As of July 3, 2007, passenger service on the Aurora & Elgin has been gone fifty years. It was only a few short years afterward that the railway was abandoned in its entirety and most of the physical property was ripped up and sold.

In the intervening years, some of what did survive the demise of the railway has since been lost. Here is a compilation of what survives today.

Equipment | Signal Bases | Stations | Substations | Flag Stop Semaphores | Signs | Right of Way


After the railroad was officially abandoned in 1961 most of the cars were burned and whatever was left over was sold for scrap by Commercial Metals. However, a few cars were purchased and saved by various railway museums.

Wooden passenger cars

Steel passenger cars

Line cars

Signal Bases

Travel along the Prairie Path with a careful eye will reveal a surprisingly large number of old signal bases from the Aurora & Elgin in various conditions. Many are now hidden behind the lush foliage that has grown up around the path (more so on the Prairie Path’s Main Stem—the land that was formerly the Aurora & Elgin’s Main Line—than on portions beyond Wheaton) though some are still out in the open for those who know what to look for.
(Complete listing of locations to be added at a later date)


Desplaines Avenue-Forest Park: CTA Blue Line

The original station built on the site is not still there and neither is the 1953 Forest Park terminal facility with the dual turning loops. The station physically at this site was never served by the Aurora & Elgin. However it must be remembered that the trackage between Desplaines Avenue and Laramie was built and owned by the Aurora & Elgin and so were the stations between those points. When construction of the Congress Street Superhighway (the Eisenhower) and the new median strip rapid transit line began in 1953, the Aurora & Elgin sold this section of track (and the Forest Park station) to the Chicago Transit Authority. The Aurora & Elgin quit only a few years later but the station, now in the hands of the Chicago Transit Authority, continued on. The Authority rebuilt the station in ‘59 and then again in ‘80, so there is nothing left of either of the two Forest Park stations served by the Aurora & Elgin, yet the history of the current facility means that it is still an Aurora & Elgin station. The only one still serving trains.


The beautiful stone station built at this site is now gone. Information from the website of the Illinois Prairie Path suggests that the station was destroyed by vandals in 1967, however remains of the station house are still very visible along Vallette Street in Elmhurst about a hundred feet or so east of where the Prairie Path crosses Poplar.

In July 2007 new curbs were installed along Vallette Street. The remains of the station are apparently undamaged, remaining portions of the stairs were covered over by a glop concrete and then by a layer of dirt.

York St.

The York Street station in Elmhurst was never given an elaborate station house like what was done at Glen Ellyn, Poplar, or at 17th Avenue. The brick shelter that was provided is gone today. The platform it served, located on the west side of the street, is the still existent though obscured and partially hidden from view by years of untamed vegitation. It can be found a few feet south of where the path currently runs (giving an excellent indication of where the rails once were as opposed to where the path is now) and has been cracked and choked by weeds but otherwise the asphalt surface appears to be in modest condition. The westbound platform also remains and is more apparent than its eastbound counterpart.

Villa Park

Fortunately, the 1929 Arthur Gerber designed Villa Park station at Villa Avenue has been preserved and is historically protected. It is now home to the Villa Park Historical Society.


The Ardmore station (also in Villa Park) has also been saved and now currently serves as the Villa Park Chamber of Commerce.

Stewart Ave.

Portions of the platforms still exist at this location.

Green Valley

Portions of the platforms still exist at this location.

College Ave.

Portions of the platforms still exist at this location.

Aurora Terminal (1915-1935)


While the high-level platform from the final Aurora Terminal was demolished in the 1990s, the Traction Terminal Building, which served as the Aurora Terminal from 1915 to 1935, still exists. The exterior of the first floor has been altered since the interurban days, though otherwise the building appears unchanged. It currently stands unoccupied.

Jewel Road

The wooden passenger shelter survived in the possession of Julie Johnson. It has since been relocated to the Illinois Railway Museum.

Prince Crossing

The Prince Crossing substation/depot (known otherwise as Sub-Station No. 5, one of the AE&C’s original six substations) is another one of the few that survives into the present day. The electrical equipment has all been removed and the station now serves as the home of the Salt Creek Society of Model Engineers. Over the years the station started to deteriorate but thankfully rehab work, having started the summer of 2004, is currently underway.


Portions of the westbound platform still exist.


The substation/depot at Clintonville on the Elgin Branch (Sub-Station No. 6) is also still around, meaning that both of the Elgin branch’s original substations still exist. Like the substation/depot at Prince Crossing, Clintonville no longer houses any electrical equipment. Its windows were blocked in by the CA&E sometime during the ‘50s, and, considering its age, seems to be in pretty good condition. The reason for the station’s survival almost undoubtedly falls at the feet of the Valley Model Railroad Association, who moved into the location in 1953. They remained in the station after the Aurora & Elgin quit and ownership of the site passed to the Aurora Corporation and then to the Kane County Forest Preserve District. Having a paying occupant all these years undoubtedly made the station’s destruction seem unnecessary. The Valley Model Railroad Association is still at Clintonville to this day and they even have an old Aurora & Elgin semaphore out front.



The wooden passenger shelter is preserved and on display at the Fox River Trolley Museum.

High Lake

Most of the stations built by the Chicago Wheaton & Western (which later became the Geneva branch) were fairly simple wooden waiting shelters located next to a low level platform. The one exception to this was the High Lake station which was built out of brick. Of course, the simple wooden stations are all long gone but there is at least this one reminder of the Geneva branch. Unfortunately the brick High Lake station itself no longer exists, but the platform and the stairs that led to the station house are still around today along the Geneva Spur of the Illinois Prairie Path.



While the platform has long since been removed, the storefront building that served as a part of the Batavia terminal still remains and currently houses a local business.


Flag Stop Semaphores

Complete listing coming soon


Station Signs

Electric Signs

Right of Way

Thanks primarily due to the efforts of the people involved with creating the Illinois Prairie Path, America’s first Rails-to-Trails conversion, most of the Aurora & Elgin’s right of way has been preserved as a sixty two mile multi-use limestone trail known as the Prairie Path. Starting at 1st Avenue in Maywood, the Prairie Path covers the Main Line, Aurora Branch, Batavia Branch, Geneva Branch (only as far as Geneva), and the Elgin Branch. The Westchester and Mt. Carmel (Cook County) branches are not a part of the Prairie Path but there are places where the right of way is still clear.

Of course, as is to be expected, there are portions of the Aurora & Elgin’s right of way that are still around which aren’t part of the Prairie Path.

Main Line

Full details coming soon

Aurora Branch

Full details coming soon

Elgin Branch

Full details coming soon

Batavia Branch

Full details coming soon

Geneva Branch

Full details coming soon

Westchester Branch

Full details coming soon

Mt. Carmel (Cook County) Branch

Full details coming soon