This from Austin Lawler:


I was watching a video that was posted by Curbed Chicago, that they found on YouTube. It is about the CTA in 1979, when they started to film everything, like the parts of the board meeting. Toward the end of the video there is about a 10 minute section about the fire at the 61st yard. It show stills of the fire, and video of the overhaul, very brief shot of an engine and a snorkel in the background. While not a dramatic video, it is interesting to see all of the charred rail cars as well as an up close look at the firefighters putting out hot spots. If any one on this site has video, radio communication, or still photos I would love to see that. The fire starts around the 10:30 mark on the video.

Have a good day,


 Excerpts from

What’s the first thing you do when you get a new camera? Take it with you everywhere and record everything, of course. And naturally, this is what the CTA did when videotape technology really began to take hold in the late ‘70s.

In this film, titled A Look at CTA, the CTA takes the viewer through a number of places to witness different experiences. After the intro, the film highlights the always-exciting board meeting (no surprise board members wanted to be in the CTA’s first video), then to the CTA’s Technical Institute, and then finally to the aftermath of a shop fire.

The video is delightfully ‘70s retro with its funky soundtrack, the US Bicentennial color scheme on train cars, and of course, lots of sideburns.

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