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Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge Avenue and Roosevelt Road, Village of Hillside


In response to the successful funeral service established by the Metropolitan Elevated to Concordia and Waldheim Cemeteries, the Aurora, Elgin and Chicago Railway moved quickly to capitalize on the same ingenuity by constructing a branch to two suburban cemeteries not far from its main line. This branch left the main line at Bellwood and passed by Oakridge and Mt. Carmel cemeteries. Stations were provided at both locations.

Unlike the Mt. Carmel station, Oak Ridge was not constructed within the cemetery grounds. Instead, it was located in front of the main entrance on the north side of Roosevelt Road at what is currently Oak Ridge Avenue.

Service over the line was inaugurated on March 18, 1906, under the “Cook County and Southern Railroad.”1 At the time, the line was incomplete and Oak Ridge served as the terminal.2 By June work had finished and the line opened to Mt. Carmel.

A single car operating between Mt. Carmel and Bellwood provided service3 on thirty minute headways between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.1 On Sundays and Decoration [Memorial] Day, direct, express service was offered from the Fifth Avenue Terminal for the crowds paying respects. In addition to the daily shuttle, the station was also served by chartered funeral trains carrying mourners and the deceased to the adjacent cemetery.

The station was situated on a passing siding, effectively giving it two tracks on an otherwise single-track line. A pair of high level platforms was provided on the outside of the tracks enabling “L” cars (which operated funeral trains in conjunction with the AE&C) to berth.

On October 1, 1926, the Chicago Rapid Transit inaugurated its Westchester service over the CA&E’s new bypass route that was then under construction.4 Due to the close proximity of the rapid transit service and the Mt. Carmel shuttle, the shuttle was discontinued on October 31,5 and replaced by a bus connecting to the Westchester station the following day.6, 7

After the removal of the daily shuttle, this location continued to be served by the Mt. Carmel bus service, chartered funeral trains, and the express service on Sundays and Decoration Day. The service from downtown Chicago continued to be offered as late as 1931 but the station was already in the twilight of its usefulness. In December 1933, the Illinois Commerce Commission granted permission to abandon the bus service as unprofitable.8 At the same time, as paved roads became more common, the demand for funeral trains slackened and in July 1934, the last recorded funeral charter occurred.9 The platforms were eventually removed in the late 1930s.


  1. Plachno, Sunset Lines - History 233
  2. The Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Merger.” Street Railway Review 15 Apr. 1906: 203. Print. <via>
  3. “Increased Facilities for Funeral Car Service in Chicago.” Electric Railway Review 12 Oct. 1907: 442. Print.
  4. “Westchester ‘L’ Line Is Opened; 180 Trains Daily.” Chicago Daily Tribune 1 Oct. 1926: 8. Print.
  5. Plachno, Sunset Lines - History 309
  6. Plachno, Sunset Lines - History 311
  7. Bernero, Melvin “Metropolitan Motor Coach.” Motor Coach Age April-May 1987 :8. Print.
  8. Bernero, Melvin “Metropolitan Motor Coach.” Motor Coach Age April-May 1987 :19. Print.
  9. Plachno, Sunset Lines - History 323