Wednesday, June 4, 2008

CA&E Photo Album

Click on the photo to see the full size version. See also this photo album on the IRM web site, and the Ronald Delhaye collection here.

Note: Some of these will be links to photos elsewhere on the Web I wanted to comment on. Let me know if any of these links become broken.


Car 20 in 1934 at Laramie. Photo by Ed Frank, Jr. from the Julie Johnson collection.

At Castlemuir in August of 1968. This car has, of course, been well maintained and doesn't look that much different today. Photo by Allan Hicks.


Car 36 at Laramie in 1933. Photo by Ed Frank Jr. from the Julie Johnson collection.

Car 36 in the orchard in August 1939. Photo by Ed Frank Jr. from the Julie Johnson collection.

Car 36 coupled to the 318 on the elevated structure in 1952.

William C. Janssen photo from the Krambles-Peterson archive.

Here is the 36 on the end of a five-car train at the Forest Park terminal in 1954. Note the second car in the train -- it's really ugly. Some of the shorties by this time had been retired to the scrap line, and this one was evidently pulled out and patched up for a few more trips. F.J. Misek photo from the Krambles-Peterson archive.

The 36 in May, 1979, at North Olmsted with the 303. It's in its Columbia Park and Southwestern livery with the covered wagon herald.

The interior (1979), in its 1950s tan paint.

Views of the interior as of January, 2010.

One thing I hadn't noticed before is the brackets along the wall (in red). These appear to be for supporting small tables, as on the IT 234, but this car certainly never had food service. I don't know what else they could be for, other than playing cards, perhaps?


Interior photos are always of great interest. This one is near the end of service. On this car the clerestory was rebuilt, but the center part of the ceiling retains its original curvature. On the 317 and 321, the only preserved cars of this type, the ceiling is flat. Photo by Bob Selle from the Julie Johnson collection.
The CA&E had lots of public service car cards. Here's one urging you to "join your neighbors in community school conferences." Sure, I've got nothing better to do.


The 303 in May, 1979. This car had not yet been repainted and had a beautiful interior; the exterior was also in excellent condition, since the car had been stored inside very soon after it was moved from Wheaton.

Several views of the interior.


This picture shows the as-built configuration of the 308. Location is on the north side of Aurora. Obvious differences: it has the streamer sash and oval windows, and window guards. Not so obvious is that it was built as a four-motor car.

The 308 in 1934 at Laramie. Still largely in as-built condition; the only noticeable change is the installation of clerestory ventilators, and the change to a half-motor. Photo by Ed Frank Jr. from the Johnson collection.

This is a good in-service picture of the 308 leading a westbound Chicago-Wheaton local in 1946. The location is approaching Main Street in Glen Ellyn. Photo by Don MacBean, from Rail&Wire #195.

The 308 at Wheaton about 1949. Photo by George Krambles, courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson Archive. This is the period to which the car has been restored. Note car 451 in Futura lettering in left background, and either 435 or 436 in far right background.

This is the 308 in 1962, after its purchase by Jan and Pat Girardot (whose VW bus is seen on the right.) It was stored in the shadow of the hump tower of the NYC yard in Avon, just west of Indianapolis. Bill Stewart and Greg Nicely are working on the roof. Photo by Charlie Preston, from the Bill Stewart collection.

And here are two photos from Jan Girardot, showing him and another member repainting the roof while the car was in the Avon yard.

This is the 308 in February 1965 at Indianapolis. I have to admit I don't know what was going on with the paint at that time. This is shortly before the move to Noblesville. Photo by Gerry Widemark.

The 308 on April 28, 2001, during repainting.

Sunset at Johnson siding, in September 2004. Photo by Charlie Strong.

The 308 carrying flags for the Fourth of July trolley pageant in 2006.

And here is the interior of the 308, as it would have appeared in 1950 (photo taken Sep. 6, 2008).


