Fox River Trolley Museum
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  • October 15, 2018 9:27 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Mary W. is receiving help from Jim S. to build a clock tower for Polar Express. 

    Barb is Sidewalk supervising here, and has approved of the progress.

    Mary has given up hiding from the camera and finally gives in to it.

  • October 15, 2018 9:18 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Might not look like much, but the fact that there are over three ceiling panels installed is HUGE. 

    Cliff and Bill with KRB aligning ceiling panels and installing. I didn't get to see the next one after this go in, but it's really great to see the ceiling going back in.

    One of our newest additions to the car department crew, here is Fred B. working on the rust issues on the end walls of 4451

    While Fred is new to us this year, he has a lot of restoration experience with the 4000's at other museums. We are super happy to have him on board!


    Some body filler and patches removed, and plans being made to repair the body correctly.

  • October 15, 2018 9:02 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Following it's power wash, 40 got a late night push into the barn for further prep.

    Rylee (Written rules qualified) helping Dad (Jeff) push 40 into the barn with 5

    1030 getting moved over a track to allow for the above move. 

    Long day for Fred, Mike, and Jeff, as 1030 was no small task to move.

  • October 15, 2018 8:56 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    458 is outside for the moment, allowing 40 to be painted. We couldn't help pulling the tarp back to show off the beautiful new roof! All the custom end pieces are on hand, and will be installed soon!


  • October 15, 2018 8:49 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Here we see K-Creative power washing 40 

    As many know, a good paint job consists of 90% prep, and 10% painting! 40 is receiving a lot of body work

    We didn't grab any pictures, but Mike G. and Jeff have spent many LONG nights installing all the roof cleats, so the trolley boards can go on, and this car finally have it's own poles!

  • September 25, 2018 9:56 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    So a while back you may remember we started replacing the floor in one of the vestibules of 40. The project started a couple months ago. The goal was to get new step treads installed like you see below, as well as all new flooring material in the effected area.

    So the floors are installed here, and the leveling has been done.

    First step tread installed. Success!

    Both new treads installed.... lookin good

    Then the task of installing the very hard to find flooring.

    The piece needed to consist of two separate parts, and both parts had to be custom cut to fit correctly.

    ^ Not too bad. 

    Actually looks pretty darn good!

    We were able to get the train door diamond plating up to address the massive rust issues below.


    Diamond plate, waiting for a good sanding, which was done before the day ended.


    40 did not have trolley poles on it when we got it. They had been removed prior to our ownership. With the coming paint job we spent some time finding the original holes where the retrievers were originally mounted, and successfully mounted the new Earll flanges.

    Success on both ends!

    Trolley bases we were able to acquire in a trade deal with another museum will be fully serviced and end up on top of 40.





  • September 25, 2018 9:52 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Among many things the Lowe's of St. Charles donated was this special treated plywood, that we have used to upgrade our flooring down the entire west aisle.

    This is huge for the car department to have a clean working area where a lot of precision painting and other work is done.

    Not to mention it is a heck of a lot easier on the feet, and the eyes.


  • September 25, 2018 9:49 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    OK, OK, so maybe it looks like just a piece of plywood, but Mary W. has been working diligently to construct a Clock Tower for our 2018 North Pole. Stay tuned, she has big plans! 

  • September 25, 2018 9:36 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Thanks to a recent addition to the car barn roster, Andy has started to work on removing layers, and layers of paint, filler, and rust, on the exterior of 4451. The goal is to stabilize the end walls, that have rotted away from the floor.

    One of the windows damaged during the vandalism was this motorman's windshield. Here you can see it has been removed and the sash is currently waiting for the custom ordered glass.

    This may be one of the most exciting things we have to report! 

    LOOK, you can see the first ceiling panel being reinstalled ! 

    Being that this car started the season with a completely rotted roof, and ceiling fallen in, to here, with it's roof structure completely restored to the point that panels can be reinstalled, we are doing the happy dance! The Car Department has not at all let the vandalism stifle our progress on 4451. If anything, just the opposite! 

    Hear on the left, going down the side of the car above the windows, the newly custom made trim is installed. This trim was all severely rotted out from water intrusion, and this very detailed trim pattern was not a small order to recreate. 

    Huge thank you to Fred L. for supplying 4451 with two marker windows! Here you can see one being installed.

    A quick shot of the roof above with all the completed center roof ribs..... so clean and straight !

  • September 25, 2018 9:31 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who has continued to donate and keep our vandalism repairs going!

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2017

FOX RIVER TOLLEY MUSEUM'S 6000s "GO HOME!"


Ever since CTA began to assemble its 21st Century Heritage Fleet, rail enthusiasts have expressed hope that 'L' cars of decades past could be returned from museums or private owners to enlarge the fleet.

Thanks to CTA and the Fox River Trolley Museum, those hopes have come true.

The museum has re-sold cars 6101-02 to CTA for Heritage Fleet operation. The Fox River board approved the sale at its July 8 meeting. CTA signed off on the terms in late July and moved the cars from South Elgin to CTA Skokie Shops Aug. 9-10.

"We've done our part for historic preservation, which is our mission," said museum President Edward Konecki. "Now it's time for them to go home."

The married pair, built by the now-defunct St. Louis Car Co. in 1950, features a set of outside conductor's controls and twin headlights, which makes them unique among surviving 6000-series cars.

Fox River has long-term preservation in mind. CTA once had a Heritage Fleet of streetcars and rapid transit equipment that was disbanded in the 1980s.  Today's Heritage Fleet is its second.  The re-sale contract includes a clause that gives the museum a 90-day right of first refusal to regain possession of the cars, should CTA decide to terminate its current Heritage Fleet program. If returned, they must be in fully operable condition. The cars were never used in public operations at Fox River because of restrictions written into the contact between the museum and CTA in the 1990s. Essentially, Fox River could not carry paying passengers on the cars. That clause will not be included should the cars revert to Fox River.

CTA hopes to unveil the cars to the public in time for its 70th birthday party in October.

CTA, created in 1945 by the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act to take control of the city's mass transportation providers, bought the 'L' from the receivers of the bankrupt Chicago Rapid Transit Co. Oct. 1, 1947.  Today it is one of the three operating agencies that compose the Regional Transportation Authority.  

The Fox River Trolley Museum is a not-for-profit, founded in 1961, dedicated to the preservation Chicago's electric railway heritage and interpretation of the lines' colorful history. All workers at the museum are volunteers.  The museum operates its demonstration railway, a remnant of the old Aurora Elgin & Fox River Electric Co. interurban (inter-city) rail line, on Sundays from Mother's Day through the end of October, Saturdays in July and August and on three major in-season holidays -- Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day..


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