CENTRAL ELECTRIC RAILFANS' ASSOCIATION

A not-for-profit technical & educational society, established in 1938

Upcoming Programs

  • In-person meetings have returned! Watch this space.

WHAT'S NEW AT CERA

IN-PERSON PROGRAM SEPT. 23, 2022 at 7 p.m. CDT.

Club Room at 899 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago

We have looked at the Ft. Wayne van Wert and Lima as part of our recent Ohio electric and Ft. Wayne trolley programs. So for our September 23, 2022 meeting presenter Bill Van Doren will look at it in detail.

The line was a key bridge route between Ohio and Indiana which operated independently for only the first six months while its track was being completed. Beginning with the predecessor Lima Delphos and Ft. Wayne Traction Co. and the Ft. Wayne van Wert and Lima Traction Company we will follow through the Ohio Electric years and the operation and abandonment by Indiana Service. We will look at its cars, its route, the great 1913 Midwest flood and its two spectacular wrecks. 

Freight traffic was important. In 1929, it moved 288 car loads of stone to a material yard on the ISC north of Ft. Wayne. 

There will be a glimpse of the beautiful museum-quality model on display at the Van Wert Historical Society. This promises to be an interesting, detailed look at the line to flesh out our previous overviews.

Our in-person meetings are held at 7 p.m. Central on the fourth Friday of the month September through June at the Club Room at 899 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago.
 

The Next CERA Program: Oct. 14, 2022
Ray DeGroote presents on Canadian Interurbans
Stay tuned for more information about this program.

The Zoom programs begin at 7 p.m. (Central) and all are welcome by going to:

https://tinyurl.com/CERAonZOOM

Meeting ID: 831 2668 5411   |   Passcode: 959625   



TROLLEYS TO THE BOARDWALK

Order CERA Bulletin B-151 today!

The highly anticipated new book from CERA, Trolleys to the Boardwalk is now available. It is being shipped as a benefit of membership to all who were members in 2018.

We also have books in hand at our Chicago offices and are ready to send them. Please click on Buy a Book to order.

B-151 is a history of Atlantic City Trolleys from 1854 to 1955, written by James J.N. Henwood, who ecounts the story of trolley operation in Atlantic City, from humble horse cars to the modern Brilliners.

Originally conceived of as a seaside shipping port, Atlantic City’s developers realized its potential for summer visitors seeking an escape from crowded cities to the inviting beaches of the Jersey Shore. Resorts and other businesses burgeoned, helped by the crowds brought to the city over three railroads.

Local transportation began with a simple horsecart service as well as a steam dummy operation. It was traction Pioneer Frank J. Sprague who electrified the city railway in 1889. Under the control of the Pennsylvania Railroad, lines were ultimately consolidated into the Atlantic City & Shore Railroad. Over the years AC&S operated the local Atlantic City trolley service and a short interurban—the Shore Fast Line-between Atlantic City and Ocean City. There was also another electric line in the area, the Atlantic City & Suburban, that led a troubled existence and suffered an early demise.

Come on board and ride back with us in time to relive Atlantic City’s colorful trolley era.

 For more railfan programming listings, visit:

http://www.railcc.org/events.html



Please consider donating to CERA. Our members and non-members alike help us keep providing monthly programming, annual books, periodic trips and events and more. Simply click on the donate button.

CERA'S NEXT FANTRIP: IRM
September, 24, 2022

Join CERA on Saturday, Sept. 24 as we relive the days of 
Insull Era Traction at the Illinois Railway Museum.
We'll all meet up at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL before 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. 
For your registration, you'll get three CERA Exclusive Special Rides and a CERA Exclusive Shop Tour, getting an inside look at restoration projects that are normally closed to the public.
You're on your own for transportation to the museum and lunch when you get there. Bring a bag lunch or visit the Diner on Central Avenue where food and beverages are sold.
This is an opportunity for older riders to reminisce and for younger ones to know what it was like to ride an Insull Era interurban or old-time "L" care.

Register and see details here


TROLLEYS TO THE BOARDWALK

Order CERA Bulletin B-151 today!

The highly anticipated new book from CERA, Trolleys to the Boardwalk is now available. It is being shipped as a benefit of membership to all who were members in 2018.

