A reminder about my "building to the photo" comment - due to various reasons not a great deal of transportation (trains, trolleys, subways, etc.) photos were taken in the years prior to 1960 or so. Good cameras, film, film processing, and prints were expensive. Few rail fans mastered the reading the light meter to then adjusting the camera for the best exposure for the given light! This is one reason more photos exist of the "L" under CTA operation compared to CRT times.
Color photography was more expensive therefore not many color photos were taken. Few if any evening, night, and early morning B & W and color photos exist due to inadequate lighting for photo taking. Very few photos exist which were taken in the subway other than those already published. Do the best you can to find photos of what you need. Collect information as you find it, write it down, and catalogue it for future use.
The topic of route and marker lamps and their use has to be covered. It's important if you plan on placing these lamps on your CRT/CTA models. Every CRT/CTA train had/has front of the train route lights and end of the train marker lights even if it was/is a single car. Cars without route or marker lights, are cars in the yard waiting to be made-up into trains or in the shops for inspection and/or repair.
This may seem complicated but just bear with me. If you intend to place lighted or unlighted headlight and route and markers lamps on your model, this is all or almost all you will need to know about these lights you will see in photos.
Front of Train - Although the same type and style of kerosene lamp (see the photo below) was used on front and rear, the "L" did not use markers on the front of a train. On the front were route lamps for the towermen to know how to align the routes (turnouts) at junctions. On the rear of the train were marker lamps.
Pre-Subway CRT Era - The route colors were placed on the right and left front of the train. They were a mixture of either white, red, or green depending upon the route and type of service - local, express, or not in service.
For the passenger, a route/service board was placed on the front and sides of (each car in) the train. The towermen were expected to know what route and service of trains to expect (since some of the color combinations could mean more than one route and service). Got that?
Subway CRT Era - Since trains originating from some terminals could now be routed via the Loop or the Subway, a new way to indicate to towermen had to be used. For "Via Subway" routes, in front of the motorman would be a white metal paddle.
On the other side-front of the train would be 2 kerosene lamps displaying either white, red, or green, one above the other. For photos see pages 23 bottom, 24 bottom left, 24 bottom right, 41 top, and 42 top of "The Chicago 'L's' Great Steel Fleet ~The Baldies~".
Sometimes the white metal paddle was not displayed on the side in front of the motorman.
Are you still with me? Since a train could go into the subway where it's dark, day or night, a lighted headlight, plus lighted route and marker kerosene lamps had to be used.
CTA Era - If you want the know the colors displayed on the front of a train consult page 25 of "Cooperation Moves the Public" Shore Line Interurban Historical Society Dispatch Number 1 by Bruce Moffat.
The only caveat is, the listing printed is from 1949 after the CTA had eliminated many of the through routing of trains from unusual terminals, i.e., Kenwood to Wilson via Loop, etc. and made the routings more the total length of the "L" trackage within the city of Chicago, i.e., Jackson Park to Howard.
Also, A and B Skip Stop service had been introduced to speed up trains. For example there was now a: (reverse service)
Jackson Park to Howard A (Howard to Jackson Park A) and,
Jackson Park to Howard B (Howard to Jackson Park B),
Loop to Forest Park A (Forest Park to Loop A), and
Loop to Forest Park B (Forest Park to Loop B).
The double route lamps one over the other were no longer needed and their use dropped. Instead on the front of a train, one of each side, were route/service lighted kerosene lamps used on all Subway routes all the time. Non-Subway routes/service had metal paddles during hours of daylight and kerosene lamps at night.
Rear of Train - Pre or Via Subway and CTA Eras - On the rear of the train regardless of route/service were red marker lamps. On each side of the end of the last car were red metal paddles during the day with lighted red kerosene lamps at night. Trains routed through the subway day or night had to have lighted kerosene lamps.
ALSO - pre and post everything - At night, on the rear of Northwestern (north side) routed trains a white lamp (usually a trainman's kerosene hand lantern) had to be hung in the center top chain, of the 3 chains on the rear door. Both CRT/CTA and NSL trains had to follow the CRT/CTA rules.
This is the reason the small white lamp was displayed in the center rear of the NSL Electroliner day and night. NSL decided to have the light on day and night.
Also at night, on the Met's Garfield Park line, besides the regular 2 lighted kerosene red lamps on the rear of trains, an additional red lamp had to be hung in the center of the rear door or in the chains. With all of the CA&E trains operating on this route, this red lamp was additional protection. Both CRT and the CA&E carried the 3 red lamps on the rear of trains.
This is what the rear of an early CA&E car would look like. It's a model of the AE&C Florence, a parlor buffet car. The center red lamp has a lens with a larger diameter than the lens of a marker lamp.
See pages 78 and 79 of "Cooperation Moves the Public" Shore Line Interurban Historical Society Dispatch Number 1 by Bruce Moffat. Both the CRT/CTA and CA&E "bulls-eye" tail lamp are shown on page 79. The major difference between the 2 lamps are the "D" rings on the CRT/CTA lamp for securing the lamp in the rear chains of a gate car.
For route and marker kerosene lamps PSC #40230 w/o jewels or # 40229 w/bulb can be used. The PSC markers have 3 lenses. On the lamps using bulbs (#40229) for less lenses a piece of 0.005" brass is soldered inside the marker body. A blob of solder is used to fill in the lens area to be removed. The exterior body is then filed into a smooth round body.
AND - There were times when a white hand kerosene lamp was displayed on the front of a train. If a standard headlight was not available or in case of a burnt out headlight bulb, rules called for the display of a white kerosene lamp to be hung in the front chains. For photos see pages 41 and 44 of "The Chicago 'L's' Great Steel Fleet ~The Baldies~".
Additional Information - In a prior post, "Finishing a Q-Car CRT 4000 Plushie Part 3", how to make a CRT headlight was mentioned.
Federal rules required interstate trains to display a lighted headlight at all times. However, trains originating and ending within a State were exempt until the State law was passed. Not until the early 1950's did the State of Illinois pass a law requiring all trains to display a lighted headlight on the front of trains at all times.
For this reason CRT/CTA "L" trains, the CA&E, and many Shore Line CNS&M trains did not operate with a lighted headlight during the day until the early 1950's.
For the lamps hung in the chains, a lighted kerosene white or red hand lamp was used. Some years ago I found a number of small charms like those for a woman's charm bracelet. Also, small soft metal castings of these type of lamps are available from a couple of model railroad sources.