Friday, March 25, 2022

CTA Tower #18 at Lake and Wells Streets (Northwest corner of the Loop) in Chicago, IL

(3D Satellite)

The Green, Brown, Orange, Purple and Pink Lines run through this junction.  [Chicago-L]

Kevin Heinlein posted
Rotwang Manteuffel: Tower 18.

A complication of dispatching through this junction is that the nearby bridges of Lake Street and Wells Street are also controlled by the CTA dispatcher in that the dispatcher has to "give" electricity to a bridge before it can be raised. I once saw a big ship have to do a high-speed reverse maneuver to avoid alliding with the Wells Street Bridge because it would not go up even though the ship was shining its light on the bridge, etc. The ship ended up crooked in the river, but it did stop in time. Someone explained to us that the bridge operator had to wait until CTA energizes his bridge before he can raise it.
Glen Miller posted
The Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee R.R., an interurban, ran on L tracks through the Loop and as far south as 63rd & Stony Island. The bulk of its traffic was commuters from the North Shore suburbs, but the flagship service was trains to Milwaukee every hour. In 1940, the North Shore Line took delivery of two Electroliners. Streamlined articulated trainsets, with air conditioning and even a dining-car section, they were very popular with the public. The North Shore Line went out of business in 1963. The Electroliners ran (as Liberty Liners) in Philadelphia for a few years. One is now restored at Illinois Railway Museum.
Mike Friedman: Both of the Electroliners are preserved. After they ran on the Red Arrow Lines (now SEPTA) in Philadelphia from 1963-1978, both were preserved. One in its North Shore LIne paint (at Illinois Railway Museum in McHenry County, near Rockford) and one at a museum in Pennsylvania in its Red Arrow Lines colors.
They even sold an Electroburger in the dining car.
Paul Webb shared
Andy McKellin: Lake & Wells or Wabash & Van Buren ?
Myron Moyano: Andy McKellin Lake & Wells.
David M Laz posted
Great shot of the Electroliner entering the loop from heading south across the Wells Street Bridge.
Rex Nelson: Great shot, but the Electroliner is leaving the loop and heading north towards the Merchandise Mart.
Jeff Marsh: You're right; the Liner has markers on it.
Rex Nelson shared
Michael E. Bond: The Electroliner is leaving the Loop turning from Lake to Wells St. North Shore Line trains entering the Loop stayed on Wells St after crossing the bridge and ran straight through Tower 18 since all trains on the Loop ran counterclockwise in those days.
[Some comments talk about how other routes went through this junction.]
Andrew Roth shared
Jon Roma: I will add the same comment here as I did elsewhere when seeing this photo posted to another group. I believe this is an Electroliner *leaving* the Loop elevated, heading north toward the Merchandise Mart.

According to a "cta tower 18" Google search, YouTube has several railfan videos of this junction.

Marty Bernard posted
Bicentenial Colors at CTA Tower 18
This posed photograph was probably taken by/for the CTA (mid-1970s) and I must have acquired it when I was employed there. The original layout of Tower 18 can be seen here:
Marty Bernard shared
      Paul Musselman: This pic was, I think, the back cover photo for the second of two CERA books on the CTA, back in the early 70's.....orig. price about $15!!...
Dennis DeBruler: That junction is busy enough that the trains do not need to be posed to get three in the junction.

Jim Pearson
March 23, 2018 - Three "L" Rapid transit trains pass through tower 18 junction, just down from the Chicago Transit Authority's Clark/Lake Street Station, during the evening rush hour in Chicago, Illinois. For decades, the Tower 18 junction at Lake & Wells was billed as the busiest railroad junction in the world.

Marty Bernard posted
This is the only photo I ever took of the Tower in its old position. It documents the North Shore passing Tower 18 and entering the Loop during its last month of operation. Taken January 3, 1963. That's CNS&M 178.
Zachary Ehlers: “378” is “178”, a 1919 Cincinnati.
Marty Bernard shared
Marty Bernard posted
Chicago Transit Authority Tower 18 is in its old position. A Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Electroliner headed west above Lake Street and beginning to turn north over Wells Street in Chicago, then across the Chicago River, and on to Milwaukee, early January 3, 1963.
Jon Roma: 17 days before the end of the line....
Marty Bernard shared

Marty Bernard posted
A married pair of Chicago Transit Authority 6000 sereies cars as the Loop Shuttle (which looped the Loop all day long) turning at Tower 18 with Lake/Dan Ryan trains in the distance, looking west from the Clark Street Station, 9/22/1972.
The bridge structure in the distance is over the Ogilvie Transportation Center tracks.
Marty Bernard shared
Steven J. Brown posted
CTA trains at Tower 18 at Lake and Wells in Chicago, Illinois - May 1, 2022.

Comments on Steven's post
Marty Bernard posted
Chicago Transit Authority 6000s and 1 - 50s, Evanston Express, on Loop, Chicago, 4/7/1983. Tower 18, top center.

I'm saving this satellite image in case someone builds a high-rise on the southwest corner.
3D Satellite

JonRoma, follow the link for a description of this control panel

Tabitha Sox posted
A CTA “L” Derailment at Wells and Lake Streets in 1974 Looking East Down Lake photo by Hardy Wieting
Mark Rogers: Didn't they also have one at State and Lake?
Debbie Sekowski Koenig: Mark Rogers the 1977 was at Lake and Wabash.
Todd Gillenwater: Mark Rogers
Paul Webb shared
Gerald Doran: I remember people were falling down in the street trying to pass themselves off as passengers.
Donald Schlosser: Is the L still working?

Dennis DeBruler commented on Donald's question

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