A not-for-profit technical & educational society, established in 1938


November Update

Thank you all who joined us on Friday, Nov. 13 for Patrick Reardon's history of The Loop: The "L" Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago.

We sincerely apologize that the program initially allowed only 100 people in the audience. 

The edited video of the program is now live.

If you’d like to present a program with CERA via Zoom, contact us. We can scan your photos or slides and format them into a PowerPoint program for presentation.


Our latest blog post features beautifully restored photography of traction models, in the first such CERA Blog dedicated exclusively to models.

Upcoming CERA Zoom Programs

November 13 at 7:00 p.m. (CST): The Loop: The “L” Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago presented by Patrick Reardon.  Patrick’s presentation is in conjunction with the publication of the book of the same name. Members may obtain additional information about his forthcoming book through this link: http://siupress.com/theloop


Model traction makes its first appearance in the CERA Blog as we feature a selection of trolley models built and/or painted by the late Larry Konsbruck.


The files for Bulletin 151 Trolleys to the Boardwalk: A History of Atlantic City Trolleys 1854-1955 are going to the printer this month. This book will be available to 2018 CERA members in December and will be available to the public through our bookstore.

All “In-Person” Programs Cancelled through the End of 2020 University Center has informed us that all conference dates at their facility have been cancelled through the end of the year.

If you are interested in presenting a live program at CERA in 2021, contact our program director, Andrew Sunderland, through the CERA email address: cera-office@gmail.com.

Zoom Program Schedule

All Zoom programs are held on the second Friday of the month beginning at 7:00 p.m. (CDT). The link to each month’s meeting will be available on the CERA web site and admission will begin at 6:45.

December 11 at 7:00 p.m. (CST) TBA presented by David Wilson

Blog: The Photography of Robert Konsbruck

CERA’s Blog returns with color traction photographs from the collection of the late Robert Konsbruck. We plan to present these and other images from the CERA archives every three to four weeks.

Also, if anyone has any rail transit news to pass along to the membership, please send it along to us with any accompanying images you might have to ceraoffice@gmail.com. This is your website and we can all participate to make it interesting and exciting to all.



On Nov. 13, author Patrick Reardon took Zoom guests on a historical tour of on of Chicago's defining features, the elevated tracks of The Loop.


The Loop: The “L” Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago

Presented by Patrick Reardon 

Every day Chicagoans rely on the loop of elevated train tracks to get to their jobs, classrooms, or homes in the city’s downtown. But how much do they know about the single most important structure in the history of the Windy City? Author Patrick Reardon gave a fascinating history of how Chicago’s elevated Loop was built, gave its name to the downtown, helped unify the city, saved the city’s economy, and was itself saved from destruction in the 1970s. 

Mr. Reardon was an urban affairs writer, a columnist, and an editor for the Chicago Tribune. 

His new book, of the same title as tonight’s presentation, will be published in November 2020. The book has 304 pages and 32 illustrations. Price is $26.95 and can be preordered at: www.siupress.com/theloop 

Questions? Email us at ceraoffice@gmail.com


Upcoming Programs


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Central Electric Railfans' Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  P.O. Box 503, Chicago, IL  60690

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