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Happy Holiday Railway - Weekends through Dec. 18

Interurban Cars

Stephenson 1902 Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36
Stephenson 1902
Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36
Description:Double-end railroad-roof wood coach

Equipment Information

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36 is the oldest interurban car preserved at IRM. It was part of the CA&E’s original order for passenger cars when the railroad opened in 1902 and was delivered at the beginning of 1903. It remained in daily service for nearly 55 years until CA&E passenger service ended in 1957. Car 36 underwent modernization around 1940 but retains its original 1902 interior fixtures and electrical/control equipment. It has been restored to its appearance in the late 1940s.

FUN FACT: All of the advertisements in car 36 are original, not to 1902 but to when it last carried passengers in July 1957. The CA&E ended passenger service abruptly on July 3rd that year without any warning, so cars like 36 were stored – and later sent to museums – just as they had been used to carry the morning rush that day.

COMPARE ME TO: Chicago Surface Lines 2843, built a year later. Most early interurban lines built around 1900 were just long-distance streetcar lines and used streetcars similar to CSL 2843. The CA&E was one of the first high-speed interurban lines and used cars like 36 that were closer in design to steam railroad coaches than streetcars.

Click here to support the preservation and maintenance of the museum’s CA&E wood cars.

Builder: Stephenson
Year Built: 1902
Seats: 48
Length: 47ft 4in
Width: 8ft 7in
Height: 13ft 2in
Weight: 71100 lbs
Brakes: AMM
Motors: 2 GE 66B
Control: M-C6
Compressor: D3-EG
Trucks: Baldwin
Description: Double End / Double Truck / Railroad Roof / Wood Coach
Arrived: 2009
Condition: Complete / restored / operational

Photo gallery

Ownership History
1902-1922 – Aurora Elgin & Chicago
1922-1962 – Chicago Aurora & Elgin
1962-2006 – Trolleyville USA, North Olmsted, OH
2006-2009 – Lake Shore Electric Railway, Cleveland, OH
2009-present – Illinois Railway Museum, Union, IL