The photographs presented in this book come from prominent railroad photographers as well as many from the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern’s employee magazine. Paul W. Jaenicke is an author and historian with an interest in the Chicago area railroads and the south suburbs of the region. He has given talks and written articles pertaining to the transportation history of the area. Ralph A. Eisenbrandt is a retired railroader and historian with 44 years of experience in the industry. He is a cofounder of the Frankfort Area Historical Society, has presented many historical lectures, and has produced public access television programs for the Frankfort community.
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railwayby Paul W. Jaenicke, Ralph A. Eisenbrandt
In 1884, the Joliet, Aurora and Northern Railroad was formed to connect the growing industrial cities of Joliet and Aurora. This system evolved into the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway. By 1893, it encircled Chicago from Waukegan, via Joliet, to Porter, Indiana. The railroad developed into a prosperous subsidiary of U.S. Steel at the beginning of the 20th century. It primarily served the steel mills and facilities of its parent company and as a bridge route between the many Chicago railroads it crossed. It has also been an industry innovator. It was one of the first Class 1 railroads to completely convert to diesel locomotive power in 1949 and the first in the world to install an automatic, electrically operated car retarder yard in 1952. Today it is the same prosperous railroad it was over 120 years ago, serving the rail transportation needs of its online customers and as an even more important bridge route for the region’s railroads.
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