We also have books in hand at our Chicago offices and are ready to send them. Please click on Buy a Book to order.

B-151 is a history of Atlantic City Trolleys from 1854 to 1955, written by James J.N. Henwood, who ecounts the story of trolley operation in Atlantic City, from humble horse cars to the modern Brilliners.

Originally conceived of as a seaside shipping port, Atlantic City’s developers realized its potential for summer visitors seeking an escape from crowded cities to the inviting beaches of the Jersey Shore. Resorts and other businesses burgeoned, helped by the crowds brought to the city over three railroads.

Local transportation began with a simple horsecart service as well as a steam dummy operation. It was traction Pioneer Frank J. Sprague who electrified the city railway in 1889. Under the control of the Pennsylvania Railroad, lines were ultimately consolidated into the Atlantic City & Shore Railroad. Over the years AC&S operated the local Atlantic City trolley service and a short interurban—the Shore Fast Line-between Atlantic City and Ocean City. There was also another electric line in the area, the Atlantic City & Suburban, that led a troubled existence and suffered an early demise.

Come on board and ride back with us in time to relive Atlantic City’s colorful trolley era.

 

RECORDED PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO ALL


CEDAR RAPIDS: A TALE OF TWO INTERUBANS, presented by Luke Stephens

Watch the recorded Zoom session and take a ride over the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway and the Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern Railroad

Many of the interurbans of Iowa continued to provide electrically operated passenger and freight service well into the 1950s. Two of those were the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway (Crandic) and the Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Northern Railroad. 

Luke Stephens is a Cedar Rapids area high school student who has a curiosity about “the way things used to be” where he lives. After seeing a 1920s photo of a Crandic interurban on the main street of his hometown, he began to research the interurban industry in general and the Crandic in particular. The result was a 20-minute video that impressed many of us “old timers” with his depth of research and articulate presentation.

Luke now presents an expanded PowerPoint program on both of the Cedar Rapids interurbans with views along the line and insights into the operation of these roads. Many photos in both black-and-white and color (edited by John Nicholson), maps, and other graphics promise to make this an entertaining and informative program. Be sure to join us and spread the word to other CERA members.

FROM THE GARFIELD 'L' TO BLUE LINE RAPID TRANSIT, presented by David Wilson

Watch David Wilson's fascinating presentation of how a historic “L” and interurban corridor was transformed into today’s Eisenhower Expressway and its pioneering rapid transit line. 

BEFORE THERE WAS A PRARIE PATH: THE CHICAGO AURORA AND ELGIN RAILROAD, presented by John Nicholson.

The program, which clocks in at an hour and 52 minutes of fascinating stories and photograpy can be viewed here. 

Watch 20th Century's LeHigh Valley Transit program.

20th Century Railroad Club welcomed CERA President John Nicholson for a reprise of the Lehigh Valley Transit portion of John's August CERA Zoom meeting. That's the program we had not been able to feature in a recording. So click here to see and hear the history of Pennsylvania inter-urban line Lehigh Valley Transit.

The recording of the April 14 presentation for 20th Century  runs just about an hour long. 

TIME TRAVEL TO CHICAGO'S METROPOLITAN "L", presented by Bruce Moffat

On Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 Bruce Moffat presented: Chicago’s Metropolitan “L”. The Zoom program recording is available here.

RIDE THE NORTH SHORE LINE AGAIN! 

We were happy to see at least 282 viewers on our Jan. 22 program about the North Shore Line. Watch the recorded program by following this link.

MANHATTAN TRANSFER, presented by David Wilson

David Wilson takes us on a trip to New York City in this recorded Zoom program.

THE LOOP "L", presented by Patrick Reardon

Patrick Reardon's history of The Loop: The "L" Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago. The edited video of the program is now live.

OCTOBER RAILFANNING IN HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC, presented by Ray DeGroote is available here.

THE CHICAGO SOUTH SHORE AND SOUTH BEND, presented by John Nicholson is available here.

If you’d like to present a program with CERA via Zoom, contact us. We can scan your photos or slides and format them into a PowerPoint program for presentation.

Copyright 2018 Central Electric Railfans' Association. All Right Reserved 

Central Electric Railfans' Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  P.O. Box 503, Chicago, IL  60690

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