Friday, July 8, 2011

South Shore Line

South Shore Line neon sign

The Chicago, South Shore, and South Bend Railroad, better known as the South Shore Line, was an interurban that ran from Chicago's Loop, south around Lake Michigan, and out to South Bend. An electric road, the South Shore handled both passengers and freight, and was a popular way to get into the city. Having it's roots in the Chicago and Indiana Air Line, the South Shore fell under the control of industrialist Samuel Insull, who turned the road around and got it turning a profit again. The South Shore's classic orange cars were a fixture in and around the Chicago and eastern Indiana area for the next forty years, and is still remembered fondly by longtime residents.

This amazing South Shore sign used to be in front of the road's Gary, Indiana stop, and now is on the property of the Illinois Railway Museum. It's a fantastic piece, with that little train running across the top and all the chaser lights. The before shot dates from 2006 (and is sadly the only shot I have of it in that shape-note the North Shore sign in the background)-and in the intervening years the museum has completely restored it to working condition. It looks fantastic-I hope to eventually go to the museum after dark and shoot it.

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