Of Freight Trains and Subways (L Trains) in Oak Park, Ill.

OAK PARK, Ill. — High winds on Friday, Feb. 19, disrupted service along the CTA’s Green and Pink lines, delays that extended throughout the morning and early afternoon the following day.

Trains along both lines resumed service early that afternoon. The Green Line quickly came alive, ferrying passengers across town and through the suburbs, including Oak Park, a bucolic village of about 51,000 residents.

The town is perhaps best known as the former hometown of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the birthplace of writer Ernest Hemingway. But, for ferroequinologists, it’s not a bad place to catch some railfanning action.

The Lake Street Elevated Railroad first opened the Oak Park station in 1901. It sat along a rail line running alongside the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, today the Union Pacific / West Line.

L trains along this stretch were originally powered by overhead catenary wires, not third rails, according to chicago-l.org. This portion was elevated in about 1961.

The station was apparently almost closed as part of a 1994 overhaul of the Green Line. It did, however, re-open when the upgraded line did in 1996.

The good news for today’s railfan is that freight trains still pass by the station in addition to the regular Green Line trains.

Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 233 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.