Included are lists of stations, crossings and junctions, mileposts, number of tracks, signal systems, and track diagrams for signaled lines. Also included are brief histories of each line, including construction, double tracking, and installation of signal systems.
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 lines up to one subdivision or district outside of Chicago. Traditionally, one day of work for train crew members was 100 to 150 miles, and crew change points were established accordingly. Most railroads identified each main line segment between crew change points as one subdivision or district. Although most railroads with large commuter operations identified the commuter segment and beyond commuter territory as separate subdivisions.
Also included are abandoned lines and segments, with stations indicated in italics.
PASSENGER AND COMMUTER RAILROADS
Railroads directly operated by passenger or commuter rail systems. Most lines include limited freight traffic.
Chicago area commuter routes no longer with significant freight railroad potential.
Former Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad.
A few segments outside the Northeast Corridor, where Amtrak has operating jurisdiction.
LARGE FREIGHT RAILROADS
The six largest railroads in the United States and Canada, all formed through mergers of numerous smaller railroads. Mostly freight traffic, with some Metra and Amtrak trains. Included are abandoned lines, including lines abandoned by former railroads evolving to these railroads.
Former Burlington Route/Burlington Northern, and Santa Fe.
Former Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Monon Route.
Former New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, Nickel Plate Road, Wabash Railroad.
Former Chicago & North Western, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Alton/Gulf Mobile & Ohio.
Former Grand Trunk Western, Illinois Central, Soo Line, Elgin Joliet & Eastern.
Former Milwaukee Road.
Two jointly owned railroads handling freight traffic of multiple railroads.
SHORT LINE RAILROADS
Smaller companies operating former main line trackage, no longer wanted by the large railroads. In 1976, the bankruptcy of Penn Central and other northeast railroads led to the formation of Conrail, which was free to abandon routes with limited traffic potential. Thus began a new trend of forming short line railroads, which could operate certain routes more successfully than the large railroads.
Several former railroads between Kankakee and Bloomington.
Former Chesapeake & Ohio lines.
Former Pennsylvania Railroad main line.
Former Rock Island route through South Chicago.
Former Burlington Route branches.
Former Rock Island routes.
Several former railroads between Kankakee and Lafayette.
Former Nickel Plate branch connecting with former interurban in Michigan City.
Railroad previously controlled by Pennsylvania Railroad and Santa Fe Railway.
Former Milwaukee Road lines.
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.
Descriptions of the various methods of train dispatching and signal systems, including explanations of CTC and other methods of authorizing train movements.
Explanations of the track diagrams on this Web site, which are color coded according to methods of train operation.