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Chicago Loop 'l'
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© Christine Till
The Loop (historically Union Loop, or commonly Loop) is the two mile circuit of elevated railroad that forms the hub of the 'L' rapid transit system in Chicago, Illinois. The surrounding area is also known as The Loop community area.
Though the distinction of operating the first elevated railway does not belong to Chicago (New York city's, opening in 1867, has that honor), Chicago did try many times to create such a service. With the first attempt in 1869, over 70 companies were created for the purpose of starting an elevated rail system between 1872 and 1900. The accolade of opening Chicago's first rapid transit line went to the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad Company. It opened on 12 October 1897, providing direct service into the center of Chicago. By 1909, the city of Chicago enjoyed one of the best rapid transit systems in the world, providing reliable unified service to outlying communities and neighborhoods then in existence.
At the turn of the century the old elevated structures, some more than a century old, were being rebuilt, ensuring their survival well into the twenty-first century.
October 22nd, 2012
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