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Happy Holiday Railway - Weekends through Dec. 18

Interurban Cars

St Louis 1945 Chicago Aurora & Elgin 451
St Louis 1945
Chicago Aurora & Elgin 451
Description:Double-end arch-roof steel coach

Equipment Information

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 451 was the first car in the last order for traditional interurban cars ever placed. The CA&E ordered ten modern curve-side coaches in 1941 but the cars weren’t completed until 1945 due to World War II. Cars 451-460 featured lightweight design and newer electric control systems but could be used together with the line’s old 1920s steel coaches. Car 451 has been restored to its appearance when new in 1945.

FUN FACT: The CA&E was ambivalent about, of all things, bathrooms. It had some interurban cars to which it added bathrooms and then later removed them again. Of the ten cars it ordered in 1945, half had bathrooms and half (including 451) didn’t. One thing the railroad was adamant about: given that the toilets emptied right through a hole in the floor onto the track, the bathrooms always stayed closed and locked while the train was traveling on the elevated structure in Chicago!

Builder: St. Louis Car Company
Year Built: 1945
Seats: 54
Length: 55ft 4in
Width: 9ft 0in
Height: 12ft 3in
Weight: 86600 lbs
Brakes: AMU
Motors: 4 GE 739A
Control: M-17KC2-19
Compressor: DH-25
Trucks: GSC
Description: Double End / Double Truck / Arch Roof / Steel Coach
Arrived: 2010
Condition: Complete / undergoing restoration / not operational

Photo gallery

Ownership History
1945-1962 – Chicago Aurora & Elgin
1962-2006 – Trolleyville USA, North Olmsted, OH
2006-2010 – Lake Shore Electric Railway, Cleveland, OH
20190-present – Illinois Railway Museum, Union, IL