In 1910 sixteen new interurban cars were delivered to the NS.
In 1911 despite extended bankruptcy that began in 1908, the annual net income of the North Shore was $250,000. Early 1912, the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company attempted to gain control of the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric via purchase of the Dutch interest bonds. John I. Beggs was president of the Milwaukee property. The bonds however, had been sold to a Canadian company. Beggs then sold out his Chicago and Milwaukee Electric holdings to the Canadian company also.
August 1912, a Federal court in Milwaukee issued a decree ordering sale of the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric of Wisconsin and foreclosure of the $10 million mortgage held in Chicago. There were over 85 lawyers and $1 million involved in this receivership.
A 1912 report by a consulting engineering firm- H.M. Byllesby Company stated an extension from Mundelein to the Fox Lake region may have proved profitable due to the lake area with it's vacation spots. However the route was never extended.
September of 1912 Sam Insull, utilities tycoon, made a trip on the NS Line. His move to acquire C&ME failed until May 1, 1916 when, for $4,550,000 he bought the C&ME and immediately reorganized it to the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad.
In 1915 the first 15 steel cars were purchased (numbered 150-164) from the J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia. These cars were geared for higher speeds than the old wooden cars. Initially these cars were assigned to the Evanston to Milwaukee Limited runs. In 1917 fifteen more cars were purchased from Jewett Car Company. The NS now had cars operating as full diners on noon and evening runs, and operated parlor cars other hours.
The 1916 reorganization of the Line by Insull brought in Britton Budd as president and Bernard J. Fallon as chief engineer.
In response to a quartermasters circular dated December 6, 1916, the NSL submitted a bid to transport the 3rd Infantry from Ft Sheridan to Milwaukee for $1.15 per capita less 8%. This was reported to be the first contract between the regular Army and an electric line. It was not unusual for the NS to receive short notice that hundreds of soldiers would reach Chicago on steam railroads. The NSL representatives would be on hand to see the men got a hot meal and then get them to a special train which would carry them to their destination.
On October 1, 1916 the "Paper Special" began it's inception. It carried the early editions of the Chicago morning papers north during the night hours.
The first "full express" cars were contracted with Johnson Express Company, then the United States Company handled traffic, then Adams Express Company, a predecessor of todays Railway Express Company.
After that time the LCL (less than a carload) traffic was handled by the NSL under the name Merchandise Despatch Division. In 1919 the first new baggage cars numbered 203-214 were obtained. Traffic eventually required 37 more dispatch units to be operated. This was in addition to the 7 all-steel baggage cars handling packages on the passenger trains. Also in 1919 a new freight facility was established as part of trackage rights over the "L".
On March 31, 1917 a noon diner train- The Gold Coast Limited- advertised by an illuminated drumhead, began it's service. This complete menu train was comparable to the steam road diners. Car numbers were 404- 406.
Early fares were 5 cents with 5 cent increments between one or two towns that were traveled through.
By the end of 1917 Insull had spent over a million dollars for NSL improvements. Included in this was extensive highway crossing signal program, new stations, buildings and substations. Also during this era, a program of equipping the principal vehicle crossings with warning devices was begun. The North Shore Line made use of automatic wig-wag signals and attended crossing gates (depending on motor traffic density at each location). All crossings along the Evanston to Waukegan route outside the street-running territory were equipped with some type of protection, including watchmen with stop discs in a few locations where village authorities or residents objected to fixed warning signals.
Late 1917 the NSL announced plans for sleeper service between Chicago and Milwaukee. These cars would leave at 10 p.m. and passengers could remain on the trains til 7 a.m. the next day. However, this program was never instituted.
At the end of the first full year of Insull's reign, business almost doubled. 1917 saw over 10 million passengers and operating revenues over 1.7 million. In 1918 the NSL transported over 12 million passengers and had an earning gross revenue of 2.9 million.
1918 saw a fare increase. Two cents per mile base. Collection now went from a street car railway to an interurban practice. Ticket printing machines were also installed in stations.
March 31, 1919 the North Shore Line and the Northwestern "L" entered into an agreement into new, separate agreements with the Chicago Milwaukee and St Paul Railway for 25 year operating rights over the Milwaukee Road line from Wilmette to Irving Park Blvd. in Chicago. Also an agreement between the North Shore Line and the Elevated System permitted use of "L" tracks by Interurbans south from Irving Park Road to the downtown "L" loop to Roosevelt Road on the near south side.
August 6, 1919 The North Shore became a TRUE INTERURBAN. Trains operated to and from the Chicago Loop to Milwaukee.
New stops at elevated line stations included Howard Street, Wilson Avenue, Chicago Avenue, and Randolph and Wells (south bound only). These were in addition to the Roosevelt Road terminal and northbound stop at Adams and Wabash.
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