The 2015 Trolley Pageant @IRM

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The annual Trolley Pageant (some call it a Parade) at the Illinois Railway Museum is always a festive occasion, made more so this year by falling on July 4th. So this year, we helped celebrate our country’s freedom by riding many historic railcars at IRM.

Of special note is Indiana Railroad lightweight interurban car 65, the very first piece of equipment purchased by the museum back in 1953. Between last year and this, car 65’s unique “bucket” seats were marvelously reupholstered. According to the train operator, the job cost $20k and the Car 65 fund is still in the red because of this. I’m sure the museum would welcome donations to help cover the expense.

IR 65 also made a rare trip or two out on the trolley loop. The speedy interurban is almost always used on the main line, even though, being single-ended, it has to back up for half the trip.

As always, the volunteers at IRM do a great job, and are both friendly and knowledgeable.

IRM had six generations of Chicago Transit Authority rapid transit cars on display at various times around 50th Avenue station– woods, 4000s, single car units, 2000s, 2200s, and 2400s. There were even two trolley buses (both from Seattle) operating.

July 3rd was the 59th anniversary of that unfortunate moment when the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin unexpectedly quit passenger service in the middle of the day, stranding thousands of commuters who had to scramble to find a way home. The Illinois Railway Museum, with its unique collection, had no less than three different two-car trains of CA&E cars scheduled to operate Saturday.

Since this is the museum’s 62nd anniversary, here are 62 pictures taken on July 4th. We hope that you will enjoy them.

If you have never been to the museum, it’s well worth a trip.

-David Sadowski

Here is how the trains were scheduled to run:

2015 Trolley Parade – Main Line Schedule
CA&E 36-319 10:30 AM
CRT 1797/1268 10:45 AM
1630 Coach 11:00 AM
CA&E 409/431 11:30 AM
CTA 4290/4412 11:45 AM
CA&E 308-309 12:00 PM
CTA 41/30 12:15 PM
IRR 65 12:30 PM
CNSM 251-749 12:45 PM
1630 Coach 1:00 PM
CNSM 229 1:30 PM
CTA 2153/2154 1:45 PM
IRR 65 2:00 PM
TM D13 Cabooses 2:15 PM
Demo Freight 2:25 PM
CTA 2200s 2:45 PM
1630 Coach 3:00 PM
CSS 1100 3:15 PM
TM D13 Cabooses 3:45 PM
CSS 1100 4:15 PM
CTA 41/30 4:45 PM
1630 Coach 5:00 PM
CTA 4290/4412 5:30 PM *
CRT 1797/1268 6:00 PM *
*Extra trains, operate as needed based on crowd or send back to barn from 50th

2015 Trolley Parade – Car Line Schedule
CWT 141 Morning
CTA 1374 Morning
CTA 4391 All Day
VC 19 Afternoon
IT 415 Afternoon
CTA 3142 Morning

2015 Trolley Parade – Trolley Bus Service
Milwaukee Marmon 441 (however, Seattle 633 was used instead)
Seattle MAN Artic 4020

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6 thoughts on “The 2015 Trolley Pageant @IRM

  1. Fantastic photos as usual. The IRM is on my list of places to visit. I was very impressed to see the Seattle Twin Coach trolley bus running and in fresh paint. Congrats to them.

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  2. One of these days… it’s only been 37 years since I last visited. We at Branford owe you all a big “Thank you” for your recent assistance with laying track to our new barns.

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  3. I was there and it was GREAT!!! An early delay set things back 30 minutes but they made up some time, wonderful dispatching! Of course, there was a steam train too – and it drew large crowds, but so did all the other trains. On Sunday, the NZ ran with BN 3 (executive unit), not the Silver Pilot – not sure why the change was made. TM L4 continued to make runs with cabooses; not sure what else was running as I left about noon.

    Thanks for your pictures, David – as always, excellent photography!

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