This is a fascinating picture, in spite of its flaws, of the brand-new 309. The date must be November or December 1907, and shows a test trip soon after the car was delivered to Wheaton. The 309 is not yet an interurban car: it has no electrical equipment. No poles, no shoes, no bus jumpers, no controllers, no underbody equipment. Location is the cut between Taylor and Glen Oak. The train is being powered by the 304 and includes the Carolyn. (I believe the picture on p. 124 of Peffers vol. 3 must show the same train, from the other end.) From the Malcolm McCarter collection.

As an aside, the picture above was obviously used as the basis for the artist's rendition that appeared for many years on CA&E maps. The scenery has been improved, and in real life the 309 never had that goofy wooden pilot, but it's certainly still the same train.

Ah, this is more like it. A few months later, the 309 has everything it needs to run under its own power, including the correct pilot and whistle. This is probably a test run early in 1908. Location is the Warrenville substation. Detail from a photo from the Ed Allen collection in "Aurora 'n' Elgin" by Julie Johnson, with permission.

Here we see the 309 on October 30, 1934 in the second (red) paint scheme. Apart from the paint, it's still pretty much as built. The only significant change is that "Utility" ventilators have been installed, and the clerestory windows can no longer be opened. Also the motorman's side door has been rebuilt. From the Malcolm McCarter collection.

The other side of the car, also in 1934, at Laramie. Photo by Ed Frank Jr. from the Julie Johnson collection.

Here's another photo from later in the thirties, so the car is now in the "coffee and cream" paint scheme. In this photo, icicles are hanging from the roof! 309 at Wheaton Yard - January 1939, Greg Heier Collection, Barney Neuburger photo.

This is a frame from a color home movie c. 1940, provided by Bruce Moffat. Maybe it's not very detailed, but it's the only color photo I've seen of a car in the "coffee and cream" paint scheme! Does anyone know of any others?

This is a better version of the picture used in the 309 fundraising letter. Taken at York Street, Elmhurst, c. 1940, just before the rebuilding that removed the streamer sash. This is the same configuration and paint scheme as in the color photo above, and is an excellent view of the normal conditions of service for the wood cars.

The 309 in the "Early American" paint scheme in an undated photo.

The 309 in the blue paint scheme crossing the bridge at Rt. 53 about 1948. This is the era to which the car has been restored. Photo from the Johnson collection.

The 309 on the end of a three-car train at Ovaltine, May 29, 1952. Photo by George Krambles, courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson Archive.

An interior view of the 309 near the end of service, after the ceiling trim and clerestory windows had been painted. Photo by Ed Frank Jr. from the Julie Johnson collection.

In front of the shop. Ray Neuhaus photo.

The 309 sitting at Batavia Jct. while in shuttle service, on Dec. 5, 1955. Photo by Bob Mehlenbeck, courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson Archive.

Another picture of the interior near the end of service, taken by Bob Heinlein. From the Julie Johnson collection (where it is misidentified as being of the 209.)

There are lots of pictures taken on the 309-310 fan trip of May 19, 1957, but this one is probably my favorite. By the end of service, the dash light lenses were removed along with the folding signs. The roof was also in need of repair. Location is at Warrenville, just a hundred feet east of the 1908 picture above. From the Dave Mewhinney site.

This is another view of the same train, same day, from my friend Alan Simms. He and I both went to Ripon College in Wisconsin, so we had more in common than just IRM. Location is just north of Illinois Ave. in Aurora, with the river in the background.

This picture was taken by my father in 1964, not long after the Museum had moved to Union. From left to right, the 321, 431, 309, and the four wood El cars were the very first train to be moved to our present location (this is the main line west of Olson Rd.)

In 1966, the car was still stored on the main line west of Olson Road. Some maintenance was done, but the weather was obviously taking its toll. The car also seems to have been open for visitors occasionally. Photo by Sheridan Smith, from Rail and Wire #195.

