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

Upcoming Programs

  • Friday, July 12, 2024, 7:00 PM CT

What's new at CERA?

CERA Zoom Programs July 2024

The Fort Dodge Line

A Digital Inspection Trip

Presented by John Nicholson


Friday, July 12, 2024, at 7:00  P.M. CDT

This program is open to all—CERA members and guests

Zoom  Meeting ID

814 9251 7167

Security  Passcode  880028

Invite Link


The Fort Dodge Des Moines and Southern Railway was Iowa’s largest interurban, operating 147 miles of line with an 85-mile mainline from Des Moines via Boone to Fort Dodge. There were branches to Ames, Rockwell City, Lehigh, and Webster City. The line was long-lived, offering electric interurban passenger service until 1955. One of the Iowa “steam road trolleys,” the Fort Dodge survived and thrived on account of its profitable freight business.


We’ll take a look back and explore the Fort Dodge Line from its steam road beginnings, through the teens and twenties until the end of passenger service and the dieselization of freight operations in the 1950s. There will be almost 200 images in B&W and color. Don’t miss out an opportunity to take a CERA inspection trip over the Fort Dodge Line from the comfort of your own home. See you this Friday night!



If not, visit the "Join" section of the CERA website where you can renew online or print off a renewal form to send back in the mail.

Thank you for your continued support.


Questions? Send us an email at ceraoffice@gmail.com



The latest CERA book, Bulletin 152, is no longer available. Due to its popularity only a few are left and those are being reserved for CERA Members who had not renewed their 2019 Memberships but are now doing so!

If a reorder for more books is placed news of that will be displayed here.

A companion piece to B-145, Transit in the Triangle Volume 2 continues "A Century Look at Pittsburgh Public Transit" covering the Port Authority Years from 1964 to 2014. 

It has being shipped as a benefit of membership to all who were members in 2019.

We also have books in hand at our Chicago offices and are ready to send them. Please click on Buy a Book to order.


It's that time of year again. Please send your 2024 dues renewal in today. And if you're not a member, what are you waiting for?

Since 1938, Central Electric Railfans’ Association has presented programs, published books, and hosted fan trips.

In 2023 CERA continued its successful online programs on Zoom, offering both “open-to-all” Zoom programs and programs marketed exclusively to members and prospective members. We also returned to our in-person programming at a new location and hosted a fan trip to the Fox River Trolley Museum and Illinois Railway Museum as part of our 85th Anniversary Weekend.

We very proudly edited, published and produced the critically received Transit in the Triangle, Volume 2 which was mailed to all of our 2019 Members. Our goal now is to get out two books in the next 16 months to 2020 and 2021 members!! 

We plan on making 2024 even better. Look forward to new things on Zoom and in our in-person programming, news on upcoming CERA-penned books and other featured products in our store and special deals on older titles in our inventory.

Please consider contributing to these efforts by renewing your membership, or becoming a new member. You can pay for your membership by check or credit card and online via our web site: www.cera-chicago.org/join. We accept PayPal.

CERA 2024 members will receive a hardbound book on an electric railway subject as a membership benefit. You can count on our publications to continue a long tradition of excellence in historical and contemporary electric railway research, while also being both informative and entertaining.

Questions? Send us an email at ceraoffice@gmail.com

Remember, CERA's second Friday of the month Zoom programs are open to all.

But we'd still love to have you as a member. If you aren't a member, please consider joining and visit https://cera-chicago.org/join

Or let us know by email if you have questions at:


For more railfan programming listings, visit:

Please consider donating to CERA. Our members and non-members alike help us keep providing monthly programming, annual books, periodic trips and events and more. Simply click on the donate button.



An amazing Fan Ride In trip was completed on Saturday, June 15, 2024 from Chicago to Milwuakee to explore their excitng, expanded HOP transit system.  

Over a dozen CERA members joined with a few former 20th Century Railroad Club members for a terrific day of riding the trolley, visiting the Art Festival, and some of us even having an early dinner at Maders Restaurant.

Particiapation was slightly limited as quite a few members and guests who had put off buying tickets unti they got to Union Station discovered the AMTRAK trains to Milwuakee that morning were SOLD OUT.  

Three groups of us even went to the famous Maders Restaurant in Milwaukee.  A picture of one such happy group is below

Stay tuned for more trip information along the South Shore Line this Fall and perhaps up to Minneapolis early next summer.

We are even in the beginning phaes of looking at a Fan trip to Cleveland, Ohio and Phoenix, Arizona !!

Copyright 2018 Central Electric Railfans' Association. All Right Reserved 

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

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