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
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.