Chicago Aurora & Elgin 309

Fallen Flag Railroad Photos

Built in:1907 by Hicks Locomotive & Car Works
Out-of-service/Retired:1962 (1957)
Type of car:interurban (standard coach)
Current Owner:Illinois Railway Museum(Union, Illinois)

Car History by Frank Hicks

Chicago Aurora & Elgin 309
This car has an intriguing history. It was one of only two electric cars ever built by Hicks, which was a small builder of freight and passenger cars in the Chicago suburbs that went out of business around 1912. It is also the only one of the several surviving Hicks-built passenger cars to be completely restored. It operated on the CA&E from early 1908 until 1957, when it was placed in storage until acquired by IRM in 1962. It moved to Union from North Chicago in 1964. Restoration efforts began around 1969, and during the winter of 1970 there was a fire in the car that resulted from an oil stove that volunteers were using to keep the car warm spilling oil which then ignited. Much of the interior of the car was destroyed, although the basic structure of the car was not compromised. Major restoration was shelved until around 1975, when a rebuilding effort commenced. Work was spread out over approximately 20 years, but by 1997 the car had been completely restored inside and out. In 1997 a traction motor failure resulted in partial grounding of the car, but the defective motor was rebuilt in 2003 and 309 was placed in regular service.

Ownership History:Aurora Elgin & Chicago #309 1907-1922 / Chicago Aurora & Elgin #309 1922-1962 / Illinois Railway Museum(Union, Illinois) 1962-present

Facts and Figures

Status:operated oftenGauge:4'8.5"
Construction:woodRoof type:RREnded:DE
#Seats:52#Wheels/Conf.:8 (B-B)Total HP:500
Trucks:PullmanBrakes:AMM (M15B)Compressor:D3-EG
Motors:GE 66B (4)Voltage (if not 600DC)