420 series

“The Cincinnatis”


Car 433 and a Pullman sit at the Aurora terminal waiting for the next trip east on April 24, 1957.

Photo by P. Stringham, from the collection of William Raia.


Car 427, a product of the Cincinnati Car Company, in Wheaton Yard. The black smoke seen billowing up from behind the shops is from insulation being burned off of feeder cables for salvage. The young man hanging out of the car is a friend of the photographer.

Photo by Jim Dyer


In this shot we are looking at car 430, another 420 series car (at left) and car 300 in Wheaton Yard. The paint on the cars is badly faded making the long inactivity and lack of maintainence on the cars apparent.

Photo by Jim Dyer


Car 456 and another 450 series car are stored in Wheaton Yard sometime after the shutdown, On the next track ovver is car 427, a product of the Cincinnati Car Company. In the background on the right are the old and new dispatcher’s towers.

Photo by Don Bruno


A two car train led by a Cincinnati is stopped at the westbound platform at Ardmore in 1956 or 1957. The eastern edge of the eastbound platform is visible at the lower right. It was common on the CA&E for the eastbound platform to be situated on the west side of a crossing and the westbound platform to be on the east side.

Photo by Glen Brewer


Car 427 poses with its train crew at the Elgin terminal in March 1938. The rear trolley pole is in position and this car is most likely about to depart on its way to Chicago.

Photo from the collection of Jay Williams


Car 430 is seen on the Batavia branch just north of Batavia Junction on March 28, 1957. This is most likely during rush hour; by this time, rail service over the Batavia branch is only provided during rish hours.

Photo from the collection of Jay Williams


While containing architectural elements common on the rapid transit system—such as the wooden shelter on the westbound platform—the 25th Avenue station is painted in the CA&E’s red and blue-gray scheme that matches the two-car train berthed at the easbound platform. The station’s gooseneck lamps—seen at the far left and in front of the entrance to the headhouse—are a holdover from when this was an “L” stop on the Westchester service.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


An eastbound two-car train rushes past Garden Home and the 51st Avenue grade crossing in Hillside.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


A single car from Elgin approaches Wesley Street on its way to Wheaton. Unless the flagstop semaphore has just been lowered, this train will not stop. The incline to bring the Third Rail’s tracks over the Chicago & Northwestern right-of-way is visible in the distance.

Photo by Robert Leffingwell


A two car train with a Cincinnati in the rear passes the dispatcher’s tower on March 28, 1957.

Photo by P. Stringham, from the collection of Cliff Scholes


During the last fan trip taken over the railroad, 430 and followers make a stop at Smith Road. Smith Road (like most stations on the Elgin, Aurora, and Batavia branches) consisted of a single low level platform with a small wooden shelter and a flag stop semaphore.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


Car 430 heads the train on the last fan trip as it makes a stop at Collingbourne. The cars' weathered appearance in this scene conveys the lack of attention these cars have received since the suspension of passenger service. Peeking out above the roofline of car 430 is the roof of the Collingbourne passenger shelter and the top of the ubiquitous flag stop semaphore.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


On an evening run car 433, evening, crosses Williams Road after leaving its namesake station in the 1950s. Given the rural nature of the surroundings, the crossing protection at this location only consisted of warning lights and bells.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


It’s a sunny evening in 1953 as this three-car Aurora-Batavia express makes a stop at the westbound platform at Ardmore. The motorman has pulled the shade down to block out the westering sun. This will be a constant problem for him as the east-west route of the Aurora & Elgin means that this train will be heading into the sun for most of its journey to the Fox River Valley. The eastbound platform and its distinct passenger shelter are behind the photographer on the west side of Ardmore Avenue.

Photo from the collection of Mark Llanuza