In 1948, Chicago was the gathering place of 22 railroads, seven belt and switching roads, eight industrial railroads and three electric lines. Track was everywhere as passenger trains and commuter trains crowded the approaches to the terminals near the Loop that is Chicago, undisputed railroad capital of the world. Chicago Passenger Trains & Commuter Trains captures the spirit and challenges of the post-World War II era, as streamlined passenger trains arrived and departed from Chicago’s six celebrated stations during the pinnacle years of intercity train service. Welcome aboard as we ride those grand trains of the 1950s and 1960s into their twilight years and transition into Amtrak’s “Rainbow era.” Vintage and color photography, terminal and commuter maps, train brochures, postcards and tickets are featured. Nice color and vintage scenes for modelers.
John Kelly grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where his dad's best friend, an engineer on the Chicago & NorthWestern, gave him and his brother occasional midnight cab rides on C&NW freight trains from Altoona to Elroy, Wisconsin. As a teenager, he enjoyed watching C&NW, Milwaukee Road and Soo Line trains come through his home town. Given his hobby of railroad history, John has written articles for Trains magazine, Trains.com, and Vintage Rails and has also authored a number of books on streamlined passenger trains, including Streamliners to the Twin Cities, Interurban Trains to Chicago, and Chicago Stations & Trains. In 2009, John co-authored Trains to Victory--America's Railroads in World War II--with Don Heimburger. Railroads of Milwaukee continues John's interest in Midwestern cities that offered passenger train service. His memories of the Milwaukee Road include photo outings to the Milwaukee Shops--in 1922 it was one of the largest rail car complexes in the United States--and diesel service facilities in the late 1970's. It was exciting to stand near the 35th Street Viaduct, he says, and take photos of the various locomotives and sprawling railroad yards. John is also a volunteer-docent for the innovative National Park Service-Amtrak partnership Trails & Rails program during the summer travel season. This program provides rail passengers with the educational opportunities that foster an appreciation of a selected region's natural and cultural heritage. He joined Trails & Rails in 2007, completing four years as a docent on Amtrak's famed Empire Builder between Chicago and Winona, Minnesota. In addition, he volunteers with the Center for Railroad Photography & Art in Madison, Wisconsin, archiving historic railroad images.