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. As passenger service declined during the 1950's, many divisions were consolidated.
The New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad became Penn Central in 1968 and Conrail in 1976, and was finally divided in 1999 between CSX and Norfolk Southern. Those former operating divisions are generally grouped with the present railroad acquiring most of the routes in each area. Typically Norfolk Southern for lines east of Chicago into northern Indiana, and beyond to Michigan and Ohio. And CSX for lines in southern Illinois and Indiana, generally between Indianapolis and St. Louis.
For most railroads, divisions are divided into subdivisions, or districts on some railroads. On a main line, a subdivision or district typically was around 100-150 miles, a traditional work day for a train crew. Or a branch line could be one subdivision or district. The New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad generally identified its lines as main lines or branches.
Most railroads identified their subdivisions or districts by name, some railroads by number. As railroads merged, or agreed to adopt common rulebooks, most railroads now use named subdivisions. Norfolk Southern continues to use named districts, or main lines and branches for lines which evolved from New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad.
Also included here 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.
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
Terminal Railroad Association Of St. Louis
Alton & Southern
Ann Arbor Railroad
Illinois & Midland Railroad
Toledo Peoria & Western
Erie Railroad/Erie Lackawanna
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.