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Church Road

LocationChurch Rd. between Marywood and Oakwood Ave.
Aurora, IL 60505
Established1902
Original LineAurora, Elgin & Chicago Ry
RebuiltTBD
Previous NamesN/A
Tracks1
Platforms1, low level
Flag stop
(View location)

History:

moonlight_scene.jpg
The unidentified stop pictured on this postcard was typical of the rural nature and construction of local stations on the early Aurora branch and gives a good indication of what Church Road looked like shortly after opening.

Postcard from the collection of Don Bosan-Bruno

Church Road was a local stop on the Aurora branch of the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad serving rural northwest Aurora Township. It was one of a number of stations planned for the new Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railway in 1902, whose opening was delayed until a short time after August 25, when the line from Chicago to Aurora was placed in operation. Cars stopped for boarding and alighting passengers at a platform on the west side of Church Road. As the Aurora branch had only one track in this area, east and westbound passengers used the station’s single platform which was on north side of track.1

Photographs from the early 1900s show that local stations were constructed with uniformity. They consisted of little more than a short, low level platform (or platforms in the case of stops on double tracked sections) made of wooden boards arranged perpendicular to the rails. By 1920, this simple layout had been upgraded with the addition of a frame waiting station with a hipped roof.2 Other improvements included the installation of platform lighting,3 and a seat.4 The station’s original platform was replaced with one that was 136 feet long (approximately the length of a three car train) made from cinders.5

Eventually it was also fitted with one of the CA&E’s ubiquitous flag stop semaphores. Though trains were listed with arrival times at this station in the time tables, they didn’t actually stop unless indicated by a passenger. This was done by pulling a chain which raised a wooden “flag” signaling the motorman of an oncoming train to stop.

Church Road remained in service for almost fifty five years until July 3, 1957, when the CA&E abruptly ended passenger service.

Sources:

  1. The Great Third Rail. Central Electric Railfans’ Association, 1961, p. IV-12.
  2. “COST TO REPRODUCE NEW LESS DEPRECIATION BASED ON INVENTORY AND COSTS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 1920: INVENTORY QUANTITIES AND VALUES.” Chicago Aurora and Railroad Company, n.d. p. 218.
  3. “COST TO REPRODUCE NEW LESS DEPRECIATION BASED ON INVENTORY AND COSTS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 1920: INVENTORY QUANTITIES AND VALUES.” Chicago Aurora and Railroad Company, n.d. p. 219.
  4. “COST TO REPRODUCE NEW LESS DEPRECIATION BASED ON INVENTORY AND COSTS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 1920: INVENTORY QUANTITIES AND VALUES.” Chicago Aurora and Railroad Company, n.d. p. 220.
  5. “COST TO REPRODUCE NEW LESS DEPRECIATION BASED ON INVENTORY AND COSTS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 1920: INVENTORY QUANTITIES AND VALUES.” Chicago Aurora and Railroad Company, n.d. p. 223.