Look at this picture, also from Julie Johnson. Now ignore those guys standing in the mud. Behind them is the 309 with a tarp over the section where the fire occurred, and a couple of members are working on the roof. This must be right after the fire, early 1971. Note how bad the exterior paint had become. Fortunately, the 309 was one of the first cars to be stored inside.

August 1975. The exterior paint was being stripped by Bob Rayunec and Barb Koziol, about the time I joined the project. (This is the southeast corner of Barn 4, where the 306 is now.) Photo by Allan C. Hicks.

Summer of 1978, just after the car was made operational again. A lot of work remains to be done. But at this point in the car's long history, from now on the paint scheme will stop changing every few years!

Two views by Bill Wulfert, taken in 1978. (L) During one of its first runs in June. The plywood door was a temporary fix; Bob Rayunec made a replacement. (R) In operation during the ARM convention in September.

Member's Day, Sept. 19, 1992. This is after the car was lettered, but before the final roof work started. The interior restoration was nearly complete (or at least as complete as it would be until recently); the car was still stored in Barn 2. Photo by Alan Simms. I believe the man nearest the camera is dispatcher Tom Nixon.

Some formal portraits I took on Sept. 1, 1996, after completion of the first restoration. Notice the UP business train in the background of the first picture. (Note: I brought along the tallest step ladder I could find and set it up in the field to take some of these views.)

After completion of the second restoration, the exterior of the 309 looks like this. In service on Labor Day, 2008. Photo by Frank.

And here are some interior shots.

The main compartment, looking towards the #2 end.

Main compartment, looking towards the smoker.

The smoking compartment.


This is a good photo of the 310 in the later blue paint scheme. Pictures of the 309 in this scheme are rare, for some reason. From the Don Ross collection.


Excellent color photo of the "Early American" paint scheme (later version without Sunset Lines herald, etc.) c. 1948? Photo by Robert E. Bruneau.


Car 315 at Laramie in the mid-thirties. Note the train to the left with car 48 on the end. Julie Johnson collection.

Here is car 315 in 1962 on the west ladder with (L to R) Andy Maginnis, Louis Buehler, and Tod Prowell from Railways to Yesterday, who were responsible for preserving it. These photos courtesy of Joel Salomon at Rockhill Trolley Museum.

It was loaded onto a PRR depressed-center flatcar for movement to Mt. Union, Pa. The design of the car made it easy to secure the 315 without having to remove any underbody equipment. This particular method of shipment seems to have been unique to this car.

Many years later, after restoration at Rockhill, it looked like this. It has since been shopped for a more thorough restoration, with a more authentic paint scheme.


The 316 was being operated in revenue service in July of 2009, giving me a chance to photograph it outside. The #2 end was completely rebuilt, in much the same way as the 308.

A couple of side views.

Interior restoration is ongoing.


Car 318 in the mid-thirties, probably at Laramie. This photo provides a clear view of third-rail beams without sleet scrapers. From the Julie Johnson collection.

Another view at Laramie, next to the 320.

The 318 was used on several fantrips. This was probably one in 1944.

At Westport, Indiana, in 1965. The 318 was acquired by the Indiana Railroad Museum and pulled by this saddle-tanker. In 1971 it was sold to East Troy, but badly damaged in a wreck while it was being shipped on its own wheels. IRM finally bought the car and scrapped it for parts in 1977. Behind it is North Shore 250, which was also eventually scrapped by IRM.

Photo by Glenn M. Andersen courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson Archive, by permission.

The 318, at the end of its long and eventful existence, being stripped of all usable parts by IRM members at East Troy in January 1977. Bob Rayunec takes a break with his pipe. From the Rayunec collection.


This is about the best (close to) as-built picture for the 319 (and likewise the 321) as I have found. I'd guess this is about 1932. Modifications are minor: ventilators installed in the clerestory, and the motorman's side door (nearest the camera) has been rebuilt. Also, on these cars, the motors and control were replaced, but that's not very noticeable. Photo from the Malcolm McCarter collection via the Van Dusen collection at Strayhorn.

