Chicago Lake Shore & South Bend 73

Built in:1908 by Niles Car & Manufacturing
Type of car:interurban (combine)
Current Owner:RAIL Foundation(Michigan City, Indiana)

Car History by Frank Hicks

Chicago Lake Shore & South Bend 73
The only survivor from the CLS&SB, the predecessor to the famous South Shore line, is this heavyweight wooden interurban car. Built by Niles, 73 was constructed for service on the 11,000-volt AC CLS&SB. It was designed for heavy service, and cars of this type were known to pull heavyweight steam-railroad coaches as trailers. Car 73 had a very unusual history. It was involved in a terrible wreck at Shadyside in 1909 in which 12 people were killed and 25 were injured, but was rebuilt in 1910 and continued in service. Rebuilt electrically around 1924 for service on the new 1500-volt DC line of the South Shore, 73 was retired from passenger service in 1927. After retirement it was rebuilt into work motor 1126, and was used in various capacities by the South Shore until it was retired for good in 1941. Sold for use as a house, the carbody remained largely intact. By the 1980's there were several preservation entities interested in acquiring the body of 73, but the homeowner refused to sell. Finally the car was sold in 1984 to Bob Harris of RAIL Foundation, who put the car in storage pending restoration work.

Ownership History:Chicago Lake Shore & South Bend #73 1908-1924 / Chicago South Shore & South Bend #73 1924-1927 / Chicago South Shore & South Bend #1126 1927-1941 / RAIL Foundation(Michigan City, Indiana) 1984-present

Facts and Figures

Status:undergoing restorationGauge:4'8.5"
Construction:woodRoof type:RREnded:DE
#Seats:46#Wheels/Conf.:8 (B-B)Total HP:500
Trucks:[Baldwin 90-35]BrakesCompressor
Motors:[WH 184D (4)]Voltage (if not 600DC):1500vDC


Converted to work motor #1126 in 1927; located in Murphysboro, Illinois; body only