14 prior to modernization
Collection of Don Ross
Numbers:10-28 even
Weight:71,100 lbs. (10, 18, 26, 28)
54,600 lbs. (12, 14)
85,900 lbs. (16, 20, 22, 24)
Trucks:Baldwin (14-28)
McGuire 70A (10, 12)
Motors:4 GE66B
2 GE66B (10, 18, 26, 28)
None (12, 14)
52 (16, 20, 24)
35 (10)
Couplers:Van Dorn


The cars numbered 10 to 28 (even numbers only) were the first passenger cars of the Aurora Elgin & Chicago Railway. They were built by the Niles Car & Manufacturing Company of Niles, Ohio. The original order called for the construction of twenty five cars, however, before construction began the order was reduced to just these ten. The remaining fifteen cars were then built by the John Stephenson Car Company.

Delivery of the cars was delayed, with the first six arriving on July 29, 1902. Cars 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 entered service on opening day, August 25, while the last four arrived on September 5, 1902.

Identical at construction, car 10 was altered circa 1910 with the addition of a baggage compartment, but this was later removed.

On October 12, 1911, car 22 was wrecked at Waller Avenue and removed from service.


Car 10 in 1938 with reinstalled baggage door

Don Ross collection

Following the termination of the Joint Funeral Bureau in 1932, car 10 was selected to replace car 109 (which had been modified and was only compatible with Metropolitan “L” cars) for funeral service. To accomodate this, the car had its baggage doors reinstalled in April of 1933. The car was wrecked on September 10, 1948, just west of Racine, and subsequently scrapped.

Cars 12, 14, and 18 remained in service until 1955, when they were retired.

Car 20 survives at the Fox River Trolley Museum and is the oldest operational interurban car in the United States.

Full history coming soon.

Additional Photos


  1. The Great Third Rail III-17