The 319 after rebuilding, in the blue paint scheme, on Aug 13, 1942. This was a CERA fan trip using the 319 coupled to two box motors (#7 and #9) with an adapter coupler, not at all a normal procedure. Railfans -- they'll do the craziest things.

These two photos from the Van Dusen collection, Strayhorn Library, provided by Carl Lantz.

Another view of this fan trip, at West Wayne. Photo by Ed Frank Jr. from the Julie Johnson collection. Hey, you! Who said you could smoke on duty?!?

The 319 on the head of a train, probably the Cannonball, passing through the junction at Water and about to cross the river. This is July 1953. George Krambles photo from the Krambles-Peterson archive.

This is the 319 westbound at Kedzie on the structure in September of 1953, the last month of operation to Wells. This is also shortly before the car's final rebuilding and repainting. William C. Janssen photo from the Krambles-Peterson archive.

Interior views taken when the car was in the Cleveland subway on Nov. 14, 2009.

The vestibule and interior are still in their end-of-service paint schemes.

The interior will need some work. We will want to completely recover the upholstery at some point, I believe.

The ghostly outlines in the doorway are Tim O'Donnell's reflective vest!

Some spot stripping seems to have been done as a test.

More of the interior.

Towards the end of service, the oval window on one side was removed, but the other remains. Part of the circle in the center can be rotated, as on the 309.


Car 320 near the end of service on the siding at Forest Park.

The 320 looked like this for the Reunion of 1979. Note the metal bars for holding the headlight across the open train door. This was several years before the complete rebuilding project started.

Here it is in August 2001, after the restoration was completed. It looks much better now!

This is the 321 in April, 1932, at Laramie. By this time it had been rebuilt without the "streamer sash" windows, but with arched wood trim where they had been. And the clerestory windows had been removed when the ceiling was rebuilt. It's still in the 1920's red paint scheme. G. Krambles Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive.

By 1936, it had been repainted in the "coffee and cream" colors and had shoes in place of trolley wheels. It's trained with a North Shore car, which seems rather unusual. From the IRM collection.

Passing through Oak Park. The next car is probably #48. From the Johnson collection.

On August 6, 1939, cars 10 and 321 (the first and last wooden cars) were used in an early CERA fantrip. Here they are posing for the fans. From the Greg Heier collection.

Note that in this photo the car has no sleet scrapers. Evidently the CA&E had a few extra sets of third rail beams without the air-powered scrapers. An entire set of beams with scrapers would be swapped out on a regular basis during the summer so the mechanisms could be maintained.

Here it is in 1940, shortly before being rebuilt and repainted. It is on the turning track in front of the tin shed.

In Feb. 1941, it was rebuilt without the arched wood trim and repainted in the blue paint scheme. Here it is at Wheaton at the head of a train. The oval window on this side was later replaced by a square window to match the others. (From R&W 195, IRM collection.)

Here it is back in the orchard again.

This picture was taken at Laramie in 1945. The car looks terrible, with the paint peeling off the end panel, and in general badly worn.

Cars 321-205-320-105-319 westbound at Glen Ellyn on May 3, 1956. Photo by Robert E. Bruneau.

  By this time nearly all wood cars had been repainted in the final red and grey paint scheme.
Sitting on the siding at the temporary Des Plaines terminal with the rest of the "Cannonball" consist.

On the ready track north of the shops. Ray Neuhaus photo.

In 1962 the 321 was acquired by IRM and moved to North Chicago. Here, it has not yet been repainted, but the roof is shot and the siding is starting to rot out. The shelves have not yet been installed. And it's still wearing the adapter coupler it needed to couple to the 431 in the hospital train. From the Don Ross collection.

