Chicago is like no other heavy rail system in the
country in that it has retained various zones where its rail routes cross
city streets at grade. The locations are guarded with gates and
lights and warning signs -- signs speaking to road and third-rail
hazards -- but all in all it seems very quaint and peculiar. The
outer portion of the Brown Line is the first of four such zones to be
encountered in these pages.
This train is traveling due west. The Francisco station, from where the
photo was taken, is on the other side of the Manor Ave. street
crossing. The route here runs mid-block between Eastland and Leland
Avenues, two quiet streets which dead-end a bit ahead, routes blocked by the North
Branch of the Chicago River.