Also included are links to "Lost Stations", covering former train stations along the routes. Including zoomable Google Maps. And included are links to histories of signal towers and interlockings along the lines.
This section generally covers railroads serving Chicago and most of the four states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
This section is presently being expanded, adding lines further from Chicago serving the four above states. As of July 4, 2017, Most of Illinois Indiana and Michigan was completed, which later will be followed by Wisconsin.
For the larger railroads, separate pages are provided for the former railroads. And for the larger former railroads, pages are organized by historic operating divisions. The former operating divisions for New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad are grouped with either CSX or Norfolk Southern, according to the present railroad acquiring most of the routes in each area. New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad of course evolved to Penn Central and then Conrail, which was finally divided between CSX and Norfolk Southern.
More concise information for longer distance routes is at the pages for Amtrak Routes, and for Historic Main Passenger Routes.
Also included are abandoned lines and segments, with stations indicated in italics. Some larger railroads sold segments of trackage to newer short line railroads, but not all segments were sold. Some abandoned trackage is shown with the short line railroads, as the most concise way for completeness.
For most lines within 100 to 150 miles from Chicago, historical information is included for former or lost passenger stations, including locations identified using Google Maps.
For most of these lines, historical information is included for interlocking towers. Information on towers serving multiple railroads is not directly duplicated, but instead linked to a relevant page for the primary operating railroad. Information on the actual operating railroads is as accurate as possible, but not always available. Often when there is uncertainty and one of the railroads is an obscure long abandoned railroad, the tower is more likely listed with the more familiar railroad.
In some of the larger towns with multiple interlockings, information is not always clear on the identity of the interlockings, due to historical inconsistencies in the naming of interlockings. Also in Michigan, there were numerous crossings involving electric and "steam" railroads. And because the electric railways ceased operations earlier than in Illinois and Indiana, it generally was impractical to include these interlockings.
References are occasionally made to obscure branch lines and industrial lines. But these lines are not always fully explained, sometimes due to early abandonments or lack of adequate descriptions in employee timetables or other resources.
Metra (Northeast Illinois Commuter Rail Corporation)
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District
Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
Belt Railway Of Chicago
Indiana Harbor Belt
Ann Arbor Railroad
Illinois & Midland Railroad
Kansas City Southern
Toledo Peoria & Western
Central Indiana Railway
Chicago Great Western
Minneapolis & St. Louis
Chicago & Western Indiana
Detroit & Mackinac
Peoria & Pekin Union
Official Web site for CREATE, which is an acronym for "Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program". This is a plan created by nearly all railroads and relevant government agencies in the Chicago area, consisting of numerous improvements which will reduce railroad congestion in the Chicago area.