Thursday, December 30, 2010

Illinois Central MU Cars in Barrington

There are two mechanically complete IC MU trailers enclosed in a shopping mall in Barrington. Somehow we had never heard about this until a couple of weeks ago, and when I had a chance to visit the place I was surprised, to say the least. Nobody never tells me nothin'!

The 111 Grille and/or Chessie's Restaurant is an upscale bar and grill. This is car 1406, serving as the lounge. I had lunch there, and I think I'll add this to the diner page -- it's as much a diner as some of the others.

And you can rent this car for private parties, Dick!

The vestibule appears little changed, other than paint. The interior has been gutted and redecorated, of course, but otherwise the car seems to be mechanically complete. Of course, since these are trailers there are no motors or control equipment.

As you eat, you can watch trains crossing the diamond between the J and the North Western, which is only steps away.

Near it inside the mall is car 1425, which is now a store called "Girl Scout Express" and sells everything a Girl Scout could want, I suppose. It was closed when I was there, but obviously the interior is likewise gutted. It appears that the underbody equipment is all there.

The Ice House Mall includes the original Barrington station on the North Western, which was moved to this location nearly half a mile. That must have cost a bundle.

It's not obvious from the north side, which faces the tracks, but the two IC cars are behind these picture windows. On this side they have not been repainted and are still lettered Illinois Central.

On the south side of the building is this wooden waycar. The Chessie paint scheme is obviously bogus, and nobody seemed to know the car's origin. A sign on the building says only that it was built in 1879. But the same sign says that the 1406 was built as a diner, so who knows?


David Wilkins said...

Some of the C&O wood cabooses may have made it into the Chessie System era. I'll have to check. It is obviously a C&O-style wood caboose.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have not mentioned these MUs to ya, Frank. Would they not have had some control equipment on the headlight end? I recall that some parts may have been harvested from these cars for ours, circa 1986.-O.

Anonymous said...

According to Norman Carlson, the former old Illinois Central Railroad electric commuter coach trailers have been there for decades - the original name of the restaurant was Chessies - the ownership recently changed and the name was changed to 111 Grille - the former owner was somewhat of a railfan