TrainWeb.org Facebook Page

Fox River Trolley Museum 8/22/2021



by Chris Guenzler



We pulled in and parked the car.

Fox River Trolley Museum

The Fox River Trolley Museum is a railroad museum in South Elgin, Illinois. Incorporated in 1961 as R.E.L.I.C. (Railway Equipment Leasing and Investment Co.), it opened in 1966 and became the Fox River Trolley Museum in 1984.

Location

The museum grounds are located at 361 South LaFox Street (Illinois Route 31), approximately two blocks south of the intersection of LaFox and State Streets. The museum maintains a collection of 30 antique electric trolleys, railroad cars and locomotives which range in construction dates from 1887 to 1959. The majority of the museum collection is focused on railways and electric transit lines of the Chicago area. One of the most exceptional cars in this collection is the wooden interurban (inter-city) Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad car 20, purchased directly from CA&E after that railroad discontinued passenger service. Car 20 was constructed in 1902 and is the oldest electric interurban car operating in the United States. The most recent collection acquisitions include the interurban electric railway car, Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric Co. 304, that was built for the Fox River Line in 1923, and ran in daily service between Elgin and Aurora until March 1935. Between 1935 and 1954, it operated in Cleveland over the line best known as the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit. The car was then sold, with three other ex-Fox River Line cars, to real estate entrepreneur Gerald E. Brookins, whose family operated Trolleyville USA, in Olmsted Township, Ohio, in suburban Cleveland, until 2002. AE&FRE 304 made its first run over its original railroad on August 21, 2010, over 75 years after it last ran on the line.

Heritage Railroad

Since 2002 the museum has operated a heritage railroad over a 4-mile line along the banks of the scenic Fox River to the Jon J. Duerr (formerly Blackhawk) Forest Preserve. Visitors can board at the Castlemuir depot, on the museum grounds at the north end of the line in South Elgin, or at Blackhawk station, at the south end of the line, adjacent to the picnic grove of the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve. Blackhawk station is handicapped-accessible. The museum's right-of-way was originally part of the Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric interurban railroad. The track leaves Castlemuir southbound and passes through Coleman, a former interchange with the Illinois Central Railroad. This is part of the last operating section of the interurban, closing in 1972. The track then continues south over a section closed in 1935 and then onto a new alignment that curves into the Forest Preserve. The museum operates its trolley excursions from Mother's Day to the first Sunday in November every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During July and August, the museum excursions operate on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Non-profit organization.

The Fox River Trolley Museum is operated by the Fox River Trolley Association (FRTA). The FRTA is an educational, member-based 501(c) tax exempt Illinois not-for-profit corporation. The museum gratefully accepts donations to support its operations, exhibits, programs, research, preservation and public interpretation.

Our Visit

Elizabeth and I started taking pictures while Greg and Marty looked around.





Warren and Saline River 70 ton switcher 73 built by Whitcomb in 1949.





Chicago Rapid Transit 5001 built by Pullman Standard in 1947.





Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451 built in 1924 by the Cincinnati Car Company.





Milwaukee and Electric Light Company flat car with crane S-314 built by CC Railways in 1907.





Chicago Transit Authority MS-65 diesel.





Eagle Express Boy Scouts of America speeder.





San Francisco Railway PCC Car 1030 built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1953.





Chicago Transit Authority Rapid Transit Car 40 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1959.





Chicago Transit Authority Rapid Transit Car 43 built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1959.





Chicago Transit Authority L-202 steel electric locomotive built by the Chicago City Railways in 1908 and rebuilt by the CTA in 1958. It was used in switching service at CTA shops and material handling yards.





Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric Company 45 ton switcher 5 by General Electric in 1946.





Illinois Central side door caboose 9648 built in 1957 by Illinois Central.





Chicago Transit Authority Rapid Transit Car 45 built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1959.





Chicago Aurora & Elgin steel car 458 built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1945.





Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car motor 20 built by Niles in 1902.





Aurora Elgin and Fox River lightweight interurban car by the St. Louis Car Company in 1923.





Chicago Surface Lines railway post office car 6 built in 1891 by the American Car Company.





Chicago Transit Authority steel rapid transit car 4288 built in 1922 by the Cincinnati Car Company.





Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car motor 316 built by Jewett in 1913.







Soo Line wooden caboose 130 built in 1897 by the Missouri Car Company.





Chicago, Aurora and Elgin line car 11 built in 1910 by the Brill Company. I went back outside.





Swift's Premium refrigerator car 25032.





Unknown flat car.





Swift's Premium refrigerator car 25010.





North Shore Line 756 built by Standard Car Company in 1930.





South Shore Line 7 built by Pullman in 1925.





Trolley Car trucks.





