Daily Post: North Shore’s Electroliner

Two Views

Lumix LX3 close up of the classic North Shore Electroliner displayed at the Illinois Railway Museum

I grew up seeing the Electroliner projected on our slide screen;  my father had photographed these classic trains on several occasions between 1958 and 1963 on the North Shore, and later on Philadelphia’s Red Arrow Lines.

Many years ago, I saw an advertisement on the back cover of Trains Magazine asking for donations to help save one of the trains. I sent $15, which wasn’t much money, but it was every penny I had. I was only about 13 or 14 at the time.

Happily both streamlined sets have been preserved: one is at the Illinois Railway Museum at Union; the other at the Rockhilll Trolley Museum in Pennsylvania.

On June 19, 2010, Hank Koshollek, John Gruber and I traveled from Madison, Wisconsin to the Illinois Railway Museum. Among the trains on display was the Electroliner.

It was the first time I’d seen the train outdoors since catching a fleeting glimpse of it at SEPTA’s 69th street shops in the late 1970s.

I wanted to make a distinctive image of the train, so I used my Lumix LX3 to make a dramatic close up. I also made several more conventional views.

Posed in the sun at IRM. Lumix LX3 digital photograph.
Posed in the sun at IRM. Lumix LX3 digital photograph.

This is relevant because IRM is now hoping to restore the train to service. IRM’s Tom Sharratt contacted me via Tracking the Light, and detailed their plan along with a plea to get the word out:

IRM is pleased that we are finally working on completing the restoration of our [Electroliner] set (801-802), hopefully in time for its 75th Anniversary (Jan 2016.) All eight motors need to be removed and inspected and repaired as necessary, the air conditioning needs to be replaced, and the interior worked on (we have the fabric and a volunteer who is working on that now.) We only (!) need to raise $500K. We have right around $100K now, and need $150K before we drop the motors and take them to a contract shop. We have a Facebook page– http://www.facebook.com/Electroliner

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please spread the word and share Tracking the Light with anyone who may enjoy seeing it!


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2 comments on “Daily Post: North Shore’s Electroliner

  1. roy wojahn on said:

    I just want to sign up for future articles by you. Thank you. Roy Wojahn, Orange, CA.

  2. Tom Sharratt on said:

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, Brian! I am sure that this will help.

    Coincidentally, we just learned that the 803-804 train set at Rockhill Trolley Museum has been restored to operating condition as a result of an anonymous generous donation of a key piece of electrical equipment and ran for the first time in several years earlier this month.

    See http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=36253&sid=d7e77f2076740c9fd5d1374fa0ac31f8 for the story and youtu.be/6nfagXrw_CU http://youtu.be/6nfagXrw_CU for a YouTube video of it’s test run on 15 Feb. I hope those links come through correctlly.


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