Located on Route 31, three blocks south of State Street in South Elgin, IL, the Fox River Trolley Museum is just a short drive from Vital Wellness Center in Elburn, IL. The museum features electric trolleys that are more than a century old and offers visitors original electric trains and cars that traverse the three-mile circuit along the beautiful Fox River.
Beginning as the Railway Investment Club in August of 1959 and then incorporating as Railway Equipment Leasing and Investment Co. (RELIC) in September of 1961, the Fox River Trolley Museum has since become a hallmark as one of the most popular attractions in the Fox River area. The current day museum property was bought from a family on the line and the substation was purchased from Commonwealth Edison and reassembled at the present site. A new electric railroad had to be brought in and assembled by people that had no experience constructing an actual railroad. The Relic Trolley Museum opened its doors in 1966 and only charged 50 cents for a ride during that time. It later became the Fox River Trolley Museum in 1984.
The museum has a collection of thirty antique electric trolleys, railroad cars, and locomotives that were built anywhere from 1887 to 1959. The museum collection is mostly centered on railways and electric transit lines of the Chicago region. One of the most notable cars in the collection is the wooden interurban (inter-city) Chicago Aurora and Elgin Railroad car #20, which was bought directly from CA&E once the railroad stopped offering their passenger service. Car #20 was made in 1902 and is considered to be the oldest electric interurban car in operation in the United States. The most recent acquisition of the museum includes the interurban electric railway car, Aurora, Elgin & Fox River Electric Co. #303, which was made for the Fox River Line in 1923 and offered daily service between Elgin and Aurora. It operated in Cleveland over the line popularly known as the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit between 1935 and 1954.