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West Chicago

Washington Street and Main Street, City of West Chicago

History:

On August 27, 1908, the Chicago, Wheaton and Western Railway was incorporated1 with the intention of constructing an interurban line connecting the city of West Chicago with the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railroad.

The West Chicago station opened as part of the initial stretch of the Chicago, Wheaton and Western from Geneva Junction to West Chicago on September 21, 1909. The stop was located immediately south of the intersection of Depot (later renamed Main) and Washington streets and, for the time being, served as the western terminal. As the line operated over public roadways at this point, passengers boarded the trains in the street. Tickets were sold out of a rented portion of the Public Service Company of Northern Illinois building on Main Street.2

Although technically a separate railroad, the CW&W used AE&C equipment and crews. As a result, direct service to downtown Chicago was provided from West Chicago without the need for changing trains. In December, the line was extended west to Geneva and West Chicago became a through-station. This provided connections with the AE&C’s Fox River Division for points up and down the Fox River.

The station officially became a part of the Aurora & Elgin on October 28, 1910, when the entire Chicago, Wheaton and Western Railway was deeded to the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railroad.

On October 31, 1939, the West Chicago stop closed along with the rest of the Geneva branch, when rail service to Geneva and St. Charles was replaced with busses. No replacement service from the railroad was provided from this location since the connecting motor coach service did not pass through West Chicago.

With the removal of rail service to West Chicago, the Illinois Commerce Commission authorized Willey Coach Lines to operate a bus line from West Chicago and High Lake to Wheaton.3, 4 This service was short lived.

Full station profile and history coming soon.

Sources

  1. State of Illinois. Department of State. Secretary of State. Biennial report of the Secretary of State of the State of Illinois for the Fiscal Years Beginning October 1, 1906, and Ending September 30, 1908. Springfield, Illinois: 1908. 76. Print.
  2. Peffers, Interurbans Vol. 3 79
  3. “AURORA & ELGIN LINE TO ABANDON BRANCH, PROVIDE BUS SERVICE.” Chicago Daily Tribune 28 Aug. 1937: 19. Print.
  4. “AURORA AND ELGIN TO USE BUSES ON BRANCH LINE.” Chicago Daily Tribune 28 Aug. 1937: 4. Print.