Play CTA Conductor on ‘Railfan,’ and Other Train Marginalia

There is a game that allows you to play a CTA conductor, fulfilling a dream I barely knew I had (though they chose the Brown Line, which is less than optimal). Plus: the history of Chicago’s Belt Railway and a trip through the North Shore in the 1920s.

I might have to buy a PS3 just to play this:

That’s RailFan, a Japanese subway simulator which will be of little interest to 99 percent of gamers and dream-fulfilling to a handful of people like me.

It’s just the Brown Line, unfortunately, when everybody knows that the Green Line has the best views.

In related videos, here’s a 1924 silent film of the train trip from Chicago up the north shore. It’s pleasant but culturally offensive, insofar as it basically suggests that Wilmette is the end point of Manifest Destiny.

In related train history, Trains (“THE magazine of railroading") republished two 1966 articles about Chicago’s Belt Railway (“the main street of the railroad capital of the world") and its chaotic history. The maps are awesome.




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