Skokie Swift

Along with Manhattan's 42nd St. Shuttle, the "Skokie Swift" is the only heavy rail route in the country that embraces a journey of just two stations.  The lines, of course, could not be much more dissimilar.  The Yellow Line -- its more formal designation -- is entirely outdoors, mostly at ground level, with numerous road crossings.  It is about 4.6 miles to go between its terminals.

The Skokie Swift is built along the right of way of the former Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad.  This makes it the stuff of some kind of electric rail exaltation, at least for those who appreciate what there once was.  The North Shore Line was abandoned in 1963.  The Skokie Swift came into being the next year.

For decades after its reopening, the outer portion utilized overhead power collection.  In 2004 this arrangement gave way to third-rail for the entire distance, consistent with the rest of the Chicago system. 

In this photo in Skokie one can see a train, pantographs up, prepared to come into the inbound platform.  The electric infrastructure that grew along with the North Shore still dominates the overall scene.  The building near the tracks in the background is the former interurban station.

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