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EAST TROY, Wis. — The East Troy Railroad Museum is pleased to announce that it has received a $10,000 grant from the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust to help return Chicago South Shore & South Bend Car 107 to the operating roster.

The East Troy Railroad intends to return Car 107 to a mobile classroom, with the ability to easily convert the car to a third dining car. The $10,000 grant from the Emery Trust will go toward the educational components needed, including upgrades to meet ADA requirements.

Car 107 is a passenger combine, a car that includes a small compartment at one end for baggage and freight. The car was built by the Pullman Company in 1926. Like many of the original South Shore cars, Car 107 was cut in half and lengthened during World War II to increase seating capacity. The car ran on the South Shore Line until the early 1980s. It was acquired in 2010, when the National Park Service transferred ownership of five former South Shore cars to the East Troy Railroad Museum.

“Restoring Car 107 is part of a larger educational project underway in partnership with the National Park Service at Indiana Dunes National Park,” said Ward Komorowski, president of the East Troy Railroad Museum. “We are working jointly to develop an educational curriculum and lesson plans focusing on electrical power generation, including how electricity can be efficiently transformed into motion. The curriculum has been designed to comply with STEAM requirements in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois.”

New energy-related interactive educational displays will also be developed for the East Troy Depot, with help from a previous grant from the We Energies Foundation. That grant has helped pay for new energy-efficient windows and an HVAC system to be installed this spring.

“We have always been an organization devoted to history and heritage,” noted Komorowski. “Now we will also be able to offer interactive educational programs and displays that help children learn about electricity and transportation while also experiencing an electric interurban railroad firsthand.”

The Emery Trust donation adds to significant funds that were donated for the restoration of Car 107 by Alice and Steve Rudolph, who are active members of the East Troy Railroad Museum, as well as donations by the Baird Foundation and Robert W. Baird & Company’s Angeletti Group. The Museum anticipates that additional funds will be required to complete this project. If you would like to contribute toward this restoration effort, toward the development of our educational curriculum, or toward other projects at the East Troy Railroad Museum, please visit our website, or send a check to the East Troy Railroad Museum: P.O. Box 943, East Troy, WI 53120. The East Troy Railroad Museum is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

About the Emery Trust

John H. Emery established the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust specifically to fund restoration projects that can help re-create and preserve the rail passenger experience as it was in the U.S. from approximately 1920 through 1960. The grant to the East Troy Railroad Museum is one of 19 grants awarded to railroad museums and historical societies in 2023.

East Troy Railroad Museum receives $10K grant
Car 4439, which is a Chicago Elevated Car, was restored last year. – Credit: East Troy Railroad Museum Facebook page

The Trust has awarded more than 120 grants since 2015, including a 2020 grant to the East Troy Railroad Museum to support the restoration of Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee passenger car 761, which was completed and returned to service in 2021.

About the East Troy Railroad Museum

The East Troy Railroad Museum operates 14-mile, round-trip train rides from its historic East Troy depot and museum to Indianhead Park in Mukwonago, with a stop at the popular Elegant Farmer store and deli. We are celebrating 116 years of riding the rails through Southeast Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine countryside. Our not-for-profit museum is operated, maintained and managed by over 150 volunteers dedicated to engaging visitors in the heritage of electric interurban railways and trolley systems through restoration, preservation and operation of historic Equipment.

For more information, visit the East Troy Railroad Museum website or on Facebook, or call 262-642-3263.

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