Welcome to Vintage Railroad Postcards!

Thank you for stopping by! This is the blog for the Russell P. Panecki Collection of vintage railroad-related postcards. The entire collection consists of nearly one thousand so far with images dating from circa 1904 to the 1950s. To leave a comment, ask a question, to contribute or correct historical information, a comment box is located to the left for your convenience.

Each page, including this homepage, has an index located in the lower portion of the page. In addition to the index, posts were updated with historical information, new postcards added from storage files, while some posts were completely rewritten or edited for corrections. Three articles have been added and are worth reading. They include how vintage postcards were made, the history of Pennsylvania Station, and the history of Grand Central Terminal.

My apologies, but the postcards in my collection and on this blog are not available for sale, copying, or for contribution to projects. Please keep in mind that I reserve all rights to the images and content of this blog.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Illinois Tunnel Company

Begun in 1899 by the Illinois Telephone and Telegraph Company as a way to run cables in the downtown Chicago area, the 'Chicago freight tunnels' of the Illinois Tunnel Company was a two-foot narrow gauge electric railroad that operated forty feet below the streets delivering freight, materials, and packages to buildings along its sixty miles of tunnels. It was finally abandoned in 1959. In this circa 1908 postcard, we can see the original electrical power slot between the rails.

In this card, we can see the overhead trolley wire that replaced the track-level power supply. The locomotive shown was manufactured by Jeffrey Manufacturing Company of Columbus, Ohio, a builder of electric mining locomotives and equipment.

Lastly, here is one of the interesting tunnel junctions with a passing freight load of barrels.

For more information on the Chicago freight tunnels, click here:

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