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south shore line
South Shore Line
     The Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad (CSS&SB) is more commonly known as the South Shore Line (SSL).  
It has been called "America's Last Interurban".
     The line began as the Chicago, Lake Shore & South Bend Railroad.  Service between Michigan City and South Bend
began June 30, 1908.  It was later extended to Pullman, IL, where passengers transferred to the Illinois Central suburban
service to reach Chicago.  Later, the CLS&SB coaches were pulled by the IC steam locos to downtown Chicago.
     In 1925 Sam Insull added the line to his empire.  He changed the name to Chicago, South Shore & South Bend Railroad
a.k.a. the South Shore Line, and began to upgrade the line and equipment.
     By August 1926 the IC had completed electrifying its suburban line into Chicago and the South Shore Line was able to
operate straight through to the Randolph Street terminal.
     In 1942 they began increasing passenger capacity by lengthening several cars.  They also added air conditioning, and
fluorescent lights, luxuries not found on most interurbans.
     Although its passenger service declined like the other interurbans, the SSL had one advantage. Its access to the steel mills
around Gary made it attractive to other railroads for the freight business.  On January 3, 1967 the Chesapeake & Ohio
Railroad took over.  However, the declining passenger business and aging equipment were still a problem, and the C&O
offered it for sale.
     The new owners, operated the freight and let the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) handle the
passengers.  This was short lived, and the line was taken over by NICTD, which now owns the line and handles the passenger
operation. The freight business is operated separately by another company.
     Although the passenger business is now more commuter, and operates with newer equipment, it still retains much of its
interurban flavor, especially street running in Michigan City and the single track line through rural Indiana countryside.
In the 1970's the cars carried these emblems.
Indeed the little train could, and did.  While other
interurbans faded away, the South Shore Line
carries on.
A two-car train of the old lengthened cars on a charter trip
waits in the siding 1970's.  These cars lasted into the 1980's.
While most present day commuters enjoy the quiet
air-conditioned cars, most fans miss the old cars with the
sounds of the air compressors and the look and feel that
gave them some class.
In the 1980's the old cars were replaced by these modern cars.  
The bodies were built in Japan, and the finishing touches were
added here.  A four-car train races through rural Indiana.
Even the new becomes old.  The cars from the 1980's were
approaching 30 years when many were rehabilitated and others
were replaced by these newer double-deck galley cars.
This train makes its way through the street in Michigan City.
One reason the South Shore Line survived, was its freight
business.  Its huge locomotives, nicknamed "Little Joe's" were
quite an impressive sight, especially when hauling freight trains
through the streets of Michigan City.
The freight is now operated by a separate company using
diesels.