The Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois is offering a special trip aboard 2200 series CTA cars to view the Chicago Transit Authority rail network. Scheduled for Sunday March 28, the $42 trip will include docents from the ranks of current and retired CTA employees.
The 2200 series, which is not ADA-complaint, is scheduled to be retired this year in favor of a new series, the 5000 series. The $42 trip will cover each of the agencies rail lines with a stop for lunch in the Loop. The trip will start at 9 AM at the Rosemont Station and conclude, returning to Rosemont at 6 PM.
Train service was vital to the founding of the Welles Park neighborhood. According to an entry in the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago written by Amanda Seligman real-estate speculators purchased 194 acres, an area that would be slightly greater than ½ mile on a side, to form the Ravenswood Land Company in 1868.
Key to the development of the area was an arrangement with the Chicago & North Western Railroad to open a station. In 1907 the Northwestern Elevated Railroad opened a branch line to Ravenswood, opening the area to greater development.
The Northwestern Elevated Railroad branch eventually became our neighborhood’s Brown Line, but is still popularly known as the Ravenswood Line. According to the most recent reports of the CTA, more than 480,000 people used the CTA rail lines on an average weekday.
Average Brown Line weekday ridership increased 15.7 percent in December 2009 over December 2008, averaging more than 46,000 riders a day. The Western Avenue station at 4648 N Western Ave., Chicago, IL, accounts for 3,336 riders on the average weekday, leading all other pure Brown Line stations in ridership.