Palatine, Lake Zurich & Wauconda Railroad

Check out this video on Old Maud by the Dan and Jenny Trio!


PLZ & W Railroad Cars

Aerial Photograph of PLZ&W RR Route

Converse Cut in 1938

Converse Farm


Saturday, September 16, 1911, about one hundred years ago, saw the opening of a shortline railroad that extended from Palatine through Lake Zurich to Wauconda. Thirty-six hours before the grand opening, the road bed was unfinished, and there were no engine and cars! The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad sold the PLZ&W RR an engine and rented out a passenger car. The engine, called Maud, was not much to look at, but was the dream and pride of the new railroad. The train left Palatine around 2 o’clock; part way to Quentin Road the tracks turned north along the Converse and Baldwin fence line to Dundee Road. Today this is the Palatine Park District bicycle trail. Crossing Dundee Road it headed east to the front gate of Dr. Wilson’s private Deer Grove Park, now the entrance to Camp Reinberg. The train ride to the park cost only ten cents. Passengers could disenbark at any road crossing. That first day was proclaimed Palatine Day at the park. The tracks didn’t quite make it to the end and men were still working along the route. The Palatine Military Band played to the crowds of people that soon arrived. Two local baseball teams vied with each other and visitors enjoyed the new dance pavilion and refreshment stand. Of course there were speakers to toast the new railroad and fireworks lit up the evening.