Datebook: May 6 - Chicago's 'L' Begins Service 120 Years Ago

Jun 6, 2012

If you've driven around downtown Chicago, you've undoubtedly seen the trains whipping around on tracks above your car. The iconic 'L' system began service on this day in 1892, which makes it the second-oldest rapid transit system in America after New York City's Subway. It also trails behind NYC as the second-longest  system in total mileage. 

The 'L' consists of eight transit lines laid out like a spoke across the city and surrounding suburbs. Though it gained its nickname because of its elevated tracks, several portions are sub-level, grade level, and open cut. The first 'L' was the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad, a steam engine that pulled four wooden coaches totaling 30 passengers from 39th St. to Congress in 14 minutes (it'd probably take about that long to drive it today). Today, over 700,000 people ride the tube each weekday. Ridership in 2011 was 221.6 million. Ask a Chicagoan, and they'll say it's one of the seven wonders of the city. They'll also complain about the rising ticket price.


It’s Wednesday, June 6

The Paducah Railroad Museum holds a special story hour this Saturday.  At 1, 2, and 3 o’clock, Amy Blewett will read The Little Engine That Could and lead children in railroad-related crafts.  Museum admission is $1 for children and $3 for adults.  The museum is at 200 Washington Street, across from the Four Rivers Center.

The Homeplace at Land Between the Lakes offers a Beginning Traditional Quilting Workshop this Saturday from 10 to 4.  Participants will learn how to hand-sew a precut quilt block, how to attach the batting and backing, and how to quilt the block.  The cost is $40, including supplies.  Registration is required by calling (270) 924-2020.

A series of rabies vaccination clinics will be held tomorrow.  Locations include the Hazel Community Center from 9 to 11AM, the Almo Fire Station from 2 to 4PM, and the Calloway County Health Department from 7 to 8PM.  Vaccinations are $7.

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