The Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad
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Ran from downtown Chicago, along what is now Eisenhower expressway. At Desplains avenue it braches off the expressway. Along this track, at Mannheim road, there was a branch south to the cemetaries. It ran south turning west to run parallel Roosevelt Road. (you can see it bend at Roosevelt and Manheim Rd. You can also see the tunnel where it went under another railroad just west of manheim) The main line runs west to downtown Wheaton Il and spilts. 1 NW to elgin. 1 SW to aurora (trainstop along Fox river downtown Aurora) The track to aurora splits off just west of Eola Rd to Batavia Il. The North also branched west to St Charles. Almost all of the path of this RR is preserved as the Illinois Prairie Path.
It had stops at Glen Oak Country Club Glen Ellyn (the trainstop brick gate is still there) and Chicago Country Club in Wheaton- Built by guys who build a improved 18 hole course because their first one didn't have room for 18holes. Their first golf course was the first GC in the US today known as Downers Grove GC.
I have e-mailed an old property map showing that the CA&E's connection to St. Charles is on the west side of the Fox River via trackage rights on the Aurora Elgin and Fox River Electric Railroad and not on the east side where most people believe it did due to the Fox River Trail.
I remember riding and photographing the 'Ror'n' Elgin: http://RailroadGloryDays.com/cae
Probably no longer since they repaved streets Edson and brewster in lombard in the 90's, you could see the ends of the rails that they just cut off leaving track under the streets.
Growing up I remember an old crumbling low concrete platform along the south side of the prairie path immediately west of York road in Elmhurst. I assume this was old CA&E and it may still be there for all I know.
2 buildings and a small spur of track remain in Wheaton. The Hollywood stop on the elgin branch is now at the fox river trolley museum. The Batavia stop is still up, same with the prince crossing stop.
You made the Geneva branch wrong. Go to greatthirdrail.org to see the right version.
As a kid, I lived on Edson Ave. a block from the Brewster St. grade crossing and the CA&E's Green Valley stop in Lombard. We used to lay a nickel on the tracks where they joined and make the gates go down at the crossing. Motorists didn't appreciate that!
We'd also foolishly take a shortcut across the tracks at Edson by jumping over the third rails. Geesh!
The Chicago, Aurora and Elgin railroad still has remains in Batavia, as the "Prarie Path" Bike trail the runs through East Batavia is what the tracks used to be.
It was both clean, comfortable and fast. As a
teenager I used to ride it info the city from York Rd in Elmhurst to Forest Park and then on into the city on the CTA. It was my life line into the city and my beloved White Sox.
Shortly after our move from Rogers Pk. in Chicago , to Willow St next to the tracks, we threw a party for old Chocago friends. After midnite one of whoopsy pals drove his car on to the tracks, think it was a street/The rubberized running board on the Packard auto probably provide some insulation. The power on the "Galloping Gertie" was turned off until the car was removed. We had a hard time living that one down!
There is an unused tunnel under the Eisenhower Expressway at Central that was put in for the CA&E to reach their yard and run on the CTA tracks to reach their station. IDOT also put in a bridge over the Des Plaines River that would allow the CA&E reach Maywood next to the expressway. That has since been demolished when IDOT redid the the I-290 bridge next to it in the early 1990's. The CA&E used to own the land west of the Des Plaines River for a future Maywood bypass, but this was sold to IDOT for the Congress Extension to Hillside. If someone is desperate to see "original" CA&E tracks, there is the Wallfill Company siding at the corner of Childs and Carlton in Wheaton. It also was part of the south entrance to the Wheaton Yards.
Does anyone know of any good remnants of the line in the Batavia Branch, along the Prarie Path? I have heard rumors about an old lamp by Glenwood Park/Powerhouse area, by Funway, and the obvious building in downtown Batavia. Anyone know. Thanks!