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.

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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

Read more about the history of this car in Rail & Wire #238

Photo gallery

Ownership History
1902-1922 – Aurora Elgin & Chicago #306
1922-1962 – Chicago Aurora & Elgin #306
1962-2006 – Trolleyville USA, North Olmsted, OH
2006-2009 – Lake Shore Electric Railway, Cleveland, OH
2009-present – Illinois Railway Museum, Union, IL

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