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bataviajctb1.jpg
The Batavia Junction station as seen looking east from track level on the Aurora branch side on December 5, 1955.

Photo by RV Mehlenbeck, from the Krambles-Peterson Archive

Batavia Junction

LocationWest of Eola Rd.,
Aurora, IL 60502
EstablishedAugust 25, 1902
Original LineAurora, Elgin & Chicago Ry
Rebuilt1929, c. 1940
Previous NamesEola Junction
Tracks2
Platforms1, high level
(View location)

History:

Eola Junction (named for the nearby community and road of Eola) was the point at which the Batavia branch converged with the Aurora branch. The Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Railway elected to construct a station at this location in order to serve both branches. On August 25, 1902, the line from Chicago to Aurora was placed in operation and the Eola Junction station opened as one of the AE&C’s original stops. At the time of opening, the station considted of a single, low level, wooden platform wedged into the meeting point of the two branches (approximately 300 feet west of Eola Road).1 It was reached by a wooden walkway along the south side of the Aurora branch track that led to a crossing at a break in the third rail at the east end of the platform.

About six weeks after the railroad began operating the Batavia branch opened2 and the station entered full service. Service over the Batavia branch consisted of shuttles running between the Batavia terminal and Eola Junction. Transfers to and from Aurora-Chicago trains were made here.

At some point between 1910 and 1914, the station’s name was changed from Eola Junction to Batavia Junction.

After Samuel Insull acquired the Chicago Aurora & Elgin from Dr. Thomas Conway Jr., in 1926, he continued the improvement program that was already in place. Attention finally turned to the Batavia branch in late 1927 and in April of 1929, Batavia Junction was rebuilt. The existing low-level platform was replaced with a high-level platform which would facilitate faster transfers. This eliminated the need for passengers to walk down the steps from one train and then walk up the steps on the next. While the Aurora side of the station was full length, the Batavia side was only long enough to service one car.3 Both sides of the platform were equipped with hinged flaps that could be flipped up to permit passage of freight cars. Construction of a wooden canopy over the platform was completed the following April.3

More work on the platform was undertaken between 1939 and 1949 when the platform was extended south along the Aurora branch4 giving this side of the station the capability of berthing three cars.1 The canopy was not extended and the newer portion of the platform was left open to the elements.

On September 20, 1953, concurrent with cut-back to Forest Park, service over the Batavia branch was reduced to rush hours Monday through Friday only. This effectively limited the transfer capabilities of the station to the morning and evening rush, although Aurora trains continued to serve the station at all times.

Less than four years later, all service to the station ended when the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railway unexpectedly ended passenger service on July 3, 1957 at 12:13 p.m. The station remained standing for a while, slowly deteriorating without any upkeep but was eventually demolished. Today this location is still referred to as Batavia Junction on Illinois Prairie Path maps, although the Batavia Spur of the Prairie Path doesn’t join the Aurora Branch at this location.

Additional Photos

410b.jpg
It’s a busy time at Batavia Junction on July 3, 1949. On the track closest to the photographer, car 410 leads a two car train bound for Aurora. The motorman leans out of the window. On the opposite side of the station another car—what appears to be a Cincinnati—is serving as the Batavia shuttle. In the distance is yet a third train, probably a railfan excursion given the crowd of people wandering about the tracks.

Unknown, C Scholes

417a.jpg
Car 417 is on the Batavia branch at Batavia Junction on April 2, 1957. At this point in time, rail service over the branch is confined to the morning and evening rush. In another three months it won’t matter; all passenger service will cease.

Unknown, C Scholes

430a.jpg
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

Sources:

  1. The Great Third Rail. Central Electric Railfans’ Association, p. II-36.
  2. "INCREASE IN "L" TRAFFIC." Chicago Daily Tribune 5 Apr. 1903, p. 63.
  3. Plachno, Larry. Sunset Lines: The Story of the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad 2 - History. Transportation Trails, 1989, p. 315.
  4. Weller, Peter, and Fred Stark. The Living Legacy of the Chicago Aurora and Elgin. Forum Press, 1999, p. 73.