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Glen_Ellynb1.jpg

The second Glen Ellyn station, seen looking southwest across Main Street on March 28, 1957.

Photo by P. Stringham, from the collection of William Raia

Glen Ellyn

Main Street and Duane Street, Village of Glen Ellyn

History:

Glen_Ellyna2.jpg

A person leans out of the window on the western side of the original Glen Ellyn station in 1908. This view is looking southeast.

DN-0053438, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

By the time construction of the Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Railway had begun, the Village of Glen Ellyn was one of a number of cities and towns west of Chicago that had already established themselves as thriving communities so a station was established in town. The station was built at the crossing of Main Street. It had a small wooden stationhouse and low level platforms, both of which were on the west side of the street.

The Glen Ellyn station entered service with the opening of the line on August 25, 1902.

The newspapers triumphantly heralded the arrival of the "Roarin' Elgin." It represented a completely new breed of interurban: one that had quality construction and ran high speed trains. But as time went on the railroad began to lose some of its luster and by 1919, the once great Aurora, Elgin & Chicago had found its way out of the spotlight and into receivership.

But in 1922 Dr. Thomas Conway Jr., acting on behalf of certain eastern bondholders, purchased the line, reorganized it as the Chicago Aurora & Elgin, and set about turning it around. He began a massive rehabilitation of the railroad to make it faster, up to date, and more attractive to current and potential passengers on the whole. One of the results of this was the erection of a new Glen Ellyn station in 1926. The wooden stationhouse that dated back to 1902 was removed and a new, larger stone station designed by John Archibald Armstrong1 was constructed in its place. This new station remained in service until 1957.

Following the shutdown of passenger service on July 3, 1957, the CA&E began to rent out various stations in order to generate a little more revenue. The Glen Ellyn station happened to be one of these. For a time it was home to a stationery store,2 but eventually the station was demolished.

Glen Ellyn Historical Society placed marker on the site commemorating the station.

ELECTRIC TRAIN DEPOT
IN 1901, THE AURURA ELGIN AND CHICAGO
BUILT A PASSENGER DEPOT ON THIS
SITE. ELECTRIC TRAIN SERVICE TO GLEN
ELLYN BEGAN IN 1902, AND WAS THE NATION'S
FIRST HIGH SPEED INTERURBAN. IN 1922, THE
"ROARIN ELGIN" WAS RENAMED THE CHICAGO
AURORA AND ELGIN RAILROAD. SERVICE ENDED
JULY 3, 1957.
GLEN ELLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The site of the station is now occupied by a Citibank.

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The location of the Glen Ellyn station as seen on May 26, 2008, looking southwest across Main Street. Bicyclists and joggers now enjoy the Illinois Prairie Path where the rails once stood, the plaque commemorates the former station, and a Citibank occupies the site.

Photo by Don Bosan-Bruno

Additional Photos

glenellynb2.jpg

We're looking east as car 32 leads a two car train as it pulls into the Glen Ellyn station on a westbound trip. At this point in time, the "big" station is brand new.

Photo by Chapek, from the Krambles-Peterson Archive

Sources:

  1. Plachno, Sunset Lines - Trackage 67
  2. Juneau, William. “Firms Rent Stations After Service Ends.” Chicago Daily Tribune 6 Nov. 1960: W1.