We generally try to get out to the Illinois Railway Museum at least a few times each year. Here are some pictures from two recent visits (June 18th and July 3rd).
These were “themed” days to some extent. June 18th was Chicago Day, commemorating when the last Chicago streetcar ran on June 21, 1958. July 3rd was the 59th anniversary of the end of regular passenger service on the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin interurban.
As part of that anniversary, the museum staged a “re-enactment” of sorts of the line’s quick abandonment. Once a judge had issued an order allowing the railroad to temporarily suspend passenger service, the order went out for all trains to let out their passengers and deadhead back to Wheaton.
Thousands of commuters were left stranded. In the 2016 version, two trains of CA&E cars (one steel, one wood) brought passengers out on the main line and left them there to be picked up by a steam commuter train. (In real life, steam had already been replaced by diesel on the Chicago & North Western, which ran parallel to the CA&E along part of its route through Chicago’s western suburbs.
While we did not get stranded ourselves, we did a lot of trolley riding on those two days. All photos in this post are mine. We hope you will enjoy them.
If you have not visited the Illinois Railway Museum, we hope that you will soon. It is always worth the trip. IRM is also unique in having an operating trolley bus loop. I got to ride a Chicago trolley bus for the first time in many years last Sunday. That brought back many fond memories.
PS- We have a new trolley CD– a 60th anniversary tribute to the late lamented Railroad Record Club. You will find the details at the end of this post, and, as always, the proceeds from the sale of these recordings help cover part of the cost of running this site. We thank you in advance for your support.
June 18, 2016:
July 3, 2016:
Railroad Record Club
60th Anniversary Tribute
# of Discs – 2
Railroad Record Club #37:
We celebrate the Railroad Record Club with a 60th anniversary tribute containing all new audio of vintage streetcars, interurbans, trolley buses, and even a bit of steam, recorded in 2016 at the Illinois Railway Museum. Electric equipment featured includes CTA PCC 4391, CSL red Pullman 144, CSL “Matchbox” 1374, CTA “L” single car units 22 and 41, CTA trolley bus 9553, and the interurbans of the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin, and Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee (North Shore Line). Steam sounds are provided by Frisco 1630. Recorded with the finest quality digital equipment of today, this is a fitting tribute to the late William Steventon and the Railroad Record Club of Hawkins, Wisconsin, with all the bells and whistles, dings, and gear sounds we could fit onto a pair of CDs. The material presented here is equivalent in length to about five of the original RRC LPs.
Disc 1- 79:38
Disc 2- 79:55
Editor’s note: This title is no longer available for purchase.
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