CTA Surface System History presented by the Illinois Railway Museum

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This website is a collaborative effort between the Illinois Railway Museum's Strahorn Library, Trolley Bus Department, Motor Bus Department, and the Museum's generous donors. If you like what you see here, please consider a donation to any or all of these departments. Please mention you like this site when making your donation. Using the links below will take you directly to the museum's website which will allow you to make donations. You can reenter this web address to return. Thank you in advance for your generosity!!!

Click to donate to the Trolley Bus Department

Click to donate to the Motor Bus Department

Click to donate to the Strahorn Library

As time permits and as more items are scanned, the website will be updated, expanded and enhanced. This will be occurring into the forseeable future. If you return to visit often, please refresh your browser to make sure you see the latest updates. Thank you!!!



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This website would not be possible without contributions of materials and time from:



Latest Update: 01/16/2018

THANK YOU - On Christmas Day we surpassed 80,000 page views since the website began. Your continued patronage and support is very much appreciated.

We are currently working on several update projects:
- We have 306 new individual route maps that have been scanned and uploaded. We are in the process of updating the coding so they are available to you. 120 have been done so far (Numbered street routes plus routes beginning with A through I). Lines with new maps available are denoted with an asterisk next to the route name and the newly available individual maps are denoted with "* NEW *" next to them.
- Andre Kristopans has generously shared his updated individual route history files with IRM. All 311 individual routes & 7 predecessor companies have been uploaded and are now available!! The link to these updated histories is at the bottom of the Route Description/History page. Also located there is a link to Andre's Route Number History document.
- Another group of files Andre has shared contains retirement/scrapping dates for past fleets of CTA buses, as well as data sheets for the streetcar and work bus/work car fleet. THIRTY-TWO lists are now available available at the bottom of the "Blueprints/Equipment" page. Additional files are now being processed into displayable formats and will be available shortly. Another HUGE thanks again to Andre for sharing his knowledge with everyone!!!




Useful Links

Illinois Railway Museum Homepage

IRMTV.ORG YouTube Channel Featuring Video Shorts Documenting Different Aspects of the Museum

Chicago L.org Website - Excellent Detail About Rapid Transit

Trolleybuses.net Website - Tons of photos of Trolley Buses and the new home of Dave's Railpix


Please feel free to use the information contained within this website for your personal enjoyment. Nothing contained within this website may be reproduced without first obtaining permission from the Illinois Railway Museum. PLEASE respect the museum and its collection in this matter.
The CTA logo (used on this site with permission) and any logos contained within this website are copyrighted and may not be used or reproduced without the consent of the respective agency/entity.
Please direct questions and comments to webmaster@irm-cta.org . The Illinois Railway Museum is always looking for donations of CTA and predecessor companies' material. Also use this email if you have artifacts to donate to the museum. We will gladly contact you about making arrangements for donations. Remember that the Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law (please consult your tax adviser to determine deductibility).