Historic South Shore Cars on “Track” to Be Preserved

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Date: September 24, 2010

Porter, IN-The National Park Service has conveyed the remaining five historic South Shore Railroad Cars to the East Troy Electric Railroad in East Troy, Wisconsin, where visitors will be able to experience riding in the historic cars.

The cars were built in the 1920’s, and operated through 1982. When the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District was formed in 1977 to operate the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad federal funds were granted to purchase new cars to replace the historic cars. That federal grant required the transfer of the historic cars to the National Park Service at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; which occurred in 1984. Since then the NPS has worked with numerous organizations in an effort to preserve the historic cars, and has succeeded in securing their preservation by transferring them to seven railroad museums which specialize in telling the stories of our nation’s transportation history.

East Troy Electric Railroad, a not-for-profit organization, was chosen as the recipient of these last five cars because they have demonstrated the ability to preserve, maintain, and operate the cars, consistent with NPS guidelines, through a large contingent of volunteers.

East Troy Electric Railroad operates on six miles of electric rail line that has been in continuous operation for over 100 years. Their museum and tourist excursion have been in operation since 1972. It is the only museum in the country that regularly operates historic South Shore Railroad cars on an electric interurban line. Their operating season extends from May through October with special holiday events in December. http://easttroyrr.org/

Twelve historic South Shore Cars have been conveyed to the museums which had the cars on loan; most located within a one-day drive of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. If you would like to experience riding on some of these historic South Shore Cars you can do so at the:
Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois http://www.irm.org/
Southern Michigan Railroad Society in Clinton, Michigan http://southernmichiganrailroad.com/
Historic cars can also be viewed in exhibits at:
Fox River Trolley Museum, South Elgin, Illinois  http://www.foxtrolley.org/
National New York Central Railroad Museum, Elkhart, Indiana  http://www.nycrrmuseum.org/
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, Maine  http://www.trolleymuseum.org/

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 393 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/INDU.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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