YPT-Chicago hosted another successful Transportation Trivia event  on Thursday, April 14. In addition to a round of drinks and transit swag, YPT members were entered in a raffle for an Amtrak knit hat and coffee mug. Congrats to all the prizewinners! Wonder how you would have scored? Take a shot at the trivia questions below.

  1. Name at least two streets in Chicago that are named for Illinois political figures who were assassinated (1 point for each)
  1. In the final act of the film Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Steve Martin and John Candy part ways on the platform of a downtown CTA station (only to be reunited moments later at the same spot). What is the station?
  1. As recently as 1969 just before Amtrak assumed the majority of intercity passenger rail operations in America, Chicago had at least six major intercity rail stations in operation. Only three remain in operation as rail stations today. Name at least two of the ones where trains no longer roll.
  1. Before moving to its current home, the University of Illinois’ Chicago campus spent almost 20 years on the site of which famous Chicago transportation landmark?
  2. Chicago is known for having the second largest number of movable bridges of any city in the world. Which city is #1?
  1. Some historians believe that the custom of referring to Chicago’s central business district as the “loop” traces its origins not to the rectangular elevated track that still stands today, but to a long-vanished earlier mode of public transportation that last ran in 1906. What was it?
  1. Name the only Class I freight railroad that doesn’t operate in Chicago.
  1. The South Fork of the Chicago River’s South Branch is a small stub of river in the City’s Bridgeport neighborhood. Known for its horrifically polluted condition, the South Fork is often referred to by a more descriptive nickname. What is it?
  1. The Midwest High Speed Rail Association recently proposed a high-speed train service linking O’Hare, Union Station, and McCormick Place, modeled after a similar project in London. What is the name of the proposed project?
  1. On what (numbered) street is the southernmost Divvy station located (guess within 5 blocks)?
  1. What is the busiest bus stop in the Pace system?
  1. How many cities have at least one CTA rail station? List them all.
  1. What is the furthest away Amtrak station you can reach on a train from Chicago without transferring?
  1. In spite of its name, the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway connects to neither Elgin nor O’Hare. Name the cities that mark the two endpoints of the current Elgin-O’Hare Expressway. Bonus point: Name the future east end of the highway following completion of the extension currently under construction.
  1. 1848 was a pivotal year in Chicago history, as the city opened its first shipping canal AND its first railroad. What was the name of the canal, and the name of the railroad? (One point for each)
  1. What is farthest commuter rail station reachable from Chicago?
  1. The famed Route 66 began its journey to Los Angeles in downtown Chicago. What two downtown Chicago streets (one east, one west) did it run on?
  1. The 606 is Chicago’s newest linear park, connecting the neighborhoods of Logan Square, Humboldt Park, and West Town. What is the origin of its name?
  1. Chicago’s South Side street network consists mainly of numbered east-west streets. What is the lowest, and highest, street number in the City?
  1. There have been many transit projects proposed for Chicago over the years that never made it to construction. Which of the following is NOT one of them: SouthEast Service; Franklin Line; Intercounty Connector     
  1. How many stations in Illinois are served by both Metra and Amtrak?







2015 questions


  1. Not including the downtown terminals, what is the busiest station in the Metra system?
    Route 59 station (half a point if you can name the line only – it’s BNSF)


  1. Which airport is older, Midway or O’Hare?

Midway, built in 1923. O’Hare was built during WWII


  1. What is the only CTA rail line that does not share trackage with any other line?
    Blue Line


  1. Chicago’s Circle Interchange, the confluence of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Dan Ryan Expressways, and the Congress Parkway, was recently renamed in 2014. Who was it named after, and what was the person famous for?
    Jane Byrne, former Mayor of Chicago.


  1. 100 years ago, on July 24, 1915, a passenger ferry capsized in the Chicago River, with more than 800 passengers and crew killed. It was the worst maritime disaster in Great Lakes history. What was the name of the ship?

SS Eastland


  1. What was the most recent CTA station to open? What was the most recent to close?

Cermak-McCormick Place is the newest to open, Madison/Wabash most recent to close. Both occurred in 2015.


  1. Which mode of transit has never existed in Chicago? Cable car, trolleybus, light rail, or ferry?

Light rail


  1. A 2013 episode of Curious City described at least six layers of underground tunnels below Chicago’s loop. What is the name of the deepest one?

Deep Tunnel Project, which is 350 feet below the surface.


  1. What major Chicago infrastructure project, completed in 1900, was named a “Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium” by the American Society of Civil Engineers?

Reversing of the Chicago River


  1. The first stretch of ‘L’ completed in Chicago still exists today. What line uses it, and what year was it opened?

Green Line; 1892 (half credit for getting either part of this right)


  1. In what city was the first 3-colored traffic light installed, and when?

Detroit; 1920 (half credit for getting either part of this right)


  1. In what year did the CTA take over operation of the entire ‘L’ system?

1947 (credit if you guess within 5 years: 1942-1952)


  1. The CTA has a number of stations with the exact same name as other stations in the system. What is the station name that appears the most times, and how many times does it appear in the system?

Western, appears 5 times (Blue twice, Brown, Orange, and Pink)


  1. Name at least four of the six Class I freight railroads that operate in Chicago

Canadian National (aka Grand Trunk), Canadian Pacific (aka Soo Line), Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, and Norfolk Southern


  1. How many active runways are there at O’Hare?



  1. What is the southernmost major city you can reach on an Amtrak train out of Chicago, without transferring?

San Antonio, TX


  1. What other nickname does the CTA’s Yellow Line go by?

Skokie Swift


  1. Chicago had a third airport until 2003, when Mayor Richard Daley bulldozed the airport in the middle of the night without warning anyone, including pilots in flight to said airport. What was the name of that third airport?

Meigs Field


  1. How many different 2-3 digit numbered Interstate highways enter the City of Chicago?

Seven: I-55, I-57, I-90, I-94, I-190, I-290, I-294


  1. What is the only Metra station outside the state of Illinois?

Kenosha, WI


  1. Bonus Question: Name as many of the six layers of tunnels mentioned previously as you can.

Deep tunnel, water tunnels, cable car tunnels, freight tunnels, CTA tunnels, Pedway

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