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Here is a very good representative key from the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway that operated in the vicinity of Chicago, Illinois, between the cities of Waukegan, Illinois and Gary, Indiana.
It is attractively stamped EJ&E on one side of the bow, with ADLAKE and serial number 16433 on the opposite.
It is a beautiful brass color and shows little if any use, but we confirmed the cut in our key guides. From the style of manufacture, it would have been made in the 1940s or later, and very well may be New Old Stock NOS, ordered by the railroad but never used.
BACKGROUND - The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway was a Class I railroad, operating between Waukegan, Illinois and Gary, Indiana. It served as a critical link between Class I railroads traveling to and from Chicago, although it operated almost entirely within the city's suburbs, and only entered Chicago where it served the U.S. Steel South Works on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 2007, the Canadian National Railway announced its plan to purchase a majority of the EJ&E, leaving a portion of the line in Indiana to be reorganized as the Gary Railway. The purchase was approved in 2008 by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, and took effect in 2009. In the years immediately following the merger, the railroad existed as a subsidiary of Canadian National, and EJ&E locomotives that were repainted into CN colors were sub-lettered for the EJ&E. Shortly thereafter, the EJ&E ceased to exist when in 2012 the CN merged it into Wisconsin Central Ltd.
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