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TOM'S RAILFAN PAGES
SAVING CTA CAR 28













Home | TROLLEY SQUARE | SAVING CTA CAR 28 | CAB RIDE AT THE EAST TROY RAILROAD | MODULAR LAYOUT PROJECT | RIDING ON BUDD CARS | THE 14 YEAR OLD CONDUCTOR | THE ELECTROLINER STORY | MY UNCLE THE MOTORMAN | SOME PHOTOS | IN SEARCH OF CIRCUS WAGONS | IRM IN 1966 | MY BIO PAGE AND AFFILIATIONS





How CTA car 28 was saved and wound up in Appleton Wisconsin 

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CTA car 28 at Howard St in 1968
















In 1993 I was involved in trying to establish a trolley line along the Fox River using existing tracks from DePere to Green Bay. At the time I was looking at acquiring some 5-50 series cars for this purpose and had talks with George Krambles about how to get these cars. Unfortunately, the cars could not be sold until a 15 year time frame was up and the railroad tracks were torn up.   I was a volunteer at the National Railroad Museum during this time and in 1997 it was announced the cars were going to be retired.  I convinced the management to see if we could bid on the cars and sent in a letter to get information. By 1998 the cars were rounded up at the Skokie Shops and Pete Vesic advised me to go down and look at all the cars. The General Manager at Skokie welcomed me and we toured most of the cars there. I had picked out several cars to bring up to Green Bay including cars 43, 39 and 40.

Another car caught my eye which was car 28. It had just come back from a maintenance trip off the mainline and was paired up with car 13. I asked to look through it because it was the only car with a running MG. I later found out that 28 was a mule car and did a lot of running out of Skokie. A lot of the cars were missing seats and had broken windows. I drew up a proposal for Green Bay for cars 40 and 43 with car 39 for use as parts. It was recommended I contact Silk Road movers to relocate the cars up to Green Bay. To keep the costs down I also made a presentation to Trolleycar 86 Inc about getting a car as a backup to their streetcar. They agreed to go in on the deal and all was set. I received my paperwork and went to the management at Green Bay to send in our check and put our names on file but at the last minute they backed out of the plan. Luckily, I was able to place a bid with Trolleycar 86 Inc and got it in on time. I selected car 28 for them since it was the easiest to get running and had trolley pole wiring in place per Pete Vesic. I got a call from my friend Dave Harrison who attended the meeting where the winning bids were read out loud. He said I put Appleton on the map when we got the winning bid on 28. I was able to get a donation to cover the more expensive moving costs and worked out a moving schedule with Silk Road to include the other winning bidders so all of our costs were lower. On a cold December day 1998 I followed the progress of 28 from Skokie to Appleton. I was at work so I had to call the driver on my cellphone during my breaks. He had to wait 2 hours at the state line to get his papers but he made up the time and arrived in time for supper. That weekend I went down with my son Ian and we cleaned the car up. A few seats were missing and there was some graffiti but Dave Harrison came through with a lot of extra seats, glass and light bulbs for me by going to Skokie and stripping some cars with Pete Vesic. I was able to trade a flatcar for trolley poles the next year. I also installed roofboards on the car. Later I went to swap meets and acquired missing details like builders plates, signs and a small magazine rack the cars used to have. Soon car 28 will be leaving Appleton and going to East Troy due to a merger with my Trolleycar 86. Once there I hope to complete the car, get it painted and operating under wire. It is a great car and it brings back memories of my youth when I rode the Evanston and Skokie lines in the 60s and 70s.

Update: 2005  car 28 has been repainted into 1959 colors at the East Troy Museum and has been used on a three car 5-50 series train paired up with cars 45 and 35.

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ERIC ZALEBNY HAS SENT THIS PHOTO OF HIS REPAINTING OF CAR 28.

CAR 28 IN APPLETON READY TO GO TO EAST TROY
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