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Concrete grows from the ground!

Like many long lead items today, the good weather we ordered took a bit longer than planned to arrive. The last week and upcoming week in northern IL has been warmer than normal with minimal rain or snow. Footings were poured December 14. This marks the commencement of construction with the first permanent part of our structure and future home of the CNWHS.

To see all the updates on the project and a timeline of events, or to make a donation to the project, visit the Archives Building Project page.

Moved In at Gilberts

44 days ago we learned we had to move. Today the 100+ file cabinets and heavy duty map cabinets, emphasis on heavy, joined the 1,000+ boxes and pieces already at our short term home in Gilberts IL. The archives still has some organizing to do, but we will be back researching in no time. Another big thank you to the archives crew, moving volunteers, and Boremans movers!

Berwyn IL was the main archives home for over 30 years. Our stay at Gilberts will seem like short by comparison before we move again to our building at IRM. More on that very soon!

Archives Move

The CNWHS Archives and Company Store have been located in Berwyn IL, a place we have called home for over 30 years.  We were very recently informed that the Berwyn building has been sold and we have to move the Archives by the end of December 2021.  The CNWHS Archives Building at the Illinois Railway Museum is about to start construction, and of course is nowhere near ready for us to move in.  We have found an interim home in Gilberts IL. 

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO HELP US MOVE!  During the first two weekends in December, 4/5 and 11/12, we will need assistance to move boxes, ledgers and shelving.  Contact to sign up to help move.  File cabinets are set to be moved professionally the week of December 13.  If you are able to assist monetarily with the move, we would appreciate any donation you could provide.

We would like to thank the archives team for quickly coming up with a plan and immediately starting move preparation.  Due to the move, fulfillment of archive information requests will likely be delayed.  Company store orders placed after December 10 may experience shipping delays.

Tim Coyle, CNWHS President

Jeff Eggert, CNWHS Vice President

NWL 2021:2

The newest issue of North Western Lines is being mailed to members.  This interesting issue includes:

26 Years – C&NW’s Kansas City Saga Part 1 – Access Via CGW and Rock Island by Kevin Eudaly; 

St. James, Watonwan County, Minnesota – A Railroad History Part 4 – The M&StL and CMO Western Division Expands – 1926-1948 by Mike Lenzen;

75 Years Ago in North Western Newsliner;

Archive Building Update;

and What Do You Know?

Rails & Rivers – Mankato 2022 Update

Our society’s twice Covid-19 postponed convention is now on track for arrival May 19-22, 2022. Mankato, at the confluence of the Minnesota and Blue Earth rivers, was once served by four railroads. It has been the commerce and transportation hub for much of southwest Minnesota for almost 170 years. Our hotel and convention sites are across the street from the former Omaha Road/C&NW depot and mainline now used by UP & CP.

Chicago Area Get Together

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 20, 2021 3:00pm to 8:00pm

At the Normandy Banquets located at the American Legion Hall
310 W Butterfield Road, Elmhurst, Illinois


3:30PM A special presentation by your Archive Committee of material found in your archives followed
by an update on the progress of the Archives Building at the Illinois Railway Museum

6:30PM Mark Llanuza will be presenting a multi-media extravaganza about the C&NW

See the form for more information and to register.

NWL 2021:1

The current issue of North Western Lines is now being mailed to members.  Another great issue that includes:

Mike Lenzen’s St. James, A Railroad History

Part 3; Jim Lewnard’s research on C&NW Café-Coach 7000

A North Woods Station Agent’s Life story by Craig Pfannkuche & Michelle Giuliano

C&NW Stories by Doug De Berg; North Western News; What do You Know?

Our annual Thank You listing our 2020 Contributing and “400 Club” members

And 75 Years Ago – North Western Newsliner.  The three corresponding issues are available now for viewing.

If you are not a member, you will want to join the Chicago & North Western Historical Society to make sure you don’t miss out on the great stories and research about the world’s greatest granger railroad and associated roads!  To join on-line, go to our website at and click on the membership button.  Sign up today!