The railroad again entered bankruptcy
in 1932 and could not emerge for nearly 14 years until 1946 although
traffic from World War II allowed the CA&E to upgrade its motive
power fleet (which consisted primarily of motorcars along with a small
fleet of Baldwin-Westinghouse B+B electric freight locomotives). With the constant encroachment of highways, automobiles and other modes of transportation
the CA&E found it more and more difficult to stay profitable so in
an attempt to improve services it began abandoning some light branch
lines. However, it found that it simply could not profitably compete
for passenger traffic any longer and in a very abrupt move which became famous and left commuters stranded, the CA&E ceased all passenger operations at 12 noon on July 3, 1957.
|Seen here is an uncommon snow plow used for interurban operations, seemingly built from a freight motor. The maintenance-of-way machine withers away in Wheaton, Illinois on July 6, 1962.|
Motorcar and Locomotive Fleet
#10 - 28 (even): Built by the Niles Car & Manufacturing Company in 1902 these motors were the first owned by the then Aurora, Elgin & Chicago Railway.
#30 - 58 (even), #101 - 109 (odd): Built by the Stephenson Car Company in 1902.
#201 - 209 (odd): Built by the Niles Car & Manufacturing Company in 1904.
#400 - 419: Built by the Pullman Company in 1923.
#420 - 434: Built by the Cincinnati Car Company in 1927.
#451 - 460: Built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1945.
The CA&E owned six freight electric locomotives, all built by Baldwin-Westinghouse and included #2001, #2002, #3003, #3004, #4005 and #4006.
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|A Roarin Elgin' interurban car built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1945 rusts away in Weaton, Illinois on June 7, 1962.|
After the cessation of passenger service in mid-1957 freight service
lasted only a few years longer and by 1963 the railroad had totally
shutdown with the CA&E's freight motors being scrapped. Today,
nothing remains of the "Roarin' Elgin" although sections of the
right-of-way are now a walking trail known as the Illinois Prairie Path.
The CA&E may not have been a very large railroad or profitable one
but it is yet another one of the many lesser remembered fallen flag
railroads that have endeared through the ages and those which remember
it in operation certainly will not forget its flashy and catchy red and
white livery adorning its motorcars and locomotives.
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