Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific
Chicago, Illinois (Western Ave. Station)
May 30, 1973
It's hard to describe the impact of searchlight signals at night to someone who's never seen them. Sending out a sharply focused beam of light aimed directly at an oncoming train and hardly visible from either side, they gleam through the night like brilliantly colored gemstone reflections. Of course a slide can't really convey this; you can't get any brighter than clear on a piece of film (this also makes it virtually impossible to convey on film the beauty of a sunny day after an ice storm, for example). Sadly, with the advent of Positive Train Control and the phasing out of lineside signals this will soon become another of the joys of railfanning available only in memory.
This view looks west from the Milwaukee Road's Western Avenue Station platform.
This page posted 11/1/2018. Text and photo ©2018 Lamont Downs.