Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 801-802

Illinois Railway Museum

Built in:1941 by St. Louis Car Company (ord#1706)
Out-of-service/Retired:1982 (1977)
Type of car:interurban ("Electroliner" trainset)
Current Owner:Illinois Railway Museum(Union, Illinois)

Car History by Frank Hicks

Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 801-802
One of the most famous interurban designs of the steel car era was the North Shore's "Electroliner." Two of these four-car streamlined articulated trainsets were built on the eve of World War II; though inseparable, each trainset bore two numbers. The "Electroliners" had to be able to ease through the close-clearance stations on the Chicago elevated; travel through the streets of Milwaukee; and race along the Skokie Valley Route at speeds of over 75mph. They were tremendously successful, though there were never more than two. When the North Shore quit, both trainsets were sold to PSTC (Red Arrow), which rebuilt them as "Liberty Liners" - 801-802 became Red Arrow "Valley Forge" and operated on the Norristown Line until the late 1970's. The "Liberty Liners" weren't truly suited to the Red Arrow, but their plush accommodations made them flagships of a sort. IRM bought 801-802 from SEPTA in 1982, and during the next nine years the trainset was heavily rebuilt and restored to its North Shore configuration. Work on restoring the interior is still ongoing.

Ownership History:Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee #801-802 1941-1963 / Philadelphia Suburban Transportation #801-802 1963-1970 / Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority #801-802 1970-1982 / Illinois Railway Museum(Union, Illinois) 1982-present

Facts and Figures

Status:displayed inoperableGauge:4'8.5"
Construction:steelRoof type:AREnded:DE
#Seats:136#Wheels/Conf.:20 (B-B-2-B-B)Total HP
Trucks:CommonwealthBrakes:HSCCompressor:DH-25 (3)
Motors:WH 1443B (8)Voltage (if not 600DC)


Articulated four-car trainset; later Philadelphia Suburban Transportation "Liberty Liner" "Valley Forge"