When I started working on the 321 it was a real wreck. Unfortunately, this is the best picture I have of it in the old green-and-white paint job, c. 1980. Location is the southeast corner of Barn 4, where the 306 is now.

Here's a better view of the car in 1978 by Bill Wulfert. Location is on the east wye; the 14 to the left, and the Zephyr in Yard 1 to the right. I think we must have been wying the 321. The orange door is from the 318.

By 1995 a lot of work had been done, and it was almost completely repainted in the blue paint scheme. Here it is behind the 309.

Soon thereafter, however, we decided to move the target date for the restoration back to the "coffee and cream" era.

By 2004, the 321 looked like this (on the good side, at least!) All mechanical and electrical systems had been checked out, and the car could run on all four motors, using power supplied through the bus jumper from another car with trolley poles.

Here it is in 2009. Some more painting had been done, but otherwise it's unchanged. (Photo by Frank.)


Interior views taken when the car was in the Cleveland subway on Nov. 14, 2009.

The 409 is in beautiful condition, the best of any of the cars.


This photo and the next were made by the A. F. Scholz studio on Jan. 30, 1927. Here the 410 is at the head of a five-car train which includes a wood-steel parlor car on the rear. Copyright AF Scholz Photos, Krambles-Peterson Archive.


The 412 with a six-car train east of Westmore, Lombard. Copyright AF Scholz Photos, Krambles-Peterson Archive.


In service at Wheaton.

Under Terminal Tower on November 15, 2009. Exterior views in the subway are difficult. This paint scheme was probably modeled after either the CSW&C or TM, we couldn't decide which. But by March 2010, it was history.


The interiors of the two 450's are good; perhaps some touching up to be done.

Aurora Birney 85

In June 1979, the body of Aurora Birney #85 was a derelict in a field near the Batavia Branch, just east of the new Kirk Road. It was, of course, a hopeless wreck.

Here you can see the number and some lettering on the end panel.

At this end, it appears the railroad had converted it to an observation car before the end of service, dontcha think?

And inside the car, there was even a skull. (I did not stage this!)

Here you can see the brackets for the storm windows still in place.

A few years later it was moved several hundred feet into the woods. Here's what's left of it, on Jan. 1st, 2009. Experts say it cannot be restored.

Batavia Branch

Although the CA&E had very little trolley wire, of course, one bracket arm is still in position on the Batavia branch, near the location of the powerhouse. The hanger was cut out of the span wire, but otherwise it's still complete. Jan. 1st, 2009.

Glen Oak Country Club

As of May, 2010.

Mount Carmel Branch - 1980

In 1980 this branch was still being used for occasional freight service. Here we are near the south end, looking north. The siding to the right was no longer used. You can see line hardware still hanging from the poles.

Looking north towards the underpass of the Illinois Central.

The tracks ran in the middle of the street across a bridge over the Congress. This is looking south. Note the remains of a tongue switch mechanism in the foreground.

The crossing of Mannheim Rd. and Harrison, looking north again. The CGW and the CA&E had had separate tracks at this point, with an unusual system of about a dozen parallel rails as a road surface. The CGW is to the left and the CA&E line (this part of which was disconnected) to the right in this view.

This is the IC bridge over the long-gone Bellwood branch, which was used only by CRT. The tracks ran in a north-south cut which had been filled in, but the bridge was still there, and is still today, I believe.

Prince Crossing

Prince Crossing

Here are a couple of photos I took in 1975.

 And here are two more I took in 2008, from about the same locations.

By 2014 a lot of structural work had been done on the building to fix problems.  But there were rumors it was about to be demolished.


Yorkville was the southernmost extent of the vast AE&C system until 1924, when the line south of Fox River Park was abandoned.  Although the line to Yorkville has now been gone for ninety years, a surprising number of remnants of this early interurban line still remain.

The line terminated in the middle of Van Emmon St. at Bridge St. (Rt. 47) as seen above.  The building in the pre-1905 picture is still there, but no longer painted for its use as a combination furniture store and undertaker's parlor.

