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Don's Rail Photos
The Illinois Electric Railway Museum was founded in 1953 by 10 gentlemen in order to preserve Cedar Rapids & Iowa City 120, which had been Indiana RR 65. They were invited to store it at the Chicago Hardware Foundry Co which was owned by Frank Sherwin. Frank also owned a few pieces of railway and traction equipment. When I got out of service in the summer of 1954, I almost immediately joined the group as one of the first non-charter members. For the next five and a half years, it was my main activity other than work. Then I moved out of the area to Peoria. You will find a considerable amount of information about my activities on my Bio page and I won't repeat it all here.
As the collection grew, we knew that we needed a site where the cars could be run. The members made up about half Chicago area and half Milwaukee area. The Milwaukee group thought the best location would be East Troy and the Chicago group were looking at several properties including Batavia, a Chicago Aurora & Elgin branch. The old power plant would have been fantastic.
I was the public information director and we decided to make a booklet on the museum. Apparently all of the copies have disappeared over the years. But I did find one. Jack Gervais did a fantastic cover page and it showed how it would look with two of our main cars, 65 and Mendota, at Beulah Lake siding. It was little sneaky way of pushing our East Troy site.
I looked for abandoned rail right-of-ways and looked at the old Chicago & North Western KD line which was on the state line. I went to Woodstock to see the county court to look at the ownership. A clerk suggested the Elgin & Belvidere right-of-way which was unclaimed in the tax rolls. The group thought it would be a good insurance. And that is why the museum had a home.
Those from Wisconsin thought we ought to change the name. We started using Interstate Electric Railway and marked several pieces of equipment. After I had left the area, it was decided that a more inclusive name is needed. In 1963 it became Illinois Railway Museum.
On November 3, 1956, the crew was working at the museum and unloaded Illinois Terminal 415.
In June 1957, we acquired the body of Illinois Terminal 170 which had been in the St. Louis terminal for a number of years. A group of us went down to load it on to a flat bed truck to haul it to North Chicago. I fitted my car with flag sockets on the front bumper and did road guard duty for the return trip. The guys in the auto which followed the load were greeted with a cloud of dirt as soon as we hit the highway.
3 was built by McGuire Mfg Co. in 1899 as Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Ry 3. It was rebuilt from a single truck sweeper in 1904. It was retired in 1951 and sold for scrap to Chicago Hardware Foundry Co. The body was used as a shop by the IERM at North Chicago. I had a chance to ride this car during a sweeping operation in 1950, and it was an experience I will never forget. I then spent many weekends in the late 1950s working out of this car.
T-1 was built by Chevrolet in 1930. It became a fire truck tanker as Village of Pewaukee (WI) 2 and I bought it for $50 in 1957. I drove it to North Chicago and repainted it. We named it as Interstate Electric Ry T-1. After I left the area in 1960, the engine was frozen and the group decided to scrap it.
East Union station was built in 1851 at Marengo for Galena & Chicago Union RR (C&NW). It was moved to Union in 1967 and is the oldest train station west of the Appalachian Mountain in regular use.
50th Street is a Chicago El station.
Electric Street Cars
Interurban Cars 3/27/17
Rapid Transit Cars
Electric Work Equipment
Electric Box Motors and Freight Cars 2/25/17
Trolley Buses 1/31/17
Steam Locomotives 7/28/17
Internal Combustion Locomotives 5/14/17
Internal Combustion Cars
Railroad Passenger and Baggage Cars
Railroad Freight Cars
Steam Railroad Work Equipment
WebWork by rinity
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