MIDWEST RAILROADS

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 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.


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 later evolving to these railroads.

BNSF RAILWAY

Burlington Route/Burlington Northern
Santa Fe

CSX TRANSPORTATION

Baltimore & Ohio
Pere Marquette/Chesapeake & Ohio
New York Central
Pennsylvania Railroad
Chicago & Eastern Illinois/Monon Route/Louisville & Nashville

NORFOLK SOUTHERN

New York Central
Pennsylvania Railroad
Nickel Plate Road/Norfolk & Western
Wabash Railroad/Norfolk & Western
Southern Railway

UNION PACIFIC

Chicago & North Western
Chicago & Eastern Illinois/Missouri Pacific
Alton Route/Gulf Mobile & Ohio

CANADIAN NATIONAL

Grand Trunk Western/Detroit Toledo & Ironton
Illinois Central
Elgin Joliet & Eastern
Soo Line

CANADIAN PACIFIC

Milwaukee Road


PASSENGER AND COMMUTER RAILROADS

Railroads directly operated by passenger or commuter rail systems. Freight traffic usually was limited enough, that it became practical for the publicly owned passenger train operators to assume ownership of this trackage.

Metra (Northeast Illinois Commuter Rail Corporation)

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District

Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)


BELT AND TERMINAL RAILROADS

Jointly owned railroads, handling freight traffic of multiple railroads in larger metropolitan areas.

Belt Railway Of Chicago

Indiana Harbor Belt


MEDIUM SIZE FREIGHT RAILROADS

Established railroads which remained independent, without merging into the larger railroads.

Ann Arbor Railroad

Illinois & Midland Railroad

Kansas City Southern

Toledo Peoria & Western


ABANDONED RAILROADS

Railroads basically abandoned as redundant to acquiring railroads.

Central Indiana Railway

Chicago Great Western

Erie Railroad

Minneapolis & St. Louis


ADDITIONAL DEFUNCT RAILROADS

Railroads liquidated, with lines sold to other railroads.

Rock Island

Chicago & Western Indiana

Detroit & Mackinac

Peoria & Pekin Union


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.

ILLINOIS

INDIANA

MICHIGAN

WISCONSIN


METHODS OF TRAIN OPERATION

Descriptions of the various methods of train dispatching and signal systems, including explanations of CTC and other methods of authorizing train movements.

TRACK DIAGRAMS EXPLAINED

Explanations of the track diagrams on this Web site, which are color coded according to methods of train operation.


CREATE

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.