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Don's Rail Photos

Elgin & Belvidere Electric Co.

This line was built in 1906 and opened in 1907 between Elgin and Belvidere, 36 miles, to connect the Rockford lines with the Chicago lines. It was under the management of Bion J. Arnold, who was the most distinguished expert in city transit between 1900 and 1925. In 1927 the Rockford to Belvidere segment of the Rockford & Interurban was merged to form the Elgin Belvidere & Rockford. Rockford lightweight interurbans were used, but this was not financially satisfactory. The cars were returned to Rockford Public Service, and the old E&B cars were remodeled for one man service. But it was too late. Competition from the parallel Chicago & North Western and from the automobile caused the line to quit service on March 9, 1930. Arnold purchased two Manhattan Elevated steam locomotives and scrapped the line by himself. It was not completed until the mid to late 1930s.

In 1956, I was checking on ownership of an abandoned C&NW right-of-way for the Illinois Railway Museum, and I stopped in the county clerk's office in Woodstock. The clerk became curious and then suggested that we might be interested in a piece of property which was on the delinquent tax rolls. It was 50 feet wide and 7 miles long. After paying the taxes for two years, a quit claim was filed and this has become the home of the IRM at Union, IL.

202 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906.

203 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906.

204 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906.

205 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906.  It was wrecked in use of the Chicago Aurora & DeKalb RR.

208 was built by Niles and may have come from the Youngstown & Ohio River Ry. When it was one-manned, a cab was created protruding from the train door. This could have created some problems for overweight motormen.

209 was also built by Niles and thought to have come from the Y&OR. It was apparently spared the "phone booth" addition.

103 provided freight and express service.

500 appears to have been a tool car converted from a box car.

Chicago Aurora & DeKalb 24 was built by American Car in 1910. It was taken by E&B to replace their 205 after the CA&D had wrecked it. It apparently was never used by E&B and scrapped in the late 1930s.


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