Chicago Transit Authority 193
Starting in 1930, the Chicago Surface Lines began service on seven routes on the Northwest Side with trolley buses. At the time, the area was not heavily populated by Chicago standards, so the 114 vehicles purchased during 1930-1931 were a fairly small fleet compared to the more than 3,000 streetcars that CSL operated. The trolley bus was a new enough idea, however, that they represented by far the largest fleet in the country. After the leanest years of the Great Depression had passed, CSL began purchasing more trolley buses to expand service. In 1937, they bought 17 streamlined model T40S trolley buses from J. G. Brill Co. in Philadelphia, the country’s largest streetcar builder. These were significantly more modern vehicles than their predecessors in almost every way, from passenger comfort to ease of operation.
Bus 193 was identical to number 192, also in IRM’s collection, when built, but received a new control system as a test. Originally equipped with Westinghouse Varimatic controls, this bus received Westinghouse’s new Dynamatic controls, which included dynamic braking (which uses the traction motor as a generator to slow the bus), instead of relying solely on friction brakes in the wheels. The results were positive, and led CSL and CTA to order all subsequent trolley buses with dynamic braking.
Bus 193 operated on the 76-Diversey route for almost its entire service life. It was renumbered 9193 in 1952. It was retired in 1958, but retained for excursions until 1959. It was acquired by the Electric Railway Historical Society in Downers Grove, where it was disassembled in preparation for restoration. The ERHS donated their entire collection to IRM in 1973. All of the parts to reassemble it to operating condition are on hand.
Builder: J. G. Brill Company
Year Built: 1937
Length: 33ft 1in
Width: 8ft 4in
Height: 9ft 7in
Weight: 18700 lbs
Motors: 1 WH 1434
Control: WH Dynamatic
Compressor: Bendix 1P
Description: Trolley Coach
Condition: Complete / unrestored / not operational
1937-1947 – Chicago Surface Lines #193
1947-1952 – Chicago Transit Authority #193
1952-1959 – Chicago Transit Authority #9193
1959-1973 – Electric Railway Historical Society, Downers Grove, IL
1973-present – Illinois Railway Museum, Union, IL