Today’s post is from guest contributor William Barber:
As a 14 year old, I had the pleasure of riding the CA&E with my late father in May, 1957 on a Illini Railroad Club fan trip. At that time, the CA&E terminated at the Forest Park loop where our fan trip started. We covered the entire railroad from there to Wheaton, Elgin, Batavia and Aurora. We started with car #459 and would have used it for the entire trip except for a mishap that occurred while we were traveling up the Mt. Carmel Branch along Mannheim. One of the third rail shoes struck a pile of gravel in the stone quarry and was damaged. We were able to operate to Wheaton with one shoe, but the Railroad decided that we should change cars there. This was a fine turn of events and significantly improved the trip for most of the passengers. The replacement car was no. 20. My dad took a number of slide photos during that trip. Unfortunately, I have only scanned one so far. I believe it was taken at Prince Crossing on the Elgin branch.
Hopefully, someone else will respond who was on the same trip. I would like to hear from them. I am guessing that there were probably 40 people on that trip.
Car 20 is preserved today at the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, Illinois, and is still in operable condition, even though it is now 113 years old.