CTA Surface System History presented by the Illinois Railway Museum

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The numbering system was devised by the late Don Liberko, who worked extensively on cataloging the different styles. It has been enhanced to include newer versions and versions not included in his cataloging.

We are currently working with transfer experts to verify/correct/populate transfer style dates. Currently they are our best estimates. Once solid dates are established (and new styles discovered), the style numbers may change to reflect the correct chronology. As part of that effort, Andre Kristopans has provided several of these dates as well as lists of plate numbers that were used on transfers. Here are the links to the lists that correspond to the transfers on this page:
CLICK HERE for the 1953-1955 list
CLICK HERE for the 1955-1962 list
CLICK HERE for the 1963-1973 list

Transfers by Type

Part 3 - Individual Routes - Chicago Transit Authority (1947-1973)

Style 11 - 10/01/1947

1st CTA transfer, 1/2 restored, "Chicago Transit Authority" on back. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (13) Style 11 transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 11-1a - c1948

Rules at bottom in all caps, red date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (50) Style 11-1a transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 11-1b - c1949

Same as 11-1a except for blue date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (45+4) Style 11-1b transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 11-2a - c1948

Pink paper, surface system to CMC transfer. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (41) Style 11-2a transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 11-2b - c1949

Pink paper (surface system to CMC transfer) with blue writing, "No." in fromt of serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (27) Style 11-2b transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 11-2c - Date Unknown

Pink paper (surface system to CMC transfer) with red writing. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (8) Style 11-2c transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-1 - 10/01/1953

"See Other Side" at bottom. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (7 + 35) Style 12-1 transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-2 - Started 06/01/1952

"T" and "20" added horizontally. (These may have been done by a vendor) CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (2) Style 12-2 transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-2a - Started 06/01/1952

"T" and "20" added vertically. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (40 +2) Style 12-2a transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-2b(1) - c1953/1954

Same as 12-2a except for blue date and serial number.CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (17+24) Style 12-2b(1) transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-2b(2) - 05/11/1953-07/08/1953

Same as 12-2b(1) except for new clock.CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (24) Style 12-2b(2) transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-2c - 07/08/1953

Revamped routes. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (61) Style 12-2c transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-3a - c Late 1953

"E" and "D" changed to "E" and "S". CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (21) Style 12-3a transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 12-3b - 03/25/1954

Blue date and serial number.

Style 12-4 - 04/1954

"T" and "20" changed to "T" and "C". CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (60) Style 12-4 transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 13a - 07/17/1955

Clock and "S" changed to red, RT changed to dots, Humboldt Park branch removed. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (39 + 7) Style 13a transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 13b - c1957-1958

Blue date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (74 + 1) Style 13b transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 13c - 11/22/1958

Green date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (36) Style 13c transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 13-1a - 10/28/1959

"Chicago Transit Authority" under serial number, Kenwood and Stock Yards branches removed, downtown RT detail added. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (71) Style 13-1a transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 13-1b - 12/03/1960

Blue date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (92) Style 13-1b transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 13-1c - c1961

3 lines of writing at bottom of front. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (81) Style 13-1c transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 13-1d - Date Unknown

Red date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (6) Style 13-1d transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 14a - 11/27/1962

"T", "C" and "S" removed, directions in circles, red date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (102 + 25) Style 14a transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 14b - c1968

Blue date and serial numbers. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (93) Style 14b transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 15a - c1969

Skokie, Dan Ryan and Kennedy routes added to map, cartoon back, blue date and serial number.

Style 15b - c1970

Same as 15a except for rules on the back. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (97) Style 15b transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 15c - Date Unknown

Format of rules on back changes, red date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (3) Style 15c transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 15d - c1971

Blue date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (94) Style 15d transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 15e - 02/03/1972

South Chicago and Ogden slashed shortened on map. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (20) Style 15e transfers in the Museum's collection

Style 16 - 04/24/1972-01/06/1974

Red date and serial number. CLICK HERE for hi-res images of all (99) Style 16 transfers in the Museum's collection

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