450 series

“The St. Louis Cars”


Car 453 sits coupled to 451 in Wheaton yard shortly after their delivery in 1945. Note the strip along the edge of the trolleyboards which were designed to give the cars a more streamlined appearance. These strips were removed fairly early on in the cars’ careers.

Photo by Wilbourne Cox, from the Van Dusen Collection

Photo No. ILL-21, IRM


A single 450 series car makes up an eastbound train leaving Wolf Road on April 8, 1951.

Photo by HM Stange, from the Krambles-Peterson Archive


It’s September of 1953 and we’re looking west out of Market Tower on the Garfield park “L”. Car 451 is at the end of a three car train passing over Union Station. The Canal station is in the distance. Note the eastbound deadhead train with North Shore woods. By the end of the month, service will be cut back to Forest Park and CA&E trains will never operate over the “L” again.

Photo by G Krambles, from the Krambles-Peterson Archive


We are facing west out of the side of a steel car stored in Wheaton Yard. Three 450 series cars are lined up in this shot. These were the newest cars on the railroad, having only been in service for twelve years when the railroad shut down. It was hoped to sell these cars to another transit operator, but the sale never came.

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


The end for the CA&E is already in sight. Car 453 leads a three car train chartered by the Central Electric Railfans’ Association seen here heading west past Villa Park on October 26, 1958. Time will show that there will only be two more chartered trips over the Roarin’ Elgin before its complete demise.

Photo by Glen Brewer


After just having made a stop, car 459 leaves Green Valley on a mid-day trip bound for Wheaton. It is September 6, 1954. Today is Labor Day and trains are running on a Sunday schedule. The woman seen leaving the westbound platform had to inform the conductor of her stop. Flag stops, like Green Valley, had times listed on the timetables, but unless the semaphore on the platform was raised or a passenger gave notice to a conductor, the trains did not stop.

Photo by C Scholes


After just having made a stop at Ardmore, a two car train of 450 series cars pulls across the street, bound for Wheaton.

Photo by Glen Brewer


On a typical afternoon in Villa Park, the motorman of this train dutifully leans out of his window and watches as passengers board at Ardmore. This local is heading east, but as this is 1956 or ‘57, the “Chicago Local” reading on the roller curtain is slightly inacurate; this train will only go as far as Forest Park. Passengers heading into the city will have to transfer to the slow trains of the Garfield Park “L” which is currently in the process of being replaced by the median strip Congress rapid transit line.

Photo by Glen Brewer


An eastbound train composed of cars 456 and 422 meets a westbound train from Forest Park at Wheaton on March 14, 1957. Depending on the time of day, the westbound train could be about to be cut. In this situation car 402 will be sent to Aurora while car 426 (mostly obscured behind 402 and the utility pole) will be headed to Elgin. If not, both cars will be sent into Wheaton Yard.

Photo from the collection of Jay Williams


Lakewood was the connection point for the Geneva/St. Charles (and after 1953, Batavia) motor coach route which replaced the Geneva branch. Here, the station is seen in full operation. A bus, at left, makes a connection with the rail line, while car 454 passes 456. A group of railfans has formed a photo line, at right, to photograph the occasion.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


Car 460 gets a brief taste of life again as it leads a four-car excursion special at Weisbrook Road months after the railroad has ended passenger service. It’s still hoped (if the railroad doesn’t resume service) that car 460 and the other nine 450 series cars—the newest cars on the railroad—will be sold to a transit operator and continue operating.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


Car 460, the last standard interurban car to be built in the United States, is at Weisbrook Road on the Aurora branch. The white flags denote this train as an “extra” and the “PRIVATE” reading on the rollsign accompanies this. The four-car train seen here is on a special excursion of the line.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


Unless the motorman is completely obscured by the utility pole, this single car St. Louis has just left the Wesley Street stop and is on its way to Elgin.

Photo by Robert Leffingwell


A two car train trailed by car 425 pulls into the 17th Avenue station on its way to Forest Park. The brick head house and high level platforms were added to the station in the 1920s. Following the discontinuance of Westchester service, 17th Avenue once again became a flag stop and had the shortened semaphores seen here installed.

Photo by Robert Heinlein


On an afternoon run, a two car train led by a 450 series car has stopped at Emory (at Roosevelt Road) on its way to Aurora in 1952.

Photo from the collection of Mark Llanuza


In 1956, a single 450 series car makes a stop at Hollywood, in South Elgin. This extra (as denoted by the white flags) is probably part of a railfan excursion.

Photo from the collection of Mark Llanuza