Fox River Trolley Museum
  • 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!

  • September 25, 2018 8:17 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    All hands on deck to get 458 buttoned up to go outside for a bit, and give up it's inside spot so 40 can get it's scheduled paint job.

    Here you can see the custom ordered tongue and grove for 458's roof. Hope the next time we show a picture of this wood it will be on the top of the car!

    The center section of the roof has all the roof ribs done, all the insulation stabilizing wire installed, insulation and vapor barrier installed. This roof has been a huge project, and we really want to have the center section done within the next week or so.

    All these below pictures are reflecting the hundreds of hours Mike G. and Fred L. have devoted to the glass repairs on this car. ALL side windows have been replaced. Most of the interior glass has been replaced, and they have even sourced and installed new glass for the gauges that were damaged.

  • August 28, 2018 11:38 AM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Visit our You Tube Channel for videos and subscribe!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2U84A9JTSLcSHEwvII74lg

    Michael J. Fox is the star of the 1985 movie “Back to the Future”, and its sequels, in which a specially outfitted DeLorean automobile is able to travel backwards and forwards in time upon reaching a critical speed of 88 miles per hour and using a fusion power generator. He also suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.

    Volunteers from the Foundation brought their DeLorean, appropriately modified to resemble the movie car, to a convention of DeLorean owners and collectors being held in Saint Charles, IL. Through a contact with one of the Museum members, they inquired about operating their car on our tracks, raising funds through offering rides simulating the rail running depicted in later movies. We were able to accomodate them.

    The car was highway driven to the Museum, where the regular tires were removed, and railroad flanged wheels were attached. They made multiple trips up and down the line. Riders in the car could donate (or not) as they wished.

    Fox River personnel were on hand to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all involved.

    The car never reached 88 miles per hour, and thus always remained in the present time.






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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