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600 and 700 series

“The Ex-WB&A cars”

Car 600 in Wheaton Yard. The 700s featured a distinct (and unused) baggage door.
Van Dusen Collection
Quantity:5 (600s)
3 (700s)
Numbers:600-604, 700-702
Height:12'-6 ½"1
Weight:60,000 lbs.1
Trucks:Baldwin 78-25A
Truck centers:28'-5 ½"1
Truck wheelbase:6'-8"1
Wheel diameter:37"1
Seats:54 (600-604)
50 (700-702)

The 600-series and 700-series (collectively known as the ex-WB&A cars) were two series of cars built by the Cincinnati Car Company in 1913 for the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railway (WB&A) and later purchased by the Chicago Aurora & Elgin.


The cars began their careers in the early 1910s on the Washington Baltimore, and Annapolis Electric Railway in Maryland and Washington D.C.

On August 20, 1935, due to declining revenue and an existing receivership, the WB&A shut down and the cars were removed from service.

Due to a growing need for additional rolling stock, but in a financial position which left it unable to purchase new cars, the Chicago Aurora & Elgin purchased WB&A cars 35-39 for use on its lines and sequentially renumbered them 600-604. The cars electrical equipment was incompatible with the native CA&E stock so the traction motors and trolley poles were removed while the control equipment and air brakes were replaced. Additionally, the cars’ ends and pilots were narrowed to meet the clearance restrictions on the “L” tracks.

The first car of the series to enter CA&E revenue service was car 602, which occurred on July 16, 1937. Less than a month later, car 601 followed suit and entered service on August 9. This was followed by 604 on September 2, and car 600 on October 4. Car 603 was the last to enter service, finally doing so on October 28.

Shortly afterward, the CA&E acquired three more cars from the WB&A, 80-82, and renumbered them 700-702. The modifications made to 600-604 were also applied to 700-702. Unlike the previous WB&A cars, these featured a baggage compartment which, on the Chicago Aurora & Elgin, was superfluous. The baggage compartments were converted into passenger space with the addition of longitudinal (aisle-facing) seats.

Car 701 was placed into revenue service on January 4, 1938, followed by 702 on March 14, and 700 on April 13.

Car 602 was destroyed in a fire in 1952.

All remaining cars of the two series were scrapped along with the majority of the Chicago Aurora & Elgin’s rolling stock.

Full history coming soon.

Additional Photos


  1. "SEO - Y4964: Typical C.A.& E. RY. Cars." Chicago Transit Authority. 14 Mar. 1956.