Producer: Charles Smiley
Timeframe: 1950 – 1962
Locations: Chicago, Milwaukee, South Bend..
Length: 1 hour 38 minutes
Sources: R. Gabriel, D. Kydd, B. Warrick, J. Swenson, J. Illman, G. Barnes, W. Whittaker
Visit the streets of Chicago, in the Streetcar era! See the Milwaukee vicinity. Ride an Electroliner, from Milwaukee to Chicago! See the South Shore operation. All of this and much more. Note the lack of suburban sprawl, in both major cities.. Vintage vehicles, period businesses, and the people.
Consistent with other trolley, streetcar or electric line programs. A time machine like trip into a bygone era. This show has high quality color movie film. Appears to be 16mm for the majority. All restored films. Stunning appearance!
Audio has many scenes with: trolley sounds and often, automobile traffic. Musical backgrounds that vary. Charles Smiley with the narrative. Very informative. Plenty of history. Still photos augment the discussions. A PBS style program.
A single factory pressed DVD. Detailed Chapter Menu. On-screen graphics. The CSP exclusive, custom made maps. All the extras!
Chicago Surface Lines. A humongous system of over 1,000 miles. Intriguing period footage that contains vintage Chicago.
Charles goes into the various Trolley cars, but look at those street scenes! Check the Divco milk truck at left.
The CSL has beautiful footage of Chicago.
Locals know that Chicagoans love their beer! Often visible on: buildings, signs and delivery trucks. It’s fun to find some old brands.
Chicago, Aurora and Elgin in full color. This line seen in 1950. Ran west and is now a recreational Illinois prarie path for biking and hiking. The Forest Park station is seen. The line was closed in 1959.
CA&E quickly escapes the city, back in those days.
Milwaukee Electric, original went as far north to Green Bay, until 1948. Check that Schlitz tavern. That is interesting history, as well. Schlitz Beer having once built beautiful taverns. A quality brew, to boot! At least until the 1960s.
Ride through Milwaukee.
West Junction, this is open country.
East Troy with a box motor. Survives at Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, Illinois.
Chicago, South Shore and South Bend. They had 80 seat coaches. 803 is a Little Joe and exists today at Illinois Railway Museum. Other freight motors were on the roster.
The South Shore is visited from: South Bend to Chicago. The Illinois Central yards are viewed. This ICRR equipment is included.
Rock Island commuter trains serving LaSalle Street Station make for a surprise Chapter. Action in the 1960s and ’70s.
Even more Union Station and a little Amtrak film, from the 1970s. Burlington Northern mainly. Gulf,Mobile and Ohio with The Plug!
lIlinois Terminal had Interurban service.
North Shore. The last electric line featured. This one ran North to Milwaukee. Here are the well known, Electroliners. Footage from 1962 in Milwaukee. One year prior to abandon.
The highlight of this show. Ride the North Shore Electroliner to Chicago! The sights are pointed out by Charles.
Electric Rails is right at the top of the Charles Smiley Presents shows, on Streetcars. The plethora of clear movie film, gives this one an advantage. Riding the Electroliner, gives a viewer a more complete experience. While, one can’t go wrong with his Los Angeles or Bay Area shows. This Electric Rails of mainly Chicago… rules.
Rating: 5 Stars