For decades the South Shore Line cultivated a fan base just as Chevrolet does for its automobiles. An early “fan” trip before departure from Randolph Street, Chicago.
The South Shore Line’s street running was designed for freight operation from the start by promoters who envisioned an electrified short line operation between Toledo and Chicago. Photographer: Carl Edward Hedstrom, Jr.
The South Shore Line modernized its freight service by buying new power at scrap metal prices when these built-for-the-Soviets locomotives were undeliverable during the early days of the Cold War. South Shore Line crews called them Molotovs soon after delivery, and later settled for calling them 800s. Photographer: Carl Edward Hedstrom, Jr.
South Shore Line freight crews favored the 900s over all other locomotives. They were powerful, easy to use in switching, and rode well. Photographer: Carl Edward Hedstrom, Jr.
First day in service for these old locomotives new to the South Shore Line. Locomotive #701 is heading for the scales on its first run. Freight crews hated their hard ride. Photographer: Carl Edward Hedstrom, Jr.
East of Michigan City, the South Shore Line ran through farm country typical of Northern Indiana. East of Lalumiere, the South Shore Line climbed to the crest of the North-South Continental Divide near Tee Lake. Photographer: Carl Edward Hedstrom, Jr.
Passenger train street running in South Bend ended in 1970 when the City of South Bend forced the railroad to cut service back to Bendix at the end of private right-of-way. A couple of runaway trains on city streets in 1967 left the local government questioning the safety of the railroad. Photographer: Carl Edward Hedstrom, Jr.
Brand new interurban car for Pullman, Illinois, to South Bend, Indiana, service. Photographed at the carbuilder, Niles Car & Manufacturing Company, Niles, Ohio, 1908.
Niles Car & Manufacturing built 23 passenger cars for the South Shore Lines. This image is the carbuilder’s record photograph for the eight combination coach-baggage cars delivered for the opening of the railway into South Bend.
Niles Car & Manufacturing built one work motor for the South Shore Lines, a combination crane and plow. Lettered B.G., the work motor carried the road number 301 once placed in service.
The interiors of the passenger cars built for the South Shore Lines were finished in mahogany with brass fixtures. The smoking compartments were built with ceilings that followed the look of the Arts & Crafts movement as found in urban architecture.
The interiors of the main compartments were built with full-Empire ceilings that were typical of Pullman passenger cars of the era.
Niles proudly advertised its wood interurban cars as the Electric Pullmans – a nod to the quality of the craftsmanship found at the west end of the South Shore Lines at Pullman in Chicago.
G.C. Kuhlman Car Company built the last ten passenger cars for the South Shore Lines. The ten coach trailers approximated the look of the Niles-built motor cars.
The ten South Shore Lines coach trailers were built with semi-Empire ceilings throughout in both the main and smoking compartments. The overall effect of the mahogany-lined interiors was to make the passengers feel as if they were sitting comfortably in their own homes.
Four years after the wreck at Shadyside, the Indiana Railroad Commission ordered the installation of block signals where safety demanded it. The South Shore Line shows off its new signals at Wilson, circa 1913.
South Shore Lines streetcar service connected East Chicago with the Inland Steel mill at Indiana Harbor. In 1926, this streetcar service was the first operation to be abandoned by successor South Shore Line.
Nothing defines winter life in Northern Indiana as well as a good snowstorm. This was the Blizzard of 1918 as seen at East Chicago.
Car #73 was heavily damaged in the wreck at Shadyside in 1909. After rebuilding, car #73 (at left) was posed east of the Michigan City Shops near Trail Creek in early 1910.
The South Shore Lines only owned 37 passenger cars. More than a fifth of fleet made up this train at the Michigan City shops. Trains of seven to ten cars were routine.
Indiana Harbor was in the shadow of the Inland Steel mill built in 1893. Streetcar service to the mill began a decade later in 1903.
This was 111th Street, Pullman, when Illinois Central suburban trains stopped to transfer passengers to the South Shore Lines. Transferring from one railroad to the other was supposed to be over the footbridge, but the men in this image seem content to cross the tracks on foot.
Hudson Lake was an attraction in the early years of the 20th century. A casino, picnic grounds, and the lake itself drew many folks for summer fun.
Imagine snows so heavy, that even the plow got stuck. The men on the left are hand-shoveling the tracks on Chicago Avenue in East Chicago, January 1918.
South Shore Line had street running through three cities in Northern Indiana. In 1956, this street running in East Chicago was the first to be bypassed. This image was taken in 1911.
Carload freight has been carried on the South Shore Line for over a century – since 1916.
This was Shadyside, Indiana, on the night of 19 June 1909. Most of those killed in the wreck had attended the automobile races at Crown Point and were heading home to Porter, Michigan City, and South Bend. Car #73 is in the foreground; it is the only surviving wood car of the South Shore Lines.
The South Shore Line parlor cars were advertised as having “an environment like that of one’s favorite club or hotel” – coded language for Whites Only.
The South Shore Line dining cars were wait-staffed by light-skinned African Americans under the supervision of White stewards in the manner in which the steam railroads segregated dining car crews.
The deeds to lots in the Indiana subdivisions of the Fred’K H. Bartlett Company contained discriminatory racial covenants barring Blacks, Jews, and Catholics from home ownership. On the Illinois Limited, the South Shore Line imposed racial segregation as well. Image taken in the summer of 1929 at the entrance to Bartlett’s Lake Shore subdivision.
The South Shore Line was the second railroad to adopt Trailer-on-Flatcar service. Soon after this image was taken, the South Shore Line became the first railroad in the world to carry trailers from common carrier truck companies thus pioneering the model for modern railroad-truckline coordinated freight service.
There has always been a close relationship between University of Notre Dame football and the South Shore Line. Where is Knute among his Fighting Irish? If you look closely, Knute Rockne is just down and to the left of the ‘S’ seen on the front of the second car.
The Insull Group shipped goods destined for their utility companies across their rail network when feasible. This is a shipment of gas pipe headed to a Central & South West Utilities project in Texas.
The popular movement to create an Indiana Sand Dunes National Park was closely linked with the South Shore Line. The Prairie Club of Chicago regularly used the interurban to reach the dunelands that they wished to preserve. This image is taken at Tremont, the gateway to the Indiana Dunes State Park, the first preserved dunescape in Indiana.
The South Shore Line commissioned E.C. “Dude” Calvert of Michigan City to photograph this posed train at Wagner on the “Ideal Section.” The Ideal Section catenary structures were built at Gary by the Bates Expanded Steel Truss Company. The name “Ideal Section” was a direct slap at the “Ideal Section” of the Lincoln Highway built at nearby Dyer, Indiana.
The South Shore Line regularly borrowed dining cars from the steam roads to cover warranty repairs at Pullman, regular car maintenance, and to add capacity. This dining car from the Fort Worth and Denver was used in the double-diner train service on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays during the late summer and autumn of 1929.