OTOL Windy City Rail Fest 2003
July 16-21, 2003
We went to the northbound platform, in the direction of Linden Street. We had to wait about seven minutes for a train, but that was time I had already programmed into our itinerary.
When we got to the end of the line at Linden Street in Wilmette, we got an unexpected tour as Irwin showed us around the immediate station area. We also shot some group photos here. We had plenty of time thanks to my padding of the endpoint station dwell times. We then boarded another Purple Line train, southbound to Howard.
Chapter 3.8: WCRF Part A6: CTA Purple Line, Linden to Howard
Irwin works both the Purple and Red Lines, and so he knows many of his counterparts, and at opportune times (not while we were in motion) he held conversations with them. He knows which ones enjoy their jobs, and which ones don't like being "stared at" -- even though usually a railfan in the front seat is looking at the tracks in front, not at the operator of the train. Irwin has a wonderful personality, and we learned a lot from him.
We rode the entire length of the non-rush-hour Purple Line, and got off at Howard. We had to walk over a bridge to get to the northbound platform, in order to catch a Skokie Swift (Yellow Line) train to Skokie.
Chapter 3.9: WCRF Part A7: CTA Yellow Line, Howard to Skokie/Dempster Street
This was an eight-minute nonstop trip. On the way, we passed underneath the METRA line we had ridden earlier, over a waterway, past the Skokie Shops, and experienced a power change as the train switched from third rail to overhead catenary power. Although third rail is being extended to the Dempster station in Skokie, trains still use catenary power on the outer half of the line.
Upon arrival in Skokie, we detrained and then watched as our train went beyond the outbound platform, switched onto a single track, and then reversed direction to pick up passengers headed back to Howard.
Chapter 3.10: Lunch in Skokie
We then walked to Dempster Street, and dispersed to various locations to have lunch. Steve accompanied Michael and me at McDonald's, while others went into a Subway shop and other nearby eateries.
The eleven of us all managed to reconvene near the entrance to the station on Dempster a little early, so we headed back to the platform and got on an earlier Yellow Line train.Continued in next section