Chicago Subdivision (Terminal)

FORMERLY Illinois Central Railroad CONSTRUCTED 1852 (Chicago-Kensington)/1853 (Kensington-Stuenkel)
DOUBLE TRACK constructed before 1871 (Chicago-Kensington)/1881-1883 (Kensington-Stuenkel)
FOUR TRACKS constructed 1880 (Chicago-Kensington)
ABS installed 1892 (Chicago-Kensington)/1900-1907 (Kensington-Stuenkel)
EIGHT TRACKS constructed 1893 (Chicago-67th Street)
SIX TRACKS constructed before 1908 (67th Street-Kensington)
FOUR TRACKS constructed 1911 (Kensington-Matteson)/1923 (Matteson-Stuenkel)
COLOR LIGHT ABS installed 1923-1926
CTC installed 1968 (Chicago-67th Street)/third and fourth track eliminated
TWO MAIN TRACKS established 1970's-1980's/additional tracks downgraded/eliminated
CTC installed 1980's (67th Street-Stuenkel)
PASSENGER SERVICE: Amtrak Carbondale Route

Above history includes trackage used by commuter trains prior to 1926, when commuter operation was electrified. The commuter operation after then could be considered separate, evolving to the Metra Electric District The 1893 Columbian Exposition World's Fair had a major impact on the history of the Illinois Central in Chicago. The railroad was elevated through Hyde Park, the area where the fair was held. And additional tracks were constructed to accommodate additional trains. The railroad was also converted to right hand operation. Prior to then, with the railroad at ground level, station buildings were on the west side of the right of way, and thus on the inbound side with left hand operation. Which supposedly is the reason why the former Chicago & North Western lines continue with left hand operation. With elevation of the Illinois Central right of way, this was no longer a consideration. With eight tracks between Chicago and 67th Street, the most westerly pair of tracks were for local commuter trains, the next pair of tracks were for through passenger trains, the next pair of tracks were for express commuter trains, and the most easterly pair of tracks were for freight trains. With six tracks between 67th Street and Kensington, from west to east the pairs of tracks were for commuter, passenger and freight. And with four tracks between Kensington and Matteson, the west pair was for passenger trains, and the east pair was for freight trains. After the commuter operation was electrified, four non electrified tracks were established to the east. The west pair was for passenger trains, and the east pair was for freight trains.


Radio Frequency - 160.920 (AAR Channel 54)
Dispatcher - 161.190 (AAR Channel 72)
Radio Frequency - 160.305 (AAR Channel 13) (Chicago Union Station)
Radio Frequency - 161.100 (AAR Channel 66) (BNSF Union Street)
Radio Frequency - 160.230 (AAR Channel 08) (St. Charles Air Line)
Dispatcher - 160.290 (AAR Channel 12) (St. Charles Air Line/CSX "RB" Dispatcher)

Stations/Milepost Locations

Direction is southward from Chicago to Stuenkel

1.5 16th Street (tower-Metra crossing)
4.6 39th Street
8.1 67th Street
12.0 95th Street (connection-NS)
14.5 Kensington (NICTD crossing/remote-Metra dispatcher)
15.5 Wildwood
17.9 Highlawn
19.9 North Jct. (connection-CSX)
20.1 South Jct. (connection-CSX)
23.5 Homewood (north end 3 tracks)
26.0 Vollmer (south end 3 tracks)
28.4 Swede (connection-Matteson Subdivision)
28.9 Harris (connection-Matteson Subdivision)
31.6 Stuenkel (south end 2 tracks)

2 tracks, CTC in use, controlled by Dispatcher Desk #1 in Homewood. Some segments of 3 and 4 tracks.


Also shown is the paralleling Metra Electric trackage. Spacing shown between tracks indicates the present separate railroads, and does not indicate actual spacing between tracks.

Classic Track Diagrams

Route as it likely existed during 1950's, prior to elimination of certain multiple tracks.


Known discontinued passenger railroad stations. Includes zoomable Google maps.


Past and present towers and interlockings.


City ordinances and history of track elevation in Chicago.