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  • June 08, 2023 9:12 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    We've been hard at work ensuring everything at the museum is in tip-top shape. While the spotlight has been on the restoration of CA&E Car 458 which is entering service later this month, we also have been putting a lot of work into our track to help ensure a smooth and safe ride for all passengers.

    Last Friday, our Assistant Roadmaster Patrick Storm was out conducting track work on the main line at Coleman, near where our tracks cross underneath the Canadian National (formerly Illinois Central) tracks. He made almost a dozen trips back and forth with Locomotive #5 and a home-made easy dumper track cart, delivering crushed concrete along the track to help prevent the erosion of the roadbed in that area.

  • May 23, 2023 9:36 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    This past Sunday, a Ford Model T club came to complement our vintage trolleys with some automobiles.

    They posed one of the cars with 4451. The Ford Model T was introduced in 1908, while the 4000 series Chicago Rapid Transit cars were introduced in the 1920s.

    They also had their lineup of Model T's and other vintage cars in our parking lot in front of car 5001.

    After a tour of the cars we have on display, the members of the club came back to the depot to board a train.

  • May 08, 2023 9:37 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    After a great season in 2022 and a busy off-season getting ready, we have now officially begun our 2023 operating season! For our opening day, we ran North Shore car 715 and Chicago Transit Authority car 4451. In addition, we had Chicago Transit Authority cars 40 and 43 and Illinois Central caboose 9648 on static display.

    For a little more added excitement, the car department has also been hard at work on Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin car 458 and was performing test runs on the line while we were carrying passengers on 4451 and 715.

    After several months of the off-season, we saw many smiling faces today, ready to see railroad history brought to life.

    Jan poses with North Shore 715

    Car 4451 being prepared for service

    Chicago Transit Authority cars 40 and 43 being prepared for display

    Passengers disembarking from Chicago Transit Authority 4451 after a trip down to Blackhawk

    Passengers are all smiles on North Shore 715

    Passengers boarding North Shore car 715

    Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin car 458 is taken out of the barn for testing

    Changing ends on car 458

    Sneak peak of the restored interior of 458

  • April 16, 2023 9:31 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    Work continues on Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin car 458 to make it ready to carry passengers.

    Felix and his dad stopped by and helped Jeff knock out a half dozen seats In CA&E 458!

    Tom and Chris just couldn’t help but get in on the action of getting 458 ready for opening day.

    Felix had no problem doing heavy work! What a great kid!

    Jeff snaps a selfie, happy with the progress of the day.

  • March 25, 2023 8:06 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    Today we kicked off our packed schedule of events for 2023 with the first Bunny Burrow Express. We saw many smiling faces searching for the Easter Bunny, and of course also some Easter treats.

    The Easter Bunny was all smiles, happy to see everyone ready to celebrate.

    Along the way, the passengers found some Easter eggs at the Bunny Burrow.

    All the families had the chance to get their photo with the Easter Bunny and get their own treats.

    Then the Easter Bunny and the passengers had to say goodbye as the train returned to Blackhawk.

    Make your own Easter memories and meet the Easter Bunny at the Bunny Burrow Express! There are two more chances, on April 1 and April 8 at 10am, 11:30am, and 1pm. Tickets are still available for all trains!

    More Information

    Purchase tickets for April 1

    Purchase tickets for April 8

  • March 04, 2023 9:02 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    After heavy use for the Polar Express, cars 40 and 43 were put away for the winter. However, with Easter approaching, this weekend they were brought back out from hibernation to get ready for the Bunny Burrow Express later this month. A crew consisting of Damin, Donna, Jacob, Mike, and Tom together took on the task of transitioning the cars from Polar Express to Bunny Burrow Express.

    At the time we started, all the decorations from Polar Express were still there and needed to be removed.

    We arrive to a train still decorated for Polar Express

    Tom packs up some of the decorations into bins for next year

    Jacob unloads a box of Polar Express decorations

    Then, with the Polar Express decorations removed and stored for next year, it was time to put up the Bunny Burrow Express decorations.

    Donna hangs up a paper streamer

    Damin hangs up another paper streamer

    Donna wraps a pole

    With that, we had a train decorated and ready for the Bunny Burrow Express!

    We of course made sure to show our Easter spirit on the outside of the train.

    We look forward to seeing everyone show their Easter spirit for the Bunny Burrow Express starting on March 25!
    Tickets are still available for all trains!

    More Information

    Purchase Tickets for March 25

    Purchase tickets for April 1

    Purchase tickets for April 8

  • March 02, 2023 6:31 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    We would like to thank the Examiner of South Elgin for recognizing all of our hard work at the museum. We pride ourselves on our relationship with our local community and are grateful to see ourselves recognized for the value we provide, and are looking forward to a great season this year.

  • February 18, 2023 9:11 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    Jeff and Thee smile and wave as the north cab area is just about completely stripped.

    A door restoration station, consisting of a couple of sawhorses, has been set up.

    Every door (ten by last count) has to come off, be stripped of handles, trim, kick plates, catches, closers, glass, etc., and then be sanded and repaired as needed.

    Since some (most) doors have 5-10 coats of paint, this process is slow going.

  • February 17, 2023 5:48 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    It's all hands back on deck in 316. Jeff, Barbara, and John are each addressing some bit of detail work. 

    This was Barbara’s first time using an orbital sander. She did great, and we love the extra hands!

    Here is a great close up of how detailed the sanding is. The woodwork is so detailed and every bit of it must be sanded so the refinish job takes correctly. The wood is sooooooo soft that it must be done, inch by inch, by hand!

    Ben confirms that this a difficult task, showing off the parts of his finger tips that are worn away from all the sanding.

    And good ol' Johnny! He got a headlight from Santa!

  • February 15, 2023 8:45 PM | Jacob Goldberg (Administrator)

    With the floors now freshly sanded in 316, a layer of protective matting is installed while the rest of the work is done.

    Outside, we have Mike and Mike working away on 458. Here they are unwrapping the parts from the painter and placing them where they need to be installed.

    The upper trim was installed and all the fasteners for the luggage rack on one side are now in.

    The heater box grates are all back from being painted as well.

    Jeff snuck away from floor sanding to install a few heater grates.



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

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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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