Hollywood does railroad history at historical society fundraiser

The spring fundraiser for the Aurora Historical Society will be a tribute to 170th anniversary of the Burlington Railroad in Aurora.  There will be drinks, a buffet supper and a showing of a classic train film at Two Brothers Roundhouse,  205 North  Broadway, Aurora, 60505.  Executive Director John Jaros will speak about Aurora’s railroad history and the Burlington. 

Jack Ford, in white cap, poses alongside a Pioneer Zephyr.

The film is the 1934 classic “Silver Streak” with stars of the day Charles Starrett, Sally Blane, and William Farnum.  Although an actor portrayed the engineer in the movie,  driving the train for the movie was Aurora’s own Jack Ford.  “The Burlington  wouldn’t let anybody else touch those controls,” according to Jaros.  And with good reason.  Ford was the engineer who set a new record for non-stop speed and distance with his legendary 13-hour run from Denver to Chicago on May 26, 1934. 

“The Zephyr was the rock star of the railroading world in the 1930s,” said historical society president Mary Clark Ormond.  “Suddenly, bursting from the Industrial Age world of the steam-driven Iron Horse,  came this sleek steel beauty of the Jazz Age.  People couldn’t get enough of it.  No wonder Hollywood made a movie with the Zephyr as the star.” 

The event was held Sunday, April 28 from 4-7pm.    Tickets were $65 per person ($60 for members).