Log in

Log in

Members Only

  • 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!


  • May 16, 2018 8:05 PM | Anonymous

    Pumped up L202 to check all the usual suspects;

    Feed valve, Brake stand, Brake cylinder, Governor, Exercise the brakes several times. And that was about all I had time to do, as we were quite busy with riders! Good Stuff

  • May 16, 2018 7:58 PM | Anonymous

    From the desk of Joe H.

    1 The sidewalk has been completed.

     2 The Village replaced the driveway apron as part of the project.

     3 The edges were contoured and now the grass has got to grow.  The feather flags were moved to the east, several times, by Chuck

    4 Jeff Bennett with stinger in hand consults with Chuck Galitz.

    5 On Monday Mike Gilles brought out a pipe vise which was set up to hold trolley poles so the harps could be removed for the straightening process.

  • May 08, 2018 9:32 PM | Anonymous

    This set shows the sidewalk installation being done for the Village to give Cambridge residents a safe walk towards downtown South Elgin.  We start on Sunday evening when the forms are in place, Monday after the concrete pour and then late Monday after the forms were removed.  Because the grade has to be steady there are places where our undulating property has to be beveled to the edge of the sidewalk.  This will be interesting to see how this turns out.

  • May 08, 2018 8:48 PM | Anonymous

    This shows some of the work on straightening some of the used SEPTA trolley poles.  The hole in the car barn post allows us to take out the big bends.  The idea comes from an old trade publication where it was published as a shop tip.  Most of these poles have a little bend at the harp end which was why they were declared surplus.  By bushing the bending hole we are able to straighten this bend but first we have to take the harps off and this can be a challenge.  Joe and Mike are working on this but had some help from Patrick Storm and Chuck Galitz.  The harps will be reinstalled and the poles cleaned up, primed, painted and installed on a couple of cars. 

  • May 07, 2018 5:39 PM | Anonymous

    The upper body where the side of the car stops, and the roof begins, has been scraped, and wire brushed. Then paint applied, and finally the wood that the tack strips will attach to is mostly installed all the way around.

    And some of us can remember a couple years ago, the Main Resv. pipe on the South end rotting out at the floor. Well this weekend it was removed, and the line run back to the copper tubing.

    Years of rot, had made the pipe a bit smaller...

    Next weekend the pipe connections will be completed most likely.

  • May 07, 2018 5:35 PM | Anonymous

    Well with all the flooring vinyl now out, the doors work like a charm!!!

    Next the plywood is coming up. It is bolted down with elevator style bolts, and nuts must be removed from under the car prior to removing the wood. I got several of them, but not all. more next week, then the wood comes out. We are learning a lot as we go, and hope the next door vestibule will be quicker!



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

Follow us on

Facebook  Instagram

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. 

Copyright 2024 - Fox River Trolley Association, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software