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?


CERA Notice of Annual Meeting

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. CST

Notice is given that the annual general members' meeting of the Central Electric Railfans’ Association will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. CST at 899 S. Plymouth Court (9th and State) in Chicago.

Results of the Board of Directors election will be announced and the new board members will be introduced.
Also, at this time, any concerns of the members may be brought to the attention of all for discussion and possible action.

In addition, a program will be presented by Craig Berndt on the St. Joseph Valley Railway and Traction Companies. The program will be for around 90 minutes.

Both the annual meeting and the program will also be livestreamed on Zoom at:

tinyurl.com/CERAonZoom

Meeting ID: 814 9251 7167

Passcode: 880028

We hope to see as many of you there as possible so we can get 2024‐‐the year of CERA’s 86th anniversary‐‐off to a rousing start. CERA and its activities are made possible only through the participation and contribution of its many members. Contact our office if you have ideas for a live or Zoom program or suggestions for future publications.

St. Joseph Valley Railway and Traction

Presented by Craig Berndt

ZOOM and In Person: Friday, February 23, 2023 at 7 p.m. CST Members Only

Northeast Indiana railroad historian Craig Berndt recently completed a book about the St. Joseph Valley Railway and Traction Companies, which operated electric and steam railroads from Elkhart, Indiana, to the Ohio State Line, 1905-1918. 

SJV’s primary financial promoter was Herbert E. Bucklen, Jr., a native of Elkhart who relocated to Chicago and became a successful real estate developer.  It's a fascinating story. 

Craig made a presentation about Allen County Indiana’s interurbans here in 2022.

The program will be livestreamed on Zoom and be held in person at the Clubroom of 899 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago. The program will begin immediately following the CERA Annual Meeting.


tinyurl.com/CERAonZoom
Meeting ID: 814 9251 7167
Passcode: 880028



SEE OUR NEW BOOK

TRANSIT IN THE TRIANGLE VOL. 2

The latest CERA book, Bulletin 152, is now available!


A companion piece to B-145, Transit in the Triangle Volume 2 continues "A Century Look at Pittsburgh Public Transit" covering the Port Authority Years from 1964 to 2014.

It has being shipped as a benefit of membership to all who were members in 2019.

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

Take a look in the books section for a special deal on a B-145 and B-152 combination.

JOIN OR RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY!

It's that time of year again. Please send your 2024 dues renewal in today. And if you're not a member, what are you waiting for?

Since 1938, Central Electric Railfans’ Association has presented programs, published books, and hosted fan trips.

In 2023 CERA continued its successful online programs on Zoom, offering both “open-to-all” Zoom programs and programs marketed exclusively to members and prospective members. We also returned to our in-person programming at a new location and hosted a fan trip to the Fox River Trolley Museum and Illinois Railway Museum as part of our 85th Anniversary Weekend.

We very proudly edited, published and produced the critically received Transit in the Triangle, Volume 2 which was mailed to all of our 2019 Members. Our goal now is to get out two books in the next 16 months to 2020 and 2021 members!! 

We plan on making 2024 even better. Look forward to new things on Zoom and in our in-person programming, news on upcoming CERA-penned books and other featured products in our store and special deals on older titles in our inventory.

Please consider contributing to these efforts by renewing your membership, or becoming a new member. You can pay for your membership by check or credit card and online via our web site: www.cera-chicago.org/join. We accept PayPal.

CERA 2024 members will receive a hardbound book on an electric railway subject as a membership benefit. You can count on our publications to continue a long tradition of excellence in historical and contemporary electric railway research, while also being both informative and entertaining.


Questions? Send us an email at ceraoffice@gmail.com

Remember, CERA's second Friday of the month Zoom programs are open to all.

But we'd still love to have you as a member. If you aren't a member, please consider joining and visit https://cera-chicago.org/join

Or let us know by email if you have questions at:

ceraoffice@gmail.com

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.

BUY OUR LATEST BOOK:

TRANSIT IN THE TRIANGLE VOL. 2

The latest CERA book, Bulletin 152, is now available!

It has being shipped as a benefit of membership to all who were members in 2019.

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

A companion piece to B-145, Transit in the Triangle Volume 2 continues "A Century Look at Pittsburgh Public Transit" covering the Port Authority Years from 1964 to 2014.

Take a look in the books section for a special deal on a B-145 and B-152 combination.

CERA PROGRAMS

St. Joseph Valley Railway and Traction

Presented by Craig Berndt

ZOOM and In Person: Friday, February 23, 2023 at 7 p.m. CST Members Only

Northeast Indiana railroad historian Craig Berndt recently completed a book about the St. Joseph Valley Railway and Traction Companies, which operated electric and steam railroads from Elkhart, Indiana, to the Ohio State Line, 1905-1918. 

SJV’s primary financial promoter was Herbert E. Bucklen, Jr., a native of Elkhart who relocated to Chicago and became a successful real estate developer.  It's a fascinating story. 

Craig made a presentation about Allen County Indiana’s interurbans here in 2022.

The program will be livestreamed on Zoom and be held in person at the Clubroom of 899 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago. The program will begin immediately following the CERA Annual Meeting.


tinyurl.com/CERAonZoom

Meeting ID: 814 9251 7167
Passcode: 880028


CERA VIDEOS

Select CERA videos hosted on YouTube are now available.

Here is a list, and links, to currently available videos. Click on the date:


July 2021: Cedar Rapids: A Tale of Two Interurbans, presented by Luke Stephens.

September 2020: A visual appreciation of the South Shore Line by John Nicholson.

October 2020: "Hungary for Streetcars? Czech this out!" a travelog of railfanning in Eastern Europe, by Raymond DeGroote, Jr.

November 2020: The Loop: The 'L' Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago by Patrick Reardon.

December 2020: Manhattan Transfer, by David Wilson

TROLLEYS TO THE BOARDWALK

Order CERA Bulletin B-151 today!

Trolleys to the Boardwalk is also available. 

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.

 


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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