Monday, April 1, 2019

Fish and Horse Railroad Cars

I have already discussed special cars built to transport horses on silk trains. I repeat one of the horse car postings because the comments reminded me that the Shedd Aquarium used to have a rail car to transport the contents of its collection expeditions. In fact, I have learned they had two cars because they wore out the first one.

William Shapotkin posted
No horseplay here -- an IC "Special Horse Car" was seen at Chicago's Burnside Shops on April 24,1966. (As I recall, other roads (the Pennsy especially comes to mind) had such special-duty cars as well). Photo taken during a Central Electric Railfans' Association charter on the IC Electric that day. Wm Shapotkin Collection.
Steven Cobb The Shedd Aquarium had a special car parked on a siding nearby the Aquarium for years.
Dwight Smith It was on the IC tracks, at their service barn near 18th Street.
William Shapotkin Yes -- if I recall correctly, this car presently resides at the railway museum in Monticello, IL.

The museum's equipment roster lists the following where Z is "Former C & EI car No. 304 'Turkey Run'"
ZNautilusAquarium/PassJ. G. Shedd AquariumThrall1957

Illinois Central Railroad Scrapbook posted an album with two photos and the comment:
Let's go fishing! OK, sorry for the terrible pun. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one of the nation's premier aquariums. When the aquarium opened in 1930 the aquarium relied on a heavyweight baggage car named "Nautilus" to transport live fish and animals from coastal waters to Chicago. Info about the car can be found at . By the mid-1950s the "Nautilus" was worn out and in need of replacement. The road bought Chicago & Eastern Illinois RR buffet-lunch car 304. The car had built in 1947 as a baggage-tavern-lounge car and rebuilt in 1954 as a buffet-lounge.. Buying the car and overhauling it to transport fish and marine animals cost $175,000. The car was named Nautilus II. Nautilus II made several runs over the IC. When headed to or from Florida the car was often attached to the City of Miami. More info about the streamlined Nautilus II can be found at The attached photos of Nautilus were taken by IC's company photographers and are from my collection.
Interior of Nautilus II fish car, Chicago, c1960. Cliff Downey collection.

Nautilus II fish car belonging to the John G. Shedd Aquarium at Chicago Central Station, c.1960. ICRR photo, Cliff Downey collection.

Mitch Goldman commented on the album
Photo of "Nautilus II" as seen on display at the Monticello Railway Museum.

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