The “North Shore Line” was one of the most famous interurban lines in the America. Known as “America’s Fastest Interurban,” electric trains of 2 to 6 cars such as 709 regularly reached speeds of 80+ mph along the high speed Skokie Valley route. Service in the two namesakes was a little bit slower, with North Shore trains rolling down city streets in Milwaukee, and jockeying with “el” trains around the famous Chicago Loop. The North Shore Line survived until very late in the interurban era (1963), and 709 was among the last to operate on the final day of service.
On its very last day of regular service, Car 709 was involved in a rather unusual rescue, detailed in George V Campbell’s “Days of the North Shore Line”, where It was in the right place at the right time to lend a hand to a broken down Electroliner on its way north out of Chicago. Car 709 was leading a 2-car express and, with a little teamwork and elbow grease, was also able to push the ‘Liner ahead of them as well, making the station stops all the way to Milwaukee. Car 709 continues to serve as a powerhouse here at the Shore Line Trolley Museum
Num/Owner/City: 709 Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Chicago Builder: Cincinnati Car Co. Date Built: 1924
Num Trucks: 2 Truck Type: Baldwin 78-30A (84?) Num Motors: 4 Motors: WH-557R5 Controls: WH HLF Brakes: AMU/M23 Compressor: DH25
Length: 55’3″ Weight: 105,000 Height: 12’6″ Seats: 52
Ends: 2 OpenClosed: closed Roof: arch Structural: steel Type: interurban
Comment: High-speed (60+ MPH) interurban. Unmodernized. Retains original-style seating.