About three blocks east is the place where the Fox and Illinois Union crossed the AE&C.  The F&IU has been gone since 1937, but the property lines still follow the curve down to the interchange with the Burlington.

Another couple of blocks east, and Van Emmon St. jogs to the south.  At this point the interurban line left the middle of the street and ran parallel to it, forty or fifty feet to the north.  Beyond this point for a half mile or so, a row of houses was built on the right of way, but the grade can occasionally be seen. 

Because the line essentially parallels the river, the drainage pattern runs at right angles to the street, trolley line, and railroad.   So this stretch of the line had a number of culverts, bridges, and a  150' trestle to bridge the various streams and gullies.

One of the trestle abutments.  The Burlington can been seen in the background.  Even a side-of-the-road interurban line could require a significant investment in concrete.

The substation building was being rebuilt by contractors, so I stopped to take a couple of photos. It's currently occupied by the Salt Creek model railroad club, but I don't know whether they own the building or lease it.


Anonymous said...

The term "elephants' graveyard" came to mind when I saw the photos of Birney 83. It reminded me of some photos showing the rusted hulk of a Pacific Electric 1100-series car somewhere in South America. My reaction was that it would probably be easier to build one from scratch than to try and restore something that far gone. Rather like the steam fans who dream of having a NYC "Art Deco" Hudson replicated.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Seth. I'm curious about the whereabouts of the Good Templar Park stop on the CA&E line. Where was it? Is there no structure today? Was it east or west of East Side Drive? On the Good Templar Property? I thought I'd find some remnant of this when driving through the area and... nothing. Nothing I've read online explains where it once was. Hmmm...

I particularly liked the pics of the old car east of Kirk. Thanks!

Randall Hicks said...

Seth: The stop was where the track crossed Dodson Rd. (now East Side Dr.) but I don't believe there was any building there. It would just have been a low-level platform or two, which has disappeared. The park itself is still there, of course, and belongs to the city park district. But I suppose it was originally owned by the Good Templars. But who were they?

I would like to think this was a shadowy organization of secret conspirators who looked like Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet, or other suspicious sorts, and needed an out-of-the-way place to hatch their plots, but that's just a guess. The truth is probably somewhat less romantic.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Randy.

The International Organization of Good Templars (now called IGOT)is a Swedish based anti-drinking organization modeled on the Freemasons. The chapter local to Geneva purchased the land and built the park in 1924 because Ravinia charged them $4000 to host their annual Svenskarnas Dag celebration, which at that time had an attendance of over 10,000 people.

The Geneva IGOT still owns the park, although the land closest to the river was donated to the Geneva City Park Department, becoming part of Bennett Park.

Good Templar Park is available for rent for social events, and is open to the general public during the Svenskarnas Dag, which is usually held in June. Admission for Svenskarnas Dag was recently $4.00, but may be higher now. Drinking and smoking are prohibited.

Brian J. Patterson.

Chris said...

I am just finding out about the "Fox and Illinois Union Railway" now. I noticed the wide, off-center Route 47 right of way south of Yorkville, where portions to the west of the road appeared to be graded like a railroad bed, as well as oddly placed grain elevators along it. At one point Route 47 veers east but a side road continues straight to another elevator. But there is no abandoned railroad depicted in my railroad atlas, so I thought it was a coincidence. The elevators are too new to be from the interurban line, but they seem to be replacements for those in the locations mentioned here:

Unknown said...


I have scanned in some hand colored photos of the CAE that were given to me by my great Uncle. The pictures were taken by he and his father. I found them pretty interesting and wanted to share with the group. is the link.



Unknown said...

Just a friendly nit-pick - CA&E car 308 is approaching Main Street, not Prospect, in Glen Ellyn.

Thanks for posting all this

Dann Chamberlin
Glen Ellyn resident 1936-1958 (Taylor Avenue, no less!)