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  • June 30, 2018 9:05 PM | Anonymous

    4451 will be out on the rails before we know it! Paint, ceiling, roof, wiring, and windows are coming along really well, so today I had the goal of getting the batteries serviced on this car, so we can start testing controls, compressor, etc.

    The 4000 series had the battery box in the middle of the car with very limited access!

    I started with removal of the top, and folding the sides down

    Not much room for inspection and servicing

    Quickly the decision was made to remove the four battery boxes in order to service the batteries on a bench. Some contortion was required to get these out, but it was necessary!

    Good call, as this is one of the issues found

    Looks to be freeze damage, but either way, this one is toast! There was another cell found to be leaking at the bottom from rust. 

    A quick run to our storage, and two replacement cells were ready

    So now as I am servicing the cells, one at at time, I start to charge some cells. I must admit that I felt a bit like a mad scientist !

    Soon I have all the cells serviced and ready to charge the entire bank as a series, to equal 36 volts.

    So far so good. Only one cell is really weak, but we will see what tomorrow brings.

    And the fruits of the day's labor! 

    24 cells with just a little bit of a charge, were putting out about 34 volts, and lit this 38v bulb !!!  Tomorrow I will cycle these cells through some charge and discharge cycles, and hope to reinstall them into the car!

    Don't mind the lawn chair and fans, it was quite a hot one today and I sat between two fans, on the chair and just worked away! No way anything outside was happening today!

  • June 30, 2018 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    Great job Chuck!

    Sometimes it's hard to tell who's more tough and versatile, Chuck, or Case!  LOL

  • June 30, 2018 8:52 PM | Anonymous

    While we all wait for the restoration of 7, tarping it is needed to help preserve it.

    Big thanks to all the folks that are getting 7 covered. 

    Whomever is out there waiting to sponsor this car's restoration, now is the time!

  • June 24, 2018 8:44 PM | Anonymous

    With all the interior lighting completely exposed, for the roof and ceiling replacement, not is the time to check and repair all the ceiling lighting.

    Before 4451 went out of service last, it has suffered a short in the interior lighting, and was not used since. 

    Today Chuck and Jeff were able to map the entire lighting system, mark everything and find the short. (both snap switches above the motorman controls were faulty)

    Careful checking of each and every wire in the system, has led us to be confident "lighting her up" once the ceiling is back in!

    Huge thanks to Fred for the wiring diagram!

  • June 22, 2018 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    In the mean time, it is being covered, by the regular dedicated volunteers...

    Chuck, Doug, Mike, and Joe have been working on tarping 7
  • June 22, 2018 3:43 PM | Anonymous

    We are very happy to have Kasia with K Creative back with us to help paint the interior of 4451. 

    Work on 4451 as observed Monday.  

    01 priming of walls & window posts.  

    02 Doug & Mike inspect carlines and window post priming.  

    3 Ceiling panels and loose windows primed both sides so they can be installed.

  • June 22, 2018 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    From the desk of Joe H.

    01 Feather flags flying on May 28th as grass is starting to grow.

    02 A visitor drives over the new driveway apron on May 28th.

    03 On June 11th the grass is taking hold along the new sidewalk.

    04 Work is continuing on 458 as backer boards go on so the tack

    molding can be installed.

    05 317 is in a new temporary storage spot on Track 0.

    09 The car barn tracks have a new look as rolling stock is stored out of the way.

    10 MUNI 1030 is now on Track 4 so stabilization work can start in earnest.

    11 With a new volunteer Mike R. working on the car, this will be the first photo on Track 4 before his efforts improve its appearance.

    2018 season has seen 1030 getting some attention to stabilize it for beginning restoration work.

  • June 04, 2018 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    During the end of 2017 and early 2018 5's number two generator was replaced. Shortly thereafter, engine number two was serviced for proper operation, as it had not been run in many years, due to the failed generator. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, 5 now has two functional generators.

    It was noted earlier in the year, when engine two was stated that a valve adjustment was needed. So here we see Jeff taking advantage of the beautiful weather on Sunday, and getting nice and cozy with engine two!

    Looks like something from "Dirty Jobs" lol

    The rocker boxes (inside the top of the engine) was extremely clean. It was hard to believe, but everything looked practically new inside.

    Care had to be taken to correctly adjust the valves, as there were multiple points of adjustment, and needed to be done in the correct order.

    The helpful hand of Chuck allowed these photos to be taken, and help given when it was time to turn the engine over for the next adjustment.

    As the rocker arms, and valve bridges were adjusted to correct tension, they were marked with yellow paint, so we would know which ones were done.

    The engine room doors have been a "kick or bang" open situation for years. Four doors on engine room number two were taken apart, repaired, welded, refurbished, and cleaned. Lube was liberally applied and now the engine room doors, at least on number two, open by hand!

    Buttoning up some final things, before Jeff worms his way out. Not a very easy "in and out" maneuver! 

    Some time was devoted to trying to sync the two engines. It seems that engine two has an injection pump issue that needs to be addressed, before we can synchronize the throttles between the two engines. 

  • May 23, 2018 3:17 PM | Anonymous

    From the desk of 

    Joe Hazinski

    1 - Only photo of them working on the crossing gate for the entrance to the parking lot.

    2 - Roadmaster Chris Nelson with a bucket of trash that has been picked up along the right of way.

    3 - The motorcar train north of the driveway with a tub of scrap metal collected along the tracks on the Norton cart.

    4 - Recovering the spare DH-25 compressor with the Case tractor.

    5 - Fortunately we picked up an access door in Cleveland to make the compressor complete.

