View Full Version : why didn't the city complete the Blue Line L to Ohare in the 60's?
04-24-2009, 05:16 AM
A friend and I have been arguing the reason. He says the cab companies lobbied against it to protect their business. I don't know the reason, but have a hard time believing the cab companies were that powerful. Maybe the city simply ran out of money.
04-28-2009, 09:04 AM
The story told at the time was that Ben W. Heineman, then the president of the Chicago and North Western Railway, didn't want the CTA competing with CNW commuter service, and used his influence to have the 'L' line terminate at Jefferson Park, where it was possible to transfer to CNW (now Metra) trains. A more likely explanation is that extending the 'L' all the way from Logan Square to O'Hare was a bigger project than the city cared to take on in one go.
04-28-2009, 01:38 PM
Did Metra or CNW ever go all the way to O'Hare, though?? Seems to me you'd still have to transfer to a shuttle bus...
04-28-2009, 09:42 PM
From the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 18, 1965:
Originally, transit planners proposed a route much farther out, possibly as far as O’Hare International airport. However, the longer route drew the opposition of the Chicago and North Western railway, which contended that the publicly operated transit trains would represent unfair competition with the private, tax paying North Western commuter train operation.
North Western officials now reportedly have agreed to a Kennedy rapid transit plan providing the route goes no farther than Milwaukee-Central.
The latest plan also calls for a convenient transfer connection between the North Western’s Jefferson Park station and the proposed CTA “L” station at Milwaukee and Central. To satisfy North Western objections, the CTA also has reduced its proposed park ‘n ride facilities at the Milwaukee-Central terminal to only 200 cars, as compared with a much larger parking facility previously proposed.
04-28-2009, 09:59 PM
From the Chicago Tribune Jan. 25, 1972:
Larry S. Provo, president of Chicago & North Western Railway, yesterday criticized a proposal by Mayor Daley to extend the Kennedy rapid transit line to O’Hare Airport.
Provo said in a letter to Daley that the extension would violate a 1967 agreement between the city, Chicago Transit Authority and the railway to terminate any median strip use by the CTA at Foster Avenue.
“The city received a federal grant for that project only after North Western withdrew its objections, subject to an agreement with the city and CTA to impose certain protective conditions to minimize the diversion of riders from the North Western to the extended CTA line,” Provo said.
Any further extension by the CTA to O’Hare will be considered “a flagrant violation of the three-way agreement.”
04-29-2009, 12:44 AM
Ha! I withdraw my previous skepticism.
The follow up is that C&NW and the other suburban railroads had harder times in the 1970's and by the 80's were in no position to fight anymore.
After RTA took over commuter rail service in 1982 (operations of most lines, contracting with BN->BNSF and C&NW->UP) and in 1982, Metra was founded by the RTA in 1984 to over see those operations.
The O'Hare Station also opened in 1984.
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