About First & Fastest

First & Fastest is the quarterly publication of the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society. It is a high-quality, professional publication that is acclaimed by many to be the premier publication in its field. Each issue contains the contributions of many writers and photographers on a variety of topics concerning urban, suburban and interurban transportation in Illinois, Indiana and southeastern Wisconsin.

Many people say that First & Fastest is the only rail publication that they continue to read because of its quality and timeliness. Respected names in rail publications and the rail industry such as William D. Middleton, Don Duke, O. R. Cummings and Tom Hoback have congratulated First & Fastest on the quality of its feature articles and news reporting. Many members have said that they truly look forward to receiving First & Fastest as each issue seems to out-do the prior issue. We encourage you to become a reader and share these opinions.

The editorial objective of First & Fastest is to educate and inform its readers on the history and current events of the rail passenger industry in our coverage area. Recently First & Fastest has instituted coverage of steam- and diesel-powered rail passenger services in addition to its traditional coverage of electrically powered rail services. This expansion of coverage was in response to membership requests.

Wire Report, the quarterly news section of First & Fastest , is the principal means of reporting current events. Coverage is focused on Metra, Chicago Transit Authority and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District as well as the railroad museums in the area. Wire Report has become the "historical record" as First & Fastest is the only publication providing comprehensive coverage of these rail operations.

Feature articles are focused on the history of railways past and present. Occasionally there are feature articles on current events as well. Among the rail operations that are featured are:

  • Chicago Aurora & Elgin
  • Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
  • Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific
  • Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee
  • Chicago & North Western
  • Chicago Rapid Transit Company
  • Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific
  • Chicago South Shore & South Bend
  • Chicago Surface Lines
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Chicago & West Towns
  • Illinois Central
  • Illinois Terminal
  • Indiana Railroad and its predecessors
  • Metra
  • The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company
  • Milwaukee Light Rail — The HOP
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Light Rail system

The name First & Fastest is taken from an advertising publication of the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad published in 1929. The occasion of this publication was the South Shore winning the respected Coffin Medal awarded to the best electric railway operation in the United States. Speed was a factor in winning this award so the South Shore was proclaiming that it was the first in service and the fastest in operations.

We invite and encourage you to join the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society and receive First & Fastest as a benefit of your membership each quarter of the year. All Shore Line memberships are effective for the entire calendar year in which you join. Copies of First & Fastest published to date in the year in which you join Shore Line will be mailed to you as part of the initial processing of your membership. Welcome aboard!

  Recent issues of First & Fastest  
  From left: The Autumn, Spring, and Winter 2019 issues of First & Fastest.  



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