Aurora to Geneva

Point of Interest

The C&NW Aurora Branch was abandoned on February 17, 1982, and today serves as the Fox River Trail.

This line is not to be confused with the Aurora, Elgin, and Fox River Electric Railway right-of-way, also abandoned, which closely parallels this route for most of its length (and also runs between Aurora and Geneva and beyond).

See also North Aurora to Geneva, a former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad line.

Thanks to Bob Dillon for contributing information about this route.

You Do Realize There Is An Active Train Line Used From BNSF Which Does Run This Line Correct?

I Guess This Would Be Another Train Which Had Been Around The BNSF North Aurora Branch Line.

The Reason I Pointed This Out Is Because The North Aurora Branch Line Would Head Around The Same Location As This.

Joliet, IL


I thought the Fox River Trail as indicated on the map was the Aurora, Elgin, and Fox river Electric?

West Chicago, IL


Tim is correct - it was an electric line.

Aurora, , IL


The Fox River Trail is made up of segments of three railroads, and this is the southernmost one. There is also the Aurora, Elgin, and Fox River from St. Charles to South Elgin, and the former C&NW Lake Geneva branch from Elgin north to Richmond.

Josh Reynolds
Downers Grove, IL


Brandon: You may be thinking of the BNSF line that runs from Aurora, North to Batavia along the East side of the Fox RIver, then from Batavia it heads NE to West Chicago

Bob Roehrig
Batavia, , IL


The Burlington North Aurora branch is actually called the Geneva Spur. It originaly ran parallel to CNW's Aurora Branch to Geneva connecting to it just a block or two south of the connection to the main line. In the early 20th century it was cut back to the Mooseheart School where coal deliveries were made then cut back again after the coal was no longer needed and I-88 was constructed. Hope to add some of my research on this and photos at a later date.

S. Schieve
Geneva, IL


The portion of the Fox River Trail north of Aurora on the west bank was part of the CNW. As a child I watched fireworks at a family friend house that was in this area. Tracks were still in place around 1983.

S. Schieve
Geneva, IL


Turns out there was a branch of the CNW on the east side of the Fox as well from Geneva to Batavia. Rails still visible in pavement on the trail near a factory north of Wilson Ave. Should have known before, trail is clearly former road bed.

S. Schieve
Geneva, IL


There's a really interesting article about this line around Geneva in Winter 2012 Classic Trains, with good maps too.

Dave K.
West Chicago, IL


That line was once called the Ottawa, Oswego, & Fox River Valley. Running from Streetor IL to Elgin. However, before it could get it's feet off the ground the CB&Q grabbed it in the mid 1890s. The line from Aurora to Streetor is still used be Illini Rail I think. The line was pulled from 88 to Mooseheart in the 70's due to the coal not burning clean enough for the EPA. The State hostipal in Elgin had the same fate and thus the Fox Valley Electric Line went belly up at the same time.

Paul Miller
Elgin, IL


The Ottawa Oswego and Fox River never made it north of Geneva. The CNW did have a spur to St. Charles branching off near the station. It's hard to find detailed maps that are accurate due to the congestion of four railroads in this small area. I have e-mailed an old property map that should clear this up.

S. Schieve
Geneva, IL


grew up in Aurora. Attempting to model this very line from BN main to tollway-late 80's early 90's. Lots of interesting switching going on back then. Tracks extended well into N. Aurora into 80's with occasional cars stored north of tollway then. Bridge over tollway removed in one of latest toll projects. I believe early 2000's.

john Barrett
Walworth, WI


In North Aurora, A old grain tower is still up next to the tracks. It has a shoot, And an old insulator cross arm on it. It by a restaurant that looks like a barn. Can't think of the name.

Jason Learakos
Batavia, IL


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Do you have any pictures or information about Aurora to Geneva? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.