Thursday, April 19, 2007
Old neon sign from the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin railroad. The Illinois Railway Museum. Union Illinois USA. August 2006.
Seen above the doorway of a display barn, is this neon sign from the long gone Chicago, Aurora & Elgin electric interurban railroad. This line operated it's core mainline from Chicago to Wheaton Illinois using 3rd rail much like todays CTA Rapiid Transit lines. A few of there branches, such as the freight only Cook County Branch that ran alongside Manheim Road U.S Route # 12 -45 in Hillside Illinois as well as the branch to Aurora, used overhead trolley wire. Prior to 1934, the Cook County Branch hosted "Funeral trains" to Oakridge and Mount Carmel Cemeterys, with high leval platforms at the cemeterys. The C,A & E went out of the passenger business suddenly on July 3rd 1957, leaving commuters stranded as the trains were dispatched back to the Wheaton shops mid day. The freight operations continued until 1959. Several Chicago, Aurora & Elgin cars are preserved here, as well as the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin Illinois. The former C,A & E mainline from Maywood to Wheaton Illinois, is now the Illinois Prairie Path Bicycle Trail. The old Villa Park train station is now a drug store.