CA&E #315

Previous Owner: 
Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad
Chicago, IL
Builder: 
Kuhlman
Year Built: 
1909
Rockhill Trolley Museum Photo

Above: A winter night run at the museum is reminiscent of interurban travel from many years ago with # 315. Photo Date: February, 1978.

As cities grew larger, the streetcar lines followed the expanding city boundaries and continued on to other cities. These lines, called interurban lines, often operated different types of cars than those which operated in the cities. These interurban cars were more comfortable for the passengers and also faster and more ornate.

Car 315 is an interurban car built in 1909 by the Kuhlman Car Co. of Cleveland, OH, a subsidiary of the J.G. Brill Co. It was built for the Aurora Elgin & Chicago Railroad which was later known as the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad. Capable of speeds up to 80 mph, car 315 was built with stained glass windows, inlaid mahogany woodwork, brass baggage racks, a smoking compartment, and comfortable leather seats.

Rockhill Trolley Museum Photo

Above: As built in 1909, car 315 was lettered for the Aurora Elgin & Chicago Railroad. Today the car is being restored to this condition as closely as possible, as depicted in this photograph of sister car #314.

The CA&E operated to the western suburbs of Chicago until July 3, 1957 when passenger service was discontinued. Car 315 was the lead car of the last train operated by the CA&E. Proposals to reopen the line continued for several years with all equipment stored in the Wheaton, IL, yards of the company until 1961, when car 315 was acquired by our museum. Moving car 315 from Chicago to our museum was accomplished by removing the trucks (wheels and motors) from the car, placing them in a gondola car and setting the carbody on a long flatcar. The car then was moved by the Pennsylvania Railroad to Mt. Union, PA. It was transported by highway the final 11 miles to the Museum. Although not fully restored, car 315 has had much restoration work done at our Museum.

Rockhill Trolley Museum Photo

Above: Transporting car #315 to the museum from Mt. Union was accomplished by using a truck dolly with the end of the car placed directly on the tractor, thus making its own trailer.

Rockhill Trolley Museum Photo

Above: A scene out of the 1920’s is recreated as visiting classic cars are posed next to # 315.

Car 315 is in operation and gives an example of the grand splendor of interurban travel experienced at the beginning of this century.

Rockhill Trolley Museum Photo

Text by Joel Salomon, (c) 2002

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