30 years ago Sunday – disaster on the Chicago ‘L’

One thing we do take for granted is that even with delays our transit system will get us to where we are going safely. 30 years ago in Chicago 12 commuters didn’t make it home.


Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of the darkest day in Chicago ‘L history when 12 persons were killed and more than 180 injured as four cars of a CTA train toppled frown elevated tracks in the Loop and plunged to the street during the evening rush hour.

The dead and injured included pedestrians who were crushed beneath cars that slammed to the pavement at Lake Street and Wabash Avenue.

Please remember our fallen commuters.

On February 4, 1977 the worst accident in “L” history occurred at the sharp curve on the Loop elevated at Wabash Avenue and Lake Street.

It was not the worst accident in CTA history however. In 1950 a streetcar hit a gasoline tanker truck at 63rd and State killing 33 passengers. The streetcar ran on what is now the 36-Broadway line but in those days the route went from Devon Avenue all the way to 119th Street and Morgan Avenue on the far south side. It was because of this accident that the CTA decided to abolish streetcars in favor of buses with the last one running in 1958.

bowing head for the riders who never made it home

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