantage of direct retail connections from the station complex.
The specific location depicted here (one can deduce the location easily, with the flagship The Fair store on the left and The Palmer House on the right) is a view looking north on State from Adams. The subway mezzanine in view is the Monroe-Adams mezzanine (still today an entrance to the Monroe station on the Red Line) and the train in the tunnel is drawn as a Shoppers' Special--the name for certain express services run from several 'L' branches to the Loop, catering to mid-day shopping trips to downtown during that era.
Certain details of the finished design would change for various reasons, including materials issues related to World War II, but the detailed image is remarkably close to what the finished stations would look like. Interestingly, the subway cars the artist drew are basically of then-new, experimental "Bluebird" cars which had recently been put into service onto the BMT lines of the New York City Subway. The Bluebird model cars (or similar) were under consideration for purchase here in Chicago, at the time.

David Daruszka posted
Michael Milner The longest railway platform in North America on the line.

Lawrence Shoop posted
State street construction of subway temporary streetcar tracks taken in 1940.
Larry Socki No safety devices , hard hats , cones , safety netting , all though two guys leaning on a railing might be attempting block off the hole in the street for safety. Ah the good old days.
Jeff Hill Wow, even in 1940 you'd think they'd have at least fenced it off and not let people wander haphazardly through the work site. Oh well, they got it done anyway....

David Daruszka posted
Happy 76th birthday State Street Subway. [Oct 16, 2019]
David Sadowski Read all about it in my Arcadia book Building Chicago's Subways.
David Daruszka
Mitch Markovitz The Rapid Transit was really a railroad back then.

Kevin R Doerksen posted
OK, fellow Chicago buffs. Unused tracks at 13th and State. What were they used for?
Willelme Banks de Beauharnais II The original subway under state Street which opened in 1940s
Lorry Jenkins 1943
Lorry Jenkins Coming in and out of the subway; first stop going in Roosevelt N/B. First stop coming out of the subway S/B 35th street. But I meant the top elevated train headed down into the subway N/B. The tracks on the right I believe are storage tracks. The train that you see at top is a block-in-a-half from the Roosevelt subway station. Two set of tracks in the center of the elevated structure one N/b & one S/B leading to and from the entrance of the subway as those set of tracks start to angle lower and higher depending on your direction like the storage track on the right but these tracks will lead to & from the subway platform at Roosevelt, 1200 South on State street.
Andrew Lennie Another way to look at it is the original alignment was Howard-Jackson Park, and Lake (later) Dan Ryan. Now, of course, the Lake Street El follows the (nee) Jackson Park/Cottage Grove East 63rd alignment, and the Howard line trains do not, they follow the Dan Ryan.
Lorry Jenkins You did good Andrew. Howard also went to Englewwod

Eric Larson Entire Lake St and South Side lines (new Green Line) underwent major rehab between 1994-1996. Everything from structure to trackbed to stations. Though the perpetual rust stains on this particular section sort of make you wonder how thorough the work was!
The sunken tracks were already explained above; this incline was the original one, and north side thru trains from Howard went down into the State St. subway, then up again onto the elevated toward 63rd St. The Dan Ryan line (and indeed the freeways themselves) did not exist when this ramp was originally put into service. When the Dan Ryan line was built, an elevated connector was built from just north of the Cermak/Chinatown station, curving over toward a new flyover junction with the original Englewood line around 18th St, with trains thence heading toward the Loop. (This connector was eventually repurposed as the main line for the new trains to Midway, which started in Oct. of 1993.) Earlier, in June of 93, the new straight connection between Chinatown and Roosevelt/State was opened, pairing Howard to Dan Ryan and thus creating today's Red Line, and simultaneously pairing Lake service to the south side for today's Green Line.

As an aside, the current color-coded system of the lines had been devised right around this same time - Feb 1993. Train destination display curtains were made up and used, which employed our current system of colors - but, at first, they still carried the traditional old naming style: "Lake - Englewood", "Howard - Dan Ryan", "Congress - O'Hare", "Ravenswood", etc. These short-lived signs still even carried the old "A train"/"B train" symbols, as that stopping pattern wasn't completely discontinued until around 1995.

Back on topic, the old 13th St subway ramp is indeed still officially in service, although you obviously know it is not used for regular passenger trains. It might be called in to action, at any time, for other reasons: movement of track maintenance equipment; emergency rerouting of passenger service due to a severe outage someplace else; transfers of empty cars to be reassigned for usage at another terminal (called "deadheading" in railway lingo); and what have you. It is seldom used for storage or layover of passenger trains - there is a middle track just outside of the Roosevelt/Wabash station for that.

Lorry Jenkins Eric the only thing I disagree with you on is the Englewood was elevated adjacent to the Dan Ryan and turned E/B on 59th street over the Dan Ryan expressway first stop being 59th in State street. The next stop was 58th where Jackson Park connection also stop. Then The following stops on The main elevated line that we were speaking of initially until it hit the first stop underground in the subway: 55th; 51st; 47th; 43rd; 39th or Indiana; 35th state street (IIT) university; 22street, old elevated station which was torn down but I think they are rebuilding or already have built a new elevated 22nd elevated, not sure. Next was Roosevelt, first stop into the subway N/B. The elevated Roosevelt today did not exist. It was built later for the orange line to Midway Airport.

That elevated connector just north of 22 Street was built for the Dan Ryan trains to make it to the main-line tracks to be able to make the stops in the loop, and then head west to Harlem Avenue, last stop on the west side Lake street section to Forest Park Il.

If you remember a crack was discovered in the steel structure north of 22nd street some 40 years ago and C.T.A. Built wood and steel planks and beams that were there for years if they're still not there.

Eric Larson I never heard about that last bit! The rest of this certainly sounds right. I do always forget that the Roosevelt/Wabash elevated sta. was a relatively recent addition. And yeah, they did put a new station back in at 22nd St, VERY recently. Thank you for the clarifications

Ryan Patrick This is the 13th St portal - the original portal for the State St subway connecting to the Southside Elevated. It sees infrequent use now, but was used when the Dan Ryan leg of the Red Line was shut down and rehabbed a few years ago.

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