|Location||Butterfield Rd. near Ginger Woods Pkwy.,|
Aurora, IL 60510
|Original Line||Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Ry|
|Platforms||1, low level|
State Road was a stop on the Batavia branch of the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railway in the southwestern corner of Batavia Township at the crossing of Illinois Route 55 [IL 56] (also known as Butterfield Road). It opened around October 1902 when the Batavia branch was placed into operation by the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railway. The exact date of opening is unknown, but it is known that it occurred about six weeks after the line from Aurora to Chicago opened.
While no known photographs exist of State Road in its early years, surviving images of similar stops depict a standard design employed by the AE&C. Local stops were purely functional in nature, often being nothing more than a pair of rectangular, wooden frame structures with a set of boards laid across the top arranged perpendicularly to the running rails whose sole purpose was to elevate passengers off of the ground to the approximate height of the running rails. Stops on single track lines, like State Road, were even less impressive, consisting of only one of these platforms which was set back from the crossing of the dirt road the stop was named for. The platform at State Road was on the west side of the track and on the south side of the crossing of Route 55.1
Prior to 1920, State Road was improved with the addition of a frame waiting station with a shingle roof, and a fence. The platform was lengthened to 95 feet and its wooden planks were replaced with cinders.2 This location was also provided with a secondary, elevated platform for the shipment and delivery of milk containers from the farmers in the area.3
Service at State Road was provided by the Batavia Shuttle: a single car that traveled back and forth between Batavia Junction and the Batavia terminal. Scheduling of the shuttle was arranged so that it would arrive at Batavia Junction in time to have passengers transfer to an eastbound Aurora-Chicago train and would depart the junction after taking on passengers from Aurora-bound trains. This provided half-hourly headways in each direction during rush hours and hourly service at all other times.
State Road was one of the CA&E’s numerous flag stops. Arrival times were listed in the timetables but the shuttle didn’t stop unless a passenger notified the train crew of his or her desire to alight or there was a person waiting to board on the platform. Even though in its reconstruction, State Road was fitted with a waiting shelter, there was no ticket office at this location. Passengers paid their fares after boarding.
In August of 1941, IL Route 55 was widened through the point at which the CA&E crossed it. To facilitate this, a portion of the line’s third rail had to be removed. This created an unusually large gap in the third rail. Under most circumstances this would not have presented a problem, but with the long gap in the third rail, westbound cars that had made a stop at State Road were at risk of getting caught in the “dead zone” without sufficient momentum to carry them to the other side. To rectify the situation, the railroad erected a section of overhead wire over the crossing; this was the only such installation on the railroad.4
On September 20, 1953, hours of service on the Batavia branch were reduced drastically as part of an overall service revision brought on by the cutback from Wells Street to Forest Park. Under the new schedule, the Batavia branch was only in operation during rush hours with the Connecting Motor Coach Service extended south to serve the Batavia terminal at other times. The new schedule called for only twenty eight stops per weekday: seven in each direction in the morning and seven in each direction in the evening. No replacement was provided for passengers at Bilter Road, State Road, Wagner Road, Hart Road, or Glenwood Park during hours in which the branch was not in operation.
Service came to an end on July 3, 1957 when the Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railway was authorized to end passenger service. The small stations on the Batavia branch, including State Road, were all eventually demolished.
Today, the Batavia Spur of the Illinois Prairie Path (a 61-mile multi-use trail which predominantly follows the right-of-way of the CA&E) runs through the area of the State Road stop. Nothing of the station remains.