      6 - Casey holding the 1000 pound compressor while the work "ambulance" backs around the backhoe arm.

                  7 - Giving the compressor a shove into the vehicle.

                  8 - Finally at rest as most likely the heaviest patient this old ambulance has ever carried.

                  9 - Picking up the tub of scrap metal off the Norton trailer.

                  10 - Again because the load is so heavy Jeff had to back the ambulance around the tub.

                   11 - On Monday Mike, Doug  and Joe went pack to working on trolley poles.  Here the harp ends have been cleaned up.

      12- Using a cub wire wheel does a good job of cleaning off the old paint.

               13 - Comparing the butt ends of the poles before and after.

               14 -  Mike working on the harp end of a pole we had to drill the bolts out of.  The holes were not straight and he is working to get them straight enough for the harp to be bolted on.

                15 - All cleaned up and ready for paint.

                16 - And the first coat is primer.

  • May 22, 2018 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    The last few days have been a flurry of activity in all departments!

    It has been really great to see our organization firing on all cylinders.

    Our usual weekend work got an early weekday start with Fred dropping off many new roof ribs, freshly made by a CNC company, for use on 458 & 4451

    It was decided to go with a CNC facility, not just because of the volume of ribs needed, but so that they would all be identical. This will be key to get the roofs to lay correctly!

    As seen in the background of the earlier photos, the mid week work consisted of covering all the cars in the car barn, so Saturday Fred, and Mike could spray the under structure roof area of 458.

    ^^^^ A little plastic, isn't stopping Fred from getting into 458 !

    ^^^^^^ This was the scene Saturday morning! Everything covered and ready for the painting to begin on 458.

    Not the greatest picture, but you can see Fred spraying 458

    The watchful and very helpful ground crew, consisting of Mike G.

    While Mike and Fred were underway painting, Jeff works his way to 756. A while back the trap that was used by Jan G. to enter the car for her continuing wood striping/painting efforts, had failed.

    Upon tear down inspection, it was determined that the two flat metal strips, that are used as torsion springs for the door, were rusted through at the mounting bushing.

    Also the cover over the torsion springs, that also retains the spring bushings was quite rusted through. The museum's good friend Leo has offered to make up some replacements!

    This is how the hardware should go together, and once the covers are ready, the trap will again be usable for easy entry and exit!

    Next over to the West sliding window on the caboose. The lower support for the the slide rail, has succumb to years of water, and was in need of replacement, so Jeff and Mike addressed this.

    Doug most likely has this painted as this is being written.


    Doug had spent the early part of the morning working with our newest operator in training, Bruce G., reporting that he was doing a great job!

    And then the trainer, becomes the trainee, as Doug and Jeff continue ongoing training with Chuck on Loco 5

    Priceless expressions!  ^^^^^

    But soon we have an ol' pro at the controls !

    Today Doug and Jeff got a bunch of great training, hauling 715 around, putting 45 aside on track 3N, and getting L202 up to track 2, ready for Caboose Days! 

    Chris and Art were fast at work the whole day. These guys can really tell ya what heavy lifting is !!!!

    A lot of organization that the Track Dept. had been wanting to get done was underway, and Chris, our Road Master seemed pleased with the progress! 

    So much to do to get the newly expanded MOW building set up correctly.

    ^^^^ Chuck making careful plans to work the tractor in to move things for the track dept.

    Sunday started out with a down right cold morning, and plenty of rain, so inside to car 40 to work on the floor repairs.

    ^^^^^ Here we see one of our newest additions to the Car Department roster, Neil helping Jeff to remove the floor. Great to have you "on board" Neil !!!

    Everything is out, and a lot was learned. Seeing as every door vestibule needs this, (one in the works eleven to go.... ugh) it's a good thing we learned now!  Stay tuned to this project for more to come!

    We are continuing to take advantage to 458 being in the barn. Sunday the batteries got a full service!

    The compressor oil got changed out as well on 458.

    This is the compressor that was sitting on top of S314. Hopes are to rebuild this and swap it onto 715, as that compressor is passing a lot of oil that is currently on that car.

    Coming in at just over 1,000 lbs. (there was some debate as to this compressors weight, I can not remember who said they thought it was a bit over a thousand)

    And the tear down begins!

    ^^^^^^^All the bearings, crank, rods, wrist pins, and gears look to be in fantastic shape, with no excessive play at all.

    And for the bad news. It would seem that there is a spot in the case that holds oil, and supplies the pinion gear, that has some issues. Brazing will be needed to repair this.

    One stuck valve.

    Head is currently soaking in trans fluid to free up the stuck valve.

    The cylinders look great!

    Still had a fair amount of oil in it.

    No issues with the head, providing the valve comes out ok.

    Getting ready to move the assembly to the bucket, as separating the motor from the rotating assembly is no light work.

    ^^^^^^ Commutator, main case, with rotating assembly on the left, and coils with brush mount housing on the right.

    Stay tuned to this one!

    Ralph and Jim S. were working on the entry RR gate. I did not get pictures of this I am sorry to say, but many thanks to you guys for your efforts.

    Sunday was a rainy day, but the crew was on time and ended up with a few riders later in the day.

    Again, it has been a pleasure to watch all the activity and to be part of it too! I know for sure I missed things that were transpiring over the last week, but rest assured, EVERYONE'S input and effort is appreciated and needed to keep our great success going!




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..

Contact us:

General Information (847) 697-4676

Event and Ticket questions (847) 380-6121

365 S La Fox St, South Elgin, IL 60177           

P.O. Box 315

The Fox River Trolley Museum is an IRS 501(c)(3) Illinois Not for Profit Corporation.
Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 

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