Wilson Car Lines refrigator car 2013.





Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4103 built in 1914 by the Cincinnati Car Company.





Museum scene.





The boarding platform for our first train as it did a safety run before it could be put into public operation.





A Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad sign.





The first car we would ride was North Shore Line steel car 715 built in 1926 by the Cincinnati Car Company.





A beautiful little girl and her daddy waiting to board. Now sit back and enjoy a ride on the Fox River Trolley along the Fox River to the end of track.





























That was the trip to Blackhawk. I detrolleyed for pictures.





North Shore Line steel car 715.





Elizabeth and the North Shore Line steel car 715.





The author and the North Shore Line steel car 715.





The Blackhawk station sign.





Two views on the return trip.





North Shore Line steel car 715 back at the boarding station. We walked over to the other trolley, Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451 and took the end seats.





The interior of the Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451.





My loving wife Elizabeth on the Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451.





The 125th Anniversary CTA Chicago L sign in the trolley. We took this car south to Blackhawk.





Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451 at Blackhawk.





My beautiful wife Elizabeth and the Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451.





The other end of the Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451.





The Chicago Transit Authority Steel Rapid Transit Car 4451 back where we started.





Stone work on the station grounds. A special thank you to the Fox River Trolley Museum for having us here today. We drove to Jersey Mikes for an early dinner then drove the toll road to Wisconsin border then drove on Janesville.





HLCX SD-40R 6337 ex SP 8445.





Wisonsin Southern GP39-2 3928 in their 35 years of serving Customers and Communities paint scheme, ex. Webb Asset Management 3928 and originally Union Pacific 1234.





HLCX SD39 5313 originally Southern Pacific 5313. We drove over to the Baymont Hotel and checked in. After doing e-mail and checking the Internet, Elizabeth then wanted to go and see depots in the area. We took the car and followed the depot directions.







The Edgerton Milwaukee Road station built in 1906.





The Edgerton station sign. Next we headed to Milton Jct.







The Milwaukee Road Milton Jct station built in 1924.









Chicago and North Western H-12-44 10 at Milton Jct.





Chicago and North Western caboose number unknown.





A speeder at Milton Jct. From here we drove to Milton proper and found the depot.




Milton Milwaukee Road station. We returned to the Baymount for the night.

8/23/2021 Elizabeth and I slept in a little this morning at the Baymont Inn and had their breakfast and checked out before meeting Greg and Marty at the car. Elizabeth drove us toward Milwaukee stopping at train depots along the way.





Chicago and North Western H-12-44 10 at Milton Jct.





The sign for the Whitewater station.







Milwaukee Road Whitewater station built in 1890.







Milwaukee Road North Prairie station.





Federal Railroad Adminstration Office of Safety rail truck.







The Wisconsin and Calumet Railroad Genesee Depot built in 1899. From here we went into Waukesha.







The Waukesha Milwaukee and Madison station later Chicago and North Western depot built in 1881.



Waukesha & Western Coach-Observation 212 Prairieville built by Pullman in 1927 as Mobile & Ohio 212 and it later became Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 212.





Waukesha & Western Coach 217 Bethesda was previously Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 217, and was originally Mobile & Ohio 217.





Waukesha & Western Coach 3096 was built by Pullman in 1923 as Chicago & Alton Railroad 325 Webster Groves, for the 1924 Alton Limited between Chicago and St. Louis.





Waukesha & Western Coach 326 was previously Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 326, and was originally Mobile & Ohio 326.





Waukesha & Western Baggage Car 94 but it is presumably a former Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Baggage Car that may have been originally owned by the Mobile & Ohio.





The complete train set in Waukesha.





Illinois Central 28 foot steel cupola caboose 9803 built in 1941 as Illinois Central 9803.





The station sign.





These cars have their sides covered with metal siding, hiding their original sides and making them difficult to identify, but they have stirrup steps near the middle where the doors would have been, suggesting they were insulated box cars or refrigerator cars, which would allow for their potential use as restaurant storage.





Club 400 with a mural on it. We went looking for the WC/SooLine station but got stopped by a train.





Canadian National ES44AC 3916 in the consist. We headed to the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Milwaukee and checked in getting room 615. I worked on stories and then near 3:00 PM, we both went to the registration room to pick up our NRHS convention tickets and goodie bag plus I paid $20 for the Behind the Scenes tour at Green Bay tomorrow. I bought a convention hat and two t-shirts. I then took Marty and Greg down to The Hop station then Elizabeth and I had dinner at the hotel, with mine being from the buffet. Elizabeth went to the seminars (Lake States Railway Historical Assoication and Wisconsin Great Northern/Mark Twain Zephyr) while I worked on stories before we called it a night.



RETURN TO THE MAIN PAGE