19.8.15

THE PILGRIMS, AND THE REGULAR PASSENGERS.

Papa Francesco will be coming to Philadelphia, and the expected throngs will overwhelm the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.  Apparently more faithful are expected in the area than the roads can handle, and the rail and bus operator raffled off about 350 thousand tickets (whether specifically for Papal traffic or for all traffic is not clear from the article) for use at the stations that will remain open on the days of the visit.

A major religious event can strain the infrastructure.  But years ago, The North Shore Line got its Skokie Valley Route open in time to handle the extra traffic for the 1926 Eucharistic Congress closing ceremonies in Mundelein.  The railroad borrowed rapid transit cars from the at-the-time affiliated Chicago Rapid Transit Company, moved a quarter of a million people, many of whom made a mad rush to get home when a summer thunderstorm hit about the same time the closing processional began.  (It's above my pay grade to speculate on Thor flinging his hammer at a gathering of Christians.)  Some passengers rode the electric cars from and to Lake Bluff to connect to the Chicago and North Western, and some rode the electric cars from and to Chicago.  But regular passengers got through, if not on the two steam railroads, on the North Shore Line, which for the day routed its Milwaukee service via the Shore Line.

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